Thursday 26 June
Barbara went to dinner at Brasenose (which is served in the dessert room outside term time) with four of the older members, mainly in the medical and scientific fields. So while we were all feeling our way around each others' brains, we feasted on a good Asian-fusion oven-roasted fillet of sea bass, served on thin-sliced Thai-style vegetables with a lemongrass and ginger cream sauce.
Once we had each other's measure, we laughed through the nicely rare char-grilled local beef fillet with Dauphinoise potatoes, string beans, broccoli, and roast carrots, its jus nicely spiced with a hint of mustard.
Pudding was passion fruit and ginger mousse (really just cream), with strawberry Champagne coulis and a twisted orange tuile; and then we went to coffee, though Barbara had to depart just as they started offering the Malt.
Holt, however, put on his best black tie for a much more gregarious occasion: the big ChCh summer Gaudy. It started with champagne (Louis Dornier NV) on the staircase. The starter was a spiffing baked asparagus wrapped in Buffalo mozzarella and crisped Parma ham, with white asparagus ribbons and basil salad; luckily the maple syrup dressing (for the House Canadians?) wasn't overly sweet. The wine was a premier cru Saint-Aubin Les Murgers des Dents de Chien 2009 (apparently named for the stones heaped between the vine rows).
Next came a fillet steak with herb and pepper gratin; braised ox cheek adorning horseradish potato mash, girolles, spinach, broad beans and baby purple carrots; and a Domaine de Chevalier Pessac-Leógnan 2003.
Summer pudding followed, with clotted cream brulée, strawberry sorbet, and elderflower champagne jelly; and at last dessert, with coffee and pretty petit fours.
Finally, Holt went down to the Buttery for a Malt or two, serenaded by the chorus on the great staircase. So ChCh wins in a rather inebriated (but healthy) walk.