Cricketing is being revitalised in the forests of Buckinghamshire thanks to a new private members’ club at the verdant Wormsley Estate. The estate’s glass-walled pavilion overlooking the lake and deer park has been home to the Garsington Opera season since 2011 (for ticketed performances), but from May the Getty family’s 2,500-acre private home in the Chiltern Hills is inviting a limited number of individuals and companies to experience more – to step up to bat, host their own events and play with former international cricketers in its expansive 18th-century Arcadian grounds, where tours have long been hosted in exclusive style.
Developed by former English players Tim Munton and Matthew Hoggard, the club will see its 11 founder members continue the American family’s tradition of Sunday afternoon cricket matches. Their first fixture on May 31 will be against Sir Tim Rice’s Heartaches Cricket Club, giving members the perfect excuse to don their Wormsley cricket blazers, ties and caps (all included in the £15,000 membership) – plus they’ll have the opportunity to be match managers later in the season. Meanwhile, corporate membership (£7,500 plus VAT) offers the chance for 18 clients to experience the estate’s prime hospitality across four cricket days, each replete with English teas, Pimm’s and three-course lunches, as well as play in a six-a-side match day.
The estate’s shoot is also no longer a private family affair: members will gain early access to mixed pheasant and partridge shoot dates. Some of the shoot lunches will be held in the Island Pavilion, a sleek complex that houses artworks by Jeff Koons, and where cricket stars will host member events throughout the year.
For something more relaxed, corporate members will find the best of British literature in the estate’s library: from illuminated medieval manuscripts to first prints of some of Chaucer and Shakespeare’s greatest works. All this – and just 45 minutes from London.
Looking for other chic alfresco activities? Try picnicking with butler service…