The exclusive clubs of St.James’s, London

These clubs are on St James’s Street – you’ll pass them as you proceed down this historic parade. They’re generally not open to the public, so access is via a member. Each provides an exclusive networking environment for mostly, gentlemen members – and dancing is usually not a feature.

White’s Club – the oldest and most venerable of all London’s clubs. Established in 1693 and boasting all PM’s as members from Walpole to Peel. One of the first to introduce a smoking room as the nation transitioned from snuff, before the habit was permitted throughout the club – with the exception of the drawing room (which has nothing to do with art btw, being a place to withdraw after dinner).
Boodle’s Club – primarily social and non-political, Boodle’s is known for its keen gambling and fine restaurant. Established in 1762, and in the present building since 1783, it has a particular appeal to the country set. William Wilberforce was a member.
Brooks’s Club – social and non-political today, it was originally a favourite of the Whigs – forerunners of today’s Liberals. Apparently, a haven gamblers.
Carlton Club – established in 1832, after a key electoral defeat of the Conservatives, it was a place to reflect and consolidate among its mainly Tory members. To this day, all members of the club must be members of the Conservative Party and British – and women may be full members too. Thatcher, may have had something to do do with this!

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