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Isla St. Clair: Musical Memories of Home

Close your eyes, and think of Scotland. It’s a land of majestic natural beauty, of ancient and fascinating cities, of inventive and friendly people, and of a million other delights to all the senses. It’s also a country with one of the strongest, proudest, and most evocative musical traditions on earth, and for Scotsmen and women everywhere, the lilting ballads, feisty dances, and the irresistible power of the pipes are engraved upon their hearts, and never anything but an utter joy to encounter.

Over the centuries, Scotland has produced many of the most talented and timeless musicians, singers, and folk artists that have ever graced a stage. Imbued with a natural romanticism, and possessed of an ability to weave stories through song, they’ve contributed so much to Scottish cultural identity and a sense of being. Among the finest of the Scottish folk singers, we find the unique talent and stage presence that is Isla St. Clair; folk singer extraordinaire, and bonafide Scottish celebrity whose performances never fail to bring a reel to the legs and a patriotic tear to the eye.

Singing Songs as Old as the Hills

When Isla St. Clair takes to the stage, she brings centuries of heritage with her. Few folk singers today have such a clear passion for their material as Isla does, nor do they possess such an encyclopaedic knowledge of the history and cultural significance of the songs they sing. Whether she’s singing a simple reel, a timeless ballad, or one of her favourite popular folk numbers, Isla has the ability to capture her audience with little more than an acoustic guitar and her golden voice. At once melancholy and euphoric, her reinterpretations of iconic folk songs have brought delight to countless thousands across the years, and she seems to get better year by year on the folk circuit.

Isla St. Clair’s ability to transmit the history and majesty of the Scottish landscape, the essence of Scottish history and culture, and the incredible and evocative folk tradition she forms part of is a wonder to behold. It’s something which has come about after a lifetime of performance, study, and passion, and her expertise and mastery of the songs and her vocal skills are evident from start to finish. Isla’s musical career is one which has spanned the decades; she was already an established folk club singer in Aberdeen by the age of ten… and her star has only risen and risen since then. No wonder, then, that she is considered a preeminent folk singer and champion of Scottish musical heritage, and a performer of incredible pedigree and distinction.

Isla St. Clair: A Life in Music

Born on the 2nd of May, 1952 into a musical household in Grangemouth, Stirling, it was clear from a very young age that Isla St. Clair had a life in music ahead of her. Her regular performances at the Aberdeen folk club – at the tender age of ten years old – made her a favourite with those seeking to hear the classics sung with the purity of her young voice, and by the age of twelve, she was performing on both television and radio. Through her appearances on popular television programmes, such as My Kind of Folk and Stories are for Singing, the young star made contact with plenty of well-established singers on the folk circuit (not least the hugely successful and now almost legendary Jeannie Robertson), which undoubtedly fueled her enthusiasm. After leaving school at seventeen, Isla decided to follow her dreams and her heritage, and became a full-time professional folk singer with dozens of credits soon appearing against her name on the national and international folk scene.

Before long, the allure of London was irresistible to the young singer, and her natural charm and flawless voice made her the perfect choice to present The Song and The Story. Popular with viewers up and down the UK, and with her old fans in Scotland cheering her along every step of the way, her television career began to take off in a big way. Of course, we all remember with great fondness Isla St. Clair’s long-running collaboration with Larry Grayson on the BBC’s family game show, The Generation Game. Her appearances on Saturday night primetime TV led to many new fans discovering her vocal work and folk heritage, and when she finally left Grayson’s side to renew her enthusiasm for live folk performances, her fans remained true and endlessly supportive.

Over the decades which followed, Isla recorded several albums of traditional Scottish music, to great critical and fanbase acclaim. These included the stunning Inheritance, as well as the transportative album Scenes of Scotland, which featured Isla getting in touch with the music composed by her mother, and which she had once danced and sang along to as a little girl. Today, Isla remains at the peak of her powers, and her love of performing live to an enthusiastic audience seeking authentic Scottish folk music has faded not one bit. Her voice remains pure and true, her clear understanding of and passion for her her songs remains at the heart of her engrossing performances, and the essence of the musical tradition of her homeland informs each and every note.

A Night to Remember at The Caledonian Club

Back in April 2017, Isla St. Clair performed at the Caledonian Club in London for members. It’s hard to imagine a more fitting venue for the veteran folk singer; she was surrounded by those who share an enthusiasm, a fascination, and a deep respect for Scottish heritage, folklore, and culture, and her performance was met with rapturous applause, and nary a dry eye in the house.

Such cultural events are far from unusual at The Caledonian Club. As London’s premier private club for those of Scottish descent and heritage, concerts, performances, dance events, poetry readings, dinners, and whisky tastings – among many more cultural highlights – are key aspects of this elegant club’s monthly roster of gatherings. It’s a place to be surrounded by friends and fellow countrymen and women, and something of a home from home, where tales are shared and memories relived. What’s more, with the Caledonian Club’s incredible chefs and catering team, it offers a more literal taste of home, and a wide range of sensory delights which are sure to transport you to the beauty and majesty of Scotland.

Isla St. Clair’s beautiful performance in one of the grandest rooms of the Caledonian Club was a genuine pleasure to be involved in, and her songs undoubtedly moved the emotions of all who were present. She’s sure to return some day soon, bringing her ancestral music with her… but in the meantime, there’s plenty to explore and enjoy at this wonderful events space and clubhouse. We hope to see you soon, and provide you with an authentic Scottish welcome that’ll never be forgotten.

January 26, 20190 commentsRead More

The Club is open throughout August!

We would like to remind members that The Caledonian Club is open throughout August. Our Members Dining Room will be open for Lunch (12.45-2.15pm) and Dinner (7.00-9.30pm), Monday to Friday, and a lighter snack menu will be available on the terrace 12pm – 7pm.

We would greatly appreciate it if Members could book in advance.

Accommodation and Banqueting facilities will also be available seven days a week.

We look forward to welcoming you and your guests to experience The Caledonian Club and hopefully enjoy some Summer sunshine.

 

We are pleased to report the refurbishment of the Bar shelving is completed and 200 whiskies are now available at the Bar!

 

 

 


 

Scots in Great War London is now available to buy from Reception.

Please click here for the calendar of events from 2018.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Staff News

The first Staff Summer Party, held on Saturday 28th July, proved very popular. A lovely sunny day al fresco with some great food, drinks, family and friends. Click here to view some pictures.

August 17, 20180 commentsRead More

June 2018 News

Friday Fizz & Summer Sharing Platters

There’s always an excuse to celebrate, especially with our Friday Fizz evenings!

Prosecco at just £19.95 per bottle on Friday evenings from 6pm to 8.30pm from June until the end of August.
Escape to the tranquility of the Club Terrace and enjoy some summer sparkles along with our new sharing platters. A relaxed dress code of smart/casual applies from 6pm on Fridays.

Summer Sharing Platters for Two. Served Monday to Friday from 12pm- 7pm. Just £18.00 each

Charcuterie Board
A selection of Cured Meats, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Olive Oil & Balsamic, Warm Pitta BreadSmoked Fish Board
Smoked Salmon, Mackerel & Trout, Taramasalata, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Warm Pitta Bread

Vegetarian Board
Chargrilled Mediterranean Vegetables, Houmous, Tzatziki, Greek Yoghurt, Warm Pitta Bread

New Magazine out soon!
Members will be posted a copy of the summer magazine the week commencing 25th June. Thanks to the editorial team, for all their hard work on this edition!
The Summer Ball was a huge success!

The Summer Ball, held on 1st July with a ‘Highlands and Islands’ theme, was a huge success with over 130 Members and Guests in attendance.

Images can be viewed here and purchased by contacting Monica Wells at monica.wells@nullvirgin.net
June 21, 20180 commentsRead More

April 2018 News

Terrace

With the weather getting brighter there is no better place to wind down and relax than our beautiful Terrace. Why not try one of our new cocktails?
-Black Russian
-Caledonian Club Cocktail
-Cosmopolitan
-Dark & Stormy
-Espresso Martini
-Manhattan
-Old Fashioned
-Tom Collins

Monday Curry Night

From Monday 14th May our Chef will be offering a choice of curry each Monday evening, alongside our usual menu. They will include a selection of curries from the Indian Sub-Continent, China and Thailand. The menu is as follows and priced at £13.50 per person.

Easter Carvery Success

Over 50 Members, guests and family attended the carvery on Easter Sunday. A selection of starters followed by Roast Beef, Ham, Turkey and Lamb and finished off with dessert kept hunger at bay after the Easter egg hunt on the ground floor.

Our next Family Carvery will be held before Christmas with Santa already booked to make an appearance – details to follow.

Barman’s Choice

Chris Smith has been looking closely at our whisky selection and is looking to add some special malts to our already extensive range – do look out for his choices on the bar and he would welcome feedback! Current choice… Tomatin 8yr old.

April 3, 20180 commentsRead More

February 2018 News

Third Annual Scottish Schools Art Exhibition

The exhibition will run until Friday 23rd March in the Drawing Room, with the Club hosting a private view for members, artists and parents or school representatives on Thursday 22nd March.

Charlotte Riordan, Head of Contemporary Art at Lyon & Turnbull, is this year’s judge and has chosen her top three pieces.

The following schools have submitted artwork, including some wonderful
self portraits, landscapes and photography:

-George Watson’s College
-Glenalmond College
-Gordonstoun
-High School of Dundee
-Lomond School
-Loretto
-Robert Gordon’s College
-St Aloysius’ College
-Strathallan
-The High School of Glasgow

If you’d like to attend the private view please contact Amber Claybourne at ac@nullcaledonianclub.com or on 020 7333 8722.

Please welcome our new Dining Room Manager

Alex Grainger joins us from The Wolseley and has an extensive background in Hospitality and Event Management.

These roles included Restaurant Manager at Colbert, Sloane Square and Waltons of Walton Street, Chelsea and the boutique Dinham Hall Hotel in Ludlow, in addition to managing events and all catering operations at the Belvoir Estate and being Director of Operations at Hampton Court.

February 5, 20180 commentsRead More

Take a tour around the Club!

Want to see what our beautiful Club looks like? This interactive tour video provides details about each room. The Club has lots of flexible spaces that are perfect for meetings, events, parties and weddings. Our in-house team is on-hand to help you plan and execute them to the highest standard, plus our Head Chef can work with you to create bespoke menus.

https://eventopedia.navstream.com/caledonian_club/#intro

 

November 27, 20170 commentsRead More

May News

COME & MEET BILL MARTIN MBE
Bill Martin has written songs for Elvis Presley, Sir Cliff Richard, Sandie Shaw, Cilla Black, Billy Connolly, George Harrison and The Beatles to name a few. He will be appearing nightly (excluding Mondays) at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, from August 4-28, with his one-man show “Congratulations — Songwriter To The Stars”, at The Dome from 8.15pm to 9.15pm.
June 12, 20170 commentsRead More

April News

Dining Room Newsletter

We are delighted to relaunch the Dining Room Newsletter which will include offers, wine recommendations, special menus and much more. If you wish to receive news about the Members’ Dining Room please contact Eleonora Manfredi at em@nullcaledonianclub.com or 020 7333 8728.
Highlights on the current menu includes Roast Breast of Duck, Grilled Elwy Lamb Cutlets, Roast Fillet of Monk Fish alongside the Club Classics. Desserts feature Eton Mess, Honey, Pear and Almond Tart, Salted Caramel and White Chocolate Mousse!
If you wish to book you can contact our Dining Room Manager, Adrianna Todd on 020 7333 8732 or at@nullcaledonianclub.com, or you can use our online app.

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March News

CRAFT SCOTLAND AT THE CALEDONIAN CLUB DURING THE LONDON CRAFT WEEK
3-4 May


Members are invited to come along and hear designer/makers’ Angus Ross and designer maker Jennifer Gray share their works and process behind their innovative contemporary practice. Craft Scotland works to unite, inspire and champion craft through creating opportunities for makers and audiences. They lobby for craft as an essential part of Scotland’s cultural, economic and social life. The agency is a charity supported by Creative Scotland.

Wednesday 3 May, 6.30-8pm
Drinks reception with the Scottish makers and their objects

Thursday 4 May, 11-1pm
Demonstration with the makers

Click here for more information.


MEMBER TO MEMBER – BOOK LAUNCH

Tuesday 25 April 2017
Georgian House, 7 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh EH2 4DR
6.30pm with a talk on the book at 7.00pm

-Refreshments will be served-

Club Member, Andrew Ferguson, combined his interest in the First World War and his admiration for the war poets, to produce his latest book “Ghosts of War: A History of World War I in Poetry and Prose”. Members are most welcome to attend the talk and should advise Dr Sheonagh Martin of the NTS – smartin@nullnts.org.uk

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February Newsletter

After the success of the first Scottish Schools Art Exhibition and the impressive quality of the works submitted last year that it was a unanimous decision to run the event again in 2017. The second exhibition will run from Monday 27 February until Friday 24 March. A private view for Members and school representatives will be held on Thursday 23 March from 6.00 pm until 8.00 pm.
Lyon and Turnbull will be judging the competition together with Bendor Grosvenor, British art dealer, art historian, writer and well known from the TV series “Britain’s Lost Masterpieces”. Alison Watt, contemporary Scottish artist, will also help to judge the shortlist and she will present the prizes to the winners on Thursday 23 March.


MEMBERS’ SONS AND DAUGHTERS

After an absence of a few years we are once again holding this popular event at the Club on Friday 24 March. It is a great way to introduce family members to Club life. Paying for a Club membership could make an ideal birthday present for those who have reached the age of 18.

We always welcome potential new members!

The evening will start with a reception at 7.15 pm with the company piped into dinner at 8.00 pm. The Secretary will say a few words over the course of the evening but the emphasis will be on relaxation and enjoyment. It may be that new friendships will be formed and a new membership base established. OPEN TO ALL FAMILY MEMBERS.

For more details and to book please contact Clare Irvine on 020 7333 8722 or cei@nullcaledonianclub.com


FAMILY EASTER CARVERY

Join us for lunch at the Club on Sunday 16 April where we will be offering a selection of starters, carvery main courses and Easter desserts along with a special Easter egg hunt around the Club for those that are young at heart! Service will be from midday with last orders at 3.30 pm.

Adult £29.95
Children under 12 £15.00
Children under 5 – no charge
(special menu available)

To book please contact Clare Irvine at cei@nullcaledonianclub.com or 020 7333 8722; Please specify number and age of children attending.

March 6, 20170 commentsRead More