"Breakfast at Wimbledon" is an eagerly anticipated summer ritual for tennis fans around the world. It's the opportunity to view today's tennis greats compete on the ever-challenging, less common, grass court surface. It's well worth waking up early on a summer weekend to watch this event. As you sit back in your cool air-conditioning with a nice cup of coffee or tea, you can watch superstar tennis players sweat in temperatures close to 100 degrees under the British midday sun.
The tournament provides a window onto the last vestiges of gentility with the presence of royalty in the gallery. I always look forward to hearing the quiet lob of the tennis balls and the hushed commentary of the announcers, as I calmly ease into the day.
Invite your tennis-loving friends over to share the spectacle with you at a Wimbledon brunch, and host your most elegant sports party of the year. Set a buffet table dressed in crisp white linens. Use your finest English china, most beautiful crystal goblets and be sure the silver is polished.
Suggest that your guests come in their brightest tennis whites or elegant silk pajamas. And book time at your local courts to play a few rounds after the Wimbledon coverage ends. After all that watching, you and your friends are sure to be inspired to hit the courts.
When planning your brunch, there's one seasonal food that must appear on your menu - strawberries.
Strawberries are the quintessential Wimbledon ingredient (aside from the tennis players!) Let your centerpiece be a large crystal bowl filled to the brim with whole strawberries. Surround it with several smaller bowls of toppings including granulated sugar, whipped cream, and heavy cream.
In the menu that follows, most recipes can be prepared in advance, so that nothing spoils the quiet reverie of the morning.
A Wimbledon Brunch
Vegetable and Cheese Strata
This is one of those wonderful, prepare-the-day-before breakfast casseroles, from Gourmet.
If you have the equipment to make your own sausages, then go for the traditional British bangers.
Scalloped Potato, Cheddar and Chive Pie
This recipe from Gourmet received rave reviews, and although it takes a bit of work, it can be made the day ahead.
Strawberry Peach Stuffed French Toast
This very interesting and tasty recipe has several steps that can be done in advance. Triple this recipe, too.
A Large Basket of Toast with English Marmalade
An English Trifle will work well for brunch because it can be prepared the day before. British and Irish Food Guide Elaine Lemm tells you how to create this classic British treat.
Lemon Buttermilk Cake with Strawberries
A perfect dessert to add to your Wimbledon brunch.
Brew a Proper Pot of Coffee
Lots of resources to help you get it right, from Terri Paajanen.
Brew a Proper Pot of Tea
A simple 'how to' for brewing tea, from your Entertaining Guide.
Wake up your guests with this English cocktail from British Food Guide, Elaine Lemm.