The night before 60 or so us from Queen Mary had the privilege of attending a small reception hosted by The National Liberals Club as part of a concession/promotion where they were offering students a special introductory price for joining. A years membership for approximately 215 pounds. It seems like a lot of money until you realize that its just about 22000 Rupees – which was little under one month’s starting salary at my old job – and for the amazing benefits offered that really isn’t so much to ask.
Located in Whitehall place, it really is a magnificent venue. The facades of the buildings in the area are tall and domineering – reminiscent of a vision of powerful people behind powerful walls. The inside of the club seems to from a different era. The Smoking Room (in name only of course after the indoor Smoking ban) truly if frozen in time. It has beautiful leather couches and warm inviting fireplaces in each corner for you to sit by and read, along with collections of many vintage copies of journals and other pieces of literature. I must admit this room alone was enough to sell me on membership. Located right outside is an expansive balcony with an amazing view of the Thames and the London Eye, which I imagine is wonderful in the warmer months. A quick bit of trivia that I saw in their newsletter – One of the scenes from Patriot Games starring Harrison Ford was shot in the aforementioned Smoking Room.
Despite being a great place to network and meet people from diverse walks of life in its own right, The National Liberals Club also has an arrangement for reciprocal clubs from across the world, with some 6-7 in India alone, including The Bangalore Club and the Delhi Gymkhana Club, two clubs that I know from personal experience have a waiting list for membership ranging from 5-10 years. To take advantage of this relationship however you need to become a full member – which again is not an insurmountable amount – approximately 350 pounds for annual membership. Truthfully if I wasn’t unsure of my residential status over the next 6 months to a year, I would have picked up a form that night itself.
Check them out here: The National Liberals Club