Events : August 2003 Summer Ball

Summer Ball

Sat 16th August 2003

Carlton Tower Hotel

With 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 below.

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 too.

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"
After 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
After 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.



Live Band
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!

Paul Ho
BCS Chairman

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 evening!

... and a message from the ICA ...

Dear Mei

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 then.

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.

This 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 Webmaster.


Copyright © 2004 The British Chinese Society. All rights reserved.
For problems or questions regarding this website contact

Last updated : September 23rd, 2004