UK Politics

BBQ and table tennis kit among Cameron and Obama gifts

Table tennis table given to the Obamas by the Camerons

The Obamas have chosen to give the Camerons a customised barbecue as a gift to commemorate their US visit.

The "one-of-a-kind" grill is a reminder of their time flipping burgers together in the 10 Downing Street garden during the Obamas' London visit in May 2011.

In return, David and Samantha Cameron will give the president and his family a customised Dunlop table tennis table.

It's a nod to the match the two men played against school children in south London during the same 2011 trip.

The exchange of gifts is a traditional part of state visits.

At a lunch hosted in his honour on Wednesday, Mr Cameron joked that he and Mr Obama might have chosen the wrong ones.

"I gave him a table tennis table and he gave me a barbecue, but when you see us standing next to each other, it's quite clear that the person who needs the exercise is the British prime minister and the person who needs the barbecue is the president," he told guests.

'American classic'

Downing Street said the table tennis table was "something that the whole Obama family could enjoy".

It comes complete with UK and US flag bats.

Image caption Mrs Obama and Mrs Cameron helped out with serving food at the Downing Street barbecue

Mrs Cameron has also given First Lady Michelle Obama a printed blue scarf by Scottish designer Jonathan Saunders, inspired by Victorian wallpaper.

The Obamas' daughters, Malia and Sasha, received a set of classic British books by Penguin and Puffin with customised covers.

The White House said the barbecue, a Braten 1000 Series Grill hand made by Engelbrecht Grills and Cookers of Paxton, Illinois, was "an American classic".

It too has been customised to feature US and British flags and a personalised plaque on the lid.

The gift will remind the Camerons of their day serving burgers to members of the Armed Forces during the Obamas trip to London.

Should they choose to recreate the day, the gift also includes two White House chef jackets each featuring American and British flags, and the Great Seal, as well as Mr and Mrs Cameron's names.

Mrs Obama also gave the prime minister's wife a jar of honey collected from the South Lawn of the White House and chamomile seeds grown in the kitchen garden.

Finally, for the Cameron children, Arthur, Nancy and Florence, there were personalised bean bag chairs, featuring their names and the presidential seal.

In 2009, when Gordon Brown visited the US he presented Mr Obama with a pen and holder carved from wood from an anti-slavery ship and biographies of Winston Churchill. He received a box set of 25 DVDs of American films in return.

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