Gordon’s Wine Bar

Gordon’s Wine Bar is a London institution, but one that I have only belatedly discovered. My friend Sully has been singing its praises for years but it was not until last weekend that he finally convinced me to go there. You enter Gordon’s down a steep, rickety set of steps off Villiers street and arrive in a cramped cellar with vaulted ceilings. The brick walls are black from candle smoke and who knows what else and the ceilings are so low that you have to duck your head but it is all terribly atmospheric. Candles flicker on the rickety tables and couples canoodle in the corners. Faded newspaper front pages from Queen Elizabeth’s marriage and other major events are framed on the walls, although these must be relatively recent additions as Gordon’s claims to be the oldest wine bar in London with an establishment date of 1890.
Gordon’s adopts a dictatorial approach which I instantly loved. There is a sign behind the bar which reads “We don’t serve beer or spirits. We are a wine bar.” The wine list has a host of options by the glass or by the bottle and there are also serious barrels of port behind the bar. We chose a bottle of Chianti for around £18 and the cheese board was an incredibly barginous £11.25 for a choice of three cheeses, bread, pickled onions and cornichons. You just specify to the bar staff whether you want hard cheese, blue cheese, cheddar etc. There are also some hot food options and other goodies like pork pies and scotch eggs.
Cheese board at Gordon’s
Gordon’s can get incredibly hot and packed and probably has serious health and safety issues with those low ceilings and lack of exits. It is great fun though and I can’t believe I waited so long to try it out.
Details: Gordon’s Wine Bar, 47 Villiers Street, Charing Cross WC2 6NE (Ph 020 7930 1408) Tube: Embankment
Damage: Reasonable
If you liked reading this you might be interested in my post on other great wine bars in London at Vinoteca and Brawn.

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  1. My bf is recently in UK, at our place we have a lounge that seems very similar to Gordon’s Wine Bar but as I’m not in UK right now so I’ll ask him to visit this place as he loves wine.

  2. I love gordon’s!!! And yes a wine bar is a wine bar!!! How great is that in a city of pubs!!! x LondonZest

  3. this was my first bar in London: right near my old campus king’s college london . love it, great place to socialize and the heaters outside make it wonderful during the winter months..!

  4. It sounds like there is lots of atmosphere there!

  5. Oh I was told about this and never figured out where it actually was! Looks great, very useful post this is 🙂

  6. We went in there for the first time yesterday! Can’t wait to go back- though The Hungry One nearly clocked himself on the low ceilings. It’s a place that was built for people my height.

  7. I love Gordon’s, have been in and out for years now, but never seem to have blogged about it. No idea why.
    I am so thankful for the anti-smoking law, as you can breath fresh air) of sorts) now.

  8. I have been meaning to go here for years and to blog about it. Reading your post has made this a definite “to do within the next month” thing!

  9. Deepali – Let me know what he thinks if he makes it there

    Emily – Exactly – something quite different

    Lorraine – It has atmosphere in spades

    Campari & Soda – It seems like a great winter place – so cozy inside

    Ute – I was the same as you – could not quite work out where it was

    Tori – Ha Ha I can imagine that – I am pretty short as well so works fine for me

    Mzungu – I can imagine it would have been pretty hard to breathe in there in the smoking days…

    LondonRob – Was on my list for years as well!

  10. Love Gordons Wine Bar. A real hidden gem in London. I remember the first time I visited and it absolutely blew me away, a packed subterranean cavern I’d been walking past for years but never knew about. Had some good times sitting outside in the terrace area as well.

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