Just in

Soho House Brighton

Nick Jones has extended his Soho House Group to Brighton but, despite an attractive decor and a terrace with parasols overlooking the Pier, I am doubtful whether it will succeed.

To go there you need to be a house member which costs a mere £2,000 annually.

I opted for the Friends of Soho House for £100 but this is a swizz with no visiting rights.  I could not even persuade them to give me an table for drinks.

The first Soho House was in Greek Street and it was a media alternative to the Gentleman’s Club: not anti-women, not stuffy and offering workspace and hubs.

They opened a country house called Babington House and Soho Houses sprang up in other British cities and international ones.

On arrival yesterday I was struck by two things: an air of superciliousness and non-completion of building works.

Once formalities were completed the self-important greeter informed me Friends would have a space to meet and have a drink.

Superciliousness seems to be a key attribute in recruitment as the Spanish waitress possessed it in bundles.

When I said we still awaited our ordered drinks she retorted it was nothing to do with her but, the responsibility of the bar staff.

When I said they were turning custom away she said that they had to protect their members – even though the restaurant Cecconis was at best half-full.

It seemed to be to be the recipe for failure – namely, impose the rules at the expense of custom.

Expense is the key word here as restaurant prices are full without the membership charge.

We ordered starters and a salad.

No, their starters have to arrive all together; no, you can only have two scoops of sorbet.

Ironically, the rules were as strict as any members club and the presumptuous senorita seemed to enjoy imposing them.

I was a guest of a founder member whose company I always enjoy, so it’s churlish to find fault.

However, if come a wet cold and windy November, I wonder whether they will still be offhand.

Avatar photo
About Daphne Colthard

After graduating at RADA but finding no roles Daphne went into magazine journalism with Good Housekeeping. Widely recognised as one of the country's leading restaurant and hotel reviewers, particularly by herself, Daphne is the author of "Bedded and Breakfasted", a light hearted chick novel and Grand Hotels DC: the Daffers Dictionary. Daphne lives in West London and is married to an investment banker Oliver. They have 2 boys Humphrey and Tarquin. More Posts