Follow the Don.

The Don is a classic City lunching spot at the heart of the Square Mile and provides an unrivalled combination of history and modernity, plus some of the City’s best food, wine and service.

But do you know where the name ‘The Don’ came from?

In 1805, the young Scottish entrepreneur George Sandeman took these premises as the headquarters for his newly established Sandeman Port Company. For almost 200 years Sandeman shipped their barrels of fortified wine from Oporto to blend and bottle them in the cellars below St Swithins Lane.

This iconic image – ‘The Don’ – the dramatic dark figure in Spanish hat and Portuguese student’s cape, holding a ruby glass and silhouetted against a yellowish-green background, it was designed in 1928 and painted by George Massiot-Brown (working for the Lochend Printing Co. in London). French artists were in vogue at the time and, perhaps camouflaging his Scots origins, he signed the poster as G. Massiot.

A symbol of Sandeman’s identity, the image entered the brand’s national advertising in 1930 and has been used on the labels since 1934. It soon inspired ‘Don’ figure decanters (the first were made by Royal Doulton in 1931) and before long shined in a new sign switched on in Piccadilly, in 1938. After appearing on the ‘Dry Don Port’ labels, in 1935, it started to be called ‘The Don’.

Possibly the first true wine logo, ‘The Don has been an essential part of Sandeman’s identity, and remains one of the most iconic trademark images in the wine world.