Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

And Incidentally

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

And Incidentally

Article excerpt


ONE OF the more distracting nuggets from the David Mills saga is the claim that the lawyer husband of Tessa Jowell took his pal Silvio Berlusconi for dinner at the Garrick Club. The idea that either should be at home among the old buffers of the Garrick strains credulity.

But perhaps there was something about an oldfashioned gentleman's club that made it just the place for such a foreign visitor. For to walk into the Garrick's Covent Garden home is to step back in time a hundred years or so, to an England most of us thought had long disappeared.

Even today, women cannot be members of the Garrick, and when they are admitted it is strictly under sufferance: they can lunch in the AA Milne Room, for instance, but are not allowed within the main club sanctuaries in the evening.

Like its modern successors, the Groucho Club and Soho House, the Garrick must have felt rather modern once. It was founded for members of the theatrical profession, who were not regarded as members of polite society and would not have been admitted to posher clubs.

Now even the Garrick is establishment to the core - Lord Lawson and Lord Howe are members - although it still retains a raffish edge. …

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