Impossible to ignore it.
For us, living in this part of town, this time of the year is the most exciting. This otherwise forgotten corner of London, where families move to stay out of the crowd and enjoy the green; where rich people move to find rescue from their otherwise hectic lives in the city; where nothing is happening culture wise and youth wise, and it takes a long public transport journey to get anywhere brainy exciting and artsy – this part of town called Wimbledon is now ready to shine.
The world-wide known tennis has started, bringing much more people than the whole rest of the year, giving some movement and a fresher appeal to the neighborhood, filling up pubs and cafés, all in a cheerful and relaxed atmoshpere. Everybody seem to love it: it’s about the tennis, of course, but it is also so much about the glamour and the atmoshere. Wimbledon might not be Ascot, but the village is very pretty, elegant and still considered quite posh — and it feels somehow good to be there, sitting outside one of the restaurants, eating some very Wimbledon style fare.
You might already know that the most classic Wimbledon food is strawberries and cream. I’m not entirely sure of the reason why strawberries have been chosen as THE food of the event, but I sense it must be somehow a seasonal thing — both tennis and strawberries signalling the beginning of the “warm season”, for much warm that it can get here. Undeniably, Britain produces some pretty awesome and tasty strawberries, if only one manages to find the good ones among the whole lot of tasteless Elsanta. Anyway, at Wimbledon they only serve good berries grown in Kent, and people seem to go crazy for them as much as they do for Pimm’s N°1 Cups.
Although not taking part to the cheerings inside the court, we still wanted to partake in the spirit of the tennis competition by making something with strawberries and cream. And of course, we made something for breakfast. A weekend French toast made with Bread Bread amazing sourdough cafone bread, organic crème fraiche, and super sweet British strawberries that I brought home from work (I took the picture and then ate half the strawberries, Ed) and roasted whole with some sugar. It was as simple and as magic as it sounds. Wimbledon or not, I can see this becoming a classic of our lazy summer mornings.
For the rosted strawberries:
- 400g strawberries, washed, leaves removed
- 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a baking sheet with some parchment. In a bowl, mix the strawberries with sugar and lemon juice, then scatter them on the baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes.
For the French toast:
- 4 thick slices of sourdough bread
- 1 egg
- 1 cup buttermilk or whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp butter, for frying
In a large pie dish, whisk egg, buttermilk, vanilla until combined. Place the bread slices in the batter and let them soak for a few minutes on each side. When completey soaked and soft, squeeze the excess of liquid out of them and place them on a separate plate until ready to use. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and melt the butter. When hot, add the bread slices and fry until deeply golden on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.
Serve with:a big dollop of crème fraicheplenty of rosted strawberriesa drizzle of maple syrup (optional)
Place two slices of bread, one on top of the other, on each plate. Top with cream, strawberries to taste, and a drizzle of maple syrup.
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