It was a glorious autumnal day, bright sun and lots of colour still on the trees as I set off for a bridge weekend in the Cotswolds. The red, pink and orange early evening sky would have delighted any shepherd as I arrived in the beautiful village of Crudwell. The Rectory Hotel at its heart was warm and welcoming and as I made my way through I was serenaded by the sound of laughter from the bridge room, where 7 tables of bridge players were deep in play, supervised by Zeb.
The Rectory was at the disposal of the group for the weekend and nothing was too much trouble for the staff; the atmosphere being much more country house than hotel. Any misgivings about coming alone and being fearful about the overall standard of bridge were immediately dissipated and as has become traditional, new friends quickly became old and after the first peach Bellini no further introductions were necessary.
There is a lot to be fitted in to a weekend, so the bridge comes in several varieties; two excellent teaching sessions: one each day, when a different topic is demonstrated from the white board. Thereafter there are set hands around the topic, cunningly composed to bring it all to life. We were treated to such esoteric subjects as the rule of 11, trump promotion and loser on loser. Everyone left with new skills to dazzle their regular fours back home. Supervised play with more set hands, gentle duplicate and friendly rubber gave something for everyone at whatever their stage of learning.
Nothing is ever obligatory and whilst most had the stamina for as much bridge as possible and some late into the night, others enjoyed breaks for fresh air into the glorious countryside.
For the enthusiastic bridge player what better way of spending a weekend: excellent company, good food, new techniques and, most importantly, enormous fun.
Dinah Stocken, November 2013
Very enjoyable weekend - friendly and welcoming. Have met some lovely people.
It was great to mix with familiar and new faces.
Good amount of bridge and good mix of teaching, supervised play, duplicate etc.
Thanks for all your hard work and making the bridge weekend so enjoyable.
Love the décor and food, service good, grounds lovely.
You are very good at looking after single ladies!
Lovely to have such quality and selection of food.
It was a delight to meet your mother who added to the relaxed and friendly atmosphere as well as being very helpful about bridge matters!