After the fabulous outing in London on Tuesday, I didn’t think the day could get any better, as we were staying in Colliers Wood, not renowned for it’s high life.  And neither Mr S or myself really fancied schlepping back up to town to eat.  Nor did we feel like driving to Wimbledon Village, the nearest place we thought we’d get a decent meal.  

We finally decided to do a quick walk round the locale and then if, as we suspected, there wasn’t a restaurant we’d be happy to eat in, then takeaway it would be.  There’s plenty of choice of those!

As we left the hotel and crossed the road the two choices for eating out both looked decidedly unhealthy, and empty.  Empty is never a good sign in my book.  When abroad I always look for restaurants that are bustling as an indicator of some hope of a good meal – I didn’t see any reason to change that rationale in the wilds of Colliers Wood.   So we turned back to the hotel with the only hope that whatever we found to take back to the hotel would be hot and reasonably edible.

And then we spied it.  A tiny restaurant frontage – demur wooden windows and door, incongruous in the  surrounding gaudy neon and offers of “chic n chips” (I kid ye not!).

Mr S was sceptical.  “Who names a restaurant ‘Rehab‘?”

I dragged him to the menu.  A tantalising selection of pasta and pizza, and probably more.  I didn’t stop to look, just pushed the door open and inhaled the welcoming buzz of voices and scent of garlic.  I didn’t care who named it, I was sold.

Inside this bijou restaurant was a lively, but not overwhelming, buzz of conversation, with a background of 1950’s style music, just loud enough to ensure you could hear your conversation but not everyone elses.

The staff welcomed us like long lost friends, and before long, Vincent, the owner, had a bottle of Merlot on the table, and our order for the specials on his pad.

And special they were.  Scallops with a side of mushrooms in a balsamic sauce for Mr S, prawns and chorizo for me.  I have no words for how divinely scrumptious they were.  If I could have licked the plate without being seen, I think I may have just done so.

Pasta dishes followed.  Fillet steak and cherry tomatoes for Mr S, more prawns and cherry tomatoes for me.  Cooked to perfection and such generous portions that even Mr S balked and left some on the plate.

The only disappointment of the evening was that we couldn’t for shame squeeze dessert in.  

We had a wonderful time…so much so that Mr S, who isn’t fond of lingering in restaurants once the eating is done, happily sat back in his chair, ordered coffees and chilled for another hour.  A perfect, and perfectly unexpected date.

Pictures courtesy of