A completely wonderful day today, which started with a tour of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Club. A very traditional, stuffy, quintessentially British and interesting place. I mean stuffy in the kindest of ways. I find the British adherence to their class structure, so very watchable.
We walked from the station to the tennis club (30 minutes) and the area is just lovely. Lots of leasehold property and the cheapest freehold house was about 2 million pounds. Wimbledon Village is really cute with great cafes and shops.
Wimbledon is officially called Wimbledon Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. It was originally mainly for croquet and the tennis was considered a passing fad. Until the grass roller (below) broke down. The club could not afford the 7 pounds required to mend it, so decided to hold a tennis tournament and sell tickets to the public. It was a great success and they made a surplus of 17 pounds and so began a tradition.
Now the surplus is over 100 million pounds, with most of the income being from the sale of television rights.
Henman Hill in the foreground and a foggy view back to London. This is were people with a 20 pound ticket to the outer ground can bring a picnic and watch the large outdoor TV screen and buy Pimms and Strawberries and cream. Both great Wimbledon traditions.
We had a lovely light lunch at Paul, a cute little French Patisserie on the Wimbledon High Street with really well priced and delicious simple salads and baguettes.
Then on to Hampton Court Palace in Surry. Full details to come later.
The gardens there were amazing.
But the real highlight for me, was finding the old boat shed Mr Beach House started a business in with a mate, in the 70's at Surbiton. Nothing much has changed. To cap off a great day, we had some champagne and tapas on the deck of the pub next door to the boat shed, overlooking the Thames. A small part of me wished we lived there now. Oh the stories and scams they got up to.
I hope you enjoyed the tour.
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