This column originally appeared in issue 57 of IPSE Magazine.

At first, I wasn’t sure I had the right building. The slick black exterior, with just a lone number 8 outside, seemed so unassuming. Where were the rows and rows of people working at Wagamama- style long tables?

Inside the giant dark glass doors and the reception area is completely silent. I almost whisper that I’m looking for The Clubhouse and I’m pointed to a door.

Through there and the space opens up into a beautiful, high-ceilinged room filled with Farrow & Ball pastel shades of duck egg blue and grey. The Clubhouse is home to over 800 members from some 250 companies, but I’m told by The Clubhouse Marketing Assistant, Elizabeth Faichney, that “it never gets too loud or feels too busy”.

The reason is that the main coworking area is downstairs, providing a distance between those wanting to talk and have meetings about projects upstairs, and those just wanting to get on with their work below. But even down there there’s no sight of the long tables, just a very elegant mix of square tables and side tables and booths with Mac desktop set-ups. For an extra cost you can also hide away in an exclusive dedicated desk area with lockable drawers and desk lamps.

As Elizabeth comments on our tour: “We serve a variety of members, and can provide access to meeting rooms that range from hosting 12 to 40 people. We also have small sound-proofed rooms for phone calls and The Greenhouse, a unique space with a 3.6 metre fully interactive video wall. It makes for a great creative brainstorming room.”

The new Clubhouse venue at 8 St James’s Square, I’ve concluded, can best be described as a Speakeasy of the coworking world. A beautifully calm and open space that feels like it’s a well-kept secret. For those looking for this sort of space, membership starts at £950 per year, or £65 per day. If you’re looking for somewhere calm and sophisticated, it’s worth it in my view.

See the published version in issue 57 of IPSE Magazine.

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