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TOG Trip to the Ashmolean Museum

This week a group of the TOG team had the opportunity to check out the 'Last Supper in Pompeii' Exhibition' at the Ashmolean Museum, followed by an amazing lunch at the Ashmolean Rooftop Restaurant.

It was the perfect opportunity for us all to get to know each other better, whilst learning...and eating and drinking - the dream!

We started off with a private tour of the exhibition which tells the story of the ancient Roman city of Pompeii's love affair with food and wine. When the ash from Mount Vesuvius began raining down on Pompeii in AD 79, people were engaged in typical day to day activities: producing, buying and selling food and, most importantly, eating and drinking. The Exhibition highlights how it really was like someone had pressed pause on life.

Our guides compared the historic features of life in Pompeii to our lives today, with striking similarities, proving just how advanced this society was. Artefacts such as carbonised bread, to intricate pots, jugs, serving bowls and plumbing really highlighted these connections.

After exploring an exhibition devoted to food & drink, it then of course made perfect sense to head up to the Ashmolean Rooftop Restaurant...! We enjoyed a truly tasty selection of sharing plates, inspired by Pompeii, including lentil salads, mushroom gnocchi and a mouthwatering sea salt and chocolate mousse. The sun was streaming in through the stunning terrace, the staff were super friendly and attentive and it was a lovely opportunity to catch up with my amazing team of student ambassadors - the ultimate end-of-term treat!

Big thank you to the Ashmolean for hosting us!

Top Tips

* Students get into the Exhibitions FOR FREE!

* The 'Last Supper in Pompeii' Exhibition is great for children - with a special family trail along the way

* The Ashmolean are currently hosting a recipe competition at the Exhibition where you can win a lovely meal at the rooftop restaurant

* The Ashmolean Rooftop Restaurant has a delicious seasonal menu, as well as offering afternoon tea

* The Rooftop is the perfect spot for a celebration - be it matriculation, graduation or birthdays - highly recommend!

TOG ambassador Poppy's Experience

I had the wonderful opportunity to explore the amazing Last Supper in Pompeii exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum and then experiencing their new Pompei themed tasting menu on Monday. The afternoon was, in a word, sublime. The Ashmolean Museum is a five minute walk from my college, slightly out of the main centre but nonetheless really easy to get to. It’s easily one of the best museums I’ve ever been to and I regularly go back; their collections are gigantic and span centuries, millennia even.

The exhibition itself started off with a bang, opening with an amazing statue of Bacchus, the god of wine and merriment before taking you through a variety of examples of pots, vases and even carbonised food, preserved under the ash of Vesuvius! I was mesmerised by how ancient it seemed but also how little had changed of our eating habits.

Having explored the exhibition, we had worked up quite an appetite and went upstairs to the rooftop terrace restaurant for a Pompeiian themed sharing lunch. The restaurant was beautiful with the winter sunshine streaming through the huge glass panels and shining onto the glittering Christmas tree. As we talked about how our term had been, luscious starters of bruschetta, calamari and lentil salads were brought before us, lovingly prepared and so tasty. For the main courses we had a wonderfully flavoured mushroom gnocchi and a roasted chicken leg with gluten free mashed potato and kale. To top it all off we had a vegan chocolate mouse with sea salt and olive oil; peculiar sounding, but heavenly, and poached pear, yoghurt and almonds.

The food was amazing, and the atmosphere was such a nice change of pace from university life. Calm and peaceful. The staff were so attentive and regularly asked us if we were enjoying the meal and was there anything else they could get us. For photos they were extremely helpful, and very patient as we tied to find the best lighting!

Both the exhibition and the meal were wonderful, and all Ashmolean exhibitions are free for

students, just bring along your bod card but make sure to book an advance as they get very busy! I could not recommend more highly the rooftop restaurant which was beautiful in terms of its location as well as its menu and I will be returning very shortly for the new Rembrandt exhibition and themed menu, have no doubt!


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