Back in the annals of time I joined a members club – Milk & Honey. I was living in Soho and it seemed like a good idea to have someplace to go for post work drinks. But they made me mad. I hosted drinks there and the bar tenders did not respect the max cap I set on my credit card that night. I walked away with a bar bill far exceeding what I had expected, and I quit the club.
Fast forward to last year. My mother-in-law told me about a members club that might be more fitting for me. The House of St Barnabas was set up as a charity, with the express mission of helping the homeless back to work through the hospitality industry.
Source: House of St Barnabas
Members clubs are definitely a thing I associate with London. I remember my first visit to the city in 1996 when my now father-in-law took us to a meal at his members club. It was an institution – chandeliers, antiques, grand lounges. Fast forward to more recent times and my neighbour always takes a collection of us to his club for an annual neighbours Christmas lunch. His club always has an eclectic mix of people, he always has someone to have a conversation with or pass away a few hours with over a backgammon board.
I’ve always wanted to have a place like that in London. A place to nip into, have a drink and relax, and perhaps get some work done or have a breakfast or lunch meeting. So when I was encouraged to apply for membership – especially to a club with a social purpose – I didn’t hesitate.
HOSB is an oasis of interesting things, in the midst of Soho. So discrete you may just have walked past it a hundred times without realising what it was. And its purpose resonates with me.
The House of St Barnabas is located a 1 Greek Street, just off Soho Square, in London. To learn more about their long history and charitabl mission, you can visit their website.