Fitzwilliam Winter Ball
TABATHA LEGGETT: “The ball committee really had their work cut out for them when they decided to transform the ugly, red-brick mess that is Fitzwilliam College into Charlie’s Chocolate Factory. But, they succeeded. Kind of.”
Thursday 2nd December. £68.
Being “entranced, delighted, intrigued, astonished and perplexed” (as the programme promised) by Cambridge’s very own carpark-cum-council-estate-college Fitz, seemed unlikely at best. The ball committee really had their work cut out for them when they decided to transform the ugly, red-brick mess that is Fitzwilliam College into Charlie’s Chocolate Factory. But, they succeeded. Kind of.
First things first: the theme. ‘The Golden Ticket’ was an excellent choice. It’s a million miles away from the usual ‘Circus/Cabaret/Bright-and-Sparkly-Moroccan-Crap’ theme that gets recycled year after year. Plus, it guarantees a lot a chocolate, which is always a bonus. Right? Wrong. Call me a cynic, but two lousy chocolate fountains and a few meagre chocolate cupcakes would NOT fill an entire factory. Let alone Charlie’s Chocolate Factory.
But, whatever; we’ll overlook the distinct lack of chocolate. The other food on offer was excellent. There were: fajitas, falafel, bangers and mash, doughnuts … the list goes on. Plus, nothing ran out and queues were minimal. Perfect. Drinks were tasty and plentiful. Whilst the champagne reception wasn’t really worth queuing for, the sheer volume of alternatives (cocktails, mixers, hot liquors…) made up for this.
Onto the entertainment. The shisha tent was disappointing. It involved just two shisha pipes and an utterly inept heating system in a very small tent. The silent disco was excellent; provided you stuck to the Cindies-esque playlist a la Option No.2, and the casino was small but acceptable. I’m always a fan of make-up and hair touch up rooms, and the one at Fitz proved to be no exception. But, the best thing about Fitz’s Winter Ball was the photo booth. Because we all know that the only thing better than actually having fun is taking photos that make it look like you’re having fun so that you can upload them onto Facebook and everyone else can see how much fun you’ve been having. FUN.
The musical entertainment was average to poor: utterly forgettable but enjoyable nonetheless. But, the aesthetics of the ball made up for all of its flaws. Every tree was beautifully lit, and minute attention to detail had been paid to every aspect of festooning the college with decorations. Yes, the main tent looked a bit like every 18th birthday party I ever went to, but the trees adorned with candy canes and the balloons and banners made up for it. And, for £68 – who cares if it’s a little bit Sweet 16?
To conclude: a good but not great night.