Thursday, June 18, 2009
There are a lot of formal dinners in Cambridge, and each college holds June Feast is the longest and most formal of all. Like many things in Cambridge I didn't know what to expect until attending, but I found out it's hard just to get invited. I got invited because of my talk to the college on Internet censorship. This is the only event all year in Cambridge which requires a robe, it is also black-tie. The meal was unbelievably long, something like 4 hours and 7 courses.
It was the only dinner I've ever been to with an intermission. That's right, halfway through the dinner they rang a bell, everybody got up and went out of the dining hall and mingled in the Churchill Archives where the college had its most valuable possessions on display. Then we came back in and there were new, different assigned seats than the originals. I actually kind of liked this because I got seated next to twice as many strangers that way. Still not a fan at all of the long, rectangular tables when it comes to Cambridge, but they've probably been holding June Feasts for centuries like this so I doubt my complaints will get very far.