Diary: Hidden costs facing new members of Soho House

News that Soho House is opening a new branch in Shoreditch must be music to the ears of adland's growing number of East-Enders.

The private members' bolthole is expanding with a club, hotel brasserie and cinema, right above Mother's offices in Redchurch Street. And Diary hears East-End agencies are scrambling to secure membership, despite the rather gruelling application process.

At £600 a year, it's not among the most exorbitant of private members clubs, and Soho House is clearly hoping to attract Shoreditch's young and funky crowd, with under-27s only having to stump up £250.

However, Diary is intrigued by the extensive application form, in which a "more about you" section asks applicants about their favourite bar, restaurant and hotel. (Presumably answering any of these with "Wetherspoons" would result in instant membership rejection.)

Applicants are also asked: "How do you think your friends would describe you?" In this case, Diary anticipates the reply "Superficial, rich and gorgeous" would result in instant membership.

Diary didn't have to think too hard when asked to answer, in ten words: "What makes you laugh?" "This application form," was the obvious response. And with seven words to spare ...


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