The Valmont Club
Exclusive but unpretentious, The Valmont Club prides itself on paying attention to every detail and getting it spot-on, from the music to the cocktails and the decor.
The Valmont Club is tucked into a basement on the corner of Redcliffe Gardens on the bustling and lively Fulham Road, which makes it a ten minute trek from either West Brompton or Fulham Broadway tube stations. There’s no signage outside, so you’ll have to rely on spotting the team of earpiece-wearing door staff and the velvet rope to find this place. You must make a reservation to get in, as the management have chosen not to let this club get over-crowded, which makes it easier once inside to appreciate the phenomenal decor. The gothic and art-deco fusion, features blacks, maroons and golds, beaded curtains and drapes, tiny dim lamps, lots of big cushions and heavy-framed mirrors. There’s also twinkling neon lights here and there, illuminating little sayings and phrases for the customer to read, and comfortable booths to sink into with individual music volume control when it all gets too much.
Being on the guestlist doesn’t mean you don’t have to pull out all the stops. The crowd here are smartly dressed and mostly made up of a local ‘in the know’ Fulham and Chelsea socialite crowd, who have spotted this place before it becomes too well known. However, the door policy is totally egalitarian – there is no VIP room, and the minimum spends for booths and tables are kept low, as well as charging just £10 for entry. Limiting the numbers on the guestlist allows the manager and his staff to work the room, and they seem to know a number of the crowd on first-name terms, which creates a fun and inclusive atmosphere, with a cocktail bar vibe as opposed to hardcore clubby. The bar staff will appear to take drinks orders if you’re in a booth or at a table, and are keen to explain the cocktail list with a big smile and questions to check you’re enjoying yourself.
Choosing to avoid the more generic music policies of many venues, The Valmont Club avoids the RnB and chart stuff, opting instead for an uplifting and irresistible house music set, with unusual choices and great mixing from their in-house music producer DJ.
The cocktail list here is exceptional, with 40 unusual choices made with premium spirits (such as Grey Goose, Wyborowa and Belvedere vodkas and Jack Daniels Single Barrel) and the freshest fruity ingredients. Unique to The Valmont Club is the idea of offering cocktails not only by the glass, but by the bottle also, so your whole table can share. A must-try is the Swizzle, with pear vodka, pear liqueur, strawberries, passion fruit, lime and caramel. It’s a heady, dessert-like mix, priced at just £8.50 for a generous tall glass (no tiny martini glasses here), which is reasonable for the Fulham Road locale. Another favourite is the White Widow champagne cocktail, with vanilla Stoli, Chambord, lychees and sugar, which has a deep sweet aftertaste that makes you keep going back for more.
The Last Word
With exceptional cocktails, upbeat music and the friendliest staff in West London, The Valmont Club gets everything right, whether it be how many people they let in or the colour of the beads hanging from the ceiling. Go before it gets too well-known or the manager sees sense and starts charging more!