Venues for Matches – September 2014

These comments update the 2013 version.

Many teams in our League do not have a home venue, and the Young Chelsea has historically been a popular choice. But with uncertainty over the YC's premises, we thought that we could help teams to find possible alternatives. Venues will be discussed at the Captains' Meeting/AGM in September, but ahead of this we have done some research. Venue availability is subject to change, but we will aim to update the information.

We do not want venue issues to discourage teams from continuing to play in the League. And we are always open to new teams. If you have any ideas on the latter, do contact them yourself or put them in touch with Peter Cogliatti (Treasurer) on 01737 210252. As usual, the aim is to fix all matches at Captains' Meeting/AGM. If teams wait to see what will happen at the YC, the season will not start, let alone be completed on time.

So please contact your chosen venues before the AGM, and again well in advance of each arranged match. Every team should establish a normal home venue; it is unfair to expect the opposition to host matches, unless they offer. Venues should be booked about a week in advance, at the same time as the match is confirmed by both teams. Do not delay arranging matches due to uncertainty over the venue, or to cancel matches for this reason.

Any team that causes problems over arrangements could cause difficulties for other teams. If the away team cancels a match, they will be liable for any booking fees incurred by the home team.

Misunderstandings can occur when using new venues, so agree the details carefully. And captains should ensure that they have mobile numbers for both their team and the opponents. If there is doubt as to the availability of equipment, arrange to bring your own. If any team is considering buying their own equipment, try

What is an acceptable venue? This also depends on what one's opponents think, but we suggest the following:

  1. Ideally in zones 1 or 2, convenient for public transport and no more than 7 miles from Charing Cross
  2. Suitable playing conditions, with tables, bidding boxes, boards and stationery;
  3. Able to start not later than 7:00. Duplicated hands and print-outs are not compulsory, and neither is the presence of a director. (If a director's ruling is needed, go to and scroll down to the bottom of the Committee link. Or phone the Young Chelsea.)

If you have any information or comments on venues, please contact us.

Mudlark Public House

Montague Close, London SE1 9DA, 020 7403 7364. Near London Bridge. Please arrange any match date with Seamus, the pub manager. Order sandwiches in advance – three platters at £13 each should be about right. There is no room fee. The large room used should be quiet since there is nobody else upstairs. The venue is only available on Monday evenings, beginning no earlier than 5.00; closing time is 11.00. The bridge boards, bidding boxes and stationery will be held by Seamus in the cellar (in a small suitcase). There will not be hand records or a Director. Also, please advise the LBHCBA's Tournament Organiser, Philip Watson, of the date of any matches arranged at the Mudlark (). You can also call him on 020 3339 0229 for further details about the venue.

[19-Sep-2014] see these notes on using the Mudlark.

[8-Oct-2014] Peter Cogliatti offers his services as booking agent. He writes:

The manager is not always there and does not want the pub bombarded with phone calls. Anyone wishing to play there contact me, , by email or phone () by the Wednesday prior to the match to check availability and make a booking: I will confirm with the pub.

The venue is satisfactory and we had two matches there on Monday and they worked, but because of the configuration two is probably the maximum.

December is likely to be more difficult as they are likely to get other bookings, though Monday is usually quiet.

Further points,

Civil Service Club 13-15 Great Scotland Yard, London SW1A 2HJ. The location is excellent (apart from parking). The London Duplicate Bridge Club and Civil Service Bridge Association play there and the latter have kindly offered the use of their boards, bidding boxes and stationery. However, there are no pre-dealt boards, hand records or Director.

Ring the Civil Service Club office between 9.00 am and 7.30 pm to make a booking: 020 7930 4881 (best to contact by phone), Say that you want to hire one room for a two-table bridge match under the London Business Houses Contract Bridge Association (as specified in the letter that they have on file) and leave your contact details. The start time is flexible. Room availability is generally difficult on Wednesdays, while Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays should be possible, depending on other events.

The cost for a match is believed to be £35. But check what is actually payable – and the cost of sandwiches, which must be ordered – when you book via credit card. If cancelled more than three days in advance, the amount may be refundable.

The main disadvantage is the proximity of the tables. They will put out two tables (and a dividing screen between the two tables, if you ask for it) and show you where the equipment is kept. Use the Civil Service Bridge Association equipment from the basement, not the London Duplicate Bridge Club equipment from the Accounts office. Put back everything at the end of the evening. The staff at the desk should know where the equipment is, but take the lift to the basement and turn left to find a room marked dangerous/no entry. Near the open door, look for a blue Pickfords crate with a red top, marked Civil Service Bridge.

The home captain should make a voluntary contribution of £5 to the Civil Service Bridge Association, for use of the equipment – put this in a marked envelope in board 1 in the equipment box.

If there is any problem, speak to David Robery (Club Manager) on 020 7930 4881.

Young Chelsea/St John's Wood

The YC is currently playing at St John's Wood Bridge Club, 10 minutes' walk from St John's Wood tube. Grove Hall Court, Hall Road, St John's Wood, London NW8 9NU.

The YC's planned move to Goldhawk Road is not likely to be completed for several months – the current tenants have not yet sorted out new premises – and it could fall through. So check the website to find out the current situation:

Book matches, available on any weekday evening, with: either the Club Manager, Nick Sandqvist, on 0207 373 1665 (should go through to his mobile) or ; or Tim West-Meads, who runs the St John's Wood club, on 07973 384902. 24 pre-dealt boards will be provided, with hand records, stationery, etc. The fee is £44, payable on the night. This includes light refreshments for both teams with tea/coffee, and there is always a Director available for rulings.

If and when the YC moves, the St John's Wood club will still be available for matches, with unchanged prices: contact Tim West-Meads.


86 West End Lane, West Hampstead, London, NW6 2LX. Noorul Malik or Andrew McIntosh. 020 7624 7407; The club plays every weekday evening at 7.45, and they would welcome matches at 7.00, but can be earlier by agreement. The current match fee is £64, including boards, bidding boxes, stationery, hand records, Director available, tea/coffee and sandwiches. Parking is unrestricted after 6.30 and the club is right near the West Hampstead stations (Jubilee Line, Thameslink, etc., zone 2).

Richmond Bridge Club Given the location, the home captain should check whether the venue is acceptable to the away team. The club is 15-20 minutes' walk from Richmond station, but there are buses. There is room for matches on any weekday evening. They normally open the club at 6.45, but it may be possible to agree a slightly earlier start. There are excellent food and playing conditions, full equipment, hand records and a Director. To book a match, email or call the club on 020 8892 2170 (if there is no reply, either text or contact Marietta on 07887 781997). The standard cost for a 24-board match is £80, but this comes down pro-rata if Richmond club members are playing in the match.


Danubius Hotel, Regents Park London NW8 7JT. Right near Lord's cricket ground. Artur Malinowski, General Manager, 07950 026564, £75 per match, including boards, bidding boxes, stationery, hand records, Director available, tea/coffee and sandwiches. The playing conditions are excellent, and parking is unrestricted after 6.30. There is flexibility on the start time.

Ned Paul

Ned Paul ( teaches bridge and runs clubs in many locations round London. Contact him on 07792 715517 or (when he is not doing bridge, 020 8892 9429), Do not arrange matches directly with the venues. Ned is happy to accommodate games for £40 per match, including boards, bidding boxes, stationery, hand records, Director available. He usually arrives half an hour before the session starts. The options are: (a) Mondays at Putney Bridge Club, Winchester House, 10 Lower Richmond Road, Putney SW15 1JN; (b) Tuesdays at New Chiswick Bridge Club, Chiswick Tennis Club, Burlington Lane, Chiswick W4 3EU; (c) Wednesdays at the Academy, Holland Park, 57 Princedale Road, W11 4NP; (d) Fridays at the Ruff Club, St Pancras Community Centre, 30 Camden Street, NW1 0LG. Food is not available at these venues, but you can bring in food and eat at the table. However, the Academy is a pub, so you can order food, but please do not bring in your own. Ned's website ( has further details for all the venues. Unrestricted parking starts at 6.30 at most venues.

Other venues

Teams can also try alternative venues. See and and

We contacted Andrew Robson's (no space available). The RAC Club is for members only. The BTONS Club's current venue is not suitable for matches.

Philip Watson & David Hull