This wine bar may well be Cheltenham’s best kept secret. John Gordon’s has evolved from a wine shop into a sophisticated wine and whisky bar, wooing crowds with the staff’s spirited savior-faire and supply of delicious hot pies which go down a treat on the outside terrace on a winter evening.
Essentially John Gordons is a wine shop with some chairs, but its simplicity and knowledgeable staff make it a relaxed place where you can really enjoy a drink. The manager Dean hosts regular themed tasting evenings in the cellar downstairs, and can guide you through every kind of scotch and whisky imaginable.
The outside seating area is in the quaint 1830s Montpellier Arcade. In the summer you can sit and drink a chilled glass of white wine and look at the caryatid-lined classical street of Montpellier Walk – you could almost imagine that you are in Paris. In the winter you can still sit outside under the comfort of blankets and gas heaters with a whisky and pork pie.
There is live music at the weekend in the arcade under the twinkling carpet of fairy lights with candle lit tables. The shop is also open until late, so you can taste and choose wine to then take away. If you phone ahead they can arrange a tasting for you, or if you already know which one you like the most then they can stick your favourite one in the fridge.
The best asset is the staff – who really know their stuff. They have different beers on draught every month, and will happily let you taste them and teach you about all the different drinks. Their gin selection is also exceptional, and they serve their drinks in the simplest but most effective way possible – with a mixer on the rocks with no fuss.
Tasting classes cost around £35.00 per person, and the manager Dean also hosts a whisky club.
For more information head to their website.
John Gordons, 11 Montpellier Arcade, Montpellier, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 1SU