Pétanque is a game I know little about to be honest. What I do know is that it's similar (or the same) as the French game of Boules, it's generally played at pubs, it's certainly growing in popularity, and it's big in Englands smallest county, Rutland.
The Rutland & District Pétanque League website claims there are over 50 teams playing Pétanque in and around Rutland, a fact I don't find in the least bit surprising. When you start to look for the distinctive gravelled Piste on which Pétanque is played, you come to realise that they are actually more common than you'd think. It's a game which seems well suited to the predominantly rural pubs of Rutland, a garden game like the Oxfordshire game of Aunt Sally, though perhaps more gentile in nature.
The Pétanque season is now well underway, and games can be seen on Tuesday evenings throughout the Summer. I'd like to thank the Sondes Arms 'B' team for kindly allowing me to photograph a practise session at the pub, a slightly surreal experience as it was accompanied by a couple of chaps practising their Bagpipes in a nearby field!