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Gordon Elliott’s top entries for the 2020 Grand National

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The Grand National is just a month away and as the excitement builds for what is often referred to as the biggest test of horse and rider, punters are already scrambling for the form guides and scouring the internet for the best odds on Grand National. It is believed that half of adults in the United Kingdom have a punt on the famous race and as people make their selections, one of the main things they look out for is the horse’s trainer. Gordon Elliott, who has been hugely successful at both the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National in recent years, is normally worth backing. So, read on as we talk you through his top entries this year. 

Tiger Roll – 5/1

Tiger Roll is out to make history in this year’s National. The outright favourite is aiming to become the first horse since the legendary Red Rum to win the race three times, whilst he’ll be the only horse to win it three times on the trot. The 10-year-old won the Boyne Hurdle and the Cheltenham Cross Country Chase in the build up to last year’s National and is following the same route this year. 

However, after not running since last year’s outing at Aintree, when he beat Magic Of Light by 2-and-three-quarter lengths, Tiger Roll came fifth at Navan last month, 14-and-a-half lengths behind the leader Cracking Smart. Although Elliott claimed that he was ‘thrilled’ with his run. The 10-year-old, who is often in the headlines regarding horse racing news, is evens to scoop his third successive Cross Country Chase at Prestbury Park and make it four wins on the trot at the Cheltenham Festival. 

Alpha Des Obeaux – 25/1

Since joining Elliott’s yard in October 2018, Alpha Des Obeaux has won just once and that victory came the following month in a Chase at Thurles, beating Vaseur Lido by just over one length. Consistency has been key for the 10-year-old with eight placed finishes since the move 16 months ago, including a third-place finish in the Grade Three Becher Handicap Chase at the famous Aintree course last December. 

The Michael O’Leary-owned horse, who is regularly ridden by Davy Russell, has placed in his last six races with three second places and as many thirds. Alpha Des Obeaux could run three more times before taking on the Aintree hurdles once more, with early entries in the Leinster National Handicap Chase, the Cheltenham Ultima Handicap Chase and the illustrious Cheltenham Gold Cup. 

Meanwhile, this won’t be the 10-year-old’s first crack at the Grand National. He fell at the Chair – the tallest hurdle – whilst running well in the 2018 race as Tiger Roll stomped to his first victory. 

The Storyteller – 33/1

Wins are few and far between for this National outsider, who is also regularly ridden by Russell. With just seven victories in 25 career jump races, The Storyteller has a win rate of just 28%. The nine-year-old failed to pick up a win last season despite entering seven races, although, after nine races, he managed to win at Clonmel last December, winning the Jim Strang & Sons Kilsheelan Hurdle by a length-and-a-half, whilst his National rival Total Recall, who is trained by Champion Trainer Willie Mullins, finished third. 

The Chestnut Gelding will head to the Cheltenham Festival, where he has won in the past, for the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle, which he is joint-second favourite to win alongside stablemate Sire Du Berlais and Relegate, before heading to Aintree next month. 

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The Best Racecourses near London

Few sporting events can match the buzz and excitement you can experience at a renowned racecourse. If you are eager to feel adrenaline coursing through your veins, want to dress up in style and put some bets on your favourite horses with your loved ones, you should book tickets to an upcoming horse racing event.

To help you find the right venue that’s a stone’s throw away from the Big Smoke, check out the following best racecourses near London.

Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, Berkshire

A little more than an hour away from the bustling capital is Ascot Racecourse, which is world-renowned for its thoroughbred horse racing. It is, however, wise to plan your visit during Royal Ascot, which is a special week of racing that takes place annually in June. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious meetings in the sport, and it is regularly attended by The Queen and other members of the royal family.

Every enclosure also has a strict dress code to follow, which you would be wise to review before you select an outfit. However, hats are a mandatory accessory in each enclosure apart from the Windsor Enclosure. It will, therefore, provide a perfect opportunity to showcase your exquisite fashion sense.

Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool

While Liverpool might be situated up north, you can reach the vibrant city via train, which takes as little as two hours from the capital. It will definitely be worth the journey, as few racecourses can compare to Aintree, which is home to the Grand National. The popular horse racing event started in 1839 and has been held at the venue ever since. As it offers the longest jump race in the UK, it draws a crowd of approximately 70,000 spectators every year, while millions of people across the world tune in to watch the handicap steeplechase on TV.

However, with difficult fences to overcome and 40 runners to choose from, you’ll need to trust your gut, review a horse’s form and find the best sporting odds to walk away from the event with a big smile on your face. The racecourse also features smaller horse racing events throughout the year, and you’ll also be a stone’s throw away from a variety of exceptional attractions, such as the Three Graces, The Beatles Story, Mersey Ferry and the iconic Mathew Street.

Windsor Racecourse, Windsor

Less than 50 minutes’ drive from the capital is Windsor Racecourse, which sits on an island along the bank of the River Thames. The racecourse is steeped in history, as it dates back to the Tudor period. It is also rather unusual in its design, as it features a figure of eight course layout, which is one of only three racecourses to offer this shape in the UK.

It now exclusively focuses on flat racing, ending its relationship with National Hunt races before the millennium. It is, however, one of the most sophisticated horse racing venues in all of the UK, offering a strict dress code for both male and female spectators. It’s also worth spending a little more time in town, as you can explore a variety of landmarks and attractions, such as Windsor Castle, Queen Mary’s Doll’s House and Legoland Windsor Resort.

So, if you are looking for a fun day of horse racing near London, the above options will not disappoint.


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Bladnoch Distillery Launches New State-of-the-Art Visitors Centre

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Bladnoch Distillery’s new state-of-the-art Visitors Centre in the heart of Dumfries and Galloway opened it’s doors in July 2019. The iconic distillery is one of the oldest working distilleries in Scotland and is owned by Australian businessman, David Prior.

The new Visitors Centre will feature a historical gallery, gift shop, café, and tasting bar serving the entire range of Bladnoch Single Malt Scotch Whiskies and Pure Scot Blended Scotch Whiskies. At least two tours of the distillery will be offered daily during the high season, taking guests on a journey through the distillery’s history and showcasing how Bladnoch Single Malt is crafted on site.

Bladnoch Distillery was founded in 1817 by the McClelland brothers who were some of the first in Scotland to acquire a license to make Scotch Whisky. In 2015, David Prior purchased the distillery with plans to reinvent the Bladnoch Single Malt offering and restore the historic distillery.

He enlisted the help of acclaimed Master Distiller, Ian MacMillan, and has invested over five million pounds into installing all new equipment including two pairs of copper stills from Forsyths of Rothes and six new wooden washbacks. Since 2017, the distillery has produced new make spirit once more, and has launched multiple award-winning expressions across both of its brands, Bladnoch and Pure Scot.

David Prior said of the re-opening of the historic distillery, “Over the past 4 years my team and I have restored and upgraded the distilling operation of Bladnoch and launched our Bladnoch Single Malts into 30 countries.

The opening of the Visitor Centre represents the final piece of this exciting and rewarding project. We are delighted to welcome guests from all over the world and deliver Bladnoch back to the local community, as an ongoing source of pride and employment.”

Earlier this year, Bladnoch Distillery announced that former Master Distiller of The Macallan, Dr Nick Savage, would join the team as their newly appointed Master Distiller. Nick Savage played an integral part in launching The Macallan Visitor Experience in 2018 and will now lead the team producing whisky in the heart of the Lowlands.

For more information on the Bladnoch Distillery Visitors Centre, please visit and sign up to our mailing list for regular updates here:

For any further enquiries or images, please contact: Rachel Brown: [email protected]

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Terra Terra, a brand new all day restaurant & café will launch this September on Finchley Road in North London.

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Progressive all-day Italian eatery and bar launches in North London with secret cocktail terrace

Terra Terra, a brand new all day restaurant & café complete with an open bakery and outdoor terrace will launch this September on Finchley Road in North London.

Terra Terra’s all-day menu provides fresh, delicious food choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the venue turns into an intimate cocktail spot by night. Set across two floors and boasting a private tucked away patio, Terra Terra’s contemporary design tones Tuscan heritage.

The perfect venue for all occasions, from meetings to birthday lunches and work nights out, Terra Terra’s impeccable choice of ingredients have fused together unique recipes which allows foodies of every kind to be satisfied. Commuters can get their hands on their daily caffeine fix from as early as 6.30am, freshly baked goodies from 7.30am and lunch goers can rely on a limitless range of lunch choices including healthy salads and sandwiches. Workers and families can swing by for a well-deserved wind-down meal and experience Terra Terra’s ambience as it grows throughout the evening. The venue’s Italian flair will saturate the atmosphere by night with a range of Italian inspired dishes being served. 

The outdoor terrace offers the perfect getaway from the busyness of London life. Walter Pintus, the award-winning mixologist behind world-famous bars including The Ritz and The Mandrake, has conceived storied Italian cocktails with a twist, whilst traditional cocktails such as the 1860’s Negroni can be relished at dusk until late in to the night.

Terra Terra is the first of a group of casual dining concepts by the Ghost Group, which will launch in the first week of September, priding itself on a menu, which has something for everyone. The impressive façade with large windows will entice passers-by as they watch its team of artisan bakers crafting make their honest creations.  

“Terra Terra will provide its customers with exceptional quality food and drink at affordable prices. Seating 40 diners on each floor creating a lively and buzzing atmosphere but simultaneously diners will experience those sought after relaxing vibes Londoners are seeking.” said Piers Walker, Creative Director of Ghost Group.

Terra Terra open seven days a week from 6.30am to 11pm, with last food orders for dinner at 10pm.

Terra Terra is located on 120 Finchley Rd, London NW3 5JB. 

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Island Poké collaborates with Rosa’s Thai Cafe for new guest chef bowl

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Grab-and-go trailblazer Island Poké is pairing up with Rosa’s Thai Cafe for the latest edition of its guest bowl series.

Rosa’s Thai Cafe is known for being the home of modern Thai food based on its founder, Chef Saiphin’s, family recipes. Rosa’s Thai Red Curry & Laab Poké bowl is a celebration of one of Rosa’s Thai Cafe’s signature dishes, combined with Island Poké’s fresh take on Hawaiian-inspired poké. The Rosa’s Thai Red Curry & Laab Poké bowl will feature on Island Poké’s menu from 29th August until 29th October.

The Rosa’s Thai Red Curry & Laab Poké bowl is a creative combination of Thai and Hawaiian flavours, inspired by Rosa’s Thai Cafe’s signature Chicken and Pineapple Red Curry dish. The bowl stars Island Poké’s miso chicken with Rosa’s Thai Cafe’s red curry sauce accompanied by butternut squash laab salad, fresh herbs, pineapple salsa and edamame, served on a bed of sushi rice and topped with a prawn cracker.

The red curry paste for Rosa’s Thai Cafe’s sauce is made by a cooperative in Trang, Thailand. The fresh herbs and spices, such as lemongrass and galangal, are grown locally by the farmers, and the paste is produced to Chef Saiphin’s own recipe. The bowl also contains the restaurant’s celebrated laab salad. This light and spicy salad is eaten frequently across the North-Eastern region of Thailand and is dressed with lime juice, fish sauce, chilli powder and fresh herbs. Rosa’s Thai Red Curry & Laab Poké bowl is a fresh summer dish packed full of salty, spicy, sweet, and sour flavours.

Since launching in 2015, Island Poké has revitalized the lunch time scene with its fresh take on Hawaiian-inspired poké. Literally translated to ‘slice’ or ‘dice’, poké can be customised with a variety of toppings, making it a natural fit to host this exciting collaborative bowl. This new addition to Island Poké’s menu shows their commitment to bringing Londoner’s fresh and flavourful dishes packed with high quality ingredients.

Rosa’s Thai Cafe has cemented itself as London’s go-to destination for Thai cuisine since opening its first restaurant in Spitalfields in 2008. Husband and wife founders, Alex and Saiphin Moore, have since delighted customers with their authentic Thai flavours with a modern twist.

‘We’re completely thrilled to be working with Rosa’s Thai Cafe on this amazing bowl collaboration,’ says James Porter, founder of Island Poké, ‘It’s an honour to have Rosa’s Thai Cafe join our incredible roster of limited-edition poké bowls and the combination of Thai and Hawaiian-inspired flavours work brilliantly together, we can’t wait for our guests to try it.’
Speaking of the collaboration, Saiphin Moore says ‘I’ve really enjoyed working with Island Poké on this project, Thai Red Curry has always been one of the most popular dishes on the menu at Rosa’s, and it’s deep, spicy flavours work really well with the zesty freshness of the Laab and the soft pillow of sushi rice – for me, it’s the perfect summer lunch bowl!”

In collaboration with Rosa’s Thai Cafe, Island Poké’s limited-edition Rosa’s Thai Red Curry & Laab Poké bowl will be available at each of its seven London locations for £8.95 from 29th August until 29th October.

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Royal China Launches New Menus for Summer 2019

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Have your chopsticks at the ready! Royal China has launched new summer across several London restaurants.

Royal China Harrow, Queensway and Fulham have your summer taste buds covered with range of Cantonese dishes available from August 2019.

Royal China Fulham
With an outdoor terrace available on weekends, Royal China Fulham is the ideal spot for some summertime dining. Available from Wednesday 21 August, the new Special Dim Sum Menu includes some delicious dumplings priced at £7.80 each. Pork is traditionally used as a filling for dim sum but Royal China has decided to use chicken and duck to bring variety to the menu.

Chicken Shumai

Chicken Soup

Spicy Minced Duck

Pan-Fried Chicken Gyoza

Vegetarian Cheung Fun Wrapped with Bean Curd Roll & Spinach

Royal China Queensway
Queensway’s exclusive Special Menu encompasses a selection of appetizers, main dishes and hot pots. Highlights include Deep Fried Golden Yolk Tofu; Sichuan Fillet Beef in Spicy Soup; Chicken Broth with Mixed Mushroom & Vegetables; and Chicken Broth with Prawn Dumplings & Chicken. Prices start from £13.80.

Royal China Harrow

Head Chef Mr Wu has created a deliciously unique menu for visitors this summer including a selection of vegetarian options. The Chef’s Special Menu comprises of seafood, hot pot, chicken, meat and vegetarian specialities. Prices range from £9.80 to £35.00.

The Royal China Group consists of six of London’s most authentic and prestigious Chinese restaurants, including the luxurious and critically-acclaimed Royal China Club.  Based in prime areas of London, the restaurants are centrally located on Baker Street, as well as in Bayswater, Fulham, Harrow-on-the-Hill and Canary Wharf.

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Digby Fine English pick up Three Gold Medals

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Digby Fine English is truly leading the charge in transforming English fizz into an internationally desirable category which has been reflected by their three Gold medal wins, so far this year. Digby achieves racy yet sophisticated house style through the refined art of blending, using grapes grown by its meticulously groomed partner vineyards in the chalky soil of Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and Dorset. 

2010 Vintage Reserve Brut

Digby Fine English’s 2010 Vintage Reserve Brut, its flagship wine, has been awarded a Gold medal at the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships, the most respected, comprehensive and rigorous international sparkling wine competition in the world. The well coveted awards will unveil Trophies & Best in Class later this year with Digby Fine English hopeful for another win. Elegant yet forward, this vintage sparkling wine is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. The slow ripening conditions of the long Indian summer produced outstanding fruit quality giving it its fantastic taste. High energy on the nose with a rich body reflecting five years of lees ageing, the Vintage Reserve Brut has a well-integrated seam of acidity drawing the sipper through layers of lemon magnolia and lightly poached apples to a long finish of brioche and gunpowder.

Leader Pink NV Brut

Digby Fine English’s Leander Pink Non Vintage Brut has been awarded a Gold medal at the International Wine Challenge awards 2019 scoring 95 points and being described as, ‘delicious mature notes of spice, coffee, cream and plums. Pretty in its lightness and well balanced.’ Jubilant yet gracious, Digby Leander Pink NV Brut is the quintessential partner to the Summer Season. The blend celebrates England’s most vibrant Pinot Noir with rich, aged Chardonnay and ethereal Pinot Meunier. It is a gloriously more relaxed rendition of their racy yet sophisticated house style, with an elegant pink hue to compliment Leander Club’s official pink colour. Plus part of the proceeds of each bottle sold helps Leander Academy in Henley-on-Thames to develop teenage athletes into Olympic rowing champions.

Non-Vintage Brut

Digby Fine English’s Non Vintage Brut NV has been awarded a Gold medal at the WineGB Awards 2019, sponsored by Rankin and Waitrose. Made up of 40 percent Pinot Noir, 25 percent Pinot Meunier and 35 percent Chardonnay providing a round, rich, open heart; a blend for love, adventure and fun. Digby outshone 254 other wines that were entered to win one of only 39 gold medals.

Trevor Clough, Co-Founder & CEO, says:  Our English wine adventure is all about excellence and fun, and we are tickled pink about this hat-trick of Golds for our three main wines. Supreme quality is the promise to the world that is helping make Britain internationally renowned in the glass. What a dream!

The brand has previously won an extensive array of trophies and accolades for its range, with its flagship wine 2010 Vintage Brut winning Gold at the UK Wine Awards along with the ‘Most Outstanding Classic Style’ trophy, and Non Vintage Brut won Platinum / 97 Points in Decanter World Wine Awards 2018.

In addition to it’s Gold medals this year, Digby has officially opened its doors to the Digby Fine English Tasting Room in the heart of Arundel, West Sussex. Located steps away from the historic and beautiful Arundel Castle and a few minutes from where the wine is made, the new brand home is set to host, educate and entertain customers from around the world. As Digby Fine English continues to be an innovator in the English wine category, this new addition will allow more visitors and Digby enthusiasts to experience the renowned British brand.

The Digby Fine English Tasting room is open from Wednesday to Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday from 11-4pm or until 8.30pm by appointment. The Tasting Room is also available for private and ticketed events from 6pm-10.30pm upon request.

Address: 55-57 High Street, Arundel, West Sussex, BN18 9AJ

Telephone: +44 20 7112 8887

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TUCO chairman wins prestigious Cateys Award

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Last night, Matthew White, chairman of The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) and director of campus commerce at the University of Reading was announced the winner of the public sector award at the esteemed Cateys Awards 2019.

An audience of 1,200 including an impressive line-up of Michelin-starred chefs and high-profile industry professionals gathered at the 35th prestigious event, which took place at the Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel in London.

Matthew White said:

“To win the public sector award at this year’s highly respected Cateys Awards is a huge honour. I was delighted to be nominated and shortlisted by my peers, and to go on to win is incredible.”

He adds, “Winning this prestigious award is a fantastic achievement for myself and TUCO. Our #TUCOfamily is what drives the organisation. I am extremely proud that we are proved to be an influential part of the UK catering and hospitality industry.”

The Cateys annual awards ceremony is a celebration of the finest people and brands in UK hospitality. It showcases innovative brands and trail-blazing people from across hotels, restaurants, foodservice, pubs and bars. Alongside Matthew White, other winners included 72-year old chef Shaun Hill who was presented with the lifetime achievement award, Vacherin’s Phil Roker, who won the foodservice caterer award and the special award honoured Ken McCulloch from Dakota.

White adds, “TUCO is a membership organisation made up of circa 186 higher and further education institutions across the country. Our procurement frameworks help achieve best value for public sector catering, not only in education but also for NHS trusts, local authorities, care homes, academies and charities. We provide learning and development via our TUCO Academy for our members who employ circa 33,000 members of hospitality staff at various stages of their careers within the sector.

The esteemed Cateys is one of the top awards to win in this industry and so to be honoured with this great award will help our business grow and develop for the future.”

On Thursday 4th April 2019, Matthew White was announced the winner of the Non-Executive Director award for the Institute of Directors (IoD), North West & Isle of Man, Director of the Year Awards 2019. Following this, White has now been shortlisted for the IoD awards UK finals. The winner will be revealed on Friday 18th October 2019 at The Brewery in London. The IoD awards is a celebration of director’s leadership, talent, success and achievement. The event aims to highlight the very best of UK business leaders.

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The UK winner of the Beluga Signature bartender program announced.

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Lucia Montanelli, head bartender at The Dorchester in London, has just been announced as the winner of the UK final of the fourth annual Beluga Signature bartender program. She beat the other 9 semi-finalists with her stand-out signature serve cocktail the Beluga Siberian Treasure, using the Beluga Gold Line Vodka. Montanelli will join the winners of the heats in Russia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and India in the grand final in Moscow in September 2019 to compete for the title of Beluga Signature Global Ambassador 2020.

Beluga Signature is an international, multistage bartender program encompassing an educational component and creative competition in 7 major markets. Any professional bartender can enter, and each year 30 applicants are chosen from each of the participating countries to join the Beluga Signature Bar Tender School. This is a day of educational masterclasses curated by spirits scene guru and Beluga Signature Educational Director, Philip Duff. All thirty attendees are then assessed in the creative task — to create a luxury drinking experience that combines a unique ritual with the drink serve that is performed by the guest. 

It was from these 30 drinks entries that the top 10 UK semi-finalists were chosen. The UK final took place at Hush, Mayfair on 5th June. The judges were Paloma Altos from the Difford’s Guide, Lorenzo Rocci, the 2018 Beluga Signature winner and industry stalwart Peter Dorelli — former head bartender of The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel, London.

Montanelli will represent the UK in the grand final, joining the 7 other global finalists on an all expenses paid trip to Moscow to compete for the title of Beluga Signature Global Ambassador 2020. In this role, they will represent the Beluga brand for a year at illustrious industry events like the Bar Convent Berlin, Germany (October 2019), Bar Convent Brazil (June 2020) and Tales of the Cocktail, USA (July 2020). They will also receive a one-week internship in their choice of any of the 50 World’s Best Bars.

Congratulations also to second and third place winners Peride Fameli of the Arts Club and Michael Duda of the Library Bar at The Lanesborough. The competition was fierce, but it was Montanelli’s homage to Russian history and elegant Martini style serve that earned her top position.  



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Game, set, match! The Petersham Restaurant serves up a winning dessert for Wimbledon

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To celebrate Wimbledon 2019, The Petersham in Richmond has created a smashing tennis-themed dessert that’ll have you calling ‘more balls, please’!

Exclusively available from 1st – 14th July on the restaurant’s à la carte menu, Head Chef Jean-Didier Gouges has crafted a refreshing strawberry and elderflower mousse, delicately encased in a hand-crafted white chocolate exterior.

The Petersham’s popular Afternoon Tea has also been given a Wimbledon twist of its own for the next two weeks. Alongside another tennis ball dessert (with a rich and glossy chocolate mousse filling for this Afternoon Tea version), Jean-Didier has added a grand slam of desserts, from a ‘mango and passionfruit Eton mess tartlet’ to a ‘white chocolate truffle with Champagne and dried raspberry’.

Both the tennis-ball dessert and Wimbledon Afternoon Tea will be exclusively available throughout the Championships at The Petersham, from Monday 1st July – Sunday 14th July.

The themed tea is priced at £29.50 Monday to Friday and £32.50 Saturday and Sunday (add a glass of champagne for £12.75).

For more information, please visit:

The Petersham Restaurant
Nightingale Lane
TW10 6UZ

Reservations team: 020 8939 1084

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