DILETTANTI SOCIETY, THATCHED HOUSE TAVERN, ST. JAMES'S STREET.
"There is a new subscription formed for an Opera next year, to be carried on by the Dilettanti, a club, for which the nominal qualification is having been in Italy, and the real one being drunk; the two chiefs are Lord Middlesex and Sir Francis Dashwood, who were seldom sober the whole time they were in Italy." - Walpole to Mann, April 14th, 1743, i.273.
The character of the Club at the present day is materialy altered, and it is now composed of persons devoted to art and antiquarian studies. The members, about fifty in number, dine together on the first Sunday in every month from February to July.
Peter Cunningham, Hand-Book of London, 1850