A holiday visit to Dumbarton Oaks.

Yesterday evening I made my way over to Georgetown to attend the Dumbarton Oaks holiday party. It was my first time in that part of town, and let me say: woah. Fancy alert! Boutique-and-mansion city! It was after dark, so I was not able to truly appreciate the beauty of the gardens, about which I have heard so much; but I was able to appreciate the interior of the museum, where the reception was held.

The holiday party at Dumbarton Oaks.
The holiday party at Dumbarton Oaks.

As I said to my friend, who works there and who was kind enough to invite me for my first visit to DO, it reminded me of being at The Cloisters, what with the tapestries and the religious art and the lovely surroundings and all.

Tapestry detail.
Tapestry detail.
A painted ceiling at the DO museum.
A painted ceiling at the DO museum.

The food was tasty and substantial enough to constitute dinner: roasted meats, bread, cheese fruit, vegetables, and various spreads. Prosecco, wine, beer, and cocktails were free-flowing. And the desserts! The bûche de Noël was divine.

Christmas lights take the place of a roaring fire.
Christmas lights take the place of a roaring fire.

In the corner, there was a huge Christmas tree, adorned with lights, pinecones, and candy canes for the little ones. Santa made a visit, giving out presents. And I got my own more academic treat: getting to met several of the fellows and staff, who were all delightful. By all reports, it seems like an excellent place to do research — and, as my friend tells me, one of the few places where Byzantium lives.

At the DO holiday party.
At the DO holiday party.

On the way home, the charm of Georgetown was more apparent to me: quiet sidestreets, beautiful houses, the smell of woodsmoke in the chilly air. I will have to head back to see the gardens, and get a proper look at the museum, sometime during the day.

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