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TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
Buck's Fizz invented here
The gentleman's club that invented the Buck's Fizz cocktail.
Location: 18 Clifford Street, Mayfair, W1S 3RF
Description: Buck's Club is an exclusive gentlemen's club in London, established here in June 1919. It is best known for the invention of the Buck's Fizz cocktail, created there in 1921 by its bartender McGarry. It's combination of champagne and orange juice was suggested as a disguise for drinking earlier in the day.
P.G. Wodehouse mentions it in some stories and modelled his Drones Club mostly after Buck's. Anthony LeJeune in his famous book The Gentleman's Clubs of London (1979) says Buck's Club is the only London Club to have been founded since the First World War which ranks, in social prestige and elegance, with the best of St James's Street clubs: and like them, it is named after its founder.
During the First World War, Captain Herbert J. Buckmaster RHG and friends agreed that after the war it would be good to establish a gentlemen's club that was somewhat less stuffy than those that currently existed. They wanted a club with an American Cocktail Bar, and this formed the thos behind the club.
The club offers honorary membership to all Conservative prime ministers (John Major turned it down). Some other famous former members include Prime Minister Winston Churchill, politician Brendan Bracken, Sir Nigel Edward Seely, 5th Baronet, writer Guy Bolton, and actor Nigel Bruce.
The adjacent premises in Old Burlington Street were acquired in 1926 and converted into a Ladies' Annexe in 1932: the site had originally been part of the yard or garden behind the house. Numbe 17 Clifford Street is also part of the club.
In September 1940 the house was badly damaged by Germany bombs.