The centrepiece of the partyDevarshi Lodhia

Monday of May Week saw the Blake Society, Downing College’s arts and humanities society named after college alumnus and notable illustrator, Quentin Blake, host their annual garden party. With the theme ‘A Bigger Splash’, a reference to the David Hockney painting of the same name, the organisers promised splendorous, 60s style and Californian pool party vibes – as well as an appearance from Blake himself.

For all the organisers’ claims though, the Blake Society Garden Party provided more of a sense of disappointing summers in suburbia at your dad’s house than Don Draper-esque Californian chic, with Blake’s cancellation only announced on the eve of the event.

The Blake Society Garden Party provided more of a sense of disappointing summers in suburbia at your dad’s house than Don Draper-esque Californian chic

Downing’s expansive grounds provided the ideal setting for the party. But despite its location on the College’s paddock, the interior of the marquee can kindly be described as minimalist, with the promised “jaw-dropping decorations” amounting to little more than a portion of a wall with blue and silver drapings in an otherwise bare tent.

As with the decorations, the food, too, proved to be rather underwhelming, with standard barbecue fare, including lukewarm burgers and hotdogs served in stone cold buns, as well as an assorted selection of crisps and ice creams. The party fared much better on the drinks front, though, with a seemingly unlimited supply of Pimm’s and beer more than making up for the disappointing food and keeping all the guests suitably satisfied.

The garden party’s centrepiece – the paddling pool – proved to be incredibly popular, with two attendees even stripping down to their swimming trunks to make the most of the afternoon’s sunshine; thankfully, most others chose to enjoy it fully clothed. The party’s entertainment was not just limited to the pool though, with a nail bar, mindfulness colouring area, and live music all providing enough variety to keep guests interested for the party’s two-hour duration.


READ MORE

Mountain View

Murray Edwards Garden Party: A fun-filled 'shellebration'

Costing £10 for members and £12.50 for non-members, the Blake Society Garden Party was on the cheaper end of the May Week spectrum and this undoubtedly showed in what was on offer. Ultimately, at only slightly more than a Wetherspoon’s burger and pint, at the end of the afternoon I was left wondering whether I would have been better off heading down the road for a Dangerspoons instead.

Sponsored links