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Self-Love, Sunday Brunch and Surprises from Cosmopolitan

The Cosmo Self-Love Sunday Brunch

For years we’ve been told what perfection looks like and what ideals we should strive for in term of our bodies and visual appearance. Thankfully this ridiculous notion is something of the past and the focus has shifted to self-love.

This month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and in a recent survey Cosmo learned that over 74% of women are unhappy or only slightly happy with their bodies. In an effort to shine light on this issue they launched the #DearBoobs campaign which celebrates all women’s bodies.

Cosmopolitan hosted a self-love brunch in partnership with Strawberry Lips on Sunday the 27th of October 2019.

Cosmo Events

The Self-Love Sunday brunch was all about celebrating all unique women bodies and promoting the #DearBoobs campaign responses. Showing that all boobs matter and all women should focus a little more on self-love.

When it comes to events hosted by Cosmopolitan you can expect nothing other than perfection. From the venue to the goodies by the amazing sponsors, everything is always in place. One of the only downsides of these perfectly planned events is that you have to get your ticket early or you’ll miss out. The Self-Love Sunday Brunch was sold out within the first two weeks after the event was first announced.

I was lucky enough to get a ticket to attend this self-love promoting event and it was genuinely a great way to end off the week.

Photo by Cosmo Photographer

The Self-Love Sunday Brunch

The brunch took place at the gorgeous Val de Vie Estate which is a bit of a drive but definitely worth a visit. Upon arrival we were greeted by the fabulous Cosmo team with welcome drinks and a vouchers from GHD and Edgars.

From there you could start enjoying pre-activation’s from the many fabulous sponsors including Soda Stream, Estée Lauder, Strawberry Lips, Mousson and Edgards. These included fabulous girly spoils such as make-up touch ups and getting your nails done or hands massaged.

The event took place in a brunch setting and at your table you already had everything you needed for the activities taking place throughout the course of the day. A lifesaver was the fabulous cappuccinos served on demand by the FLEET Coffee Company. As it was a cold and rainy day here in the Western Cape those coffee’s kept us girls going.

The event started with a welcome from Cosmo editor Holly Meadows and Strawberry Lips Marketing Manager Vanessa Nel. Both fabulous women with a passion for inspiring more self-love and empowerment in other women.

Photo by Cosmo Photographer

From there 3 panelists read their #DearBoobs letters and a short panel discussion commenced. The panel discussion was hosted by Holly and Cosmo Deputy Editor Noxolo Mafu. The panelists included a celebrities and influencers from the #DearBoobs campaign: Boitumelo Rametsi, Elzet Nel, Danni Bowler, Valentina Nicol. MAC Brand Manager, Kerry Hochfelden   was also part of the panel speaking on behalf of Estee Lauder Companies and Glenda Williams for Edgars Buying Head Intimate wear & Int Brand.

After the panel it was time for us ladies to get creative and dive into a little self-care with a Gratitude Journal Workshop lead by Celeste Stewart. The focus of the workshop was on championing a self-love plan and sustaining long term. The creative juices were flowing but more importantly girls were urged to focus on the things they love most about themselves.

From there it was time for brunch which was served by the remarkable chef at Val de Vie Estate. The brunch included a variety of delicious treats such as sweet and salty scones, mini burgers, croissants, brownies and other baked goods. It was a feast laid out for royalty and each table had their own selection to enjoy so no one went hungry. The Strawberry Lips cocktail bar also opened during this time where you could opt for a Pink Russian or Strawberry Pie cocktail. The Pink Russian was a gin based cocktail and the Strawberry Pie a vodka and coffee liqueur cocktail both topped up with Strawberry Lips.

Photo by Cosmo Photographer

After brunch it was time for the last activity which was a Drawing Session led by Art Curator, Jana Terblanche. While it might seem like a terrible idea especially for those of us who aren’t artists it turned out to be great fun. Jana gave us many different challenges where we had to draw our partners at the table. These challenges included drawing with your weak hand and drawing without lifting the pencil from the paper. It led to a lot of laughter and genuinely created a loving and happy vibe where many girls got to connect with those around them.

After much laughter it was time for prize giveaways and the activities to come to an end. However, there was still plenty of time to enjoy the Strawberry Lips cocktails and take part in the many activation’s. These activation’s included getting a free bra fitting and consultation from Edgars, taking photos at the fabulous photo booths and hand and nail treatments.

Photo by Cosmo Photographer

Value for Money?

A ticket to the Cosmo Self-Love Sunday Brunch would set you back between R245 and R295 depending on if it’s an early or late bird ticket. The ticket includes your brunch, coffee, cocktails by Strawberry Lips, an Estée Lauder gift pack and a fabulous goodie bag. Plus the chance that you might win one of the many raffle prizes from the fabulous sponsors. Sponsors for the event included: Strawberry Lips, Val de Vie, Mousson, Estée Lauder, Edgars, Soda Stream, GHD, CNA and ORMS.

The Goodie Bag included the September Issue of Cosmopolitan, a recyclable tote bag, Yardley Bond Street deodorant, Mousson body lotion, imPRESS One-Step gel nails, a Mousson branded notebook, a Soda Stream My Only Bottle, product samples and other Cosmo goodies. Then there was a R200 voucher from Edgars and R500 voucher from GHD.

The Estée Lauder gift pack included a 50ml Modern Muse perfume (valued at R1550) and 50 ml Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II (valued at R1225). This gift pack alone is valued at R2775.

Photo by Cosmo Photographer

A Cosmo girl after all

There’s a reason why any and all events hosted by Cosmopolitan almost always sell out within the first few weeks. The events are perfectly planned and attendees always have plenty to look forward to including fabulous food, drinks and goodie bags.

The Cosmo Self-Love Sunday Brunch was definitely one of my favourite events thus far thanks to the interactive activities and key focus on self-love. Each and every attendee left Val de Vie Estate with a smile and a little more self-love, some even went home with a few more friends.

Were you at the Cosmo Self-Love Sunday Brunch? What were your thoughts on the event, food and activities?

Have any questions or queries?

Feel free to contact me…


The Fitch & Leedes Gin and Tonic Festival – Cape Town 2018

If there’s one type of event I rarely need encouragement to attend it’s a festival. It’s even more alluring when it’s a festival with lots of gin and Fitch and Leedes tonics.

The Fitch & Leedes Gin & Tonic Festival took place on the 6th of October 2019 at The Lookout at V&A Waterfront.

There are many things that can be said about the event with some being positive and some negative. If there were less people at the event the overall lay-out would’ve been perfect. As you enter the venue the Howler Cashless Card tent is on the right and the bathrooms on the left. Before you there are seats and tables under shade with perfect view of the stage.

Behind the stage the indoors part of the venue is stocked with many different stalls of the best gins. There were even a few new gins to try of which the Flowstone Wild Cucumber and the Victoria Blue (not sure about branding) was my favourites.

A deeper look

First off, you pay between R140 and R180 for entrance depending on when you’ve purchased your ticket. I was lucky enough to get an early bird ticket so I spent only R140 to get into the event. The big problem was that this cost only included your entrance into the event and a branded glass.

There were no tasters, coupons or even a goodie bag added to the pricing. And while many would say “people today just want free stuff” that is not the case. The fact of the matter is that people paid nearly R200 to get into an event where they had to stand in a massive queue to get a cashless card. Many of the other attendees were upset as they did not know the event would be cashless and they definitely didn’t want to stand in a massive queue to get this card.

The pricing was a bit ridiculous as with the cost of the event and the cost of each gin you could’ve bought two new gins and stayed at home. At least in doing so you would’ve been able to sit down somewhere.

The event had seating and shade but not nearly enough to help even half of the people that were attending. Especially considering what an incredibly hot day it was in beautiful Cape Town, standing from 11 am was not great. And consuming alcohol while doing so didn’t help either.

Fitch and Leedes is still one of my favourite brands when it comes to tonics but they have a lot to learn in terms of such events. Yes there were many new craft gins to try but you couldn’t even purchase a bottle. Each merchant said you can buy online or in store and while I don’t mind doing that, it kind of defeats the purpose of the event.

Think about it, when you attend a wine and cheese festival you are allowed to purchase the wines and cheese you liked most. You get to take home some of your favourites and still have a great time at the event. Instead the Fitch and Leedes Gin and Tonic Festival was practically a massive Gin Bar with limited seating, shade and not much value for money.

When speaking to some of the Gin vendors it turned out that they themselves didn’t make a lot of profit from the event. In fact they had to sell a few bottles worth of drinks before they could start cashing in on the event.

The one thing I can say is that there were a few distilleries whose representatives went all out in telling you about the gin. Some even had small samples of the ingredients that were added to the gins which you could smell and view.

Hendrick’s Gin of course went all out with a nice little photo booth area and incredible decorations. I think that’s the one thing that was also missing. Some went the extra mile to make their stall look pretty while others stuck to basics and in doing so you kind of just missed them. On the other hand with how many left vendors and attendees left disappointed you couldn’t really blame them.

Food Vendors & Cashless card

There’s not much to say about the food vendors apart from that they were really expensive. Most people easily spend over R500 during the event on food and drinks and that doesn’t even include the ticket expense. The food was nice and there was a lot of variety but it definitely wasn’t worth the pricing.

One of the other big problems with the event was the cashless card system. Not a lot of people were aware that this would be implemented as Fitch and Leedes only added this info to their event page last minute. People weren’t even sure where to go to get their card, all indication they had was the very long queue. You had to pay R5 to purchase your card and add funds to it. The other not so great thing about this is that you have to do refunds online but this can only be done 4 days after the event. You have 14 days to claim your refund or the money remains with the company.

If there is ever another Fitch and Leedes Gin & Tonic festival in Cape Town I would suggest they do things a little differently.

Ways to Improve

  • Bigger venue
  • Goodie Bag (or at least some free tonics or taster coupons)
  • Full transparency on what to expect
  • Allow purchasing of Gins, tonics and even exclusive merchandise
  • More seating
  • More shade
  • Less expensive food options.

I’d love to attend more of these events when there’s proper planning and more value for attendees and vendors. The only entity that were benefited during this event was the organizers.

Did you attend the Gin & Tonic festival and what were your thoughts?

Have any questions or queries?

Feel free to contact me…