67 Pall Mall
Perhaps the daddy of them all in London, though we should point out straight away that 67 Pall Mall is a members' club. If you have a couple of grand to spare, it'd be well spent – members have access to an unrivalled list of wines, all of them sold at an eminently sensible price.
Vast by-the-glass selection
Architecture by Sir Edwin Lutyens
Refined classic dishes
The Naughty Corner
Running to well over 4,000 bottles, the core list is intended to ‘excite, challenge and captivate’ members at Green Park’s well-upholstered, art-filled, 67 Pall Mall, says founder and CEO, Grant Ashton (a former City trader), with thousands of cases of the finest and rarest wines stored in the extensive cellars below ground in this grade II listed former bank.
Members may use a now thankfully dimmable memory function iPad, featuring winemaker comments, tasting notes and critic scores, to access some 26,000 bottles, including their own reserves. For those more analogue of nature, guidance is available by way of an 18-strong team of full-time sommeliers, lead by Terry Kandylis, a former Moët UK Sommelier of the Year, also accorded Best Sommelier in Greece.
‘We’re proud to list wines from every winemaking corner of the planet, from Napa to Kazakhstan and Japan to Uruguay,’ asserts Kandylis. ‘Members are encouraged to take the road less travelled and try something new - at a reasonable price.’ Ashton is in accord. ‘The concept of bottles forever locked in cellars, gathering dust is our bête-noir. Our mission, therefore, is to entice members to pull the cork and discover a new wine.’
Kandylis describes his vinous approach as having ‘no boundaries’. He elaborates: ‘we offer what we believe are good wines regardless of trends or fashion. Our events calendar reflects our broad wine spectrum, whether members are invited to a 15-vintage vertical of Vega Sicilia, or a Burgundy masterclass dinner with Anne Gros.’ Another event might include the Judgement of London (English fizz versus Champagne) as well as bottle versus magnum versus jeroboam, or an eye-opening masterclass on wine fraud.
Kandylis and Ashton offer arguably the most substantial by-the-glass selection in the world, with 750 bins available via Coravin, including such tears of Bacchus as: Latour 1961, Harlan Estate 1997 and Sassicaia 1985, as well as an amphora-made Sangiovese and even the odd (deliberately) orange wine.
In autumn 2017, the club expanded its tannic tendrils into an additional floor, creating the ‘Clubroom’, featuring a dedicated spirits bar aptly named the ‘Naughty Corner’, equipped with 1848 Godet Cognac and Ron Edmundo Dantes Grand Reserva 25 años, along with private dining area, The Marlborough Room. Of the real fire up here, Ashton loves the ‘more club-like’ atmosphere it engenders.
Wine lovers fortunate enough to pass through the doors of 67 Pall Mall are likely to enjoy themselves quite a lot, promises Ashton. A London annual membership is a formidable £3,000 (£1,500 joining fee, plus £1,500 a year), ‘but if you have it, spend it here.’ Overseas, country, wine trade and under-35 memberships are also available.
Ashton remains buoyant in the face of Brexit. ‘We see increasing demand, both for the collecting and the consumption of fine wine. Whilst inevitably this has led to higher prices, in practice this has translated into a diversification into lesser known regions by our members, as they seek new wine experiences in less explored regions of the 37 different countries represented on our list.’
The food offer by Marcus Verberne is expectedly wine friendly, and may include Cannon and Cannon British charcuterie, monkfish osso bucco with mussels and sea beet, a rabbit and king oyster mushroom pie, and a 35 day dry-aged Porterhouse, as well as Welsh rarebit.
If visiting for breakfast, note the near Burgundian of provenance, single estate and micro-lot specialty grade tea and coffee options by Difference Coffee Co. and Lalani and Co.
By Douglas Blyde.
Housed in a grade II listed building, which is a former bank designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, members of 67 Pall Mall have access to an unrivalled list of wines, all of them sold at an eminently sensible price, all expertly curated by Master Sommelier Ronan Sayburn.The list is crafted “to excite, challenge and captivate” the club’s members, its amazing diversity and depth made possible thanks to its extensive sub-basement cellars, which allow 67 Pall Mall to hold thousands of cases of the finest and rarest wines in the world on the premises.
Pricing is a fundamental consideration and works on the basis of a small cash mark-up, rather than a multiple of the cost price.
As founder and CEO Grant Ashton explains: “The concept of bottles forever locked away in cellars gathering dust is our own particular bête-noir. Our mission is to entice our members to pull the cork and discover a new wine.”
Members make their wine choices on a searchable list on iPads which is packed with winemakers’ notes, tasting notes and critics’ scores. Further expert guidance is available from 67 Pall Mall’s team of 10 full-time sommeliers – possibly the best in London, including head sommelier Terry Kandylis (Moët UK Sommelier of the Year 2016, formerly Best Sommelier in Greece), assistant head sommelier Gareth Ferreira (UK Ruinart Challenge 2016 winner, Best Sommelier in South Africa 2016), Roberto Duran (formerly Best Sommelier in Spain) and Caroline Fridolffson. A section of Sommelier’s Recommendations presents an ever-evolving list of the team’s favourite wines. This section gives guests immediate access to an edited selection of wines from 67 Pall Mall’s cellar, which this December will increase its holdings by 2,000 to 5,000 wines, as part of its bid to become the hime of the UK’s largest wine list. In addition, a massive 500 wines are available by the glass, including such drops of the gods as Château Latour 1961, Harlan Estate 1997 and Sassicaia 1985, as a small sample or full glass, thanks to Coravin technology.
Earlier this year, the club set about expanding the venue with a new floor, set for completion in October. The additional space will allow the club to install another wine bar that will carry 400 wines by the glass, as well as a further bar just for spirits, along with a new private dining area called The Marlborough Room. It will also feature a less formal seating area with views over Pall Mall, or towards a real fire, which Ashton said he wanted to install to make 67 Pall Mall “more club-like”. The extra floor will provide an area
for eating and drinking without the need to book or wear a jacket – “people want non- bookability and something more relaxed”, he said, adding, “We don’t want to lose those people who just want to drop in.”
Wine lovers fortunate enough to pass through the doors of 67 Pall Mall are likely to enjoy themselves quite a lot. Membership is a formidable £2,500 (£1,250 joining fee, then £1,250 a year), but if you have it, spend it here.