The neighbourhood of Wimbledon, SW19 is the home of one of the greatest tennis tournaments in the world. Taking place on the 29th June, there will be around 54,250 balls used during the fortnight; these are stored at a temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit. If last year’s figures are anything to go by, the global news access audience will be number over one billion people in 200 territories while there will be up to 39,000 people watching live at the grounds every day. With so much happening, here’s our chic Wimbledon tennis guide.
Over the Wimbledon fortnight, there will be approximately 230,000 glasses of Pimms served and 32,000 portions of fish and chips. 12,000 kg of poached salmon and smoked salmon will be used and 28,000 bottles of champagne consumed. The stereotypes are also true – around 28,000 kg of strawberries will be eaten over the fortnight, having been freshly picked the night before and delivered to the tennis grounds that morning. These will be served with over 7,000 litres of fresh cream.
Not only is Wimbledon famous for its tennis history, it is also a stylish location and a place for those seeking the best of urban chic to flock to all year round. Our chic Wimbledon tennis guide to the best experiences will provide you with a rundown of the most glamorous things to see and do in London’s SW19 this summer…
Make like the Wombles and take a stroll over Wimbledon Common
If there’s one thing that most of us associate with Wimbledon (other than the tennis), fit’s the Wombles. These fictional furry folks used Wimbledon Common as their stomping ground, the first stop on our Wimbledon tennis guide, and they clearly had good taste as its calm, tranquil ambience makes the perfect place for a chilled-out afternoon. The huge green expanse takes in woodland, a museum within a converted windmill, a nature trail and nine ponds. It’s also home to a diverse range of wildlife (although, sadly, no Wombles) and a mysterious inner woodland with wild, colourful foliage that owes its natural form to the Common’s protected status. There’s also an 18-hole golf course, cricket pitches and areas to horse ride. Regular events include Bird Song Walks and Bat Walks, as well as the opportunity to look around the Stables.
Visit the Lawn Tennis Museum
Photo credits: Lawn Tennis Museum
A special exhibition ‘The Championships 2015’ is being held at the iconic Lawn Tennis Museum in celebration of all things tennis. The showcase takes an in-depth look at the glamorous side of the tennis culture, such as the fashion, with a focus on how tennis has been used in advertising. A fantastic display of posters from 1893 to the present day includes the famous 1970s Athena ‘Tennis Girl’. The tour is one of the most popular attractions on this Wimbledon tennis guide and must be booked in advance, so get in early to take a look around this showcase. The permanent exhibitions are also fascinating, with a 3D cinema explaining the science behind the game, player interviews broadcast on TV screens around the museum and an interactive space where you can feel the weight of a trophy. Plus, there’s an entire section dedicated to Fred Perry.
Have a nibble at the Farmers’ Market
One of the most charming aspects of Wimbledon is its quaint, twee atmosphere; the Wimbledon Park Farmers’ Market has this in buckets and it is the next stop on our chic Wimbledon tennis guide. It’s a lovely, relaxing place to wander around and have a chat with the local people and stallholders. The food is mainly organic (of course) with such delicacies as rare seasonal vegetables, shark meat from the Hand Picked Shellfish Company and a huge selection of cheeses.
Chic places to eat and drink
If a nibble at the Farmers’ Market has whet your appetite for some more hearty fare, then you’re in the right place. Wimbledon is home to just about every type of dining experience but if you want to stick with the true Championship spirit, head on over to Italian eatery San Lorenzo Fuoriporta, one of the top eating spots in our Wimbledon tennis guide. With past diners including Wimbledon legends Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Boris Becker, the Williams sisters, Andy Murray and Pat Rafter, this is clearly the food of champions.
For a spot of tea and cake, head over to the Wimbledon Tea Rooms on the Common for quaint chic surroundings. The White Onion in Wimbledon Village is a fine dining staple while Carluccio’s offers classic chic and guaranteed top quality authentic Italian food. Another popular restaurant on this Wimbledon tennis guide is the Orangerie at Cannizaro House, which offers elegant, Mediterranean-style artisan cuisine within a restored 18th century boutique mansion house. The seasonal menu takes its food from a 3rd generation Sardinian supplier making for unparalleled quality.
For something a bit different, Cau offers classic Argentinian street food, such as smoked beef or Anticuchos Skewers. The smaller plates are designed for mix and match to create a real feast and a party atmosphere. Another option for a chic dinner is Aubaine – a sophisticated French restaurant on Wimbledon High Street. Dine al fresco on the elegant outdoor terrace from morning until night – the menu offers succulent, immaculately presented dishes for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner along with an extensive list of fine wines.
Where to shop
Photo credit: stevekeiretsu
No chic Wimbledon tennis guide would be complete without mentioning shopping. This is the place where town meets country and the shopping offers the finest in both designer luxe and home accents perfect for a country house. The high street is designer label heaven with shops including The Kooples, Eileen Fisher, Jigsaw, Question Air, Joseph and Diane von Furstenberg. Find some beautiful clothing for the little ones in Petit Bateau, and Igloo Kids while Cubs Children’s Shoe Shop has a wide range of footwear. The artistic side of the village is also well-represented, with contemporary art gallery Canvas, the David Curzon Gallery and the Norman Plastow Gallery. These offer a lovely bit of respite where you can browse original works from talented artists. Afterwards, take a wander down the high street for a cup of coffee and to watch the stylish world go by.
While we cannot all be the ones lifting the trophy, this chic Wimbledon tennis guide will have you experiencing the tournament in truly chic style. And for all you budding tennis champions, the secret of great tennis playing is, apparently, bananas. The players are provided with 15,000 of the yellow fruit throughout the Championships, with many seen munching in breaks throughout the match. So if you want to up your game, that’s always worth a shot.