As the world’s most famous tennis tournament get under way, local influencer and entrepreneur Lady Wimbledon offers her guide to everything you need to know about SW19
Images: David Leigh Dodd
Wimbledon comes alive at this time of year. The bushes are trimmed, flowers are potted and hung on baskets that swing gently above our heads as we walk from the Village to the courts.
The shops make passers by smile with their creative tennis window displays, and the coffee shops and bars are filled with locals and tennis fans who have flown far and wide to watch The Championships. The next two weeks are not just about the tennis, though; the food, drink, time out with friends and styling the day also take precedence.
Let’s start with breakfast, for which we are spoilt for choice in Wimbledon. If the sun is shining, I head to the stunning Hotel Du Vin for a morning coffee overlooking the sunken garden. There is often a table outside to enjoy with friends, with space around for us to catch up without anyone hearing our latest ventures.
If the clouds have decided to dictate the day and I feel like indulging, then nothing quite beats pancakes at Light on the Common or The Ivy Cafe. I do recommend booking as they are both quite busy from morning to night.
what to wear
I love seeing what friends and Instagrammers wear to the tennis. I am fortunate to have an existing appropriate wardrobe, which I top up with new pieces from boutique shops in the Village: Boho Beach Fest and Iris Fashion for edgy dresses and accessories, Trilogy for designer jeans and always Reiss, where I am currently in love with their yellow shorts and white ribbed tops.
Joseph Azagury on Church Road has a wonderful collection of handmade shoes that are always comfortable enough to spend the day walking around from court to court.
‘A day watching the tennis liberates me from checking my phone every five minutes’
I have to admit to often grabbing a taxi to Brompton Road to visit Ela London, which stocks For Love & Lemons and bespoke chunky diamond encrusted bracelets. My favourite local online secret is annelouiseboutique.com. Based in Guildford they have the most stunning collection of floral dresses which can be worn with a pair of white Converse, recommended for a day at the AELTC or more elegant heels for lunch.
A day watching the tennis liberates me from checking my phone every five minutes, so I replace it with my Rotary watch to check I don’t miss a match on another court.
My most essential style piece is a wide brimmed hat. I’m conscious to take it off during a game, but during the day and at lunch it’s a must. I do take the time a few weeks in advance to have a peek at Helene Berman, Edwina Ibbotson or Awon Golding’s summer collections. I also adore local milliner Bee Smith’s really cute strawberry clips and headbands.
at the tennis
If you are lucky enough to have a ticket to enter the grounds, remember you can take your own bottle of wine and small picnic.
If you are unable to get a ticket, don’t worry, it is sometimes possible to enter after work as visitors who have been there all day leave and their ticket becomes open for resale at the ticket office.
There are also so many vibrant fun places to watch the tennis, from the large screen in Wimbledon Town on the piazza or in one of the local pubs. My personal favourite is the Rose & Crown beer garden in Wimbledon Village.
after the tennis
As the day draws to an end, dine with tennis players and celebs at Thai Tho or Maison St Cassien, then join the crowds as they spill into the bars and pubs.
The Loft, above the Alexandra Pub near the station, is a lot of fun, as is the Dog & Fox which has outside bars and the Burger Shack to cope with late night hunger pangs.
Be it on the hill, on Centre Court or in one of the local hang outs, you can follow my whereabouts on Instagram stories @LadyWimbledon. Hope to see you around town…