• By Andrea Pafitis-Hill

    “Lights… Models… Guest list?… Just do your best, darling.” If it’s any consolation, I didn’t actually say this on the day of our glamorous garden party shoot, but I certainly thought it, being one of my favourite quotes by Eddie in the iconic TV series, Absolutely Fabulous. 🙂

    To get back to our glamorous outdoor celebration – one of the highlights of F&HE’s November ‘party trends’ issue – it was all about ‘la vie en rose’… and when it came to choosing the perfect setting for our gorgeous young guests (all talent-scouted from our very own offices!) to enjoy a relaxed yet stylish summer gathering – be it a 30th or 40th birthday or engagement, perhaps – Shepstone Gardens in the heart of Jozi was the ideal choice. With its 19th century stonework reception room, intimate chapel with stained glass windows, Japanese garden and undulating lawns interspersed with bronze statue water features and charming rockery pools, Shepstone has to be one of the most ethereal boutique function venues – just strolling around the grounds makes you want to kick off your shoes, let the soles of your feet sink into the dewy velvet lawn and choose a spot to take it all in with a glass of bubbly – rosé, of course!

    As the shoot took place in winter, we were more than a little anxious about it being dark and gloomy, but thank goodness the sun shone – not enough to warm up our poor models, however, who were absolute troopers, keeping the chill at bay with lots of witty banter. Trying not to nibble too many of the superb canapés – which included refreshing watercress soup, brie croquettes and lip-smacking potstickers made by Exclusively Yours Catering – in their chic summer brights and pastels, they really were the stars of the show… See the beautiful spread and get stacks of inspiration for end-of-year parties in our November issue. – Andrea, managing ed

    Darling Lama Productions