Watching the rugby at Twickenham is tiring and thirsty work – with the prospect of plenty of pints at The Cabbage Patch and 80 minutes of edge-of-your-seat action, it’s a good idea to get a hearty meal in on the big day. Crowded match days at Twickenham can feel like being a tuna in a tin can, meaning trying to explore the streets for a good restaurant on the day is a nigh on impossible task. Get ahead with our pick of the best below, so that you can book in advance and avoid the crowds.
A Cena, Twickenham
Why: Sitting on the East Twickenham side of the Richmond Bridge, A Cena is just a short bus journey from Twickenham proper. A Cena is popular with well-heeled locals due to the attractive interiors of polished wood and white tablecloths, as well as its fashionable Italian cuisine. Hungry rugby fans can expect reasonably priced dishes such as a chickpea pancake with rosemary and lemon, alongside milk-braised pork shoulder with lemon, sage, peas and mashed potato.
Where: 418 Richmond Road, TW1 2EB
Al Boccon di’Vino, Richmond
Why: This Italian restaurant is known for its eccentricity, which has made it famous among Richmond locals. The restaurant is dotted with displays of fruit and cheese crammed in and tables are very close to each other, so it’s the perfect spot for a bit of debate with any fellow rugby fans. Expect the chef-proprietor Riccardo to serve up plenty of hearty food, from suckling pig to ravioli, and he’ll also make you try the tiramisu (not that we’re complaining).
Where: 14 Red Lion Street, TW9 1RW
The Bingham, Richmond
Why: A boutique Richmond hotel might not be an obvious choice for some pre-rugby grub, but the Bingham’s pre-match lunches are definitely worth considering. The location of this restaurant is perfect for anyone wanting to get away from the Twickenham crowds as it boasts a view of The Bingham’s serene gardens and the Thames. Booking is advisable as the three-course match day menu (£45pp) is popular. When England takes on France on 10 February 2019, you can expect to be served up a traditional Sunday roast.
Where: 61-63 Petersham Road, TW10 6UT
Image credit: Paul Winch Furness
The Ivy Café, Richmond
Why: Another Richmond option for rugby fans looking to get away from the swarms of spectators in Twickenham, this branch of The Ivy Collection is always a safe choice. Richmond’s Ivy Café has the plush interiors and art-deco design you can expect from the Richard Caring brand, as well as the time-tested menu. Classics such as the shepherd’s pie, fish & chips and the Ivy burger will keep any stomachs from grumbling on match day.
Where: 11 Hill Street, TW9 1SX
M Bar and Grill, Twickenham
Why: By far one of the most practical restaurants on this list for location, this branch of M is right opposite Twickenham train station and only a 10 minute walk from the stadium. If you want to try M’s full match day experience (which will set you back £315), you can expect a Champagne reception and a lunch including Wagyu Scotch eggs, an impressive tomahawk steak and a sticky toffee pudding. After lunch, you’ll enjoy a talk from world cup-winner Simon Shaw MBE, while post-match punters will be given a Wagyu beef pie and an hour’s complimentary bar.
Where: Brewery Lane, Brewery Wharf, TW1 1AA
Osteria Pulcinella, Twickenham
Why: This no-nonsense Italian has built up a reputation in Twickenham since it opened in 1994. It’s lucky that Osteria is very affordable, as it is handily located right in the heart of Twickenham’s pub scene on Church Street for pre/post-game drinks. The menu has a strong pasta selection including rigatoni pasta with wild boar ragout, and raviolini stuffed with pork, beef, rabbit and spinach. Finish with an upside down apple tart with cinnamon ice cream or a dark chocolate and Baileys panna cotta.
Where: 36 Church Street, TW1 3NR
Salt Flakes, Twickenham
Why: A 20 minute walk from the stadium, this neighbourhood French restaurant is well placed to serve the rugby crowd. Salt Flakes interior of pastel blue and white gives the restaurant a clean and practical look well-suited to casual dining. The menu here is a mix of dishes from around the world, with a French twist: examples include pan-fried lamb kidneys with creamy Dijon mustard sauce, sea bass with green risotto, and Norfolk pork belly cooked in duck fat.
Where: 128-130 Heath Road, TW1 4BN
TW2 Bar & Grill, Twickenham
Why: When it comes to food, it doesn’t get more ‘rugby’ than a hearty steak. TW2 Bar & Grill is a steakhouse located by Twickenham Green, which is within walking distance of the Stadium, but far enough from the main high street to offer some reprieve from the bustle of match day. This restaurant’s match day special offers three courses for £44 and this includes steaks and other dishes, such as the TW2 steak and ale pie.
Where: 80-82 The Green, TW2 5AG
Can’t make it to the game itself? Why not grab a bite to eat and drink while watching your favourite sports at one of London’s best sport bars?