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Racquet Roadtrip: Mayleen Ramey Visits Queen’s Club

Tennis host and player Mayleen Ramey visited historic Queen’s Club in London and shares her experience in this Racquet Roadtrip report. Photo credit: Mayleen Ramey

By Mayleen Ramey

There are only a few tennis clubs in the world that take my breath away EVERY time I visit. Even after ten years, the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (Wimbledon) is one of them and the Queen’s Club in West Kensington is a very close second.

I often wonder if non-tennis players feel this same mixture of adoration and excitement bubbling up, on the brink of happy tears. Or if this sensation is exclusively for tennis fanatics or Anglophiles…or if it’s just me. 

Fit For a Queen

​The Queen’s Club was established in 1886 and was the first multipurpose sports complex built. Though thriving in modern times as one of the most prestigious and sought-after tennis club memberships in the world (with a minimum eight year wait list), it has managed to protect and honor its history. From the traditional all-white dress code and memorabilia from tournament’s past, to the real tennis courts (the original racquet sport from the 1500’s), being here feels as if you’re glimpsing life in another century. 

The members include the most well-respected and powerful of London society, but the atmosphere is warm, familiar and inviting, with a palpable love of racquet sports in the air. With an impressive offering of 28 outdoor lawn tennis courts, 10 indoor courts, including two red clay, two rackets, two real tennis and three squash courts, the Queen’s Club and its members have a great deal to be proud of.  The property itself is unique and breathtaking: a tennis oasis hidden in a traditional central London neighborhood, surrounded on all sides by the brick facades, seemingly shielding these revered grounds from the outside world and present-day influence.

Cinch Championships

For one week each year, this private club opens its doors to the public, when hosting the Cinch Championships, one of the most popular and longest-running ATP tournaments. A massive stadium court and stands are erected, welcoming crowds of well-dressed patrons with flutes of endlessly-flowing champagne. The Queen’s Club Championships serves as the unofficial kickoff party for an exciting summer of tennis and social events in London, leading up to Wimbledon. 

Tennis & Tea

Once the tournament has concluded it takes almost two months for the club to return to its previous self, with only the untouched lawn of centre court remaining. While I adore attending the tournament each year, my most memorable moments here have been simple. Joining friends for a hit on the grass courts, followed by afternoon tea on the terrace has become my own, favorite Queen’s Club tradition. 

Please visit Mayleen Ramey’s website at www.racquetroadtrip.com.