New Years Eve Celebrations in Wimbledon

Celebrate New Year’s Eve in a great atmosphere at one of the many pubs, bars, clubs or restaurants in Wimbledon, offering killer cocktails, delicious dinner, tunes to make you move and entertainment to guarantee a good night.

Party The Night Away

Tequila Mockingbird will be throwing a Bottomless Extravaganza, with three hours of bottomless drinks including Pornstar Martini’s, Prosecco and Beer, plus an hour of bottomless pizza. With an awesome DJ line up lighting up the dance floor for the entire evening and until the early hours. Arrive in style to a hosted red carpet, dress to impress and take part in a 2022 live countdown finished with an ultimate balloon drop. Plus a bespoke photo booth to capture your final moments of 2021.

See the year go out with a bang and head to Wimbledon’s LGBTQ+ bar CMYK for two floors of queer DJs, free prosecco on arrival and drag performances throughout the night. Open until 3am, the night will be hosted by Rosie Zinfandel and Coco Couture, with early bird tickets beginning from only £5. Or boogie into the new year with brilliant tunes and club classics playing until 3am at Tunnel 267.

See in 2022 Mexican style with tacos, tequila, La Loteria bingo, a live DJ and more at The Old Frizzle’s New Year’s Eve Fiesta. Including a limited edition taco menu to dive into and a cracking Cazcabel margarita menu, plus shots to wash it all down.

Count It Down in a Local Pub

Enjoy live band OB1s from 9pm on 31st December at Prince of Wales, or an evening of funk and soul beginning from 8pm at Hand & Racquet, with a live DJ playing 80’s funk, soul, Motown, reggae and disco music. Garratt & Gauge are creating the ultimate blend of craft drinks, atmosphere and live music to celebrate NYE this year. Get all your mates together and book tickets now here.

New Year Feast

Take your New Year’s Eve to the next level with Sticks ‘n’ Sushi’s lovely Japanese and Scandinavian-inspired New Year’s menu. Whether you are jumping into the New Year with your family or friends, add some extra flavour and colour to your evening with a splash of bubbly.

 

See the full list of pubs and bars in Wimbledon, or restaurants here.

*Some venues and nightclubs may require you to show a Covid-19 pass, according to the new government guidance.

Get Married at New Wimbledon Theatre

New Wimbledon Theatre have announced plans to hold on-stage wedding ceremonies, for the first time ever.

Put yourself centre stage on your wedding day and host your ceremony on the New Wimbledon Theatre’s stage. Say your vows in Edwardian splendour and follow in the footsteps of some of the worlds most renowned stars on stage and screen from the theatre’s 111-year history; including Robin Williams, Cilla Black, Ian McKellan and Adele to name just a few.

Let them pour the bubbles whilst you and your guests step into the spotlight for your wedding photos. With limited summer dates available for 2022 and 2023, New Wimbledon Theatre plans to host up to 120 guests per ceremony, giving couples the chance to exclusively hire the venue and enjoy not only their ceremony, but also their drinks reception, on the historic Edwardian Stage.

The stunning auditorium provides the perfect backdrop for a series of wedding photos to cherish forever. Aiming to provide an unusual and certainly memorable venue for the consideration of couples and their families, New Wimbledon Theatre would be delighted to host your wedding ceremony. The venue is also accessible, with step-free access available onto the stage and into the auditorium.

To enquire, click here.

View the New Wimbledon Theatre Wedding Brochure 2021.

Winners of the Merton Best Business Awards 2021

Congratulations to the Winners of the Merton Best Business Awards 2021!

After a one-year break, local businesses gathered on 1st December, for the dazzling Merton Best Business Awards (MBBA) ceremony at the prestigious All England Tennis Club.

The MBBAs were redesigned for 2021 to recognise the challenges faced by businesses during the pandemic.

Wimbledon’s healthy eating haven Lu-Ma Café, scored a hat-trick for their consideration of the wellbeing of the local community throughout the past year. As well as expanding their outdoor seating area to include a cosy covered pegola for those wishing to dine al-fresco, the owners also collaborated with mental health charity Shawmind to create Wimbledon’s first Breathe Café. Designed to be a place for people to be seen, heard and encourage real conversations, this new change saw the introduction of a well-being library and access to a trained volunteer who can offer support, all whilst enjoying healthy food that supports your mental health journey. Lu-Ma were crowned Overall Winner, whilst also picking up category awards for ‘Star of the Year’ and ‘In the Face of Adversity’.

Wimbledon Bookfest took home the ‘Arts & Culture’ award, for demonstrating creativity in arranging and delivering outdoor events to well over 2500 people, whilst the Polka Theatre, The Wimbledon Group and Finling Associates Ltd, were runners up for the ‘In the Face of Adversity’, ‘Arts & Culture’ and ‘Best Innovation and Customer Focus’ awards respectively.

A full list of winners and runners-up can be found on the Merton Best website here.

Where To Donate in Wimbledon This Christmas

As the weather gets colder and we tuck into comforting food, enjoy cosy evenings and begin shopping for Christmas presents for our loved ones, it’s important to recognise how fortunate many of us are. There are many people in need locally, whose situations have been further affected by the pandemic and they continue to struggle for food, shelter, clothing, access to technology for education, and much more.

There are a range of ways that you can help those who may struggle this winter, including donating to local charities and organisations, who work to reach those in need.

Shoebox Appeal

Fill a shoebox full of items that might be useful for those who are homeless, e.g. toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks, scarves, hats and non-perishable foods, then drop off your box at Wimbledon Station ticket hall. From 6th – 11th December, South Western Railway staff are running their annual Shoebox Appeal in Wimbledon Station, collecting donations to support Merton Faith in Action (FiA). The Merton FiA operate a weekly homeless drop-in centre to support vulnerable people in our community, which includes providing a two-course hot meal, shower facilities, clothes and advice.


The Entertainer store in Wimbledon, are also acting as drop off points for the Samaritans Purse Operation Christmas Child shoebox appeal, between 15th – 22nd November, where boxes are shipped to children outside the UK who are affected by war, poverty, natural disaster, famine, and disease. Watch the video to find out more here.

Toy Donation

Got toys taking up space in your house, that the children are bored of? The Entertainer are also accepting donations of plastic children’s toys (must be in good condition) which will be rehomed via The Salvation Army, to underprivileged children living in poverty, ensuring that every child has the opportunity to play this Christmas. The scheme runs all year-round and aims to reduce plastic waste by prolonging the life of toys, and avoiding them going to landfill. Note: Soft toys and toys without a valid CE mark present will not be accepted. Morrisons Wimbledon has also set up a Toy Donation Station at the front of the store, aimed at receiving toys for 0-14-year-olds which will be donated via Dons Local Action Group. The Community Giving Christmas Tree, beside the toy donation point, is another great way to donate. Simply pick off a bauble, worth £1/£2/£5, and scan it through the checkouts to donate to Merton Faith in Action.

Furniture, Food and Technology

Dons Local Action Group welcomes donations of laptops for young people who do not have access to the internet via a computer at home, as well as furniture and food items. Originally formed by fans of AFC Wimbledon during the Covid-19 pandemic, the charity continues to collect food and essential items outside Morrisons Wimbledon, to deliver to those in need in the local community.

Wimbledon Foodbank provides three days of nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to them in crisis. They are encouraging the local community to purchase a supermarket gift card for £10/£20, which will allow a family to buy the essentials for a Christmas dinner. Alternatively, you can donate non-perishable, in-date foods to the food donation point located in Waitrose (Alexandra Road, Wimbledon), at the front of the store beside the cash machine. Opening hours are: 8am – 9pm weekdays, 8am – 8pm Saturdays and 11am – 5pm on Sundays. Check out their weekly update of the urgent items that are needed here and read more ideas about how you can help struggling families this Christmas here.

Remember you can also contribute to the above organisations by donating money or offering your time. Other local organisations that could benefit from monetary donations or volunteering assistance include:

  • Merton Street Pastors: a group of volunteers from local churches in Merton, who conduct late night patrols of the streets of Wimbledon to look for and help rough sleepers.
  • Merton’s Winter Night Shelter offers warmth, food and a place to sleep for up to 5 local rough sleepers over the coldest months of December, January and February. Volunteers here also help to provide move-on opportunities for guests.
  • Wimbledon Guild are asking people to donate £10, or whatever they can afford, to their Christmas Appeal to help spread Christmas joy to people with no one else to turn to. Help give local families the support they need – from heating their homes, providing warm clothing/bedding or making sure they have enough to eat. Your support also means that someone on their own can celebrate at one of Wimbledon Guild’s Christmas lunches.

Let The Festive Feasting Begin!

With 80 places to eat in Wimbledon, indulge your taste buds this festive season with feel-good meals full of comforting ingredients and rich flavours.

Whether you’re thinking about a Christmas party with colleagues, sharing festive platters with family, cosy catch-ups with friends or simply enjoying quality roasts (with all the trimmings of course!), Wimbledon is full of great eateries to help you eat, drink and be merry this Christmas. Remember, you can view the full range of eateries in Wimbledon Town Centre where you can filter your search by the type of cuisine you’re after, or even search specifically for ‘healthy eating’ venues.

Feel-Good Vegan Food

With a whole sushi menu that’s all vegan, Sticks’n’Sushi are bringing plant-based Japanese-inspired dining to your plate this Christmas. Savour the flavours of fried Jerusalem artichoke sushi and Imo Yaki sticks, with Yuzu sorbet to finish. Pick through vegan tapas at Lu-Ma, Wimbledon’s award-winning independent café, with a menu full of healthy vegetarian and vegan options. New sleighing specials are available at Leon Wimbledon including the sNOw Turk*y Burger – a crispy vegan turk*y patty, served with braised red cabbage, Gouda-style cheeze, cranberry sauce and crunchy slaw. Perfect when paired with a side of roasted sweetcorn ribs, smothered in truffle mayo and Italian cheese shavings. Wagamama now has a 50% plant based menu, with vegan showstoppers including the spicy teriyaki vegan ‘chicken’ hirata buns for starters and the tofu firecracker for a fiery main. Hungry for more?

Sipping Into The Season

Have fun with friends over festive Bottomless Brunches at The Old Frizzle, and The Garratt and Gauge, or head to other cosy local pubs like The AlexandraPrince of Wales and for mulled wine receptions, larger loving and popular G&T’s.

For a limited time only Hotel Chocolat have paired up with All Bar One for Christmas Cocktails you can’t resist – Midnight Tiramisu, Clementine Chocolat Martini and Mint Royale. Or go for Bills ultimate Christmas Cocktail: Gin-gle bells – a beautiful balance of Whitley Neill raspberry gin, Chambord and pineapple juice, with an edible reindeer topper and a cherry-red nose for just £2.99!

Try a non-alcoholic non-conventional twist on bubbles this Christmas with warm gingerbread-flavoured bubble teas at Multea Choice or hot frothy Matcha Lattes at Cafe Mori.

Street Food Friendly

Where can you find traditional Christmas treats and delicious international street food all in one place? Pop down to our Christmas Markets on The Piazza, running every weekend until Christmas, to get your answer and pick up unique stocking fillers or gifts while you eat and browse. For more street food feasting head to Hartfield Walk or Queens Rd Market.

So support our local pubs, delicious restaurants and welcoming cafés, and choose to #EatLocal this Christmas. See the full list here.

Love Wimbledon gets a YES!

The businesses of Wimbledon Town Centre have confirmed their support for Love Wimbledon BID with an 85% majority YES vote in our renewal ballot, enabling our activities and support to continue for another five years.

This will provide an additional £2.5m worth of investment into the town centre for projects including: greening, events, marketing, crime reduction, cleaning and place-making.

Love Wimbledon continually aspires to make Wimbledon a better place to visit; from family-friendly trails to our Christmas Tree, murals to Hartfield Walk, our popular markets to Winter Wonderland, and our Big Screen Tennis to Autumn Arts activities. It is about making Wimbledon more active and attractive, and creating a town that people want to visit and work in. Delivering events is just one of our key objectives, and probably is the most publicly recognised.

Love Wimbledon Business Improvement District (BID) is a not-for-profit organisation that is paid for and run by local businesses within our Wimbledon Town Centre BID boundary. Businesses fund the BID through an annual levy. All Business Improvement Districts must go to ballot every five years to secure support from the business community.

Receiving a ‘YES’ result, means that our BID businesses have supported Love Wimbledon’s work to continue, and their funding will allow us to continue to deliver for our next five year term (2022-2027). Our three aims for the next five years are to:

  • Create better places, spaces and experience
  • Promote and support business
  • Become greener and more sustainable

A big thank you to you all, the businesses and the wider community of residents, visitors and employees, who have supported us through the last five years.

Together we can ensure a brighter future for Wimbledon Town Centre.

 

Spotlight On: Fielders

Having been recently awarded Best Arts and Crafts Store in South West London (in the 2021 UK Enterprise Awards hosted by SME-News), we’re shining a light on small, independent and family owned business Fielders. With eye-catching window displays that add a pop of colour and character to Wimbledon Hill Road, find out more about the go-to destination for DIY and crafty inspiration.

1) Tell us more about Fielders and how you begun..

Fielders was founded in 1928 by brothers, Ernest and William Fielder who bought a small booksellers and stationers in Wimbledon for their wives. Most of the photographs of ‘Old’ Wimbledon available in the archives of the Wimbledon Museum and Merton Library were taken by these two brothers and their father George Fielder. The company is now run by one of George’s great grandsons, Ian Fielder and is the oldest retail business in Wimbledon that is still under the same family ownership and management, as when it began.

2) What kinds of products do you offer?

As a destination for quality fine art materials, Fielders stock an ever-evolving range of craft materials and a have a brilliant in-house framing workshop staffed with 3 professionally-qualified framers. Find everything inside from crochet kits, acrylic paints, sketchbooks, pretty ribbons, face mask fabrics and lots more.

   

2) With Halloween around the corner and Christmas fast-approaching, what can we expect to see in store?

We are running a Pumpkin Decorating competition for kids this Halloween and kicking off the Love Wimbledon Hocus Pocus trail from our front doors. Pop inside for lots of black-and-orange-themed crafts and keep an eye out for our upcoming Christmas Wreath Decorating Challenge. Pick up our wooden stags and deers (made from brown paper) and have a go at decorating them in your own festive way – whether with paint, decoupage or décopatch paper.

With great quirky products available such as seafood-themed crochet kits and timber modelled oceanic scenes, you’ll never struggle with DIY inspiration for any events when at Fielders – however strange or wonderful!

3) Can you provide any creative ideas for upcycling?

There really isn’t much that cannot be freshly painted with sprays or acrylics! How about an old bike painted in neon pink for a Cancer Research charity ride? Add a pop of colour to a plain bedroom wall with hanging origami art or create your own macrame wall decor. Our staff are always on hand to help our customers’ creative ideas so pop down and have a chat with us.

4) What are some of the most interesting things that you’ve seen your customers create, using products from your store?

Recent “makes” have included painting tree stumps in Wimbledon Town Centre, making bug brooches from Origami paper, and our framing department is currently framing some rock fossils. Last week we were asked to frame a “green man” latex mask, a Grayson Perry silk scarf and a Watford football shirt!

 

Fielders is located at 54 Wimbledon Hill Rd, SW19 7PA and offer 10% off to students and NHS staff. #LoveLocal and visit the store today.

 

Half Term and Halloween Fun

Whether you’re looking for family-friendly entertainment for the kids this half-term, some spooky seasonal adult fun or just great autumn events to welcome in the colder months, Wimbledon has an abundance of activity this October.

For the kids and free

The Wimbledon Hocus Pocus Trail kicks off on the 16th October (until 31st October). Dust off your broomsticks and hats and join Love Wimbledon’s FREE video-led trail around Wimbledon Town Centre. With your wands at the ready, begin at Fielders Art Shop and look for the Hocus Pocus poster. Scan the QR code, watch the videos of our wonderful wizard Merlin to find clues and solve the riddle. Be sure to make a stop at Multea Choice and Polka Theatre along the way for a special treat and pick up your certificate at the end of the trail!

 

For creative fingers, enter in a Pumpkin Decorating Competition before Monday 25th October for a chance to win a mystery prize at Fielders, or head down to Centre Court Shopping Centre’s No Carve Pumpkin Station on 30th October (11 – 4pm) with themed games, stories and demonstrations. Plus the opportunity for children to have a go at dressing pumpkins using crafty goods, including bandages, glitter and more.

Wolves have seized power at Polka Theatre! Inspired by Little Red Riding Hood, discover the world of RED and voyage across Polka, through woods and swampland in an adventure like no other. Book your tickets here for this exciting visual and physical storytelling production and follow the action along with actors, exploring the brilliant new Polka Theatre building! Running until October 31st.

Why not make a day of it? Explore the wonderful newly-redeveloped Polka venue, featuring indoor and outdoor play spaces, a friendly café, a colourful kids shop stocked with children’s toys (puppets, creative kits, etc.), and a book corner to read with your child. The theatre is also hosting a Halloween Shadows creepy craft workshop on Tuesday 26th October, an Autumn Senses multi-sensory storytelling workshop on Friday 29th October and a Power Poets spoken word masterclass on Thursday 28th October.

Wimbledon Library has a Multi-Sports Sessions for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) on Monday 25th and Tuesday 26th October from 9 – 10am. Advance booking is required.

For adults

Enjoy free Prosecco (or Nosecco) while taking part in Centre Court Shopping Centre’s autumn floristry workshop, Pumpkins and Prosecco. From 6.30 – 8.30pm on 21st October, join the session to choose a pumpkin from the locally sourced selection and be taught how to create a stunning autumnal floral display that you can take home beautifully gift-wrapped. All materials and equipment included. Finish your evening in Queen’s Rd Market bar with bespoke cocktails and live music on a Thursday night.
Limited tickets are available.

Up for a night out? Many of the pubs and bars in Wimbledon are celebrating Halloween with special drinks or events.

Trick or treat yourself to a deliciously frightening evening at plant-based café Lu-Ma for their Halloween Supper Club, featuring canapés, cocktails and a 3 course meal: Friday 29th October, 7 – 9pm.

Fancy skipping the Halloween buzz? We’ve got you covered..

Listen to the soothing sounds of jazz in the tranquil surroundings of Lu-Ma café whilst enjoying your favourite meal and tipple, on Saturday 23 October 6-9pm for a very special Jazz Night with saxophonist Andy ‘Bones’ Shaw.

Indulge in foodie haven at our Local Market on The Piazza (Saturday 30th – Sunday 31st October, 11am – 6pm) located in front of Wimbledon Morrisons. Try superb street food, savour the aromas of freshly-baked bread or dive into decadent desserts, olives and cheeses – all whilst browsing unique art, bespoke jewellery, homewares and accessories from independent makers and creators.

Held in the intimate setting of the Studio at New Wimbledon Theatre, hear a unique and unusual story about friendship, love and loss, set to the sounds of live epic pop songs : Epic Love and Pop Songs is running from Saturday 19th October – Saturday 23rd October.

Laugh it up with live comedy every Saturday either at Queens Rd Market (7.30 – 10pm) or Tunnel 267 (8 – 10pm), or giggle away at LGBTQ+ venue CMYK every Tuesday for their Late Gay Comedy Show (9 – 11pm).

See what else is on this October in Wimbledon via our What’s On pages.

Spotlight On: New Wimbledon Theatre

An iconic landmark in Wimbledon Town Centre for over 100 years, New Wimbledon Theatre was forced to close last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and has recently re-opened with a stellar line-up of performances including musicals, comedy, family entertainment, dance, drama and their upcoming legendary annual pantomime.

The theatre is also home to the Studio, where you can watch epic entertainment from new writers, comedians and producers in an intimate setting. Offering a wide range of performances to enjoy up close and personal, from comedy to drama and three topical new shows from hot writers this season.

We chatted with Nick Parr, Theatre Director, to find out more about their big return!

Tell us a little bit about New Wimbledon Theatre and the Studio.
The New Wimbledon Theatre opened on Boxing Day 1910 with our first ever panto, Jack and Jill. With over 1,600 seats, we’ve welcomed some of the biggest stars of stage and screen over the years. We’ve also become a popular filming location, and you may spot us in some of your favourite films and TV shows. The Studio is a great 80 seat black box theatre where we are able to host the best in comedy, new writing and our very own Fringe festival #FromTheFringe which will return in 2022.

How does it feel to re-open after such a long time?
It’s great to be back, we believe this is the longest closure the theatre has ever gone through – 503 days. It first closed during WW2 for a brief period around 1940, and then again when there was a change in management. We’ve got a great programme of shows, bringing Wimbledon the best of the West End in the main house, and some great new writing in the Studio with our Premieres season. The team here can’t wait to get back to doing what we do best.

What upcoming shows are a must-see?
We have a wealth of shows direct from the West End including Jersey Boys, School of Rock and Dreamgirls. We will also be rocking out with Bat Out of Hell and We Will Rock You.

What can we expect from this year’s panto?
Lots of laughs! Shane Richie stars as Dick Whittington and we cannot wait to have panto back after missing it in 2020. The ultimate magical pantomime adventure.

How have things changed since Covid-19?
We are operating paperless with e-tickets becoming the norm. There has been no change in capacity and we have been so pleased to welcome our audiences back in a safe way. To ensure the continued safety of our visitors and staff, currently, all attendees over the age of 18 will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 status to gain entry to the venue. You can find out more on our website.

 

Check out our What’s On pages for more performances and shows by New Wimbledon Theatre and remember to support our local arts in their return. #LoveLocal 

Wimbledon’s Rainbow Crossing Returns!

Wimbledon’s Rainbow Crossing Gets A New Look!

The UK’s first rainbow crossing was created in Wimbledon Town Centre in 2019 by Merton Council and Love Wimbledon BID. After a short break, the crossing has returned with a slightly different look and even more colour.

Situated outside New Wimbledon Theatre, the crossing, which acts as a symbol to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, now features an updated ‘Progress Pride’ flag to include representation for black and trans pride. Delivered by Merton Council, this will be the first rainbow crossing in London with the new design – the chevron of black and brown stripes to represent people of colour, with blue, pink and white stripes to represent trans people. The white also symbolises those who have been lost to HIV/AIDS, and the chevron points to the right to show forward movement, indicating progress.

The crossing has been relocated to a new location 50m west of The Broadway, after the entrance space outside the theatre was extended to create a new public space.

As well as providing a welcoming diversity message, the crossing offers colourful joy to schoolchildren, shoppers and culture-lovers who are passing by. It acts as a celebratory reminder for Wimbledon’s first LGBTQ+ bar CMYK, home to great queer DJs and drag entertainment located just a brief walk away from the crossing.

Helen Clark Bell, Chief Executive of the Love Wimbledon BID, commented:

We’re very glad to see the rainbow crossing return to Wimbledon, with a new and more inclusive design to represent the broader LGBTQ+ community. As well as creating a warm welcome to all, the crossing contributes to the growing arts and cultural scene in Wimbledon and is an absolute joy to see.

Merton Council delivered the crossing with FM Conway Contractors.

To find more hidden gems in Wimbledon’s cultural scene, including innovative street art and architectural secrets, click here.