We’ve all seen the pictures, a drunken member of the royal family stumbles out of a cab before being whisked through a throng of paps and down some mysterious stairs and into the club de jour. So where are these royals and their aristo entourage downing their Champagnes and quaffing their cocktails? Here are the clubs you need to have in your little black book if you want to party like royalty.
Pretty much ground zero in royal clubbing terms, Mahiki is the grand-daddy. The surprisingly egalitarian nightclub, which boasts that it has no guestlist and no VIP area. Royalty rub shoulders with footballers, city financiers and rubbernecking plebs like you and me. Away from the royals, the club has a tiki vibe going on, with a fine pina colada served from actual pineapples and their piece de resistance, the famous sharing cocktail, the treasure chest. Watch as your waiter pours in a bottle of Moët and sets off indoor fireworks at your table. If you can get a table, that is.
Bunga Bunga, the Battersea based Berlusconi themed bar, nightclub and pizzeria is a personal favourite of Prince Harry. So much so that he became known as the Bunga Bunga Prince, back in his single years. And after that infamous naked party night it’s not too difficult to see why. Nowadays the (semi) nudity is mainly onstage for their burlesque(oni) acts and the reddest thing in the room is generally the excellent pizza toppings. Still, it’s a tried and tested hangout to catch the royals.
Where: 37 Battersea Bridge Road, Battersea, London, SW11 3BA, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Imperial Wharf (0.6 miles)
The old Annabel’s was a haunt of royalty for decades, with it’s dark alluring corners, exclusive membership and discrete staff the club played host to the Queen, Prince Philip, Charles and the rest of them at various times. The new, bigger and brasher Annabel’s, which has risen from the metaphorical ashes a few doors down on Berkeley Square may have upset many of the smart set by fooling around with the membership, but we’re confident that the royals will be back at the club aiming to ape the Soho House club model.
Talking of which, the latest addition to the royal fold loves Soho House. Meghan Markle famously dated Harry at the club. A thoroughly modern club for a modern princess, Soho House has been slowly taking over the world with their many ‘houses’, from the States to Istanbul their signature style is lux cool for a smart and young set. Which, of course, suits our Meg to a tea.
If Annabel’s had an arch nemesis it would be 5 Hertford Street. The exclusive members’ club that famously turned away Harry Styles, the Mayfair club boasts one of London’s most exclusive nightclubs in the form of LouLou’s, and it’s a great spot to catch sight of princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and even William and Kate around parenting duties.
Of course we’re all still obsessed with Meghan Markle, and she’s also been known to chil at Marylebone’s Chiltern Firehouse. The a-lister hangout haven’t got a bad patron in the newly minted Duchess of Sussex, especially given it’s where James Corden decided to bring society’s anyone-who’s-anyone list back to the Firehouse for the post reception bash after hers and Harry’s wedding!
Where: 1 Chiltern Street, Marylebone, London, W1U 7PA, United Kingdom
Nearest station: London Marylebone (0.4 miles)