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Rediff.com  » Sports » Travel Postcard: 48 hours in London during Wimbledon

Travel Postcard: 48 hours in London during Wimbledon

Last updated on: June 29, 2013 16:48 IST

Travel Postcard: 48 hours in London during Wimbledon

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Every year, for two weeks, Britain turns tennis-mad. Wimbledon runs from June 24 to July 7 with an entire nation rooting for Britain's Wimbledon underdogs.

But it's not all about being glued to the screen or even your seats in the Royal Box.

Whoever your tennis hero is, here is how you can spend 48 hours enjoying the perfect set of activities during the oldest tennis tournament in the world.


Image: Spectators are admitted to the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships
Photographs: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

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Tickets are resold for charity at 10 pounds for centre court

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FRIDAY

5 p.m. - If you can't wait until morning to get your tennis fix, after 5 p.m. on ground ticket admission costs less than 15 pounds ($22.81). Those who come to Wimbledon on corporate outings often leave in the early evening and after 3 p.m. tickets are resold for charity at 10 pounds for centre court and a fiver for the others. So if you're lucky, you could be witness to some serious centre court play at bargain prices.


Image: A sign points the way for non-ticket holders outside Wimbledon
Photographs: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
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Plenty of options for hungry tennis fans at Wimbledon

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8 p.m. - The new Hot Pink healthy grill in Wimbledon will satisfy hungry tennis fans with 27 combinations of mains of meat, chicken, fish or vegetables served with sides and sauces. (www.hotpinkgrill.com)


Image: Spectators add sauce to their hot dogs in the food court at Wimbledon
Photographs: Alessia Pierdomenico/Reuters

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Check out the west London club scene at Boujis, LouLou or Mahiki

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11 p.m. - After checking into your hotel, swap your tennis shoes for Gucci loafers for checking out the west London club scene - Boujis, LouLou and Mahiki, where you just might rub shoulders with the young royals or tennis fan, socialite and Kate Middleton's sister Pippa could be out in force with her entourage.

For a slightly ironic take on the west London night out - jump back to the 1980s at Maggie's in Chelsea, a boutique members nightclub named after the former Conservative prime minister Margaret Thatcher, who died in April. If you're in town the Thursday before the Wimbledon final, don your tennis whites for Maggie's retro tennis party.


Image: A general view of atmosphere at LouLou's 5 Hertford Street in London
Photographs: Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Pace London

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London's foodie scene is insatiable

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SATURDAY

11 a.m. - London's foodie scene is insatiable for the next hot thing. Maltby Street market, started in 2010, is a gastronomic destination worth its salt.


Image: The Monmouth Coffee on Maltby Street in London
Photographs: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

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Wimbledon also coincides with the start of the summer sales

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2 p.m. - The two Wimbledon weeks coincide with the start of the summer sales - an opportunity to get the perfect set of threads in case you are caught on Murray Mound's massive screen.


Image: A spectator wears an Andy Murray mask
Photographs: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

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Go for a relaxing float in the Serpentine in Hyde Park

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4 p.m. - Murray mania is not the only craze gripping the city in summer. Disappointing weather hasn't held back the outdoor swimming trend and the forecast is kinder for Wimbledon's second week. Go for a relaxing float in the Serpentine in Hyde Park, open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and costing 4 pounds. Go earlier to beat the crowds, though you may still be competing with the wildlife in the water.


Image: A man prepares for a foggy morning swim in the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park, in London.
Photographs: Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

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Try simple British nose-to-tail cuisine at St John's bar and restaurant

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7 p.m. - Head east to Farringdon. Next to Smithfield meat market, the white and minimalist St John's bar and restaurant housed in a former smokehouse offers simple British nose-to-tail cuisine and an ever-changing French wine list. (www.stjohngroup.uk.com)

Get a good night's sleep. Being on the edge of your seat during a Wimbledon match takes a lot of energy.


Image: A man prepares for a foggy morning swim in the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park, in London.
Photographs: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

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If you haven't already got a ticket, go bright and early

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SUNDAY

10 a.m. - Every day, except the last four days, a limited number of tickets for each of the Center, No.1 and No.2 courts are reserved for sale to the public at the turnstiles. Even in the last four days, it is possible to gain entry into the grounds. If you haven't already got a ticket, go bright and early, equipped with a picnic hamper from Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly (www.fortnumandmason.com), sun block and extra layers.


Image: Non-ticket holders wait in line in a field outside Wimbledon
Photographs: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

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Strawberries and cream: the traditional Wimbledon treat

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2 p.m. - Venture out to the countryside for pick-your-own strawberries - wolf down with cream for the traditional Wimbledon treat. Garsons in Esher, Surrey is less than a half hour drive from Wimbledon and closes at 5. (www.garsons.co.uk)


Image: Spectators enjoy a bowl of strawberries and cream
Photographs: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

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Practice your own backhand at one of the many tennis clubs in London

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7 p.m. - Inspired by Murray and company, practice your own backhand at one of the many tennis clubs in the British capital. Islington Tennis Centre runs drop in, mixed ability tennis sessions. On Saturday and Sunday they run from 7 until 10 p.m. and you don't need a racket or a partner.


Image: John McEnroe attends a party in London
Photographs: by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images for Slazenger

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Check out the Fish and Chip shop on Upper Street

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9.p.m. - Take your pea and mint sauce shaken not stirred in Pea Tini form at The Fish and Chip shop on Upper Street - the latest addition to London's nostalgia cuisine scene. The Islington eaterie is posher than your average chippie with oysters, scallops and lobsters on the menu alongside British classics battered fish and scampi. (www.thefishandchipshop.uk.com)


Photographs: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

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