As we head into high summer all thoughts turn to Wimbledon. It’s not a suburb, fair to say, which would ever have found fame with its cuisine, but over the years things have improved with the addition of The White Onion (from the folks behind The French Table), The Ivy Café, Dip & Flip and Franco Manca. Although notably the area lost Suk Saran last year (RIP). Here’s our guide to Wimbledon’s top eateries, plus some fun tennis-themed food and drink available elsewhere…
Close to the action…
“This really could be it for Wimbledon finally cracking fine dining!” – Eric and Sarah Guignard’s yearling is “just as good as its Surbiton sibling” (French Table) and brings “classic French cuisine plus a few surprise choices” to this perennially underserved ’burb. On the downside, “service is friendly but can be unfocused, the place can lack a little buzz” and the food “OK, but too fussy and overcomplicated”. Top Tip – “impressive set lunch”.
And especially for the duration of Wimbledon they are serving up a very different sort of tennis ball. It’s strawberry ganache filled with lemon curd sponge and served on a white chocolate shell ‘court’ filled. £8.20.
“Hooray, Wimbledon now has an Ivy!” – and Marylebone too, has a “busy and bustling” branch of this spin-off chain. But whereas many fans do find them “fun” and “attractive”, they are also crowded and “quite expensive”, with comfort food that’s arguably “not much better than at Côte” (Richard Caring’s other successfully rolled out money-spinner of recent years).
This burger concept – with gravy, and a kitchen roll instead of forks – is hailed by locals as a “tremendous addition to the food scene” in southwest London, where it’s grown fast (Battersea, Wimbledon, Tooting and Brixton). But not everyone is a convert: “where do the good reviews come from? Too many people are squashed into a tiny place, and the food’s unexciting”.
“Who knew a chain could do such great pizza?!” – their “slightly chewy”, but thin, fresh and “so-darn-tasty” wood-fired, sourdough crusts (plus “a few simple toppings packed with flavour”) help maintain surprisingly high ratings for this VC-backed brand. Branches are “chaotic and noisy”but “for such authentic quality they still offer amazing value”.
This “romantic” and “plush” venue on the edge of Wimbledon Common, nowadays part of the Hotel du Vin group, offers dining in its bistro or Orangerie. Opinion is split on the experience, ranging from “very enjoyable” to “terrible”.
“A strange but pleasant mix of Denmark and Japan” – this “fun and buzzy” Danish chain puts a Scandi twist on sushi and yakitori and results from the “bewilderingly long menu” are “beautifully presented and delicious” (if “not cheap”). The original, “aircraft-hangar-sized” branch near Wimbledon Tube remains the best known.
Worth the short trip…
This “not-so-easy-to-find Japanese” is a “real surprise to discover tucked away in Raynes Park”. It’s a “modest venue, but the food has always been really top notch – worthy of a more central location”: “very good sushi and sashimi”, and the prices are “reasonable”.
This summery combination of strawberry panna cotta, fresh strawberries, Chantilly cream, meringue, and strawberry foam is available at the group’s Canary Wharf branch.
Available on the dinner menu 10-14 July
Or how about trying the dessert for the Wimbledon Banquet? Selin Kiazim wowed judges on the Great British Menu with her Vanilla mahellebi topped with peach and raspberry jelly, peach sorbet with caramelised almond filo shard, raspberry and rose sauce, served with a peach and rose bellini.
Yet another tennis-balled shaped sweet treat to enjoy during the Championship. This white chocolate tennis ball, filled with vanilla and mascarpone cream and English strawberry confit, is available in the hotel lounge.
Take in “fabulous views of the Thames and London skyline” as you dine at The Swan, and top off your meal with this Wimbledon-themed delight. The restaurant’s new exec chef Allan Pickett (previously of Piquet, RIP) has introduced a new seasonal dessert, set buttermilk cream & poached early Kent strawberries.
Until 16 July, Mon-Sat 2.30-5.30 pm
St James’s wonderfully old school Italian will serve up an al fresco afternoon tea on its very own tennis lawn on Jermyn Street during this year’s championship. Enjoy traditional scones, finger sandwiches, and tea or coffee, as well as some delightful Wimbledon-themed pastries and cakes. There’s the chocolate racket, pistachio tennis court sponge cake with pistachio mousse and mini tennis ball tartlets with raspberry crémeux. Add unlimited Pimms to your afternoon tea for an additional £12 per person.
Toast the summer with this Wimbledon-inspired cocktail at Scarfes Bar in Holborn’s Rosewood London hotel. Created in partnership with Lanson, the official sponsor of Wimbledon, this refreshing beverage is a mix of sweet strawberry shrub, crisp gin, Lanson Green Label Organic Champagne and rich pistachio foam.