Following on from the Crayfish Dinner, the Scandinavian Society hosts their annual Nobel Ball. Celebrating the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite, and founder of the Nobel Peace Prize. Edition 2014 was a first time for me to attend this memorable event. Last year, however, said author had to escort home a superbly sloshed American at four in the morning, as she needed to catch a flight but had managed to displace her entire wardrobe, dignity, and worldly possessions across town, as a result of Nobel. It was clear some reconnaissance was needed.
The food was decent, if nothing more. Following a brief bathroom interlude, brought on by the slightly dodgy starter, I quickly rejoined the rager. The three-course meal consisted of a starter of a rather fishy salmon and crayfish salad of sorts. The next was a rather delectable chicken filet in a cream sauce, however pudding faded into darkness, so to speak…
A highlight of the dinner was the traditional speeches – the Ode to the Men delivered by two girls, and Ode to the Women, by two guys, and naturally a ‘Skol’-laden toast by the thirsty president, Oliver Skajem-Atter, demanding everyone empty their glasses.
Late into the dinner, long after the party had begun to descend into mayhem, the Other Guys entered the fray by singing some of their classics. They could hardly be heard above the din of the rather liquefied crowd, who, wound up by this surprise arrival, began dancing wildly on chairs and tables to the St Andrews institution – a spectacular if chaotic sight. From then on, the night revolved solely around the dancefloor, as the partylust conquered the night.
It is clear why tickets sell out in a matter of hours and trade for up to double their face value – Nobel Ball is a riot, all pretence of civility are slowly erased, shot by shot of Acquavit. The food was not the focus of the event, and quite rightly so – it would have distracted from the rager-party atmosphere. It became apparent that the Scandinavian Society and its subscribers celebrated much more Nobel’s invention of dynamite than his Peace Prize – the pace was anything but peaceful. It is because of this that it was a roaring success, much recommended for those with strong stomachs.
Featured image from Lightbox Creative.