36 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5JN   T: 020 7930 9721    E:club@armynavyclub.co.uk Member Login

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The Rag

In the press

The historic Club Library with views over St James's Square Half Ladies Drawing Room for a board meeting

Michèle Marriott reviews the Army & Navy Club as a unique venue for events in London.

Published in DatebooK, The dairy of UK special events

(Volume 20, Number 2 & 3, Winter/Spring 2014)

"Affectionately known as ‘The Rag’, the Army and Navy Club was originally founded in 1837 for former and serving members of the British and Commonwealth Armed Services and their immediate relatives.

One of the earliest members, Captain Billy Duff, returned to the Club late one evening for supper, having been at ‘The Rag and Famish’, a disreputable gaming house. Sitting down to supper, he declared the fare he was given  to be a ’Rag and Famish affair’ and the name has stuck ever since!

I was given a tour of the Club by Elana Kruger, the incredibly efficient Business Development Manager and Caroline Clarke, the inimitable Membership Secretary, who having worked at the Rag for 15 years, has a host of tales to tell!

They told me that the original elegant building was not damaged during WWII but by the end of the 1950's deemed to be increasingly uneconomical, and was demolished and re-built in 1962.  The present building manages to combine the ambience of tradition with modern facilities.  Overlooking St James’s Square and Pall Mall, it is the perfect venue for every type of event, from conferences to private dinners and business meetings to wedding ceremonies.

The Pall Mall Room is a beautiful room, with a magnificent painted ceiling of white fluffy clouds and a blue sky.  This is the principal banqueting room in the Club and will easily accommodate 120 guests for dinner or up to 200 for a reception.  With its dreamy ceiling, light and airy décor and superb views over Pall Mall, it is the perfect place for a wedding breakfast!

The Drawing Room is my favourite room in the Club. With its classical lines, soft pastel colours, crystal chandeliers, an original fireplace from Malmaison and portraits of Nell Gwynne (whose home was once on this site!), it is a versatile space which can be used as a wonderful setting for a wedding ceremony or dinner for 100 guests, a reception or just a comfortable seating area for family and friends.

The Historic Club Library is decorated with pictures, showing glorious scenes from Britain’s Naval and Military past.  It has a marvellous view over St James’s Square Gardens and can accommodate 100 guests for a reception or lecture and 75 for dinner.

For smaller occasions, private or intimate events, there is a choice of three rooms.  The Wellington Room is ‘Red’! It is comfortably furnished and warmly decorated, giving it a very welcoming feeling, perfect for private dining and business meetings. It can also be used as an ante-room for the Nelson Room, which is decorated with superb memorabilia of Lord Nelson and with a fixed boardroom table for up to 17 guests.

A recent addition to the Club, is the Ribbon Bar and Terrace on the top floor, which is suitable for more informal events.  The Terrace is perfect for summer drinks receptions, high above Pall Mall, but with the intimacy of a private garden. 

In addition to the public rooms, the Club also has 76 beautifully appointed en-suite bedrooms, so your guests can enjoy the party and not worry about driving home! It also has its own underground car park – a rare facility in St James’s.

The Club exudes warmth and comfort and the catering is second to none. With its highly professional and friendly staff, it is the perfect place for an event in central London."

To find out more about booking an event at the Army & Navy Club, please contact Emily Moss, our Events Manager, via email or phone 020 7827 8079.

The Ribbon Bar and Terrace - an informal meeting place