Last Friday, I had a rather indulgent afternoon – I had a very good lunch in an all men’s club on St James’s.
They appear to let ladies in the front entrance on very special occasions – and there were a few startled men on the inside, who were not expecting to see ladies in their club.
However we had been allowed in, so we had champagne to start with, with the men, and then I sat in-between two charming older gentlemen and we discussed many many things – the chap on my right was most charmed by the expression ‘peg candy’ he couldn’t stop telling people. The lunch was very good, and I think the men were pleased to have us there – I would like to add that we weren’t some sort of strange entertainment, we had, as girls been invited in our own right. However I must say the girls loos really are in the back end of nowhere though, it’s a positive maze to find them.
I guess the real question here, is whether we were bothered by the fact that we as girls had been ‘allowed’ into the club – through the front door all of entrances. I had a lovely time, the food was excellent and so was the company. And at no point was I made to feel in any way inferior. The fact that I would not usually be able to enter / let alone become a member of this establishment actually doesn’t bother me too much. They don’t want us in there, so why should we want to go in. I’m not sure what I would be gaining from becoming a member – I think really it’s best to let the men enjoy their time without any ladies, and let them think they are keeping us out, and not let them know that really we don’t need or want to join them. If I were to become a member of a club, I would choose somewhere like Shoreditch House, in which both girls and boys can be members, far more fun and there is a generally more welcoming air.
It was an experience being ‘allowed’ in to this place, and perhaps one that will die out soon when everything has become equal in everything – so I am pleased to have experienced the end of a tradition and the beginnings of change.
And it really was a very good lunch.
After – because it was Friday, and we didn’t have much else to do, we went to have a look inside the Ritz as none of us had been before. I would highly recommend it, it’s a truly fascinating place – it has an almost colonial feel – and it’s definitely a tourist trap. We had a cocktail, which just wasn’t that good – but we did enjoy the loos, they are rather decadent.