Refurbished pub was full and has been every evening since re-launch
With three welcoming "bistro style" dinning areas the Fox & Grapes on the borders of Wimbledon Common re launched in February this year under the leadership of Claude Bosi. Best known for his two Michelin star cooking at Hibiscus in Mayfair, the menu at the Fox & Grapes promotes British fayre at its best.
On a Thursday evening the place was full & according to our charming Australian waitress Jade it has been most evenings! It also appears attractive to all generations, young romantic trendy couples, middle aged friends and the more mature diners all appeared to be equally at home.
Starters range from £7.50 - £11.00 - the generous helping of brown crab on sour dough (£8.50) went down very well and the Herefordshire Snails (£8.95) out shone many a Parisian version tried in the past and came with a small helping of mixed salad. The ladies in the group ordered the Gravadlax with Celeriac remoulade which was lighter in taste than we may have expected or preferred but the unusual presentation of layers on a bed of celeriac was very appealing(£8.50).
The wine list is small preferring small independent growers "dedicated to producing terroir-driven, sustainable wines. The majority of the wines on the list are organic and biodynamic". Wine by the glass starts at £5 a glass but we opted for a very palatable bottle of New Zealand Long Cow Sauvignon Blanc (£32) - it arrived slightly warm but Jade was quick to rectify this and preempted further issues by ensuring another bottle was sitting in ice in readiness an order for another one! Bottles range from £18 - £120 depending upon your taste buds & wallet.
Service was efficient but not intrusive. The main courses were well received - there was English Brown Ale Battered Hake and Triple Cooked Chips (huge crispy chips as you would dream of!) with mushy peas ( £13.50), Pork belly with black pudding (£14), the Lemon Sole on buttered cabbage (£17) was slightly dry (due to the fact I declined the shrimp & caper butter!) but very tasty. Our side order of mixed vegetables did not appear at the table but the portions are generous so it was not too badly missed!
Sadly we could not find space for a dessert and moved straight to coffees and fresh mint tea - but for those who love your desserts you are likely to leave satisfied with offering of chocolate brownies with ice cream (£7), and crumble & custard for two to share (£10) - maybe next time!
One of the last tables to leave we certainly would like to return and I imagine it will be a real hit with those SW19 ladies that lunch mid week and at weekends a meal here pre or post walk on the Common The Fox & Grapes will be an obvious choice.
Average cost £50 per head in the evening.
There are three en suite bedrooms upstairs if you don't want to drive home!
April 7, 2011