Five top tips for a Wimbledon-inspired picnic
Posted on June 21 2021
As the world’s greatest tennis tournament makes a welcome return following 2020’s cancellation, now’s the time to start planning a Wimbledon-inspired picnic. Whether it’s to take with you up Murray Mount while you watch the games on the big screen, or to enjoy in your local park following a family tennis session, this is the true champion of picnics. Game, set, match!
1. Picnic food ideas
As one of the highlights of the British summer ‘season’, Wimbledon is an excuse to bring out only the finest chilled treats. Source artisan Scotch eggs from your local deli or bakery, and make cucumber finger sandwiches with a sprinkle of salt, pepper and butter (don’t forget to cut off the crusts!). Scour the market stalls near you for perfect-looking peaches to serve alone or as a salad with prosciutto, mint and rocket. Take a small bottle of olive oil and some balsamic glaze to make everything savoury taste more delicious. Of course, Wimbledon wouldn’t be Wimbledon without strawberries and cream, so pick up several punnets and serve hulled and diced, with a dash of cold cream.
Top tip: Keep everything fresh with a cooler basket. This Green Tweed wicker picnic basket looks smart enough for the SW19 set, but it’s practical, too; with an in-built cooler section inside. As for tableware, pops of colour courtesy of our bright pink and orange melamine bowls and pastel mix wooden party cutlery will look the part, or go cutesy with these adorable ‘strawberry’ napkins.
2. Wimbledon-themed drinks ideas
Another must-have Wimbledon refreshment is Pimm’s and lemonade. Pre-mixing at home saves time, but may not travel well. Instead, prep the ingredients by wrapping washed fresh mint and chopped cucumber in a damp fabric napkin and adding some extra hulled strawberries to your haul (see above), then decant the Pimm’s into a non-breakable bottle to bring along. For non-drinkers in your party, they can enjoy the lemonade with the trimmings, or mix up a non-alcoholic cocktail with elderflower cordial, soda water and fresh mint. These acrylic embossed flutes in mint match the Wimbledon colour scheme and are perfect for toasting your favourite players.
Top tip: Maximise your chance of drinks being fridge-cold by taking a plastic bottle of frozen lemonade which can double up as a cooler for your picnic basket. Just make sure to empty some of the liquid out before you freeze as it will expand in the process. If you lay the bottle on its side in the freezer, it allows a gap into which you can later re-pour the decanted lemonade, minimising waste and giving you a delicious ice-cold drink from the get-go. This trick also works well with bottles of water.
3. Picnic gear of champions
For a picture-perfect picnic, you might like this cotton picnic mat. It rolls up and has handles to fling over your shoulder en route, and has a waterproof underside in case you’re on damp or freshly-cut grass. To complete your picnic spread, try our red gingham party cups (which you can write names on so your guests don’t get their cups mixed up), red gingham party platters and red gingham napkins.
Top tip: Take a damp cloth in a sealable bag to wipe down your tableware before packing up - it’ll make cleaning up at home so much easier. While you’re there, take a couple more cloth sets with you for a more sustainable way to deal with sticky hands and faces than disposable wipes.
4. Weatherproof your picnic
While Centre Court now has a retractable roof to ensure rain doesn’t stop play, you’re unlikely to be as fortunate for your picnic. But you can think ahead to prepare for the weather. Freeze extra ice packs, take sun cream sprays, hats and fans for sunny days, and take ponchos or even a small gazebo if you’re determined to picnic in the rain. Equally, a stretch of tarpaulin can be tied to tree branches to create a canopy in light rain, or simply pick a location which has a covered picnic area. If the weather looks particularly miserable, get Wimbledon on the television, lay out your picnic mat on the floor and have an indoor feast. Nothing gets in the way of a good picnic!
Top tip: Look for a sunshade/umbrella hybrid. These can be used as portable parasols or umbrellas, but can also be hooked into the ground to provide ample sun protection or to keep off the rain. A good investment if you love to picnic!
5. Picnic games ideas
It goes without saying that a Wimbledon picnic wouldn’t be proper without a game of tennis thrown in. Use the LTA website to find a tennis court near you, many can be hired for free or less than £5. Even little children can enjoy hitting the balls over the net, playing simple games of tag in which you’re only allowed to run along the lines, or being ball boys or ball girls for the playing adults. If no courts are available, this game of tennis catch ball uses mini Velcro-lined racquets for a game the whole family will love.
Top tip: If you’re playing tennis with children, buy some large foam balls. They move slower than normal tennis balls, allowing children more time to react and get their shots in.
For more summer party inspo, read our guides to throwing the ultimate music festival party at home and how to turn your garden into a summer fun zone your kids will adore