The RAF Club

Are there any regular users of the RAF Club in London who can comment on the staff, facilities and general usability of the club?

I don’t live in London but am there once every couple of weeks, and often to have lunch/dinner/coffee with clients. Occasionally, I stay over, and use the Union Jack Club facilities as they are cheap and cheerful.

The RAF Club is a more suitable venue if I need a place to impress clients, or for a formal occasion, but I am also interested in the general vibe of the place. If I have a few hours to kill before my train back home, it would be nice to be in a place where I can have a quiet drink and meet some interesting people. I’d rather not be regaled by war stories by the retired officers all the time (not belittling their contribution at all), and don’t want a super formal place where I need to bull my shoes before they let me enter.

Also, I am a SNCO so not eligible for membership as such, but the membership team have said that they will accept me as an ‘Affiilate’ if I can find a proposer and a seconder. But that’s a different matter…

Any comments from regular visitors will be appreciated.

Tis a great place, It is like an officers mess from 30 years ago. Shirt and tie in the dining room, lots of RAF paintings and prints and nice bedroons. Not cheap but very competitive for London.

Running Horse tavern is much more informal for a bite to eat or a pint. No tie.

Much better than a Premier Inn

I am sitting waiting for the rest of the forum to find this and start a war that you are not entitled and how dare you use said facilities :popcorn: :popcorn:

A few of my mates have used it and said it was a really good venue. Very good for london prices. Although i would imagine bringing clients in when you are only an associate of the club may cause a few raised eyebrows, make sure to check the rules for that one.

Shame as the Union Jack club is a good decent clean place to stay. Rather than using the UC or RAF officers club have you looked to see if London has something more suitable to your needs!!

You may wish to consider the Victory Services Club. You would qualify as a serving member of the armed forces:

  • Current Uniformed Adult Instructors in the UK’s Sea, Army or Air Cadet Organisations

No “grey areas”


The VSC sounds great, ive always used thr raf club.
But will definitly pop in to the VSC next time in london and take a look.
Wish these things werent advertised as being almost proud of being a secret.
Great things like this should be known about!

@Intruder bring on the flame wars I say! :grinning:

To be honest, I am not trying to do anything dodgy. I spoke with the RAF Club membership and told them I was not an officer. They said that I could join as an ‘Affiliate’ as I can demonstrate ties to the RAF, as long as I can find a proposer, and presumably not behave like an oik and offend the sensibilities of the genteel officer members.

There’s no point ranting about whether the rules or fair or not, the RAF Club have decided to only allow officers, the same way the Union Jack have decided to only allow SNCO and enlisted ranks. BTW, the Union Jack provides the cheapest and cleanest accommodation in Central London (£60/night for a single ensuite).

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Have you looked at the process as an affiliate member, they are somewhat steep. whereas an officer pays £5 a year for their first 5 years following commission and then goes upto an annual rate in line with their rank (Currently £67 a year for a Flight Lieutenant) an affiliate member is £185 a year plus £185 Entrance Fee.

I use the club quite regularly although somewhat less now that I have moved jobs and its always a nice place to drop in for a drink and dinner, the dining room and Cowdray room are only formal for Lunch and Dinner during the week (excepting Bank Holidays and Friday Evenings) and are casual the rest of the time and the running horse is actually a very nice little pub. I’ve also had a couple of formal functions their but these do work out expensive compared to some other venues (although not compared to other Central London locations).

We also have a Squadron Tradition of taking Cadets and their parents for Dinner at the Club following a Gold DofE Presentation.

There’s no point ranting about whether the rules or fair or not, the RAF Club have decided to only allow officers,

Not quite as simple as that, It all goes back to the original deed of gift by Lord Cowdray. It’s purpose was the establishment of a club for officers of the newly founded Royal Air Force. The RAF club has had to become somewhat more imaginative in recent years in order to survive and has done so quite successfully. It does however rely to some extent on a tacit acknowledgment of the underlying principles. As you have pointed out, Union Jack Club membership is confined to non commissioned ranks and that’s the way it is. The Victory Services Club however welcomes all members of the services, without any need for interpretation and with a clear statement of eligibility.


Such a London topic.

We have an RBL bar. Sometimes it opens. Other times, we just go to Wetherspoon’s.


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We don’t have even have a RBL…

Spoons it is :+1::beers:


Yeates ??

Not if I’ve got to put my going out shoes on.

Temporary Honorary Membership is available for Commissioned persons.

Deep down the UJC will let anyone in, show a MOD90, Police Warrant Card, NHS Card and you are alllwed in. (Not sure if standards have slipped so much that they let fireman in yet).

Why would any officer need to stay at the UJC - surely one has a London flat?

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With a mistress - I mean maid!

Definitely with maid service. That’s what I meant.


Or both…


I was amused last year when work decided to accommodate me (and the rest of the Command Team) at the RAF Club for Nottinghill Carnival!

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