The University of Cincinnati offers a great class centered around The Enlightenment called 'Nasty, Brutish, and Short' taught by Professor Terry Grundy. This blog is to document the student's trip to England at the end of the 2013 Fall Semester.
Opening Dinner at the In & Out
December 11th, 2013
Our first night in London featured the opening dinner at Naval & Military Club, called the In and Out Club, in St. James Square. We were happy to attend despite our extreme exhaustion from our overnight flight.
Lounge of the club; a portrait of Prince Charles is in the back.
Before dinner we had a brief tour of the club, which led to the club’s beautiful Long Bar, where we had pre-dinner drinks. We met some of the members of the club, including an English sailor who was shipping out to Oman that night, and got to know Jody Grundy, our professor’s wife. .
Our males at the Goat Bar.
Our ladies at the Goat Bar.
The club’s main dining room was previously Lady Astor’s ballroom, as this club previously was her London home when she was a member of Parliament. The food was very different from that in America, and definitely would take some getting used to.
The Dining Room
Everyone tonight had different combinations of the following:
- French Onion Soup
- Potted Shrimps and Prawns, Melba Toast, Lemon Dressing
- Whitebait Dressed Salad, Lemo0n, Brown Bread & Butter
- Pressed Ham Hock Terrine, Fennel & Orange Salad
- Seared Kentish Guinea Fowl, Apricot & Sage Stuffing, Colcannon Potatoes, Madeira Jus
- Braised Belly of Pork, Spiced Red Cabbage, Calvados Sauce
- Smoked Haddock Monte Carlo (Poached Haddock, Wilted Spinach, Poached Egg & White Wine Sauce)
- Spinach, Pea, Herb & Runner Bean Risotto
- Christmas Pudding with Winter Warmer Ice Cream & Brandy Anglaise
We all had the same dessert, Christmas Pudding, except for Michael who, because of his nut allergy, had a lovely fruit plate that he shared with everyone at the table.
We concluded the evening in the library where we had a meeting after dinner to discuss the rest of our trip. It was a great start to our journey through England!
Friday, December 13, 2013
Students during intermission
Beautiful Interior of St. Martin in the Fields inTrafalgar Square
To wrap up our first few days in London we braved the chilly, rainy weather to attend a sold-out Christmas Gala at St. Martin in the Fields. The gala was held in a church and was lit by candlelight. The performance was put on by the Festival Orchestra of London and featured the Baroque period— pieces by Handel, Corelli, Bach, and Vivaldi — as would have been heard in 18th century London. The orchestra was accompanied by two singers as well, a soprano and a baritone. The performance was not all listening though! The conductor, Steven Devine, got the audience up and on its feet to sing several Christmas carols to get us into the Christmas Spirit! We arrived prepared to listen to music and take in the scenery of the candlelit church and left filled with Christmas Spirit, waiting to take on the rest of the week’s adventures in London and Cambridge!
Royal Observatory at Greenwich
December 14th, 2013
On day five of our trip to England, we visited one of Sir Christopher Wren’s architectural masterpieces, the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. I was particularly interested in writing about this tour, not because I am a lover of architectural masterpieces, but because we would be learning about “seafaring, exploration… and maritime might.” Back in my hometown in Virginia, my dad always boats with me in the summers and I was excited to learn more about the mysterious sea and how the British learned to conquer it.
In addition, I know observatories are known for being used to gaze upon the stars, and I have a slight obsession with stars and space.