William Hogarth (1697 - 1764), <em> The Gaming House</em>, Set right at the White’s Club, From the Series <em>A Rake's Progress</em>, 1732-1735, Oil on canvas, 62.5 x 75 cm, London, Sir John Soane's Museum
Gentlemen from all over London, united under one insignia - White’s Club. And to think that England’s oldest club, founded in 1693 by an Italian, the Veronese Francesco Bianco - anglicised as Francis White - was once merely an Emporium specialising in hot chocolate. It was called White's Chocolate House and it was located at number 4 Chesterfield Street. However, in the XVIII Century it was transformed into an exclusive club, becoming a gambling house frequented by the so-called “White players”, then becoming, over time, well-known for its exclusive nature. In 1778, it moved to number 37 on St James's Street, where it remains today. Built out of Portland stone with a slate roof, the five-story building has a Victorian-Era Palladian facade, embellished with French motifs. At the end of the ‘70s, the outside was painted blue with white trim. In 1981, Prince Charles - one of today’s most illustrious members - celebrated his bachelor party there before his marriage to Lady Diana, while Prince William became a member shortly after his birth. Today, it is considered by many as the most exclusive club in London, with members such as Charles, the Prince of Wales and Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge. Besides White’s, London has several other Gentlemen’s clubs, such as the exclusive Annabel's, the Groucho and the Arts Club.