THE SOCIETY CLUB, Soho has been described as a “ unique bookshop, gallery and cafe, elegant and welcoming like a Bohemian sitting room.” To give this place such labels still denies the feeling that on entering, its easy to see how one might imagine having stumbled onto the set of an adventure of Pepe, from the ‘Barking Detective’ mysteries as a pair of brown eyes surrounded by pale fur watch you as you wander around. It might be the art that captures your heart or the hard to find copy of poetry you so needed to quote recently, (if only you’d had it then). So the coffee is great, the wine is wonderful and the company, stimulating; more accurately, this place is a veritable treasure trove, which may figure highly in dreams from Avant Gard to Erotic as you are tempted to pour over and try not to max out your credit card on the finest in antiquarian first editions as well as cutting edge and exciting publications of today.
And while you are being scrutinized and noted by Pepe and companion, take a moment to soak in the current exhibition “Beautiful Strangeness” the first solo-London sculpture exhibition by artist Tanya Tier. This display of 20 unique works will twist your subconscious as you allow each to enter the parts of your brain you might be holding onto for a rainy day. Well, in Sunny Soho, that day has come, because whether it is a small bird breaking away from the glass container that seems to have restrained it or the “Death in Narnia” piece of a gas mask with antlers, it’s hard to ignore the flux of emotion as you respond to taxidermy being re-established and reinterpreted indeed, in a strangely beautiful way.
Perhaps it’s the location, the exhibition or simply the combination of the two, but it’s difficult not to feel as if steps have been taken through the looking glass and one is left with the echo of how this is the way things are, no matter how surreal. Of course there’s still more on offer at Soho’s best kept secret (oops, now it’s out!) ranging from vintage hotel ashtrays to biodegradable poo bags for the likes of our little detective and his friends and a table that invites. The table is important. Remember when you spent time at friends’ houses, sitting around tables, exchanging views on life, the universe and everything unimportant? The Society Club makes you feel at home enough to step back into the pages of another chapter of your life, but this time, it’s real and still, the credit card is a tempting option!
There’s extra space for workshops and meetings, calm, assertive energy for investigation and the most convivial of hosts to help you find what you want. Oh, and once you step inside, you may never wish to leave, so what are you waiting for? This is your invitation.
The Society Club
12 Ingestre Pl
London, UK W1F OJF
+44 (0)20 7437 1433
Text: © JL Nash, 2012
Images: © Predrag Pajdic, 2012. Images 2, 3, 4, 7 and 11 show the artworks by Tanya Tier currently on display at The Society Club.