The Fox & Grapes 1

9 Camp Road , London, SW19 4UN

10 reviews

32 Gastropub Wimbledon Merton

The Fox & Grapes

SquareMeal Review of The Fox & Grapes

Still delivering ‘good food and a buzzy atmosphere’, The Fox and Grapes was originally the brainchild of two-Michelin-starred Hibiscus hero Claude Bosi, who continues to consult on the pub’s menu. Head chef Andrew Jones takes a minimalist approach, with Denmark’s world-beating restaurant Noma cited as a key inspiration. Jones’ ethos translates into high quality, unfussy staples such as beer-battered haddock with triple-cooked chips, Yorkshire grouse with grilled celeriac, muscat grapes and damson syrup, or tortellini stuffed with hay-baked pumpkin, onion, wild mushroom and ricotta. Despite these gastro trappings, the Fox and Grapes is still a proper boozer with barstools, real ales and Sunday roasts with all the trimmings – plus barn-like acoustics, bare tables and a rollicking, noisy crowd. Behind the bar, expect a choice of craft beers alongside the usual suspects on tap, as well as a seasonal cocktail menu and a varied wine list, organised by area with Berry Brothers & Rudd on consulting duties.

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6.2

Food & Drink: 5.9

Service: 6.7

Atmosphere: 7.2

Value: 5.0

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

GH platinum reviewer 27 April 2014

Great pub near Wimbledon Common. Good food, buzzy atmosphere. Wonderful service. Dogs allowed- my friends dog threw up and the staff cleaned it up- no fuss.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 0.0

Henna H. 05 August 2013

We visited on a Sunday for lunch, the choice of mains was 2 fish dishes, 1 vegetarian option, and 3 roast options. I ordered roast beef and can only describe my meal as mediocre at best, and for the price (£20) I would have expected far better quality. The beef was in thick slices with a generous helping of fat in each slice, it did not scream high quality. The roast potatoes had clearly been made some time in advance and tasted as though they had been kept heated for too long, the result was not fluffy roast potatoes with a crisp outside, but rather dry and simply not very good. The gravy was thin and lacked flavour, it had also been added quite sparingly which made the whole plate rather dry. Service was average, it would have been nice if someone checked on us after serving the meal to check whether everything was ok, and I would have thought it was normal practice to ask the diner whether they wanted any sauces/condiments with their meal once it had been served but this did not happen either. If this was an average pub with average prices then the meal may have been acceptable, but particularly given the price I felt the need to write a review. Perhaps the food outside of the Sunday menu is better, but overall I found the whole thing quite disappointing and would advise people to go elsewhere. The location is excellent, but sadly this was the best thing about the whole experience.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 2.0

Cat W. 16 July 2012

On a mountain bike jaunt through Richmond Park & Wimbledon Common we had decided in advance that our fuel stop would be the Fox & Grapes, situated as it is slap bang in the middle of the common. But more than that I in particular was very excited to dine at this Bosi run gastropub. We were very muddy on arrival but that didn't phase the staff too much (except for a little bit of an up and down look from the day's manager / head waiter) and we were seated and quickly offered a drink. I started with the wild boar scotch egg.. it came with a scattering of salt on the plate but nothing to dip into although mustard was offered (English). The scotch egg was nice enough, runny yolk, crisp brown panko breadcrumbs but it didn't wow me at all and in fact I felt the sausage meat was a tad under seasoned. At £4.50 I kind of wanted to be wowed – even the Hind's Head scotch egg is only £3.75. Mains followed and I had the wild rabbit & crayfish pie with buttered Jersey Royals. I did enjoy the pie – the filling was richly gamey but I felt that there was not quite enough of it (breaking through the pastry lid there was a good inch and a half fall to the half inch layer of filling) and it needed a bit more moisture. The pastry was also underwhelming: a bit bland. I remarked to my companion that surely the point to a pie is in the pastry, and this added nothing to the whole at all which was a shame. My partner had, I think, I can't quite remember, the lamb rump. This was a very generous portion, served very pink as they had advised on ordering. It was very nice indeed. I didn't taste the sauce as it had cucumber in it, which I can't abide, but it was pale with spring (or summer) veg and mint. It seemed quite well received. We didn't have dessert as were continuing on the bikes although a banana and peanut butter concoction caught my eye. All in all it was a pleasant enough lunch but at these prices (£91 for 2 people: 1 coke, 2 halves of Meantime, 2 glasses of wine, 1 scotch egg and 2 mains) I was expecting a lot more.

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 1.0

Fredrik N. 13 February 2012

Uninspired food with little of no finess. Service distinctly slow and quite arrogant. Worst of all was that we were served uncooked chicken twice! Would not recommend to anyone who has any understanding of good food.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 2.0

Ben A. 10 February 2012

I took my family for a birthday dinner and had an excellent evening. The room is spacious and atmosphere excellent. Staff were friendly and attentive. Food is good particularly the scotch eggs and burgers. The prices aren't cheap and the wine list could be improved and made more reasonable. Overall, a good addition to Wimbledon and a place with character, away from the endless chain restaurants plaguing the high street.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Iain M. 06 January 2012

A little gem of a gastro pub tucked away off Wimbledon Common. Turned up for lunch (no reservation) with my family (including two young children), but the staff couldn't have been more friendly and welcoming and we were quickly seated at a large table with plenty of room. Menu not too long, but with a good range of choices to suit most tastes. Myself and my wife ordered the venison shepherds pie (excellent, very tasty) and our companions ordered the burger (rave reviews) and fish and chips (ditto). There was a nice children's menu for the kids. They both had the kids size fish & chips and, as it all got eaten, I can only assume it was good! Overall, a great addition to the Wimbledon restaurant lanscape, we will definitely be returning regularly and it seems to be really popular already despite the ‘hidden away’ location.

Food & Drink: 2.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 1.0

Sean C. bronze reviewer 26 August 2011

Went there last night as a follow up boasting session to mates after a lunch I had a few weeks ago, but unfortunately it seems I may have been looking through rose-tinted glasses/beer goggles. While the pub has great lighting and the tables are well spaced, there is a distinct lack of ‘pub’ feel to it, it is basically a restaurant with a bar (which they were quick to get us off) as opposed to a gastropub. The menu has some great starters, indeed the pork pie that I remembered was still there and as good as last time, but the main course selection really let it down and therefore I was pushed towards the grill. The stand out thing about the ‘grill’ section is unfortunately the prices, sirloin £27.50, rib-eye £29.50, fillet £31.50 which put it more expensive than any Gaucho Grill. Surely at these prices then I was going to get an improvement – this is a Wimbledon pub after all, not a City restaurant. Alas, my sirloin was basically half fat, as was another of our table, the skate was overcooked and the fillet was described by the wife as ‘pretty tasteless’. Overall our meal for 6 came in at over £430 and we all left disappointed. Value for money is definitely not good, but the ‘prime’ reason I won't be returning is the quality of the meat.

Food & Drink: 1.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 1.0

Annie L. 16 July 2011

Sadly missed opportunity to provide a stand-out dining experience in a great location. Food quality fell well short of expectations on reading the menu. Snail and Veal lasagna sounded promising but v disappointing – poorly presented and something not quite right in the flavours… Thought you couldn't go wrong with a rib-eye steak, but turns out you can. I had to send mine back, as the main flavour was kerosene or firelighter or whatever it is they use to create blacked ‘char-grilled effect’ stripes across the meat. And waiters, please, wait until you are out of earshot of your customers before you bitch about them for sending back a bad dish!!! Incredibly underwhelming food for very high prices, reasonably good service (if you excuse the indiscreet gossiping about customers) and interesting wines but not enough to compensate for totally under-delivering on the food.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

TomTom gold reviewer 11 May 2011

A restaurant dressed in pub clothes, this has bundles of pubby character and nice English service that makes you want to order a half of Black Sheep bitter with your smoked mackerel paté, even if you’re a wine junkie. When you look at the bill later you’ll realise you’ve been to a restaurant, but your memory will be of a pub – a good one – and perhaps the post-lunch walk on Wimbledon Common We ate ox liver pate as well as the aforementioned mackerel pate – both full of flavour, both priced at £7.50. This was followed by a vegetarian risotto with an oeuf mollet in a scotch-egg-like casing and a tender-as-they come confit shoulder of lamb – both hugely tasty and sympathetically priced at £12 and £14.50 respectively. To finish an apple and rhubarb crumble for two (at £10) that could have easily served four was a comparative let-down with way too little rhubarb, though it was rescued in part by a delicious homemade custard. Would I go again? Yes, though if it had been crowded as it must get at the weekend, I would have reservations on a value footing.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Chris70 platinum reviewer 14 February 2011

Wimbledon is a great place to live but despite the number of big houses around the restaurant scene has been vary lacking. Sure there are a great number of restaurants with good food, Cannizaro, Lighthouse, Fire Stables, Cotes, Dog & Fox and Butcher & Grill but the appallingly slow and poor service (especially those last 2) dosn’t engender a return visit let alone becoming a regular destination. But hurrah for Claude Bosi and the newly opened Fox and Grapes, as that seems to have now changed. It fits perfectly between fine dining and a gastro pub, with the menu successfully spanning the two. On my visit, their second night, I went more restaurant end for my starter a snail, rose veal and pancetta lasagne, which came with a super rich sauce. Then for main I erred to the Gastro end having battered Hake and chips, crispy batter coating super moist fish. Pudding was a treacle tart, again super yum. I am now looking forward to a return in a few weeks time, not only is this a great boost for Wimbledon foodies but I hope the other near-do-well restaurants will take note and raise their game too. P.S. Squaremeal, it is more a restaurant so be more pertinent to have food score rather than a drinks score.

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