London: Gordon’s Wine Bar
Get There: 47 Villiers Street, London WC2N 6NE
Cost: House wine (which is all you can afford): £18.40 per bottle, £5.10 per glass
Open: 11am – 11pm
If you enjoy a sneaky glass of wine or two, and if you enjoy drinking said wine in a 19th-century subterranean venue surrounded by candles, then Gordon’s Wine Bar is the place for you. Established in 1890 and still going strong, this is a quintessential London venue in which to wet your whistle. It’s steeped in history yet still coveted by the cool kids for the array of wine on offer and the atmosphere of Dickensian splendour you find yourself in. Be wary – after work and weekends, this place is more packed than a peak-hour tube ride and just as sweaty, especially when the sun is shining. The crowds will be desperate to drink away the deep cloud of depression that permanent grey weather imposes, drinking wine by the gallon and spilling out onto the adjacent cobbled alleyway when it becomes too hot inside. This is the perfect venue for some delicious vino and an opportunity to imagine what it would have been like to drink in 19th century London, before the advent of electricity and the Facebook check-in of course.
Hobo Tip: Take care climbing the stairs to the bathroom; after one too many house wines, those steep steps will pose a bigger challenge than deciding what kebab to have on the way home.