Last night I went out with my workmates to The Savage Club – and as someone who has read every Agatha Christie and Phryne Fisher mystery, and very many Anne Perry books (which often have references to men’s clubs and their leather lounges) I was more thrilled about the venue than the occasion. My boss, a SC member, had written a play which he has been working hard on for the past few months – a murder mystery farce.
Here is the letter that began The Savage Club in London, in 1857.
The Savage Club in Melbourne is in Bank Place and hidden behind a big red door. From the outside it is impossible to imagine what might be behind it. Inside are at least three floors, each with at least ten foot ceilings. The walls are covered in artwork, sketches, sculptures, and relics from the Pacific Islands and hunting expeditions. It was like stepping into the pages of some of my favourite books. I was taken up to the dining room and also got to see (briefly) the private dining room. There were free drinks and snacky things. Three of my four workmates were thrilled because they could smoke in the small bar upstairs. I toured the little art gallery and gaped at the leather chairs and books in a little adjoining room.
Downstairs, where the play was put on, the room is Huge. The fireplace (with logs burning in it, naturally) was also Huge. The little stage had a curtain, and a grand piano, which was played throughout. When it’s not doing theatrical duty, the room is a lounge, with more big chairs and Chesterfield lounges. The play was very funny, and the majority of men had great voices – there was lots of singing! Our row was very rowdy in our appreciation compared to the other well coiffed audience members.
Afterwards there was more champagne and mingling, and after much deliberation, we decided that the night couldn’t end there, and all proceeded on to on of the former haunts of Small Brother, the Gin Palace, where (due to a contact behind the bar) we were all made the drinks of our dreams. My new dream drink – a Ultimate Drink Search – Pink Lady – although I was most intrigued by someone else’s coffee martini.
I was so thrilled by my Savage Club outing that the first thing I did at work in the morning, was try to find a similar women’s club. So disappointing. I only really came up with the Lyceum Club, which appears to be a bit of a yawn. Will have to wait until I win Powerball and start my own.