Top 10 restaurants in Wimbledon and further afield
Two weeks of Wimbledon doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be embarking on a fortnight of a strawberries and cream diet, there are plenty of fantastic dining options in SW19 and further afield for you to try.
By Oonagh Turner
1 The Ivy
Known as one of London’s most stylish spots, The Ivy has been frequented by the city’s well-heeled residents since the turn of the 20th century. In more recent years, the restaurant has branched out to the capital’s leafy suburbs, with Richmond and Wimbledon opening stylish cafes that mimic the art deco style of the original. The Ivy Café in Wimbledon Village sits on the corner and proudly greets its customers under a spectacular floral archway. Service is impeccable while the menu offers a wide selection of cuisine and a great selection on its a la carte menu.
2 The White Onion
This local French restaurant brings a taste of the continent to Wimbledon village. Visitors can expect distinctly French accents on the menu which features a range of extravagant starters, and mains including ballotine of rabbit, as well as duck magret. Ingredients is locally sourced and dishes freshly prepared, before being immaculately presented on the plate. In the summer months light floods the restaurant, pouring through the large glass windows that look out onto the bustling village streets.
3 Rick Stein
Along the river and further into the capital is the restaurant of famed seafood connoisseur, Rick Stein. Specialising in fresh seafood dishes inspired by the chef’s extensive globe-trotting, the restaurant is beautiful spot to visit, especially in the summer months when guests can soak up the views of the Thames tow path. There is a small seafood bar in the venue, where you can watch top chefs lovingly assembling platters of oysters and langoustines and a cocktail bar onsite where visitors can enjoy their favourite tipple rustled up by innovative bartender, Mr Lyan.
4 San Lorenzo
A cosy family-run Italian set to celebrate its 50th birthday next year, San Lorenzo has gained a solid support base over the years. Among its loyal customers are Italians who return time and time again for fond memories of home, Local Wimbledon residents who value the authentic dining experience on offer, and a host of famous faces including tennis stars. The menu consists of a pleasing selection of typically Italian antipasti, and an extensive selection of mains, with a host of pizza, pastas and risottos, as well as pan-roasted guinea fowl, seared and sliced entrcote in Robespierre sauce, and a selection of dishes that alternate according to season, including linguine with scotch lobster.
5 Chez Bruce
Michelin-starred restaurant Chez Bruce welcomes visitors with its bright and airy interior. The walls are white and the décor stripped back with the exception of bold prints of art on the walls. The Head Chef and Bruce Poole have collaborated closely for over a decade, and have combined their culinary imagination to produce a menu consisting of contemporary French cuisine. The restaurant’s specialities include homemade charcuterie, slow cooked braises, and classic French dishes like cote de boeuf and an expertly fine-tuned cheese board – which the chef claims to take very seriously indeed. The French cuisine is accompanied by carafes of carefully selected wines.
6 Basaba Eathai
Opt for the zingy fresh flavours of Thai cuisine by visiting Kingston’s Basaba Eathai. The menu features a range of south east Asian favourites, from songkhla beef slow-cooked with banana peppers in a red curry sauce, to the refreshing and unmistakable virant notes from a fresh Thai salad. The interior is typical for a Thai eatery, with low dark wooden tables, and the low lit room is evocative of traditional Thai restaurants. Its location makes it worth the trip, right on Kingston’s vibrant riverside and overlooking the beautiful historic Horse Fair bridge into the town.
Veer from Richmond’s beaten track and take a stroll along the river towpath and you’ll come to Gaucho, a fine dining restaurant serving Argentinean cuisine. At Gaucho, finely cooked steaks are prepared according to your taste and served alongside some beautifully heavy-bodied red wines straight from the high altitude vineyards in the Andes. The Wimbledon months are the ideal time to visit, when guests can make the most of the excellent alfresco area. Here the theme of the interior extends out of doors, with crisp white tablecloths and elegant seating under the shade of a beautiful big plain tree.
8 The Giggling Squid
This cosy Thai restaurant offers vibrant and colourful plates of delicious Thai food in the heart of Wimbledon Village. Visitors can enjoy classic Thai dishes in a tapas style or opt for generous sharing platters, as well as authentic stir fries accented with the typical Thai flavours of zingy lemongrass and warm ginger. The interior adds to the experience at the Giggling Squid, with a delicate pale green and muted purple colour scheme complemented by pretty floral displays.
9 Fire Stables
In the spirit of the great British sporting event, why not head to Wimbledon Village’s Fire Stables for a great British feast just moments away from the tennis arena? This much-loved restaurant is passionate about supporting local producers, with fresh and locally sourced food coming from independent fishermen, farmers and butchers. The main menu comprises of traditional meals like lamb chop and beer-battered cod, but Sunday is when Fire Stables is in its element, offering a range of roasts from Dorset roast lamb, to Wicks Manor pork Belly with Sirloin beef also on the menu with a tasty side of Yorkshire pudding, goose fat roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables and red wine gravy.
10 Fox & Grapes
If you’re after a classic pub affair, this 18th century pub overlooking the leafy grassland of Wimbledon Common will be sure to deliver. On the menu is a selection of continental cuisines, including Italian and Mediterranean dishes, but authentic British food takes centre stage, with beer battered fish and triple cooked chips, salt marsh lamb rump, and a great range from the grill including Chargrilled Black Angus bavette with truffle butter. The pub’s open plan set up makes it welcoming, airy and encourages a friendly and jovial atmosphere.