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Baked alaska, Buddhist temples and tennis: the best bits of Wimbledon

Posted at 3:30 pm, June 22, 2014 in Food & Drink, Fun London, Outdoor London
New Wimbledon Afternoon Tea

No ticket to see Andy defend his title? Wimbledon’s still worth a visit…

Why go there?
To pretend you’re in the countryside on Wimbledon Common, although you’re actually in Zone 3.

What’s the vibe?
In the Village (aka The Posh Bit), you’ll find expensively blow dried yummy mummies and Sloaney teens with Saturday jobs in the boutiques. Wimbledon Broadway and beyond feels more like typical south London.

What’s that smell?
Freshly laundered tennis whites.

Any celebs about?
Lots of tennis-related ones, as you might expect – Boris Becker has a house here and you can spot any number of off-duty players during the tournament.

Lawn Bistro © Tricia de Courcy Ling

Any local delicacies?
The Lawn Bistro on the High Street in the heart of the Village is a must for its baked alaska, flamed at your table. For old-school Italian treats, book a table at San Lorenzo Fuoriporta at the bottom of Wimbledon Hill.

Now I need a drink.
Wander to the west side of the common and you’ll find a clutch of pubs with a country vibe. The Hand in Hand and Crooked Billet sit together on Billet Green, the perfect spots for a jug of Pimms. Walk further along the common for the Fox and Grapes, which boasts a menu created by Michelin-starred chef Claude Bosi.

Where’s the party at?
It’s not a rock ’n’ roll kind of place. But for quirky fun, head to Merton Abbey Mills in deepest south Wimbledon. It’s an arts and crafts village by day, while weekend evenings feature a dominoes and vinyl night, as well as live jazz and blues.

How about a nice sit down, then?
Stop off at Cannizaro House on West Side Common for an elegant afternoon tea, then walk off the macarons in the stunning Cannizaro Park.

And if I only do one thing?
Visit the Buddhapadipa Temple on Calonne Road. An unexpected slice of Thai Buddhism in south-west London, the temple’s four acres feature a flower garden, ornamental lake and orchard – and you can drop in for free meditation sessions when it all gets a bit too much.

By Charlotte Haigh MacNeil, who’s more likely to suffer a tea drinking injury than tennis elbow.

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