Charming clubhouse. Members come from a very mixed range of professions and backgrounds, making the In & Out a very enjoyable place to socialize.
- Full name: The Naval And Military Club
- Location: 4 St James’s Square, London SW1
- Type: Originally a military club, now social. Exclusive, non-commercial private members’ club
- Formed: 1862
- Membership requirements: Proposed and seconded by at least two current members. Short waiting list.
The Naval and Military Club is today known almost entirely as the In & Out. The name stems from the old clubhouse in Cambridge House, 94 Piccadilly. That clubhouse still stands and still has the win stone gateposts with “IN” and “OUT” painted in bold lettering. The club, though, sold that building in 1998 and moved to its present location at 4 St James’s Square.
Despite a somewhat modest facade, the new clubhouse is elegant and impressivw. The building was originally erected in 1679 for Anthony, 11th Earl of Kent. Apparently it was home to Charles de Gaulle French exile government during the war, and has since served as both a court house and the home of Arts Council of Great Britain. The club purchased the building in 1996.
The club started life, in 1862, as a general service club, and the military traditions are visible everywhere you go in the clubhouse. But the club has changed character over the last 50 years. The Albemarle, Oscar Wilde’s old club, joined the In & Out in 1939 and during the 1960s a number of ladies’ clubs were absorbed, including the Ladies’ Carlton and the Cowdray Club. As a result, and much unlike many other conservative clubs, women has been part of In & Out for a considerable time.
The 1960s and 70s also saw the absorption of the Constitutional and several other smaller civilian clubs. Today the club, despite proudly displaying its military heritage, does not feel like a military club.
Some clubs, like The Canning Club and The Norwegian Club, have opted for a looser arrangement to share the clubhouse, rather than amalgamation. These clubs adds to the unique blend that is the In & Out – there is a Canning Room and a King Harald V Room – both shared by all the amalgamated clubs and members as one happy family.
The clubhouse, unlike most of the smaller clubs in the St James’s area, benefits from both a squash court, a small gym and a swimming pool.
It is a very enjoyable and friendly club. The courtyard is a wonderful place to sit and relax in the summers. Today the club has a growing waiting list. Members must me proposed and seconded by at least two other members.