Diary of the Week: Shangri-La Dinner and Uncrate Africa

The Shangri-La hotel pulled out all the stops to court brides-to-be into saying “yes” to the venue. Collaborating with industry powerhouses like Kleinfeld, Stemz, Patricia Cake Creations, Birks (highlighting their “Bee Chic” collection, as seen on the Queen Bey herself!), Palaterra, Fox Photography and Michael Occhipinti, the Museum Room on the zen hotel’s third floor was transformed into a spectacular “Secret Garden.” From executive chef Damon Campbell’s playful foie gras mousse canapés and caviar doughnuts to the sweet kiss goodnight – a passion fruit bombe – this dinner had everyone longing to say “I do.”


After last year’s Uncrate India blowout, guests were ready to party for yet another part of the world. Holt Renfrew’s latest Uncrate project puts the focus on Africa, amassing a capsule collection of striking goods from artisans in Rwanda, Kenya and the Maasai Mara plus pieces from jewellery darlings Dannijo, who were making the rounds at the Spoke Club fete. Mini Big Mac burgers and gooseberry-laden champagne cocktails were the order of the night as body-painted “safari animals” sauntered through the room and African drummers performed for the stylish crowd. One of the evening’s sweetest moments came after Director of Brand Strategy Alexandra Weston made a heartfelt speech about the impact her H Project is having for local artisans in third-world countries with little opportunity for income. Her husband, Galen Weston Jr., hopped on stage to announce that the day was, in fact, Alexandra’s birthday, and the crowd launched into a spirited rendition of “Happy Birthday” while a cake was presented to his wife. “He’s going to get me fired!” Alexandra joked, before the party resumed with passed chocolate-chip cookies (yes, we took one for the road!) and smiles all around.

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