Sandeman, the famous Port house, restores wine history by returning to the City of London, opening the new Bar 1790 on St Swithin’s Lane with an all Portuguese food menu.
In 1790, a 25-year-old George Sandeman set up as a wine merchant on Birchin Lane, importing Ports and Sherries from Portugal and Spain. In 1805, Sandeman moved the business to St Swithin’s Lane, as cellars were ideal for ageing the wines and easily accessed by an underground passage from the Thames. The barrels were rolled off the ships, moored on the Thames near where Cannon Street Station stands today, and up the passage, to the cellars for storing.
These cellars now offer some of the City’s finest rooms for private dining. A heritage dining room for up to 16 people is called the Sandeman Room, and the Barrel Cellar offers one of the largest private dining spaces in the City. Both rooms transport diners to the antique interiors of a traditional wine cellar, complete with a domed brick ceiling above a stretched dining table.
Head Chef Toby Lever, formerly head chef at Lutyens, developed the menu. Head Sommelier Max Cohn and David Gleave, MW (chairman and founder of Liberty Wines) have compiled an extensive Portuguese wine list. Bar 1790 also offers a range of Port-based cocktails, many created by the current George Sandeman, who lives in Oporto.
There are also some really well made classic cocktails on the menu which include a Lavender Gin Fizz – a light and floral drink with gin lavender, lemon juice, bitters and lemongrass, splashed with soda; Tommy’s Margarita – a twist on the short citrus drink with tequila, triple sec, lime juice and agave syrup; and Lemon Drop Martini – a sour take with vodka, limoncello liqueur, lemon juice and sugar. Our favourite was a expertly made Vesper Martini created with a touch of Port instead of vermouth. Clever and so balanced.
Their food is served tapas-style. Some top suggestions: sourdough bread with whipped anchovy butter to start, a swhole baby chicken for main, and a sweet finish of warm Portuguese custard tart with cinnamon ice cream.
Peter Horton, General Manager and Director, says, “Bar 1790, part of The Sandeman Quarter, has been developed to serve the best Portuguese wines in a space that allows us to bring wine history back to life. There is a new pulse of life in the City of London, and we are excited to welcome all City go-ers into our historic cellars.’
Following the launch of Bar 1790, The Sandeman Quarter have also reopened the celebrated Don restaurant next door. There, plans to introduce a programme of wine courses, tastings, dinners, and seminars along with a private member’s club. The restaurant firmly underlines its status as a destination for lovers of all things vinous.
To discover more, visit: sandemanquarter.com
View this post on Instagram
All imagery courtesy of The Sandeman Quarter.