This year is quite a special year for University College London Boat Club – it turns 150! UCLBC was founded in way back in 1864 – that is quite impressive considering British Rowing was only founded in 1882!
To celebrate this momentous occasion, there was a dinner hosted at UCL attended by alumni as well as current rowers. And with Seb being the secretary of the club, I blagged myself an invite to the dinner.
As you probably already know, I don’t know a lot about rowing. The closest I have come to rowing is a Concept 2 rowing machine at the gym! But what I do know (from experience) is that rowers know how to throw a good party – and boy do they party hard! This night wasn’t any different.
The night started with a welcome reception for all the guests in the world famous Wilkins Building at UCL.
The highlight of the reception was the boat naming ceremony where one of the new boats was named after Dr Mark Osmond, the honorary president of the UCLBC. I had a front row seat as you can see. 🙂
A few bottles down and the group photo done, it was time for the dinner. And I was starving!!
The dining room was decorated in the club colours of purple and blue. I love the subtle rowing hints like the crew boat seats used to make the table centre piece.
I was quite lucky as I was seated at a really good table right at the front. Perks of being good friends with so many rowers eh?
We started off with a portion of smoked salmon and marinated prawn salad served with shallot dressing and pickled vegetables. As lovely as it sounded, I couldn’t eat it as I am allergic to prawns so went for the vegetarian option of goats cheese balls served with sun dried tomatoes and salad and it was just as lovely.
Once the starters were served, it was time for the toasts! Call me immature but I found it quite funny that the programme for the night had the words ‘The Queen – Sebastian Smith’ printed in it. I giggled for a good 10 minutes!!
Toasts done, it was time for the main course of roasted lamb shanks served with sweet potato and butternut squash in a thyme jus. I must admit, it was so good, I had a bit from Will’s plate when he left the table to talk to a friend. Sorry Will!
It was so nice catching up with Keri and Aileen – I hadn’t seen these two beauties in so long! Although our selfie attempt didn’t go according to plan!
Special thanks to Rebecca Kwo for some of these amazing photos! I absolutely love this photo of Finnian that Rebecca snapped.
After dessert, and a few more
glasses bottles of wine, we decided to make the most of the night and continued our party at the UCL Student Union. Where else are you going to find £3 pints in London? A few hours later, I decided to call it a night and dragged myself back to the comfort of my bed and left the rowers to their party. It was such a good night – I told you rowers were a fun lot.
A few of us met up the next morning for some brunch and Jake just couldn’t cope and slept through most of it! The boat club dinner definitely claimed a few victims though. Thankfully I escaped with only a sore head.
I cannot wait for Henley Royal Regatta this year. If the UCBC dinner was anything to go by, Henley is going to be so much fun! Bring on Henley!