Before you know it it’ll be revision, the sun will be setting at 1 p.m., and you’ll be gracing the steps of Kinkell for Christmas Ball (that is, if you’re prepared to queue for tickets at 1 a.m.). But, before you start thinking ahead, let’s have a peek at first semester’s best foodie events (because who doesn’t love food, booze, and dancing?).

Because while first semester may lack in fashion shows, it definitely doesn’t lack in events that serve some pretty damn good food.

1. Welly Ball 2016

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Photo courtesy of David Jamieson

Overall: Let’s start with Welly’s main selling point: you literally don’t have to wear heels. In fact, if you did, you’d be met with many strange looks from fellow partygoers. The afterparty to the St Andrews Shoot is considered one of the pinnacles of first semester: every year, the raucous celebration kicks off with a multiple course dinner with wine and many other freebies included.

Food offering: Last year, Welly Ball 2015 offered a full hog roast from Oink! Edinburgh, one of my all-time favorite restaurants as part of the meal alongside plenty of delicious sides, with free snacks from sponsors such as Emily Fruit Crisps and Tunnock. This year promises to be just as good, if not better.

Advice: Look out for dinner ballots and after party tickets going on sale in October for the event, as it will not disappoint.

2. Springboks: Balgove Black Tie Dinner

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Photo courtesy of David Jamieson

Overall: The Springboks, St Andrews’s South African Society, have a reputation of knowing how to party. And it’s certainly well deserved. The venue is also kinda perfect, too: hosted at Balgove Steak Barn, it always has the laid back but fun vibe they hope to evoke. Usually, tickets are priced quite reasonably, and Balgove food never disappoints.

Food Offering: Last year, they offered delicious canapés courtesy of Gimme Dinner, plenty of Prosecco, and traditional South African fare to please even the hungriest of guests: from rice piled high with bananas and other toppings to cake covered in custard. And, the famous bar offered the trademark Springbok’s shot: green and beige in color and minty in taste, a true staple.

Advice: The event is typically run near the end of November so be sure to look out for tickets around then. Plus, you can purchase 9 shots for £10 at the bar, so it’s probably the cheapest event to get drunk at (sorry, Xavier Ball).

3. Nobel Ball

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Photo courtesy of Madeleine Bazil

Overall: The Scandinavian Society also throw an incredible party. From their incredible second semester AFTERSKI (a notable event in it’s own right) to their first semester kick-off Crayfish Party, Nobel Ball is another in the long line of fantastic nights. Admittedly, tickets can be hard to come by, but those who say they’ve been say it’s the one of the most worthwhile foodie experiences they’ve had in St Andrews.

Food Offering: Known for plenty of wine and aquavit (Scandinavian spirit) as well as a three course Scando dinner, it’s not only a unique way to experience Scandinavian culture, but also another fantastic way to get drunk. In the words of the Scandinavian society: Skål! You don’t want to miss this year’s event.

Advice: Tickets can be hard to come by due to the small venue size. Typically your chances can be helped if you are a club member, know a club member, or are prepared to queue early enough to get a ticket.

4. The KK Opening Ball

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Photo courtesy of Millie Lehmann

Overall: Many will say it’s not the greatest ball in existence, but it’s certainly a staple of St Andrews’s student life. After all, it’s the first one of the year. Lower College Lawn certainly looks different at night, doesn’t it?

Food Offering: Unlike the other events, there’s no meal included, so that’s rather unfortunate, but the £35 ticket price can be well worth the money. First of all, there’s plenty of perks, including cotton candy, champagne on entry, and free Jannetta’s. That is, if you’re willing to brave the queues for stuff before it runs out.

Advice: If you’re a fresher, get to Lower College Lawn early before the crowds to get the food (because why else would you go to an event?). If you’re not a fresher, you know the drill.

5. Xavier Ball

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Photo courtesy of Lorelei Elizabeth Pfeffer

Overall: The location is incredibly unique: Crail Airfield. It’s an old hangar/warehouse that has a significantly chill and cool vibe. Plus, it supports an incredibly good charity: the Xavier Project, run by St Andrews alumni Ed Page. For £35, it’s a rather good price, and the bright theme of the ball also means heels and dresses are not required.

Food Offered: Again, no meal included, but they claim to offer the cheapest bar in St Andrews, and last year, all attendees scored a free drink token and free Blackhorn chips. Plus, XB offers tons of freebies like Tunnock and Vita Coco. Not bad.

Advice: I’d highly recommend this ball. The cause is great and it’ll be one of the most unique and memorable nights you’ll have at St Andrews. While some complain the price is rather high, just think about how much said people will shell out later in the year for FS. Those complaints are unjustified.

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GIF courtesy of

It’s going to be a good semester. See you in St Andrews!