The first time I went to Blacks, I found the building and the blazing fireplaces charming. But sitting down to eat in the restaurant was one of the worst experiences I have ever had. The food was inedible. The starter pate had a layer of fat on the top and was something you wouldn't give to your dog. The dauphinoise potatoes that came with the meat were like layered bland boiled potatoes with no creamy sauce whatsoever. An hour afterwards I was desperately sick with food poisoning. A place to go for drinks but definitely not to eat.
by Dianne15, 24 Mar 2013
You guys are BRILLIANT! Anything else is just gossip!
by dbel, 11 Jul 2011
Had a great evening last Friday with friends, well looked after. Cheese and wine good. Would definitely go again.
by SJW, 04 Jul 2011
I agree with the penultimate reviewer. Those who find the conversations of others irksome or dull should have their own. Having said that, Grand Designs is awful so the harpy at least had a point.
by Earwig22, 02 Feb 2011
I have to agree with the penultimate reviewer here. The place seems to be increasingly infested with media types who do nothing but whittle on about their latest 'projects'. Last time I was there I had to endure some media harpie bemoaning her involvement in 'Grand Designs'.
by Salingersmum, 01 Feb 2011
One of my favourite things about London is Black's. The seductive interior, roaring fires and friendly staff make this beautiful Georgian townhouse the ultimate retreat.
I find the previous reviewer somewhat snobby and bitter. Ultimately the club cannot rot away purely for the enjoyment of the dwindling old guard. The younger members are the future.
Personally, it's a place to spend an afternoon reading or a great evening with friends.
by glass_half_full, 16 Dec 2010
Black's is not what it used to be now that it is owned partly by a corporation more interested in money. The St Tropez syndrome has set in, whereby the originality and sparkle that made it is being squeezed dry by corporate interest set on making money before all other things so that the real trail-blazers go elsewhere and the 'pretenders' reign in an empty shell. Such is the future of Black's, for all the charm and grace of its Georgian rooms.
Of course, it is also a promotional avenue for personal vested interest, as we see with Guiseppe buying the 'best' of Italian wine. It is sold at inflated prices (£42+ a bottle) but is inferior to even the average white or red from Australia or NZ, which costs a fraction of the price. Things like this do not go unnoticed by the truly cosmopolitan who want quality and not trash passed off as such (ie by putting a high price tag on it).
Still, if you are lucky you will still find some of the 'characters of London' at Black's, such as a wealthy and stylish black American who meets with artists and writers there, or the 'old money' English of impeccable manners, or the odd continental poet and artist who makes flourishing, extravagant hand gestures and animate conversation by the open fires... but they are now rare. When they are about, their style and gravitas and snippets of their floating conversation only serve to highlight the constrast with the mediocrity of the lacklustre band of 'pretenders' that now infest the place.
Perhaps Black's will save itself, but then it may well go the way of all corporate wash-outs.
by robertfirth, 05 Dec 2010
I have been a member of Black's since the beginning, and it is far and above the best place in London to relax and enjoy good company. The drinks are excellent and well priced, the decor is wonderful as are the ghost stories, but by far the best element to this wonderful hideaway are the staff. They are bright, funny and great company. Many times I have arrived on my own and spent a fantastic evening with the staff, chatting about everything from Big Brother to Satre. I love that they are equal to the punters who go, and are not forced to wear some ghastly uniform. I came for a meal with friends last Saturday and we had a truly magical night! I sincerely hope that this small gem of a club doesn't change and lose its integrity like the rest of Soho...
by arnoldstar, 21 Oct 2009
I've been a member of Black's for about 10 years and have experienced the staff being rude and ever hurtful over the years, but the interior is to die for and as a visual artist this is what attracts me to the place. I keep nearly cancelling my membership and then changing my mind because it is a real gem of a place to meet people centrally.
I went to Black's today (15th October 2009) and they have made a real effort to move with the times. Realizing it's not interesting any more to chain-smoke and get rat-arsed like it used to be, the place is starting to mould into its own new form of sophistication. The new staff manage to be polite, upbeat and characterful, whilst at the same time managing not to appear like subservient idiots.
by anon6, 15 Oct 2009
Once again, a miserable display of rude manners at Black's. Every time I have frequented this supposedly charming refuge, I have had unpleasantness from the staff. We were virtually marshalled out rugby style by a woman who had given us no warning that we were overstaying our welcome. And my friends, who are members, were embarrassed and mortified. It looks good, the building is super, but for sheer bloody-minded disregard of the clientele every time I have been, I say it is pretty unappealing.
by Vi, 01 Oct 2009
Beautiful building and decor. However, the staff were rude and you were made to feel as though you were bothering them being there. Inpatient, fake smiles that soon turned to glares and lots of eye rolling behind other customers' backs. Shame, as they let down what could be a gem of a place.
by TAV, 17 Sep 2009
An oasis in crazy Soho. Chilling out with a chum in the upstairs lounge looking out at the madness of Dean Street makes you realise how rare this kind of place is now. They have tweaked some things recently - all good. Great staff and a great vibe. I wouldn't want to go elsewhere.
by ndawg, 03 Jul 2009
Visited Black's with some acquaintances and loved it. Would love to become a member.
by panosuk, 11 Mar 2009
Having visited Black's a few times now I can safely say that it is the perfect refuge from its oh-so-ho surroundings. Individual, great furniture
, friendly staff, good drinks, not too expensive. What more could you ask for?
by Oscarius, 21 Jan 2009
Been a member since the mid 90s, and like LLC below, I don't think I've ever had a bad time there. I don't understand the negative comments about the food, as I've eaten there literally hundreds of times and don't ever recall one bad meal. The wine list is very well chosen, prices are sensible, the staff (to me, at least) are very welcoming and friendly, and I love the no-mobiles and no-music policy. It's eating, drinking and talking, which is just the perfect balance. The place is eccentric, furniture
a little shabby, but that's its charm. It's a great refuge from the ghastliness of Soho, and life without Black's would be very much poorer.
by screentalentagency (4 reviews
), 30 Dec 2008
Have been a member since 1993 and rarely go anywhere else in the West End. Staff come, staff go; sometimes the food's great, sometimes it's a little disappointing; some members are brilliant, some members are onanists. But in fifteen years of going there, I've never had a bad evening.
by LLC, 23 Oct 2008
Blacks is great. Guiseppe is a lovely man. The house is beautiful. HOWEVER: kitchen needs to be told that the food is terrible. I have been regular visitor there for nearly 6 years and the members have changed considerably. I am also older but anyway. The food was never great but now it is inedible. I have had upset stomach twice after eating there, including my last time about 1 month ago. Will never eat there again! Also now that Siobhan has left, the atmosphere is not the same.
by James Sales in The City (8 reviews
), 24 Sep 2008
The great thing about Black's is that complete wankers just don't get it. It's an ideal place to drink, eat, sleep, find an intelligent conversation, be seduced, or get lost.
When Black's was launched the membership committee was made up of 100 of London's most interesting, intelligent and attractive women. Each could invite just 10 people to join, so they thought quite hard about who to choose. Membership was full within a week. The result is a place with great members and staff who don't suffer fools gladly.
Bring a brain, a sense of humour and relax.
by katmandu, 01 Jan 2008
Been a member since I organised the first ever Q Awards aftershow party here in '93. It's wonderful, so glad it's never changed. Some of the best nights of my life have been inside its Georgian walls.
by barbicanduck, 09 Oct 2007
I'm sitting there one evening with a bunch of friends, glugging down a good bottle of organic red (one of the managers is a wine buff supremo), when in walks someone wearing equestrian riding clothes and guitar case in hand. Next minute she's standing up on the long table and belting out Johnny Cash and Elvis songs! Now we're all singing along and clapping, some were dancing even! Priceless. You couldn't have made it up. Me, I'm thinking, "How do I get to become a member?" Such was/is Blacks...
by bonnieboots, 08 Sep 2007
Have we missed a great members' club in London?
Let us know.