Mediocre food, high prices, pitiful service and arrogant staff. The Fox & Grapes is a big let down. Avoid like the plague.
Fox & Grapes
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Fri Aug 10 2012
What was once a locals’ local has morphed into an altogether more gentrified outpost, still skirted by the wild tumble of Wimbledon Common. Ramblers and their dogs might hole up at the bar, but they’re a little sidelined by the influx of diners nestled into spruced-up leather upholstery, brogues tip-tapping on the parquet flooring.
The Fox & Grapes was opened under the watchful eye of Claude Bosi (of Hibiscus fame) in early 2011, and has established itself as the go-to pub for south-west Londoners craving Michelin-style sparkle. Claude’s brother, Cedric, heads day-to-day operations, while Julian Ward runs the kitchen.
The menu flashes a certain Brit-infused charm, with its Herefordshire snails, Cornish pollack and Wye Valley asparagus. It’s easy to have a fine meal here, but less so a truly exceptional one, which, at these prices, matters. Guinea fowl breast was robust enough but served with over-salted saffron linguini. Fisherman’s pie was more of a treat, piping hot in the skillet but lacking clout. Steaks are a speciality and tucking into the 28-day-aged ribeye should satisfy ardent carnivores.
In short, this operation knows its market – high-end foodies – but doesn’t always deliver.
Fox & Grapes 9 Camp Road
- Venue phone:
020 8619 1300
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
Open noon-11pm Mon-Thur; 11am-midnight Fri, Sat; noon-10.30pm Sun. Lunch served noon-3pm Mon-Sat; noon-4pm Sun. Dinner served 6-9.30pm Mon-Sat; 6-9pm Sun
Tube: Wimbledon tube/rail then bus 93
Main courses £13.50-£31.50. Set lunch (Mon-Sat) £17.50 2 courses, £19.50 3 courses
Fox & Grapes
- 9 Camp Road
- 020 8619 1300
- 9 Camp Road
- Fox & Grapes
Average User Rating
1.6 / 5
- 5 star:0
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:2
- 2 star:2
- 1 star:13
Dreadful food, cold atmosphere and overpriced to boot !! What could be London's best pub ( location wise ) not to mention local star has missed a trick. It was miles better before the refit at least it ad soul. Honestly go to The Anchor and Hope Southwark or The Enterprise Walton St and learn what a gastro pub should be !! Such a shame
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 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.
Give it a miss! Way overpriced. Nice food but do you want to wait an hour for it? There is a clearly a disconnect between kitchen and restaurant - kitchen cannot service the number of tables. Waiters/waitresses are embarrassed by the complaints. Greeting to customers walking in was offhand.
I do not know what the other reviewers are on about, the pub was great! you know what to expect, it is a famous chef's name on the door, and the pub is more food and drink based so the focus is on that and the prices represent this. I have the rump of lamb, friends had the fish and chips and john dory and all dishes were superb, especially the fish and chips. I would definitely return!
Went here expecting great food, having read about the Bosi brothers. £19.50 for a 3 course set lunch menu sounded reasonable. But we came away disappointed by the food and more so by the service. My seafood salad starter was full of sand. When I politely told the waiter, he disappeared into the kitchen then came back and reported "yes, in fact the chef is upstairs doing admin and they had just tried it in the kitchen and it was full of sand". No apology, no offer of a new starter! We then both had fish pie. Quite tasty but a lot of potato in comparison to fish and served with a plain side salad without so much as a salad dressing nor seasoning. I make a better fish pie at home using Jamie Oliver's fantastic fish pie recipe, but that is beside the point! Desserts were fine enough. When the bill came, we had been charged for the starter that I couldn't eat. There was also 12.5% discretionary service added. I asked the waiter to take off the service charge (it is optional and I personally don't think it should be added by default - if I think a tip is deserved, I will pay a tip, but I don't want it just added for me). I then said I was disappointed that I was being charged for a starter that I couldn't eat (very politely without raising my voice I might add). The waiter (a different one this time) just looked at me with mild disgust, went and sorted the bill and then came back in an arrogant strop, chucking the credit card machine on a nearby table. Still no apology about the awful starter. Even if the starter were a one-off mistake, the rest of the food is average and the staff we encountered were rude and arrogant. I would never go to this place again, not even if it were free.
I wish we'd read the comments and other user reviews before visiting this overpriced disappointment of a restaurant. For the extortionate prices this place had the audacity to charge, they couldn't even get the basics right. It's hard to get fish and chips wrong, but the battered fillet of pollock with chunky chips I ordered was unbelievably greasy and the chips (not chips but chunky potato wedges) were undercooked and chalky. I should really have sent them back, my local chippy does a better job for a quarter of the price! My partner didn't fare much better. She had a guinea fowl, leak and potato pie which she couldn't finish because the filling had the consistency of water and tasted bland, as if all the chef had done was to tip a carton of single cream into the pie! My advice would be to avoid this place and spend your cash elsewhere. We won't be going back.
We were out walking at lunchtime and the aroma coming from the kitchen just drew us in, The waitress was friendly and efficient, sat us down and we had a great meal. The pork belly is recommended. Unfortunately, no one had the two course set menu at £17.50, nevertheless, at £25 a head with one glass of house wine it did not seem excessive for the quality.
Lovely renovation shame about the food Don't have the pheasant with red cabbage really disgusting red cabbage. The 'whole' pheasant had Bit s missing ..no legs! I resent paying service on a pint that already costs £4.00 There wasn't much venison in the cottage pie but plenty of potato! the pike was good.
Spend a fortune for below average food and terrible service. It took ages to catch the eye of the waitress. We felt extremely neglected. And then, another age to get the bill. 4 stars from Timeout?!?! How? Oh yeah...there is a mandatory service charge. Something like 12%. This place is a joke.
Oh dear what a disappointment! I booked more than a week in advance for a table for four at the Fox and Grapes in SW19. We were right by the door which was in constant use with smokers disappearing and holding the door open for their friends. The service was at best indifferent and the food so very ordinary and so very expensive - more than £180 for four and we chose the cheapest wine and did not even venture into the steak selection as one was over £30! Vegetables were not included in the price. The food is woefully overpriced and really not impressive at all. My husband's pasta was cold and congealed - very unpleasant. I will not be returning. I suggest they take a few tips from The Earl Spencer in Southfields which is wonderful value for money, combined with really good food and very pleasant, helpful and cheery staff!
It's a bit of an odd mix of busy pub and expensive restaurant. Now, it doesn't feel like a great pub or a great restaurant (ie customers dogs wondering around the tables, lots of people stood around the tables as the bar is now too small). Ordered the whole chicken which turned out to be raw in the middle. They took it back but didn't have another one so I had to have a burger which was not great - very average. However, they did not charge us for our food at all (that was 2 starters, 2 main courses and 2 deserts) which was a great touch. I was expecting them to not charge for my main course but to wipe the entire food bill was great (and necessary). I was still a bit underwhelmed by the experience though. The steaks are outrageously expensive so I didn't have one, even for a top top restaurant. It feels too much like a pub, with all the noise and hussle and bussle that go with it to be a decent restaurant. It's way too expensive to be a gastro pub. Overall, not good.
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 - overpowered by the mint??? 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 keroine 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. Think they must have seen Guy Dimond coming ;-)
A regular of Wimbledon's pubs since the late 80s the previous incarnation of this pub was well run and the food was great. I've seen the prices of the new menu and you'd be better off going to the Hand in Hand or the Crooked Billet just down the road.
Had a great meal today - my wife, dog and kids were all happy! We particularly enjoyed the roast beef which was so succelent together witht he crisp roasties that my kids adore! what a treat to have this place on the edge of the Common. See you all again soon, woof!
This place did not give us enough time to look at the menus, and they were empty! Glass of wine £7.50!! 100 quid for a meal for three people. Madness, please go to one of the pubs down the road!
Very disappointed. Service was below par from the word go - Staff were not interested in greeting us and then struggled to find our reservation. 4 meals were ordered and only 3 arrived on time. The pudding menu was good BUT the portion size for the treacle tart compared to the trifle was laughable. Oh and the brownie was burnt. Just glad we didn't bother mentioning it to the manager.