The Don

20 St Swithin's Lane, The Courtyard, EC4N 8AD

WLC Rank : 157

Food Type Cuisine: European

Glass PriceGlass from : £ 5 (125 ml)

BEST FOR

Old vintage wines

Starting life as a Sandeman's bottling cellar in 1798, The Don (named in homage to George Sandeman), with a fascinating array of nooks and crannies filled with wine, maintains considerable vinous pedigree with today's list running to over 400 wines. These include a considerable stash of quietly maturing Port, Sherry, Vouvray and turn of the (18th) century Madeira.

REVIEWS

Review 2016/17

Starting life as a Sandeman’s bottling cellar in 1798, The Don (named in homage to George Sandeman), with a fascinating array of nooks and crannies filled with wine, maintains considerable vinous pedigree with today’s list running to over 400 wines. These include a considerable stash of quietly maturing Port, Sherry, Vouvray and turn of the (18th) century Madeira.

A good place to begin is with a taste of Trinity Hill from an estate owned by The Don and sister restaurant, The Bleeding Heart. A glass of their Hawke’s Bay bottling from New Zealand starts at just £5.

The mineral rather than shrill Sauvignon Blanc, for example, adds vigour to a starter of snail ‘Forestier’ ravioli, with crisp smoked bacon, wild mushrooms and shallot sauce.

Meanwhile an ample selection of second-label St Julien Bordeaux could add old-school charm to fillet of Black Angus beef tartare, prepared to your palate at table. Although generally reasonably priced, there are some occasional traps on the list, though, such as the £544 bottle of 2006 Sassicaia.

There’s a juicy selection of around 25 Champagnes along with a very good range of wines by the glass or carafe, including good Sherry and Sandeman’s (of course) Port. You’ll also find a handful of icons available as 75ml sample or 125ml glass by Coravin, including Didier Dageneau Blanc Fumé de Pouilly 2012(£13/£22) and Haut-Bailly 1998 (£22/£24).

Wine lovers can also take advantage of The Don’s Wine Club to enjoy convivial dinners in the restuarant’s White Room celebrating iconic wines, as well as interesting masterclasses on, for example, the esoteric delights of Riesling or Champagne. 

All of which confirms The Don as a treasured, old-school fixture on the London wine scene.

By Zeren Wilson and Darren Smith

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WLC Overall Score 87.6

Value
86
Size
89
Range
90
Originality
87
Service
86

WLC Overall Rank : 157

Food Type Cuisine: European

Glass PriceGlass from : £ 5 (125 ml)

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