It has been far too long since I last caught up with you lot but I have GRADUATED!
The last few months have been an absolute rollercoaster and definitely the hardest journey of my life but I am out the other side and have graduated with a 1st Class.
Last Wednesday, 5th July was my graduation and I had the most incredible day which I wanted to share with you guys.
If you would like a blog on my life at University then please let me know in the comments.
Onto Graduation day!
As always I can never resist a trip to Glitterati to have my hair curled by my incredible hair dresser Beth, although I do have all the tools to do it myself I knew, as the master of my hair, she would make it look the best it possibly could. We decided that time was not going to be on my side so I washed my hair before heading to the salon, so that I could also have my makeup ready and Beth would then only have to curl it. My hair looked absolutely beautiful and I kept my makeup as simplistic as possible as I knew the pictures taken would haunt me forever.
Just after 1pm my parents and I headed to Reading for Graduation, which on a good day takes around 45 minutes from my door. When we arrived it was the most beautiful day, around 31 degrees which looking back was far too hot, but in the UK we are hardly ever blessed with blue skies so I won’t be too fussy.
After collecting my gown and mortarboard, we headed to the photography building and mum supplied the Pimms. Time was absolutely flying by at this point and it was already time for the students to head to the procession tent, but don’t worry my student drinking skills ensured no Pimms was wasted, it was consumed a little faster than expected. After spending 45 minutes in this marquee all the students were not in the best of moods, it was absolutely scorching, my hair had collapsed and my makeup was dripping off definitely not my most attractive moment but the excitement made it bearable.
Off we went to the Great Hall, where the Vice Chancellor awarded us our BA Hons Degrees. In that moment I was overwhelmed with a sense of pride, I felt so proud of everything I had achieved and all the hard work and breakdowns seemed worth it. Bizarrely in that moment I almost wanted to do another degree, but do not fear – that urge swiftly faded. It was finally time to head home and get ready for my graduation dinner.
After a speedy turnaround and a quick outfit change, our Uber had arrived to take us to Pennyhill Park, where we would be having dinner at Matt Worswick’s restaurant; The Latymer. This was my first fine dining experience and it was sublime.
On arrival we received Taittinger champagne and were supplied with canapés, if there is anything you should know about me warm bread and butter is my desert island food, I know how basic. However as it was a fine dining restaurant it wasn’t as simplistic, we were offered soda bread with Irish hand rolled butter and a Wagu beef dripping sauce, it was absolutely incredible. After 5 pieces of bread I decided to pace myself and wait for the rest of the meal. Shortly after we received yet more canapés, which were pig trotter and mustard croquettes, parmesan cheese and truffle oil croquettes and bombay mix filo pastry cones. Despite my initial hesitation about these canapés I cannot begin to describe how amazing they tasted, the words pig trotter absolutely horrified me but I have to say they were by far my favourite.
Although at this point I already felt I had eaten a lot, we hadn’t even started our 5 courses.
Below is the menu of our five courses which were available with a wine flight but I decided to stick to champagne and cocktails, hard life I know.
The Octopus starter was absolutely beautiful, the octopus itself was just so tender and despite having coriander in the sauce I ate absolutely everything and loved it.
This was followed by the Celeriac dish, which was something completely new to me. I absolutely love being adventurous with foods and had no expectations of the flavour or texture. I really enjoyed this dish although it was probably my least favourite of the five, but by no means unpleasant.
My dream dish was course number three, the turbot in a shellfish bisque. The presentation of this dish was amazing with lobster claws presented in a ceramic dish in which dry ice was poured into, as the dry ice washed across the dish it released the most beautiful aroma of fish and mint which heightened our senses as we prepared to eat.
After three dishes we reached our main course of Iberico pork presa. As a child of an African it is rather strange but I am not the biggest fan of meat, give me a piece of steak and chicken any day but otherwise I’m not overly bothered. So when I saw pork on the menu I was not over impressed or excited, however I’m amazed as to how much I enjoyed that dish, definitely up their as one of my favourite courses.
Lastly, we reached the dessert which was a raspberry and vanilla bavarois, it was delicious! The perfect ending to the dining experience, especially following quite a rich main course.
The day was one of the best days of my entire life! I am eternally grateful to everyone who helped me along the way and held me together through the toughest of times. I could not have asked for a better celebration and if you are nearing the end of your degree then I promise it is all worth it regardless of the tears and stress is causes along the way.
If you are from the Surrey or Berkshire area then I highly recommend the Latymer the food is phenomenal.
Finally, to all the people who could not be at my graduation and those I do not have the ability to celebrate with, I hope you all know how grateful I am for everything you have done for me.