Thursday, October 20, 2016

Cambridge Tiki Time

Looking back on our trip to Cambridge, I'm astounded by how much we crammed into each and every day. Jeff and I aren't really the lounging-on-a-beach types: as you may have guessed from my first Cambridge post, we go hard on vacation.

One of the things we were most excited to do was to tour Cambridge University. (Chariots of Fire was on TV a couple of times right before we left, and we got all excited thinking we could reenact that scene where they race the bells around the courtyard. Alas, Wikipedia informed me that the movie was actually filmed at Eton.) For our first true vacation day, we planned a full day of walking around campus, capped off with a long-awaited meal involving Scotch eggs.

Since I knew I'd basically be walking and eating all day, I decided to wear my new Vera dress from Pinup Girl Clothing. If you can't bust out your tiki finery whilst wandering around a 600-year-old world-class university, where can you wear it? I ordered my usual large and found that it definitely runs a tad bigger than my Jenny dresses. I might have been able to size down to a medium, but didn't want to risk trying to exchange it when I knew I'd be out of the country for a while.

pinup girl clothing pug vera dress tiki

I absolutely love the shorter length and the built-in underskirt, and the print is super fun and easy to style for cooler weather. I only brought two pairs of shoes with me: a pair of cute flats, and my trusty waterproof Bogs, and I love how this dress looks with boots. My only issue with this dress is extremely minor: I wish it was possible to adjust the straps shorter than the shortest setting, because I am quite petite. I think it might be a relatively easy fix, though. This dress is much more comfortable than I'd expected, so much so that I wore it on the plane home!

Anyway,  after another fabulous breakfast at our hotel, we set off for campus. First stop: King's College. We bought tickets to tour the chapel (roughly $9 each and totally worth it!) and followed the scanty signage through windy, narrow roads to our destination. I took many photos of medieval-looking doors along the way.

I knocked, but nobody answered.

Now, when I hear 'chapel,' I think 'tiny church like the one near my parents' house,' but the King's College chapel was a massive, incredibly impressive paragon of Gothic architecture. It was commissioned by King Henry IV in the 15th century (!!!), which makes the incredible vaulted ceiling and gorgeous stained-glass windows lining both sides of the building even more amazing. (You might be wondering how I know about the history of this building. Answer: there was a lovely little exhibit about the history of the chapel itself, King's College, and the Wars of the Roses inside! Jeff and I perused it most assiduously. I also learned that stained glass windows are an enormous undertaking.)

Cavernous, ornate ceilings? Check!
More cathedral than chapel, methinks. 

After we had our fill of touring the chapel and learning, we ventured onto the grounds, where I made Jeff take silly Boomerang videos for a bit. After seeing how stunningly beautiful the chapel and the grounds were, I felt a twinge of regret for being the sort of lazy high-schooler that never could've gotten into such a hallowed institution, and instead spent four years treading the burnt-orangey, 1970s-era halls of a public college in New York. Then I remembered how much I loved college and felt better.

We made our way to the River Cam and took in the gorgeous views and punting boats for a bit, then checked out the library. They had a bunch of their rare books on display, so I got to see some papers from Darwin, Stephen Hawking, and Newton (all Cambridge alums or faculty!) and nerd out a little more.

PUG vera dress tiki
It is scientifically proven that you learn more in gorgeous settings.

It's days like this one that make me wish I had a Fitbit, because I'd love to know how far we walked! My best guess is 'a gazillion miles,' but Jeff would likely dispute that number. Anyway, at long last it was dinnertime, and we made our way back through campus to the Pint Shop.

the pint shop cambridge

I was 1) hungry and 2) ridiculously excited, but I tried to pretend that I had a normal level of chill. This worked until our drinks arrived. We asked our server to recommend something we wouldn't likely get in the States, and he suggested that we try a pint of bitter. This was 100% the best idea ever, because  dang, what a delicious beer!

Besides the drinks, I was most excited to finally try Scotch eggs: hard-boiled eggs wrapped in sausage, breaded, and deep fried. (What could be better?) Jeff had read that they sometimes sold out of Scotch eggs, so I was a bit nervous, but the Force was with us, so we ordered one each. This is one of those times that I feel words fail me a bit: they were that good. Like, delicious to the point that all I talked about for the rest of the night was 1) how glad I was to be eating something so delicious, or 2) how delicious it had been. It honestly boggles my mind that Scotch eggs are not A Thing in the US, since they involve meat and deep-frying.

the pint shop scotch egg
Unfortunately, they're not the most photogenic thing I've ever eaten. But they're pretty darn delicious!

Our entrees (pork belly on courgettes and chicken-thigh curry) were both really good, but the star of the meal was definitely the Scotch egg. The crispy pork skin on the outside of my roast was a close second, though! I regret not going back the next day and ordering another egg.

By the time we got back to our hotel, I was yammering on about how I'd never be hungry again, and other nonsense, but you can probably guess how that turned out. Stay tuned for my next Cambridge travelogue to see if you're right!

Follow this blog on:


  1. Wow! So Cambridge makes my campus look blah! What a gorgeous place to study! I can only how amazing that would be! Great job on the outfit as well! You look so happy and I can see that being across the pond definitely suits you! Also, I'm 99.3% sure that you sold me on the scotch egg! Yum!

    1. I think that Cambridge makes EVERY campus look blah, even U of C (which I'd thought was the most beautiful place ever!) England was just a wonderful place and I absolutely loved being there! I bet you'd love the scotch egg, too -- it was utterly delicious! Miss you <3!

  2. Oh gosh, what beautiful pictures! That Vera dress looks great on you. And I spy my former ice cream wristlet. ;)
    Bob LOVES Scotch eggs, ha! And Bob and I are definitely not lounging on the beach types, either.

    1. Thank you! Where did you guys get scotch eggs? I need to have more of them, haha. Lounging on the beach just isn't my speed -- it's so much more fun to roam around and explore!

  3. Wow! These photos are so beautiful! And seriously? How are Scotch eggs not a thing in the US? I honestly hadn't heard of them until this post! But my gosh do they sound good! And I am intrigued by this pint of bitter! Also, your dress is so cute - love how you styled it. :)

    1. Thank you so much! I wonder that all the time -- what's more American than an egg rolled in sausage? I bet you've had tons of amazing Aussie delicacies, too! I'd love to see Sydney!