Meet Rebecca Marshman-Rondeau, Head Pastry Chef for The Championships, Wimbledon, who has been tasked with devising the afternoon tea menu for guests in the brand-new hospitality restaurant, Rosewater Pavilion this year. We spent an afternoon with her at the All England Lawn Tennis Club to understand the woman behind one of the most coveted pastry chef titles in the UK, and what Rosewater Pavilion guests can expect from their afternoon tea at Wimbledon.
Q: Describe the perfect Afternoon Tea.
My perfect afternoon tea would definitely have an éclair on it as I love choux pastry. Also, scones, jam and clotted cream, the more of that the better! I also like lots of different textures so it’s nice to have something with a crunch like a tart and something soft like a sponge. To drink, I love a glass of Champagne with my afternoon tea – probably more than a cup of tea!
To me, afternoon tea is also about the experience and I want our guests to go away and think “That afternoon tea was the best one I’ve ever had”. It’s not just about what they’re eating, it’s about what it looks like, the whole experience. Just like Wimbledon is an experience - something everyone should enjoy in their lifetime.
Q: Where do you get your inspiration?
I think a lot of my inspiration comes from social media. I like to go out for afternoon tea as much as possible and see what other restaurants offer – not just for the experience but for what they’re serving as well. You’ve got to make sure you’re one step ahead of the competition!
Q: How do you keep up with the trends?
Of course, all chefs need to keep up with the trends but for me as a chef, I always like to include some classic items you’d expect to see on an afternoon tea menu. For this year’s Rosewater Pavilion menu, I’ve really tried to retain some classics while adding a modern spin that keeps up with the trends. It’s also important to cater to all dietary requirements these days, so I’ve included a vegan and gluten-free afternoon tea on the menu as well, so everyone can have the same, great experience.
Q: Explain to us the brief that you were set for Rosewater Pavilion. How have you interpreted that in the design of your Afternoon tea?
The theme we were give this year for the Rosewater Pavilion was an English summer garden. We worked hard to bring the theme to life so that each element of a day in Rosewater Pavilion (Wimbledon, gardens and amazing hospitality) is represented.
Q: What’s your highlight moment from Wimbledon?
One of my highlights of working at Wimbledon would have to be meeting the queen of baking Mary Berry last year. I always follow her recipes and they always work. She was lovely and it was such an honour to meet her.
What is Rosewater Pavilion?
Rosewater Pavilion is a new hospitality restaurant at Wimbledon this year. Located within the Wimbledon Grounds in the Southern Apex and just metres from Centre Court, hospitality guests will enjoy British themed a la carte menus prepared by award-winning chefs and Rebecca’s mouth-watering afternoon tea. Fine wines, Champagne, bespoke cocktails and more are available throughout the day and live music will add to the unique Wimbledon atmosphere. All hospitality guests in Rosewater Pavilion will be guaranteed seats on Centre Court, to watch the world-class tennis throughout the day. Find out more and book online.
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