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The Sign of The Don Bistro & Bar

$$ - $$$
Neighborhood:
City of London
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21 St. Swithin's Lane, London EC4N 8AD, England
+44 20 7626 2606
Website
Today
7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Open now
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Hours:
Mon - Fri 7:30 am - 10:00 pm
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161 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 155: English reviews
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
100 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I have been to this Restaurant a few times. On this visit the courtyard where the Restaurant is located was surrounded by building works, so the location had lost some of its appeal. The restaurant was pretty quiet and while there were no complaints about the food it was not that special either. The service was good and an extensive... More 

Helpful?
Thank Michael L
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
48 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

I was here for a business meeting and presentation and was greeted by Noella who served drinks well and without fuss. We sat down and again Noella single handedly looked after us topping up wine and water without fuss. There was 14 people and food was served by Noella very well allowing for the presentation to continue without disruption. Food... More 

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1 Thank robt391
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 15, 2017 via mobile

We went for dinner last night and had the special Valentines menu which was disappointing. Apart from calling it a valentines menu there was no other indication that it was Valentines night not even a flower on the table The Amuse Bouche ( although vey nice)was plonked on the table with no explanation of what it was so had to... More 

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1 Thank Murray P
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2017

Lunch for 2. Nice table downstairs in a good buzzy atmosphere. We ordered one scotch egg and one smoked salmon for starters and then 2 burgers with cheese for main. We received two scotch eggs (and no smoked salmon) and two very over cooked to the point of it being difficult to eat as it was so dry, burgers. No... More 

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Thank Matt P
Hinxworth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2017

Very attentive service, big wine selection and good food. Lamb was particularly good when we visited.

Helpful?
Thank James C
Guildford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
405 reviews
305 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 1, 2017

Two of us met here for lunch. To start with we had two very tasty G&Ts served in very classy glasses. I know that shouldn't make it taste any better but it seemed to! We both had the same food. The croquettes as a starter and the spatchcock chicken as a main. The croquettes come in a tapas dish, three... More 

Helpful?
Thank Mike C
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 18, 2017

Just been to lunch and all a bit disappointing. Very slow service for a start. We were placed in one of the back rooms which just felt like someone's lonely cellar. Both our starters and main courses took an age to arrive. We were with a client so it was annoying. Food was average to be honest. I had crab... More 

Helpful?
Thank Piers S
Level Contributor
122 reviews
87 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2017 via mobile

I attended here last night in a group of 15. Wonderful night. We were Les down a warren of tunnels and passage ways to get to our eventual dining area. It appeared all very medieval down there with large metal things that looked like torture implements but were probably once used to drop and lift casks of wine to and... More 

Helpful?
Thank Galen B
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2016

Last minute booking for small extended family group. Not our first choice but limited options given late booking at busy time of year. Lobster was overcooked. Steak was served well done when asked for medium rare; waiter not happy about being asked to replace. Chateaubriand was good. "Triple cooked" chips were terrible. Wine list was decent although leans towards being... More 

Helpful?
Thank Adrian_of_W
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
37 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2016 via mobile

Great little bar/bistro off the beaten track. I've been several times and just eaten in the bar. A great selection of wine and good food to pick at. We shared a cheese plate and meat/salami plate plus a bottle of red for a quick lunch. It's on a side street in the city and a great little find.

Helpful?
Thank Hillary M

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
    Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    Atmosphere
    4 of 5 bubbles
Average prices
$31 - $56
Cuisine
European, Wine Bar, Spanish, British, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Drinks
Restaurant features
Wheelchair Accessible, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Private Dining
Good for
Bar scene, Business meetings, Special occasions, Large groups
Open Hours
Monday
7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Tuesday
7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Wednesday
7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Thursday
7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Friday
7:30 am - 10:00 pm
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 21 St. Swithin's Lane, London EC4N 8AD, England
  • Location: Europe  >  United Kingdom (UK)  >  England  >  London>  > City of London
  • Neighborhood: City of London
  • Phone Number: +44 20 7626 2606
Description
We have traced our building back to 1342 when the Worshipful Company of Drapers bought it to use as their first meeting hall. In 1798, they leased it to George Sandeman, newly arrived from Perthshire to set up a wine company importing barrels of port from Portugal and sherry from Jerez in Spain. The site in St Swithins Lane was perfectly positioned, close (much closer than it is now) to the banks of the Thames where the barrels of wine were unloaded and rolled up a Roman tunnel that led to the medieval vaults beneath the Sign of The Don and The Don to be bottled and dispatched across the globe. You can see the destination stencils on the bistro walls. In 2000, after the Sandeman company had returned to their home base in Oporto, Robert and Robyn Wilson, owners of London's Bleeding Heart Restaurant Group and old friends of George Sandeman converted the building at No 20 St Swithins Lane into The Don Restaurant which justly won the award BMW/Square Meal Award for Best Restaurant in the City. In 2013 the Wilsons took on a much larger task, and, working closely with English Heritage and the City Conservation restored the adjoining building at No 21 St Swithins and its medieval cellar into The Sign of The Don Bar, Bistro and Private Dining Rooms. The Sign itself, a colourful glass image of the Don in his famous cape, was returned from Portugal and now hangs, unmissably, outside Number 21.

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of The Sign of The Don Bistro & Bar and other visitors
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Questions? Get answers from The Sign of The Don Bistro & Bar staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?

Staying in City of London

Neighborhood Profile
City of London
From its ancient past as a Roman trading outpost to its 21st century status as the wealthiest square mile in the world, the financial district known simply as “The City” is one of London's most historic and fascinating neighborhoods. Here high rise office towers such as Norman Foster’s Gherkin mingle with Roman ruins and architectural marvels from virtually every era in between, including Christopher Wren's glorious St.Paul's Cathedral, and John Soane's dauntingly classicist Bank of England. This neighborhood is also home to some of the finest restaurants and plushest hotels in Europe, in addition to an assortment of watering holes, upscale shops, and Tube stations. During the week, the City is abuzz with white collar workers going about their business; the weekend sees this area turn into a quiet haven for sightseers.
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