Steal the style: Olympic pop-up clubs

As the capital prepares for the Olympics, London’s private members clubs are joining the pop-up revolution by offering exclusive temporary venues for A-list visitors to the Games.
The Retreat, the City
During the Olympics, the City's Brewery is revamping its interiors and structure, under the new name of The Retreat, with the Backstage Area (above) offering pampering facilities

Opening for the tournament, from July 27 to August 12, these super-stylish spaces will compete for the title of most fashionable party destination. They will also provide an opportunity for royals, socialites and company directors to indulge in their own favourite sport — networking.

Nicole Kidman
© Getty
Actress Nicole Kidman is expected to be a frequent guest at Omega House
Nicole Kidman, for example, is expected to hang out at a Soho sanctuary, while Monaco’s Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene will be on board an Olympics superyacht, moored on the Thames.

And each of the venues promises to provide a lesson in interior design. It will be pure theatre, of course, with the looks created by luxurious fabrics and startling backdrops teamed with jaw-dropping statement — and portable — pieces.

So how can Londoners capture the decor drama in their own homes and achieve an über-cool makeover to impress their summer visitors? We have taken a sneak preview of four of the top clubs to find inspiration.

BUSINESS CLASS
The Retreat, The City


What’s the lowdown? The Brewery has provided a meeting powerhouse in the City for nearly 40 years. It is responding to the trend of large organisations seeking alternative workspaces during the Games by revamping its interiors and structure, under the new name of The Retreat.

Comprising six areas it will offer spaces for work and play, including a beautifully manicured park for blue-sky thinking. Screens in The Country Club will allow members to keep up with the Games, while The Backstage Area will incorporate pampering facilities. After the sun sets, computers shut down for post-work drinks in The Club.

Steal the style: City boys can transform their bachelor pads by taking a leaf out of The Retreat’s book and combining a traditional English country club look with modern twists.

Hang the Emperor Stag’s Head by Shrinking Violet (£84.90; notonthehighstreet.com) on a brightly coloured wall. And who says men can’t work pink? Try Graham & Brown’s Elizabeth Wallpaper (£152.95 a roll; wallpaperking.co.uk).

Rugs are a quick fix for floors. Littlewoods has a similar Classic option to those used in The Country Club for only £31 (littlewoods.com). Splash out on a handmade oak wooden table by Free Range Designs (£975; notonthehighstreet.com) or Oka’s Cromwell Dining Chair (£545; okadirect.com). It is worth investing in top-quality furniture because it can always go with you to your next home.

Star appeal: with a client list featuring the heads of FTSE-100 companies, The Retreat is set to house London’s movers and shakers. It’s the kind of place that would make Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg feel welcome.

Open: July 27 to August 12; £245 a day or £2,500 for 17 days; visit retreat-city.co.uk.

Omega House, Soho
Soho's historic House of St Barnabas will be a luxury retreat during the Olympics, temporarily named Omega House

A-LIST ALLURE
Omega House, Soho


What’s the lowdown? Soho’s historic House of St Barnabas is having a glamorous makeover to host exclusive watchmakers Omega, with a temporary renaming to Omega House. The careful renovation of the listed Georgian property and its outdoor space has been done for the long-term but Omega also wanted some lavish interior extras to add a extra sparkle.

Steal the style: the Ladymatic Lounge oozes femininity. Neutral walls and floors can be given an elegant lift with items such as the Louis Velvet Dusty Rose chair from Maison du Monde (£159; maisondumonde.com) or John Lewis’s Ivory Sophia Dressing Table Stool (£150, johnlewis.com).

The Hour Vision Atelier has been conceived as a masculine counterpart. Its rich, dark colour palette complements the building’s original features. The elegance of designer Tom Ford and the opulent feel of Mayfair’s Connaught Hotel are echoed in the room through polished lacquer and tailored leathers. But you can get this look on a budget. The Supra Faux Leather Sofa Bed from TJ Hughes is a bargain at £199 (tjhughes.co.uk).

Guests can sip cocktails and watch the Games on curvaceous lounge benches in The Olympic Garden (pictured), which has been given a facelift with exotic foliage and white furniture. Update your outdoor space using B&Q’s Blooma Bellona round white table (£30).

Star appeal: this is the go-to place for the sophisticated celebrity who wants to relax in a luxury retreat. Actress Nicole Kidman (right) and Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin are expected to be among the frequent guests.

Open: July 28 to August 12; membership by invitation only; visit hosb.org.uk

The Fringe, E3
The Fringe is a four-storey warehouse at Swan Wharf, just 100 metres from the Olympic Park, and will erve as a lounge, bar, restaurant and music venue

FASHIONISTA FAVOURITE
The Fringe, E3


What’s the lowdown: The Fringe is an impressive four-storey Victorian warehouse conversion at Swan Wharf, just 100 metres from the Olympic Park, with a bird’s eye view of the main stadium from floor-to-ceiling windows.

The urbane club will serve as a lounge, bar, restaurant and music venue. Members will pay a minimum of £90 a day and have access to two floors with cocktail bars and dance space. Private suites are available for £15,000 a day and the penthouse, with a spacious roof terrace and concierge service, will set you back £50,000 a day.

Passionate project developer Simon Thompson has a background in event management and interior design for high-end clients, from The Savoy to Mulberry, so it is little wonder that the space is design-focused with an eclectic mix of vintage and bespoke furniture, paying special attention to accessories and mood lighting. The building’s East End roots are fused with modern London, embracing international looks along the way.

Vitra Marshmallow Sofa
Bold seating at The Fringe will include the Vitra Marshmallow Sofa (£3,295.45) from Heals.co.uk
Steal the style: start by picking a piece that will make a big impact on your room. Swiss furniture maker Vitra has sourced bold seating for The Fringe. If you can afford it, try the multi-coloured Vitra Marshmallow seat (left) by George Nelson from Heals (£3,295.45; heals.co.uk) or Interior Addict has a more budget-friendly option in red (£649; interioraddict.com).

French design house Baccarat is fitting The Fringe’s penthouse with Philippe Starck crystal chandeliers. The Marie Coquine will set you back about £25,000 (baccarat.com) but the Parasol 5 Light Pendant from LuxuryLighting.co.uk is a realistic alternative at £129.60.

Marie Coquine Chandelier
A Marie Coquine Chandelier by Philippe Starck
Thompson has worked the exposed brick walls by hanging cool prints on them that reflect the history of the former stables. You could shop for edgy animal art from Tim Flach and Charlotte Cory. Flach’s prints, including the fun Zebra I (£25.99), can be purchased from AllPosters.co.uk.

Star appeal: The Fringe is kitted out with London’s coolest DJs and music acts in mind. Fashion icon Alexa Chung could be supporting her brother Dom who is taking over the decks on the opening night. Norman Jay MBE and Joey Negro are also on the bill.

Open: July 20 to September 9; membership from £90 a day; visit thefringe2012.com.

Harle superyacht
The elite Harle superyacht will be moored at the new Wood Wharf development at Canary Wharf, with entrance strictly by invitation

FIT FOR ROYALTY
Harle, Canary Wharf


What’s the lowdown? Already a familiar fixture at events such as Miami Basel and the Monaco Grand Prix, the 45-metre tri-deck superyacht Harle (pictured above) will be moored at the new Wood Wharf development at Canary Wharf in honour of the Games. This is a pretty elite affair, founded by three-time Olympian bobsleigh champion Nicholas Frankl.

Steal the style: the chic nautical look can be transferred to the home in surprisingly few steps. Make a beeline for Ralph Lauren’s new Desert Modern interiors collection (ralphlaurenhome.com). Or check out Quba & Co for hard-wearing sofas (£2,000, quba.com), chairs (about £1,500) and cushions (from £26) all made from sailcloth canvas. Think whites, creams and browns. Keep it simple but sumptuous.

Star appeal: the likes of Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Steven Soderbergh, Michelle Yeoh and Kanye West have previously been on board. Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene will attend a charity gala on the Harle on July 25.

Open: docked for four weeks from July 26 to August 12; entrance is strictly by invitation; visit myyachtlondon.com.

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