WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL BLOG for La Pétanque Marinière in San Rafael, California. LPM has been an active Marin pétanque club since 1972 and affiliated with the Fédération of Pétanque USA, since 1975. We welcome people of all abilities, ages and nationalities to come and enjoy pétanque with us.

The Pierre Joske Courts are located on Civic Center drive in San Rafael. (click for directions). Casual games are played every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from about 1 pm. Tournament play is usually held on the second Sunday of every month.

Please consult the links on the sidebar to the right for more information on clubs in the bay area, nationally and world wide.

If you would like to play but haven't any boules, please contact our President, Christine Cragg, or Ken Lee. They can bring some for you to use, as well as introduce you to the basic skills and techniques of pétanque. In addition, if you are looking to purchase boules but are unsure as to which size and weight are right for you, we have a range of different examples from which to choose.

Friday, June 17, 2011

After Hours Hong Kong

Tucked away on a little street in Shek Tong Tsui, on the northwest side of Hong Kong island, is one of the city's more serendipitous finds: Walking into underground café Les Boules is like walking out of south China and into a French neighborhood picnic party. The sounds of live harmonicas, piano music and French murmurs lure you in, and the petanque courts will keep you there.

Jessica Yu/The Wall Street Journal
For the uninitiated, petanque is a game in which a small wooden ball is tossed down a lane. Participants then attempt to toss larger metal balls as close as possible to the wooden ball. Each player is allotted a set number of balls and players can knock opponents' balls away from the wooden one. It's a lot like bocce ball, and perhaps most popular—and intensely played—in the region among Laotian tuk tuk drivers, who play it along the side of the road in Luang Prabang.

Les Boules isn't a place for fancy pants or Jimmy Choos—competitive spirits (sometimes enhanced by liquid ones) will soon have you kicking up clouds of dust as you run down the petanque lanes, wielding a measuring tape to argue over whose ball is a fraction of a centimeter closer.

In between rounds of petanque (the first hour costs 80 Hong Kong dollars a person, or about US$10; the second hour is HK$40 a person), engage in some banter over a plate of saucisson (HK$50)—a variety of French sausage—and (mais oui!) a bottle of wine (HK$50 a glass) or perhaps pastis (HK$40 a glass).

Underscoring the quirky, laid-back nature of the place, Les Boules opens at 3:15 p.m.

Les Boules - Café Pétanque

18 Woo Hop St., Shek Tong Tsui, Hong Kong. Tel: 2872 -0102

Open Tuesdays to Sundays, 3:15 p.m. to 11 p.m.


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