Wimbledon offers luxury hospitality deal with Le Gavroche Renaissance

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Six months after closing its doors, iconic London restaurant Le Gavroche is set to return next week – but only for well-heeled tennis fans.

Head chef Michael Roux Jr will man the kitchen as Le Gavroche rises from the ashes for the next fortnight inside The Lawn, one of the Wimbledon Championships’ exclusive hospitality venues.

Patrons will be treated to vintage champagne, a delicious „menu exception” and the restaurant’s famous cheese trolley, while artwork and memorabilia from the original Mayfair restaurant will help recreate its ambiance.

Le Gavroche’s rapid renaissance is part of Wimbledon’s drive to address the sporting world’s growing demand for premium experiences aimed at the wealthy. While many corporate clients are cutting back on expensive entertainment, retail demand for high-end hospitality has increased since the pandemic as more people want to spend big on memorable moments.

The head chef is Michael Roux Jr © Steven Boston/PA

Sarah Hunter, head of partnerships and hospitality at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, said there had been a clear shift away from „traditional corporate networking packages” towards smaller friends and family bookings.

A day with a ticket to center court at Le Gavroche starts at £2,765 a head after tax, while entry to the final day of the championships – including a seat in the men’s final – will set tennis fans back at least £6,400. . All of Wimbledon’s premium hospitality sold out in March, a month earlier than last year.

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Wimbledon always offers a special edition of One Day Tennis Watch. Those willing to pay for hospitality access already had the option of dining at Marcus Wareing’s Rosewater Pavilion and being pampered by Charlotte Tilbury makeup artists at The Treehouse.

But with Le Gavroche, Wimbledon’s move to add a new layer of luxury echoes steps taken elsewhere in sport and live entertainment.

Interior of the pop-up restaurant
Le Gavroche inside The Lawn, one of Wimbledon’s most hospitable venues © Tom Ravenhill/Leigh Gavroch

Michelin-starred chefs trade in luxury lounges at football, rugby and cricket matches across the country, with entry to the Paddock Club at the Formula One British Grand Prix in July costing nearly £5,000.

Keith Prose, which runs hospitality at Wimbledon and other sporting events across the UK, said its database of private customers had almost doubled since the pandemic.

Even the Olympics are riding high after outsourcing hospitality to a single provider for the next three Games. Premium tickets for this summer’s men’s basketball final in Paris cost €6,500 per person.

Matt League at sports consultancy Two Circles said hospitality was „no longer the domain of corporates” and event organizers were increasingly targeting their marketing to „comfortable fans”.

„There is a broader trend here with the growth of the post-Covid veteran economy,” he said, adding that it was particularly notable in the „ultra premium” segment.

The AELTC hopes to improve on revenues of £380mn from last year’s Wimbledon Championships, which resulted in an operating profit of £53mn. Ninety percent of the surplus generated from the tournament goes to the Lawn Tennis Association to fund the sport across the country.

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Rising income In line with recent changes at other Grand Slam tournaments, the AELTC has increased its prize money by 12 per cent to £50mn this year.

Opened in 1967 by brothers Albert and Michael Roux, Le Gavroche was the first restaurant in England to receive a Michelin star and helped transform London’s dining scene. Many famous chefs passed through the kitchen on their way to future stardom, including Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White.

Roux Jr, who took over Le Gavroche from his father in 1991, closed the doors permanently in January after 57 years of service, saying he wanted to „spend more time with my family”.

The Roux family has been associated with Wimbledon for more than a decade, and hosted Le Gavroche pop-ups on two Cunard cruise liners earlier this year. Roux Jr. returned to London’s restaurant scene in May with Chez Roux at The Langham Hotel.

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