Last year, Brownell CEO & tennis-enthusiast Troy Haas hopped across the pond for the oldest tennis tournament in the world: Wimbledon. He spent several days with friends enjoying traditional strawberries and cream and watching some of the best athletes competing to win the prestigious title. Below, Troy shares a few insider tips in this guide to Wimbledon.
What to Wear
Wimbledon is dressier than most sporting events. They suggest being on the “dressy side of casual” is a good idea. We wore sport coats with no tie and that felt spot on if doing Gatsby (see below), but you could drop the coat, especially if not doing Gatsby. Debenture holders and members go very dressy (coat and tie and dresses), so you are surrounded by a dressy group. However, many non-members/debenture folks do go in shorts/jeans t shirts.
I would advise dressing up as part of making this a special and fun event, not because of obligation. This is one of the world’s great event and venues, so make it special!
It’s easy to ride the Tube to Wimbledon on the District line. It’s a straight shot from Embankment where Savoy is located. Easy 15 min walk to AELTC from station, although they do run a shuttle that takes longer with traffic.
Gatsby hospitality is extremely nice—I can see why they won as top hospitality last year. It’s super deluxe: custom Pimms cups drinks, plenty of French Champagne and very good wines, excellent food and service, and the Michelin starred chef wanders around to meet the visitors. The staff is very attentive, well dressed and helpful with navigating the facility. It is located across from Centre court entrance with buggies, so it is a great way to get oriented to Wimbledon and have a spot to gather with a small group. I recommend Gatsby for your first day.
Also, check out Wimbledon Experience as an alternative. It has less food and wine and less money, but it is in same facility.
Centre court is intimate, unlike US Open/Arthur Ashe where clients need to be on Loge level to see. The facility is to me a cross between Augusta National and Fenway Park—old but extremely tastefully done. You know you are somewhere special. So go early and be prepared to have time to wander around and ‘be’ and soak up the atmosphere. Consider doing back to back days so you see both sides of both the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ draws and see all the top players.
Wimbledon is not just Centre court. The outer courts are intimate, and you can stand right next to these amazing players on many courts. Only Centre Court and Court 1 require tickets, so you can see a lot of action. I liked being there in week 1 to see more matches, even if you don’t see big names vs each other.
For US travelers, strongly consider paying for Centre court vs Court 1 for the days you go to ensure you see tennis with the roof (court 1 roof coming by 2019). It rains a lot so you would hate to go all that way and not get to watch!
If Wimbledon is on your bucket list, contact your Advisor to start planning your trip!