If you’re in the market for a new members club, then listen up, there’s a new kid in town, The Court. Founded by entrepreneur Harry Mead alongside a team of specialists in interior design, food and drink, The Court is ready to do things differently. Here’s why you need to join.
First of all, this isn’t going to be a club full of debauchery, yes, it’s going to be lively and fun, but they’re not going to let standards slip just because you’ve flashed your cash. Speaking to The Week Portfolio, Mead said ‘we’ll operate a simple “no idiots” policy. So, regardless of how often you come or how much you’re spending, we’ll always expect our members to behave with class.’ Basically, money or being drunk aren’t an excuse for poor behaviour. This is a place to share swap interesting stories, to mix in good company, listen to music, drink cocktails and relax.
Making its home in the former iconic music club, Bag O’Nails, you’ll find The Court on Kingly Street. Making it ideal for meeting friends for cocktails after work in central London without having to deal with the rest of London descending on Soho. You’re also a stone’s throw from Oxford Street, meaning you’re never too far from a retreat if you do have to venture onto the living London nightmare.
In a nod to its legendary musical past (the Bag O’Nails was the haunt of Paul McCartney, Tom Jones and The Who), The Court hosts live music performances nightly. When we visited there was a pianist tinkling on the (faux) ivories and later we were treated to the velvety tones of a female vocalist performing classics like Nina Simone’s, My Baby Just Cares for Me. It adds a dimension that recorded music just can’t. Sipping on an Old Fashioned in a subterranean bar on a Monday night with live music in the middle of London – it’s pretty cool, really isn’t it?
Internationally renowned artist Bradley Theodore and celebrated British florist Nikki Tibbles (Wild at Heart) were called in to oversee the décor. The result is a dark, chic bar with polished Art Deco vibes and charm by the bucketful. There are two main focal points, the bar at one end and the piano stage at the other. Get a seat a table in the middle if you want to be seen or choose an edge side booth for a more intimate seat.
Not one to do things by halves, The Court has only gone and got Mr Cocktail Connoisseur, himself, Ryan Chetiyawardana to oversee the drinks. The menu is made up of 10 cocktails, including 5 signature drinks, but as we’re told they can pretty much make any cocktail so let them know what you fancy et voila they’ll make it for you. We started one of The Court ‘Classics, Bradley’s Margarita, I can tell you, Brad either makes or has inspired a mean margarita. Made from Patron Reposado, Quiquiriqui mezcal, apricot, grapefruit sherbet and lime, it’s a citrusy kick off set by just the right amount of salt. We also went off menu and ordered a rich, velvety espresso martini.
We started with beef fat doughnuts and what a way to start. Deep fried in beef fat and served with a salty, Marmite-esque sauce they’re perfection. The 1970s prawn cocktail gets an update with mussels added into the mix and the iceberg lettuce done away with. There was also an excellent Lake District sirloin with a potato terrine although we added to the carbs with the truffle chips -impossible to refuse. You can also add fresh black truffle, but it will set you back an extra £10…£15 for chips is crossing the excessive line. You also have to order the miso aubergine with kale and wild garlic, a last- minute addition to our order it far exceeded our expectations. A wonderful creamy, umami sauce with strong garlic and roasted aubergine, if you’re undecided, order it as a side you won’t be disappointed. To finish there was a sweet Gariguette tart of strawberries and Chantilly cream and a rich warm chocolate mousse.
Unlike other clubs it’s actually pretty reasonable to join with memberships starting at £600 per year, which is probably less than that fancy gym that you joined and never go to. Just saying.
The Court can be found at 9 Kingly Street, Soho, W1B 5PH