June 26, 2010

The Gentleman's Club, II

In keeping with the notion that one must seize one’s opportunities, I’m taking the chance to go for lunch at the Oxford and Cambridge Club on Pall Mall next week, before my European voyage comes to an end. Since I have previously maligned the diminished status of the gentleman’s club, I thought it worthy to give credit where it’s due and celebrate the good old ways where they are well preserved. Here, for your general edification, are the basic rules for club members and visitors alike. If more places insisted on the form of decency, would not the substance of decency follow on?

The Club recognises two standards of dress
Before 11.00am on Weekdays and before 6.00pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays smart informal dress is permitted.

At other times, subject to the exceptions set out in the Regulations, gentlemen are required to wear a jacket and tie, and ladies to dress with commensurate formality. Jeans are not permitted. Gentlemen who remove their jackets pursuant to regulation E (2) must wear long sleeved shirts fastened at the cuff.

The Committee considers that the following forms of dress are inappropriate in the Club house at any time: shorts, t-shirts, training shoes, and similar casual wear.

Members, Guests and Reciprocal members who are using the bedrooms are exempted from the dress code when first arriving and last departing.

The use of mobile phones is distracting to others. Their use is unrestricted in the Pall Mall Business Suite. In other areas please switch them to silent or vibrate, and if you have to take or make a call please go to the telephone booth (on the first floor), or the street outside.

Children under ten are generally not admitted to the Club house. If they are to be invited to a Private Function, please discuss with the Secretary when booking.

Animals are not admitted, except guide dogs.


  1. Gosh, it really does sound like a piece of heaven to me. Foolishly, I undertook a 'google search' for a gentlemans club in my part of the world and was showered with brothels. The opportunity to smoke a large cigar, read the broad sheets and drink a brandy before eating a lunch of offal and spotted dick is as compelling to me as the moth to a flame.

  2. A few months ago, while on vacation, friends and I went to a very expensive restaurant for dinner. The food and ambiance were amazing, and it's a shame these kind of treats are commonly found at places too expensive for my budget.

  3. I'm tempted to put the same dress code into effect at my residence in Berkeley, CA, but I fear none of regular companions possess the requisite wardrobe...

  4. Indeed not, James. Residences are not known for their formality, and that particular one might be an extreme case. Look on the bright side: where anything goes, you at least can look your best without a worry. And it is, after all, an enviable place to live.

  5. Well said, dear sir, well said.


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