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When in...Wimbledon

When in...Wimbledon

Neptune Wimbledon was our third store to open in London. We love the area for its village-like vibe (albeit a busy village), capturing the vibrancy of the capital but at a pace that’s slower and with a feeling that’s much more low-key.

For each of our stores, we like to put together a journal on a handful of our favourite things to do in the area. For those of you who live in the vicinity, we hope it might introduce you to some new spots, and for those visiting for the day, we hope it helps to guide you around a few of the must-see locations in our neighbourhood. We like to think of this post as being your ticket to the loveliest day out with slightly less hustle and bustle than you find in central London.

To do

Wandle Valley and Morden Hall Park

If you have a car with you, you can drive to Morden Hall Park – a National Trust-owned pocket of countryside within the city – from our store (it’ll take about five minutes or so), but we’d still recommend going on foot and exploring the Wandle Trail along the way. This 12.5-mile path (don’t worry, you’ll only be walking a small section of it) follows the River Wandle, a tributary of the Thames that was once dotted with industrial mills and is now a rich chalk stream habitat for wildlife. To get to it from our store, simply turn left, walk down The Broadway, follow the road round onto Merton Road and then walk along here until you reach Merton High Street on the left. The trail picks up part way down this road, when you can follow this map to reach Morden Hall Park (starting at point number 7 and finishing at 11). All in all, it should take you about 45 minutes, give or take.  

Buddhapadipa Temple

This really is a hidden gem. Covering roughly four acres, this Buddhist monastery includes an ornamental lake, a small grove, a flower garden and an orchard. Not only is it a culturally significant place to visit, but it’s also a thing of real beauty, with door frames made of gold leaf-gilded teak and coloured glass used throughout the temple.

New Wimbledon Theatre

We couldn’t not give a nod to the New Wimbledon Theatre, which is just down the road from us. While the many shows it puts on each year are, of course, the main attraction, we’d like to put a word in for the setting too. Opened on Boxing Day in 1910, it’s everything a traditional theatre should be: gloriously ornate and, well, theatrical. If you can tear your eyes away from the performance, be sure to look skywards to admire the semi-domed ceiling with its painted panels.

To eat

The White Onion

Situated in the heart of Wimbledon Village, this contemporary French eatery is fabulous for a fancier lunch. The dishes are quite elaborate in every sense, from the highest quality ingredients and unusual combinations to the impressive presentation on the plate. The striking blue panelled interior is also wonderfully cosy.

Light on the Common

Sat pretty much on the common, this small restaurant has an intimate atmosphere that suits its edited, seasonal menu. It serves breakfast, lunch and supper, and we love it just as much for all three. And needless to say, the interior is flooded with natural light making the experience as uplifting and refreshing as the dishes.

The Fox & Grapes

Owned by chef Paul Merrett (who has a couple of Michelin stars to his name), The Fox and Grapes is the only independent pub in Wimbledon Village. The fare is just as you’d expect – hearty and homely – and the Sunday lunches are something of local legend. Built in the 1700s, there’s plenty of ambience too, from the tongue-and-groove walls to the leaded windows and the pew-like wooden benches (nab one of the snug corner tables if you can). P.S. Like all the best pubs, they’re also dog friendly.

To shop

There are lots of lovely shops to explore in Wimbledon, but when we looked back at our shortlist, we definitely noticed a bit of a foodie theme. So, here you are: three of our go-to local shops to stock up the larder back home.

Prezzemolo & Vitale

For the first, we’re heading to Italy, and specifically the warm Mediterranean climes of Sicily. Founded by couple Giusi Vitale and Giuseppe Prezzemolo, they opened their first shop in Italy in 1982. Today, they have seven stores in Palermo and four here in London, one of which you’ll find on Wimbledon High Street. Stop by for every Italian ingredient imaginable, from sauces and pastas to fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as Prezzemolo & Vitalie’s own brand of Sicilian-made products, Giù Giù.


Next, to France. Perhaps most recognisable for their extravagant floral shop displays, Colette is a trio of French delicatessens in Chelsea, Wandsworth and Wimbledon. Elegant interiors (think gleaming tiles, brass fittings and wooden shelves) combine with a tempting selection of ready-to-eat French dishes, intricate patisserie, wines, larder staples, seafood, cheeses and, exclusive to Colette Wimbledon, a butcher’s counter.

Bayley & Sage

Of the three delicatessens on our list, Bayley & Sage have been part of our community in Wimbledon the longest, opening their first shop here in 1997 (you’ll now find several other outposts across west London). They offer a delectable selection of market fruit, vegetables, cheeses, meats and wines from across the UK and Europe. We probably linger the longest at their bakery section though, taking home one of the freshly-baked loaves, something decadent to enjoy with a pot of tea, and a pastry or two to have for breakfast the following morning.

And while you’re in town, we’d love to see you. Find out more about Neptune Wimbledon here.