View of Christ Church Spires from Courtyard

The farewell gala evening started with a champagne reception behind the impressive Christ Church Cathedral. Our Country Houses class along with our tutor marked the moment with a group photo. Then we entered the Great Hall for a formal banquet.

Oxford Experience Farewell Reception–My Classmates and Tutor

Spellbinding Atmosphere

This evening we sat with our classmates and tutor. The keepsake menu unveiled a dining delight of smoked salmon with potato mousse, wasabi and beetroot followed by seared scallops with black pudding. The main entree was roast breast of duck with honey, orange and thyme sauce, shallot mash, butternut squash with lime and choi sum. My favorite was the summer berry and prosecco terrine with fruit purees, panna cotta and strawberry sorbet. Dessert of course! A selection of wines and house port was bound to keep us jolly!

A Kepsake for the Memory Box

Roast Duck Presentation–A Feast for the Eyes

Once seated the grace was beautifully said in Latin: In the neediness of our human condition, which invites your compassion, almighty God and heavenly Father, we give you reverent thanks for the food which, in your kindness, you have lavished on us for the sustenance of our bodies, and we also beg that we may use it without greed or excess and with enjoyment. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Captivation…Ooooh What An Evening!

Following tradition, each class presented their tutor with a gift in what turned out to be “which group can cheer the loudest” format! I think the “Revolution, 1789-1968: France Leads, Europe Follows” participants prevailed.

A special moment of accomplishment silenced the group as our tutor presented each of us a certificate of completion (which will keep company with my diplomas). We toasted Queen Elizabeth and enjoyed a short speech by David Beard, Director of Studies–Oxford Experience.

Before I knew it, the magical week and evening were drawing to a close. It was time for hugs as the next morning was early departure. The Oxford Experience, long on my yearning list, had exceeded my expectations and then some!! This one goes in the memory bank. I will cherish the feeling of being a member of the Oxford learning community and be grateful for that moment in time. Its recollection will forever make me smile.