Churchill Spring Ball 2014

‘Churchill Spring Ball does its own thing, and does it very well.’ CHLOE COLEMAN enjoys a night of Monopoly-themed debauchery at this year’s Ball.

Churchill College, 15th February 2014, £75

Churchill Spring ball has worked hard to earn its reputation for a night of good clean fun. For £75, the ball offers guests the opportunity to dust off their black tie, let off some Lent term steam on the bouncy castle and drink as many themed cocktails as their hearts’ desire – the fact that I am too hungover to move is testament to the success of this strategy.

No Spring Ball review is complete without the criticism that ‘Spring’ is a little optimistic – queuing on a freezing mid-February night is not an experience I would like to repeat any time soon, but hot chocolate was a welcome addition and the committee should be credited for getting everyone in and out of the cold quickly and efficiently.

The queue took us through a passage which was cheerily decorated to the Monopoly theme – a banner welcomed us to a night where ‘everyone’s a winner’ and monopoly money covered all available surfaces. The main hall looked incredible as a giant Monopoly board, and any reservations I’d had about the theme (Too restrictive? Or just a bit lame?) were soon forgotten.

The committee resisted the temptation to force the theme incongruously onto all the food and drink on offer – aside from the interestingly named ‘collect £200 as you pass mojiGO’ cocktail and a smattering of chocolate coins, the food was free of Monopoly gimmicks and was delicious. There was a huge amount of choice: May Ball favourites pulled pork, falafel and croque monsieurs were worth braving the elements for, and inside there was a mixed response to the debut appearance of fish fingers. Most importantly, there was a lot of it – although it wasn’t staggered, I didn’t hear any complaints of supplies running low and the chocolate fountain was flowing well into the early hours.

No ball is complete without Dr Dick

The same could be said about the drink – if your idea of a good night involves copious amounts of very strong ‘cocktails’, then this is the ball for you. Not, of course, that this is a bad thing: the long island iced tea may have tasted like ethanol, but it did the job. Besides, ball pits and laser quest in a tiny dress and heels are much more appealing after one too many.

Headlining the ball was Ella Eyre – I won’t pretend to be cool enough to know who she is, but her performance was a lot of fun and benefitted from the atmosphere of booze-fuelled jollity in the main hall. The other ents on offer ranged from a very impressive acoustic stage providing a little light relief, to (of course) Churchill Casino, which was certainly in its element amid the Monopoly theme.

The good thing about this ball was that guests were very much left to do their own thing. There was no one-way system clogging up corridors, but this also meant that for a non-Churchillian like myself, it was very easy to get lost as many activities were squirrelled away in rooms off the main foyers. However, this is only a minor gripe – as the majority of guests appeared to be from Churchill anyway, this was not detrimental to the enjoyment of the night and instead allowed us to explore everything the ball had to offer at leisure.

Churchill Spring Ball does not have any delusions of grandeur, and it is precisely this which makes it so great. You are not paying to sip champagne in an ancient courtyard to the sound of a harp – the point of this ball is to have fun with your friends with too much food and jagerbombs which seem like a good idea at the time. If you’re comparing it to a May Ball, don’t – Churchill Spring Ball does its own thing, and does it very well.  

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