Wednesday was group dinner day at Cafe Spice Namaste, a well-regarded Indian restaurant. I had their equivalent of a smoothie, some naan, which is a kind of tortilla, and then curry. Curry doesn’t seem very exciting I realize, but I don’t have much experience eating curry, and figure it would be a good benchmark against which to measure further curry. Plus, everyone knows what curry is, so it’s easier to talk about. See? The highlight was dessert, which was various kinds of too-creamy ice cream. There was much sharing across the table. Then, a smaller group of us went to a wine bar, where we had some pinor noir selected by Dyer. And more ice-cream.
Thursday, somehow, managed to preserve our fancy streak. Prof. Himsel and his wife, Jane Ann, who also happens to be a lawyer, took several of us to tea. This wasn’t ordinary tea, this was high tea, at one of the top-rated tea services in London–at the Athenaeum Hotel. It lasted 90 minutes and was full of unmatched teas, scrumptious sandwiches, fluffy crumpets with a variety of rich toppings, and, to top it off, picture-perfect desserts on a food cart–which happened to be delicious. The cart was straight out of the Hogwarts Express, except the only magic was the taste. We had to hurry at the end, since we were, you know, headed to an opera that night. So we stuffed one of our three desserts in our mouth, got the rest “to-go,” and nearly sprinted to the opera house via the tube. I ate my white chocolate mousse while in one of the tube cars–the aesthetic was a bit clashing.
We arrived at the opera house with, literally, a minute until curtain, and a bit out of breath. It was an English-language performance of The Barber of Seville, by Rossini. I had originally tried to arrange for some of us to go see a musical like the Lion King, but the other students were immediately captivated by the prospect of Rossini, so we changed plans. Then the Himsels got on board, and then it was certain. And as a bonus, by purchasing the tickets the morning-of, they only cost 12 pounds. And though we were high up in the balcony, we were in the second row. What a deal. It was only the third opera I’d ever seen. You might recognize this famous aria.