|The Garrick's rather dour exterior hides a gem of a place|
However, I confess I was impressed by the charms of the Garrick Club when attending a publisher's function there last week. Despite all that tradition and yes, a certain fustiness, it seemed a lot more of a fun place than the Reform. People were clearly having a good time. Somehow, despite having to wear the dreaded jacket and tie, there was a sense of informality to the formalness. Not to mention being a place where you are almost bound to have the chance to casually not react to a famous actor sitting across the room, or passing on the staircase.
It was interesting when, with two female members of the publisher's staff, I was shown round the place by a member. Although, not surprisingly, the other guests were not happy about the Garrick's current 'no women members' policy (as was our host), their response was not to say 'I wouldn't want to have anything to do with anywhere that is so sexist' but rather 'I hope it changes, because this is a great place.'
So there we have it. Perhaps not a whole hearted conversion on the road to Damascus, but what was once the club for the unclubbable (actors and literary types, beyond the pale, don't you know) has certainly made me realise that London clubs aren't necessarily all bad.
Image from Wikipedia