Wednesday 7 May
While Holt lectured about sex at the Ioannou Centre, Barbara went to the Evans-Pritchard lecture on Cypriot writing at All Souls. Afterward, she quizzed the porter about the best way to get over to Corpus Christi, as Ewen Bowie had asked us to dine that evening, and a gentleman who had attended the lecture said he'd take her, as he was dining there himself. He turned out to be Simon Hornblower, so we were awash in famous classicists in the SCR. That's Oxford for you.
We are having fun comparing the various high tables; at Corpus, as well as the usual table silver, they give you a little silver mug for your water.
The first course was pan-fried breast of pigeon (rather red and tough, really) with mixed leaves and truffle dressing; the Marsanne Yves Cuilleron 2011 made up for it.
Another unusual touch was serving a palate-cleanser (Campari and orange sorbet) between the courses.
A nicely-roasted fillet of monkfish with a fennel and garlic crust came next, with new potatoes and asparagus (recognizing that it is spring), served with red wine - can't skip the claret - a Syrah La Rosine Domaine Michel et Stéphane Ogier 2009.
Our photogenic pudding was a little fruit-bestrewn lemon soufflé, and then we withdrew for dessert: energetic conversation, plus more wine, port, fruit, chocolates, and of course snuff, which we now know enough of to eschew.
Thanks to Ewen and our other kind colleagues, we had a stimulating evening at Corpus, even without the snuff.