The Early Night Club teamed up with My Little Festival to host a really rather lovely May Ball, which took place on 18 June 2016 at the historic Cambridge Union. The May Ball was a wonderful opportunity to join in on this celebratory time in Cambridge, particularly those of us who like to dance but also need our sleep (the Early Night Club’s entire premise is for events to start early and finish by midnight). Guerrilla Kitchen provided the delicious food for the evening, featuring some very original combination of flavours, particularly the mac ‘n’ cheese.
The Cambridge Union was the ideal location. We started the evening outdoors on their beautiful premises with a welcome cocktail made with Prosecco and Pinkster gin. We enjoyed listening to live music, provided by the immensely talented Tom Korni, and watched in amazement as the fairground performers, namely the hula hoop girl and the juggler on stilts, entertained the revellers. The festive tone was set!
There was a lot of other fun stuff too, such as a photo booth, hair station, glitter face painting, a sweet shop and fairground games (throwing hoops over Pinkster gin bottles and lobbing wooden balls at coconuts on sticks).
The Guerrilla Kitchen team (Jay, Taffeta and Reese) cooked up a storm in their outdoor stand and kept the steady queue of partygoers well fed throughout the evening.
There were picnic tables to eat outside and also seating inside at the Cambridge Union bar and cafe, known as 1815, where additional drinks could be purchased. Most importantly, there was a big dance floor where everyone let loose and boogied to DJs Early Doors Disco entertaining playlist, mostly songs from my youth (’80s bands, yes I am aging myself here).
Paulo and I enjoyed a rare outing all dressed up, he in the gangster-style suit he wore at our wedding and me, in comfy dancing shoes from Modish and a brand new dress for the occasion. We had a lot of fun taking in all of the festivities and I managed to get my groove on for a little bit.
As dusk fell, the place got even more sparkly and festive. My Little Festival are really good at decorating and setting the perfect tone for events, such as last month’s Sunday Best.
So now on to the food! When Guerrilla Kitchen are involved, I know it’s always going to be delicious. I had no idea what to expect for this event but chef Jay Scrimshaw came up with an original and appetising menu that fit in well with the fairground theme.
We started off with spiced beef on a bed of hummus, topped with yoghurt and dukka (a mixture of herbs, nuts and spices) for added flavour and texture. It was served with a warm slice of pitta bread that was perfect for mopping up all of the deliciousness.
Jay cooked up tasty sliders (mini hamburgers) in tiny brioche buns as well as a larger steamed burger-style bun. There were two kinds of sliders, one with pickles, mustard & ketchup and a spicy one with jalapeño & red pepper. I loved them both!
The hearty mac ‘n’ cheese dishes were quite filling. There were three options to choose from: cockles, wasabi & coriander, pork popcorn salad and lastly, for the unadventurous, just a cheesy one. The first two were a bit mind-boggling as we read through the ingredients. They sounded crazy but knowing Jay and how good he is at combining flavours, we went with it. We’re so glad we did, as the mac ‘n’ cheese pork popcorn salad was phenomenal. Creamy, cheesy macaroni topped with tender slices of pork belly and crunchy popcorn… a real delight!
That built up my confidence to try the mac ‘n’ cheese with cockles, wasabi and coriander. That’s saying a lot because I don’t really like cockles, but I did in this dish! The crispy wasabi peas were pungent but not overwhelming in that “wasabi brain freeze” kind of way. The contrast of flavours between the briny cockles and the creamy macaroni and cheese was surprising at first, but then I went with it and enjoyed it.
My Little Festival put in a lot of hard work and creativity into the Early Night Club May Ball and it showed, as no detail was spared. The historic Cambridge Union building served as a stunning backdrop for the event outdoors and its 1815 bar was a fabulous location for drinks and all that dancing. Guerrilla Kitchen treated everyone to an innovative and tasty menu. The joint was jumping with good music, food and drink. I happily ate up the atmosphere, literally and figuratively!
My Little Festival invited me and Paulo to attend the event, which included food and a welcome cocktail. All views are my own. I did not receive compensation for my review.
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