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A dining club is a social group, usually requiring membership (which may, or may not be available only to certain people), which meets for dinners and discussion on a regular basis. They may also often have guest speakers. Clubs may limit their membership to those who meet highly specific membership requirements, for example the Coningsby Club requires that one was a member of either OUCA or CUCA, the Conservative Associations at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge respectively. Others may require applicants to pass an interview, or simply pay a membership fee.
A dining club differs from a gentlemen's club in that it does not have permanent premises, often changing the location of its meetings and dinners.
In the United States, similar clubs that limit membership to students of a particular university are referred to as eating clubs. Replaced largely by the modern fraternity and sorority system in the United States, eating clubs are now limited to a few colleges and universities, most notably Princeton University.
Dining clubs often have reciprocity with other dining clubs across the nation or even worldwide. Some are able to arrange reciprocity with other private social clubs with more facilities besides dining such as overnight guest rooms and a gym. Examples of such social clubs include Penn Club of New York City that has reciprocity with India House Club at 1 Hanover Square.
List of dining clubs
This list is incomplete. Date of founding in brackets
The Twelve True Fishermen is the name of a fictional club, the title of a short story by G. K. Chesterton in which his detective Father Brown solves the riddle of the disappearance of the club's silver.