Party Earth Review Situated on a busy street just minutes from Trafalgar Square, Gordon’s Wine Bar is said to be one of the oldest wine bars in the world and a former haunt of luminaries like Rudyard Kipling and Sir Laurence Olivier. Despite... ... read full review
47 Villiers Street
London WC2N 6NE
Bakerloo, Circle, District, Northern Lines: Embankment
020 7930 1408
M–Sa 11am–11pm, Su noon–10pm
Covent Garden / Soho, London –
Situated on a busy street just minutes from Trafalgar Square, Gordon’s Wine Bar is said to be one of the oldest wine bars in the world and a former haunt of luminaries like Rudyard Kipling and Sir Laurence Olivier.
Despite its historic prestige and old-timey feel, the wine-only bar remains popular among young vino connoisseurs, local business people, and tourists who pop in for Spanish reds, Argentinean whites, and a selection of sherries poured straight from the barrel.
As oenophiles enter the bar, they’re met by a food counter that includes a selection of cold meats, scotch eggs, and aged cheeses, as well as a small wood-paneled bar peppered with vintage advertisements and crowded with throngs of theatergoers and businessmen jostling for a seat.
While those in search of a smoke or a little fresh air head out to the patio, drinkers who prefer romantic warmth to London’s nighttime chill lead their dates through a tiny curved doorway into a dimly lit cellar, certainly the bar’s most remarkable space.
Full of flickering candles, rickety tables, and calcified stone walls carved into a half-barrel arch, the low-ceilinged cavern is said to be where Kipling penned his novel The Light that Failed – a title perhaps inspired by the dim but delightful cellar itself.
A family-owned venue that refuses to change with the times, Gordon’s Wine Bar has maintained its traditional décor and centuries-old cellar, offering a dusty testament to the idea that old-world charm, fine wine, and good company are infinitely more important than modern accoutrements.
Tourists, theatergoers, commuters, business people, and couples, 20s to 40s+.
Cheeses, breads, cold meats, and patés. Hot food served in the bar noon–3pm. Barbecue served everyday on the terrace starting when it warms up in the spring until the first chill in the fall. Heated terrace in the winter.
Bar snacks £2–£8, entrées £9–£12, cheese sharing plates £8–£12, sandwiches £3.50–£5. Wine £4–£6/glass or £15–£40+/bottle, sparkling wine £6–£12/glass or £21–£54/bottle, sherry and port £4–£14/glass or £22–£80/bottle.
Upscale casual: jeans, button-downs, sneakers, blazers, chic blouses, office attire.
Weeknights for a buzzing post-office scene, or weekend afternoons to settle in on the terrace and enjoy the barbecue.
Albannach (66 Trafalgar Square) is a lively Scottish bar serving a substantial whiskey list.