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With the nation’s hopes resting on Andy Murray, we recommend you drink something stiffer than Robinson’s Barley Water for Wimbledon fortnight. Read on for Square Meal's round up of the best.
Mixed doubles (Pimm’s, strawberries and Lanson Champagne) is one of various themed cocktails on offer at Bluebird (pictured right). To coincide with the All England Championships from 22 June to 5 July, the Chelsea restaurant’s courtyard has been transformed into Centre Court complete with AstroTurf and a mini tennis court. Expect to eat light summer dishes, sharing platters and Eton mess as matches unfold live on a giant TV screen.
Also open for the duration of Wimbledon is The Player’s Lounge at Gilgamesh. Expect more AstroTurf, live action on big screens and goodies such as strawberry and cream wontons and Murray martinis (using vodka infused with Murray Mint sweets) served by staff dressed as ball boys in Onitsuka Tiger clothing. Just like Centre Court, Gilgamesh has a retractable roof, so rain will not stop play.
AstroTurf manufacturers must be counting their blessings: during the second week of the tournament (29 June-5 July) Gaucho Piccadilly and Bentley's is converting Swallow Street into a mini Wimbledon. As well as wine tastings and themed cocktails, sporty staff will serve cream teas: Pimm’s trifle, chocolate-dipped strawberries and Champagne fit for a (Billie Jean) King from 12 noon until the last ball is struck on the big screens.
Over in West Kensington, The Crescent Champagne Bar is serving Wimbledon cocktails including the Zubrowka-laced '40 love', as well as traditional strawberries and cream throughout the championship, with uninterrupted coverage shown on the bar’s large plasma screens from noon daily. While, in Fulham, Frankie’s Sports Bar & Grill will be serving Pimm’s, strawberry Bellinis and strawberries and cream from £5.50 in front of its flat-screen TVs.
Finally, unattached players looking for a love match might fancy ‘Singledon’ at Andaz on Friday 26 June from 8pm. The City hotel will open its indoor summer garden with a light-hearted tennis-themed free dating event (courting?) that features hip DJs and lots of prizes. The Wimbledon-themed garden and food and cocktail menu served daily from 6pm will run until the end of the tournament. Thereafter, the garden will stay open until 30 August and will hold special events to coincide with The Ashes and Henley Royal Regatta.
If you’d prefer to watch the action first-hand, a number of Wimbledon hospitality packages are still available; contact Keith Prowse on 0845 125 4880 or click here for more information.