Eye-catching fine wine storage for London’s new bistro in historic Sandeman building
The Sign of The Don, the City of London’s new bistro near Bank, is justly proud of its award-winning wine list of more than 400 wines and champagnes. As you’d expect, given the location, it has discerning and knowledgeable customers, so wine storage is critical. To ensure it stays in the best possible condition the Sign of The Don has installed five Williams Wine Towers, each storing up to 150 bottles.
Located on the site of the original Sandeman port and sherry cellar, The Sign of The Don has a main bar restaurant, where the first of the Wine Towers is located, then a downstairs area and a wine tasting room, each housing two Towers.
“We worked with English Heritage on the site,” says Robyn Wilson who, with husband Robert, owns the Bleeding Heart restaurant group, which includes The Sign of The Don and the adjacent The Don restaurant. “It is packed with history – Sandeman set up here in 1798, but there was already a medieval cellar, it’s a fabulous site. When we opened for business, the Lord Mayor of London came to do the honours.
“Our audience is very wine-savvy. They know what temperature their wine should be served at. It has to be perfect. The Williams Wine Towers are very good, they keep the temperature just right.”
Performance is critical but it wasn’t the only buying criteria. The Wine Towers are front of house: “It’s all about showing off the wine,” says Robyn. “They are stylish, clean and elegant. They’re doing a wonderful job.”
Williams Wine Towers at The Sign of The Don
The Wine Towers were specified and installed by Court Catering Equipment, who has worked with Robyn and Robert for many years. “We saw the Williams Wine Towers at the Host Show in Milan and were very impressed by the build quality,” says Court Catering Equipment managing director Nick Howe. “When this project came up they were a natural fit.”
The Towers are all 3 metres high by 1.5 wide. Two have glass sides all round and three have stainless steel backs, to go against the wall. Four are connected to remote refrigeration, whilst the fifth uses its integral system.
Building structural issues meant that the plans had to be changed and the Wine Towers, which were originally due to be sited in the main area, had to be moved into the downstairs area and tasting room. “It’s actually worked out really well and, when full and illuminated, they look fantastic,” says Nick.
The Towers’ temperatures can be adjusted from 5 to 16°C. The range is available in a choice of sizes and a wide array of stainless steel and metal finishes, while the full length glass sides can be opaque, tinted or illuminated, to offer all round style and clean lines. Low energy LED lighting provides a bright clear display and is fully adjustable, offering colour and tonal changes to suit the required ambience.
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