Chelsea Arts Club

143 Old Church Street
Chelsea
SW3 6EB
Telephone(020) 7376 3311
Real AleReal FireGardenAccommodationLunchtime MealsEvening Meals

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Founded in 1891 at the instigation of the artist Whistler, as a rival to the older Arts Club. The club when formed was intentionally bohemian in character and remains true to its roots. There is no dress code. It promotes social intercourse amongst its members and helps promote their artistic work. The Chelsea Arts Club ball was a famous fixture at the Albert Hall in the first half of the twentieth century, eventually banned due to riotous behaviour; footage of some of the balls may be seen on old British Pathe newsreels. Nowadays the Club serves as a host for various events including of course visual arts exhibitions as well as musical performances including live jazz, and literary talks. The clubhouse is normally white but may be painted for special events, see example in this entry; it includes a dining room, bar, snooker room and some bedrooms. The rooms are lined with art by members past and present. Club membership is between three and four thousand drawn mainly from the creative and artistic worlds; there is a waiting list for new members. If you are lucky enough to be invited in, food is stated to be moderately priced. Confirmed by a member as offering real ale.