The history behind strawberries and cream - the sweet treat we can't get enough of at Wimbledon

Strawberries and cream is the ultimate summer sweet treat - but where did the tradition come from?

strawberries and cream traditionally served at wimbledon
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Strawberries and cream are a quintessential part of Wimbledon. Did you know that during the Wimbledon tennis season, organizers can expect to shift almost 200,000 units - at £2.50 each, that's around £5,000,000! 

It's a pairing that clearly works well, but when did strawberries and cream at Wimbledon originate and is there a specific meaning to the combo? 

Want to know how to watch Wimbledon 2022 from the comfort of your own home? Our guide should help. And if you're looking for some inspiration so that you can join in with the strawberries and cream tradition at home, check out our strawberry recipes collection. If you are lucky enough to have a golden ticket, you may want to take a look at our fashion guide to what to wear to Wimbledon.

Why do they eat strawberries and cream at Wimbledon?

Strawberries and cream at Wimbledon

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The first instance of strawberries and cream being served at Wimbledon was reported to be the first tournament in 1877 - when there were just 200 people in attendance.

So why strawberries and cream? Back in 2015, Johnny Perkins, head of PR for the All England Club, explained what he believed to be the reasoning behind the combination. He told CNN (opens in new tab), "It was probably two things - strawberries were in season at the time the tournament was played, and in Victorian England, they had become a fashionable thing to eat.

"They were part of afternoon tea, which had become a fashionable ritual, and that took root at Wimbledon."

Who invented strawberries and cream?

Of course, strawberries and cream was a popular combination long before Wimbledon began. It's thought that strawberries and cream were first served as a complementary combination in 1509 by Thomas Wolsey, the right-hand man to Henry VIII. 

Strawberries were a popular fruit, as they were said to have a number of health benefits, including helping ease bad breath and even combat labor pains. They were said to be a cleansing fruit, in particular for the liver, blood and spleen, according to Food Journal, The Devilled Egg (opens in new tab).

How much do strawberries and cream cost at Wimbledon?

Despite inflation, the price of strawberries and cream at Wimbledon has remained at a very reasonable £2.50 - for a carton of 10 strawberries and a dollop of cream. This is thought to be partially because the strawberries are all grown locally in Kent so aren't as costly to produce as more exotic fruits. 

The strawberries are said to always come from Kent grower Hugh Lowe Farms and have to meet 'Class 1' requirements, which means they are deemed to be of the highest quality and have little in the way of blemishes. 

What you might not also realize, is that a fair amount of raspberries are also consumed at Wimbledon. In fact, around 445 kilograms of raspberries, which is roughly 140,000 punnets, according to National World (opens in new tab)

Lauren Hughes
Lauren Hughes

Lauren is the former Deputy Digital Editor at woman&home and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren worked on the woman&home brand for four years before going freelance. Before woman&home Lauren worked across a variety of women's lifestyle titles, including GoodTo, Woman's Own, and Woman magazine.