The Oinoussian Ball 202306-11-2023
On Saturday 4th November the JW Marriott Grosvenor House Ballroom opened its doors to extend a warm welcome to the many guests arriving for the Oinoussai Benevolent Fund’s annual Oinoussian Ball.
Around four hundred loyal supporters and many first-time guests, from London, Switzerland and Greece, gathered in the foyer, greeting each other with enthusiasm and were looking forward to a memorable evening in the opulent setting of this historic hotel.
The top table, hosted by the OBF President John M Hadjipateras and his wife Xenia, included the Greek Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Ioannis Tsaousis with his wife, The Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain, Nikitas and the historian, author, broadcaster and philhellene, Bettany Hughes OBE FSA with her husband Adrian Evans.
The OBF President gave a moving address, welcoming those who were attending for the first time and thanking those who continue to support this annual event. He recounted a brief history of the fund and reaffirmed its vital importance to the island in all aspects. He mentioned the increased attendance of the younger generation of Oinoussians and predicted the fund will continue to flourish for many years to come when the baton is passed on to them.
The tables were adorned with stunning floral centrepieces and a gift bag for every guest. The menu was an eclectic mix of a wild mushroom and truffle arancini starter, followed by a main course of Hereford beef fillet with Stilton gratin potato and the dessert was an indulgent chocolate mousse with hazelnut crunch. The complimentary wines enhanced the dining experience.
As coffee and petits fours were being served, the unmistakable sights and sounds of a mariachi band appeared on the ballroom balcony and the guests were treated to the familiar traditional songs and they even played Zorbas’s theme. The band was an unexpected colourful surprise that brought much merriment to the room.
The OBF resident DJ, Avgoustinos Galiassos took his place on the stage behind his decks and began an incredible mix of dancing music that kept the dance floor packed for two hours without interruption. The guests were offered the traditional Masticha shots to quench their thirst.
At midnight, the raffle draw was conducted and twenty-three prizes were collected by the lucky winners. There was also an on-going silent auction with eight superb prizes and there were many bids throughout the evening.
The dancing resumed with Greek music and everyone flocked to the dance floor once more. Meanwhile, a line developed in the balcony section where there was a digital photo booth that was proving to be very popular to all age groups.
Many congratulations to the OBF for organizing yet another exceptional event for their worthy cause that brought so much enjoyment and pleasure to all those who attended.