My mobile phone went as I was driving to Nottingham in the summer, A voice asked me if I remembered entering a competition at Lords during a Middlesex T20 match? I had a vague recollection – a text with the number of runs Middlesex would score in the T20 competition – well, it seemed my guess was the nearest! My prize was Afternoon Tea for 2 in the Long Room! What lovely news!
The competition was run to raise funds for the very lovely charity – Shooting Star Chase – learn more about them here –
Being something of a cricket geek I was thrilled – I contacted my lovely friend Monica, who quickly accepted the invite. The event takes place on the 1st Sunday each month out of the cricket season. The Rugby World Cup meant we delayed until December.
I was lucky enough to have dinner in the Long Room in April so this would be my 2nd visit. An easy train journey saw us arrive with perfect timing. A visit to the very posh toilets – best I’ve been to at a sporting venue – and we were shown to our seats.
We were sat at a table facing onto to pitch – the view couldn’t have been better! The menu on the table listed a choice of about 10 different teas – Monica went for the sophisticated Earl Grey, my choice? English Breakfast – not quite as highbrow!
The Long Room was decked out for Christmas and we had a quartet of singers regaling us with Carols – it was quintessentially English – and delightful!
The Afternoon Tea involved delicate sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream (always has to be that way round!) and cakes. I hate to imagine and don’t really care if I’m honest how many calories were on the plate!
We were treated to a tour of the Museum to see the famous Ashes urn along with the glass trophy actually awarded to the winners of the Ashes. We had Graham as out guide – I’d made a bee line for him as he was my guide during the MCC Gala Dinner earlier in the year. All the way back at Event 29 in fact!
We walked across the ‘bridge’ to get back to the pavilion and as we had some Australians in our party were treated to a visit to the Away dressing room. Graham again regaled us with facts and figures – his knowledge is truly amazing! Who sat where, who didn’t make the honours boards, who did, it was great!
I’d seen the wonderful painting outside of the dressing room of Sir Viv Richards (I’m not sure we should have taken a photo), taking the tour, having the Afternoon tea, however you do it, the whole thing is worth it just to see this.
Next up was the home dressing room, with Gary Ballance making his way to South Africa with the England team it was great to be reminded of his 2014 at Lords – I was there to see one of his centuries – an incredibly patient on, reached with the only 6 of the day! That I do believe was against Sri Lanka.
A very lovely afternoon had come to an end, we lingered for a while, being able to take photos of outside areas usually thronging with people.
I can highly recommend the experience, I can see I’ll make my way back to the Long Room out of season.
The original urn
The Waterford Crystal trophy awarded to the Ashes winning team.