Here at Strand Palace HQ we’re definitely gripped by tennis fever thanks to the 2016 Wimbledon Tennis Championships. What do the Strand Palace Hotel and Wimbledon Tennis Championships have in common? The answer is actually rather a lot.
The first Wimbledon Tennis Championships took place in the height of Victorian London in 1877 and introduced ‘lawn tennis’ to the world. During this time the current site of the Strand Palace Hotel was the busy and thriving Great Exeter Hall – the place to be for important Victorian society meetings and even home to the Anti Slavery Society for a time.
The early 20th Century was an important time for the evolution of both the Strand Palace Hotel and Wimbledon Tennis Championships. In 1907 the Victorian society dwelling of Exeter Hall was demolished and hospitality giants J.Lyons & Co announced they were to build a ‘grand hotel on the Stand’ – the Stand Palace Hotel was born. In 1908 the Olympic games came to London and Wimbledon was firmly put on the world stage, holding the tennis events at the famous Worple Road site from the 6th-11th July that year.
Whilst the world has come to associate the well-dressed ball boys and ball girls as an integral part of Wimbledon tennis heritage, the Palace boys – the bell boys which kept the hotel in working order – have a firm place in the Strand Palace Hotel’s extensive history.
And who could forget the all-important royal connection? Whilst you can often spot royalty at the Wimbledon finals, did you know that Queen Elizabeth I was rumoured to have dined at 372 Strand? This took place back in the early 1570’s when her trusted advisor William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, built Burghley House on the grounds now occupied by the Strand Palace Hotel.
With all that shared history we do hope you’ll join us to revel in everything that the 2016 Wimbledon Tennis Championships are sure to offer. All matches will be played at The Nook Sports Bar, home to three large screens with a variety of draught beers, wines, cocktails and an extensive bar menu.