Sat 16th August 2003
Carlton Tower Hotel
a drinks reception, a three course dinner of Chinese/Western fusion cuisine
(courtesy of the chef from the Raffles Hotel, Singapore) and music from
a live band, the evening was a resounding success and helped raise funds
for the Islington Chinese Association.
The summary and photos of the event can be found
In the meantime, did you attend on the night? Please feel free to add
your comments to the Forum.
Summary of a Fantastic Evening...
Thank you all for coming to the Summer Ball this year
and we hope you all had a very enjoyable time!
Dinner jackets and evening dresses
Over 160 guests made their way to the Ballroom of the Carlton Tower Hotel,
Knightsbridge, dressed up in their dinner jackets and evening dresses.
The effort some people had made to dress up was truly stunning.
Ladies wearing tiny shiny crystals delicately laid into
subtle patterns on skin were spotted and those ladies wearing traditional
Chinese silk Cheongsams/Qi Paos did not escape our attentions either!
The guys, were in their traditional formal garb, and very smart they were
The evening kicked off with a drinks reception
in the Garden Room to the gentle melodies of the baby grand piano courtesy
of Fiona Au. Whilst guests chatted and mingled they were also offered
the opportunity to examine the table plan (laid out and named after Chinese
dynasties) to see where they would be sitting. How many people spotted
the dynastic theme, especially those seated at more the more obscure periods
such as "Nan", "Bei" and "Jin"?
"Dinner is served"
guests had slowly made their way into the Main Ballroom to take their
seats the first course of a Western salmon starter was served. This was
followed by a more Chinese main course of braised duck with a selection
of East/West vegetables and concluded with a mango mousse with chocolate
chopsticks and a fruit sauce carefully spelling out the Chinese character
"zhong" (meaning China/Chinese). How many people spotted this?
Or were they too busy wondering if there really was a dynasty called "Shang"???
Speeches and the Casino
coffee and petit fours there was a quick welcome speech and a word from
Hans Hung from the Islington Chinese Association (ICA) after which the
charity casino started.
Obviously Chinese people sure know a bargain when they see one because
the highest value fun money notes (on special offer with 25% extra free)
seemed to be selling like hot cakes. The guests then hit the Blackjack
and Roulette tables with a vengeance, but luckily the experienced croupiers
seemed to handle the crowds in their stride.
As the charity casino continued to run a brisk
trade, the live band set themselves up in the main ballroom, dimmed the
lights then began to belt out their repetoire of songs and persuading
all to get up an dance with quite remarkable speed. They were certainly
a far-from-shy bunch!
The scene was then set for the rest of the evening
as elegantly dressed people danced, drank, chatted, played the tables
and generally enjoyed absorbing the atmosphere of the venue.
A break in the live music paved the way
for the raffle draw and declaration of casino winners, which proved a
popular attention grabber!
Congratulations to all of the winners, especially the
winner of the raffle star prize, a Sony Digital Camera, and the winner
of the casino star prize, a pair or Eurostar tickets to Paris. We were
also quite envious of the people who took away the prizes of the mini
fridges. Just perfect for this year's sweltering summer!
The evening comes to a close
Alas, all good things must come to an end eventually
and, at 1am, the band played their finale and the lights went back on
and the decorations began to be carefully taken down. However this did
deter a significant group of guests who seemed determined to hang on to
every last possible moment of being at the ball. These were probably the
same people who wrote in the feedback forms that the event should have
lasted even longer!
Thanks to sponsors and guests
Thanks to all the guests who took the time to fill
out the feedback forms and thanks for all your very kind and supportive
comments and ideas to make the event even better for next year. We value
your opinions. Also we must thank all the sponsors for their kind prize
donations that enabled
us to raise over £1,500 for the Islington Chinese Association
to help them improve the services they provide to the Chinese community.
Thanks to the BCS Executive Committe
Final thanks must go to my fellow BCS Executive
Committee members who organised this event as a true team effort, although
it must be said that extra thanks should be paid to Mei for her extra
enthusiasm and effort and Sarah for her great skills in ticket sales.
I had a really good time at the ball. Hope you
had too. Hope to see you at next year's event, or event better, at the
next BCS event on September 12th!
PS I'm really glad I didn't have to sing at the
very end. It would have been a most inappropriate way to end such a special
... and a message from the ICA ...
I must congratulate you and your Committee at
BCS for putting on such a wonderful evening for all of us. Not only did
you manage to fundraise for ICA, it was a truly enjoyable evening. Everything
was first rate - the venue, hospitality, food, music and, of course, the
friendliness of your Committee. Attention was drawn to every detail, including
the Chinese character on the dessert plate (like Sarah said), so impressive.
I know from experience that organising an event of such scale requires
lots of hardwork and stamina. But certainly it's all worthwhile after
all. Everybody had such a fantastic time. You made everyone so comfortable
and relaxed. Shame that the party had to end at 1am, I'm sure that everyone
can't wait to come to the one next year. It has
proved so successful and popular that you'll probably need a bigger venue
Thank you once again for a most wonderful time
and the effort of raising funds for ICA. WELL DONE!!!!
PS So efficient that 'public opinion' about the summer ball has already
been updated on BCS website. Shame I don't know how to email my congratulations
to the Forum!!!! *
* Message to Katy - just register as a
member of the Forum
and submit your comments - it's really easy.
.. and now it's time for the photos ...
Thanks to all who submitted photos to the Summer
Ball 2003 gallery.
year we present the images as follows:
Finally, proceeds of the casino and raffle formed
the charitable donation ...
Gallery 7 : ICA
dinner (Sept 28th) to hand over donation of the Summer Ball 2003
If you have photos that you'd like to share with
us, please e mail BCS