As new private members’ club The Court prepares to open, Harry Mead shares his vision
The Court founder Harry Mead on the collaborative vision behind his 'more than a members’ club' concept
When entrepreneur Harry Mead decided to launch private members' club The Court, he had a vision to redefine the typical club experience by collaborating with some of the biggest names in hospitality – and choosing a venue that would encourage staff and members alike to unleash their creativity.
The Court on Kingly Street opens its doors on 18 February, delighting in the central Soho location that was once home to the legendary Bag O'Nails venue where Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and the Rolling Stones all performed and socialised. Now, artist Bradley Theodore, florist Nikki Tibbles, Mr Lyan mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana and Michelin-starred chef Tom Sellers will put their mark on the venue.
"I have always wanted to bring back the great members clubs of the past but do so in a way that's relevant for today, and create something that seemed straight out of an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel," Mead told Tempus ahead of the launch, citing The Great Gatsby as a principle inspiration.
"Our ethos is to bring back the members clubs of old, where the owner was there hosting and looking after the members, where the food and atmosphere were second to none, where each of our members feel valued as individuals and not just another face through the door," he said. "One of the great revelations I had while developing The Court is just how many people share this vision and want to bring back this experience, which used to be par for the course in London." >>
The strategy, for Mead, has been to collaborate with some of the most exciting names in the hospitality business. "We have Tom Sellers designing our menu with an industry-leading team executing it night after night. We have some incredible cocktails by the greatest mixologist in the world. We have artwork and design by one of the top contemporary artists of our time, a man tipped to be the next Andy Warhol. We have floristry and elegance by the inimitable Nikki Tibbles. Bringing it all home we have a venue that is so rich in history it has not one, but two blue plaques. It really is a one of a kind line up."
Though his inspirations include Studio 54, The Great Gatsby and Rick's Bar from cult classic Casablanca, Mead is also inspired by London's thriving members' club scenes. "I think every private members' club in London does something unique to itself and that is what attracts its members," he said.
"We live in one of the most cosmopolitan and exciting cities in the world. It is full of people from all walks of life, all looking for something different and collectively, London's members' clubs have created an environment that caters to every kind of night and experience you could imagine."
While not yet open to members, Mead says he is confident he and team will soon be 'holding court' in London and beyond. "We're certainly ambitious, and would love to bring The Court to other cities around the world," he said. "But first, we're absolutely focused on making each and every night at our London home a great experience. My ambition for The Court has always been to create somewhere greater than the sum of its parts and I feel we have really achieved that."