October 13, 2015

Life in England: Game of Thrones

Scan 28 - Version 4

“The monogram is that of William III who updated the building.”

I came home from New York last week and picked up the latest World of Interiors. I so look forward to my subscription every month and always love what they shoot, but every now and then something in that magazine just stops me dead in my tracks. This time it was the Hampton Court Palace Royal Tennis Courts right here in England where princes and kings have been whacking around hand stitched felt balls since 1625.  These photos really captured me. In an aesthetic way, they say everything I love about England.Yes, the very idea of the oldest tennis courts in the UK is romantic, nostalgic and glamorous in an old-school way, but what really made me take notice was the design – the stark primary colours punctuated by stark black and subdued by the warmth of wood, the graphic lines of the court itself juxtaposed with the decorative William III monogram adorning the wall, and the chic and personal coziness of the changing rooms. The best news is that if you are in England you can visit these most beautiful tennis courts from April to October each year. See you there!

"Henry VIII supervises play from the grille, a window-like opening that scores the opposite player a point if hit."

“Henry VIII supervises play from the grille, a window-like opening that scores the opposite player a point if hit.”

"Originally the players hit the ball with their hand. Once racquets were introduced, they were - and still are - made lopsided to facilitate a hand-like scooping of low balls."

“Originally the players hit the ball with their hand. Once racquets were introduced, they were – and still are – made lopsided to facilitate a hand-like scooping of low balls.”

"The spectator's gallery which in Charles II's day was decked with velvet cushions."

“The spectator’s gallery which in Charles II’s day was decked with velvet cushions.”

"Near the ceiling is a window in the head professional's flat, the changing rooms were installed in 1848."

“Near the ceiling is a window in the head professional’s flat, the changing rooms were installed in 1848.”

"In 1848, Prince Albert was given this drawer."

“In 1848, Prince Albert was given this drawer.”

"Looking from the hazard end to the service end, where the spectators' gallery lies beneath the sloping roof of the dedans penthouse."

“Looking from the hazard end to the service end, where the spectators’ gallery lies beneath the sloping roof of the dedans penthouse.”

"The clubhouse sitting room is decorated with trophies won by professionals and members."

“The clubhouse sitting room is decorated with trophies won by professionals and members.”

"The court professionals make the balls themselves, binding the cork centres with webbing, then stitching their felt covers."

“The court professionals make the balls themselves, binding the cork centres with webbing, then stitching their felt covers.”

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Piki
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Piki
2 years 1 month ago

Traveling through Europe as a senior at Princeton Bingpa stopped off in Bordeaux France and won the World Championship of this extraordinary game of finesse and skill. He had previously learned the game on courts at the Racquet Club in NYC, Tuxedo Park, and Phildelphia.

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