TRISH TAKES FIVE: By Trish Burgess
“There is a place, like no place on earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger. Some say, to survive it, you need to be as mad as a hatter. Which, luckily, I am.”
The place? Springfields Events Centre, venue for the Spalding Mad Hatter Midsummer Ball.
Full of wonder? The centre was transformed into a magical world with sparkling lights and distorted mirrors.
Mystery? Who would win the coveted prize of an overnight stay, plus afternoon tea, at the five-star Sanderson Hotel in London?
Danger? It might not be murder on the dance floor but there was a real risk to health from some of the guests: whirling dervishes in DJs, legs and arms lashing out to Jonny Spangles’ disco tunes.
The Mad Hatter was there to greet us all as we entered the topsy-turvy world, created by the ever-inventive midsummer ball committee. It’s the attention to detail which makes this event stand out.
This year’s incredible table centre-pieces may well have been their best yet: bouquets of beautiful blooms bursting out of top hats and mad mountains of dainty cups and saucers.
The Alice in Wonderland theme extended to all areas of the ball. Table gifts of ‘drink me’ miniature bottles of cherry vodka and ‘eat me’ jam jars of sweets were greeted with Cheshire Cat grins from all the guests.
The Queen of Hearts strawberry tart for pudding was a delicious end to the meal and cocktails such as the MT March Hare – whisky and lemon juice garnished with salted popcorn – certainly had some partygoers off (with) their heads by the end of the night.
Entertainment was provided by the cheeky ‘white rabbit’ bunny girls and the crazy, colourful sound of Tommy T and the Belletones.
Auction items included fishing on the River Tay, an electric guitar signed by Status Quo and the hugely popular chairs upholstered in quirky Alice in Wonderland material.
In a separate room, guests had a flutter on the casino tables and flocked to the gift trees where, for a tenner a go, you were guaranteed a prize to take home. This year, we brought home a welcome bottle of vodka and a Clinique gift set: smiles all round.
The charities benefitting from the night were Macmillan Cancer Support, Action Medical Research for Children and Here-4-U, a small charity supporting carers of people with dementia and Parkinson’s. I don’t know how much money was raised but I know it will make a significant difference to all three causes.
I’m sure everyone who attended the ball will join me in thanking the committee for their dedication once again. I wonder how they do it? Maybe Lewis Carroll had the answer:
“You’re mad, bonkers, completely off your head. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”
• You can follow Trish on Twitter @mumsgoneto and read her blog at www.mumsgoneto.co.uk.