Where to eat and drink during The Wimbledon Tennis Championship 2013 - As the tennis fans of the world gather in south west London to watch Rafal Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, and our boy Andy Murray take on the world’s best tennis players, they bring with them many hungry bellies and thirsty mouths. This Fluid London guide plays the full court of drinking and dining options in and around Wimbledon Village SW19. Many of the Wimbledon pubs and restaurants that we champion can be booked directly, so if you're lucky enough to have tickets to centre court at Wimbledon (or any court for that matter), you have two whole weeks to enjoy Wimbledon’s best pubs and restaurants.
Image courtesy of Flickr user alphababy.
San Lorenzo Fuoriporta
Wimbledon / Restaurant / Cuisine: Italian
There is probably no other restaurant more suited to tennis fans than this quaint Italian on Wimbledon Hill Road. Why? Because nearly every Wimbledon Champion since the 60s has eaten here, that's why. Roll off names such as Boris Becker, André Agassi, Arantxa Sanchez, Gabriella Sabatini, Pat Rafter, Pete Sampras, and Martina Navratilova and you begin to see why it has become a popular restaurant during the Championships. Of the recent crop of tennis talent, Sharapova, Henin, Roddick, Clijsters, Murray, and both Williams sisters have all wined and dined here. If that isn't recommendation enough, we don't know what is.
The Fox and Grapes
Wimbledon / Bar / Cuisine: Pub
Two French brothers, Claude and Cedric Bosi - the former, a double Michelin starred chef at Mayfair's Hibiscus restaurant - established this country pub on the fringes of Wimbledon Common. The menu provides traditional, hearty British cuisine to tennis fans (and non-tennis fans alike), using, you've guessed it, local and seasonal produce; so expect the likes of pork belly made with Herefordshire cider and stuffed apple. As this is a fully operational pub, ales and beers are available, naturally. Much like a Murray-Tsonga Wimbledon final, this place has the finesse of the French yet with a strong British backbone.
The Lawn Bistro
Wimbledon / Restaurant / Cuisine: Brasserie
If you've heard of, or even had the pleasure of dining at, top London restaurants such as Chez Bruce in Wandsworth, La Trompette in Chiswick, The Square Mayfair and Tom's Kitchen in Chelsea, you'll know exactly what it takes to reach Michelin star standard. French chef, Ollie Couillaud, has worked in the kitchens of each of these restaurants previously, and The Lawn Bistro on Wimbledon Village High Street (walking distance from the courts) is his venture, alongside restaurateur Akbar Ashurov. Relaxed, stylish, and with a flashes of European brilliance on its menu, this restaurant plays well with Spanish, French and British flavours. So Nadal, Murray, Tsonga and Ferrer will all be happy then.
The Dog and Fox
Wimbledon / Bar / Cuisine: British
This large Youngs pub at the top of Wimbledon Village High Street is the biggest in Wimbledon and, as such, draws a big, vibrant, tennis-loving crowd of locals and away-from-home guests. The impressive stats from previous years during the Wimbledon tournament have seen 25,000 pints, 3700 BBQ burgers, 300kg of strawberries, and 9500 glasses of sparkling sold on site in just two weeks. The fact that every single tennis match is shown on 5 big screen TVs could have something to do with it. If you want an atmosphere and a special Wimbledon menu that includes 21-day aged West Country ribeye steak and a selection of British cheeses, get booking.
Wimbledon / Restaurant / Cuisine: Mediterranean
The Orangerie at Cannizaro House - the beautiful 18th century boutique mansion house up on Wimbledon Common - had a multi-million pound restoration in 2013. The Orangerie restaurant is a style-rich al fresco conservatory offering the best in artisan Mediterranean cuisine, including charcuterie and cheeses, alongside coastal freshly shucked oysters and daily planchas available on the seasonal menu. The food is sourced by a 3rd generation, local, Sardinian supplier, who provides the charcuterie and cheeses from small producers in mainland Italy and Sardinia.
Wimbledon / Restaurant / Cuisine: French
Yes, we?ve added Cafe Rouge to our top tennis-related list because not every dining experience in Wimbledon needs to be new, or unusual, or Michelin quality, or, indeed, astronomically expensive. Sometimes we tennis fans just want familiarity. We want simple French cuisine that fills a yawning gap in our hungry, weary, tennis-mad bellies, and less of the fuss and ?je ne sais quoi? merci very much. As chain restaurants go, Cafe Rouge is possibly our favourite, because even though it?ll never give a mind-blowing performance of Federer proportions, it rarely disappoints us with its variety and Frenchness.
Henry J Beans
Wimbledon / Restaurant / Cuisine: American
With a more contemporary design than some of the older Henry J Beans in London (whilst retaining the charm that you'd expect from any Beans bar) this restaurant is one of Wimbledon's top cocktail bar and grills. The bartenders take mixology seriously, and utilises an wide range of cocktails and spirits. On a Fridays and Saturdays, Henry J Bean's turns into the biggest party venues in Wimbledon with some of London's top DJs spinning the funkiest indie, disco and house dance floor fillers! One for the the more spritely tennis fan, this one.
Wimbledon / Restaurant / Cuisine: Chinese
This popular Chinese restaurant is walking distance from the main transport hub of Wimbledon station. The elegant restaurant has a lively atmosphere and dinner guests can enjoy authentic Chinese cuisine and a spot of karaoke as well if they feel up for it. The spacious contemporary interior features dark wood furnishings, Chinese lanterns and finely dressed tables, and a sleek, modern bar offers a good range of cocktails, fine wine and beer. Booking is advisable, especially during the Wimbledon tennis championships.
Lambourne Bar and Grill
Wimbledon / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Steak House
A truly stylish yet relaxed bar and restaurant for eating, drinking and having a good time, Lambourne Bar and Grill is one of the best and most vibrant restaurants in Wimbledon, offering great drinks, fresh food, passionate chefs, friendly service and a memorable experience. The cuisine is a seasonal mix of pub classics and restaurant-style dishes, with something to suit every taste, prepared in the open kitchen. There is a great range of dishes on the menu and the Bar also serves the very best drinks. A fair walk from tennis HQ so grab a taxi or make friends with a local (who has a car).
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