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Wimbledon and all that it entails – Murray mania, the threat of rain, and mass consumption of strawberries – is here again. Whether you’ve aced a spot courtside or are cheering on the Brits from Murray Mount, there’s plenty on offer for those who breach the confines of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. And if you’re out and about in the capital this fortnight, you’ll also find tennis-tastic restaurants getting into the spirit of the game.
Just down the road from the All England Club, this long-standing gastropub is well loved by Wimbledon Village’s moneyed inhabitants. The large bar offers real ales and a cracking wine list, and the menu is packed with crowd pleasers such as beef carpaccio with olive tapenade and tomato crisp, or seared salmon with crayfish-and-watercress salad.
Hibiscus’s Claude Bosi and his brother Cedric are behind this beauty on Wimbledon Common (pictured, left). Expect a proper pub bar with snacks, plus a sit-down menu of British pub classics – from pork pie with homemade piccalilli to lemon sole with brown shrimps and caper butter – all produced by a team that’s been cooking ground-breaking haute cuisine for years.
A serious asset to Wimbledon’s burgeoning independent restaurant scene, The Lawn Bistro (from ex-Bord’eaux chef Ollie Couillaud) specialises in big, bold flavours, from unctuously rich chicken-liver and foie-gras parfait to beautifully tender pig’s cheek with chorizo and smoked paprika. Couillaud’s Lawn Bakery next door is also a good shout for takeaway sweet treats.
A five-minute walk from Wimbledon Village, this bright, airy dining room offers well-executed European cooking (witness Picos Blue cheese with pickled walnuts, or poached haddock with mussels and tarragon). There’s a decent wine list, and a welcoming, neighbourly ambience – plus great-value set lunches.
An old-school Italian for Wimbledon’s longer-toothed residents, this branch of the San Lorenzo mini-chain deals in unhurried gentility. Book a table after the day’s play and indulge in old-fashioned classics such as deep-fried whitebait, excellent pizzas, or spaghetti with lobster – perhaps enjoyed alfresco in the pretty garden.
Quick, modern and stylish, this Scandi-influenced Japanese restaurant next to Wimbledon station is tailor-made for chic refuelling. The kitchen introduces the concept of sushi to those averse to the idea of raw fish: think skewers of asparagus and ham, or lamb kebabs bathed in herb butter, alongside maki and futomaki rolls.
Local Wimbledon haunt 40 The Hill is getting into the spirit of the tournament with a special menu of English classics. What’s more, diners who find a tennis ball strapped to the underside of their table will be treated to a complimentary dessert of strawberries and cream (of course).
Bluebird Chelsea is broadcasting all the Wimbledon action on giant screens live from its King’s Road terrace – which has been decorated with oversized tennis balls and green astroturf in honour of the occasion (see left). Come the men’s final, the restaurant will offer a summery set menu to accompany the match.
The Piccadilly branch of this high-end steak chain has created a pop-up centre court on Swallow Street that’s perfect for super-fans of summer tennis. Diners can work up an appetite on the custom-built tennis court before their meal, then choose from a special menu in the alfresco viewing area. Gaucho staff – dressed in tennis whites – will serve spectators Wimbledon-appropriate dishes including strawberry-and-Champagne sorbet.
Nobu Berkeley St will also be covering the games at Wimbledon. Guests at the bar can watch matches on the venue’s screens while dining from the restaurant’s a la carte menu or enjoying Japanese-style afternoon tea.
Kitchen 264 at The Collection is pulling out all the stops for the men’s final on 8 July. Guests can enjoy a complimentary strawberries-and-cream cocktail on arrival, before sitting down to a brunch fit for any star player. The big match will be shown on giant screens in the dining room.