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.
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