Please note, the below review refers to Hotel du Vin at Cannizaro House when it operated under its previous name, Cannizaro House (Hotel du Vin). Time Out Food editors, FEBRUARY 2020.
Cannizaro House, a country house on the edge of Wimbledon Common, has long been a destination for pram-pushers and strollers taking advantage of this mansion’s stately grounds (Cannizaro Park). For years the building’s public café under-achieved, but this looked set to change when the Hotel du Vin group took it over in 2015.
Hotel du Vin used to have a good name for both food and drink, but based on our most recent meal at Cannizaro House, there’s room for improvement. The eighteenth-century building now has a modern glass conservatory facing the park, which houses The Orangery, a no-bookings brasserie. The more expensive restaurant, called The Bistro, has eyebrow-raising prices, with starters costing around £15 and main courses approaching £30. We moved to the Orangery, which as well as being cheaper, has the added benefit of having many outdoor tables on a terrace.
While the dishes were adequate, the pricing seemed cheeky. A chicken cobb salad cost £16.95, yet the ingredients were unremarkable, with little chicken present. More disappointing still was the dish described as ‘grilled globe artichoke’ (£15.50); in reality, this mainly comprised of a handful of rocket leaves, grilled bread and fragments of oil-drenched artichoke heart that appeared to be fresh from a jar. When we found a rubber band among the salad leaves and pointed this out to our waiter, he apologised – but the dish stayed on the bill at full price. If you just stick to having a glass of wine on the terrace from their well-chosen list, you’ll be more than satisfied.