47 Villiers Street, London
Visited 21st July 2010
I arrived in London on a spectacular sunny afternoon, yet somehow found myself spending this beautiful, balmy evening sitting in a damp, old cellar. Sorry I’m making in sound worse than it is. Established on the present site in 1890, Gordon's is London’s oldest wine bar (and maybe the world's); it is one of the most atmospheric places around. Located between the river and Trafalgar Square, Gordon’s Wine Bar is better the deeper you go. We descended into the original cellar where trestle tables, old barrels and candles are the order of the day.
Booze not food is the priority here, yet amazingly for the UK no beer or spirits are served; it’s a wine only affair. Their selection is decent, and more about drinkability and value rather than rare, old or prestigious labels; which suits me just fine. They also have a good selection of Port, Sherry and Madeira, some even served from barrels. We got into the summer theme and enjoyed a couple of decent bottles of rose; one from Portugal, the other a pleasant Cotes de Provence, before trying the oh so fantastically named Fat Bastard Pinot Noir from the Languedoc. With all vino there’s a need for nourishment and foods not totally forgotten with a selection of cold cuts, cheese and antipasti. We gorged on a plate filled with generous hunks of cheddar, camembert and some tasty parma ham.
I had a fantastic evening at Gordon’s Wine Bar. The setting is one that’s so, so London; historic, old school and once inside difficult to determine what century you’re in. Yet modern wines, international snacks and friendly staff give the whole place an almost modern, vibrant feel. For London, which can very often be the city of big bills, Gordon’s offered pretty fair value; all the wines we drunk were under £20 and our massive plate of nibbles was only £11. I really loved Gordon's Wine Bar; my only complaint is that I didn’t bump into Sherlock Holmes.
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