The last six months have been tough. We went from weekly team meetings lined with sharing biscuit tins and Prosecco to being subject to awkward Zoom cocktail hours with dodgy internet and pixelated colleague faces in a matter of minutes; it’s safe to say this old working from home lark has hit harder than we imagined.
If you’re still WFH and are missing the lively spirit of office life, we’ve found a members’ club that offers the perfect sanctuary for working, socialising and growing.
Enter Kindred, the Hammersmith members’ space that’s built around community and connection, and provides the perfect space to elevate your working from home set up.
With more and more individuals opting to enter the freelancing sphere or setting up their own businesses, Kindred is the perfect space to work by day and socialise by night. We met up with Kindred founder, Anna Anderson, to chat all things WFH and Kindred’s new beautiful renovation.
For somebody who has never heard of Kindred, how would you describe the space?
Kindred is a space for optimists; those who respect the value of connection, conversation and community. When I speak to members and guests, the one word they always use to describe Kindred is “genuine”. I think there’s a real demand for spaces that are able to deliver not just a 5* hospitality service, but also a personable approach that means people come away with a sense of belonging.
Why did you decide to set up Kindred?
Since opening our doors in 2018, we’ve lived the values of human connection, sparking conversation and reigniting community within a sophisticated and welcoming physical space. Loneliness and disconnectedness was a huge problem in this city even before lockdown, and now, as restrictions ease, we’ll want to make the most out of ways in which we socialise, and feel confident in the value of that experience. Whilst our purpose has remained the same, the collective mood has definitely changed, and that time that we spend away from our screens and out of our homes is even more precious.
What sets Kindred apart from other members’ clubs?
‘Community’ can sometimes feel like a marketing buzzword: everyone wants it, but no one really knows what it is they want.
For us, community means creating a space where people can feel like they belong, and we live this with a dedicated team who not only shape our community through accepting memberships that align with our values, but also facilitating friendships, business deals and weekly events.
For those who use the space for work, we run a Monday Morning Coffee Club that kicks off the week with a very lively sharing circle, meaning members get to know what one another is up to and provide a base of support and accountability. From a social perspective, we know that the members’ club scene can feel very exclusive and aloof and often people are paying to sit on a nice sofa and ‘be seen’. While we’re not short of nice sofas, we do encourage people to relax, show up as their most authentic selves and feel comfortable in connecting in a meaningful way
One of the biggest questions being asked at the moment is how office life will change post-lockdown, what do you think the future of office life looks like?
For many Londoners, one of the main ways in which we socialise is through work, and the friends and connections we form throughout our careers. This city is full of opportunity, but I imagine it’s been hard to feel that way when working from home for so long. I see there being an online/ offline hybrid where people will blend independent working, with online video calls, and a peppering of physical meetings to keep that connectivity and motivation between teams. We see many people who have lived in West London but worked in The City come through our doors and breathe a sigh of relief that there is somewhere so close to home that they can visit when the kitchen table gets a bit too much.
How does the membership work?
We have two memberships which make Kindred accessible to local Londoners. The first is our Full Membership (£140/ month) – this gives you unlimited access to Bradmore House, access to our programme of events and workshops, and a home to build your community with a team that care. If you would like to have things like a registered business address and mail handling, we offer a monthly business bolt-on for £60.
We know that London can be an expensive place to be when you’re starting out so we also offer this Full Membership to Under30s for £80/ month. And then, if you have the 9-5 sorted and are looking for somewhere to socialise after hours with the benefit of West London’s most generous happy hour, we also offer a Social Membership at £40/ month and £25/month for Under30s.
Kindred is an extremely community focused members’ club, how are you hoping to convey this community spirit going forward under government guidelines?
We have a comprehensive list of FAQs which can be found on our website. We update these regularly in accordance with government regulations, and communicate any new changes to our members. After this week’s announcement, we will be inviting members to gather in groups of no more than six people, so our regular Monday Morning Coffee Club for example, will now be hosted in small groups so that members can still get that support and accountability that they’re used to from this Kindred catch-up. We also offer personalised introductions between members who we feel are a good values match and could collaborate on their journey together.
The whole space has just been renovated – it looks amazing. Tell us a little bit about what inspired the transformation.
Kindred was already known for it’s beautiful design – we’d been featured in ELLE Deco, Wallpaper* and Dezeen (leading design publications), but we felt we needed something a little extra to really embrace the members’ club mood.
Our building – Bradmore House – is Grade II listed and so we had a beautiful 17th Century ‘skeleton’ which we completely revamped, and then invited the team at Run For The Hills (who are known for their work with other cult London hang outs such as Kricket & Salt Yard) to create distinct new areas across the first and second floors.
The new look Kindred now includes features such as Emin-inspired neon light with our signature ‘Welcome To The Campfire’ phrase, a whole wall of oil paintings in the Library – which are from the very talented hands of my mother – and something that we like to call ‘cosy corners’; those places for sharing stories and secrets with a cocktail in hand and an intimate vibe.
There’s also an on-site restaurant too. Tell us a bit more about The Cellar.
Food is one of my greatest passions in life and I believe there is something very special in sharing a meal with friends and family; it’s one of the most authentic ways to form a bond with one another. So The Cellar is our space that showcases our ‘London Fusion’ menu; celebrating vibrant flavours from the rich diversity of cultures that make London such a wonderful place to live. From Jerk Chicken, Vegan Spiced Udon Noodles, and Polish Pierogi to Chocolate Churros and a spectacular Knickerbocker Glory, we have a menu that doesn’t leave anyone feeling disappointed.
One of the things that people love about our food is our wide range of vegan and gluten free options. We love using ethically sourced meat and dairy, but we deeply respect those who choose to live differently and want to give them a proper range of options rather than that afterthought dish at the end.
Hundreds of events across the city have been cancelled this year. What sorts of events can Kindred members look forward to in the coming months on site?
Our main hall is the perfect setting for a laid back and sophisticated night ‘out out’ and plays host to our new Live Music Fridays which celebrates up and coming talent from around the city. We have an incredible performer named Lawrence Row performing on 18th September.
Later this month we also have a wonderful comedy supper club which boasts incredible talent including Shazia Mirza who’s show toured the Edinburgh Fringe festival last year.
For an event where you feel ready to connect with someone new, we host a very laid back ‘Cocktails & Connect’ for members looking to make Kindred a real social hub. The team often get involved in the conversation so there’s never any awkwardness; we’re interested to hear your story and connect you with like minded people.
Working safely is going to be the number one priority for many workers going forward, how are going to ensure that your work space is safe and covid secure?
That’s a good question and something I’m really keen to talk about openly.
We have always prioritised the health and wellbeing of our staff and members, which is why we were one of the first businesses to close our doors ahead of the government’s advice back in March. We’ve used this time in lockdown to prepare the space and, like many businesses, we’re adhering to government guidelines and putting in place measures that will mean we can welcome our members back safely and securely.
Some of our ‘new normal’ measurements include: a fresh air ventilation system, capping the number of groups on each floor, operating a full check in and check out system, face masks and gloves worn by serving staff and temperature staff checks.
What’s next for Kindred?
We’re finalising our Autumn calendar and would love to hear from any local West Londoners who feel they have something to share, whether that’s a talent, an idea or a service that they feel would be a real asset to the community.
One of our most popular events has been a drawing tutorial with Emily Carter, owner of her own printed silk accessories company (and Lead Designer at Harrods), and I think it really worked for people looking to express their creativity during lockdown. It’s this kind of local collaboration that’s going to be the thing that gives members that feeling of community. There’s a lot going on in the next few months and we’re still feeling our way through quite an uncertain time, but I’m confident that Kindred will provide local Londoners with a ‘home from home’ for work and play, and I’m looking forward to meeting some lovely Handbook readers in the near future.
Kindred – Bradmore House, Queen Caroline Street, London W6 9BW