There are a few certainties in life – death, taxes, and that for two weeks in July, the British nation will be gripped by Tennis! A symbol of British summer time, Wimbledon is a combination of tradition, drama and excitement. But there’s also something else, that it perhaps gets less credit for - inspiring great food.

If you are setting off for Wimbledon this year, or maybe just enjoying it from afar, get into the spirit with some of these Wimbledon food traditions. We will give you the lowdown on some Wimbledon picnic hamper treats you can enjoy courtside, or lay on a buffet or meal of tennis themed food to enjoy as you soak up the drama at home. It’s food you’ll love, and your friends and family will think you’re ace!

Going courtside? Enjoy a Picnic at Wimbledon

An important fact if you are intending to enjoy a picnic at Wimbledon this year, is that you are prohibited from entering the grounds with any hard-sided containers such as a hamper or cool box, flask or chairs. However, you are still more than welcome to take along your own food and drink in a soft container or cool bag, along with a picnic blanket to lay on Murray Mound (or Henman Hill if you prefer).

Though this may impact on the quantity of food you can take, it certainly won’t hinder the quality with some of these delicious, yet modest sized treats.

Cucumber and Herb Double-Decker Sandwiches

Wimbledon is quintessentially British, and so are cucumber sandwiches. However, Wimbledon has still had to move with the times on certain things over the years, and to reflect this, we’ve added a modern twist to this classic summer favourite. Use a bread of your choice, thinly slice your cucumber and mix cream cheese with a small amount of mint and snipped chives in a food processor.

Dry your cucumber, then spread the cheese, mint and chive mixture onto your first slice. Lay on cucumber, then repeat another layer before adding a final plain piece of bread to create the layers. Trim off the crusts and cut into 4, then repeat as many times necessary for your party to share – dainty, refreshing and perfect to include in your picnic at Wimbledon.

Mini Bacon and Egg Pies

The big matches at Wimbledon fall on a weekend, and what is more of a recognised weekend treat here in the UK than bacon and eggs? Mini bacon and egg pies are a real treat to combine weekend and Wimbledon food traditions. For simplicity, take 500g of pre-made all butter short crust pastry and roll before cutting 12 x 11cm circles and add to a greased muffin tin.

Fry 8 rashers of bacon and a small onion that has been finely chopped until brown, then cool for 5 minutes. Mix in 1 large egg with 2 tbsp of crème fraiche and season well. Divide mixture between each pie. Stamp out lids from the remaining pastry, apply egg wash to the edge of each base and add the lid, brush with egg and bake for 30 minutes at 180°C.

Pimm’s Scones

Two summer classics combine in this tennis themed food. Pimm’s – a staple of Wimbledon refreshment, combined with that thoroughly British winner, scones. To make your scones, cover a baking tray with grease proof paper.

Put 300g of self-raising flour and ½ tsp of baking powder in a bowl with 70g of butter. Mix with your fingertips until it is mostly mixed, but don’t worry about being too thorough - the butter doesn’t have to be too fine. Stir in 30g of caster sugar and the zest of 2 lemons. In a separate jug, combine 150ml buttermilk with 2 tbsp of full fat milk, then make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, and pour in the liquid. Use a knife to mix your dough together. Lay out the dough on a table, pat it flat and cut out 8 scones with a 7cm cutter. Bake for 10 minutes at 200°C.

Then, mix 3 tbsp Pimm’s with 1 tbsp of golden caster sugar, then add 300g of halved strawberries, 1 large orange cut into segments and a handful of mint leaves. Leave to infuse for 1 hour in the fridge before mixing 300ml of double cream, 2 tbsp icing sugar and 50ml Pimm’s together with a whisk. Halve your cooled scones, add cream to each half and add a spoonful of Pimm’s soaked fruit to each half when you arrive. A match made in heaven.

Wimbledon food to serve up at home

Coronation-style Chicken

There’s certainly a regal feel to Wimbledon and Centre Court will often welcome members of the Royal Family to watch – so, Coronation Chicken is a top seed amongst our Wimbledon food ideas. Marinate 5 chicken breasts in 140g of Korma paste for 12 hours. Cook the chicken for 30 minutes at 170°C ensuring the chicken is cooked thoroughly. Mix 170g of mayonnaise, ½ tsp of Garam Masala powder and 100g of Mango Chutney to make your fragrant Coronation sauce.  Take 3 baby gem lettuces and separate and wash the leaves – pat dry and lay out on a platter. Slice your chicken, mix with the coronation sauce until well covered and serve in the open leaves. Drizzle with 20g of crème fraiche before serving – these are the colours of Wimbledon. A delight staged in green, like the tournament itself.

Pasta with Spinach, Rocket and Pesto

For a lighter or vegetarian option, try this fragrant summer pasta dish – pasta is a pre-match favourite amongst players, a truly tennis themed food. Boil 200g of penne pasta with a splash of olive oil until tender. In a large frying pan, add 100g of green pesto with olive oil and retain on a gentle heat until your pasta is ready and add to the pan. Mix well until coated, before stirring in 100g of spinach and 80g of rocket. Serve in a bowl with shavings of Grana Padano or parmesan cheese, with some salt and pepper to taste.

Strawberries & Cream, of course!

This one will be no surprise. It may seem obvious but there are a few tweaks to achieve that authentic Wimbledon strawberries and cream recipe. You’ll need a punnet of large, sweet strawberries, 1 tsp of lemon juice, 20g icing sugar and a small tub of clotted cream. Remove the stems, but leave the strawberries whole and add to a bowl with lemon and sugar and mix well. Add to a plate and add a large scoop of clotted cream. Or serve in a plastic pot with a plastic spoon, for that authentic Wimbledon experience!

 

For a picnic at Wimbledon or lunch inspired by Wimbledon food traditions, these Wimbledon food ideas are a winning addition to your summer. For all ingredients stated, and more summer food inspiration, visit your local convenience store.