11am: Line your stomach
Nerves will soon be shredded, voices screamed hoarse and livers may find themselves ever so slightly pickled. So make sure to serve a hearty brunch to set you up for the long day of sport ahead. Marks & Spencer’s easy-but-impressive mini smoked salmon bagel platter (£15 for 20; marksandspencer.com) is among a plethora of party food options that can be ordered in advance for collection in-store, then presented to hungry gatherers with fanfare and a feeling of smug satisfaction. And ensure there’s also plenty of iced coffee on hand to prevent any afternoon slumps.
12pm: Collate the cocktails
Use the time before the action begins to do something vital: craft your cocktails. In a carafe, add 85ml of lemonade, 40ml of bourbon (we like Maker’s Mark; £30, waitrose.com) and 85ml of craft peach cider per person (try Rekorderlig Peach and Basil, three for £5.25, tesco.com). Keep in the fridge and top up with ice cubes as needed. Not a fan of bourbon? Try tennis-friendly Pimm’s Ice Popsicles (£5.99 for three, ocado.com).
1.30pm: Watch the Wimbledon warm up
The men’s singles finalists will soon be on court for their pre-match knock-up, so assemble everyone in front of the TV with a selection of snacks. The Clucking Pig’s Gourmet Scotch Eggs can be ordered online in advance – rare breed pork with chorizo gets our vote (£3 each, thecluckingpig.com).
2pm: Be ready for the first serve
Avoid getting stuck in the kitchen when the match is on by pre-ordering a picnic hamper. In London, fortnumandmason.com and piquefood.co.uk are good options, while Carluccio’s (carluccios.com) offers hampers from national branches. Go ‘full Wimbledon’ for dessert: melt a bar of Chocolate Tree Madagascar Ambanja (£5.95; chocolateteadingco.com) then dip in whole strawberries one at a time.
3.50pm: Prepare for the World Cup kick-off
Keep the sustenance coming by preparing a quick bowl of truffle bacon popcorn ahead of the 4pm kick-off. Pop some rashers of unsmoked bacon under the grill and place a bag of instant popcorn in the microwave. When popped, drizzle with melted butter, season with a pinch of truffle salt (£9.95 for 70g; trufflehunter.co.uk) and scatter with rough-chopped crispy bacon.
4.45pm: Upgrade half-time oranges
We see your humble half-time fruit segments and we raise you an Aperol spritz. There’s only 15 minutes but it should take less than five to mix together a round garnished with generous slices of orange (Aperol, £10 for 70cl, tesco.com). Mix Aperol and prosecco in equal parts, add a dash of soda water and serve.
6pm (or thereabouts): Final whistle
Depending on extra time and penalties, your guests will be peckish by the time the match finishes. Ceviche is a super quick dinner option. Chop half a red onion and roughly tear a bunch of coriander. Cut 250g of skinless white fish (sea bass or sea bream) into 1cm chunks and rub with salt. Place all the ingredients into a bowl, add the juice of four limes and half an orange, along with a chopped red chilli. Leave it to marinade for 10 minutes then serve with tortilla chips.
7pm: Congratulate yourself on a job well done
Celebrate, commiserate, drown your sorrows, do what you’ve got to do – but make sure you do it with a Happy Endings ice cream sandwich in hand, because it’s only right to end with dessert. You’ll find them at Selfridges Food Hall (£4.50, happyendingsldn.com).