The experts at luxury wine and food hamper retailer Virginia Hayward have shared their suggestions for how to create the ultimate Wimbledon-themed picnic or garden party, covering décor, food, drinks, and dress code:
1. Choose a relevant colour palette for your décor
Go for traditional Wimbledon colours of purple, green, and white, or opt for red, white, and blue for a truly British feel.
2. Lay out a gingham picnic rug or tablecloth
A gingham picnic rug or tablecloth works well as a base for your picnic, and you can layer it up with different fabrics and cushions, depending on how many guests you have.
3. Use wooden cutting boards or marble slates
An array of wooden cutting boards or marble slates work well when styling a picnic – not only do they help to keep drinks and food upright on grass, but they create sections for different food areas or boards for people to help themselves from.
4. Decorate with flowers
Flowers make any table setting look better and are a quick and easy way to decorate. Add some floral touches of Wimbledon, by using some of the iconic flowers they use to decorate the grounds, such as roses, petunias, or hydrangeas.
5. Source vintage tennis rackets, boots, memorabilia
For the finishing touch, source tennis-themed props and décor items – you can pick them up cheaply in charity shops, or online marketplaces.
6. Ask your guests to follow a dress code of wearing white
It only seems right that guests should come dressed all in white for a Wimbledon party, this will help people get into the spirit and tradition of the day.
7. Prepare strawberries and cream…
The most iconic food to have at Wimbledon is of course strawberries and cream. Fresh whipping cream is the most common choice, but this is down to preference – try yours with single cream, double cream, clotted cream, or even sour cream (with brown sugar).
8. Or create an afternoon tea picnic
As well as strawberries and cream, you could also serve scones, jam, mini sandwiches, and other light bites to make it a more substantial meal.
9. Pre-make jugs of Pimm’s cocktail
For the perfect Pimm’s serve, mix: Pimm’s No.1 (200ml); lemonade (200ml); orange wheels; cucumber semi-circles; sliced strawberries; springs of mint to garnish. For a twist on this classic, you could also make Pimm’s ice lollies, or make a Pimm’s spritz (Pimm’s, prosecco, soda) instead, or replace the Pimm’s with apple juice for a non-alcoholic mocktail version.
10. Serve the food in a hamper or wicker basket
For a quintessentially British picnic a traditional wicker hamper or basket is a must – opt for one including plates, plastic glasses, metal knives, and forks, plus a large strap for easy carrying.
Gavin Paye, Head of Marketing at Virginia Hayward, commented:
“Since the 90s people have gathered outside of Court 1 for picnics on Wimbledon’s Aorangi Terrace (also known as Murray Mound or Henman Hill) to watch the giant TV screens. It is a great way to be surrounded by the atmosphere of Wimbledon when you don’t have prime centre court tickets… but what is stopping you from re-creating this tradition at home with friends and family?
“Keep it simple with, typically British food, and vintage-inspired accessories, and pick a colour theme to work to. Whether you are watching Wimbledon in SW19 or planning a picnic and festivities in your own home and garden, we hope these tips help you celebrate in traditional Wimbledon style! However, these tennis party ideas don’t have to be saved just for Wimbledon they can be recreated for any grand slam event, such as the US open, or for a tennis birthday party theme”.