Wednesday, 11 July 2012

May Week in Cambridge

After the last Economics exam - this photo was taken by my very talented photographer friend Oliver Crawford =)

This post is a little overdue, but better late than never, right? May Week is (bizarrely) held in June anyway, so I'm not actually that late.

So what is May Week? It's the week after everyone's finished exams and Cambridge hosts all of the May Balls, garden parties and other (sometimes strange - yes, I'm looking at you cardboard boat race!) traditions. It used to be held in May before people started taking exams seriously (when was that? Like 800 years ago, probably).

BUT I bet 800 years ago they didn't spray champagne (um, well, cava) at their friends after coming out of their last exams! So ha to you, Mr. 13th century monk man.

May Week is usually good for injecting the fun back into Cambridge life after its all been sapped out by exams, and you can usually tell when the celebrations begin because Sainsbury's starts stocking champagne cava in place of the healthy brain food and energy drinks!

But *sob* alas, this year will be my last.

So seeing as Oxbridge is known for rowing and so on and so forth, something much more fun is the cardboard boat race that I mentioned before. Instead of using real boats, teams enter their own cardboard boat! The winners are the ones still afloat with unsoggy boats and unsoggy butts at the end of the race. This, in my opinion, is total genius. Why spend hours training and huffing and puffing to row a real boat when you can row a cardboard one that will sink in 5 minutes instead? 

Keep on paddling, mate.

I was particularly impressed with the improvised paddles, including - but not restricted to - tennis rackets, serving trays, a slip hazard sign, and the strength of one's own beastly hands. And hats off to the guy wearing a Trenton Oldfield mask!

And then comes the May Balls. First, I went to Trinity College May Ball. I would quite like to rant about how wrong the Daily Mail's article about it was but I think I shall just say 'Tally Ho old chap!' and continue letting them call us toffs.

Tickets are £290 for a pair and £410 if you choose to have a dining tickets. We started the night with fireworks and champagne is unlimited and served from a punt (here is my video of the guy last year cutting champagne bottles open with a saber). But hey, if I'm not going to be able to afford food again for the next 3 months I might as well get the most out of my ticket :p Oh, and that's me in the pink dress.

Oh, and one of my best friends was the food officer for Trinity May Ball committee, who did an amazing amazing job and we had the yummiest food and I was really stuffed and very happy. Well done!

My food officer friend choose the most amazing menu of:

Amuse Bouche - Chilled Watermelon and Ginger Soup
Starter - Crab, Avocado and Spiced Tomato Jelly with Sardinian Flat Bread

Main - Canon of Lamb with Must & Herb Crust, Rosemary Jus, Fondant Potatoes and Baby Carrots

Dessert - Trinity Crème brûléewith Stewed Raspberries and Flatbread

And then we all munched on cheese and figs and bread and macarons whilst the lovely catering staff cleared up.

Would I buy a dining ticket again? Probably not. Not that the food wasn't great, but there's so much food in the ball anyway which you're so stuffed by you won't get to taste it. Even though a dining ticket also has queue jump, I've realised that I actually quite like queueing for three hours. Just uh, bring a pair of flats, girls.

Oh! I almost forgot, the lovely Pixie Lott who performed on stage. And she waved at me! Or... maybe it was that girl with her elbow in my ear. But she waved in my direction and smiled at me!

And she's really good live!

She's so pretty.

Also, any Made in Chelsea fans out there? Francis Boulle DJ'ed in one of the entertainment marquees, and whilst he's an awful DJ, he at least let me take a photo with him after squealing ' I love Made in Chelsea!'.

I also went to Christ's May Ball, but it was similar to Trinity (maybe not as grand, but still good!) except I didn't buy a dining ticket.

So that comes to an end of my last EVER May Week in Cambridge. And may we return next year for the May Balls!

And p.s. Trinity May Ball fireworks are at the beginning of the night, not the end, seeing as it ends at 6am *AHEM Daily Mail* ;)


  1. Thanks for describing the mysteries of May Week - you looked lovely.

    I'm sure the Daily Mail is wrong on many counts, but if you can even think about paying so much for ball tickets you're a lot closer to being a toff than most. This country is a very unequal place, and it would be much nicer to admit how lucky you are to afford the lifestyle you have, rather than downplaying it.

  2. Ah, I LOVE Cambridge! Thanks for the pictures that helped me reminisce about my visits there.

  3. omg, love made in chelsea yah. but prefer your puddings yah.


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