It’s that time of year again – blink and you’ll miss it – when strawberries and cream are back in style and polite clapping is the new raucous cheer. The Wimbledon Championships is a chance for tennis fans across the country take to public squares and beer gardens to cheer on their favourites, and for a lucky few to enter the famous grounds and watch the ball to-ing and fro-ing in the flesh.
If you do have a chance to get to the tennis tournament this year (not sure how? Here’s a handy guide), a properly stocked bag is the key to enjoying all that the tennis has to offer. Having been a handful of times now, these are my 10 essentials to pack for a day at Wimbledon:
Not just practical, a statement pair of sunnies will keep you looking chic among the celebs you’re bound to spot at The Championships.
There’s food available on site, but for the most gourmet experience, pack your own picnic to enjoy on the mound. Recipes like this strawberry, avocado and spinach salad, or these turkey, apple and brie sandwiches are sure to be the envy of your mound-mates.
Top tip: keep it compact, as the maximum bag size per person is 40cm x 30cm x 30cm
Picnicking without something sweet at the end is like going out for breakfast without ordering coffee. Make something incredibly British like Eton Mess, or get in the Wimbledon spirit by ordering yourself some strawberries and cream.
British weather is admittedly unpredictable, but you can still get burnt under cloud cover, and trust me (from experience): the one souvenir you don’t want to bring home from Wimbledon is a sunburn.
Umbrellas don’t really work at Wimbledon as you’ll probably poke your neighbour’s eye out. Go for a waterproof instead and enjoy the British summertime drizzle in comfort.
If you queue for Grounds tickets you’ll need cash just to get in. Once you’re inside you can pay by cash or card to buy your programme, Pimms, and that all-important strawberries and cream.
If you plan to queue (and I highly recommend it for the experience) or watch some of the action from Murray Mound, pop a blanket or towel in your bag to picnic in style.
Top tip: look like a total pro with one of these.
A day at Wimbledon wouldn’t be complete without a sip of Pimms, but you can bring your own drinks in, too. Whether it’s pink lemonade or pinot grigio, pack it in your bag – but be sure to check the regulations first!
For the myriad Instagram opportunities. Leave the selfie stick at home, though – they’re banned.
You may think that a day at Wimbledon involves a lot of sitting. You’re right, but Wimbledon is a huge place, and it’s worth going for a stroll to see all of the outer courts and the stunning flower displays dotted around the walkways.
Because, in the end, Wimbledon is about so much more than tennis.