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A dining club (UK) or eating club (US) 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.
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.
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.
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.
An eating club is a social club found in American universities. Eating clubs date to the late 19th and early 20th centuries and are intended to allow college students to enjoy meals and pleasant discourse. Some clubs are referred to as bicker clubs because of the process of bickering over which applicants to accept as members. Replaced largely by the modern fraternity and sorority system, eating clubs are now limited to a few colleges and universities, most notably Princeton University, Stanford, Davidson College, Mount Olive College, and Reed College.
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 Thursday Club, a monthly dining club, features in the novel The Three Hostages by John Buchan.
- The Twelve True Fishermen is the name of a fictional club in the eponymous short story by G. K. Chesterton in which his detective Father Brown solves the riddle of the disappearance of the club's silver.
- The annual dinner of The Ten for Aristology is the scene of a murder in the 1960 Nero Wolfe story Poison à la Carte,
- Eating clubs at Princeton University
- Final clubs at Harvard
- Gentlemen's club
- Stanford Eating Clubs
- Supper club
- Admitting the problem - The Daily Princetonian
- More Than a Meal Plan - New York Times
- "Canadian Clubs and Organisations in the UK". Government of Canada. 2015-01-06.
- http://www.whitefriarsclub.org, and ‘Thursday… The annual dinner of the Whitefriar’s Club was held at Radley’s, Mr. Tom Hood in the chair.’ London City Press, Saturday 20 February 1869, p. 3.
- "Canadian Club of Hamilton". Toronto Globe. March 1893.
- "About the Canadian Club". The Canadian Club of Yamaska Valley. 2011.