Here we go, my last update from this years Jane Austen festival. We have now arrived at the last day of the festival, and the day of the big Farthingale Ball.
In the morning that day I ran around the city doing a few last minute things, shopping and some other things I needed to do before leaving. In the afternoon there was to be a dance workshop in the Assembly Rooms, in preperation for the ball that night. We all walked up there, looking forward to the dancing and the promised afternoon tea, however unhappy news awaited us! The workshop had been postponed an hour, because there was a wedding going on in there and apparently there had been some misunderstanding when they had booked the location. Now that in itself wasn’t such a terrible thing, but the problem was that it left us very little time inbetween the workshop and the ball, and we would need some time to get ready for the latter. We stood there for some time debating about what we should do now. In the end Jeanette (one of the ladies in our group) and I decided to hurry back “home” at once and get ourselves as ready as we could, do the hair and such, so all we would have to later would be put our dresses on. So that’s what we did. And I don’t think we missed more than the first 10 minutes or so of the workshop.
The workshop lasted about an hour, and I think we managed to do three dances or something in that time… Afterwards there was the promised tea, which we had all looked forward to. Delicious!
Aleksandra and me having tea in the Assembly Rooms
Then it was time to hurry home again. Time to take out those ball gowns and put them on. And then walk right back up to the Assembly Rooms again. As we arrived there there were lots of people standing about outside, all dressed up in their finest, waiting for the doors to open.
People waiting outside the Assembly Rooms
And again, rather blurry but I think it still looks cool!
I’ve “borrowed” this picture from Marcee (who’s also in this photo) since I didn’t manage to get any really good pictures of myself that evening. In fact I didn’t get many good pictures at all!
Then the doors were opened to let us in. It was a special feeling to be arriving there for a ball, seeing as it is a place where so many balls have been held before, a place which Jane and her characters would have known.
Arriving (recognize this place from the Persuasion movies anyone?)
The ballroom is a truly beautiful place! Perfect for events like this!
The stunning ballroom!
Soon the room was filled with long-way sets of dancers, the music started and the dancing began.
Dancing! Another picture I’ve borrowed from Marcee
As always there was a shocking lack of gentlemen present, but I suppose that was expected. The dancing was fun (of course) but I must admit myself a little disappointed in the musicians… Not that there was anything wrong with them themselves, but one of them played a keyeboard and another one a electric violin (don’t know if you call it that). It just didn’t fit well in with the surrounding I thought. Neither did the microphone and the speakers for the lady who called the dances. It ruined the atmosphere a bit in my oppinion. Considering what an event it was and where (not to mention the price of the tickets!) I really think they could have made sure they had a real piano at least!
After having danced for an hour or two dinner was served. I was pleasantly surprised by how nice the food was, for some reason I hadn’t had very high expectations of it. But it was all delicious! And there was quite a lot of vegetarian things which I discovered to my delight!
The table I sat at during dinner. Everyone was so nice, and we had a really good time!
A better overview of people dining. Once again thanks to Marcee 🙂
After dinner there was more dancing! And then we danced until just before midnight when we all got thrown out (sort of) as they were not allowed to use the place after that time. 😉
It was such a delightful evening! Lovely people, dancing, beautiful costumes and a stunning location can hardly fail to make it such! But I would have to say that as a ball I enjoyed the one in Florence even more.
Here is a short youtube clip from the ball. And you can see me in it! I am the one in red (you’ve all seen my dress before) and I’m dancing with Aleksandra who is in white here.
In the morning the next day I got on a train and traveled up to St Albans where I spent a few lovely days together with my sister and some friends before going back home to Sweden again.
And so, that concludes my review of this years Jane Austen Festival. I hope you’ve enjoyed (and that I haven’t tired you out too much) hearing all about it, and seeing all of those pictures I’ve insisted on posting. 😛 Thank you all for giving me a reason to re-live it all again when telling you about it. Now I have a whole year to dream of next years festival (which of course I hope to attend), and who knows, maybe I’ll see you there!