Friday, July 25

The Graduate

Any one that follows me on Instagram will know that last week was a rather special one for my family.
The other day, my big brother Ben graduated from Exeter University with a 1st.
What a clever bean!

I thought I would give you a little insight of the day, the glamour of the 'academic dress' and what we got up to as we celebrated.

After driving all the way down at the crack of dawn, we were welcomed to the stunning southern city with bluebird skies.
The campus was crowded with excitable families and their bright, smartly dressed offspring, all taking selfies in their graduation gowns before heading into the ceremony. 

To save you all of the boring details, the ceremony is full of (a lot) of names, clapping and inspirational speeches from the higher academics. 
Of course, the loud clap and 'WOOOOP' is inevitably needed when the graduate you are supporting crosses across the stage.

"This cupcake tastes of success...!" 
Ha. Ha. Ha. 

After filling up our rumbling stomachs with piles of canapes, cupcakes and champagne, we got stuck into taking hundreds of family photos to line my parents walls for the next 10+ years.
You only get to wear a gown & mortar board once after all!

After all of the glitz and the glamour of the ceremony, we headed off to the nearby Combe House to celebrate with an evening of luxury food and accommodation. 
Combe House is a stunning Georgian, country house, set in the most idyllic of locations and with the friendliest of staff possible.
The view was beyond beautiful.

And our room?
Well, I was a very happy lady.

Just imagine the snugly, cosy winters in front of that roaring fire?!

After settling into our beautiful bedrooms, I snuck off to explore the vintage Georgian kitchen before the second round of canap├ęs and champagne.
(Guilty history nerd moment...)

With the stunning open doors in the heat, the six of us sat down at an incredible dinner table with a view.
Freshly baked breads, a variety of crisp white wines and beautiful bloomed flowers were spread out before our eyes.

And now for the wonder that was dinner.

The restaurant at Coombe House is run by two resident Master Chefs of Great Britain - Head Chef, Hadleigh Barrett, and Sous Chef, Stuart Brown. 

The numerous awards and drool worthy website had the whole family excited, and by George were we right to be!

(Apologies in advance for the poor lighting...)

Starters included the veal sweetbread, ham hock and foie gras terrine and the seared scallops with cauliflower, brown shrimp, oyster and herb cream. (These were utterly divine and my personal favourite. So, so soft that they were just like cutting through butter!)

Buttery scallops and a jaw dropping sunset before the thunder clouds rolled in? Perfect.

Now, I'm going to be perfectly honest. I'm a bad blogger. 
I've completely and utterly forgotten exactly what the courses were. I've tried looking on the website, but the menu isn't exactly the same because they adapt and twist it accordingly to what produce was freshest.
(Don't let my horrific descriptions take away the taste of the food and it's quality. Everything was jaw droppingly good, and I mean that. 
Very, very good.

Even so, I'll try my best to describe each.
My main course was a 'steamed brill fillet, mussel and clam broth, garden chard'.

The rest of my family chose the fillet of beef with veal gnocchi, or the lamb with Moroccan cous cous.

But my favourite part of the meal? 
My 'Peach Bomb' with white chocolate, honeycomb, hazelnuts and raspberries. You gently poured over the molten chocolate sauce, and ever so gently, the bomb would melt to reveal the peach ice cream hidden inside. Brilliant!

So yes, just a little insight into the day for all of those interesting. Such a proud family occasion and one which, *gulp*, next year will be mine. 
Time is flowing by pretty quick!


  1. What lovely photo's - it looks like you had a lovely day!

    Jemma @ Jemma In Words

  2. Looks like the loveliest day! And I love it when posts have many photographs. Congragulations! x

  3. Gorge photos and congrats to Ben! I only hope my graduation celebrations are as good next year :) X

  4. This makes me soooooooo excited for my graduation from Exeter!!!! It's so preeetty. BEaaaut pics as always XXXX

  5. Omg so many memories of these places! It's so strange that the whole of the UK and us bloggers are so connected. One summer, to earn money, I 'robed' the graduates (ie, getting them into their gowns etc) Also, I had prize giving every year in the great hall with school!

    I can't believe you stayed in Combe House! Isn't it the most beautiful place? A friend and I went for afternoon tea there in front of the fire one autumn eve. So stunning and the little chickens that wander about and all the horses galloping in the fields!

    Lovely photos and huge congratulations to your brother! It's you next Em!

    Katie <3


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