St. Edmunds May Ball

LOTTIE UNWIN: ‘There were truly meaty burgers, delicious smoked salmon crepes and if you batted your fake eye-lashes enough, divine hog roast, but doing the ball basics well wasn’t quite enough.’

Before last night the world of graduates was an enigma.  I now know little more than ever.  The guests at St. Edmunds were an eclectic cross section of anyone to have walked the earth.  The only conclusion I can draw is that I do not want to grow old, clapping out of time enthusiastically to an appalling acoustic musician.

With such a vast array of guests I empathise with the committee who had their work cut out trying to please us all.  St. Edmunds didn’t overtly fail on any count.  There was an incredibly impressive hot air balloon that guests could, disappointingly, only bob around in, food was plentiful and the champagne was still flowing at 4.  Nonetheless, something felt very wrong.

There were truly meaty burgers, delicious smoked salmon crepes and if you batted your fake eye-lashes enough, divine hog roast, but doing the ball basics well wasn’t quite enough.  The Baileys fountain was a gorgeous glamourous detail.  Whats more, sillhouttes, charicatures, henna, fortune tellers and stilt walkers were nice touches, of course, but I couldn’t help yearn for Jesus earlier in the week when the list had just been longer.

More chronic than my unfulfilled penchant for oysters, was St. Edmunds’ post-apocalyptic atmosphere.  We watched the magnificent fireworks almost alone and then as midnight came and all those with Cinderella tickets left, the scene became yet bleaker.

I cannot stress enough, that if the end of the world really had been arriving with those big bangs and flashing lights, I was spending those last hours the way I wanted.  Even with a plus one so impatient no laser quest was worth wasting ten minutes of his time on, we were able to sample almost everything.   Tenting meant a bit of warmth, an unforgivable oversight of other balls.   But, on the downside, the atmosphere was far from buzzing.  Bijoumiyo’s fantastic set – which destroyed Homerton June Event the night before – was utterly wasted on a largely empty room and Footlights, James Moran and Lucien Young, had a horrendous last gig in Cambridge to an entirely unwilling audience.

There was an underlying irony to the event as a whole; a glamorous display proudly showed off bottles of budget vodka, marquees were beautifully draped inside but there wasn’t any sign of effort outside.  In fact, one of the few nods towards decoration and the ‘Four Seasons’ theme were inexplicable scare-crows terrifyingly emblazoned with the Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s faces.  The college isn’t blessed with good looks, but some clever lighting could have worked wonders, or at least not left the falafel van abandoned in dingy corner.

On the one hand we did leave at four because the atmosphere had collapsed to that of a very distant relative’s wake, but on the other, we hadn’t checked the time till then, kept very content by St. Edmunds attractions.

Food and drink:

Wow factor:

Value for money:

Star Attraction: Hot air balloon, fireworks and dodgems.

Biggest Turn Off: The total lack of ball guests. Everywhere.

  • Ben

    The atmosphere wasn't buzzing but it was just right if you were a student at eddies!

  • Anon

    Anyone who is going to be that much of a brat about people growing old (hint: I'm a mature student but at a normal undergrad college), or not getting any oysters (fuck off to Johns) should really ensure she correctly spells the word "appalling".

    • Fred

      I thought she did? I can only see 'clapping out of time enthusiastically to an appalling acoustic musician'?

  • Anon

    The "total lack of ball guests" meant pretty much no queues anywhere…which was much appreciated by guests from other colleges (yes, other UNDERGRAD colleges). If you want to stand in a line half the night waiting for a shot of branded vodka then go spend the £200 or so on a John's ticket. And guess what, Eddie's budget is a fraction of what they have at Jesus.

  • anon

    I loved it. Great food and drinks, awesome attractions and enough but not too many people. And btw, most of the guests were in their 20's- a company I would prefer every day over a bunch of drunk 18 year olds.

  • Oh YES

    Such bitterness kids/gramps!!! Chill out, dad.

  • smile

    I L.O.V.E.D it! And please guys, remember: One review by one person out of more than 600 is no representative sample. Unfortunately though, those who shout loudest are mostly considered to be right. Oh well. We who have been there and loved it will quitely smile and know: It was a WONDERFUL night!

  • yahoo

    Haha. Dont worry. Maybe next time, Lottie, you attend St Johns for their oysters and all the others who are keen on great company and less vomiting come to St Ed's. This is what diversity is there for. Every pot will find its lid. Maybe yours is St Johns. Mine definately is St Ed's!

  • john the porter

    this review is very generous; one of the most terrible events i have ever been to. hot air balloon worked for 20 minutes before lying in an ugly crumpled heap, didn’t appear to have spent any money on ents (acoustic and dj tents were awful; band tent not much better), so you’d expect something a bit special in the food department. incredibly average selection (though the falafel was pretty nice), cocktails seemed to consist of soda water, need i go on? don’t have a problem with the event per se (though i left by 3 – people with those early exit tickets obviously made a good choice!), but the fact that grads are being utterly conned out £100, when robinson is £77, and number of big names (clare, jesus), are around the £100 mark.

  • Tiffy

    The fact that the hot air balloon was unavailable for a long period of time definately was a down. But it was unforseeable. The wind turned up at 10:30 pm and the balloon had to be taken down to prevent it from crashing into people.
    Otherwise it has to be noted that St Eds had the fastest and best bumper cars I've ever ridden. I did totally think it was worth my money, I had an unexpectedly good time.

  • Bish

    “the world of graduates was an enigma”???!!!
    can you get anymore parochial than this?