This year, Curious Retreats had the pleasure of sponsoring the 2023 Marmalade Ball.  Our Property Portfolio & Concierge Manager, Amity tells us all about what the team, along with some VIP guests, got up to as we celebrated being part of a fantastic night! 

The Marmalade Club is a wonderful, non-profit organisation dedicated to raising money for worthy causes and having a good time doing it! It has many proud members that sail from all walks of life, all hoping to do a little bit of good wherever they can. 

Setting the stage

Situated on the Suffolk coast, Thorpeness is a popular, picturesque village straight out of a child’s storybook. You can’t miss the “House in the Clouds”, the pretty mock Tudor houses or the picturesque Meare, covering many acres with its various islands and inlets. The Meare comprises of many little islands, all named by J.M Barrie, author of Peter Pan. Whilst it may appeal to children mostly, it was here that the Marmalade Ball was set and the big kids came out to play! 

Dress to impress

The concept of a masquerade ball dates back to the 15th century, a time when nobility and aristocrats would don masks and costumes to mingle incognito among the guests. Fast forward to the present day and the allure of the masquerade ball endures. Every year the Marmalade Ball has a different theme, and the Masquerade was to be this years.  

 Our misfit crew consists of colleagues who also happen to be the greatest of friends. We are very aware that we have hit the jackpot in this department. What we did not get so lucky with was finding the perfect mask. From feathered monstrosities to ‘Phantom of the Opera” style numbers, the selection is wilder than a rodeo. Not perturbed we adorned our selected masks with vigour and headed to the ball! 

But First

Who doesn’t love a pre-party drink? Not I, and certainly not my motley crew. There is probably no finer place for a sundowner setting than The Suffolk. This seafront restaurant with rooms and stunning terrace was the perfect back drop for a cocktail or two. I think I will remember their Negroni Bianco for many years to come. Forget “Home” being my happy place. My happy place was right there, right then, Negroni in hand, the shore in my view. 

The Night Unveiled

Walking towards the Meare was like stepping into a fairy-tale. A sea of tuxedos and fashion savvy ladies was a sight to behold. The banners, proudly displaying “Curious Retreats” was the cherry on the top of an already awesome Sundae. The array of masks, feather and glitter was a feast for the eyes and gave the evening such a whimsical twist. The welcome drink of fizz or Fisher’s Gin was a pleasing addition and one that set the tone for the rest of the evening. Buckle in folks, the night is but young! 

A Gastronomic Delight and a Giving Heart

Imagine a night that combines sheer indulgence of delicious food along with the warmth of raising money for a good cause. Let’s face it, when you attend this kind of thing you don’t expect the food to be the star of the show, right? Wrong. The food was delicious and would have been right at home in any top-notch restaurant. The starter was my favourite, an array of all the best Italian flavours, wrapped up in one picture perfect plate. 

Now it was auction time and a buzz of excitement filled the air. The prizes ranged from holidays, art pieces and experiences and the guests responded with wine fuelled enthusiasm and generous offers. Every lot went way and above their reserve prize. Well done Marmaladers!


Enter the Dancefloor Dynamo

This ball took “dancing the night away” to a whole new level. From classic hits to the latest chart-toppers this Dj was a master at reading the room and getting everyone on their feet. And boy did we dance! High heels were slung left and right, and our liquid courage had us displaying moves we never knew we were capable of. As the night progressed, I found myself surrounded by a sea of smiling faces, all letting loose and enjoying the music. Strangers turned into dance buddies and in the words of Julie Andrews, “I could have danced all night”.  


“Time to say Goodbye”

No one likes the good times coming to an end and despite the bar being open until the early hours myself and my crew could have stayed longer. That’s how you know it’s been a good night. 

 If you are ever in the mood for laughter, lunacy and a little bit of local lore, gather your friends and colleagues and be sure to head to Thorpeness for the next Marmalade Ball! Even Christina Aguilera is keen. “Marmalade, wish I was in a jar of Marmalade. Oh, I can’t wait for the summer,  wait for the sun”. And if its good enough for Christina…….. 




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