For a various reasons (including a flight cancellation), the number of visitors was lower than three years ago, but everyone had a great weekend and it was very gratifying to see participants of the different nationalities getting on so well and enjoying all the events with such enthusiasm.
As soon as the French contingent arrived they were on court, making the most of the opportunity to play on the grass courts, which is very special for them.
On the Friday evening we served supper at the club for our guests and their hosts then on the Saturday we arranged a trip to Eastbourne where we visited the Towner Gallery then caught the open top bus, stopping off at Burling Gap for lunch and a walk. Our visitors were most impressed by the views of the coast and the Downs as we were driven past Beachy Head, then East Dean and back to Eastbourne.
On Saturday evening we held a dinner at the White Hart Hotel, enjoying a complimentary Pimms reception on their terrace before the meal. The evening was enhanced by music and dancing with one of our French visitors taking the role of teacher!
On Sunday morning the tennis tournament took place and we were pleased that a number of other members of Southdown came to join in and make our visitors feel welcome. After a BBQ lunch there was lots more tennis – back on the grass! We awarded a prize to the visiting man and lady who won most games – a Wimbledon sports towel.
Our weekend finished with a final meal at Côte restaurant and following the usual tradition those who had been hosted in members’ houses treated their hosts.
We were sad to say goodbye after such an enjoyable weekend, but we are looking forward to meeting up again in Blois at the end of July next year.
We are grateful to the Town Council for a grant which meant that we were able to cover the full cost of the catering and varied activities for our guests.