With the likes of Novak Djokovic, Matteo Berrettini, Iga Swiatek and Emma Raducanu soon to grace the grass once again for the world’s most esteemed tennis tournament, all eyes in the sporting sphere are poised to turn to SW19 in the coming weeks. As such, it’s time to start planning how you’re going to catch every serve, fault and ace.
Indeed, camping out for tickets into the early morning may seem like an appealing experience – mingling with the Federer fanatics and Nadal nuts; the thrill of securing tickets to see all the baseline action on Centre Court; the imagined whiff of fragrant strawberries that you’ll soon devour – but, with the relentless pounding of the heatwave in full motion, we’d nudge you towards something a bit more forgiving on your patience and sanity.
With that in mind, here is a handful of some of the capital’s most stylish (and AC-friendly!) spots where you can catch all the cross-court excitement.
For somewhere that’s close to the action (but not too close): Dog and Fox
At Wimbledon, where the high-octane thrill of rallies can often be counterbalanced by the stifling crowds and oppressive heat, you might often ponder why you didn’t make a beeline for the more tranquil surrounds of a pub, with its decent fare and endless pints. Dog & Fox, a grand, wood-lined boozer, takes place in close proximity to the action, just without the hoi polloi. All games will be shown on six TVs and a behemoth projector.
What to order when rain halts play, Your eyes won’t be going much further than the seasonal platings, or the comfort-food classics. The menu runs the pub-menu gamut from pork, leek-and-apple sausages, crushed new potatoes, buttered spring greens and gravy; to chicken with ham-and-leek short crust pie, buttered Kent scrapers, tender stem broccoli and gravy; and baked Somerset camembert, truffle honey, chicory, and red-onion chutney.
What to drink when… a wildcard slays a top seed, The tipple options lean heavily on gin here, so get friendly with the Malfy Rose & Mediterranean Tonic, finished off with red grapefruit.
For a more gourmand-focused afternoon: Bluebird Restaurant
The last time we visited this modern European restaurant, it wasn’t just the superbly attentive staff that greeted us, but a deliciously thick-and-rich scent of seared chateaubriand, too. Such is the level of class here that even the atmosphere – floating from the kitchen on this occasion – is high-end.
What to order when rain halts play, Given how much of a big deal we’ve made of Bluebird’s excellent handling of beef, it would be remiss of us to not recommend any bovine-focused plate. The half-dozen Lindisfarne rock oysters are also welcome, as they provide a cooling hit of sea when the weather reaches balmy heights.
What to drink when… a tie-break threatens to go on in until the late hours, Through the extensive cognac, spirits and cocktail menu, there’s one drink that leaps off the page and hits you with the panache of a Nadal backhand: Follow The Petals. It’s a Sauvelle vodka, rose syrup, jasmine tea syrup and fresh egg white concoction – the ideal lubrication for a day of watching back-and-forth Centre Court drama.
The opulent choice: The Bloomsbury
A central London idyll, The Bloomsbury is known for embracing patriotism and celebrating Wimbledon in true British style, with a live-action big al-fresco screen in its paradisiacal garden. You’ll also also find a showcase of English sparkling wines in the fashionable The Coral Room – and, you may , if you are lucky, happen to also see Home Counties strawberries and Cotteswold Dairy clotted cream by the tanker-load.
What to order when rain halts play, Head indoors and get stuck into The Coral Room’s snacks, sandwiches and sweet-treats menu, which is just as brilliantly British as the rest of their Wimbledon celebrations. We’ve already got an eye on the Dorset crab with house Guinness bread, and raspberry-and-tarragon choux buns with raspberry sauce herb tuille.
What to drink when… any Brit is on court, It’s got to be a glass of Chapel Down Brut Sparkling Rosé NV, from Kent. It’s vibrant and sought-after stuff, and with notes of blackcurrant, rosehip and, rather aptly, wild strawberry, we can’t think of a libation more fitting.
The one for rosé lovers: The Hari
Positively dripping in laid-back luxury (think velvet and marble furnishings and Tracy Emin artworks), The Hari is a 5-star, 85-room boutique hotel a few paces from Sloane Street. With the help of Chateau Minuty, they’ve transformed their terrace space, all ivy, jasmine and bougainvillea, into a pop-up Wimbledon-style lounge, complete with big screens, special menus, rivers of rosé, and a retractable roof in case the elements try to spoil the party.
What to order when rain halts play, Given the Gallic collaboration, consider the Provence menu, which features the likes of French cured meat, ratatouille and black olive tapenade; onion tart with herb cheese, anchovies and olives; and deep-fried baby squid with garlic and parsley.
What to drink when… a trophy is raised, We’ll go out on a limb here and say maybe a magnum of Chateau Minuty rosé? But as soon as that bottle’s been polished off, why not saunter over to The Hari Bar, where you can imbibe a punchy Casa Azul, made with tequila, mezcal, aloe vera, honey, smashed berries and strawberry powder.
The client meeting: Nobu Shoreditch
Photo: Will Pryce
Scrap the coffin-like Meeting Room Four in favour of the always impressive networking mecca Nobu Shoreditch. The acclaimed restaurant has previously installed two huge screens in their restaurant bar space for gents, like you, who need to keep one eye on their reports, but want to keep the other on the score.
What to order when rain halts play, Impress your soon-to-be client by ordering classic Nobu dishes, such as toro tartare with caviar, new-style sashimi, black-cod miso and, of course, the Japanese Wagyu beef, grade A5.
What to drink when… it goes to a fifth set, Sure, the meeting’s come to an end – but the action doesn’t wrap up until it’s match point! The promise of Nobu’s superlative sake menu – including the Daiginjo Yk-35 Enshinbunri, made from what many say is the the best rice in the world, Yamada Nishiki – should be enough to keep you rooted to your table.
However, if you are heading to Wimbledon this year, its official photographer tells you how to ace your (camera) shots…
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