Frugl Local: Wimbledon

wimbledon

Quiet please…play! Those three simple words uttered by so many umpires at Wimbledon’s world-famous tennis courts can quite easily sum up the charms of one of South London’s most well-known areas.  Only 20 minutes from Central London, yet Wimbledon seems to be a gentle introduction to leafy Surrey, where life goes by at a more relaxed pace, but still with plenty of surprises.  There are a wonderful variety of excellent pubs and colourful cafes to choose from, as well as clubs, children’s theatres and arts and crafts clubs.

Coffee in the wood

1. Coffee in the Wood – Small, friendly, rustic and homely, this is the perfect little venue to meet with friends or take a pause from exploring the nearby Wandle Park.  Technically it’s in nearby Colliers Wood, but it has all the hallmarks of a Wimbledon venue – all the coffee and cake a yummy Mummy could desire, plus incredible sausage rolls which would make a Yorkshire grandfather weep with joy.  Opening Times: Monday – Friday 7am – 5pm; Saturday 8am – 5pm; Sunday 10am – 3:30pm. 99-101 High Street Colliers Wood, London SW19 2JF

Wimbledon Windmill Museum

2. Windmill Museum – If you want give your little ones a sense of old-fashioned wonder, there’s no need to take them all the way to Netherlands.  Instead this delightful boutique museum on Wimbledon Common reveals the history behind the nation’s windmills, as well as some of the story of Baden Powell’s Scouting movement.  Sadly, it’s not operated by Wombles.  Opening Times: Saturday 2pm – 5pm; Sunday 11am – 5pm. Windmill Rd, London SW19 5NR

Polka Theatre

3. Polka Theatre – The Polka Theatre is a crucible of joy and creativity that can act as a brilliant antidote to your kids overdosing on Peppa Pig.  All year round it welcomes professional companies from all over the world who perform brilliant introductions to theatre for the under-8s including ancient myths, fairy tales and original work.  Opening Times: Wednesday – Friday 9:30am – 4:30pm; Saturday/Sunday 10am – 4:30pm. 240 The Broadway, London SW19 1SB

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4. Tunnel 267 – Recently refurbished, Tunnel 267 is a cracking venue for a local night out without having to bother heading into town.  The bar is well-stocked, the music is excellently chosen and on Saturday night the intimate back room plays host to the LOL Comedy Club, where you can see some of the best headline acts on the London Comedy circuit for just £10.  Opening Times: Friday/Saturday 7:30pm – 3am. 267 The Broadway, London SW19 1SD

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5. Sticks ‘n’ Sushi – Based on a unique Danish concept, this cracking open plan restaurant bubbles with friendly atmosphere as it serves up sushi and yakatori skewers, which combine the flavours of traditional Japanese and modern Danish cuisine. Opening Times: Sunday – Tuesday Noon – 10pm; Wednesday – Saturday Noon – 11pm. 58 Wimbledon Hill Rd, London SW19 7PA

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6. Cafe Moka – You might just walk past this chunky food stall in the middle of Wimbledon’s main shopping centre, but that would be a big mistake.  Take a break from your retail therapy and enjoy their light, fresh healthy food that tastes so good you’ll think it’s an indulgence, even when it’s doing you good.    Opening Times: Monday – Friday 8:30 – 7pm; Saturday 8:30am – 6:30pm; Sunday 10am – 5pm. 4 Queen’s Rd, London SW19 8YA

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7. White Onion – One of the best restaurants in the area, White Onion brings sophisticated Frenchy cuisine to Wimbledon Village.  The dinner menu can be a bit steep, so if you want to enjoy top-class cookery for Frugl prices, take advantage of their thoughtfully constructed lunch menu, where you can have two courses for £16.50 or three for £19.50.  For that bargain price you can treat your tastebuds with a terrine of wild boar, oven baked hake and a champagne creme brulee. Live like Louis XIV for an afternoon without having to break the bank! Opening Times: Tuesday / Wednesday 6:30pm – 10:30pm; Thursday – Saturday Noon – 2:30pm; 6:30pm – 10:30pm; Sunday Noon – 2:30pm. 67 High St, London SW19 5EE

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8. Light on the Common – After undergoing a full refurbishment a couple of years ago, this tremendous modern eatery has gone from strength to strength and now produces some of the tastiest, seasonally-inspired food in South London.  It offers top quality food from breakfast all the way through to dinner time and you can eat like a lord and still have change from a twenty pound note.  Opening Times: Monday – Friday 8am – 10:30pm; Saturday 9am – 10:30pm; Sunday 9am – 3:30pm 48 High St, London SW19 5AX

Crooked Billet

9. Crooked Billet – The perfect summer pub, simple as.  Located right on the edge of Cannizaro Park, the pub provides delicious heart food, well selected ales and ticks all the sports and quizzing boxes you’d expect.  In summertime they provide deck chairs for guests to enjoy their time out on the park in front of the pub and in five minutes you’ll have forgotten you’re in London and will have been whisked away into a little English Village dreamtime. Opening Times: Sunday – Thursday 11am – 11pm; Friday/Saturday 11am – Midnight. 14 – 15 Crooked Billet, Wimbledon, London, SW19 4RQ

Lawn tennis museum

10. Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum – You simply can’t visit Wimbledon without paying homage to the sport that made it world famous.  Taking you on a journey from the game’s Victorian inception all the way to the thunderous modern big-hitters, it’s a well researched and thoroughly immersive experience.  Perfect for people who can’t wait for those magical two weeks of summer full of Pimms and strawberries.  Opening Times: Monday – Sunday 10am – 5:30pm.  Church Rd, Wimbledon, London SW19 5AE

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11. Sew Pretty – Sew Pretty is a creative sowing studio which offers classes for adults and children in a wide range of different skills.  It’s a great location for birthday parties or chilled out afternoon hen-dos on the hunt for a different experience.  Opening Times: Monday – Sunday 10am – 9:30pm. 377 Wimbledon Park Rd, London SW19 6PE

Saucer and cup

12. Saucer and Cup – This place can happily award itself the cup for best coffee in Wimbledon.  Not only is the punchy enough to fill you with vim and vigour for the day ahead, but it also tastes supreme.  Allied to that are salads bursting with goodness, indulgent homemade jam and Cumberland sausages that any pig would be proud to be part of. Opening Times: Monday – Friday 7:30am – 6:30pm; Saturday 8:30am – 6:30pm; Sunday 9am – 5pm.  Park House, 159 Arthur Rd, London SW19 8AD

Leather bottle

13. Leather Bottle – A proper British pub – 300 years old, stocked full of real ales (plus a calendar of festivals celebrating them), a huge beer garden and even an ice rink at Christmas time!  If you live down south and haven’t already, you should make the Leather Bottle your new favourite local. Opening Times: Monday – Thursday 11am – 11pm; Friday/Saturday 11am – Midnight; Sunday Noon – 11am 277 Kingston Rd, London SW19 3NW

dog-fox

14. Dog and Fox – Over 120 years old, this stately hotel-pub is the ideal stop off on your way to Wimbledon.  It exudes olde worlde class, style and elegance and its wine list and cocktail menu match that.  If you’re in the mood for some mental stimulation it also hosts regular jazz nights and book clubs – the perfect accompaniment to the contents of their well-stocked bar.   Opening Times: Monday – Saturday 11am – 11pm; Sunday Noon – 10:30pm . 24 High St, London SW19 5EA