Toys & Training

Tennis star Johanna Konta’s favorite locations in London


This text is a part of FT Globetrotter’s tennis particular in addition to our information to London

Till fairly just lately, I lived in south-west London for a number of years whereas I used to be coaching. Our place was very properly positioned for tennis: near Roehampton, close to the airports to journey to tournaments, and, being so near Wimbledon meant that I may keep at dwelling throughout the championship. I additionally love the vibe south of the river — it’s far more relaxed than different elements of the town.

Inexperienced areas

We introduced dwelling our first canine in 2018: a sausage canine referred to as Bono (we now have 4 in complete: two dachshunds and two vizslas). Having him opened the capital to us in a brand new means: it made us admire the various accessible inexperienced areas, parks and nature reserves that Londoners are fortunate to have. It’s a perk fairly distinctive to London — not many guests may realise that it’s a very inexperienced metropolis.

Konta’s 4 canine: two daschshunds and two vizlas © Marco Kesseler

Barnes Widespread, a 120-acre park and nature reserve in south-west London, is a superb place to stroll. It’s surprisingly quiet (despite the fact that it’s not too removed from central London) and with its grassland, meadows and woodland it feels a bit wild, such as you’re within the countryside. You see a variety of joyful canine there. For one thing grander, close by is the gorgeous 2,500-acre Richmond Park, one in all London’s eight Royal Parks and a nature conservation space that’s dwelling to tons of of purple and fallow deer.

A fountain in Battersea Park with trees beyond it

Battersea Park: one in all Konta’s favorite London walks © Nick Harrison/Alamy

Eggs Benedict at Battersea Park’s Pear Tree Café, the place Konta would typically have breakfast when she lived in London © Gaëlle Hayot

Our common stroll, nevertheless, was by way of Battersea Park. One among my favorite routines on quiet days or on the weekend was to take an extended stroll by way of the park, adopted by breakfast on the Pear Tree Café. I’m an enormous breakfast individual and I really like the meals there. They’ve one thing for everybody, from scrumptious pancakes to avocado on toast. It ticks all of the packing containers.

Meals

Once we had been dwelling in London, I used to be on the highway a lot of the time due to tennis. Whereas I used to be away, I seemed ahead to eating out and consuming totally different meals overseas. So at dwelling I typically cooked as a result of I not often had the prospect to in any other case. (I really like selecting up the month-to-month Waitrose Meals journal and tearing out new recipes to strive.)

Nevertheless, I attempted to strike a stability and at all times made exceptions to go to a few of my favorite eating places. I actually love Italian meals and London is spoilt for selection.

Buffalo ricotta ravioli with black truffle at Tozi

The inside of Tozi

Tozi, a Venetian cicchetti restaurant and bar in Victoria, is a type of favorite locations. You’ll be able to really style the high-quality substances which might be used right here — the whole lot is contemporary and seasonal. One among its hottest dishes is paccheri pasta with Devon crab in a lightweight tomato sauce. And I can by no means resist the zucchini fritti (little straws of fried courgette) — you might eat all of them day. I additionally at all times order their plate of Parma ham, which is completely, thinly sliced, and their home pecorino, which is served with do-it-yourself chutney. It’s easy meals, however so good.

Gaëlle Hayot © Stuart Pearce

La Famiglia, a neighbourhood Italian restaurant in Chelsea, is one other favorite. It’s a family-run place that’s been open for greater than 50 years and nonetheless maintains that old-school allure. The meals right here is conventional Tuscan — minestrone soup, pappardelle al cinghiale (pasta with wild boar ragu) and bistecca alla Fiorentina (Florentine steak) served alongside different traditional specialities from neighbouring areas, equivalent to trofie al pesto from Liguria and veal Milanese. I additionally love Venchi, a global Italian chain of chocolatiers/gelaterias. There’s a department on the King’s Highway, so a scoop at Venchi normally goes hand in hand with a go to to La Famiglia.

In Wandsworth, there’s a department of a neighborhood pizzeria chain referred to as Zia Lucia that serves Neapolitan-style pizzas. They’re a number of the greatest I’ve had in London.

Health

A bicycle owner biking alongside the trail subsequent to River Thames at Kingston © Loop Pictures/Common Pictures/Getty Pictures

The view over to Westminster from the south financial institution of the River Thames © Chris Potter/Alamy

We had been fortunate to stay alongside the Thames, which is a superb working and biking route. We loved biking from our dwelling in south-west London alongside the Thames Path and on to the cycle superhighways into Westminster. It’s a enjoyable technique to play vacationer in your metropolis and likewise get some train.

Since I finished taking part in tennis, I’ve wanted a little bit of a break from understanding, although I’m at the moment practising yoga a couple of times every week. I’ve by no means explored health in a extra leisure means as a result of I used to be at all times coaching, and now there are such a lot of courses that I’d ultimately prefer to strive. I’m eager to do one thing completely off-piste for myself, like dance courses. Pineapple, a dance studio and performing arts faculty in Covent Backyard, is without doubt one of the metropolis’s most well-known and provides courses for all ranges. I’d love to present it a go.

Wellbeing

Johanna Konta together with her two vizslas © Marco Kesseler

I used to be in additional of a routine after I was taking part in, however I get pleasure from meditation; I’ve used the Headspace app for a few years. I used to journal rather a lot as properly. It’s a helpful technique to examine in with your self and gauge how you might be — and open your self as much as what you need. Journalling and Headspace have been my two greatest instruments for psychological wellbeing and practising being current, self-awareness and type to myself.

Johanna Konta is a former British No 1 tennis participant. She is on Instagram: @johannakonta

What are your favorite London inexperienced areas and eating places, and the way do you retain match within the UK capital? Inform us within the feedback

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