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London’s famed private member’s wine club 67 Pall Mall opens in Singapore

Jasmine Alimin
Jasmine Alimin3/3/2022 11:53 AM GMT+08  • 8 min read
London’s famed private member’s wine club 67 Pall Mall opens in Singapore
67 Pall Mall opens its first Asian outpost in Singapore offering oenophiles an elegant space to savour fine wines
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After a long four-year wait — delayed by the pandemic — London’s hugely successful wine club 67 Pall Mall finally opened its doors here on Feb 14, giving its already fully-subscribed list of 2,500 members a place to call home.

Housed within the penthouse of the Shaw Centre on Scotts Road — formerly the private residence of Shaw Organisation’s founder Tan Sri Dr Runme Shaw — the 15,000 sq ft fine wine outpost extends across levels 27 and 28, with floor-to-ceiling windows and terraced balconies that provide panoramic views of the Orchard Road skyline. According to London-based founder and CEO Grant Ashton, the cost alone to build this set-up hovered around $12 million.

This is the third outlet to open after the 2015 launch of its flagship at eponymous 67 Pall Mall in London’s St James district, followed by a 2021 opening of one in Verbier, Switzerland. There are plans to open two more outlets in France, namely in Bordeaux and Burgundy.

Grant Ashton, founder and CEO of 67 Pall Mall

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When asked why Singapore was chosen as the first Asian branch for 67 Pall Mall, Ashton joked that it was because we drive on the same side of the road. “Singapore’s vibrant culinary scene, love of wine and appetite for discovery has ensured a rapid growth of the wine scene here, which made it a natural choice for our first Asian flagship,” he adds.

The idea for 67 Pall Mall started in 2010, when former banker and wine collector Ashton found that he had amassed too much wine. He wanted to share great bottles with fellow wine-lovers, envisioning a club where like-minded friends could dine well and drink spectacular wine — at reasonable prices. Not only are the world’s finest and rarest wines within reach, but the underlying premise of the club is to also make wine more affordable starting from $15 a glass and $70 and up for a bottle.

Membership privileges

Membership is capped at $200 monthly with a one-time joining fee of $2,400. Special rates are available for those under 35, as well as for wine professionals and overseas applicants. Lifetime memberships are also offered — a snip at $250,000 (this price entitles one to shares of the company, of which 67 Pall Mall owns 51%).

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Members will also have access to all other 67 Pall Mall clubs around the world. “Singapore’s opening will pave the way for many more expansion plans in future, linking our Asian members to a global wine network, with our current clubs in London and Verbier, as well as future locations such as Beaune,” says Ashton. “With many more locations in the pipeline, members have numerous opportunities to explore and connect over their passion for wine, both in Singapore and around the world.”

While the current member demographic for 67 Pall Mall remains — as Ashton jokingly puts it — “male, pale and stale”, he hopes that the fees will attract a more dynamic and younger group of well-heeled creative types, as the membership model will allow the club to offer some of the world’s rarest wines at more affordable prices. “Many people feel that their wine options are limited by price point, and that prevents them from exploring new wines. Wine is to be enjoyed, not locked away in dark cellars,” adds general manager Kori Millar.

Cradle of opulence

A design behemoth flawlessly executed by local design firm Rockett, the club’s interiors are a throwback to 1920s and 1930s Shanghai art deco style with a touch of British aristocracy. Every detail and material is meticulously thought out, such as the custom hand-painted and silk hand-embroidered wallpaper featuring birds and flora found in Singapore’s Botanic Gardens. The grandeur of the solid walnut wall panels is accentuated by blue-grey Azul Macaubas marble from Brazil and Breccia Aurora Italian marble flooring.

Adding a touch of opulence are the original 1970s crystal chandeliers that hang in the concierge and main reception. Very respectful of the heritage and legacy of the Shaw Foundation, Rockett together with Ashton ploughed through hundreds of historical artefacts — from movie posters to photographs and paintings, vases, tableware to horse racing trophies — to incorporate into the club’s interiors.

Our favourite room upstairs is the Naughty Corner and Whisky Bar — where Shaw’s living quarters used to be—now a dark and dapper 35-seater den of beautifully-up-holstered armchairs and couches that offers a more intimate lounge experience to appreciate fine spirits and cocktails. Supposedly, the walls, bar and cabinets are cladded in camphor burl wood, which provides a natural calming scent, said to lower heart rates.

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The heart of the club is the former ballroom — now called the Clubroom and Restaurant — featuring a double-heighted dining and drinking hall anchored by a 6m-tall wine tower as the centrepiece. The tower houses thousands over 6,000 bottles of the club’s col lection of premium wines meticulously stored in optimum temperature and humidity-controlled conditions.

Enveloping this massive structure is the main service bar where champagnes are openly displayed on a bed of frozen aluminium beads (not ice) chilled by a computerised cooling system underneath the bar counter. At one corner of the hall is a whisky wall with a display of 430 bottles, an allusion to the Whisky Bar that lies above.

Also, on this floor you will find smaller dining spaces fitted with modular walls that can host anything from intimate private dinners to large wedding receptions and masterclasses. The rooms can hold up to 120 people and feature comprehensive audio-visual systems with access to the rooftop terrace garden.

In addition to the penthouse, 67 Pall Mall has also taken space on levels one, four and 26 of Shaw Centre for the club’s concierge, staff lounge, wine storage and offices. We discovered that due to a weight-loading issue, the wine cellars have to be spread out across the building.

Feeling spirited

The grand opening of the Singapore club could be a watershed moment for the F&B scene in the region. Set to become a marquee attraction for lovers of fine wine and food across Asia, membership to 67 Pall Mall allows exclusive access to a collection of 5,000 wines, of which 1,000 are available by the glass — the biggest and most diverse wine list in Southeast Asia.

Head Sommelier Roberto Duran and Assistant Head Sommelier Zsofi Kiss

Specially selecting wines by the thousands is no easy feat which is why 67 Pall Mall has a 15-strong sommelier team led by head sommelier Roberto Duran (formerly Joël Robuchon and Bacchanalia) and Master of Wine Richard Hemming from London. Together, the team have selected the most diverse ever-changing wine list, full of rare bottles and lesser-known vinous gems — which can be viewed on iPads, loaded with critics’ scores, winemakers’ information and tasting notes.

“From the impossible-to-access Burgundian bottles to new and emerging winemakers deserving of a share of the limelight, our curated wines offer members the unique opportunity to discover a new region as well as enjoy a glass of some of the world’s most inaccessible wines,” says Hemming.

As part of the opening festivities, 67 Pall Mall Singapore will host a series of events hosted by world-renowned experts. The Expert Series will consist of weekends filled with masterclasses and free-pour brunches starting with Master of Wine and Burgundy Jasper Morris from March 11 to 13; the ‘world’s most informed and accomplished expert on the wines of Bordeaux’ Jane Anson from March 18 to 20 and celebrated forerunning wine writer Jancis Robinson MW from April 1 to 3 — each of whom has contributed extensively to shaping the wine world.

Aside from offering wine courses by Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and CMS (Court of Master Sommeliers), the club also intends to organise wine degustation dinners, as well as talks and themed events spanning arts, culture, fashion, and more.

East-meets-west menu

Helming the restaurant’s menu is head chef Alex Zhu (formerly DB Bistro, Au Jardin and The English House) whose training in classical French and British cuisine, complemented by a love for Asian flavours, has translated into an extensive all-day dining menu of signatures from the London Club as well as Asian-inspired dishes.

Must-tries include Bang Bang Burrata, an East-meets-West harmony of burrata served in a black vinegar dressing with Sichuan peppers, crushed peanuts and dough fritters; pan-fried foie gras and veal sweetbread, served on a homemade crumpet, pickled onions and dressed in poultry jus; and juicy grilled wagyu simply served with mustard.

What we love about dining here is that there is always a sommelier around the corner to recommend a suitable and affordable wine to pair with our dishes. “We take much pride in pairing amazing wine with amazing food. Our accomplished chefs take a mindful approach of working with quality seasonal produce to offer vibrant flavours, combining local influence with culinary classics from London to delight wine lovers and gourmands alike,” says Millar.

Memberships to 67 Pall Mall Singapore are currently full, but Ashton assures that for every drop out, there will be a spot that opens up. For membership enquiries, email [email protected]

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