When Wimbledon starts June 29, not everyone can get inside The Championships. We’ve got the best alternative spots for watching a match.
You may not get behind the gates at The Championships when Wimbledon starts June 29 (only ground passes and show court tickets are left, and most people camp out overnight for them), but that doesn’t mean you can’t get in on the tennis action when it does. Locations throughout London will be screening the matches, and we’ve mapped out the best options among them.
Bluebird is a classic Chelsea spot to catch a game, and this fashion and interiors shop-cum-cafe has become rightly popular for its al fresco viewings on the terrace outside. The buzz created from all the tennis fans having an Italian dinner as they watch Murray battle his opponents rivals the hum of Ferraris on the King’s Road outside the café.
You can’t get much closer to the action than Henman Hill, a grassy, banked area to the side of Court 1. Face-painted viewers and a party atmosphere make it a favorite with TV crews. Bring a picnic and your patience—you need to get in the queue early to gain access, as well as tickets to the ground admission (from $8 depending on time of day).
This new park will be packed with people watching its free Wimbledon showings from deck chairs scattered over the grass. You could bring a picnic, but for more salubrious sustenance, the refined Grain Store restaurant around the corner will treat viewers to Strawberries and Fizz from its own delivery bicycle.
Shiny high rises and the 21st-century cityscape of Canary Wharf provide the backdrop at this executive top-floor restaurant, which will be screening the tournament on its garden terrace. Fake grass, a themed cocktail menu (including a strawberry, gin, egg white and soda concoction named a Murray Gin Fizz) and desserts with titles such as Game, Set and Parfait create a court ambience.
Located just off the Southbank behind the Tate Modern, the Refinery café bar will be showing all of the games on its free big screen, and serving up Strawberry Fields cocktails on its terrace in honor of the season. Blankets to accompany cooler evening viewings are a nice touch.
Emily Mathieson is on the U.K. beat for Travel + Leisure. Based in London, you can follow her at @emilymtraveled.