The Eight Club has to be every banker’s wet dream. Housed in a narrow alleyway behind the infamous Abacus, Eight Club is THE underground City playground.
Sadly, it’s a private members’ bar and membership fees top £900 a year, according to the receptionist. But for a modicum of discretion that really isn’t afforded in other City bars, it could be worth the price. (There’s also another Eight Club in Moorgate, with a fantastic terrace apparently. I’m still waiting for my official invite.)
Underneath the bustle of Cornhill there are several spacious meeting rooms, a cinema and an expansive bar, with low seats and intimate lighting. Bookcases line the walls of the bar, filled with artfully-placed stacks of modern classics, but the highlight is the punchbag, hidden behind a secret wall. Eight Club knows their market – and I can just imagine stressed out bankers smashing their fists into it after a long day in the markets.
Thankfully, the club isn’t all about punchbags and great cocktails (of which there are many). It’s transformed itself into an arts space of late, showcasing the 1970s fashion and music photographer Willie Cristie, whose images are dotted about the labyrinth-esque bar.
I don’t expect many suits will know Willie Cristie (I certainly didn’t) – but wandering aimlessly around a chic members’ bar on a Monday night peering at some old Vogue covers is something different to getting blotto in an All Bar One. Maybe it’s time the City got cultural. Men take note: some of the photographs are for sale, and it’s Mother’s Day this Sunday…