It's cricket - but not as we know it

The one consolation of watching England crash out of the World Twenty20 to the West Indies last night was doing it in the surroundings of the Oval's new Montpelier Club.

Billed as the most exclusive environment in the country in which to watch cricket, it's basically a 70-strong private members' club inside the ground, offering up the best view - and seats - in the house for every matchday, alongside the services of an all-inclusive bar and a la carte restaurant.

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Sitting on the padded seats yesterday, having drinks brought out from the bar in the evening sunshine - before the biblical rain put a dampener on things - certainly had a lot to recommend it. As did the sit-down meal inside the club's lounge/dining room during the rain interruption - a delicious main of English beef, puy lentil salad, veal jus, native lobster salad, tarragon aioli gives you an idea of the club's culinary ambitions.

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Of course, this kind of sport-watching doesn't come cheap. In fact, it's the small matter of £8,750 a seat. But then, come the inevitable rush for Ashes tickets later in the summer, during which Montpelier members will be safely ensconsed on their private balcony enjoying an already paid for champagne reception, breakfast, three-course lunch, afternoon tea, complimentary bar and guest speaker, and it might almost start to look sensible. Visit the Brit Oval website for more details.