It’s easy to forget where you are because when it comes down to it, it’s just another university. Except it isn’t. And every now and again something will happen that reminds me, and you’ll see me quietly smiling to myself at some new subtle quirk, “it’s that Cambridge thing…”
Tonight was one of those nights, as the university’s Middle Temple Society held their annual dinner. We had to fork out £17.50 each, but the actual cost of the meal was about £35 with the rest being generously subsidised by the Inn. Essentially, I had been reliably informed, it would be a fun evening of drinking and good food while chatting to heavily inebriated barristers. Or, as one person described last year’s event, “watching Lewis play chase-the-port with the judges.” The food was fantastic: a goats cheese salad, salmon with cranberry and orange sauce, pork sirloin, and an espresso and amarillo dessert. Sherry, red wine, white wine, and whole decanters of port flowed liberally throughout the evening. And I was offered snuff for the first time tonight. Although I recognised what it was from the highly decorated silver box, the girl with me looked slightly worried until the benevolent-sounding old barrister smiled and explained, “no it’s not a prohibited drug…” Nevertheless, I’m sorry to inform you that I declined to partake.
Afterwards a few of us headed down in Clare Cellars, a college bar with real character as it genuinely appears to have been converted from a cellar, complete with low ceilings and arches. We were ever so slightly overdressed in our tuxes, but since there was a jazz band playing inside, it felt remarkably apt as we floated in, full and merry, bow ties hanging loose.
The highlight of the evening, however, was after chatting to one of the administrative non-lawyer types from the Inn, who enjoyed my company so much that she gave me her number and an email address, suggesting that I get a group of friends together and contact her to arrange a trip down for dinner at the Inn in London. And you know, I think I just might take her up on that offer. Life’s so hard when you have to live one meal to another…