Jan 21, 2020

“Ladies and gents, this is the moment you’ve waited for”. When Hugh Jackman announced the opening scene of The Greatest Show, he may easily have described Ilze’s extravaganza.

There’s more to event management than throwing the perfect cocktail party or offering to organise a dream destination wedding in Cape Town. At Event Affairs, we strive to bring our client’s visions to life. When Ilze briefed in a Grande Affaire for her 50th birthday, we went from serving perfect platters to creating an unforgettable experience.

South African-born but now living in Tokyo, Ilze and our team engaged in regular Skype calls, emails, WhatsApp and phone calls. In so doing, her luxury event evolved from an opulent dinner to a magical theatrical production. Vaudeville literally rolled into Cape Town.

The Carraway inside The Mutual Heights Building on Darling Street is a national treasure, lovingly restored to its former glory. This venue proved ideal as dark wooden floors, original pink marble pillars, black marble walls and chrome fittings oozed 1940s glamour. To compliment a striking jade green bar in the foyer, a red carpet extends from the glass doorway, allowing guests a regal entrance. Here the magic began.

Welcome drinks paved the way for wandering waiters who mysteriously appeared bearing trays of carnival-style mini corn dogs and corn tacos. At a feeding wall, white-gloved magicians’ hands presented spooned canapes. Theatre and dance company, Moonlight Invasion, delighted the guests with their surreal acrobats performing in spectacular costumes to light designs and live music and amidst this cacophony of colour, sound and movement, silent artiste Parola Bianca appeared with her troupe of mythical performers. Draped in ethereal white, she enchanted guests with a sphere of wise proverbs about beauty and love.

All this hedonistic luxury allowed us to slip away to the mezzanine floor to orchestrate a seated dinner. Guests ascended into a curtained dining room bathed in the glow of crystal chandeliers. Floral arrangements in citrine, rose quartz, jade and amethyst popped against black tablecloths. Gold-rimmed glassware fit for a king sparkled while clusters of black candles kept the mystery of vaudeville flickering.

A sumptuous meal revealed harvest-style platters of salad and vegetables on the tables, while waiters served trays of succulent beef fillet and roasted chicken served from a pitchfork.

Dinner Menu

Platters of red onion and garlic pizza bianco with baby spinach leaves, truffle oil and parmesan shavings.

Pampoenkoekie-style ring doughnuts drenched in salted caramel sauce with golden roasted pears, aged boerenkaas and sugary circus sprinkle spice served on a honeycomb frame.

Lush seasonal farmers-market salad with lemon & lime vinaigrette, colourful edible flowers and toasted mixed seeds presented in top hats.

Purple cabbage and ginger kraut salad with roasted beetroot, fresh Wellington figs, feta cheese and mint
Golden roasted chicken.

Beef fillet with peppercorn bearnaise sauce served on a bed of Himalayan salt.

Megan’s Top Event Planning Tips.

Whether you’re planning a dream wedding, a year-end staff function, or an awards ceremony, the trick is to find suppliers suited to the client’s brief. Here we literally needed magicians who shared our vision to create The Greatest Show on Earth.

Secondly, this opulent venue allowed us to work with the existing décor. In so doing, we saved time and resources by not having to window-dress a venue to suit the theme.

Finally, we were able to show that Cape Town is an event destination which has more to offer than views of the ocean and Table Mountain.