The date has been set for the an­nual glit­ter­ing Con­sular Ball hosted by Cape Town’s Con­sular Corps to raise much needed funds for lo­cal char­i­ties.

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFESTYLE -

OVER THE PAST SEVEN YEARS this event has be­come a high­light on the Mother City’s so­cial cal­en­dar. Diplo­mats and honorary con­suls from 52 coun­tries rep­re­sented in Cape Town buy ta­bles and in­vite their friends and busi­ness as­so­ciates to join them for a taste of the best South Africa has to of­fer.

This year the Con­sular Ball will be held in the Ball­room at Kelvin Grove on 10 Novem­ber. Guests can look for­ward to fine cui­sine with a choice of 3 main cour­ses and wine con­nois­seurs will en­joy the award-win­ning wines of Le Manoir de Bren­del Es­tate in Fran­schhoek, spon­sored by Con­sular Corps mem­bers Chris­tian and Maren Bren­del ev­ery year.

The Con­sular Ball’s trade­mark is its un­con­ven­tional auc­tion of unique items that can­not be bought in a shop and this year will be no ex­cep­tion. Ac­cord­ing to Is­abel Ver­wey, wife of the Deputy Dean of the Con­sular Corps and or­gan­iser of the event, there will be an item for ev­ery taste – gas­tronomists, mu­sic lovers, art lovers, busi­ness­men and na­ture lovers alike will find some­thing that will tickle their fancy. “One of the most unique items we’ve ever had at the Ball is aimed at mu­sic lovers. We will give some­one a on­cein-a-life­time chance to take well-known con­duc­tor Richard Cock’s ba­ton and con­duct Cape Town Fes­ti­val Orches­tra dur­ing a con­cert at the Oude Lib­er­tas Am­phithe­atre in Stel­len­bosch. It is said that con­duct­ing is like magic – you lift the ba­ton and mu­sic fills the air. Now one for­tu­nate guest will get to ex­pe­ri­ence that, and be taught how to do it by one of SA’s most fa­mous con­duc­tors to boot – priceless!”

The as­pir­ing mae­stro will receive a few lessons from Richard to show him/her the ropes and will then take the ba­ton for one num­ber dur­ing the Vi­en­nese con­cert per­formed an­nu­ally at the Am­phithe­atre. This in­ti­mate and pic­turesque the­atre nes­tles among the vine­yards of Stel­len­bosch and is a favourite venue for both lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional au­di­ences to en­joy a va­ri­ety of mu­sic gen­res, dance and the­atre pro­duc­tions un­der the stars.

For art lovers, the ex­cit­ing news is that one of South Africa’s most fa­mous sculp­tors, An­ton Smit, has do­nated one of his sought-af­ter sculp­tures to be auc­tioned at the Con­sular Ball. An­ton is widely revered for his majestic heads and sculp­tures, made from met­als and stone and pro­ject­ing tremen­dous emo­tion. His works grace pub­lic and pri­vate col­lec­tions world­wide and he has had many one-man ex­hi­bi­tions in ma­jor art gal­leries around the globe. To make this auc­tion item unique, the high­est bid­der will also have the op­por­tu­nity to visit the sculp­tor at his

stu­dio at Bronkhorstspruit Dam where An­ton will ac­com­pany him/her on a tour through his Sculp­ture Park. The back­drop of nat­u­ral lime­stone for­ma­tions, man­i­cured lawns and suc­cu­lent gar­dens, makes for a lovely en­vi­ron­ment to view the ex­pan­sive col­lec­tion of mon­u­men­tal sculp­tures and in­stal­la­tions. The auc­tion item also in­cludes 2 nights’ ac­com­mo­da­tion at the in­ter­na­tion­ally ac­claimed 5-star Men­lyn Bou­tique Ho­tel, well known for its art dis­plays. The lucky bid­der will also dine at their sig­na­ture restau­rant, The Black Bam­boo din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that cel­e­brates the syn­ergy be­tween food, wine and art.

This year guests can also look for­ward to a few auc­tion items that proved very pop­u­lar at pre­vi­ous Balls. “We’ve de­cided to bring back one unique item from each pre­vi­ous Ball” says Is­abel. “In 2014 guests were en­thralled by a per­fume sa­fari pre­sented by con­ser­va­tion celebrity, Dave Pe­pler – one of SA’s fore­most ex­perts on the world of aro­mas. He ex­posed a group of ten women to the 10 most un­for­get­table clas­sic per­fumes the world has ever known and has agreed to do it again for this year’s Con­sular Ball. But this time we’ve made it even more en­tic­ing for the high­est bid­der. The per­fume sa­fari will take place at the Rusten­berg Wines Es­tate and the group will be treated to an exclusive tour of the Schoongezicht pub­lic gar­dens and the spec­tac­u­lar Rusten­berg pri­vate gar­dens. Their guide will be hor­ti­cul­tur­ist, Pi­et­man Diener and the owner her­self, Rozanne Bar­low, who will also serve them tea and home­made del­i­ca­cies at the his­toric Manor House. It will be an en­chant­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for a spe­cial group of friends!”

For the ul­ti­mate lux­ury break-away for 4 per­sons, look no fur­ther than the of­fer from the Jewel of the Cape Winelands, De­laire Graff Es­tate. The high­est bid­der and three friends will en­joy a one-night stay at the De­laire Graff Pres­i­den­tial Lodge, fea­tur­ing a pri­vate heated pool and ter­race from which to en­joy - ac­cord­ing to those in the know - the most beau­ti­ful view in the West­ern Cape. They will be pam­pered to per­fec­tion at the De­laire Graff Spa, with a lux­u­ri­ous 90-minute treat­ment for each of the four guests. To com­plete this exclusive ex­pe­ri­ence, they will be in­vited to en­joy a unique he­li­copter ex­pe­ri­ence. Lift-off is from De­laire Graff Es­tate and they will ex­plore the sur­round­ing winelands, Stel­len­bosch town and Jonker­shoek Valley, en­joy the Drak­en­stein Moun­tain scenery snd fin­ish with a flight down the Devil’s Nee­dle Canyon. Af­ter­wards they will ad­mire the glo­ri­ous sun­set while en­joy­ing sun­set canapés paired with the De­laire Graff Sun­rise Brut on Leop­ards Land­ing - another unique fea­ture of this pack­age, since this high­est point of the De­laire Graff Es­tate is only for pri­vate use and not ac­ces­si­ble to guests. This ul­ti­mate lux­u­ri­ous ex­pe­ri­ence will end with another high­light – an 8-course Tast­ing Menu paired with an award-win­ning se­lec­tion of De­laire Graff wines at In­do­chine Restau­rant. The per­fect end­ing to a per­fect day!

Renowned sculp­tor An­ton Smit in his stu­dio

Master of aro­mas Dave Pe­pler

De­laire Graff Es­tate in the Stel­len­bosch Winelands

Con­duc­tor ex­traor­di­naire Richard Cock

An­ton Smit do­nated this beau­ti­ful sculp­ture for auc­tion

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