Chess Club: Mayfair, London

Martyn White

Posted on January 02 2018

The design-conscious private members club in London that provides guests with a hidden oasis, tucked away from the bustling world outside. Welcome to the Chess Club.

Tucked away on Chesterfield Street behind a glossy black door is a hidden design treasure that needs to be shouted about. Created by Experimental Group in partnership with Francesca Zampi of Found Entertainment, the Chess Club is designed to break away from the traditional design and concept of a typical Mayfair club. The aim is to nurture young talent and an entrepreneurial spirit by offering unique and characterful spaces for guests to enjoy with likeminded individuals. 

Chess Club London Private Members Club Butterfly Restaurant and Coffee ShopChess Club London Private Members Club Butterfly Restaurant and Coffee ShopChess Club London Private Members Club Butterfly Restaurant and Coffee Shop

Interior Designer Fran Hickman was given the task of creating unique spaces for the club and has drawn her inspiration from the concept of a modern-day salon, celebrating the townhouse's original Georgian features whilst marrying them with the finest of contemporary design.

The ground floor restaurant is light and airy, dressed with warm golden tones. Hundreds of framed butterfly prints clad the walls, injecting a range of vibrant colours into the room, reflected by the choice of vibrant yellow and rich blue upholstery. The lower half of the walls have been panelled with a geometric marquetry style pattern, creating a busy exterior that is tamed by the clean lines and simple layout of the room within. 

The townhouse's original large windows and side panelling remains untouched, painted pristine white, allowing natural light to flood the restaurant during the day. In contrast to the white original features are black pendant lighting, metalwork and candlesticks that create a definitive line between old and new. 

Chess Club London Private Members Club Restaurant blue decorative interior design.Chess Club London Private Members Club Restaurant blue decorative interior design.

The first floor contains a luscious bar and lounge where guests will witness a dramatic clash of enchanting styles. To one side, visitors can relax in a secluded seating area that contains oversized mural artwork panels depicting tropical flowers, insects and snakes interweaving between the foliage. The tufted booth seating has been upholstered in a beautiful burnt orange fabric and the stools in contrasting vivid green, split by hexagon cocktail tables, the perfect size to play chess on. This entire space transports you into another world, the perfect escape after a busy day in the city. 

Chess Club London Private Members Club Lounge and Bar Chess Club London Private Members Club Lounge and Bar Chess Club London Restaurant Lounge and Bar

Taking vintage glamour to impressive levels, the bar itself is set against a mirrored wall, framing and reflecting the vast array of spirits available. Curving round towards the large window is a series of brass 1970's style pendant lights that run in parallel to upholstered barstools below. The bar creates its own intimate setting and a private audience for the Mixologist as they mix and pour mesmerising cocktail creations. The surrounding walls have been painted in a soft powdered blue, set against the pink tones of the carpet and large central sofa. This soft colour palette creates an air of tranquillity which allows visitors to feel relaxed and at ease during their stay. Small accessories such as candlesticks, miniature busts and ornaments have been placed on the mantlepiece and surrounding surfaces which also creates a home away from home feel to the design. 

Chess Club London Green tiled rest rooms

The washrooms continue the vintage style, clad with teal glossy tiles, reminiscent of the almost clinical pantry designs seen inside early 20th-century villas. This is a style that has continuously evolved over time and one that we cannot get enough of. Set within one of the curved corner pantry openings is the washing station with chrome fixtures and fittings.  

The Chess Club challenges perceptions and goes against the grain in an area of London steeped in tradition. It is this careful balancing act between the appreciation of original design and the passion to evolve that makes this place so special, creating a new breed of members clubs that are sure to have an impact on the London scene.

For information on memberships, location and restaurant menus, click to view the official Chess Club.


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