The first new St. James’s club in over a century...
Inside 67 Pall Mall
London’s St James’s has long been a place to meet and converse, popular for its chocolate and coffee houses which proliferated in the 18th and 19th centuries. These evolved into Gentlemen’s Clubs, where upperclass gentlemen gathered to while away their days – hence the area being dubbed ‘Clubland’. No street was more replete with clubs than Pall Mall, home to the Athenaeum, the RAC and the Reform to name but a few.
Named ‘Pall Mall’ after a popular game of the era which was played nearby, the street sits close to centres of Royal, governmental and military power, and has long been known for its tailors, hatters, wine merchants and tobacconists. It is arguably one of the finest settings in London – something which the first new club to open on Pall Mall in more than a century takes full advantage of.
The genesis of the idea for 67 Pall Mall came when Grant Ashton and some of his wine-loving friends decided to open a wine bar in Marylebone in order to have a nice place to go and enjoy their wines, as well as selling off some of the collections that they had accumulated.
Being of fiscal mind and curious palate, Ashton had become weary of paying exorbitantly marked-up prices for wines he enjoyed in restaurants while being fully aware of their real cost.
In the end, instead of a Marylebone site, Ashton chanced upon the Sir Edwin Lutyens-designed former branch of Hambros Bank on Pall Mall, which had lain empty for more than a decade.
Since opening in 2015, 67 Pall Mall has cemented its place as the centre of wine conversation, where people from all countries and all walks of life convene over a glass or a bottle. With more than 4,000 wines for members and their guests to discover, and a prodigious 750 served by the glass (the Club is the world’s largest single-site user of the Coravin wine preservation system), there is no better place to expand one’s vinous horizons.
Head of wine at 67 Pall Mall is Master Sommelier Ronan Sayburn, who leads what is arguably one of the largest sommelier teams of any establishment worldwide. Their rapport with members is full of camaraderie as they suggest wines from the 37 countries represented (a Kazakhstan Riesling?), or something from a member’s birth year (perhaps a 1967 Châteauneuf-du-Pape?), or a delve into mythical wines of the past (how about a 1863 Malmsey from the time Napoleon III was on the throne?).
Such wines provoke tales of people, place and time, and with more than 30,000 bottles in the club’s vaults, some might liken 67 Pall Mall to the world’s largest library, laden with titles you might never have the chance to read but are dying to discover.
Stories for the future are as important as revering the past, and the club isn’t afraid of driving wine discussion forward with events such as ‘The Judgement of London’, pitting Champagnes against English sparkling wines; Sommelier vs Sommelier, where members decide who wins; or even a tasting of purposely faulty wines – a surprise sell out! These events are complemented by a calendar of tastings and masterclasses with the world’s most prestigious wineries: Cheval Blanc, Sassicaia and Vega Sicilia to name but three that have taken part.
67 Pall Mall continues to grow and draw a diverse cross-section of members. There’s no doubt it will continue to provide both aficionados and those who wish to learn more about wine the ultimate location to indulge. Members will continue to be offered the greatest selection of wines from across the globe, from the eminently affordable to the once-in-a-lifetime.
To see the club at its most animated is to visit in the early evening, when work stops, bottles are opened and shared and glasses are raised. Like a fine vintage, 67 Pall Mall is something which can be appreciated immediately but is likely to become even greater over time. Join now and appreciate the maturing appeal of this unparalleled venue.
To enquire about membership of 67 Pall Mall, please contact the Club directly:
67 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5ES
+44(0)20 3000 6767
Translated by ICY
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