The obvious backyard game is the one most likely to be seen enjoyed on the expansive lawns of "Downton Abbey," croquet. It's a quaint enough pastime, requiring a certain skill set and focus, but not so much as to ruin a good time -- until, that is, Uncle Dave gets Coors Lite-aggressive at the picnic with his displacement shots and hits your ball into the Patuxent. Even Uncle Dave will keep things civil with this impressive, solid combination of balls, mallets and hoops by Danish (Hans Thyge) and Japanese (Akiko Kuwahata) designers rendered in teak and packed in a nifty carry-all box. Kuwahata went to Denmark to study with Thyge's architectural practice, and somehow, perhaps fueled by Coors Lite and a sunny afternoon, they came up with this. Price: About $650; see wayfair.com.
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