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Wimbledon area guide

There's more to SW19 than tennis – discover the area's best bars, restaurants, culture and more with our comprehensive guide

AELTC / Matthias Hangst

Even if you’re visiting during one of the 50 weeks of the year when the tennis isn’t on, there are plenty of ace things to do in Wimbledon. In fact, with a windmill museum, a famous common, a theatre that’s home to some of London’s best family-friendly shows and some great bars and restaurants, you could find that strawberries and cream are the last thing on your mind. 

Wimbledon highlights

Museums

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum

The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum contains digital displays tracing the history of lawn tennis. A cinema with 3-D effects explains the science of the game, a hologram of John McEnroe roams the dressing room and an interactive area allows visitors to test their skills in simulation games. View venue details

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Things to do

Wimbledon Tennis Championship

Whether you're a legitimate tennis fan or just in it for the Pimm's and oh-so-toned players, Wimbledon Tennis Championships are once again upon us (Monday June 29 – Sunday July 12) and it's time to get excited. If you missed out on tickets in the public ballot, here's our eight-step guide to camping, queueing and buying grounds passes on the day. Or if you're happy to witness all the tournament's action outside SW19, discover where to find the free live screenings across the capital. Getting tickets to the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club does require a lot of forethought. Seats on Centre and Number 1 courts are distributed by ballot the preceding year, although die-hard tennis fans who queue on the day may well get the chance to gain entry. The ticket queue for this year’s Wimbledon officially opens at 8am on Sunday June 28 2015, however hundreds of people will have been camping in line since the previous evening. Around 500 tickets every day are available at the Gate 3 turnstile for Centre Court (except for the last four days; tickets for those days are like gold dust) and court numbers 1 and 2, plus several thousand grounds tickets. If you’re intending to turn up to The Championships after work, the late entry queue opens at 5pm daily. You can often pay a reasonable rate for the seats of spectators who have left the venue early. Do note, tickets can only be purchased by cash. Tennis fans willing to splash a bit more cash can purhcase unwanted deb

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Things to do

Wimbledon Common

Take a stroll on Wimbledon common, have a picnic in the sunshine or join a rambling tour and discover wildlife in the area. Wimbledon Common is the perfect place for an outdoor adventure. View venue details

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Museums

Wimbledon Windmill Museum

The history of windmills told through working models of mills, from ancient Persian and Greek designs to present-day wind farms. The Wimbledon Windmill Museum features working millstones which children can use to grind wheat, and visitors can climb into the tower of the windmill – a Grade II-listed, 1817 example of a hollow post mill – in which the museum is housed to look at the operating machinery.

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Where to eat and drink in Wimbledon

Bars and pubs Book online

Dog & Fox

Some things never change. But other things – such as wine, cheese, and of course women – just seem to get better with time. The Dog & Fox is one of these. This Wimbledon village stalwart spent years as a grotty neighbourhood boozer, had a radical overhaul from the owners Young's around a decade ago (almost doubling in size), and has had regular spruce-ups ever since, most recently in late 2013. In summer 2014, they even added 17 boutique-style hotel rooms (previously staff accommodation). Enter the public areas and you'll find something for every mood: the main bar (an airy drinking space, where you can eat off the main menu, just without table service); a large, inviting dining room (all gorgeously repro: heritage colours, Louis IV armchairs and the like); and quieter, overspill areas, including the aptly-named ‘Library’ room, with its rows of books.  We ate in ‘The Scullery’, close to the open kitchen, for the no-bookings Sunday lunch, which was as popular with well-heeled locals as a flash sale on Range Rovers. By 12.45pm (they serve from noon), every seat was taken. We could quickly see why: fairly-priced and traditional, it’s all you’d want from a home-cooked meal, but with none of the faff. Two large plates arrived: one with juicy, pink-middled beef (21 day aged West Country sirloin - £14.95); the other with a succulent marinated half-chicken (£13.95). Both included all the trimmings: crispy roasties, thyme-specked root veg, lashings of gravy (no skimping here), and a

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Sticks n Sushi

Danish sushi is not the oxymoron it might at first seem. The Danes are known for liking fish, clean flavours and simple aesthetics, so much so that the Sticks n Sushi chain has nine branches in Copenhagen alone, but have opened their tenth in Wimbledon. This Anglo SnS is a cavernous space, with a high brick wall on one side, and a huge curtain – printed to exactly match the facing brick wall – on the other. Danish chairs are integral to the design, as are the staff wearing black t-shirts printed with handy Danish words, and their English translations. New arrivals to the restaurant are greeted with what is supposed to be ‘irrashaimase’, the traditional welcome greeting in Japanese restaurants – though the staff pronounce the word so badly, it took us a few repeats to realise what it was. The menus are beautifully illustrated with photographs. The reason becomes clear on closer study: These are Japanese-lite dishes for people who are scared of real Japanese food. There are no challenging ingredients: no stringy, slimy natto (fermented soy beans); no slithery or gelatinous noodles; no fetid-smelling uni (sea urchin); no yakitori – sticks– of grilled gizzards or duck heart. For many, of course, this is a plus; for others, it strips the samurai soul out of the cuisine. To their credit, the sushi rice was excellent: warm and of fine quality. The sashimi, too, was fresh enough to serve in Japan. Presentation was consistently beautiful, with excellent use of colour contrasts. The d

Time Out says
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Fox & Grapes

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.

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  • 3 out of 5 stars
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  • 2 out of 5 stars
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Bars and pubs

Sultan

No beturbaned Muslim ruler beams out from the free-standing pub on a quiet residential road behind All Saints’ Church in Mitcham: the Sultan was a black stallion who sired many a champion racehorse in the nineteenth century. Inside this homely community boozer, you’ll find a detailed history of Selim, sire of Sultan; it’s a suitable backdrop for the old geezers who sit studying the racing form and sipping affordable pints of Summer Lightning and other fine ales from the Hop Back Brewery of Salisbury. The saloon bar is named after Ted Higgins, part of the original cast of Radio 4’s The Archers. All told, this is a lovely local, with a leafy beer garden, plenty of parking space and decent pub food. Everyone seems to know each other, but strangers can also expect a warm welcome.

Time Out says
  • 3 out of 5 stars
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  • 5 out of 5 stars
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