Churchill Spring Ball

LOTTIE UNWIN paints ‘not a glamourous picture but… one of debaucherous good fun’ of Churchill Spring Ball.

absinthe Artful Dodger Churchill emily lester Lottie Unwin

Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride are the reasons we spend a week’s living costs on just one night.  ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ gave Churchill all the excuses it could want to indulge its guests in generous helpings of the good things in life.

Absinthe cocktails spilled over soggy table-cloths while inflatable slides wobbled in the drizzle outside.  In the port and cheese room we scraped gooey cheese onto crackers, downing merlot with the other hand.  With heels sunk deep into the mud we sampled each of the seven deadly sins shots in turn.

It’s not a glamourous picture but it is one of debaucherous good fun.

At £75 a head, all that under one roof was a steal.  The food never ran out and my head yesterday protested abuse by prosecco, wine (white and red), beer, shots, cocktails that smelt distinctly of petrol and a, perhaps foolish, milkshake.  The ‘inflatable world’, as I branded it, that I remembered to be the highlight of last year was back, added a dry cleaning bill to my costs.  Like a lot of Churchill’s Spring Balls, it was a worthy sacrifice to make to bond with friends – both those you’ve come with and those you met in the loos.

For attendants with a more leisurely approach relaxed amongst Grecian columns watching comedy, and lounged in the great hall tucking into gluttonous dishes.   Otherwise, the main tent was packed, the silent disco was like any other silent disco, and the henna room was the only instance of a long queue.

There are only a few criticisms to be made.  In what was clearly an event the college was proud of, I felt like one of 50 guests welcomed into a closed community.

While Churchill ticked everything off the list of ‘things to have at balls’, somehow that wasn’t enough.  Seven themes inevitably meant the Churchill ball committee’s ideas seemed to suffer from a lack of cohesion.  Ultimately, there was a distinct lack of wow factor, and with it, the atmosphere was no more exotic than a piss up in a new Cambridge College.

Although on paper very good ideas, the venison casserole was positively chewy and the gnocchi swam in a suspicious looking oil.  It’s of course a cliché, but Churchill’s unique architecture did little to frame the event in glamour.  Instead, its slippery brick floors and plentiful stairs have only left me with a sorry bruised backside.

If I dare make a suggestion to the committee, it would be to lose a few gimmicks and the black tie dress code, and rebrand it as a Spring Event.  Keep doing what you do exceedingly well, which is to get the punters drunk and show them an unrivalled good time.

Photos by Emily Lester

Food And Drink:

[Rating: 3.5/5]

Wow Factor:

[Rating: 1.5/5]

Value for Money:

[Rating: 4.5/5]

Star Attraction: Bountiful booze.

Biggest Turn Off: The feeling that you were over-dressed for an event that, not being a Churchill student, you probably shouldn’t be at.

READ our interview with the Churchill Spring Ball Presidents.

READ the review of the last year’s Spring Ball.

BROWSE Churchill Spring Ball’s best dressed.