Wimbledon Tour for Mr Kay's Birthday
You know sometimes when you try really hard to make a birthday really special for someone but somehow it just all goes wrong? That's what happened to me a few weeks ago when it was Mr K's birthday. I lovingly baked an extra large Chocolate Orange Cake but dropped it as I took it out of the oven. Using a jar of nutella as glue, I managed to rescue it. Amazingly, the nutella 'set' as the cake cooled and cemented it back together. Hooray!
The next morning, which the help of my lovely sister-in-law, I slathered it with chocolate icing and decorated it with malteasers and chocolate fingers. Hooray, just in time for the party! Yes, the party, a BBQ in August, what a brilliant idea when you live in England!
Because we have quite a large garden, I had invited literally everyone we know to Mr K's birthday BBQ. However, the heavens opened and it chucked it down. With the last minute help of our friends and their gazebos, we created a substantially large covered area of garden to party in.
Finally, the presents, which I had spent so much time looking for, didn't arrive in time, despite paying extra for quick delivery. Boo and hiss Amazon (who are usually brilliant). I tried so hard, but it all seemed to go so wrong. Poor Mr K had a broken cake, a soggy BBQ and no presents.
However, a couple of days later I managed to redeem myself with a surprise trip to Wimbledon for a behind the scenes tour of the grounds and trip to the museum. Mr Kay is just crazy about tennis so he was absolutely delighted. Especially as we were child-free for the day!
The 90 minute tour kicked off around 11.30 and we were shown around the grounds, and also some of the behind-the-scenes areas of Wimbledon. Our tour guide was incredible - she knew all about the history of tennis and Wimbledon and was full of interesting facts. She was friendly, animated super knowledgeable and answered all our questions.
We were in a group of 40 people which included Brits, Americans, South Africans, Australians, Germans and Dutch. Our guide asked us at the start of the tour where we were all from so she could point out something relevant to everyone's home country. I thought that was a nice touch.
One of the highlights of the tour was seeing Henman Hill as a bare stretch of grass - usually it's covered with people under umbrellas when I have seen it on the TV. Another highlight was sitting in Centre Court. The score from the 2013 men's final, when Murray beat Djokovic, was still displayed. Centre Court has a new exciting electronic roof which cost a whopping £20 million to install.
Unlike Rich, I am not a huge tennis fan but I found the tour fascinating. There's a real buzz about Wimbledon, even outside the tournament. We were allowed into some of the behind the scenes areas such as the press interview room and the media centre. We were not allowed in the players locker rooms unfortunately, that would have been fun to see.
After the tour we had a quick bite to eat at restaurant 360, which was the only place to eat on site as far as we could see, before heading to the museum. It's a self service canteen more than a restaurant and the food is a little over priced and not that great, but its fine for a coffee and a pastry or sandwich.
I really enjoyed the museum - it has some amazing memorabilia and it's very interactive. It's fairly small, but I think if it was any bigger it would just be become boring! I was surprised how much I enjoyed it as a non-tennis fan - it was great to see how the sport has evolved over the decades.
Tennis has changed so much in the past 120 years or so since it has been played. The racquets, the balls, the courts and the clothing! For example, ladies paying tennis in the Victorian era would have worn a corset and a long dress. Altogether, their kit would have weighed 4.7kg, double the weight of the gentlemans tennis kit!
The whole thing took us about 3 hours (we didn't rush at all) and we were able to park on site for free (although parking is limited). I think for £22 each it was really great value. We could have got tickets on the door, but as they are subject to availability I booked them online though Experience Days at no extra cost.
In the end Mr K had a fantastic birthday. The presents showed up eventually, the cake tasted great and our buddies didn't mind celebrating with us in the rain. We also had a fantastic day out at Wimbledon, just the two of us. I realised, yet again, when I strive to make everything perfect I'm always dissatisfied. When I relax and just do what I can it's so much better.
This is a sponsored post. We were given two free tickets for the Wimbledon Tour & Museum Experience by Experience Days in return for an honest review. All words and opinions are my own.