19th June 2019

An insider’s guide to Wimbledon pubs, during the tennis.

19th June 2019

 

A lover of creating recipes and visiting local restaurants, her blog is a feast for the eyes with beautiful photographs of stunning dishes. Sisley has been writing about food and blogging for 8 years writing on her own website and for publications world wide. She lives by the motto ‘Eat, Drink and Be Merry’. Celebrating food and how it can be such a beautiful thing to create and nourish the body but also how it can affect mental health.

With the international spotlight shining on Wimbledon for The Championships, a foodie’s mind is thinking about where to go, to eat and drink in SW19.  Wimbledon boasts an incredible range of places, but above all it’s the pubs that really get into the Wimbledon spirit.

Here is my insider’s guide to the best Wimbledon pubs to visit during The Championships 2019.

The Alex

Wimbledon town’s most-loved community pub, The Alexandra, adds extra community festivities to the Championships.

At the bottom of Wimbledon Hill, The Alex has been celebrated nationally and internationally, for the kindness and support that landlord Mick offers to everyone. He initiated ‘Meet-up Mondays’ where anyone can come along to meet new people and enjoy a lunch and a cup of tea on him. New friendships have emerged and Wimbledon is the better for it.

With community in mind, The Alex invites everyone to join them for the tennis. Boasting the roof top bar, The Loft, along with their Burger Shack restaurant, it’s the perfect place to go for a casual and happy trip.

Downstairs, The Alex has three different bars and all will be showing the tennis, but the top tip would be to get into the sports bar, to see the action on the big screen.

In the evenings, St Mark’s Square, next to The Alex, gets taken over as the overflow party area. There are pop-up bars, live music and a few foodie surprises each year. There is even more kindness and merry-making from The Alex during the Wimbledon fortnight. It is possibly the happiest and friendliest pub in town.

Book at The Alex

Crooked Billet

After a long day watching Federer or Djokovic battle it out on Centre Court, wander though the verdant green common at sunset with your friends, to the Crooked Billet. Hidden out of the way, it’s the perfect place to relax and escape the crowds while enjoying something delicious from their menu.

It is only a few doors down from the Hand in Hand, but it has a completely different feel. Stepping into the Crooked Billet is like entering a gastro pub in London, but with the heart and soul of a country inn. The atmosphere is elegant and comfortable and will no doubt make you want to stay all evening.

To go with their great range of drinks and beers, including draught and bottles from Wimbledon Brewery, I would recommend their sharing boards, which have become fairly famous locally. Their fabulously fishy, Fisherman’s Board comes with half-pint of prawn cocktail, smoked mackerel and sea trout terrine, potted Devon crab, piccalilli and toasted sourdough.

Their baked honey and rosemary Camembert Board is served with toasted soldiers, red currant and rosemary chutney. All this needs is a glass of red wine.

Possibly the most popular is the Ploughman’s Sharing Board. It consists of smoked Lincolnshire poacher cheese, cured ham, Scotch egg, sausage roll, pickled onions, apple, red pepper and tomato chutney and a loaf.

Book at the Crooked Billet

The Dog & Fox

In the very heart of Wimbledon Village is the Dog & Fox. The hotel and bar have events and treats happening throughout The Championships, including the return of the Burger Shack and some great live music.

The Burger Shack adds a fantastic party atmosphere to their outside space, perfect for spending time in the sunshine with friends or eating on the go when you’d prefer something a bit more casual than a sit down meal in their dining room.

Their live music is always joyous and will get you dancing. I have many fond memories over the years, of nights of dancing at the Dog and Fox, celebrating the tennis with friends and family.

If you are after a real treat, book a room in their hotel. Their stunning bedrooms offer the best hotel experience for Wimbledon. It’s only a short walk to the tennis and you’ll be in the centre of all the village activities.

Book at the Dog and Fox

Fire Stables

For a sophisticated drink and dining experience, make your way up to the Fire Stables. Open from breakfast until late every day, it is fine dining with a relaxed atmosphere; a real gem in the village. If you are walking to the tennis from Wimbledon station, you will find the Fire Stables half-way on your journey, at the top of Church Road.

I would recommend dropping in for a pre-tennis breakfast. The Fire Stables serve breakfast from 8.30am and they have a range of delicious ways to start your day.

Indulge on the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on toast for a light and protein-filled breakfast, for a slow-release energy, or for something lighter, order the granola and Greek yoghurt, topped with fresh berries. Of course there is the classic full English breakfast, delivered in the Fire Stables style and served with toasted sourdough, perfect to dip into your egg and beans.

My favourite breakfast, especially for a weekend brunch, is their buttermilk pancake stack. It comes with either mixed berries and cream, or bacon and maple syrup. However, if you ask nicely they will bring an extra serving of bacon, so you can enjoy all the beautiful flavours together.

Book at the Fire Stables

Hand in Hand

Voted the most dog friendly pub in London three years in a row, the Hand in Hand is the iconic Wimbledon pub. Found on the south side of the common, it feels miles away from the hustle and bustle of the town.

This year they undertook a massive refurbishment, without removing a single grain of the welcoming, community atmosphere, the pub is well known for. There is a whole village feel in the Hand in Hand and everyone is welcome.

New rooms have been opened, including the picturesque bakery (perfect for private functions), spaces given a revamp in the main bar and of course, there is a new menu. Beautifully seasonal, like all Young’s pubs, the menu offers something for everyone, with the highlight being their incredible pies.

As breakfast is the most important meal of day, start your tennis-filled day with brunch at the Hand in Hand.

Their new brunch menu offers my favourite: the Hand Breakfast, made up of London bangers, smoked back bacon, black pudding, thyme-roasted mushrooms, grilled heritage tomato and toasted sourdough. For vegetarians, there is a feast of a fry up, too. The Allotment Breakfast is made up of the thyme-roasted mushrooms, grilled heritage tomato, squash and spring green squeak, baked beans and crispy smoked tofu.

There is the new classic, poached eggs with avocado on sourdough, but something new to try is their baked eggs, cooked with Jerusalem artichoke, kale, tomato sauce and served on sourdough.

Book at the Hand

 

Rose and Crown

This welcoming and historic pub in the village loves a great party. Each year they turn their car park and garden into a huge space for tennis fans to celebrate The Championships. Throughout the fortnight they have the games shown live, as well as a great range of food and drink to accompany the excitement.

This year they are teaming up with Pimm’s and Tanqueray gin, to provide the two most iconic drinks for the world’s most famous tennis event. Under their marquee, there will be a live music, parties every night and of course, strawberries and cream!

From their menu, I would recommend the herb crusted lamb rump, served with pearl barley, broad beans and peas. It’s a great summer dish, full of flavour. The Rose and Crown is very special and it’s a treat to visit, even if just for a drink, but adding a meal really makes it an event.

If you’re planning a great night out in the village during the tennis, swing by the Rose and Crown on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night, to enjoy live music and watch The Modern Apes performing al fresco.

Their finals’ party is one of my favourite events in Wimbledon fortnight. The Rose and Crown really know to celebrate tennis and everyone is invited.

Book at the Rose and Crown

Local Wimbledon food writer Sisley White founder of Food and Lifestyle blog Sew White treats us to her insider knowledge of her home-town.