Pizza, Panties and Magic

Here's a cute story from a true San Lorenzino and long time friend.  Chris is an educated food lover who launched a hit TV show called Noodle Box, all about the Asian food scene. In fact, he was also responsible for discovering Bobby Chinn - Asia's answer to Jamie Oliver - who actually was at boarding school with me in the mid-70s.

Our lives are a summation of our experiences, some bad but, hopefully, more joyous.  For me many of the fantastic ones that shaped my life came at San Lorenzo’s in Wimbledon.  It’s where I grew up, ogled at tennis stars and more importantly made and solidified friendships.

I can describe numerous memorable experiences, but just one involves the German ambassador to London who moved next door a while ago.  Insisting on coming over for wine these people suddenly became amusing enough to merit a trip to San Lorenzo’s (there was nothing at home to eat)!  In the middle of a marvelous dinner that was to become the cornerstone of a lifetime friendship, my little sister and her German counterpart (both aged around 9) started singing.  As in any marvelous Italian family restaurant, this was encouraged and quickly, it being too rude to sing at the table, an impromptu stage developed.  Everyone gave performances.

Not to be outdone, the couple next to us (clearly enjoying a slightly mischievous post hhhmmm dinner) applauded too loudly and were called “on stage”.  Well he didn’t sing but he claimed to be a magician.  His better half (turning red as an English rose) said he better not do this (to what she was referring at that juncture we had no idea).  At that point, with suitable panache, he reached behind her and pulled out an even redder skimpy pair of lacy panties!  Whether they came from his pocket or elsewhere one will never know, but hilarity ensued and just another fantastic evening at San Lorenzo’s was to be remembered forever.

Wonderful settings (inside and out), wonderful sisters (you have to go there to get my drift) and wonderful staff make this the most iconic restaurant of Wimbledon.  The thin crust pizzas are the best in the world and the garden is an oasis in Wimbledon’s bustle.  Long afternoons have been spent here that sometimes turned into dinners.  Never leave without a San Lorenzo special (which sadly has nothing to do with the delightful waitresses).

- Chris Callahan