The famous Port house Sandeman has returned to the City of London with the opening of a new wine bar in St Swithins Lane. With a nod to Sandeman’s history of making outstanding Port since the 1790s, the food has a strong Portuguese influence, and the wine list is, with the exception of a Champagne and an English Sparkling wine, all Portuguese.
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 Swithins Lane, as the cellars were ideal for ageing and storing the wines, and were easily accessed by an underground passage from the Thames. The barrels were rolled off the ships – which were moored on the Thames near where Cannon Street Station stands today – and, up the passage to the cellars.
These cellars now offer some of the City’s finest sites for private dining. There is a wonderful heritage dining room for up to 16 people called the Sandeman Room and the Barrel Cellar, offering one of the largest private dining spaces in the City.
The menu has been compiled and is overseen by Head Chef Toby Lever, formerly head chef at Lutyens while the extensive Portuguese wine list has been compiled by Head Sommelier Max Cohn and David Gleave, MW (chairman and founder of Liberty Wines). Bar 1790 also offers a range of Port-based cocktails, many of them created by the current George Sandeman, who lives in Oporto.
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 to our historic cellars.’ says Peter Horton.
Following the launch of Bar 1790, The Sandeman Quarter plans to re-open the celebrated Don restaurant next door, introduce a programme of wine courses, tastings, dinners, and seminars along with a private member’s club, firmly underlining its status as the top destination for lovers of all things vinous.