“The clientele is and always was loaded with celebrities of all kinds. It is a half-lit world of glamour, beauty, noise and promise”
Sir Michael Caine
Iconic Mayfair member’s club, Tramp will mark its 50th year with a series of high-profile events, celebrating its legacy at the epicentre of cultural revolutions and the galaxy of stars who helped turn the legendary basement of bacchanalia into a nightlife institution, since it first opened its 40 Jermyn Street doors in the last fortnight of the Sixties.
The motto “what happens in Tramp, stays in Tramp” is still true to this day, but if the grand walls of arguably London’s most exclusive and legendary club could talk about the past five decades, they would tell a dazzling story about a decadent home-from-home for the rock ’n’ roll elite, that defined and defines generations, connecting legends who would never have met.
Some of these moments have fondly been shared ahead of its 50th anniversary, as the roll call of eminent names look back: Keith Moon was thrown out for swinging from a 17th Century chandelier and tearing it from the ceiling. Frank Sinatra would sit at a table by the ladies’ bathroom, so that members would notice him as they descended the staircase.
A cleaner was shocked one morning to discover Mamma Cass, who habitually fell asleep on one of the banquettes and was locked in, following a big night. Marlon Brando was another who couldn’t bring himself to leave, opting for a plate of pasta for breakfast with the staff, in true Godfather style.
It has welcomed a range of Princes from The Artist Formerly Known As…, to Prince Naseem and Princes William, Harry and Andrew. Princess Margaret would charge to its dancefloor with Lord Snowdon and Peter Sellers. And Dodi Fayed would party with Princess Diana, whose friend Freddie Mercury often clambered onto the DJ stand to direct the dancing glitterati.
It is such a superstar mecca, that three Bonds – Sir Roger Moore, Sir Sean Connery and George Lazenby – bumped into each other and ended up having dinner together in the club’s Zodiac restaurant. Indeed, Roger Moore and Tony Curtis were once found on their hands and knees in the club, fixing a flood, to the tune of Singin’ in the Rain.
Sir Michael Caine even met his wife at Tramp, saving himself the trouble of a planned trip to Brazil to seek out the actress he had fallen in love with, after seeing her in a coffee advert. It was this romantic and glamorous reputation which inspired Jackie Collins’ bestselling book, The Stud, based on Tramp, and turned into the hit movie of the same name starring her sister, Joan.
The diverse galaxy of stars from film, stage, sport, music, the arts and royalty who have praised Tramp’s role in both their lives and British cultural history is endless, from The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Muhammad Ali, Sammy Davis Jr, George Best, Michael Douglas, Sir Bobby Moore, Sir Rod Stewart, The Rat Pack, Jack Nicholson, Sidney Poitier, Sharon Tate, Peter Sellers, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
Tramp was, and still is, the place to be seen, with today’s Alist fans including the likes of Kate Moss, David Beckham, Lindsay Lohan, Pam Hogg, Matthew Williamson, Rihanna and Drake.
But what makes Tramp special, is that General Manager, David Fleming maintains the ethos of his flamboyant predecessors, Johnny Gold and Guido Guida, who insisted everybody who walked through those unassuming, Mayfair doors was treated like a VIP. Tramp is famed for this attentive, charming and discrete service, with many of its loyal staff dating back to its early days.
Gold opened Tramp on December 18, 1969, with partners Oscar Lerman and Bill Ofner. Its name was inspired by Charlie Chaplin, who – like the club – was charmingly rough around the edges, but became a superstar; loved the world over.
The club has undergone a stunning renovation since those dimly-lit days in the hedonistic hide-out; lovingly preserving the space where history was made, while refurbishing the timeless, Art Nouveau rooms to the impeccable standards expected by today’s leading lights.
Smoke from A-list lips had clung to the grand, 17th Century oak panelling around The Disco Room, turning it black. This has been restored to its former glory, studded with three original, Rothschild Palace crystal chandeliers and disco balls. It now plays host to acclaimed live bands and some of the world’s top DJs, so members can embrace the neon-lit #LetsGetTramped motto, which proudly faces Sinatra’s former table.
The Terrace is a magical retreat, where the retractable roof allows members to gaze up at the stars in the Mayfair night, surrounded by black and white framed reminders of the other stars the club is famed for, while Blackheat technology keeps them snugly warm as they enjoy its extensive list of cognacs, cigars and signature cocktails.
The Zodiac Room is home to some of the most sought-after dining tables in the city, with its iconic, original stucco ceiling, which glows a phosphorescent blue and is emblazoned with golden Zodiac symbols.
Head Chef Terry Stephen creates modern, seasonal menus inspired by the finest meats, wild game, seafood, fruit, vegetables and foraged flavours from around the world. Also on offer is the trademark Tramp Burger, a regular 3am order of Joan Collins and a stalwart of their menu for the past 50 years, with its secret ingredient guarded by Tramp chefs over the decades. And their vast cellars house a comprehensive selection of both Old and New World wines.
The opulent Gold Room is a cosy and romantic, subterranean cocktail bar, with warm flashes of gold. The perfect space to work your way through their innovative cocktail and light bite menus and inevitably end up staying until the early hours.
General Manager, David Fleming said: “This a very special celebratory year for Tramp. Big plans are in place for the 50th anniversary to mark such an amazing achievement.
“Moving into the next 50 years, I believe the show at Tramp will go on and on. Johnny Gold always said to me that as soon as the doors open at Tramp, it was like showtime
“When you walk down these stairs, that is when all of my staff make people feel like it’s the best night of their lives.
“I believe we will go on delivering the best night of our guests’ lives for years to come.