The London Olympics will no doubt be great, exciting and brilliant to watch – if you’re fortunate enough to be sportside or able to see them on TV. But what if you’re stuck in the City working and want to catch the odd event (preferably on a big screen) during the day or after work (when you’ll never get home in time to see it) while having a drink, some food – and maybe even closing deals in person or via unlimited WiFi at the same time as soaking up a convivial atmosphere? Well, EC1-based luxury hospitality club The Retreat pops up on July 27 for the duration of the Games, and could be your answer.
Based in the elegant, Grade II-listed Brewery on Chiswell Street – a prominent corporate-events venue – The Retreat will have six themed areas: the Park (in the courtyard, with live Olympics screenings and alfresco champagne bar); the Great British Diner (with more screens, Brit Pop on the jukebox, lunch, dinner and a “quintessentially English” afternoon tea); the Club (run in conjunction with Movida nightclub, with cocktails, DJs, live acts and dancing until 2am); the Ciné (British classics along with big-screen Games action; artist’s impression pictured); the Country Club (more traditional and gentlemen’s club in style, with interactive sports simulators); and the Backstage Theatre (a palace of pampering aimed mainly at women in need of a massage or a manicure).
What’s more, unlimited selected food and drink, plus entertainment and interactive pursuits, are included in the membership fee – which, at a princely £3,000 for the full 17 days, is clearly aimed at corporates. But if you only need to impress a client for a one-off occasion, there’s day membership at £294 or evening membership at £150.
Better still, if you know someone who has full membership, and who doesn’t want to watch, say, the individual all-around final of the women’s gymnastics at 4.30pm on August 2 (anyone..?), they can transfer membership to an associate for that time (though their card will only allow one person into The Retreat at any time).
Full transparency here: the FT is one of The Retreat’s partners, but that will, of course, assure you of the quality of the enterprise.