Nobel Ball, which is named for the Swedish inventor of dynamite, characterises itself as an utterly explosive evening. The event takes place annually in a close quarter environment, eliminating the rambunctious crowds that typically permeate Kinkell Byre and Lower College Lawn. Rarely do more than 150 guests attend; this allows the night to remain intimate, which is a pleasant change from the typical St Andrews ball.
For the second consecutive year, Nobel Ball was held at Hotel du Vin. Admittedly, the venue is one overly familiar to many students; however, the Scandinavian Society provided suitable decorations, such as several flags draped throughout the ballroom, to spruce the place up. With glasses of complimentary prosecco in hand, guests were free to travel between the ballroom and the hotel’s cocktail bar, where they could purchase supplementary drinks before dinner.
Nobel Ball is particularly notable for its cost effectiveness. For a £60 (non-member) ticket, every guest received the aforementioned glass of prosecco, a three course meal, and a personal bottle of wine. This remains a steep price, yet rarely is any guest left wanting by the end of the night. The high level of customer satisfaction is another well-established attribute of any Scandinavian Society event. From Afterski to the Crayfish Party, students clamour for the chance to boast of their attendance.
As attendees nursed bottles of wine, they bore witness to the traditional speeches given during dinner. Following a welcome message from President Arvid de Geer (who noted the hotel’s stringent “no standing on chairs” rule), the much anticipated Ode to Men was given by Cameron Crews, Marcela Zamora De La Pena, and Victoria Herman.
Written in the form of a poem, the speech kept with historical precedent as a ribald yet loving series of references to the various men, Scandinavian or not, in attendance. Didrik Bahre and Jacob Øen then delivered the Ode to Women, an equally admirable tribute to the opposite sex – most notably Anna Carle.
After countless bottles of wine and numerous trays of shots had been consumed, tables were moved in preparation for the afterparty portion of the evening. Featuring DJ Asquire and a surprise saxophonist, the notoriously rowdy night rendered many guests a mixture of exhausted and energised, having determinedly danced themselves into utter delirium. Whether it be at midnight or 4 am, every attendee eventually staggered home, taking with them tales of Scandinavian excess that will bolster St Andrews’ collective enthusiasm for the inevitable Nobel Ball 2017.