An aside about tennis during our short Burgundy break with Tony and Phillie – the main piece can be found here.
One of the reasons we booked the Moulin d’Hauterive was because it boasted a tennis court amongst its amenities.
Janie and I have travelled far and we have travelled wide. Our tennis rackets and balls have travelled long distances with us. Occasionally the tennis courts we find at the hotels are not quite up to the standards we are used to at home, not that we have always played on very high standards of surfaces at home either. We are leisure players.
For example, we enjoyed the tennis court at the Zenobia Cham Palace Hotel in Palmyra in 1997 despite its idiosyncrasies – I don’t suppose it is up to much any more of course – point is, we make allowances.
But the tennis court at Moulin d’Hauterive almost defies description. Had the Burgundy region recently suffered a major war or a series of natural disasters of the earthquake and hurricane variety, the cracked, moonscape-like surface and the intermittence of the perimeter netting might have been explicable.
But this didn’t look like the result of a recent disaster. It looked like decades of neglectful, distressed gentility.
On challenge, the rather haughty proprietor’s son (who had sniffly advised us, when I asked about choosing wine to go with the specific food we had ordered, simply that the more expensive bottles were always the better ones) mumbled indifferently that the court was indeed due for some repairs soon.
We played each day. It is difficult to describe the game we played as tennis in the modern sense, but it was some form of a game with rackets and balls, plus we used the tennis scoring system. But in truth it was more of a range hitting game, where we aimed for the smooth if we wanted to perpetuate a rally or aimed for the rough if we wanted a laugh.
Memorable is probably the best adjective for it.
I note that hotel Moulin d’Hauterive no longer boasts the tennis court amongst its amenities. What a pity.