Yesterday a dream came true for me – I not only got to visit the Wimbledon tennis championships, but also had Centre Court tickets! Below (bottom right) is the 2013 champion, Andy Murray.
Not only did I get to see Andy Murray and Novak Djokavic play, but I also managed to safely eat gluten free.
There are a large number of restaurants, cafés and take away outlets. On the AELTC website, under dietary requirements, it states that there is a ‘limited choice of pre-packaged gluten-free foods’. On reading this, I thought it sounded a little bit grim, but at least there might be something. I then saw an article put together by Genius Gluten Free*, which put a much more positive slant on things, and on digging further on the official website I found the detailed information which is reproduced below for convenience.
Visitors with special dietary requirements are advised that they should bring with them what they need to eat and drink throughout the day. However, an offer of gluten-free products are available in the Aorangi Food Court and Conservatory Kitchen on the No.1 Court, and Cafe Pergola situated near to Gate 5.
A selection of gluten-free products:
Aorangi Food Court – from £7.00
Mexican Chilli Cheese Nachos with mixed bean chilli or chilli con carne with guacamole, sour cream and cheese
Stone-baked Pizza available with a gluten free base upon request
Salads to Go – Moroccan Inspired Harissa Chicken on gluten free flatbread, and Sweet Chilli Tiger Prawn with Thai Inspired Coleslaw on gluten free flatbread/
(Not on official page, but gluten free rolls are available here, as well as popcorn and crisps.)
(Not on official page, but gluten free salads are available here, as well as popcorn and crisps.)
Conservatory Kitchen – from £14.50
Red Thai Chicken Curry
Brixham Fish Pie
Lancashire Beef Stroganoff
Severn and Wye Poached Salmon
Treacle Glazed West Country Gammon
Cafe Pergola – from £7.50
Duo of Smoked Severn and Wye Salmon
Severn and Wye Poached Salmon
Avocado Pear with Prawn Marie Rose
Oriental Coconut Roasted Norfolk Chicken Breast
Free-range Suffolk Roast Pork served in a gluten-free roll and apple sauce with salad
Salads to Go – Moroccan Inspires Harissa Chicken on gluten free flatbread, and Sweet Chilli Tiger Prawn with Thai Inspired Coleslaw on gluten free flatbread
All three areas offer gluten-free scones, cakes and sandwiches upon request.
Jude’s ice cream, served throughout the Grounds, is also gluten-free.
(Source: Wimbledon website – go to Visiting A-Z, then Eating and Drinking at Championships, then scroll down.)
I went along with only some snacks, as I felt fairly confident about getting food.
The first thing we did on arrival, was to have strawberries and cream – naturally gluten free! The strawberries had a beautiful flavour and were a real treat (good English strawberries from Kent, I believe!). We had planned to have champagne with them, but they can’t serve alcohol until 11am (we later had a Pimm’s on Henman Hill). If you get your strawberries from one of the stalls outside the courts, you get the cream poured on freshly, whereas at the self-service food courts the strawberries are already sitting in the cream.
For more substantial meals, I only visited the take away outlets and the gluten free options were clearly marked. I saw an article from 2013 that the catering manager is on a gluten free diet, so I’m sure that has something to do with the availability of gluten free options.
There are two kinds of pre-packed salads and rolls. There are also nachos and pizza labelled gluten free, but I did have concerns about cross contamination for the latter two (more on this later).
I saw the salads in the Lawn Buffet (near entrance 7) and Aorangi Food Court (near Henman Hill). The Aorangi food court also had GF rolls, as well as the warm foods mentioned above. I didn’t see the gluten free scones, but I did not look carefully.
There was a good stock of the gluten free items and more than I expected – this picture is just a portion of a whole shelf of gluten free rolls. There was a chicken & pesto or egg mayonnaise option.
For an early lunch, I really enjoyed the Moroccan inspired Harrisa Chicken, which was served on a GF flatbread, with various salad items, including a quinoa salad. It had a dressing in a little pot, which added nice flavour. I also bought some crudités with houmous to have has a snack later. The other salad option was Sweet Chilli Tiger Prawns with Thai Inspired Coleslaw.
For an early dinner, I went back to the Aorangi food court to have the nachos I had seen earlier at the Tex Mex section, but I saw the staff using the spoon for the guacamole and sour cream to spread onto the tortilla breads and touching the bread, so I decided it was too risky. As the tortillas were not labelled gluten free, I presumed they were wheat and not corn. I did tell the staff member that I saw doing this, and also mentioned it to a supervisor/manager on my way out who was going to look into it. I did not ask about how the pizza was cooked, but there was a sign that a GF base was available. If you want these, just ask a few more questions!
I decided to be safe and had an egg roll, which was very good.
There were also pots of fruit salad, popcorn, and crisps that were gluten free by ingredient.
I had a fantastic day that was not blighted by feeling hungry – thank you to Wimbledon catering 🙂
If you have been to one of the restaurants or cafes, please comment below with your experiences to help anyone else visiting!
If you are looking for places to eat around the Wimbledon area, the *Genius Gluten Free article also has some restaurant suggestions.