by Megan "Kyomi" Matulewicz
For the past several years, the University of Highbridge has opened its doors to an open class day and Low Tea. Now, I’m not sure about the Fae folk, but when Lord Atticus talks about the quality and quantity of food, he seriously downplays it. Honestly, I’m not sure why seats for the feast don’t fill up within the first 24 hours.
I have to give praise for the day board. A wide selection of fruits and veggies were available for snacking during classes. Each was presented in its own bowl for those with food sensitivities as well as gluten free options labeled. Beverages included fruited waters, sweet and unsweet tea (actual tea, not the powder), coffee, tea, and cocoa.
Then there’s the CHEESE. How much cheese can you eat? I think each year there is a minimum of a dozen different types of hard and soft cheeses of the highest quality, varieties that I recognize and occasionally purchase as a treat and new ones that tantalize the guests. This year, Atticus and I were competing for the last nibbles of Humbolt Fog, a creamy, crumbly, tangy goat cheese that’s aged in ash.
While snacking was available, guests were attending a wide variety of classes. Highlights include multiple leather workshops hosted by Heiger. He provided all materials and guided students in creating a bracelet, circlet, and pouch. Imagine, custom making your own leather! Happy students were showing off color stained hands and wearing their creations at dinner. Guest professors introduced a new style of magic called wand dueling. It’s kind of like sparring, but with wands instead of swords. Other highlights include doing some creation magic to rebuild a body of a fae that died from the aftermath of the iron road, dancing classes, guided meditation, and historical discussions.The Feast/Low Tea began shortly after the end of classes. An elegant menu was prepared by Aymise and her staff. Each of 6+ courses was elegantly plated with complex flavors and unique recipes. There were even travel containers so guests could enjoy leftovers the next day. Finally, at the end of all that, guests had the option of staying in one of the rooms from a period Shaker museum. For those of you that haven’t tried, this is really one of the best feasts around.