‘No beer, no spirits’ said the sign

Pub of the Week – Well ‘Wine Bar of the Week’ really!

1066 Harold’s Way

Walking along the Embankment from Westminster, and approaching Charing Cross Station, it is worth taking the time to cross the road and walk part way over the Hungerford footbridge. There is a wonderful view along to Westminster from here and little has changed since Monet painted his View of Westminster in 1871– good for a photograph.

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Walk back down the steps of Hungerford Bridge and to the right is a tunnel, underneath the railway lines. It leads to the Embankment Gardens where we take a short detour left, up Villiers Street, towards The Strand and by Gordon’s Wine Bar, is The Watergate on the right.

Gordon’s Wine Bar, presumed to be the oldest wine bar in London, is well worth a visit and a delight to sit outside if the weather is good and you can find a table.

Gordon’s Wine Bar

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On the corner of Villiers Street and The Watergate, down the steps and it feels like a subterranean cave, nooks and crannies abound, small tables hidden away and a queue for cheese and the ‘jamón’.

‘No beer, no spirits’ said the sign

‘We are a wine bar’

It’s busy with tourists or workers, probably both.

Jam packed is closer to the truth, inside and out, and it’s 5 o’clock on a Friday night in the middle of November.

It is worth a look in if only for the atmosphere but perhaps not after a walk and you’re thirsty and you want somewhere to sit down.

Best to try it at lunch time when the sun is shining and the walk has just begun – just a taste of an older London.

It is worth the experience.

Walk

Afterwards, walk through the iron gate from Villiers Street and down the steps into what was once a wharf on the north bank of the river.

Into the park by the first gate and look back at the Watergate’s lost magnificence, marooned in the Embankment Gardens, a large and now useless memorial to the Dukes of Buckingham. Before the Embankment was built, the river was much wider and The Watergate, formerly the private wharf for York House, stood proud on the north bank of the Thames.

Walk through the Embankment Gardens and continue 1066 Harold’s Way to Greenwich or return along the Embankment to the tube and trains.

More information:

1066 Harold’s Way www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Gordon’s Wine Bar www.gordonswinebar.com

47 Villiers Street, London, WC2N 6NE Tel: 0207 930 1408

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