Alex heard about a special late opening of the Ashmolean, which is the oldest and one of the finest art and antiquities museums in the world. We had to go, and I’m so glad we did. It was glorious. The museum was open until 10 pm and very quiet, with some galleries standing empty. Did you know I love art museums? And this one, with its wealth of the beautiful things of the earth carefully collected there and reposing in silence, was incredible. We watched a dancer performing a “dance in response” to the Heracles to Alexander the Great exhibit far above us on a bridge to one of the galleries. We sat on the rooftop terrace and had a vanilla, honey, and Grappa pannacotta with a compote of summer berries as the darkness slowly thickened and the air cooled. (It was so good that I am now determined to learn to make pannacotta before I die–and the sooner the better. For the pannacotta making, that is, not death.)
We sat and enjoyed the view of the rooftops and the historic Randolph Hotel across the street. Just a few weeks later, we were back, but this time on the other side of the street. Last Thanksgiving was my thirtieth birthday and one of the gifts Alex gave me was a date to high tea at the Randolph. At that time, however, we had just been blessed with Harriet and we weren’t really in an out-to-tea phase just yet. But, thanks to a very dear friend who watched our girls, we are now.
The view of the Randolph Hotel from the roof of the Ashmolean.
We had little crustless sandwiches, pastries and sweet treats, and the inevitable scones with cream. It was a rainy day, a softly-and-steadily plopping and dropping day, and we sank into worn armchairs and drank pots of tea and talked. Happiness.
With gratitude to Sharon, who loved on our girls and made both of these dates possible!