My friend Felix is a fellow of King’s College, which means that he gets to do cool stuff like walk on the grass of the college (seriously, its a thing), eat at High Table all the time, and invite me to the King’s Fellows Summer Supper Party.
It started with drinks in the King’s Chapel, which has an insane fan vault and is probably Cambridge’s #1 tourist attraction. Most people don’t get to drink wine in it, though. Then we had a very strange and mostly delicious molecular-gastronomy inspired meal (it featured truffle oil that tasted a bit like popcorn, somehow, and a mushroom doughnut). Ian took his cuff links that gave him in 2007 on their maiden voyage and I made a perfunctory attempt at conversation with the people across the table before I gave up and chatted with Felix the whole time. There were fireworks, goofy little carnival rides (including swings!), and croquet. Felix, who had never played before, schooled us – and then I got bored and started queuing up all the croquet balls and going for distance while Felix pleaded with me not to leave any divets in the grass (I only left one). I was also introduced to the sport of Wellie Wanging, which is apparently a thing: you take a rubber boot and throw it as far as you can. That’s the whole game. I thought this was a hilarious invention of King’s, but apparently its a well-known English pasttime. I was telling an English friend about the experience of the supper club and she asked if there had been wellie wanging, and I have since learned that there is a national championships with a regulation wellie. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.
I’m totally grateful to Felix, who has been very generous about sharing King’s with us – peaks inside the rarefied world of Cambridge colleges are always exciting when you’re not part of the community. I like to think that showing him the non-university Cambridge is a fair trade (he only leaves King’s to go to Stansted or to our house), but I’m not sure its a fair trade. But I’ll take it!