The Soho House guide to picking your poolside and rooftop plus-one

The Soho House guide to picking your poolside plus-one | Soho House

As we head into rooftop season, Flora Gill answers the question all members are asking themselves

Thursday 6 April 2023   By Flora Gill   Illustrations by Clo'e Floirat

There are a number of events in the calendar when you need to carefully consider your plus-one. Your sister’s wedding, a double date, the Met Ball, but none are more important or more day-determining than who you invite to a Soho House rooftop. You can’t just go throwing that invite around like a flyerer at The Fringe – you need to weigh up the options, calculate possible scenarios and make sure you’re getting the most from your plus-one. Now, each House is different, so to save you time and effort we’ve put together a list of the perfect person to invite to each rooftop to at least help you narrow it down.

Soho House Berlin: the future friend
Don’t waste an invite on someone you’re already mates with; instead, use your plus-one to secure a new connection. Making friends as an adult is complicated – as a child you could grab their hand and shout ‘wanna be best friends?’, but do that now and it’s more likely to send them sprinting. But the ideal way to upgrade an acquaintance to proper friend status is to take them as your plus-one to relax by the pool in Berlin – no words needed, just vibes.

Shoreditch House: the wing person
Picantes, ping pong and a pool – what more could you want to set the scene and get you in the mood for flirty fun. Without doubt the person beside you on the Shoreditch House rooftop has to be the friend that would just as comfortably chat to you all day like you’re starting a podcast, as they would challenge another pair of strangers to a race in the pool or a dance-off by the bar – winner buys the next round. 

The Soho House guide to picking your poolside plus-one | Soho House

White City House: the sun soaker
Some friends are like cats: not scratching the furniture, but always moving to soak up the sun. These feline friends will force you to swap seats at lunch or scoot over at a picnic to ensure they’re always getting that much needed vitamin D. And in London, when the sun is as unreliable as a politician’s promise, this friend will worship you like the deity Ra if you let them join you on those striped towels at the best solar spot in town.

Soho House Austin: the debt collector 
We all have that one friend who keeps tabs on every penny that’s owed to them. Even if they’re not saying it out loud, they’re mentally tracking exactly what you owe them, what favour you haven’t reciprocated and what invite they didn’t receive. But make them your plus-one at the rooftop in Austin and that’s enough to set all debts straight – and ensure they’re constantly striving for ways to even the score. Good luck. 

The Soho House guide to picking your poolside plus-one | Soho House

Holloway House: the chatterbox
While you splay out on the rooftop, living out your Californian 1960s fantasy, you want the chatterbox to be filling you in on all the drama of the members around you. Nobody wants to be that person who goes crazy at the sight of a celebrity, but you also don’t want to miss the fact that your celeb crush is sitting two beds down from you and just broke up with their long-term partner. That’s why, set in the heart of West Hollywood, you need to bring someone else who’s done all the dirty digging in advance, so you can play it nonchalant and create some chatter of your own. 

Soho House New York: the work friend 
When the sun’s out in New York City, there’s nowhere better or more coveted than the Soho House rooftop. So, this invite is not to be wasted on just anyone. It’s for someone you need to impress and finesse. That boss at work who’s waiting for their membership to be accepted, that colleague that needs to be told to stop emailing you on the weekend – difficult conversations are suddenly much easier with a foot in the pool and a beer in hand.

The Soho House guide to picking your poolside plus-one | Soho House

Soho House Amsterdam: the sharp-elbowed pal
The beds in Amsterdam work on a first-come, first-served basis. This is not the time to invite the ever-tardy friend that needs an hour longer than they think to leave the house. There’s nothing worse than trying to desperately save a sunbed as judging passers-by eye up the empty space. Instead, ask someone who’s going to be prompt and firmly elbow others out the way so you don’t have to. Make them earn that plus-one.

Soho House Barcelona: the bestie

There’s nothing more relaxing than floating in a pool with a view of the city skyline and the endless sea. And for this Spanish spot, there’s only one choice for your plus-one. The person who knows all your secrets, who celebrates all your successes, who you’d call to bury the body if life went sideways: your bestie. They’ve seen you at your best, and probably put up with you at your worst; they deserve this coveted invite. 

The Soho House guide to picking your poolside plus-one | Soho House

Soho House Mumbai: the perfectionist 
If you have a friend that’s always finding something to complain about, then this colourful rooftop is the ideal spot. Don’t engage in the 31 texts back and forth as you desperately try and suggest somewhere to meet they don’t hate, when you could skip straight to lounging atop the 11-storey townhouse on Juhu Beach. Finally they’ll be content, stop fidgeting and just relax as they take in the views, the drinks and the unarguable perfection. 

Discover everything you need to know about rooftop season at the Houses.

Find out about applying for Soho House membership here.  

The Soho House guide to picking your poolside plus-one | Soho House
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