Friends, bubbles and glitter – the three essential ingredients for a fabulous day out. Add to that glorious weather and some utterly gorgeous dresses, and you have our outing to Mastercard’s Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival yesterday.
Titled “The Magic of Bubbles”, it really was a fabulous day out. The dress code was “black and white with floral flair” which was thankfully broad enough for me not to have to dash out the shops – I should, however, have found myself a hat. Firstly, it’s the kind of event to which one really should wear a hat, and secondly, I didn’t have R500 to buy one at the event (no matter how much UV protection it allegedly offered). No, it didn’t even have diamante trim or a fake frangipani glued to the side.
I love events where you need to dress up a touch, and there really were some great outfits on display. Nothing too flashy mind, but you could tell people had made a little bit of an effort. This fest feels a little like being in one of the hospitality suites at The Met – but without the horses and drunken rabble on the outskirts. Yeah, I’ve no doubt there’ll have been a couple of guests yesterday who would have miscalculated how much bubbly they could handle in that kind of heat – but let’s be honest, some people are already drunk when they arrive at The Met.
I’ve been to enough of this kind of event to learn a few things. The most important one concerns sensible shoes. Ladies – stiletto heels and grass do not mix. Well, they do, in that you will sink right in if you forget to walk on your toes for even a moment. I’ll admit to chuckling a little at a couple of women in all their finery hobbling unevenly across the lawns. If you need a little height, go with a comfortable wedge. But considering you’ll be strolling around and adding alcohol for most of the day, a pair of flats are your best friend.
First order of the day was getting our faces painted. Like I said: Glitter is vital. And I was super impressed by the speed and skill of the artists. I wish I had them permanently on hand to add a splash of colour to my look every morning. The only reason I finally cleaned it off last night was because glitter swimming around on one’s eyeball isn’t as fun as you’d imagine.
And then obviously, because we’re classy, our first stop was at JC Le Roux. Wait, that’s not fair – I love JC Le Roux and they have some absolutely fabulous offerings these days. I’m all about pink and fruity at the moment, and since I was designated driver and wasn’t going overboard, I limited myself to sampling just a few roses. My favourite of the day was also my last – Steenberg – it was also the most pricey bubbly I tasted, but well worth the three tokens. I also popped in at Môreson for a taste of their Miss Molly rose.
Oh, and I finally grabbed myself a Tranquille popsicle from Pierre Jourdan. “Tastes like more” indeed. The first nibble of icy goodness was startlingly sweet, but as I worked my way down the slushy tube, I decided it’s the perfect treat for a blistering day. Between those and the odd refreshing G&T, I’m ready for summer.
As far as value for money goes – this fest fares well compared to others. The glass you get with your ticket isn’t one of those stumpy jobs that will probably bounce if you drop it in the car park – it has a lovely thin stem and a long flute. Many of the exhibitors were a little more generous than the recommended tasting line on the glass and we ended up handing our cards over to other guests when we headed home so they could use our leftover tokens.
My one criticism was that the Vodacom network issues meant that many people found themselves unable to pay for certain things with their cards or phones. It’s a tricky situation, so I’m not sure what the organisers could have done differently, but I’ve made a mental note to at least take some cash next time, in case.
I’ll definitely be adding this event to my list of Things to Do in 2017. But next year, someone else can drive.