À Ta Maison
by The India Tube
13 February 2015
21 Sunder Nagar main market.
For more information and for queries regarding membership, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Rakshay Dhariwal on 91.99994.49977.
We’re no strangers to members-only clubs.
For as long as there have been Gymkhanas and golf clubs, there’ve also been decade-long waitlists. But there’s a new sort of social club in town. The wood paneling is intact, as is the air of old money and social ascension, but instead of those incredible bridge-playing octogenarians of the Gymkhana, at Sunder Nagar’s À Ta Maison you’ll find a younger, hipper, more egalitarian crew.
Radhika and Rakshay Dhariwal, the brother-sister team behind Vasant Vihar’s subterranean speakeasy PCO, are behind this bi-level club tucked away just behind Sunder Nagar’s main market (directly behind an actual cash-dispensing ATM, in fact, which makes for very confusing directions). Members have access to a well-stocked bar that sends out excellent cocktails (the French 75 is heaven), casual bistro-style dining as well as more formal eating, a sunroom, a library, a by-appointment salon, and a tiny suntrap of a terrace. The butlers are discreet and attentive, the food is seasonal, and the wine and malt lists are long. There are Sunday brunches and roasts, book clubs, wine, cocktail, and art appreciation sessions, and plenty of outlets and great light, this is a club that’s clearly designed with the capital’s well-heeled entrepreneurial and creative classes in mind.
Unlike London’s Shoreditch House, or New York’s Soho House, the vanguards of this modern breed of private clubs, ATM isn’t achingly hip, or a party destination. It’s unfussy and retro and sort of soothing, like a cozy house in the hills, a home-away-from-home, and an environment that is extremely conducive to networking. Members take meetings in this clubhouse, drinking seasonal drinks and nibbling on organic goodies and super-fresh calamari, and then, once the sun goes down, the workday segues seamlessly into film screenings and stronger drinks.
So how do you sign up? Well, it’s a club alright, but it’s not velvet rope keeping out the city scrum. Membership is by invitation only, but an existing member can nominate you. And if you’re asked, you should know that membership’s split into three tiers: Access a la Maison (Rs 29,000 a year, with the ability to bring in three guests), Tempted par la Maison (Rs 49,000 a year, with five guests and Rs 29,000 redeemable against food and drink), and Master de la Maison (Rs 89,000, with nine guests and the full amount redeemable against food and drink).