Saturday, March 26, 2011

Radcliffe Camera and Magdalen College.

By Liv

Now that Nick has more free time, we jumped on the opportunity to get out of the house together – as a family. We headed out to Magdalen College, which is a short 15-minute walk from our house, but stopped first for some cream tea and scones at a lovely garden cafe just across from the beautiful Radcliffe camera. After enjoying our spot of tea, we stumbled in to the church next door to see what was going on. It turned out that there was a choir/play practicing and we were able to sit in the pews and watch – what a treat!

Once at Magdalen College, it became immediately obvious that Stella was much more interested in walking on the grass (which had a noteably large "please stay off grass sign") and plucking the flowers than watching the deer in the deer park on Magdalen's grounds.

Here's a bit of history about Magdalen College, which is pronounced "Maud-lin":
Magdalen College was founded in 1458 by William of Waynflete, Bishop of Winchester.[4] Regarded by some as one of the most beautiful of the Oxford and Cambridge colleges,[6] Magdalen is also one of the most visited.

 Admiring the Radcliffe Camera.

The Radcliffe Camera.

 We stumbled upon a choir/play rehearsal and sat down to watch for free!

 Magdalen College grounds.

 Who cares about the beautiful deer? There are flowers!

Hillary Term Gala.

By Liv

This term has been tough. Nick has been incredibly busy with schoolwork, interviews, practice interviews, prepping for interviews, playing tennis and table tennis (he's on both the Oxford University team but also on the MBA Olympics Tennis and Table Tennis teams!).

At the end of every term, there is a "Gala" which is a festive dinner event followed by an after party. Because this term was so trying for the MBAs, the Gala was a welcome reprieve from the intense work load.

Our good friends Lakshmi and Ashley were kind enough to babysit Stella for us so we could go out and enjoy the festivities — and I'm so glad that they did because we had a wonderful time!

The Gala was hosted by Keble College and it was beautiful! This is one of those events in our lives that we will bookmark in our minds and come back to over and over again. Here are some photos from our evening. We wish you were there to celebrate with us!

 Our neighbors: Stephanie Poage and Bess & Jones Warren.

 The Observatory Street gals.

 I can pretend to be high-class!


 The barrel-vaulted ceilings were beautiful.

I've made some amazing friends.

 Beautiful Steph, the Southern Belle.

 The academic.

 The radiant Meghan and her little boy.

 I happily accepted Bess's dessert in addition to my own :)

 We will never forget this night.

 Ryan, Juha (what the hell is on your head?) and Nick.

The after-party, at Freud.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Very high tea.

By Liv

I figured it was about time that Stella get a proper introduction to "high tea".

High tea (also known as meat tea[6]) is an early evening meal, typically eaten between 5pm and 6pm. It is now largely followed by a later lighter evening meal. High tea would usually consist of cold meats, eggs or fish, cakes and sandwiches.

In its origin, the term “high tea” was used as a way to distinguish it from “low tea” or afternoon tea. The words 'low' and 'high' refer to the tables from which either tea meal was eaten. Low tea was served in a sitting room where low tables (like a coffee table) were placed near sofas or chairs generally. The word high referred to a table, this one in a dining room table, and it would be loaded with substantial dinner dishes - meats, cheese, breads, perhaps the classic shepherd's pie or steak and kidney pie.

In our case, our proper high tea was served with a delicious array of freshly baked scones, cakes, cookies, mini sandwiches, fruit preserves and clotted cream. We were not disappointed! While Nick is holed up in the Business School's Library, studying away for his exams this week, Stella and I were out enjoying our leisurely high tea. Poor Nick. We will make sure to take him out for a proper high tea to congratulate him for all his hard work.

 Laura, my partner in crime.

 Stella's partner in crime, Tenzing.

 How proper.

 Egg salad, ham & Dijon mustard and smoked salmon sandwiches.

 I could do this every day.

 Stella is a big fan of tea.

 "I want Tenzing's toy!"

 This little girl is so much fun!

And delicious, too.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Oxbridge @ Wimbledon.

By Liv

Once a year, Oxford and Cambridge send their top 4 tennis players to Wimbledon to compete against selected members of the prestigious All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon. Because he's that awesome, Nick was one of the four players sent from Oxford to compete. We spent last weekend in Wimbledon watching Nick compete and then hanging out in London for a while aftewards. Here are some photos of our adventure:

Stella watched Nick play through the glass.

Check out that serve!

Stella was allowed "outside" to watch some of the match... until she started yelling, "Hi Dadda! HI!"

I promise his match was much more exciting than Stella is making it out to be.

Nick and his doubles partner, Dominic, on the far side of the court.

The indoor courts @ Wimbledon.

Stella was a perfect tennis spectator - and all the members and players were praising her on her excellent behavior during both the matches and the formal brunch and the high tea afterwards.

Trophies in the entryway @ Center court.

Tea, sandwiches and scones were served after the matches were over.

Center court.

She's obviously not grasping the coolness of it all...

Nick's doubles partner, Dominic. 

Oxford team.

Oxford & Cambridge teams.

The three of us celebrated by staying at a beautiful hotel near the Chelsea Bridge in London.