Samm Smith reviews the Secret Garden Party, held Saturday 26 September. Photos by Sammi Ciardi. 


Posing a contrast to the bus guests arrived on, Cambo Estate was an enchanting setting for the Secret Garden Party. Feeling as if I had fallen down the rabbit-hole and joined Alice and the Mad Hatter, the affair was surreal –unlike your standard St Andrews event. 


With a laid back yet intimate vibe, flower headpieces and free-spirited attire were integral to the landscape. Featuring an abundance of fairy lights, dream catchers, homemade signs, and generously scattered bags of Piper’s Crisps, the atmosphere was somewhere between an indie music festival and an idyllic tea party.  The presence of “thistly cross pong” (in lieu of traditional beer pong) added a relaxed aspect to the event, transporting guests to America for a short time. 12015143_1009460672449341_221782180702872438_oThe live bands offered a blend of calming and alternative music that set the scene for an evening  unlike anything I’ve experienced in St Andrews. The hard work of the Lumsden Club was clearly visible, resulting in an event that was both romantic and alluring.  The second annual Secret Garden Party proved that the Lumsden Club are not only skilled at promoting women and children-centric charities (this year Fife Women’s Aid and The Dolam House in Namibia), but they are also unquestionably talented at organising parties. 12031620_1009460472449361_8847507879260187372_oBeing a first year, I wasn’t sure what to expect leading up to the event. However, my expectations were exceeded.  I was anticipating an intimate, off-site gathering, but what I received was an unexpectedly magical evening. I can’t think of a better start to the harvest season than a chilly evening in a garden-turned-wonderland in the Scottish countryside.  Given the amazing time I had at this year’s Secret Garden Party, I  can’t wait to see what the Lumsden Club plans for next year. 


Samm Smith


Photos by the Tribe photographer Sammi Ciardi