How much are strawberries and cream at Wimbledon 2022? Price of tennis event treat - tradition explained
Wimbledon 2022 is entering its final stages, with Elena Rybakina taking on Ons Jabeur in the women’s final.
Elena Rybakina will face off against Ons Jabeur today (9 July) in the women’s singles final.
Djokovic will face Nick Kyrgios tomorrow (10 July) in the gentlemen’s singles final, after Nadal pulled out with injury allowed Kyrgios to advance to the final without having to play a semi-final.
While much of the focus at the tournament has been on the on-court action (or, in the case of Nick Kyrgios, what’s happening away from the SW19 turf), Wimbledon is essentially a festival of British summertime food and drink.
UK-sourced produce gets paraded throughout the fortnight, as the Wimbledon organiser’s food map shows.
So how much does one of the key British-sourced products - a portion of strawberries and cream - cost at this year’s Wimbledon and where are the fruit and dairy ingredients sourced from?
Here’s what you need to know.
Why do they serve strawberries and cream at Wimbledon?
Strawberries and cream have been a part of Wimbledon since the very first tournament in 1877.
The 200 people who turned up to the first tennis final at the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club (as it was then known) are believed to have been treated to the classic combination.
While no one knows the exact reason why the dessert was served up, there are two possible explanations.
The first is that the 1877 event was held at the height of the British strawberry season, so the berry would have been in plentiful supply.
The second possible reason is that Thomas Wolsey - a powerful figure in Henry VIII’s court - served strawberries and cream together at a banquet for the Tudor king in 1509.
Wolsey was known to have had tennis courts at his residence - Hampton Court Palace - so a tradition may well have been spawned there.
How much are strawberries and cream at Wimbledon?
Wimbledon has kept the price of its strawberries and cream at the same level since 2010.
A minimum portion of 10 strawberries topped with a dollop of cream will set you back £2.50.
This figure is at least 62p below what it would have cost if Wimbledon had let the price go up in line with inflation.
The organisers told the Daily Telegraph that they have absorbed higher costs being caused by record inflation, rather than pass them onto the consumer.
However, the same does not apply to a glass of Pimm’s, which will now cost you £7.50 for a glass, or £29.50 for a jug.
The strawberries come from Maidstone, Kent berry grower Hugh Lowe Farms and have to meet ‘Class 1’ requirements - i.e. they are deemed to be of good quality and must only have minor blemishes.
They are hand-picked at dawn and delivered on the morning of each day’s play, meaning they could well be the freshest strawberries you’ll ever taste (unless you happen to be able to pick your own).
According to the AELTC, more than 38.4 tons of strawberries are picked and then eaten during the two weeks of Wimbledon.
That is the equivalent of 1.92 million individual pieces of fruit across the fortnight, or 154,000 a day.
Overall, 190,900 portions of strawberries and cream are consumed.
Around 445 kilograms of raspberries - roughly 140,000 punnets - are also consumed at the tennis tournament.
The cream drizzled on top of the fruits is sourced from premium dairy brand Rodda’s, which is based in Cornwall.
What food and drink can you take to Wimbledon?
While you can get everything you need on-site at SW19, you are also allowed to take your own food and drink with you.
But you are limited in how much you can bring as the AELTC does not allow cool boxes or hampers.
There are also strict rules around alcohol.
You are allowed to bring the equivalent of the following tipples for every person in your party:
- One bottle of wine or champagne (750ml)
- Two cans of beer (500ml)
- Two cans of premixed cocktails
Spirits and fortified wines are not allowed into Wimbledon, so don’t expect to be able to mix your Pimm’s courtside while watching Rafael Nadal.
You also have to make sure that any drinks you take onto the show courts (Centre Court and Courts 1, 2, 3, 12 and 18) are in covered vessels.
Another rule is that any food or drink you take with you to a show court cannot smell too overpowering, or else you might have it confiscated.
So Wimbledon might not be the best place to re-heat last night’s curry or garlic-laden pasta dish.