The trend for women-only bars, restaurants, networking events and now private members clubs has made its way from New York to London. With so many women living, working and travelling to London for business and leisure, it’s no surprise that women are demanding spaces just for them.
This week, we’re reporting on the trend and highlighting some of London’s best women-only destinations…
Why the need for women-only spaces?
Women are taking top jobs in politics and global companies like Yahoo and Facebook, they often hold the household’s purse strings and are increasingly looking for opportunities to meet and network with other like-minded 21st Century women.
There’s also a growing trend for women looking to dine without men present. Studies have shown that women tend to eat less when in the company of men, so perhaps they find it easier to unwind and enjoy their meal without men present. The restaurants are also an extension of the networking events, and many women use them to make invaluable contacts.
While women have historically been barred from gentlemen’s clubs and bars in the past, the fact that women are turning the tables is a sign of the times.
To counteract the historic ‘boys club’ that has existed in London business circles, a range of women-only networking groups has sprung up in the capital.
The Sorority is perhaps the best known of them all. This exclusive circle brings together professional women who have seen success in their chosen field and is a champion for women having a more solid place in the business community.
B.Hive similarly aims to hold events and bring people together to reflect ‘the feminine way of doing businesses’.
And for one Monday a month, influential women from the business world gather for Ladies who Latte in the Chelsea area of London to meet new contacts and promote their business ventures.
Eat in female company
- KC’z Bar
KC’z Bar in Soho was once open to both genders, but only lets ladies in these days because of such high demand. Women can eat, drink and network with each other into the small hours of the evening enjoying their eclectic cocktail and wine list.
- Dea Latis
And proving that real women do enjoy beer, Dea Latis is bringing quality beers exclusively to London ladies. The owners are all from a brewing background and are committed to converting women into beer fans and educating them on how to appreciate food and beer together with their tasting evenings.
- STK London
Going out for a ladies-only lunch or dinner is nothing new, but now you can dine without a single man in sight at STK. All the staff are women, there are blush pink cocktails to sip, and the décor is chic and feminine.
The steaks, which come with delicious truffle fries, come in small, medium or large portions to suit every kind of appetite. There are alternatives if you’re not partial to red meat: their tuna tartare and salads are expertly prepared and come with innovative flavour combinations.
Ladies private members club
London has had clubs for gentlemen to retreat to and relax in since the 17th century like Whites and Boodle’s (their doors are still closed to women). And it finally has a ladies-only private members club in the form of Grace Belgravia.
The first of its kind, the owners bill it as being ‘an exclusive private club for spirited, sophisticated, health-conscious women who want the very best’.
Grace has been designed with women in mind, and offers members facilities like a beauty salon, boutique, a gym and spa, a library and film screening room and a restaurant and bar area to socialise in. Plus, you’ll get medical advice from the Queen’s very own doctor Timothy Evans and be put through your paces by Matt Roberts, personal trainer to Samantha Cameron.
The décor is light, glamorous and feminine: there are lots of cream and neutral colours with flashes of subtle mint or purple shades and fresh flowers throughout the space.
For the busy woman about town who needs a little help organising the small details in her life, there is an ‘angel’ on hand to help you make the most of your time there and a concierge service to pay personal assistant to you.
But of course guests staying at one of the Guoman hotels can rely on our trusted concierges, who are members of the prestigious Society of the God Keys which admits only the very best concierges.
What are your favourite women-only spots in London?