This is the first in my series of ‘Beyond the Big Smoke’ where I’ll be looking further afield than Central London for places to eat, drink and hangout. Explore further and you’ll find there is more to London than the places you see on the Monopoly board.
When an invitation arrived to experience a new branch of the award-winning national hairdressing group Rush in Wimbledon Village, who was I to refuse? Perfect timing for my series and a great opportunity to discover the area made famous by the Wombles and high sales of strawberries & cream in June.
Café culture is at large in this part of SW19. My morning began with a mad dash out of the house on the school run on a typical, non-existent breakfast. And honestly once I stepped off the tube at Wimbledon I was spoilt for choice in my attempt to curb the hunger pangs.
My first stop after a quick ten minute jaunt up the hill to the Village was Brew, a coffee-house, café and restaurant all rolled into one. The menu focuses on Antipodean plates served from breakfast through to dinner.
The spiced cinnamon latte and an avocado pide had my name written all over them. Crisis diverted I was ready for my wanderings around the surrounding streets.
For regular followers of my Instagram, my camera clicking frenzy at the sight of a pretty house will come as no surprise. It’s all in the detail – the doors, the windows, the flora. Well, Wimbledon was Instagram porn for me. If I wasn’t on a time limit I could have strolled around for hours cooing over a letterbox, or ornate door knocker.
Beside the architecture overload, you’re surrounded by some lush greenery – Wimbledon Common and the grade II listed Cannizaro Park. All you need is a little sunshine and a picnic for the makings of a perfect day.
If you’re planning a picnic the perfect place to gather your goods is the local deli Bayley and Sage. A foodie’s treasure trove, you can pick up fresh fruit, juices, freshly baked goods, a vast range of cheeses and wines and seasonal dishes prepared in their kitchens.
Walking up the High Street there are plenty of places you can go treat yourself. The high-end High Street giants all have a home here – Reiss, Whistles and Jigsaw, Space NK and Neal’s Yard Remedies to name a few. My time had finally arrived to experience the new chic, modern Rush Wimbledon salon. With its slick wooden dark grey facade it fits in perfectly with the surrounding stylish shops, cafés and bars.
The friendly front of house staff offered me a drink and a selection of great magazines while I waited. If you’re in the mood for more than a hot beverage, a glass of Prosecco is on offer too.
My lovely stylist Zoe and I discussed the type of style I wanted before she whisked me off to the gorgeous, low-lit spa area with dark grey panelled walls, orchids and candles. During the hair wash, my tired tresses were treated to a nourishing conditioning treatment too. The worst part though was when the head massage and massage chair stopped. All good things must come to an end I thought, as I walked away with a tightly wrapped towel turban and relaxed smug look on my face. I loved my blow-dry and my time at the salon. With a spring in my step I left with shiny, bouncy locks.
The area is bursting with eateries, it’s the decision-making process that takes the longest. For traditional dinner or a Sunday Roast you have the Dog & Fox on the High Street and the Hand in Hand near Wimbledon Common. For French-inspired cuisine in a contemporary setting the The White Onion is the one.
I was lured by the The Ivy Cafe and perched myself at the bar for a quick lunch. The ever-popular London restaurant includes a main ground floor restaurant, an intimate garden dining terrace and a private dining room for 20 people.
I can highly recommend the green juice made from avocado, mint, celery, spinach, apple and parsley. Refreshingly delicious, you do feel like your drinking a garden (in a good way). I decided to keep things light with seasonal soup – spring tomato broth with ricotta, courgette, orzo pasta, basil and olive croutons.
Time really does fly when you’re having fun. Waving bye to a fun day out in Wimbledon Village I headed home on the district line back in time for the school run. I loved my day date with myself. When you’re exploring London do invest in more than just the zone one Oyster card. Don’t let the locals keep these wonderful places to themselves!
Do you have a favourite part of London beyond the obvious? What do you love about it? Let me know in the comments box below.
Disclaimer: This post is a content collaboration. I received a complimentary blow-dry at RUSH Wimbledon. All views, opinions and photos are my own and remain a trademark of the Curious Pixie.
Call RUSH Wimbledon on 020 3432 1292 to make your own appointment. A 50% discount is available for all new clients, quote ‘RUSH50’.
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