There’s just something about community that makes me go all gooey inside. We don’t have enough of it in the world these days. I remember sitting in my grandparent’s house as a kid lapping up their stories of street parties and deep friendships with neighbours. I can’t deny we live in different times now, but there is a large part of me that craves it. And it is probably this reason I prefer team sports to solo sports and why I am rather fond of going out to a venue and knowing I’ll bump into a friendly face when I get there.
You might be wondering where I’m going with this, but bear with me reader. You see, you’d think the only places that have even a whiff of community these days are members’ clubs. But I don’t necessarily agree with that. I am a member of a club (which I absolutely love and is amazing in so many ways), but does it have a real community? I haven’t really found one yet, despite going along to networking events with members. There are so many members and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the same person twice.
There is however one club that springs to mind when the word ‘community’ comes up. It might not be somewhere that I have personally found community (as I’m not a member), but many a famous face has. Enter TRAMP, one of the world’s most iconic members’ clubs – still going strong 50 years after it first opened its doors.
The best and probably most bonkers thing about the membership here is that if you joined as a founding member you still get to pay the same annual membership fee as you did back then. If I’m not mistaken, this means that a lot of people out there are paying just £7 a year. Amazing. The dance floor here has also seen literally every famous face you can think of – from Princess Diana to Prince, many a James Bond, rock star royalty (with the likes of David Bowie and the Rolling Stones), to Freddie Mercury and Kate Moss.
The story of community here is heartwarming. It might have been open for years, but I can vouch for the fact that the staff still offer that sense of homeliness. Lunch.money and I went along to an event hosted in the insanely amazing Zodiac Room a couple of weeks ago to try the 50th anniversary TRAMP Champagne (although I dearly wish this was called Trampagne) and the 24k gold burger.
Champagne bottles adorned the room on arrival and well mannered waiters glided across the room to fill up glasses as soon as little sips had been taken. I felt like one of the famous guests they have spent their whole career serving. We were told the waiters we could see had all been there for years and years. No where better to go, apparently. I’d be inclined to agree.
Anyway, I’m here to talk about the food – so here goes. The three course menu gave us a choice of three dishes for each course. For starter I opted for the beef tataki with wasabi dashi mayonnaise, scallion ginger dressing, baby watercress and crisp lotus root, while lunch.money opted for the slow poached Spey salmon, pickled cucumber and wasabi yoghurt. Hands down the best beef tataki my tastebuds have had the pleasure of tasting.
For main, we had a choice of cod, beef, or a burger . As we were there to try the 24k gold burger, we both opted for that, which came with chips.
In the words of Bruno Mars, the 24K (magic) burger was created for the golden anniversary and was served with foie gras, TRAMP relish and truffle butter. The patty was served pink (just how I like it) and was adorned with gold leaf. I don’t say this lightly, but it was HUGE. After the starters we couldn’t finish it all, but I picked it apart and made sure I ate the best bits.
By the time dessert was served, we were both full – so it was good to see an option of pineapple carpaccio, fresh basil and chilli flakes, which I was able to devour without feeling the need to unbutton my jeans.
Sadly we both had a party to attend the next evening, so called it a night after dinner. Had we not have needed an early night, we’d have been rolling around the dance floor for sure. We had a peek inside the main room and it looked ripe for fun. Maybe next time. Until then, I’ll continue to wonder whether Bruno Mars himself has tried the 24K burger.