The St. Andrews Charity Polo Tournament epitomizes the stereotypical “St. Andrews” social life: colourful trousers, hunter wellies and champagne. Arriving to a beautiful estate in the Fife countryside, it felt like an ideal escape from the Bubble. Whilst I had expected the vibes to be fairly “Made in Chelsea”, I was slightly bemused to be met with girls lounging on sports cars and boys playing croquet upon entering the estate. But it was also clear that nobody was taking themselves too seriously and everyone was up for a good time.
The standard section was a good level of busy, with plenty of people setting up by the pitch side with picnic blankets and bottles of wine to watch the games unfold. The polo was exciting to watch and I was impressed: it does not look like an easy sport to play, but all the polo players seemed to be in their element. The VIP section stepped up the party atmosphere a notch. The DJ was based there and the VIP-ticket holders seemed to be enjoying their free bottle of champagne and up for a dance. And then, there was the VVIP section – for the extra special attendees – where the champagne supplies were endless. The spreads of scones and finger sandwiches for the VVIPs gave it an extra-classy edge.
But for the hungry masses, there was also a good selection of stalls and food vans lining the field. Knights Kitchen offered up delicious African cuisine; On a Roll was there for a simple roll and sausage; and of course, Blackhorn’s van was there and swarmed by hungry students throughout the whole day. However, the biggest queue was definitely the one for teas and coffees, as everyone craved a hot drink to warm themselves up a bit.
The massive hot drinks queue indicates the only part of the day that was slightly tough to bear: the cold. Though we were lucky that it stayed pretty dry, there was an extremely icy wind and my hands were solidly pretty numb throughout the day, which made clutching my cold beer a bit of a struggle. Though the cold was difficult to ignore at times, it didn’t seem to affect people’s spirits in the long run, especially those getting a bit of alcohol-fuelled warmth. Big props to the gals who braced the cold with bare legs and sandals.
All in all, watching the polo whilst hanging with friends was thoroughly enjoyable. It’s always fun to have an event in St Andrews with a bit of a twist on the usual drinking and socialising. The St Andrews Charity Polo Tournament is definitely an experience to have at least once during your time here.