One of the things I have always loved most about London is its diversity. Old, new, up-market, laid back, quirky, subdued... no matter what sort of mood you're in, you will always find something to suit it. One place that I have been to time and time again is Gordon's Wine Bar. This hidden gem is a down-to-earth establishment based in a genuine old wine cellar along the Embankment. The interior is cave-like and cosy, making it perfect for a date but is lively enough just to go for food and drinks after work with friends or colleagues. Being a home counties girl, I love the simplicity and rustic vibe that Gordon's Wine Bar offers; it tops that of any country pub I've ever been to!
Its popularity speaks for itself. No matter what time you go, you will more than likely find yourself sharing a table with others which, if you want complete privacy, isn't exactly ideal but I'm yet to come across anyone who has ever found this a problem. Lit by candlelight and with low, arched ceilings, maneuvering around the seating area can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you've got your hands full with wine (and why wouldn't you?!)
Throughout the year, there is outside seating which runs the length of Watergate Walk. It is lovely to sit here on Summer evenings but it gets just as busy as inside. We arrived at 6pm on a warm Spring evening but were forced to sit inside as the entire length of the outside terrace was rammed already! This outside area has its own grill menu permanently during Summer months and on selected days during Winter months. The drinks on offer are just the same though!
Speaking of drinks, this place really does do what it says on the tin. Wine (lots of it), sherry, Madeira and port is available in copious variety. Ask for a beer or a gin and you'll probably be laughed out the door!
Food wise, Gordon's Wine Bar keeps to its rustic concept, with down-to-earth prices to match (quite rare for central London)! The design is like a deli-bar. You can select cold plates (eg: smoked salmon, pork pie, scotch egg) with unlimited use of the salad bar, or you can opt for a hot meal which tends to alter on a regular basis. However, no wine bar would be complete without a cheese board and Gordon's does not fail to deliver! You can pick your fancy of numerous cheeses from behind the deli where generous portions are given, along with huge chunks of fresh bread and free reign of pickles and relishes. This really is back-to-basics stuff and I love it!
The staff here are amazing. Incredibly friendly and always seem calm despite the chaos that can occur during the busier hours. On this particular occasion, my partner in crime for the night ended up getting all her food for free due to the fact they'd run out of smoked salmon! She was quite happy to choose something else regardless but got the added bonus of a cheeky freebie alongside it.
Gordon's Wine Bar is a must. So easy to miss and yet so hard to ignore once it has been discovered. I'll see you there!