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St James Club

Gordo finds a hideaway away in which to enjoy a traditional meal

Written by . Published on November 8th 2007.

St James Club

You didn’t know there is a ‘Gentleman’s Club’ in Manchester did you? It’s called The St James Club, and it’s a gentlemen’s club which also takes the ladies. Many years ago, a young Gordo used to sit in the bank whilst the supermarket takings were being counted. There was always a Diners Club magazine on the coffee table and the first advert in there was for The St. James Club in London, where ‘A Gentlemen could take his son to sample the best cuisine and cabaret entertainment that London has to offer’. There was a silhouette of couple of top-hatted toffs to get you in the mood. Gordo spent many a cold, damp Monday morning salivating at the thought of Edwardian haut cuisine.

Do turn your phone off, old chap, if it goes off, as your sponsor, I have to buy every bugger in the place a glass of Champagne.

One day Gordo got letter from a girl he had met in Gothenburg. Blond, pretty and an air hostess. Being Swedish helped as well. She was coming to London, would Gordo like to come down? Oh yes please. Nineteen year old hormones started to race.

Gordo booked the St James Club, feeling that his Swedish pal would love a bit of the old Steak Diane. She got a deal more than that when the strippers came on, one demonstrating what she could do with a pair of pliers and a blow torch.

The Swedish pal finished up enjoying the evening, Gordo finished up redder than the sun.

So, back to the business in hand. The St James Club in Manchester doesn’t have the benefit of scantily dressed ladies: it does have the delightful Alistair Niven, a throwback to the mid fifties in Mayfair with open topped sports cars and lots of ‘gels’. He is a bit of a lad. Mad enough to invite Gordo over for lunch.

The club own the building where Establishment was, with an entrance to the right when looking up King Street. Advertising is strictly limited to a brass plaque on the wall, a racy ten inches by fourteen. The hallway has a cloakroom off to the side, with a tiled floor and dark panelled wood all around. It smells of old money. Alistair met Gordo with a big dandy smile, taking him up to the bar in the lift. “Do turn your phone off, old chap, if it goes off, as your sponsor, I have to buy every bugger in the place a glass of Champagne.”

The club has three hundred or so members, paying around seven hundred or so pounds per year. For this, the boys and girls now, get a club which has very good restaurant, a fine bar along with a reading room and private dining facilities. Whilst the club currently does not have bedrooms it does have a deal with Lancashire Cricket Club and their hotel at Old Trafford. One of the great benefits of being a member are the reciprocal arrangements they have with other gentleman’s clubs around the world who have bedrooms in hugely prestigious buildings and locations available at a fraction of the cost of normal four and five star hotels.

Lunch on the day with Alistair was delightful. Whilst not fine dining, Gordo had an old fashioned vegetable soup which pressed his buttons nicely, followed by a cracking chicken pie with celeriac mash. Really good that one. Instead of a traditional pudding we were served a savoury, Welsh rarebit. Gordo used to have savouries at The Connaught, you don’t see them anymore. This one had been made with a good cheese, beer and Worcester sauce, melted onto toast and finished under the grill. Proper stuff. The staff are delightful, which does translate into highly professional service.

The members list is an impressive mix of professionals, business people and characters. There are a number of reasons you would consider joining: fabulous networking, somewhere to hide from the office and/or wife/husband and a hugely impressive venue for client entertaining.

The committee are considering opening in the evening, it has taken them a while to get the idea that people actually live in town now.

If you would like more information about the club, fill in the form below and one of our marketing guys will put you in touch with good old Al.

If you would like more information about the club, please fill in the form below.

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