This weekend I attended the first New Cavendish event; A Midsummer Eid’s High tea, held at the beautiful Chandos House. The organisers are a pair of inspiring ladies; a doctor and a barrister (heaven knows when they had the time to arrange this!) Farheen and Sultana found a gap in the market: luxury events aimed at professional Muslim women. A chance for ladies to unwind, eat, get pampered and shop – all in a halal ladies-only environment! The staff were all female and there was a strict No-Men policy so ladies wearing hijab could comfortably remove their headscarves for the duration of the afternoon.
As I entered, I was handed a delicious blueberry lemonade. I was a little early so had a chance to peruse the stalls before my friends arrived. There were a dozen or so vendors selling stunning jewellery, silk scarves, perfumes and beauty products.
My eye was first caught by this amazing clutch bag designed by Ai Pheng Leap of Nonamu London. It is hand-carved and made entirely of chocolate (yes CHOCOLATE!) Unfortunately I couldn’t justify a pre-tea snack that cost a whopping £600 but it was certainly unique and smelt delicious.
Penhaligon’s, the renown British Perfumer had also set up shop here for the day. These lovely ladies were offering a personalised scent consultation. The stories they told behind the inspiration for each perfume were enchanting and it was quite incredible how you could identify some very subtle tones within these luxurious potions. After much sniffing and deliberation, I was eventually matched with a perfume called ‘Empressa’, a light fragrance with floral notes.
The afternoon tea was next and my friends had arrived. After deciding we definitely would not be discussing the babies we’d left at home, we found ourselves comparing notes on all things baby! The tables were adorned with platters of scrumptious sandwiches, halal of course! My favourite was the chicken with pesto and rocket but there were also smoked salmon, egg cress and cucumber with cream cheese.
Tiered cake stands displayed a selection of petit gateaux with the bottom rung filled with fruit scones accompanied with strawberry jam and clotted cream. To finish, we were treated to some chocolate dipped florentines.
As the afternoon tea came to an end, Sultana told us that New Cavendish Events wanted to introduce a charity element into each of their events. I thought this was a lovely idea. A charity worker from Human Appeal spoke passionately about the important work being done in Syria. Unfortunately, her over-zealous fundraising tactics left the room feeling a bit awkward.
After the tea, we were in for a real treat.. A spot of pampering! Each lady could pick from a mini-treatment of manicure, massage, makeup and hairstyling. The beauticians from Blossom and Jasmine did a fantastic job!
Outside in the garden terrace were more vendors. Moheen, a very talented henna artist was doing the most intricate designs for her customers. The Datery had arranged a beautiful display of their artisan Medinah dates covered in Belgian chocolate. A perfect gift for family and friends.
It was also so nice to meet so many professional and successful muslim women this weekend. Keep your eyes peeled, I’m promised there are many more New Cavendish Events coming up, including a matchmaking evening for the singletons out there and a family event for those of us with little kiddies.
After I left, I discovered some lush treats in my goody bag – a chocolate date from the Datery, Rose Oud soap from the Oud Luxury Collection, a perfume sample from Penhaligon’s and eye serum from The Rose Tree. Just to ensure the pampering would continue at home…
Hopefully see you at their next event! x