Trinity May Ball

SASKIA GOLDMAN is surprised at Trinity’s combination of cheeky fun and sensory opulence.

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Trinity May Ball

18th June 2012, £155

Last night at Trinity May Ball, I ate my first oyster, shot my first gun, and saw champagne opened with a golden sword. Trinity proved to be the highlight of my year, well earned and suitably extravagant. It was the orgy for the senses the Mail presented it to be, and only a few minor logistical twangs detracted from the big Trinity bangs.

The fireworks were unlike anything I have ever seen. Watching John’s 500 display last year from my humble riverbank perch, I thought I’d seen it all, but Trinity injected fun into their spectacle. Their display had a sense of humour: huge flames playfully roared forth to the tune of the Cancan. The audience whooped, legs were kicked, and many a skirt was lifted around me. The fireworks were the start of a theme running through the entertainment; a slight cheekiness and sense of fun I didn’t expect from such a suave and sophisticated affair.

I was at first suspicious of an incongruous lineup. Pixie Lott, however, was surprisingly subdued in her poppy persona, and her understatedly sexy interaction with the audience proved very successful. Men were salivating around me; wild claims of past Pixie conquests were flying, and everyone thought her “I love you too” was meant for them. The Vengaboys initially made my heart sink, but again their cheeky self-awareness was their saving: “We can’t sing that, we’re here for cheesy, sleazy, euro trash!” Oh, yes they were. And didn’t I enjoy it! I had a sudden respect for these middle aged, metrosexual, lime green stars. Smaller acts were also well chosen, with Jake Alden-Falconer proving a super-talented wallflower opposite the chocolate fountains.

And this brings me onto the food. After pouring and stitching myself into a precariously fitting dress, I was going to fill it to the seams if my night depended on it. And oh! How easy it was. Trusty Yubba Yubba doughnuts packed a sugary cinnamon punch. Chocolate fountains were so glossy I could quite happily have bathed nude in their warm cascade, and the Turkish tent was a real find, providing a mezze platter of delights which carried me weightlessly through to a jovial survivors’ photo in front of the Wren library.

I have some small bones to pick with Trinity, however. I felt that for £150 per head the workers were thin on the ground, and tables, floors and open spaces were left littered for too long. My new passion for Oysters was hard to satiate as they seemed to run out very quickly, and the entertainments I was promised in the queue were nowhere to be seen. I wanted that juggler. The biggest problem for Trinity did seem to be a matter of bad clean-up. Yes, having real glasses added class to the event, but it slipped some super moves up on the dance floor. Inevitable seas of smashed glass stood between twirlers and their talent; my dance partner and I, without meaning to brag, took a tent by storm with our well-worked routine, only to be foiled and face planted by a rogue shard of some well-intentioned tumbler.

Despite these minor hitches, it would be unfair of me to pretend like Trinity didn’t make me proud to be at Cambridge. Like a lot of you, I saw the Daily Mail’s predictably one-dimensional coverage of our fun this morning, and as I ambled back down King’s Parade, this I realized: if being dubbed an indulgent toff is the price you pay for a night like that, then pap me and put me in the tabloids.

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