Royal Air Force Club, Piccadilly, London

Visited in July and December 2019.
by Paul Doust and Prasit Jangkamol

Situated near Hyde Park Corner, this club is slightly younger than the British Club, having celebrated its 100th birthday in 2018. The club’s food and beverage facilities include a casual bar called the Running Horse Tavern in the basement, which serves food and Spit- fire Ale (!), plus a good formal dining restaurant on the ground floor which overlooks Green Park. Additionally, there’s a smart lounge plus bar on the first floor called the Cowdray Lounge which also overlooks Green Park, and which serves various snacks and beverages all day. Generally, the food and wine prices are both better value than is available in nearby restaurants. Accom- modation is available, and there’s also a business suite and a fitness centre. One good thing about this club is that it’s open both weekdays and weekends, and back in winter 2019 it was one of the very few clubs that was open over the Christmas to New Year period. Men must wear jackets and ties in the Cowdray lounge and in the formal restaurant, although jackets (but not ties) can be removed in the summer.

Any British Club member who has visited a recipro- cal club recently will know that one gets introduced to reciprocal clubs by email. However, although I have visited a lot of reciprocal clubs, this is the only club that immediately replied to the introductory email to say that they looked forward to welcoming us to their club. Without doubt, the Royal Air Force Club is a really lovely and welcoming club.