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9 Camp Road
Located on the edge of Wimbledon Common, The Fox and Grapes is now run by TV chef Paul Merrett, after its gastropub credentials were established by Michelin-starred Claude Bosi. A 2018 refurb added splashes of colour, but the characterful original features of the building, which dates back to 1787, stay the same. The buzzy atmosphere is also still intact, complete with canine companions, who are welcome to join their owners here. Merrett, a regular on Saturday Kitchen and Sunday Feast, sticks to a crowd-pleasing formula that mixes British pub classics such as burgers or beer-battered fish & chips, with more ambitious dishes and some international flavours.
We kicked off with moist Thai crab cakes and crisp chicken Caesar croquettes served with baby gem, parmesan and soft boiled egg for a twist on chicken Caesar salad. Mains include cod fillet with anchovy butter and beef sirloin, but our stand-out dish was juicy pork ribeye steak (not a common cut), perfectly cooked and served with braised cabbage and a piquant cider and mustard sauce. Native sourcing, including foraged herbs and seasonal veg from local allotments, is a real plus. Behind the bar, expect a choice of craft beers and real ales, alongside a dependable wine list from Berry Bros & Rudd. Three rooms are also available for overnight stays.
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9 Camp Road
Wimbledon Tube Station 1km
Wimbledon Station 1km
All England Tennis Club, Wimbledon 1km
Royal Wimbledon Golf Club 1km
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 4
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
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.
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.
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