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Gordon's Wine Bar (Bar)

Picture of Gordon's Wine Bar in West End, London

47 Villiers street, West End, London, WC2N 6NE
Cuisine: [Other/Unclassified]
Tel: 020 7930 1408 | Email to Gordon's Wine Bar | Transport: Embankment | Write review

Gordon's Wine Bar Review

It’s funny how life sometimes postpones destiny. I was always mean't to know Gordon’s: wine bars behind inconspicuous doorways, down stone stairwells are my cup of sherry. I should have met the French, Argentinean, even Indian wines on the Gordon List a year ago. But late tubes and unexpected meetings delayed the encounter until this week.

Descending those steps I come in full view of a miniscule space. But twisting past thick pillars, cellar arches and candlelit niches reveals quite a large area. All of which is full: people standing in coats chinking elegant glasses of red after a day’s work, couples squinting over the ample wine menu deliberating between glasses (£3) and bottles (£10-15), tables ordering tumblers of port or sherry (£3.60) straight from the barrels behind the bar counter. The walls are as busy as the bar. Paintings of distinguished-looking Manzanilla drinkers hang beside dusty Daily Herald covers. Photos of Kitchener and Churchill flank former owner, Luis Gordon, captured for posterity wearing a neckerchief and a wide grin.

Which is why I’m confused. There’s a Spanish bodega feel to the place and the name, Luis, sounds foreign but what about that picture of the Queen behind the bar? It turns out Gordon was Scottish (he died last year and his son ditched his accounting job to run the bar). He bought the bar from Arthur Gordon - no relation - and wine has been sold on the premises (which has housed Pepys and Kipling and been frequented by Sir Lawrence Olivier when the Players Theatre still existed opposite), since 1890 – making it the oldest wine bar in London.

Some wine bars demand pointed-little-finger formality. Not this one, so if you’re expecting a seat, be warned: the bar maid is attracting the attention of a booming-voiced Fino drinker who’s forgotten his change, by throwing an ice cube; a delighted and tipsy Glaswegian is doing the rounds of the bar’s clientele which has got younger throughout the evening, and I’m helping myself to cheese from a new acquaintance’s substantial ploughman’s dinner (£6). If you like a place where you can strike up conversations with strangers while enjoying quality wine and food don’t just wait for fate to bring you to Gordon’s. Come on down, now!
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Customer Reviews for Gordon's Wine Bar

Average (based on 3 votes): 3 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Gordon's Wine Bar.

“Loved it!!!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Lovelylulu, Mattoon,Il (3 years 1 months 11 days ago)

“This is a wine bar for lovers. The amount of people I see snogging in the shadows down in the gritty, grimy, low-ceiling cellar only reinforces my faith in love in London. Grab a lovely bottle of red, snaffle a ramshackle wooden table in the cave, light a candle, and get smooching. First dates, blind dates, any kind of dates, it's all about the amour. Recommend grabbing a cheese platter too.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
The Restaurant Hunter, London (5 years 10 months 14 days ago)

“Gordon’s is a bit of an institution. Once you’ve found the entrance and gone down the steep stairs you come into a vaulted cellar usually packed with punters sat at various tables and chairs of all shapes and sizes. The focus here is on wine (well it’s full name is Gordon’s Wine Bar after all); the list is extensive and includes fortified wines. They also have what looks to be a simple but good food menu. This is a great place for meeting, eating and drinking with friends.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
annab, London (15 years 3 months ago)

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