The Secret Garden Party: ‘Out of a fairy-tale’

Illustrated by Valeria Duca

“Plenty of flowers and fairy lights,set against an amazing soundtrack” is ultimately how I would sum up this year’s edition of the Lumsden Club’s Secret Garden Party. With the buses leaving from in front of Madras College at 6:55 pm, and excitement building up on the way to the Cambo Estate, the mood was buzzing and people were definitely ready for a fun evening.

This year’s edition of the Secret Garden Party was hosted at the Cambo Estate, just a 20-minute drive outside the heart of St Andrews. The venue, discovered by the main event convener, Katie Nixon, is very much a hidden gem. After passing through the gates of the estate and braving the long and winding road through green forestry, we reached the venue, which was illuminated with fairy lights, as though out of a dream. All along the path into the main event area, the lights guided us to the photo booth that had been set up. The layout was rather well planned out: a clear demarcation was made between the quiet marquee set up where guests could converse, and the loud and vibrant dance floor. Near the epicentre of the event was a stall selling Secret Garden Party staples- flower crowns and, of course, raffle tickets to win prizes from the likes of Bobbi Brown. Even the bars, of which there were two in comparison to last year’s single bar, turned out to be a blessing; the waiting time was minimal, and turnover was very fast. Crisps and bottles of coke were in abundance and were greatly appreciated by the guests. The party’s games could be found near the dance floor, comprising of three tables of ‘Thistly pong.’ Close by was the Bratwurst stall, a must for those seeking a break from the games and the dance floor. The Lumsden girls took good care of their guests: they could be seen constantly on their feet, asking those around them how the evening was going. While the layout was very conducive to conversation and socialising, it should have been made clear by the organisers prior to the event that the paths would be rather muddy. Frantic looks on heel-wearing guests could be

seen throughout the night.
Photo by Davis MCCutcheon
Photo by Davis MCCutcheon
Last year, the event was criticized by its guests, who felt as though “there was nowhere to go” for those wanting to continue the party elsewhere. This year, the Lumsden Club responded to this critique by altering the mood of their event. This was seen particularly with the vibe created from their choice of music: with an eclectic mix of instrumental, with heavy base from local St Andrean talent – such as Milk and Honey as well as Nelfun- there was no need for the party’s guests to seek an escape or go to an after party: the Secret Garden Party was everything one could want.
Photo by Davis McCutcheon
Photo by Davis McCutcheon
After a fabulous inaugural event, it is often rather difficult to replicate the feat, but the Lumsden Club girls have been able to make this year’s event even better than the last. With the Edinburgh versus St Andrews rugby match falling on the same day, the Secret Garden Party unintentionally became largely a girl’s only event. This worked out surprisingly well and aligned with the Club’s aim to empower women everywhere. This was definitely the place to be on a Saturday night, as well as agreat way to bid summer farewell.


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