The Chelsea Membership at The Sloane Club
I have walked passed The Sloane Club on Lower Sloane Street many times and it has always made me smile. As the founder of The Sloaney, I feel as though it should be a second home! I recently had the opportunity to venture inside this historical private member’s club, which originally began as The Service Women’s Club.
It was founded for serving and former lady officers of the Armed Forces in World War II. It then became known as The Helena Club and remained exclusively for the use of women. Today it welcomes both ladies and gentleman following its transformation into The Sloane Club, which happened in 1976.
There are various types of membership available at The Sloane Club and the most recent addition is The Chelsea Membership. This allows guests to enjoy access to the dining facilities throughout the week and also make the most of club rates for accommodation during the weekends.
The club is elegant, sophisticated and very traditional, with striking artwork adorning the walls. Several of the pictures relate to equestrianism and there are comfortable sofas positioned around the fireplaces to give the feel of a country home. There are also some spectacular flower arrangements. It is a lovely hideaway from busy London life and very well located, especially for several events that form part of our British Summer Social Season.
The dining room is large and very light with an atrium welcoming the rays of sunshine from outside. There are several booths, which cater well for a few friends who want to enjoy a discreet catch up during dinner or lunch. Other tables take centre stage in the main room and in the summer there is an outdoor terrace, which is a floor above and popular for alfresco dining.
The Executive Chef is Bernhard Mayer who was previously at The Savoy and the menu presents many British favourites and an especially good selection of seafood dishes. There is also an extensive wine list, which encompasses vintages from several different countries including South Africa, France, the UK and Spain, along with others. The champagne list is large and boasts the likes of Cristal and Krug Special Cuvee, along with the house pour Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve and a selection of other favourites.
The Prawn Tempura and Scottish Smoked Salmon with traditional accompaniments are good options to choose from the starter menu. The Dover Sole is definitely recommended for a main course, but you may also be tempted by the game dishes such as venison, especially at this time of year. All of the food is expertly prepared and very well presented.
The portions are generous and much of the menu makes the most of rich flavours, which is ideal for the winter months. However, you are likely to feel rather full by the end of your lunch so a fresh fruit pudding is a good shout, especially when it is served as an Exotic Fruit Salad with Banana Sorbet. The fresh but delicately sweet flavours are a welcome end to the meal.
The atmosphere is relaxed at The Sloane Club but also stylish with high standards expected throughout. The Sloane Club is your country home in the city and The Chelsea Membership encourages you to visit the venue during the week in order to take a temporary break from hectic London life.
The Chelsea Membership is for dining access throughout the week and accommodation at the weekends. There is a £250 joining fee and £350 annual subscription. More information can be found at http://www.sloaneclub.co.uk/ or by telephoning +44 20 7730 9131