Home » General » Living It Up At the Annual Winter Ball

The last Saturday of June was a special day as one of Harare’s best kept secrets took place. This is one of those occasions that you need to know the right people just to be in the picture.

The sixth edition of the Annual Winter Ball hosted at Maestro Glass House along Enterprise Road in Highlands lived up to its deliberately discreet billing as one of the country’s most premium red carpet events.

To make sure that the event is one smooth flow where like tangos with like, the organisers send out discreet invites to specially selected people.

The guest list is a proper who is who in the capital’s top notch business people in various fields.

They might not have been offering valet parking, but the gentleman in black suits and white shirts who were waiting to direct drivers, welcome and escort the guests sure did raise the bar of expectations.

The entrance to the Glass House which is separate from the main restaurant was garlanded in decorative lights reminiscent of the tent of some sheik straight from the Arabian Nights.

The theme was carried inside with more lights around the garden helped by gas heaters to ward off the winter chill.

The whole pig roasting on a spit in the corner of the garden would have whetted even the most jaded of palettes.

After dressing up to the nines, guests would naturally want some professionally captured memories of one of the most glamorous outings in their life. A photographer was at hand to do the honours in front of a poster of the Neederburg wines the brand behind the night.

A musician in a ball gown made up of a sparkling bodice and frothy skirt serenaded the arriving guests on her violin as they sipped their welcome glass of white wine before entering the glass house itself.

Inside the tent theme was still evident with the predominantly white draping covering the roof and wall of the glass house to make a real winter paradise. Minimal black and red accents echoed the Neederburg colours.

A couple of gas heaters kept the temperature kind on the ladies whose finery tends to be of the bare shoulder type so there was no need to sacrifice glamour for comfort.

I had personally had reservations on the concept of a ball smack in the middle of winter but it worked well.

Obviously to sync with the taste of the of the majority of the guests, the music was all old skool mostly from the eighties. Luther Vandross, Sybil and Celine Dion were just some of the names whose songs were being played.

Circular tables were placed so as to leave a dance floor in the centre where guests could let down their hair, knowing that they were among friends. Someone said a good marker for happiness is when you can dance as though no one is watching.

Thus there must have been some very happy people in the glass house that night.

The football extravaganza in Brazil meant that some guests arrived very late as they waited for the match to finish.

Davina Green added another dimension with cover versions of a few songs. She is good singer with an admirable ability to go through different scales without faltering.

Guests could buy their own drinks of choice or take up the Neederburg wines that were on offer.

No doubt that the main business of the night was the wine and it was clear during the wine tasting session that although some people had opted for other drinks, this lot definitely knew their wines.

But the mood was supremely relaxed and the wine master did not have the conceited air of an expert talking down to bumpkins, but rather the voice of one who wants to share a few secrets.

There is a general perception that many Zimbabweans are not a wine drinking people and would be hard-pressed to tell a merlot from a chardonnay, but that maybe a “fact” of the past. There is definitely a growing number of discerning wine drinkers who know what they like and make no apologies for their tastes.

With that out of the way, it was time to dance, dance, dance and dance the night away.

If you thought that Zimbabweans cannot clean up real good with the same panache as the Hollywood stars on the night of the Oscars, then work hard on your personal profile and get invited to one of these shindigs, and your perceptions will never be quite the same.


Source : The Herald