Private members’ clubs were originally set up by upper-class British men back in the late 1700’s. The more common term for them at this time was ‘gentlemen’s club.’ Members of these clubs were very much determined by association, name, wealth and capital.
The original gentlemen’s clubs manifested in the West End of London; clubs such as White’s, Brooks and Boodle’s. These golden oldies were aristocratic through and through (despite the unlawful gambling taking place behind closed doors). Then came the three great Reform Acts of the nineteenth century – every time an act was passed and more men were subsequently given the right to vote so contributed to a further expansion of clubs; clubs that soon became a somewhat second home to the gentlemen who used them. In fact, you only ever used one club and always remained true to it. You would choose your establishment because of its correspondence to your possible interests; such as, politics, sports, literature or art.
Being a member of a gentlemen’s club bought with it a sense of belonging and a sense of loyalty. Once you joined up with the club of your choice, you didn’t use any other establishment. Clubs were chosen because of association to other members, perhaps family or friends, as well as whether the club promoted certain areas that were of interest to you generally; so politics, sport, literature or art for example.
As we moved into the twentieth century, and with the outbreak of two world wars, the practises of the private members’ club soon began to change, to fade into insignificance. However, in more recent years, we have witnessed a revival of these venues, particularly when you consider the popularity of The Groucho Club, Soho House and Home House. These funky, luxurious clubs are not necessarily gentlemen’s clubs in the way one would assume, but they do take characteristics of what was quintessentially known as a private members’ club.
Home House of Portman Square is perhaps the most endearing of private members’ clubs, especially as it started life somewhat differently to the White’s, Brooks and Boodle’s of times gone by. Contrary to belief, the building was originally built as just that – a house – a grand, Georgian town house to be precise, designed by famous architects Robert Adam and James Wyatt for Elizabeth, Countess of Home. It wasn’t until 2004, when it was passed to its current owners, that it became the club we know and love today.
Home House greets people from all walks of life, which is part of its appeal. Quite unlike many other private members clubs, Home House is a place to enjoy leisure time or the perfect spot for a working day. Home house is London’s most Luxurious and Exclusive Party Venue, offering myriad opportunities to discover new pastimes and exclusive experiences.