Although there was no theme, Magdalene May Ball was a wonderful and beautifully executed nightMagdalene May Ball Committee

Magdalene May Ball was a truly magical night. It was a more subdued night than St John's the previous day, but the classy and relaxed atmosphere enabled ballers to enjoy themselves at their own paces in an equally impressive and beautiful setting. 

The view of the river and the serenading from passing punters, undoubtedly scheduled by the Ents officer, provided an entertaining backdrop to the swift queue.

Entrance into Pepys Court immersed guests immediately into a sumptuous atmosphere, greeted with bubbly, harp music and delicious sushi. Special mention must go to the Aesthetics team for The Giant Birdcage covered in glittery fairy lights, also in Pepys Court, which housed performers and aerialists through the night. Despite the lack of theme, the attention to design and lighting throughout the event was spectacular with the decoration of the large tree in the Fellows Garden a personal favourite – as were the delicious cocktails served under it!

"KT's set was exuberant and impressive: she was an excellent choice for both the 90s kids and 80s music lovers alike."

The layout of the beautiful grounds facilitated easy movement of guests between the courts and gardens with most areas feeling busy yet uncrowded for most of the night meaning queues were minimal. However, I think some of the stages suffered from a lack of audience during periods of the night leaving many acts (including the May Ball favourite Colonel Spankey’s Love Ensemble) with depleted crowds.

The entertainment and music officers did excellent jobs of keeping people dancing and laughing through the night with a profound personal thanks to whoever scored headliner KT Tunstall. KT's set was exuberant and impressive: she was an excellent choice for both the 90s kids and 80s music lovers alike. Likewise, Kristian Nairn's DJ set was also well attended and the silent disco played into the early hours and it was lovely to see so many Magdalene members performing in the Variety Tent. There were also plenty of other activities to occupy guests including a miniature railway, crazy golf course, and shisha tent with a stunning view of the river.

Drinks were free flowing and abundant with something to tickle almost anyone's taste buds. My favourites were the 'Serenity' gin cocktail served with dry ice in the eerie Pet Cemetery, and the Circle Bar concoctions. Moreover, the attendance of Chase distillery was a stellar decision and the Mixology Masterclasses doubled as both entertainment and bar to many guests’ delight. However, there were very few non-alcoholic options on offer and whilst this kept me pleasantly merry, tee-totalers suffered. 

Although I was not fortunate enough to dine before the ball, the volume and variety of food on offer kept guests extremely well fed and it appeared that most dietary requirements were considered. The mac 'n' cheese was excellent, as was the gyoza and churros; furthermore, there will always be a place in my heart for the port and cheese served in the dining marquee. Breakfast from 4am extended beyond a bacon butty with pastries, frittata and hash browns also available and accompanied by Chase’s Bloody Marys.

The most memorable part of the night was the sunrise punt we managed to secure. Queues for punt rides were quite lengthy by 3am but it was well worth it and I highly recommend this experience for anyone attending this ball in future.

Magdalene May Ball was a different experience to other May Week events, but a precious and unforgettable one. I attended as part of a group from my own college’s committee and we were hard-pressed to find fault. Whilst not the grandest college, the magical atmosphere of the night and the understated beauty of the college made the event special and unique