Two Centuries of Elegance: Inside The Oriental Club’s 200-Year Legacy

Words by
Candice Tucker

28th March 2024

Embarking on a momentous journey into its Bicentenary, the Oriental Club has ignited the festivities with a launch gala, marking the grand unveiling of its exquisite new Dining Room. In an era where the relevance of such institutions is increasingly questioned, the Oriental Club is showing why they are here to stay.

Nestled discreetly amidst the bustling streets of London's Marylebone and Mayfair, lies one of London’s oldest traditional members Clubs, the Oriental Club. 200 years ago, the Duke of Wellington decided to create a space for officers and officials, coming from the East, to enjoy as their home away from home. Today, the club still serves this similar purpose for its members who share an affinity and affection for the East.

Oriental Club 200 Year Legacy - Traditional Afternoon Tea at the Oriental Club
Traditional Afternoon Tea at the Oriental Club

The Oriental Club embodies a dual identity: a steadfast guardian of its storied legacy and a dynamic hub, continuously evolving to meet the needs of its discerning members. Housed within the historic Grade I listed Stratford House, a masterpiece of Georgian architecture, the Club’s walls echo with the whispers of centuries past.

Throughout its storied history, the Club has undergone numerous enhancements, each meticulously crafted to elevate the member experience while preserving its timeless allure.

As the Oriental Club celebrates its bicentenary in 2024, it does so with a blend of reverence for tradition and a keen eye towards the future.

Oriental Club 200 Year Legacy - Staircase
The Oriental Club made its move to Stratford House in 1962 and continues to provide a comfortable home-away-from-home feel for its Members

In February 2024, the Club opened its doors to their new Dining Room. Designed by Russell Sage Studio, the space symbolises the Club's dedication to merging tradition with innovation. The studio commented, “To be able to contribute to the Oriental Club in it’s 200th year is a very special commission. We were pleased to be able to give the Club a day-round dining room fit for all occasions, which I feel celebrates the Oriental Club’s beating heart. Using the rich history of the Oriental Club, we were delighted to be able to commemorate the Club’s most important paintings. We’re thrilled that the Club allowed us the opportunity to showcase craftsmanship and quality, working with the finest of UK based artisans and furniture makers.”

Oriental Club 200 Year Legacy - The new dining designed by Russel Sage Studio
The new Dining Room has been designed by Russel Sage Studio

The Dining room has been designed to celebrate traditional oriental design aesthetics whilst creating a modern and contemporary atmosphere. The wallpaper is based on a classical 18th Century chinoiserie design, featuring fruiting and flowering trees, oriental birds, with peony and chrysanthemum blossoms evoking Indian chintz designs. Inspired by the Club’s heritage and styled on T&W Daniell’s ‘Oriental Scenery’ prints, a fantastical landscape is woven into the ground of the design, adding conversational details and a playful depth of scale. The furniture is a celebration of British craftsmanship with a mix of dining sofas, confidantes, and chairs.

Oriental Club 200 Year Legacy - A plate of food
The new Dining Room menu includes East-meets-West dishes and reimagined Cub Classics

Members indulge in a culinary journey that is still inspired by Club’s Chef from the 19th Century, Richard Terry, who wrote one of Britain’s first Indian Cookery Books entitled ‘Indian Cookery’. The menu savours seasonal delights and re-imagined classics that pay homage to the Club's rich gastronomic heritage. Highlights include Keralan Prawn Curry, Old Delhi Style Chicken Makhani, juxtaposed with Western offerings such as Hereford Beef Fillet with potato croquettes.

The Club maintains its highest quality cuisine with the involvement of Head Chef Arkadiusz Forystek, whose was previously based at The Goring Hotel and Fortnum & Mason.

Oriental Club 200 Year Legacy - The new Dining Room has been designed to celebrate British craft and aesthetics from the East
The new Dining Room has been designed to celebrate British craft and aesthetics from the East

Of course, with fine food there must be fine wine. The Club’s notable Wine Cellar is supported by the vibrant activities of the Club’s Wine Society. In celebration of the Bicentenary, the Club has procured a celebratory special edition wine. Selected at the prestigious Hospice de Beaune Auction in 2018 by the Club Secretary, the Jaffelin Auxey-Duresses 2017- Les Duresses was bottled specifically for the Oriental Club and is now at its prime for enjoyment.

Beyond its physical transformation, the Oriental Club is globally connected. It maintains reciprocal arrangements with Private Members’ Clubs worldwide including the Metropolitan Club in New York and the Hong Kong Club, ensuring that Members can experience the benefits of the Club on their travels.

Oriental Club 200 Year Legacy - Wine Cellar
The Club’s in-house wine specialist, Elena Barattini, DipWSET Wine Educator inspires the Club’s Members and Wine Society

The Oriental Club is embarking on its third century with a profound sense of custodianship and a vision for the future. Through a vibrant calendar of events and activities, the Club aims to captivate and inspire members of all generations. From lively soirées to informative lectures, each gathering fosters a sense of camaraderie and exploration.

The launch of the Bicentenary took place on Friday 16th February. The Club invited its members for an afternoon and evening of activities, bringing together the old and the new with VR Clay Pigeon shooting, talks on artworks around the Club and printing techniques. Most amusingly was a display of archival memorabilia, such as old house rules from 1961 stating, “Members are particularly requested not to throw letters or envelopes into the W.Cs as this causes damage and expense.”

Oriental Club 200 Year Legacy - VR Clay Pigeon Shooting
Traditional and innovative gaming came together in the form of VR Clay Pigeon shooting at the Bicentenary Launch Party

The launch party was a display of the plethora of societies and activities that members can be involved in at the club from Chess Society to music, wine and bridge societies.

Later this year, a Bicentenary Extravaganza will be taking place on Friday 28th June as well as the Bicentenary Grand Finale on Thursday 5th December. The Club’s journey from its inception to the present-day mirrors societal change and adaptation. It’s an institution staying true to its core values while navigating the altering social and cultural landscape. The true measure of its success will be in its ability to maintain its heritage while evolving to meet the needs and tastes of a changing world. 

To find out more about the Oriental Club, head to

Find out more about membership to the Oriental Club here: Becoming_A_Member