The Londoner: Free meals and ‘hygiene ambassadors’ in clubland

London’s members’ clubs have been welcoming back their well-heeled guests. Annabel’s in Mayfair opened on July 4, with on-site medical teams and “hygiene ambassadors”. There are ­thermal imaging cameras, items checked into the cloakrooms are cleaned with an “electro-static gun”, but valet parking is no longer available.

Soho House, which has sites around London, has also opened. Members have been given vouchers to buy food and drink to thank them, but they have to book visits using an app.

During lockdown the AllBright ­women’s club started a digital site, offering career advice from women around the world. Debbie Wosskow, co-founder, told us she was delighted to offer members “a safe hub away from home”.

Paul van Zyl, co-founder of The Conduit in Mayfair, told The Londoner there was a desire to return: “Outdoor terraces are booking up like crazy.”

Robin Birley opened 5 Hertford Street at the start of the month. He spent lockdown hanging pictures in the club “to keep my sanity”. Birley has offered a free meal to members to say thanks for continuing to pay fees — but only if they ask. The very rich may find asking a tad vulgar. Canny.


Charlie Brooker, Konnie Huq are posing for a picture: (Getty Images)© Provided by Evening Standard (Getty Images)

Blue Peter’s Konnie Huq tells us she’s learned new lockdown skills while helping husband Charlie Brooker film Screenwipe. “First, I had to follow an online tutorial and cut his hair as it was so bushy. Then we had to build the set in the front room. Next it was the autocue and powdering his nose. It was fun but a bit Fawlty Towers productions.”

Sherrie Hewson posing for the camera: image© Provided by Evening Standard image

Corrie actress Sherrie Hewson is missing the beauty parlour. “Where do those long hairs which appear on your chin come from?” she writes in Yours magazine. “I have nightmares I’m going to wake up with a full beard. I had a dream that I had a moustache and met the gorgeous Tom Selleck. My moustache was bigger than his.” Same Sherrie, same.


a group of people standing in a room: Amy Hart© Provided by Evening Standard Amy Hart

Yvette Cooper has a new reality TV fan (otherthan Strictly star husband Ed Balls, of course). Popular Love Island contestant Amy Hart watched Cooper grill Home Secretary Priti Patel in her role as chair of the home affairs select committee, and was impressed, tweeting: “She should have beat Jeremy Corbyn, fact.” She’s not wrong.

© Provided by Evening Standard Kevan Jones (Getty Images)

Last night’s ambush on Chris Grayling, which saw Julian Lewis win the chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee but lose the Conservative whip, was plotted and executed by Labour’s Kevan Jones. Jones, MP for North Durham, has a fearsome reputation and harangued Liam Fox out as defence secretary. A Labour source told us, “Thank God he’s on our side.”

Ace mask from Serena, and Nicola gives us her new barnet formula

How to adapt to a crisis: tennis player Serena Williams modelled the face masks she is selling as part of her fashion line Ace. Also wearing a particularly fetching mask was Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who shared this photo with her hairdresser Julie, calling it “the sweetest reunion of all”. The ultimate Barnett Formula. Meanwhile, actor Michael Sheen toured west London with his partner Anna Lundberg, and model Gigi Hadid showed off her blossoming baby bump for the first time on Instagram, while talking her followers through an art book. She is expecting with ex-One Direction singer Zayn Malik.


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