I love the tournament’s heritage and unique details, such as the fact that Rudyard Kipling’s “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same” greets the players as they enter Centre Court.

Many players once watched on TV as their idols became champions between those white lines, and they understand the magic of Wimbledon, so the price of victory is heightened. With higher stakes comes a level of tension that makes for an intensely gratifying, almost surreal spectator experience.

How I’ll Do It Next
These days, when travelers to the U.K. must self-isolate for 14 days, and being able to watch live tennis in crowded stands is a distant memory, I’m thinking about a sun-filled day of tennis at the AELTC. (Because who wants to factor rain into a daydream?)

Day Ten: The Championships - Wimbledon 2019
A view of the Royal Box on Day 10 of Wimbledon 2019. Photographer: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Europe
If I’m being greedy, it might even be during a finals weekend that features a history-making moment—for instance, a first-time champion who breaks new ground for their career and country, or a prior champion such as Serena Williams, Roger Federer, or Rafael Nadal winning once again to extend an already legendary status in the sport.

At the conclusion of play, I’d take a short walk to Wimbledon Village and catch up with friends at such pubs as the Dog & Fox or Rose & Crown, which are usually packed with sun-kissed locals, as well as visitors. What I wouldn’t give to be eating some beer-battered cod and chips while seeing a tennis couple that is the subject of speculation confirm their relationship status by frequenting the same establishment.

One experience I’m not dreaming of reliving is when my friends and I discovered an unopened bottle left by a player in the fridge that is built into the umpire’s chair. The “healthy” liquid was bright pink, chalky, and full of electrolytes that made it extremely, unpleasantly salty.

Including the event’s restaurants and hospitality suites, in which afternoon tea is undoubtedly the highlight, tennis fans have been known to knock back more than 300,000 Pimm’s cups and some 1.6 million strawberries and cream during Wimbledon’s usual run of 13 days.

I’m personally dreaming of those hand-picked strawberries, as well as a separate cup filled with at least two scoops of Haagen-Dazs Strawberries & Cream ice cream—a flavor available at Wimbledon and supposedly, elsewhere in the world, but that I haven’t been able to find anywhere in the U.S.

Food and Rest
During most of my visits to Wimbledon, I was either working on the courts or covering the event for an Australian newspaper. The next time I go, I’m going to prioritize food, and not only because I’ve spent the past three months missing the experience of eating out. I’ll take the advice of friends who are writers, or who are better at tennis than me (having actually competed at Wimbledon), who recommend Thai restaurant Giggling Squid, as well as Sticks'n'Sushi, a concept created by Japanese-Danish brothers. I’ll also be sure to drop into Bill’s Wimbledon for a breakfast that features eggs, avocado, and grilled halloumi, and I’ll stop at the Ivy Café for a full English breakfast. I might even order a pizza fresh out of Al Forno’s brick oven for a late-night snack.

But as my colleague Richard Vines can attest, the real foodie delights are further afield, in London. One experience I’m dreaming of replicating is a breakfast I had the last time I was there, before my speedy 17-minute commute on the London Underground from Notting Hill Gate to Southfields. I grabbed a shakshuka breakfast with a friend at Ottolenghi Notting Hill, savoring  the aromatic spices, tomatoes, and fresh focaccia. (New Yorkers, a very good substitute can be found at Miss Ada in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood.)