Gordon’s Wine Bar – London’s oldest wine bar

By Andrada Costoiu

Where to find it: 47 Villiers Street, London WC2N 6NE, England

On a Sunday during my stay in London, my good friends took me to a bar: Gordon’s Wine Bar.I really liked it so I’m sharing it with you, in case you’re in town and would like the experience….

This is an underground bar that it was opened in 1890. It’s the oldest wine bar in London and they sell only wine. They also have a food bar, where you can choose from different cheeses, homemade pies, meats and other cold eats.

These eggs have a name…..I forgot what they’re called!

The selection of wine is awesome, but what I liked the most it is the bar itself, the way it looks, the way it feels being in there. The owners have maintained the original décor! You will go in by descending some stairs; the bar is underground (there is also outside seating during the summer). Once you get in you will feel like you’re going back in time, the walls are all wood and brick and they’re covered in old historical newspaper cuttings and memorabilia. It is dark and there are candles on the tables….

Old “news” about the royal family, pictures of young Queen Elizabeth and many stories cover the walls. And all the war décor has faded with time…

The bar started in 1890, but the building where the bar is situated is a lot older and it has a history!  The building was known by various names: the York House, 14 Buckingham Street, 19 Villiers Street and then Louis Gordon.

Many personalities dwelled here at different times! Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex was one of them. He was a favorite of Queen Elizabeth I; they actually had a love affair while Elizabeth was 53 and he was still in his teens! Unfortunately his life ended too early, he was decapitated at the Tower of London when we was only 35 because he lead a coup d’etat against the government. 

The house was burnt down and rebuilt in mid 1680s. If you’re interested in the timeline of this house here is a link where you can find out more : History of Gordon Bar house.

And you know who else lived here? Rudyard Kipling!!! The author of Jungle Book! He lived in this building in the 1890’s as a tenant. I didn’t see anything about him in the bar, no dancing bear….no Bare necessities song :-).

Anyway, if you’re in London, this is a nice place and is worth checking it out!


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