My anticipations of Welly Ball this year could not have been higher. When I interviewed India and Isa last semester, I was thrilled to find out that all proceeds from the evening were going towards the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust – an outstanding mental health charity. And, with the cloakroom being run by Students Minds, it was easy to see that the committee had gone the extra mile to get their message across.
Bagpipes and a complimentary shot of sloe gin hit guests as they entered a beautifully decorated Kinkell. For those who couldn’t quite wait for wine to be delivered to their table, excellent and efficient bar-service provided by Events Bars St Andrews made a welcome change from the Union provided counterpart. Once seated, an excellent student-led jazz band played throughout the dinner and their fantastic rendition of the The Girl from Ipanema certainly made up for the lack of Dancing in the Moonlight – as alluded to in the rather amusing promo video.
I don’t have high expectations for dinners at balls as catering en masse is very difficult to get right. However, like most guests, I found the pork bland and had serious issues with the lack of carrots and vegetables, in general; changing the the menu – or providers – really should be considered for future occasions. Apart from that minor blip, you could not have had a greater selection of catering options (Blackhorn, Frisky Froyo, Cottage Kitchen and Dervish) at a ball itself; this year’s Welly Ball was the first ball to feature Cottage Kitchen – delicious ingenuity, indeed. The tables were beautifully arranged and the attention to detail was so high. In an improvement from the previous year, five bottles of wine were delivered to each table, making the evening as enjoyably intimate as promised.
When dinner concluded, tables were swiftly cleared and the quick transition to after-party occurred. A large influx of new, and more sober, guests swarmed Kinkell and the atmosphere quickly became much more lively – a sharp contrast to the relaxed dinner that took place before. Once again, the committee had excelled in their planning, as the scale of the after-party had the merit of an individual event in its own right. And with music from Ashton Squires, Joe Jones, and Sünta Und Die Klauses, guests were simply spoiled for choice.
Simply put, if there’s one event that you should attend during your time at St Andrews, it’s undoubtedly Welly. As Ben Conway – both a very enthusiastic guest and a committee member – remarked on the subject: “The night combines a dinner with friends, with some killer live bands and a great DJ. It has it all. #freewelly”. I couldn’t agree more. Once again, Welly Ball delivered another stellar evening that makes me all the more excited to attend again next year.
All photography courtesy of Lightbox Creative St Andrews