"I love food, so mostly go to the great restaurants, traditionally San Lorenzo, which I used to go to when I was playing on the circuit."
Chris Evert - darling magazine, Summer 2017
fine dining - the legacy
''A family run Italian eatery in Wimbledon. It was in the swinging sixties that their first restaurant opened in Knightsbridge which was known for hosting legends such as the Beatles and Fleetwood Mac.
When they came to Wimbledon, they caught the tennis crowd by storm.
San Lorenzo Wimbledon opened in 1969, arguably now one of the area’s oldest restaurants. ‘’Wimbledon was a natural choice for a second restaurant’’ owner Ghigo Berni told us as ‘’many creatives and artists lived here in the sixties including influential characters in film directing and media such as Ridley Scott’’. The success and legacy of the Knightsbridge restaurant radiated to the Wimbledon San Lorenzo and Ghigo proudly took over the family business in 1990.
Chatting to Ghigo over a cappuccino in San Lorenzo Wimbledon, he explained that his parents introduced Italian specialties like olive oil, sea bass and avocado to the London eating scene which caught the attention of actress Sophia Loren. On return visits, she invited her famous companions and suddenly the place took off, a bohemian jewel for artists and aristocrats.
Ghigo commented that it was his parents’ ‘relentless energy and personable hospitality’ that earnt a loyal following. As a 4 year old boy, Ghigo’s first experience of being part of the San Lorenzo brand was wearing a wooden board hung around his neck with the day’s menu handwritten by his father… quite a contrast to the ways of marketing today.
The attraction is still there for movers and shakers as well as TV personalities and tennis stars. During the Wimbledon fortnight the restaurant is buzzing – the Williams sisters and Boris Becker come to taste the fine food and local hospitality. Ghigo described one of his memorable moments in the nineties when a visit from Andre Agassi and Brook Shields had paparazzi crowding outside the restaurant whilst the couple enjoyed his family’s recipes.
So what’s kept the restaurant so popular after all these years in Wimbledon? With a smile, Ghigo shared ‘’some magic occurs when you mix our food and hospitality with interesting customers’’. San Lorenzo pride themselves on staying loyal to their rustic Italian ingredients, family recipes and warm welcoming atmosphere.''
Danielle Sweeney - Our Wimbledon Magazine, summer 2016
Wimbledon's best Italian
"Brothers Ghigo and Paolo Berni have the best place to eat in Wimbledon. Their delicious offerings of pasta, seafood, steak and pizza are all outstanding. During the fortnight it is a mecca for the tennis world. Open and serving late, the covered outdoor garden is a wonderful place to enjoy your sumptuous meal along with delicious wines. They have a full bar as well. Along with the fabulous manager, Diego, the Berni family makes you feel like you are guests in their home. Many of the staff are members of the family, including Ghigo's beautiful daughter . San Lorenzo is far and away the BEST Italian restaurant in all of Wimbledon. Go, enjoy and have fun."
"Lovely table and great service. Had the fixed menu which was great value."
"Consistently incredible Italian restaurant."
"San Lorenzo is as good today as it was in 1974!"
"The place to be during tennis, and probably always."
"As usual....excellent ! Warm welcome, great service and constant excellent family Italian food."
"Solid dining experience in Wimbledon"
"We felt a warm, personal connection with charming San Lorenzo and wondered why it had taken us so long to try it out."