A message for VSC Members from General Sir Richard Barrons KCB CBE, President:
I am delighted to report that I stayed overnight in our Club in mid-July for the first time since COVID 19 struck the UK. You will have seen the descriptions of all the new arrangements put in place to maintain a safe environment and you may have wondered – as I did – how this would affect the charm of using your Club. I have to say that small things like wearing a face covering on transport and in shops have already become routine for those, like me, who are now back working in London pretty regularly. It’s not ideal, but nor is it a show-stopper. The accommodation in the Club is as splendid as ever, so once in your room life is no different. I also took some friends to dinner at the Club and, despite the distancing and the tables left bare until occupied, we had a long and highly convivial evening (I probably should apologise for keeping the staff from their beds) – with the usual brilliant food and wine one expects at the VSC.
In fact, one of the unspoken pleasures of London at this stage of responding to the pandemic is that getting around on foot or by public transport is actually so much easier than in a ‘normal’ summer. Not all shops and restaurants are open yet, but many are, and where places like galleries and museums are limiting entry by online booking it is actually possible to see what you are interested in without sharing it with a mass of jostling others. The chances of catching the virus are ignorably slim if you stick to the well-tested precautions – so unless one feels compelled to go around licking the handrails on the escalators or somesuch many more people are just getting on with things with increasing confidence.
In sum, your Club is open and ready to deliver the enjoyable stay you always expect, even with some modest changes, and seeing the sights of London is often much better done just now. As most of us are not going to see much of a beach in Spain or elsewhere this Summer, I can really recommend a change of scene, meeting friends and taking in a great dinner at the VSC as soon as you like.‘