After three quick years at the University of Reading, I graduated on the 4th of July with a 2.1 in English Literature and History. As well as being a bit of a tear jerker (sentimental moments get me teary) it was also, admittedly, a day of fine dining with a bit of booze thrown in there for good measure.
I had chosen to wear a French Connection dress to the ceremony (which is now in the sale!) accessorised with a Michael Kors watch, some Swarovski rings which my housemates gave me on my 21st birthday, my Chanel bag and my lovely Louboutins, whose stiletto heels were perhaps not the best thing in the grass but nevertheless got me a few compliments!
Looking back on the day now, it’s a blur of photographs, sweaty palms and the feeling of relief after having not tripped up infront of the huge hall full of people – something I maintain is my greatest achievement to date, nevermind the degree – but one thing I can clearly remember is the food.
As a foodie at heart, I had put more thought into where my family and I should dine on the evening of my graduation than even revising for some of my exams but ultimately I left the decision up to my dad, the senior foodie of the family. After consulting some in-the-know friends he booked The Forbury’s restaurant in Reading – not to be confused with The Forbury Hotel’s restaurant Cerise.
After generously filling our wine glasses, we all got down to the serious business of ordering our food. I’m one of those sad people who will obsessively check a menu online before venturing inside any restaurant, but on this occasion I’d been too busy in Newcastle sans internet to plan my meal – a travesty.
After asking everyone round the table what they were planning to have at least twice, I opted for the Hand Dived Scallops served with a Pea Puree and Black Pudding for my starter and the Fillet of Angus Beef (medium rare of course) with Duck Fat chips, Onion Rings and Cherry Tomatos. I can vouch that both were absolutely delicious, with the scallops being the best I’ve ever had (a huge claim for a scallop addict) and the steak being cooked to perfection.
By dessert time, my poor dress was probably feeling the strain, but Ross and I decided that we could both stretch to dessert and shared our first ever Bourbon Creme Brulee with a ShortCake Biscuit. I’m more of a starter and main fan, mostly because I always fall foul of the ‘eyes too big for my stomach’ curse and don’t survive to the third round but I’d always coveted the crack of a Creme Brulee so loosened my hypothetical belt and tucked in. I am now 100% a dessert convert and will be making room for some more sweet treats in the future whilst also renewing my gym membership ASAP.
This coming September I’ll be heading up North to study a Masters at the University of Newcastle so expect a Graduation 2.0 post in a year’s time!
If you’re graduating this summer, first of all GOOD LUCK (try not to trip!) and second, enjoy every second!