Code changes: Modern members clubs


Home House’s futuristic Zaha Hadid bar

Home House’s futuristic Zaha Hadid bar

Among the trailblazers of this contemporary breed of private members’ clubs is Home House, a rabbit warren spread across three townhouses overlooking London’s Portman Square. Launched 15 years ago, its 4,000-strong membership can choose from six bar or restaurant options, not to mention nightclub The Vaults, which has its own 5am licence and entrance.

“There’s no dress code, it’s not pretentious and we’re not snobbish about anything,” sums up operations director Joel Williams. While the “eclectic” membership base may use Home House for its gym facilities, meeting rooms or futuristic Zaha Hadid-designed bar, Williams says: “We like fun people.” It therefore comes as no surprise to hear that across the estate it is Champagne that accounts for the largest share of drinks consumption. “It’s a party drink, very social, very opulent and sets the right tone for the club,” says Williams. On the spirits side, the theme is continued by a current trend for espresso Martinis, and later it is Cîroc – the luxury vodka brand linked to US rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs – that flies in the late-night bars and club.

Despite offering an exclusive enclave from the outside world, Home House prides itself on staying up to date with current London trends. “We compare ourselves to the best restaurants and the latest bars in town, but with a few signatures that are just for us,”outlines Williams, adding: “The spirits team is always testing a few things to make sure we stay current.”

Unsurprisingly, Home House members present a prime target audience for many drinks brands and the club leverages this interest to its advantage. The exclusivity deal on the Tanqueray Bar may recently have come to an end, but there’s still the Moët & Chandon Champagne Bar in the walled garden, the Martini chandelier and, more subtly, the Martell house pour in the smoking lounge. Home House members can also take advantage of masterclasses, such as cigar and Cognac tastings. Highlighting the mutual benefit of such arrangements, Williams remarks: “Brands want to come in and get access to our membership, some powerful people, but it works well for us – we can offer these products for next to nothing and make sure that members get to taste something really special.” Fine wine dinners are also an evolving part of the Home House offer, while members can also take advantage of deals secured by the club with its suppliers, who will deliver directly to their homes.

Such has been the success of the Home House model that the club is on the verge of expanding. “We’re very close to getting another base in the City,” reveals Williams. If the deal goes through, it’s not difficult to imagine the uptake among those looking for a dose of the Home House party vibe as an alternative to the dusty City wine bar scene.

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