WASHINGTON — It's time for David and Samantha Cameron to fire up the barbie again – and not just any grill.
President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, on Wednesday gave the British prime minister and his wife a wood- and charcoal-burning grill engraved with American and British friendship flags, complete with his-and-her White House chef jackets embroidered with the Camerons' names.
The gifts were inspired by the Obamas' May 2011 visit to London, when the Obamas and Camerons held a cookout for American and British members of the military.
Mrs. Obama also gave Mrs. Cameron a crystal vase of White House honey. And the Cameron children got bean bag chairs embroidered with their names and the presidential seal.
The Camerons, who are in Washington on an official visit, reciprocated by giving the Obamas a pingpong table. That was inspired by a game of table tennis that the president and the prime minister played with school boys during the Obamas' visit to London.
Cameron joked during a luncheon at the State Department that he and Obama had chosen the wrong gifts for one another, noting that the president is in much better shape.
"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," Cameron said.
Obama, for his part, recalled during a news conference that the two of them had gotten "thrashed" at ping pong. He said that's why he took Cameron took an NCAA basketball game this visit.
"When it came to sports on this visit, I thought it would be better if we just watched," Obama said.