With food by Tom Kerridge and Art Deco-inspired interiors by the studio behind Iwan and Manuela Wirth’s Fife Arms hotel in Braemar, the Pavilion Club, Knightsbridge is the place to see and be seen right now.
The Knightsbridge location provides indulgent views of Hyde Park over the terrace, two member-only bars, seventeen private offices, a penthouse suite, an all-day menu curated by the Michelin star chef, Tom Kerridge, and a specialised cocktail menu designed by Fabrizio Donno.
Inside, it is a bright, leafy utopia with expansive, high ceilings, overlooked by a mezzanine and immaculately put together décor: velvet cushions, mosaic floor tiling, flashes of copper and plump, tasselled footstools. With three Pavilion Clubs already established across the city and a further site planned to open later this year, 64 Knightsbridge opened in July 2021 to high demand. This members’ club with no dress code boasts a demographic spanning lawyers, doctors, tech firms, property, media, travel and marketing to name a few. Harry Hunt describes Pavilion’s ethos for those who want to hold business or work meetings in the day, followed by member-only events and cocktails on the terrace in the evening:
“We’re not a stuffy members’ club, we are a very diverse club. You can come in wearing what you want, you can be on the phone, you can be on your laptop, we’re very business centric and we’re there to provide a great business environment where you can move in and out freely, and have a space to sit down, work, yet also in a lovely environment to socialise.”
Pavilion Knightsbridge joins a growing cohort of clubs in the Pavilion chain: Pavilion City at Mansion House, Pavilion Kensington at High Street Kensington, and Pavilion Fulham at Putney Bridge due to open this summer. Away from the usual ‘members club offering’, this is something different altogether: you can work in the padded leather comfort of the library, with secluded booths for the most private of calls, alongside comedy nights to DJ sets, and spoken word festivals to Pilates on the terrace.
“The address, Knightsbridge, is a huge thing for people. It means a lot to people, and it’s a lovely area to be in. Then the building itself has such a presence. It bookends Knightsbridge but has such a presence on the high street. People want to come in and see what’s inside. It’s intriguing.”
It isn’t all roses. Like many other establishments in hospitality, Hunt cites the complex struggle finding high-quality employment that meet the standards of a members club in Knightsbridge.
“When it comes to kitchen staff there’s such a demand. A mixture of Covid and Brexit has seen a huge amount of people leave the industry – supposedly 300,000 chefs in the last two years. Unfortunately, they see better jobs with better pay and quality of life elsewhere owing to restaurant closures. They just haven’t come back. There’s a huge amount of demand in this employees’ market.”
But it’s not all negatives, Hunt is assured that the Pavilion model is adaptable to the challenge of a post-Covid world.
“Pavilion Club has benefitted from the members space, which has grown at an exceptional rate in the last 18 months in London because of flexible working and flexible workspaces. The demands of what a worker in London needs and wants are very different to pre-Covid.
“The challenge for me is the routine. I was very used to Monday to Friday, as the working week. Now the working week has shifted and moved to Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.”
That’s why Pavilion has been established for the 24/7 worker with its round-the-clock opening hours. It’s a home from home, for the WFH crowd, who want a Tom Kerridge lunch and third floor views over West London.
“If you’re running a business, you need access 24/7. Why wouldn’t we provide that as a members club, our backbone is business. “
Opposite Harvey Nichols, next to The Mandarin Oriental, and backing onto Hyde Park, the set-up was always going to be a success. Set across six floors and a roof top terrace overlooking Hyde Park, Hunt describes the spot as ‘hot property’:
“When the heat wave hit this summer, it was a bit of a sun trap and spectacular up there. It’s an amazing sight for me to see it busy then.”
And where to go for dinner if not at Pavilion?
“Signor Sassi’s. It’s a family-run, Italian, white tablecloth restaurant. Great food, absolute chaos, family vibes. I’ve been going there with my dad since I was 10. As soon as I think of a Knightsbridge restaurant, it’s the first that comes to mind. There are thousands of amazing restaurants but that’s the one for me.”
Pavilion Club is based at 64 Knightsbridge, London, and open 24/7. To discuss membership, please visit the Pavilion Club website to book a tour of the Club with the membership team.