As the grass season draws to a close, the All Court Tennis Club is here to guide you along, far beyond the customary pleasures of strawberries and cream and spectating world-class tennis. That’s the easy part, hey?
The grass is never better in England than in June, and Wimbledon probably has the best grass in the aisle. Sown with 100 per cent Perennial Ryegrass since 2001, the 15 permanent ground staff picked this instead of a mixed blend (70 per cent rye/30 per cent creeping red fescue) to improve durability and strengthen “the sward” to withstand the increasing tear of the modern game. In addition to the most exquisite grass —cut to a height of 8mm with rulers coming out to measure — Wimbledon ensures everything about the tournament meets the finest standards, from the players, who endure rounds of warm-ups, to the officials, who are plucked from the rosters of the best performing, to the strawberries sourced from the lush Kent countryside at Hugh Lowe farms – a family owned business with a 100-year heritage. It’s a club most amateurs and pros will only ever dream of playing at, it’s the venue for the closing out of the grass season and the one that sees players off to the rowdy and rumbunctious, U.S. Open.
A handful of lucky All Courters have membership at All England Lawn Tennis Club. If you’re fortunate enough to get invited to play on the hallowed grass courts as a member guest, we can confirm it is as good as it sounds. The AELTC also makes itself available for corporate events and tours. Drop shot your email and any query on Wimbledon and the AELTC and we’d be happy to see if we can answer it.
Founded on 23 July 1868 as the All England Croquet Club, the great success and rapid evolution of tennis — as well as the peak of croquet — forced the club to convert some of its croquet lawns to tennis lawns. In 1875, the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club (AECLTC), became the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTCC) and club members decided to hold a club tournament. When that club tournament became a Grand Slam, they finally settled on the AELTC.
The club now has 18 championship grass courts (including Centre Court and Court One) and 14 grass practice courts located next door, in Aorangi Park. The club has 375 full members, about 100 temporary playing members and a number of honorary members. To become a full or temporary member, an applicant must obtain letters of support from four existing full members, two of whom must have known the applicant for at least three years. The name is then added to the candidates’ list. Honorary members are elected from time to time by the club’s committee. Membership carries with it the right to purchase two tickets for each day of the Wimbledon Championships. But most importantly, members gain the right to play year-round on the grass and enjoy the perks of the clubhouse: a large restaurant which serves members throughout the day, plush socialising areas, beautiful locker rooms, access to the terrace and player entrances and also, the balcony. “It’s just the attention to detail in every single aspect that this place has,” Emma Raducanu told ESPN in 2022. “I mean, from the flowers to everything. They have, like, subtle hints of tennis racquets and tennis balls in the carpets. The level they go to make sure this place is pretty much perfect, it’s pretty outstanding.”
Wimbledon is renowned for holding on to long-standing club tradition, however, last year, they allowed a splash of colour when players wanted to wear blue-and-yellow ribbons in support of Ukrainians and then allowed even more leeway, permitting women to wear coloured undershorts beneath their white skirts.
The tournament has seen some staggering wins — the eleven-hour, five minute, 6-4, 3-6, 6-7, 7-6, 70-68 match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut comes to mind for many — as well as the five-championship streak by Federer from 2003-2007 (eight total), the six-championship run by Martina Navratilova from 1982-1987 and the three finals matches played between sisters Venus and Serena Williams in 2002, 2003, 2008 and 2009. Plenty of action happens on the outer courts, as well, especially if Nick Kyrios is playing Stefano Tsitsipas.
Can you get tickets to this grass court tune-up? Sure thing. Although mostly sold out, our ticketing concierge has deep networks to make sure our guests have the ultimate tennis experience. If you’re interested in procuring tickets for this incredible tournament in the English capital, please simply serve up the basic details below:
Wimbledon fans usually like to splurge on the latest offerings of the Ralph Lauren collection — or even the new Wimbledon casual collection — but the village itself has a lot to offer if you are looking for some retail therapy. Wimbledon Village offers a diverse array of upscale boutiques, including Sweaty Betty for stylish activewear, La Creuset and Japanese Knife Company for premium cookware, Matches Fashion for luxury fashion finds, and Space NK for high-end beauty products.
Eat, drink and BE merry
Wimbledon is known for having a string of delicious Thai food eateries across the village, which all of the players love, but there are plenty of other options in the village. Still, if you want to eat like Andy Murray…
Thai Tho: Located on Wimbledon High Street, Thai Tho has been serving players and tennis commentators, including Andre Agassi and Chris Evert, since the late 1980s — it is one of Maria Sharapova’s favourite places to dine. A far cry from High Street chain-restaurants, Thai Tho has the usual curries, stir fries and noodles, but serves it all in an interior willed with intricately carved Buddha statues, jade-coloured plates and colourful flowers.
Hemingways: Since 2010, Hemingways has been the only locally owned and independent cocktail establishment in the heart of Wimbledon village. True to its namesake, Hemingways can put together such favourites as an Old Fashioned, an Espresso Martini, or an in-house creation like the ever-popular Pomme d’Hemingways. Hemingways complements its drink menu with a selection of homemade pizzas and antipasti.
Ivy Café Wimbledon: Although an England chain, The Ivy Café offers sophisticated all-day dining in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere — from modern British cuisine to café-style classics and vegan/vegetarian dishes. The restaurant is within easy reach of the AELTC and the New Wimbledon theatre, making it the ideal venue for post-match and/or pre-theatre dining or drinks anytime. An intimate garden terrace and private first-floor dining room make it ideal for groups and entourages.
The Dog & Fox: Live it up like Nick Kyrgios on a bad streak at this iconic pub and hotel at the hub of Wimbledon Village. Of course, a traditional pub serves pub classics, such as fish & chips or a Sunday roast, but with summer here, Dog & Fox chefs are cooking fresh vegetables, like tenderstem broccoli and pea tart, as well as lamb and spiced cous cous salad. With or without a Wimbledon ticket, enjoy a sparkling gin spritz on the Sipsmith Sipping Terrace, a Camden’s finest or a Pimm’s and watch the results roll in.
It’s well known that most of the locals clear out of the village when the Championships roll into town, as there are lucrative deals to be made renting out houses to the players. In 2021, the AELTC, under quarantine guidelines, made everyone from the tournament — officials, players, coaches and court attendants — quarantine at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, a luxury hotel in Southwark, about a 45-minute drive from Wimbledon. But with coronavirus faded away, it’s accommodation as usual.
Hotel du Vin (Cannizaro House): A country house seven miles from London, the current Cannizaro House was the long-time home of Sophia Johnstone, heiress to an East India Company fortune and her husband, the Italian aristocrat, Francesco Platamone, Duke of Cannizzaro. Now a part of the Clermont Hotel Group, the Cannizaro House’s individually decorated rooms and terrace restaurant offer a respite from the literal and metaphorical heat at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. From £374 (during Wimbledon).
Warren House: Just a short 11-minute drive from the AELTC, Warren House is a breath-taking Victorian Grade II listed building, offering stunning accommodation within 6 acres of beautiful, landscaped gardens. Situated in the exclusive Coombe Estate, the hotel has 48 bedrooms, two bars and a restaurant with terrace dining.
The Rose & Crown: This 17th century pub has been housing weary travellers in Wimbledon since 2002 with 13 comfortable, dog-friendly rooms with Wimbledon Common on the doorstep, a bustling high street packed with independent shops and restaurants, and the AELTC a short walk away. Moreover, the Rose & Crown will transform its sun-trap terraced garden into a round-the-clock tennis club party with matches and recaps on outside or inside TV screens and live music from The Modern Apes. Call for rates.
All Court Tennis Club partners with hotels around the world, providing our members with unique benefits such as preferential rates and perks. If you’d like to become a complimentary member of the All Court Tennis Club (and we’d certainly like that!) visit our membership page here.