Family Ties

It’s still quite a novelty for me to be living in a country with family members and so Friday evening saw me meeting up with my second cousin (or cousin once removed?) and my sister for drinks at Gordon’s Wine Bar.

Heading down the hill towards Embankment, Gordon’s is what we’d describe in LA as a hole in the wall. It’s easy to miss but head on down the stairs and you end up in what was originally a wine cellar. A bit of a London institution, Gordon’s is the oldest wine bar in London (established in 1890 according to the website

A London Institution

Arriving at 5:30pm we were lucky as it wasn’t full and we were able to get our first round in without having to queue or battle our way to the bar. We headed outside and managed to share a table alongside the Embankment Gardens.

Arriving a few minutes later, my sister went off in search of a beer. It’s typical of my sister that she’d go to a wine bar and fancy a beer! Gordon’s Wine Bar is surprisingly, a wine bar, the name says it all. She returned with a glass of wine and a selection of nuts and olives.

Early Friday evening in London is a fantastic atmosphere. People pour out of their offices, pour into the pubs and then literally pour on to the pavements. After a week of heavy showers, the rain obligingly held off and we enjoyed sitting outside in the early evening light despite the helicopters overhead (a little touch of Venice Beach) thanks to a man on Tottenham Court Road who’d had a bit of a wobble.

No, it wasn’t this sunny

Heading in to buy the second round, things had changed. Gordon’s was wall-to-wall with people and having finally elbowed my way to the bar, I was then faced with the challenge of how to carry three full wine glasses through a crowd of people without spilling them. Walking slowly with lots of apologies and amazingly, only a little bit of swearing, I finally made it back to the table with only minor spillage so job well done. I’d taken the precaution of leaving my beige trench coat at the table, somehow three glasses of wine and a freshly dry cleaned Agnes B trench felt incompatible. Good thinking as it turned out.

Conversation was entertaining and included the following topics: my online dating adventures and whether it’s a good idea to go on a practice date in anticipation of a potentially good date; the redesign of my cousin’s kitchen as done by my sister and how outrageous it is for someone to ask you to take a salad to a party on the tube. We covered it all and had a good laugh, just don’t expect a salad from any of us.

Finishing up our second round, it was time to make a move. We headed back to Charing Cross where my cousin went south to Croydon, my sister went west to Paddington to go back to Exeter and I headed north to Chalk Farm. It was an ideal meeting place and a repeat visit is definitely in order.

And so begins another weekend!

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