Mention Wimbledon and you think of summertime, strawberries, Pimms and tennis but nestled in Wimbledon’s West Side Common you will find Cannizaro House. Built in the 1700s, this magnificent manor was previously used as a private residence but is now used as part of the Hotel du Vin group as a 50-room luxury hotel. As you enter Cannizaro House the lobby holds the reception and seating area, you can feel the grand history with the opulent staircase, square gallery, eye catching columns, high ceilings and a very impressive chandelier. After being checked in smoothly by Rita and Anna we walked up the elegant staircase to our room for the night on the first floor.
The room named after Wairau River Wines was airy, lots of natural light and spacious. Overlooking the formal gardens, the multiple sash windows in the room were stunning to watch the sunset. All rooms have desks and chairs, coffee machines, mixed teas, instant hot chocolates and safes and they all feel like they have an antique vibe and from another era with a modern touch. The huge bathroom was stocked with lovely L’Occitane toiletries and had a really powerful shower. The wallpaper was unusual on one accent feature wall, designed to look like old aristocrat portraits reminiscent of a Anthony van Dyck! The Emperor brown leather bed was cosseting with Egyptian cotton sheets, aiding a restful night’s sleep, the pillows were like soft marshmallows.
After unpacking we headed downstairs to go for a stroll around Cannizaro Park, you could also walk to Wimbledon Village, where there are nice shops and eating options, it takes about 20 minutes. The Wimbledon tube station is a bit further away, 30 minutes by foot, but the walk is so scenic that it will feel much shorter. The Cannizaro Park is a hub for wildlife and dog walkers basking in the fine beauty of the grounds. We enjoyed a stroll and then headed inside for a warm refreshment by the lit fireplace near the staircase and we were served by the very helpful Josh.
Later that evening we headed to The Orangery Hotel du Vin’s restaurant where we were greeted by the Manager Nigel and two delicious Garden Mojitos made from Gin and Elderflower. The stylish restaurant serves classic Italian dishes, in the relaxed atmosphere of the light and airy conservatory. We started with a chink of champagne glasses and a Caprese Salad and Minestrone soup, the dishes complete opposite of each other with the salad being light, delicate and refreshing perfect for a summer dish and the Minestrone soup filing and warming both great choices to start the evening. Our waitress Honor-Lily took the main orders and was happy to explain all the menus and check any dietary requirements were met, her presence was a joy and helped make the experience memorable. For mains The Lady had the Sicilian Roast Chicken with Rosemary, lemon and polenta roast potatoes and a side order of carrots steamed with caper berries. This dish was divine, with stunning smells of the rosemary and lemon wafting through every cut of the succulent chicken, the carrots cut in ribbons and the potatoes light and fluffy, a taste sensation in every bite. The Lord had the Meatball Pizzaiola, a generous veal meatball, slowly braised in a pizzaiola tomato sauce and glazed under fontina cheese accompanied by a side of rucola and parmesan salad. This dish was tender and the meat fell apart as you cut it, it was like a dish you would eat on a Neapolitan trip! We were once again in the lovely Nigel’s company to discuss wine pairing for these dishes and for the Lady Nigel recommended Crowded House New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc wine, with bright aromas of guava, citrus fruits, and sweet crushed herbs, this was a light crisp accompaniment to the chicken. The palate was elegantly proportioned with lovely soft acid carrying the fruit flavours to a long, pure finish. The Lord had the Malbec by Hotel du vin Mendoza, Argentina a full-bodied red that had a boost of fruity flavours and a dark purple colour which made a perfect match for a meaty dish. After the delicious main course we had Affogato, the coffee was sweetly presented in little glass milk bottles and the ice cream in a bowl, this was a light finish to a superb meal. We were escorted by Nigel to the seating area by the fireplace, the ambiance was different from our visit earlier, with candles and low lighting to add a touch of romance. The lovely Josh made us an Espresso Martini, a sumptuous mix of vodka, coffee liqueur and espresso a very relaxing end to our evening.
After a restful and peaceful sleep we headed back down to the Orangery for breakfast, there were two choices of a buffet style country table with yogurt, juices, pastries, toast, fruit and cereals or you could indulge and have a cooked English breakfast or a plethora of other options on the menu. We were offered a choice of teas and coffees and refuelled for the day ahead. The Orangery’s views give you a perfect opportunity for people watching and in the summer would give a lovely alfresco spot to relax and unwind with the joys of the summer sun.
We had a joyous stay at The Hotel du Vin Cannizaro House, the staff were super helpful and the venue is situated in a highly desirable location for a mini break away from the busyness of the centre of London with the option at the hotel to wander or ramble on Wimbledon Common or the beautiful Cannizaro Park. It is a great hotel and the staff add that extra touch of sparkle with their attentiveness and cheerful demeanours, easily approachable and help you feel at home.
Hotel du Vin Wimbledon
West Side Common