So this week I’ve been in post-Wimbledon withdrawal. Yes, it really is a thing! For a fortnight you spend way too long in front of the TV and the sound of tennis balls being hit rings in your ears. And then suddenly it’s all gone. Well the tournament is anyway.
Of course Wimbledon is also a place and that’s around all year. I particularly love Wimbledon Village. It’s believed to be the original nucleus of Wimbledon with documentary evidence of the area going as far back as 967. I’m sure those locals wouldn’t recognise their little village in 2017 – abuzz with cafes, restaurants and quirky shops. A lot of the players rent houses here for the tournament and during that magical fortnight the place is heaving. I think the eating establishments heave a collective sigh of relief (after counting up their money with glee) when things calm down to normal.
Anyway, what better way to get over withdrawal symptoms than to enjoy dinner in the Village. Tonight we’re visiting The Fire Stables which is on Church Road, the main road leading up to the Village from the legendary courts.
It’s a bright contemporary space with stone floors and exposed brick walls. At the front glass doors open up the restaurant to the street and Wimbledon life. Perfect for a warm summer evening. There’s a cosier section at the back with leather banquettes and glowing lamps.
The food is modern British using seasonal local ingredients with an emphasis on fish. There’s a good selection chalked up on the blackboard, including crab, lobster, salmon, hake, monkfish, sea bass and sea bream. The comprehensive menu also offers good meat options, including steak. Our choices were pretty fish-focussed.
The classic prawn cocktail came retro-style in a large stemmed glass.
My seaside extravaganza of a starter included scallops, lobster bisque, samphire and a crab fritter. The tastes of the sea in a bowl – the crab fritter was particularly good – crunchy outside, soft inside and full of fishy flavours.
Fishermans pie was baked and topped with buttery mashed potatoes. Served in a stylish pan with a side of greens.
For my main I moved away from the fish options. I don’t know why but I seem to be ordering pork a lot in restaurants these days. Maybe because it’s so good. Today’s dish was described as T-bone of pork, so I was kind of expecting a bone but instead got these lovely chunks perfectly cooked and served on a warm puy lentil salad with apple puree and apple crisps.
I couldn’t resist ordering this side of peas, broad beans, shoots and goats curd. It’s got to be the sweetest combination of vegetables you can get – like a taste of sunshine.
The desserts definitely helped with Wimbledon withdrawal – well, they brought all the flavours of Wimbledon back to me. The Pimms jelly was served with raspberry sorbet, strawberries and shortbread. Now there’s something I’m definitely making one hot summer day – bring on the Pimms jelly!
The strawberry and cream Eton mess was served with lemon sorbet. You can’t have Wimbledon without strawberries and cream after all – around 30,000kgs are eaten of them during the fortnight – I’m surprised there are any left!
To finish off it seems appropriate to leave you with an image of the King of Wimbledon. Roger Federer notched up his eighth win this year – the only man in history ever to claim so many. Roger we love you!
Today’s price point
Three courses for two people cost £104 without wine or service.
The Fire Stables is at 27-29 Church Road, Wimbledon SW19.