Gordon’s Winebar Embankment – A Dickensian Retreat
Covet a cove inside Gordon’s Wine Bar ‘s cozy underground wine cellar which is one of the best and oldest pubs in London.
Gordon’s Embankment is one of the most idiosyncratic drinking holes in town; its darkened alcoves a world away from your average pub interior. Eschewing the trendy designer lights of the stereotypical Covent Garden wine bar, yellowing newspapers from yesteryear adorn the walls, and candles plugged into dusty wine bottles provide the illumination. If Miss Haversham was in the licensing trade, this could have been the result. The bar has many associations with the literary and theatrical fields. In the room overhead Rudyard Kipling wrote ‘The Light That Failed’ and both he and Chesterton wrote some of their works in the little parlour of the Wine Bar. Previously the original Player’s Theatre stood almost directly opposite, and the bar was (and of course still is) patronised by many illustrious thespians.
Gordon’s Wine Bar is thought to be the oldest wine bar in London having been established in 1890. Gordon’s wine bar history is very much a family affair, owned by Wendy Gordon who is the wife of the late much loved Luis Gordon, and now overseen by Luis’ eldest son Simon. They have maintained the original décor and sell only wine, whilst providing traditional and well-priced items to nibble at on the wine bar menu. The bar still appeals to a wide range of ages: drawing in green-eared vino enthusiasts and seasoned regulars in their 80s. The aforementioned newspapers brushed across the walls make quite the impression upon entering, especially when paired with the faded memorabilia that dust the wooded surfaces that run throughout Gordon’s Bar London. The cellar is the absolute pinnacle of the bar: the required stooping to reach the rickety candlelit table within makes the privilege of being hidden from the rest of the world even more immersive. On sunnier days the outdoor seating area by Watergate Walk is a must for those who enjoy both sculpted nature and people watching, and is near enough to be considered both the eminent wine bar near Charing Cross. Gordon wine bar charing cross is incredible value.
Arthur ‘Staff’ Gordon, the previous owner of the bar, was one of the few remaining ‘free vintners’ who were able to set up and sell wines anywhere without applying for a license as a result of Edward III’s Charter to them in 1364 – granted as a result of Edward’s financial embarrassment at being unable to repay a loan made by the vintners to him some years earlier. Gordons London is certainly one, if not the absolute, oldest pub in London.esfllhlshGordon wine may be found at the best of these wine bars in covent garden.
As for the choice of drinks, a wide range of both old and new world wines are available, though port or sherry (decanted from barrels above the bar) often feels the most appropriate tipple. The award winning wine list is varied and full of interesting wines at very reasonable prices. Sherries and ports are served from the barrel. Food comes in proper portions ranging from homemade pies to wonderfully mature cheeses.
When Gordon’s Wine Bar first opened, talk over the claret or hock might have turned to Van Gogh’s death, Tchaikovsky’s new ballet or the opening of the Forth Bridge. More than 120 years down the line, it’s remarkable that this bar is still going strong. Crepuscular, candlelit cellars will appeal to those who value raffish character above clean-lined corporate clones, so do adhere to the implied dress code to get the most out of your anachronistic London wine. Go to embankment pubs to try gordons wine in Gordon bar; sounds obvious but this is the route to take. Gordons Embankment is swirl fantastic down the drain apart from the saffron fox fur in high heels whispering shut up, Dave.
Gordon’s Wine Bar Embankment is located at 47 Villiers Street London, WC2 6NE
Gordons London Opening Hours: daily from 11am-11pm