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14th July in London
On arrival, security was tight not surprisingly if one only remembers that last year’s bal had been cancelled because of the terrorist attacks on London.
An open marquee with long tables each sitting 12 people had been placed in the playground and the tricolours were flying high.
There were two types of party goers: those who chose to have dinner there and who were perhaps of a slightly older generation (this my teenage daughters were only too happy to point out to me). All moaning swiftly came to a halt however come 9.30pm when the second stage of the celebrations began with around an extra 200 young people crowding into the venue. It was a truly memorable occasion, perhaps not for its wines and for its food and indeed a culinary feast would perhaps not have been approrpriate to the event, but certainly for the incredible cross-generational French crowd which the bal attracted.The next generation of French young professionals seem to have been as drawn to the bright lights of London as I was all those years ago. How right they are!
The atmosphere was friendly and ‘bon enfant’. No one was overly drunk or agitated and this created a great party feeling which I would deem surprising given that attendance peaked at about 2500.
Would I do it again? Most definitely. See you there next year.
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