How to Throw a Wimbledon Inspired Party

TOAST shares the ultimate guide to celebrating Wimbledon in style

The world’s oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament is about to commence play for another exciting year, bringing with it plenty of British tradition, Centre Court drama and lashings of Pimm’s. So strawberries and cream at ready – here are TOAST’s top tips on how celebrate Wimbledon 2017 in style.

Time to dust off that racquet and pop those tennis whites on a hot wash; ‘The Championships’ are back for another year. From Monday 3rd - Sunday 16th July all eyes will be on the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, South West London where the world’s best tennis players will battle it out and fans from across the world will watch all the drama unfold, be it at home, on Centre Court or perched on Henman Hill - or should I say Murray Mound?

Wimbledon first took place all the way back 1877 and today it is still the only Grand Slam event to be played on grass courts (which are cut to a height of exactly 8 mm during the event, by the way). Last year Andy Murray and Serena Williams were victorious and 2017 is looking like the toughest tournament yet. Will the Scot be able to defend his Wimbledon title and win the competition for a third time? We shall wait and see… 

In 2016, 493,928 people descended on the event and a whopping 54,250 tennis balls were used. Each year approximately 320,000 glasses of Pimm’s, 29,000 bottles of champagne and 28,000 kg (that’s 140,000 servings) of English strawberries are served. Oh and 10,000 litres of fresh cream to go with, naturally. It is without a doubt a highlight of not just the sporting calendar but of the British social calendar too, making it the perfect opportunity to entertain and enjoy all the action with friends.

If you weren’t lucky enough to bag a ticket (not many of us were…) and you don’t fancy queuing for hours for the mere possibility of a return, then here are TOAST’s top tips for celebrating Wimbledon in style at home this year. Just don’t forget your Wimbledon etiquette - "quiet, please"!


DEUCE - the coverage

First and foremost - pick a good match to invite friends over for – perhaps the final, or semi final. Have one television screen in your home dedicated to all the action, so that you and your guests can soak up the Wimbledon atmosphere and watch the drama unfold.

The coverage on BBC1 and BBC2 will be led as usual by presenter and former pro tennis player Sue Barker; she will host daily coverage from the All England Tennis Club for the full two weeks, where she will also be joined by the likes of former Wimbledon champions Boris Becker, Martina Navratilova, John McEnroe and Billie Jean King.

The BBC Sport website and app will feature 15 live HD video streams to capture all the action from every court, if you’d prefer to stream it that way, and BBC Radio 5 Live is also promising ‘100 hours of action’ for eager tennis fans, so if you don’t fancy having the TV on when entertaining then you can at least listen to all the action on the good old fashioned radio instead!

GAME - the décor

The colours synonymous with the world’s most famous tennis tournament are of course purple and green thanks to its distinctive logo so splashes of these tones will add a traditional touch to any Wimbledon celebrations that you might have planned starting with florals.

Luxury florist Brian Kirkby of Wimbledon has created some dedicated Game Set and Match bouquets full of purple lisianthusIris Sibiricas and green anastasia, perfect to create large entrance arrangements or table centrepieces in your home. 

Game Set Match Brian Kirby Flowers

(Brian Kirkby Flowers, Game Set and Match Bouquet from £30.00 - £70.00)

Want to go a little more impactful? Take inspiration from The Ivy Cafe's incredible floral archway designed by the very talented Early Hours floral designers, and create an entrance to wow your guests. This incredible installation is created using a variety of green ivy, foliage, bright cheery sunflowers interlaced with tennis balls, racquets and draped in wisteria, bringing all of the purple and yellow hues together to create a dramatic entrance. 

The Ivy Chelsea Garden Wimbledon Early Hours Archway

(The Ivy Cafe's Wimbledon Archway by Early Hours.)

For a more understated but still colourful look, fill your glass vases with tennis balls to act as a base, and then dress with bright sunflowers, big bunches of purple hydrangeas or single white carnations and place on your tables and around the room. 

Floral Centrepieces

(Image source: Pinterest Sunflowers, Pintrest Hydrangeas, Pintrest Carnation)

A well as colour matching florals, add this premium table runner made from artificial grass to add some playful Wimbledon style to proceedings – you can use it outside or in, depending on where you are entertaining and you can accessorize it however you like. 

Evergreen Grass Runner

Evergreen's grass table runner is £25 for a small (40 x 170cm), £27.50 medium (40 x 190cm), £30 large (40 x 210cm) available at www.evergreendirect.co.uk.  

If you want to add some Wimbledon-style competition to the mix, All Things Brighton Beautiful’s table tennis kit transforms your dining table into a fully functioning table tennis table for you and your guests to play on. This clever kit at just £6.95, includes two double-sided wooden bats, three ping pong balls, a net and two metal net clamp brackets plus the all-important rules of play. Chanel your inner Andy Murray and get serving!

Styling your home or venue to echo the sentiments of Wimbledon can be a fun way to bring the event to life, starting with using real grass. That's right, the uber innovative and sustainable company WOWGrass have a wide range of ideas to transform your space into a grass tennis court. Take this cool grass bar or entire court, ready to be installed to create an authentic look inside and out. 

Wowgrass Bar

Wowgrass Installations

(WOWGrass lawns, bars and furniture can be hired via their page in our LBB)

To add another dimension to your space, you can also create a fun ceiling by hanging umbrellas from above, interlaced with tennis balls or giant yellow lanterns from the Hanging Lantern Company, to create a layered ceiling effect, just incase the British summer doesn't hold!

Umbrella Ceiling

Yellow Grey Paper Lanterns

For a more subtle approach, The Pretty Little Party Shop has some lovely, delicate paper bunting in the two perfect Wimbledon shades at just £7.29 per 3m.  For something more substantial, Oldhaus; a small independent business started by Katie Elliott has a range of unique and charming handmade hessian Wimbledon bunting, featuring screen printed Wimbledon sayings and other cute tennis related icons, perfect for hanging across the room or in your doorway.

Oldhaus BuntingOldhaus Bunting is £18 per 2m and can be purchased here

Prop hire and event stylists Bellaboo and Beau have some super vintage tennis rackets that you can hire for any Wimbledon celebrations, as do London based Vintage Props. Dot them around your home alongside your floral displays, or as Ted Baker once did, hang them from the wall or ceiling to for a stylish retro tennis twist. You could even hang one on the front door like a Wimbledon ‘wreath’ to get your guests in the mood as they arrive!

Ted Baker Tennis Raquet Wall And Vintage Props Racquets

Bellaboo and Beau Vintage Raquets and Vintage Props

For another fun touch tadd this Pimms O’Clock welcome mat at your door for just £29.96 from the Letterroom a great little touch to set the scene.  

SET – to drink

To keep your guests refreshed, in true Wimbledon style it has to be Pimm’s, served in a stylish glass jug and tumbler set like this from impressive option from LSA, or this pretty rocco-style set by Rinkit.

Rinkit Glass Jugs

Rinkit Jugs start from £10.99, for the jug and 6 tumbler glasses and can be purchased here. The LSA Punch Jug is £75, jug and 4 long mixer glasses available from LSA International

Try experimenting with the fruit that you add to your Pimm’s jug; mint leaves, slices of cucumber, orange slices and strawberries are all a must but for extra finesse try adding slices of peach, other summer berries such as raspberries, and fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme.

The longest match ever played at Wimbledon took place at the 2010 tournament when John Isner of the US defeated French player Nicolas Mahut in a match that lasted 11 hours and five minutes, so make sure you have plenty of ice in the freezer and chilled bottles of lemonade to hand!

A Pimm’s tweak that is guaranteed to get the party started is a Pimm’s Royale, or Turbo Pimm’s – where lemonade is substituted for champagne, cava or any sparkling wine. It’s incredibly delicious but absolutely lethal, so be sure to warn your guests and try serving it in smaller glasses…

Garnish your Pimm’s by adding a slice of cucumber or strawberry to the rim of each glass or float a whole mint leaf on top, and for a fabulous finishing touch add one of these official Pimm’s stirrers that double up as a fork, so that your guests can easily nibble the fruit from their glass. Genius!

Pimms Cafe Bon Bon

Pimms Stirrers are £3.50 pack of 20 from Pimms official, Image credit: Cafe Bon Bon

If you want to take Pimm’s O’Clock to whole new level then you could also hire Café Bon Bon's show stopping Pimm's Tricycle - not only does it serve a refreshing glass of Pimm’s complete with all the fresh fruit trimmings but it also comes with a super smart, fully branded Pimm’s service which includes the tricycle itself, parasol, jugs, ice buckets, trays and stirrers – all served under the shade of their characteristic red Pimm’s gazebo. There are also traditional red deck chairs for your guests to recline in, and a Instagram-ready double deck chair – Pimm’s branded, of course.

For the less branded option, we love The Sweet Tricycle's Pimms cart, dressed beautifully and adorned with florals for the subtel touch.  

Cafe Bonbon Pimms Trycycle Edited 1

The Sweet Tricycle Pimms Set Up
Prices vary depending on number of drinks per head. Servings start at £3.50 per head and reduce to £2.50 for drinks thereafter, book Cafe Bon Bon Via or The Sweet Tricycle via our LBB. 

MATCH - to eat 

When it comes to sustenance then stick to a traditionally British offering – finger sandwiches are perfect for this. If you haven’t got time to make your own then why not order a luxurious afternoon tea from Lucky & Co to be delivered to door? Using the very best quality ingredients, these afternoon tea angels can deliver a selection of finger sandwiches, squishy scones and a selection of other sweet treats all served on fine white bone china and sweeping cake stands.

Lucky Afternoon Tea

Lucky & Co afternoon tea starts from £12.50 per person with a minimum order of 4 plus delivery charges, which vary depending on location, book them via their page in our Little Black Book here

Another fuss-free option is having a gourmet picnic delivered instead, complete with all the sandwiches, scotch eggs and other tasty snacks required to keep your guests happy as they watch the drama on Centre Court unfold. You can find TOAST’s Pick of The Best Posh Picnics over on TheEdit.

Pique Picnics

(Image credit Pique picnics)

To complete your spread, add a few dips (sour cream and chives is reminiscent of tennis whites, and guacamole of the grass court!) and some fresh vegetable crudités to dip, plus a big bowl of fresh, summery salad leaves. We love these fun Wooden Tennis Racket Style Salad Servers from The Little Boys' Room - guaranteed to make your guests smile, even if Murray does get knocked out…

Original Tennis Salad Servers

(Image: The Little Boy's Room Salad severs £14.95 from NOTHS. )

Wimbledon Village comes to life during Wimbledon season and with that, so do the local restaurants.  Offering a range of inspired Wimbledon menus, you can indulge in some decadant dining during Wimbledon fortnight, or take inspiration for your menu from some of the most coverted chef's in the Village.

The White Onion, Wimbledon's neighbourhood restaurant, serving accessible French cuisine have designed the gorgeous Game Set and Match menu this July, and not just on court, The White Onion will be serv-ing up a stunning dessert destined to be love-d, available throughout the tournament. A strawberry ganache filled truffle ‘tennis ball’ is served atop the white chocolate shell ‘court’ filled with a lemon curd sponge. They’ll also be serving a Wimbledon Royale cocktail (£9.50), a gin and champagne concoction, mixed with, what else, fresh British strawberry purée - just divine. 

The White Onion Wimbledon Royale Cocktail

(The White Onion Game Set and Match Menu, available in July only) 

Or try the Ivy Cafe's incredible Wimbledon bob, a white chocolate bomb with strawberries and shortbread, which when topped with the warm strawberry coulis explodes in a touch of foodie theatre. 

They Ivy Cafe Desser Bomb Image Ivy Cafe And Carla Marie Makeup

(The Ivy Cafe Wimbledon Bomb)

For something more modest at home - Macarons are perfect little tennis ball shaped mouthfuls and look great dotted around on a sweetie table. Macaron Bliss hand makes their 100% natural French-style macarons in Suffolk and can whip up larger batches for parties; their lime and basil and lemon flavours are not only delicious but also perfect tennis ball tones! Over in Birmingham, Miss Macaroon’s tasty offering can be precisely Pantone colour matched, so you can get just the right Wimbledon purple or tennis ball green that you require!

Bliss Macaron Lime

We also love these mini tennis ball cake pops from the wonderful Tamsin of Definitely Cake, and she's even designed the Tennis Players themselves with her Steffi Graf and Pat Cash pops!

Cake Pops Definitely Cake

(Cake pops by Definitely Cake, start from £3.50 each, and can be booked here.  Macaron Bliss’ macarons start at £1.25 each, get in touch via their profile in our LBB, Miss Macaroon’s macarons start at £15.50 for a box of 12 and can also be booked here.  

And of course no Wimbledon celebration would be complete without plenty of strawberries and cream - serve a huge bowl of bright red strawberries, swimming in fresh single cream and let your guests help themselves! This beautiful large glass bowl from Masterclass is elegantly etched with the wording ‘Strawberries And Cream', making it perfect for serving just that!

Strawberries And Cream Bowl

(Strawberries and Cream Bowl from Masterclass is available from Debenhams for £29.00.  

Alternatively you could serve your strawberries in individual pots like these stylish and versatile tubs from the Pretty Little Party Shop – add twine, tape or perhaps some Wimbledon purple ribbon to jazz them up. For a more rustic effect dot your strawberries around your home in these cute little wooden berry baskets from jellyandblancmange

Pretty Little Party Tubs And Pink Rim Baskets

(Pretty Little Party Shop's Strawberry tubs are £2.99 for six, with the finishing touch organza ribbon is £2.99 for 20m, all from www.prettylittlepartyshop.co.uk. Vintage pink rimmed tubs are £4.99 for 3 from www.jellyandblancmange.co.uk.

For real wow factor why not hire the Events Factor’s swishy strawberries and cream cart? Based in Essex the team can wheel their cart almost anywhere, bringing with them a smartly uniformed member of staff to serve up delicious English strawberries and fresh cream to your guests. As well as the cart they can also provide a special strawberries and cream tricycle and/or gazebo (because you can never be too sure about the English weather…), and their impressive strawberries and cream usherette tray service is also perfect for larger events.

SC Cart Event Factor

(The Events Factor Strawberries and Cream Cart can be booked via our Little Black Book here

Finally, for a fun twist on the strawberries and cream tradition why not try gourmet popcorn makers Joe & Seph’s strawberries and cream flavoured popcorn! Their bulk catering-sized bags are fantastic value for money and great for parties and events; ordering in bulk rather than individual bags also enables you present your popcorn however you like – you can fill up a few of these lovely large lidded glass jars and let your guests get stuck in, or pop your popcorn in these Wimbledon-ready green and purple paper party bags from Party Pieces.

Joe Sephs

(Paper party bags £1.99 for 10 from Party Pieces. Joe & Seph’s strawberries and cream popcorn starts at £4 for a standard 80g pouch. 1kg catering bag is £35. Glass jars come in 3 sizes – standard (up to 320g) £13.99, medium (up to 600g) £22.99 and large (up to 1kg) £30.99. All from www.joeandsephs.co.uk.

For more information or ideas on how to celebrate Wimbledon this year, take a look at TheEdit.

Don’t forget to tag @ToastLifeUK in all your Wimbledon 2017 celebrations – we would love to see your photos!


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