Places: Gordon’s Wine Bar, London

Weekday Wanderlust

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BEFORE P’S brother came to visit last July, he asked for London tips, and one of the places we recommended was Gordon’s Wine Bar on Villiers Street. We hadn’t even been yet, but we heard good things. Fast forward to nearly a year later, and we finally had the chance to stop by, although unintentionally. We happened to be passing through Covent Garden and Theatreland one Saturday in late May and saw the queue and realised it was for the outdoor terrace at Gordon’s. We ended up joining the queue, although in hindsight, should have come back on a weekday. It was Saturday, and the place was packed! After spending about thirty minutes in the queue, we were seated by lovely waitstaff and immediately ordered a glass of prosecco for me, freshly squeezed orange juice for P (still on his health kick). It was around 3:00pm and we were feeling peckish, so we ordered one of the sharing boards (the bar offers 15 different cheeses, along with charcuterie and vegetarian and vegan options). It was delicious. The vibe was really great too⏤all chill and chatty, with the odd dog here and there. We’ll definitely go back and sit inside, perhaps in the winter, as I had a quick peek and it’s all vaulted ceilings and candlelight with old oak barrels filled with sherries and port and walls covered with old photographs and newspaper clippings, bringing the past to the present. In other words, utterly charming.

A bit of history

Established in 1890, Gordon’s is thought to be London’s oldest wine bar. Located near Covent Garden and London’s Theatreland, it’s minutes away from Trafalgar Square between Charing Cross and Embankment stations. Angus ‘Staff’ Gordon, a Free Vintner, started Gordon’s as a wine shop and bar. Originally known as “Gordon’s Cafe and Oyster House”, it primarily served wine, spirits, and oysters. Gordon’s son took over after him, and his grandson after him (all three with the same name). Grandson Gordon worked at the bar for 3 years, then left to become an actor.

In 1972, Luis Gordon, the former chairman of a sherry shipping company, purchased Gordon’s from Angus Gordon. While also being a Gordon, he was of no relation to the previous owner. During the 30 years Luis owned Gordon’s, he preserved the bar’s original décor, as well the fine wines, old oak casks of port and sherry, the memorabilia and crusting walls. After Luis Gordon passed away in 2002, his wife Wendy took over, along with their eldest son Simon. Today, Gordon’s still has the romantic vaulted candlelit cellar (popular for dates) and old oak barrels filled with sherries and port, but the family has expanded onto Watergate Walk for outdoor seating under heated awnings for year round al fresco dining, which is where we ended up.

Roseline TIG Gordon's Wine Bar London
Life Lately: Pink Peonies, Sailboats on the Thames & more
Weekday Wanderlust | Places: Gordon's Wine Bar, London