A rare and hidden gem in the city centre
Recently a small group of some blogger friends and myself were granted access to Birminghams one and only, new and exclusive members only club.
Based in the city centre, located in a grade 2 listed building, built in 1870, this venue is virtually hidden from the street and draws no attention to itself, but then it doesn’t need to. Even though it only opened this year, there is already a waiting list for its very limited membership.
I was thankfully given very clear and precise directions on how to find the entrance to the club, but was lucky to find my friend Suzie already waiting outside when I arrived anyway, who directed me inside where I was greeted, and guided to the main bar. I met up with the rest of our group who were already admiring the luxurious surroundings and taking in all the details that had clearly all been given a great deal of thought.
Our group was initially given a tour of the club and its facilities, comprising of three main rooms. The main bar room with its stylish decor and impressively stocked bar was where most of the action happened. The bar wasn’t impressive because of the amount of stock it was carrying… once you stopped and looked properly, it was the quality of the products. This is not a venue where you’d find Smirnoff on the vodka or Gordons on the gin, these were epicurean ingredients sourced from specific companies for their unique and characteristic tastes.
Our tour continued and we were then guided into the conference room, originally a wine cellar, this made a snug conference room for up to ten people and looked like the ultimate place to host a dinner party. The original brickwork made it feel quite special.
Our last room on the tour was the study, which looked like a cross between a university library and a hotel bar. There are two clear functions for this room, work during the day, and socialising the evening, but the two never mix! During the day, between 10am and 5pm the room is silent. No chatting, phones on silent, and only headphones permitted for any music. The layout and 22 powerpoints with USB sockets dotted around the room enable business users to go about their work without any distractions during office hours. There are even lights set up to replicate daylight. As soon as 5pm arrives the multizone music playing throughout the club is turned back up in the study, the lights go down, and and the bar is free to open.
Its fair to say that we were all impressed by the venue so far, but the best was yet to come. You don’t pay for a years membership to an exclusive club just because the chairs and wallpaper are nice! We were introduced to cocktail expert Anna, who was going to be mixing the drinks for us this evening and sharing her vast and extensive knowledge into the drinks, their origins, ingredients, and even the family run businesses behind them, as well as why they have sourced the particular products that they stock. She was showed us some classic cocktails made up with her own personal touch and spin and additional ingredients added to them.
I wasn’t really prepared for the following hour. Anna worked with such precision and focus, and didn’t miss a single detail in preparing some of the most amazing drinks to have ever passed my lips! When I was originally told “cocktails” I expected a few bog standard Sex On The Beach or Long Island Iced Tea type drinks, but Anna had taken a handful of classic cocktails, deconstructed them, and put them back together in her special own way, combining selected ingredients in specific ratios to perfectly complement each other. The first cocktail served up was amazing and we were all genuinely surprised at how nice it was. Soon to follow was Anna’s twist on a sangria, which being such a simple drink I didn’t see how she could do much with it… but she did, and it turned out to be probably one of my favourite drinks to date… period!
At the end of the night, along with the others, I was very grateful to have had the chance to sample, and soak in this wonderful experience, and discover some truly fantastic drinks. The staff were very friendly, welcoming and knowledgable, with a particular eye for detail. Their desire to please and create a relaxing environment was obvious. Membership isn’t cheap, but this club is not aimed at the “two pints of lager and a packet of crisps” type crowd, this is a highly refined experience and is aimed at a particular type of crowd, those who want and expect the best.
If you want something a bit different and a bit special, you can find out more about The Colmore Club here.