Saturday, 3 July 2010

More Than Tennis at Wimbledon

The Wingfield Restaurant at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, where the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships are held, is a wonderful place. Situated in the Centre Court Building, many of its tables are on a floral lined balcony which overlooks the grounds of the Club, and it is a great place to see and be seen during Wimbledon. Not only that, but the food is absolutely excellent, and it is a lovely way to spend the time prior to the main matches starting at one o'clock.

This is the second time my husband and I have eaten at The Wingfield, and once again we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. In order to be sure everyone is ready for the matches to start at one, there is a set menu and tables must be booked and paid for in advance. The restaurant opens at 11.15am, but they will hold tables until 12.30, although if you were seated that late you would definitely miss the start of play.

One of the things that impresses me most is that The Wingfield's set menu offers a very wide choice of dishes. There are three choices each of starter and hot main course, as well as two cold main courses and three desserts.  The vegetarian choices are outstanding.  The £60 cost includes wine, mineral water and an optional gratuity. Wine is poured freely, and although we only had two glasses each many diners indulged in more!

My husband chose the Sheltand Isles Smoked Salmon and Salmon Mousse with a citrus vinaigrette and pickled baby beetroot. The vinaigrette was actually concealed inside the mousse and trickled out appealingly when you cut into it.  The flavours were very light and delicate and were perfectly complemented by the citrus.

My Grilled Vegetable Ceviche was really pretty and the fennel and cumin jam garnish was an appealing flavour contrast to the vegetables themselves.

The main courses were equally lovely. I chose the vegetarian option again, Asparagus Filo parcels with Leek Fondue and Lemon Beurre Blanc.  It was served alongside tied French beans, roasted vine tomatoes and buttered Lincolnshire baby pearl potatoes.  The beans were served perfectly tender crisp and the beurre blanc was a wonderful complement to the asparagus and potatoes. The Duo of Welsh Lamb my husband chose included a braised shoulder and cutlet, perfectly cooked to medium and a really interesting potato pavé filled with tomato tapenade. There was also minted pea pureé that looked a bit strange, but tasted really wonderful.

For dessert, we both chose the Kentish Strawberries and Blackberries. We were at Wimbledon after all, and Wimbledon and strawberries have always gone together. They were served with Cornish clotted cream and an addictive mint syrup that gave them a fresh and delicious edge.  There were two other dessert choices, Pimm's Trifle or Rich Chocolate Ganache Tart served with sweet basil crème fraiche, both of which looked absolutely scrumptious, but I'm still glad I had the strawberries!  

I'm consistently impressed by the Wingfield's ability to serve so many diners so quickly and yet create an atmosphere of relaxed elegance. The menu is ingenious and every care is taken to delight diners with new and enticing presentations and flavours. You can taste the influence of fusion cooking in this menu, but the emphasis is on the modern British menu, with good use of local produce.  It may be too late for this year but if you are planning a visit to the Championships next year, I highly recommend booking a table for this delightful dining experience.  

The 21st Century Housewife has not been paid for this post.  The Wingfield Restaurant also serves high tea on a first come first serve basis from 3.30pm each day of the Championships.

1 comment:

  1. The food looks fabulous & so special presented too!!

    Indeed, this would be a loverly place to dine & wine in!!

    Thanks, for sharing, dear April!!


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