As Oval Talk took its seat to watch the last game of the Super 15 weekend, it felt a far cry from the chill of a Test in the bitter winter months.
The spring sunshine bathed the ground, and a swell of New Zealanders and South Africans had built to watch the first game of the southern hemisphere's premier domestic rugby competition ever to be played in the north.
Only the Twickenham traffic felt about the same as ever.
The circumstances that meant the Canterbury Crusaders have to play their home game against the Sharks in London are not happy ones: their Christchurch stadium has been severely damaged in the earthquake, and the club has been forced to improvise.
The HQ crowd embraced the opportunity to see the spectacle, with expatriates boosting the numbers. There were plenty of curious British fans keen to check out the occasion too, leading to an official crowd of 35,094.
Twickenham was not packed to the rafters, then, but with ticket prices starting at £32.40 (with a £5 charitable donation included) it remained a remarkable attendance given that, by comparison, just 3,000 more fans turned out for Saracens v Wasps at the same ground on Boxing Day earlier in the season.
The Crusaders, nominally the home side, had given up the advantage of a home crowd and committed to a day's worth of flying to reach London, so Twickenham did its level best to make the New Zealanders feel at home. Tenor Geoff Sewell sang an impassioned anthem, preceded by a fist-pumping cry of 'Come on New Zealand!' to a crowd caught slightly off-guard.
But try as they might to create that atmosphere, the support was split down the middle - as the cheers for the Sharks' opening try proved.
To the neutral, though - and OT always tries its best to remain so - the game felt more like an exhibition or a charity game.
Of course, it was both; a showcase of Super Rugby, as it is brashly known, and a chance for sports fans to put their hands in their pockets for a genuine tragedy in New Zealand, one which has been deprived of some of the media coverage it might otherwise have had by an even larger-scale natural disaster in Japan.
Moreover it was also a crucial group game between two sides with high aspirations in the tournament.
The Crusaders seem to feel a sense of duty to entertain their way through these difficult circumstances Harlem Globetrotters-style as well as claim a first title since 2008. They played the sort of running rugby that fans in England all too rarely see from their sides.
Fly-half Dan Carter and Sonny Bill Williams outside him were at their rampaging best, offloading the ball at tackles with ease and carving through lines.
As they turned the score around from a 5-3 deficit to a monstrous 34-10 advantage, the Sharks defence wilted, seeming caught in the headlights of the occasion and trapped into being part of the exhibition.
It was not, as Carter was keen to remind afterwards, meant to be a warning about the northern hemisphere's chances at the World Cup.
"No, not at all," Carter said. "The last thing we were thinking about was the World Cup. It was a lot more about the Crusaders stamping our mark on the competition and also playing for people back home in Christchurch."
But intentional or otherwise, it should serve as a warning to the Six Nations sides - and it was in stark contrast to the typical play of club rugby.
"It really showed what Super Rugby is all about," said Crusaders captain Kieran Read. He was right - as a taster for first-timers it was a particularly good example, with open rugby and dynamic back play the order of the day.
Super Rugby has its detractors in these parts, who see the forwards under-used and the game overly dictated by the backs; but the truth of the matter is that the tournament consistently produces players who go on to don international shirts and look entirely at home.
A case in point on Sunday was the performance of Matt Todd, the 23-year-old flanker who moved Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder to this piece of praise: "I don't like to single out individual players from a team performance, but I thought Todd was absolutely outstanding."
Not bad for Richie McCaw's understudy.
Wing Sean Maitland (pictured with ball) was equally destructive - his finishes for the first and last Crusader tries were fine and needed the most desperately. Their time in an All Black shirt will surely come.
Fans left the ground having not only seen 72 points, nine tries and some of the world's very best in full flight - the final score 44-28 - but having raised £175,000 through ticket purchases alone for the Red Cross earthquake appeal in Christchurch.
Enough of a show to repeat the spectacle again in less unfortunate circumstances?
There is certainly an audience for it here - not merely an ex-pat one - and OT would welcome more of these visits from some of rugby's finest.
As for the players and coaching staff, all were positive about the experience, and Williams in particular expressed interest in seeing it happen again in future.
But the logistics of foisting travel to another hemisphere upon sides with already punishing tour schedules - they can travel up to 7000 miles for a game - cannot be solved simply.
Nor can it be good for players like Read and Carter to nurse niggling injuries on the flight home - both picked up knocks and had to be substituted. Commercial opportunities, like the 39th game discussion in Premier League football, cannot be made without thinking properly of players and home fans.
And OT will leave the final word to man of the match Carter, who said when asked about future visits: "Obviously your preference is playing in your home stadium. It's been a fantastic week, a great result, and we've really enjoyed it - but whether it happens again or not we're really not sure."
A sombre reminder of why we were all at Twickenham in the first place, and why the one-off day that Super 15 came to town was a resounding success.