I am, in the most casual way imaginable, trying to work out which London club I should if they would have me join. As I live a distance outside London, the number of bedrooms available is important, but, somewhat ridiculously, over the past two years, I’ve begun to grade them on how they cook grouse.

Due to the brevity of the season, I may be out of time before I’ve been round them all, but the current leader in the grouse stakes is the Travellers. When my host at the club heard of my scheme, in his excitement, he told me that the other great advantage of the Travellers was that nearly everyone who was a member was a spy and so nobody would force you into conversation. He was clearly not a man for the Garrick.

This week, my love of eating grouse took me to Allens of Mayfair, the famous butcher, to learn more about cooking them for myself. Here, I learnt how to tell young from old (you can crush the skull of a young bird with your thumb) and how to cook them (roast for about 12 minutes). It’s not much to judge a club on, but if you can get the little things right…

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