Code changes: Modern members clubs


Grace-BelgraviaJust seven months old and with a distinct point of difference, Grace Belgravia turns the old-fashioned gentleman’s club concept on its head with a female-only membership. Describing the typical member as a “spirited, yet caring, health- conscious businesswoman,” co-founder & CEO Katie Percival takes personal responsibility for compiling a drinks list to reflect this ethos. Within the exclusively Italian and French range she notes that biodynamic wines play a particularly dominant role as part of the “natural goodness” theme that permeates the club. “When talking to suppliers, we try to find wines that are unique and have a story – a bit like Grace,” explains Percival.

It’s the same with the spirits selection, where “small boutique brands” dominate: think Fairtrade quinoa vodka brand FAIR. In a nod to the current UK bar trend for home-infused spirits, Grace adds its own tamarind twist to the Tequila, while there’s a vanilla option for the vodka.

Given the gender bias, white wines prove predictably popular at Grace. Likewise, it comes as no surprise to hear that big name Champagne brands sell well by the bottle, though this must be one of the few places where your Billecart- Salmon comes with a calorie counter (60 calories for the extra-brut NV). This feminine focus extends into the events line-up, which is due to feature a tasting with Virginie Taittinger of her new Champagne brand, Virginie T. Also in the pipeline is a partnership with Nicole Rolet of upmarket, biodynamically-inspired Rhône brand Chêne Bleu. “We would love to discover more top-end wines and spirits produced by independent women with a great story to tell,” says Percival of her plans for developing the list.

Meanwhile, plans to launch a series of literary lunches and a supper club offer further opportunities for tempting its health-conscious members into some feel-good indulgence.

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