ELLE and Dior Jadore Editor's Lunch: Fine Dining at 54 On Bath Courtesy of Dior

Earlier this month ELLE magazine posted a tricky question on their website: ‘what does happiness mean to you?’
Spurred on by the thought of my fast-approaching 23rd birthday and the introspective mood that accompanies the end of another year, I decided to take a chance and really try to put into words what I had learned about this elusive concept of happiness. Thinking about how my answer could possibly earn me a spot at the table at the ELLE /Dior Jadore Lunch at 54 On Bath gave me some extra incentive as well.
So, I thought about what happiness means to me, and I realised my answer was more along the lines of what I hope my happiness will look like one day. A week or so later, I got an e-mail congratulating me on being selected as one of the guests for the lunch!

I had heard a lot of wonderful things about 54 On Bath, and specifically the hotel’s restaurant, Level Four. As soon as I walked into the reception area I was greeted by a number of friendly faces who told me exactly where to go to meet up with the other lucky ELLE Belles. The staff at the restaurant waited on guests right from the door, offering welcome drinks and leading us to the table – I could already tell that this event was going to be fabulous, in the truest sense of the word.

The event was in honour of Dior’s Jadore perfume, and there was a stand with samples of the eau de toilette, eau de parfum and absolu variants of the fragrance. Throughout the afternoon, we could go up to the table for a spritz of Jadore, while listening to a Dior representative explain the nuances of the fragrance to us. Fun fact: jasmine notes last the longest in all three variants of Jadore, and any fragrance which incorporates jasmine will last on the skin.

The perfume was the reason for the event, and ELLE editor Emilie Gambade spoke to us about Chandler Burr’s Perfume Book, which focuses on the way Christian Dior endeavoured to incorporate art into the process of creating the perfumes of Dior – each fragrance can be linked to an era in painting, Romantic or Gothic for example. (It sounds like a coffee table book I can’t wait to get for myself)
Once we were seated, waiters came around to open our serviettes (‘napkins’…?) and laid them on our laps. That was the next sign that this afternoon was going to be unlike anything else I had ever experienced.
I made some conversation with the ladies around me while our drinks were topped up and the kitchen staff brought up each of the intricately made dishes in the three course meal.

Between courses, I slipped away to the bathroom and I just had to take a picture in there. I usually judge people who take pictures in mirrors and in bathrooms, but this time I couldn’t help it. The place was more like a reception area, or a lounge, complete with ottomans and framed artwork.

It's so pretty, I almost didn't want to use it...

As we went through the menu, I flexed my Instagram muscles and captured the plates before (and sometimes during) the tasting. Eating without telling the internet about it is so 2010.

Some of us were hesitant that the tiny portions would be filling enough, but after the chicken, with one more meat course and a four desserts still to come, that “I’m going straight to McDonald’s after this…” feeling went right away. 

So, it turns out eating small portions and pacing yourself really is the way to go. But who will explain that to the mamkhulus and the gogos who insist on piling up our plates and making us have seconds around this time of year…?

I got a sample of the Jadore Eau de Parfum, and after chatting with the ladies for a little while longer, it was time to leave. When I got my red goodie bag at the door, I was excited to see what’s inside – ELLE usually gives readers something wonderful to take home. This time, we got the December issue of ELLE, a pair of sunglasses, a branded notebook and pen, and best of all, beauty products from Dior!

I gasped when I saw the (full-size) lipstick, lipgloss and nail polish in the bag. When in my life was I ever going to be able to drop a few hundred rand (or more) on these amazing products? ELLE and Dior really hooked me up. The purple lipstick is probably going to be my favourite, and the Dior Addict lipgloss will come in handy on nights out. 

So: what is happiness to me? Well, on Thursday last week it was experiencing new things (I now know what all the hype is about fine dining) and being lucky enough to receive gifts from Dior.

What I would like it to be in the future, when I am a Grown Woman (and the answer that I put on the website) is this:

Some speak of the “pursuit” of happiness, but I think it is something which is “curated”.
By carefully selecting the elements which create an atmosphere of style, confidence, security (in the self) and peace of mind, a modern woman can curate her own happiness.
Elements such as an open-mind, determination to stand up and be heard (at work, in relationships, etc), a sense of adventure when it comes to beauty and fashion, and a vision of what she wants to leave behind in this world all come together in different combinations and at various significant moments in life to create “happiness”

Thank you to ELLE, Dior South Africa and of course 54 On Bath for this amazing afternoon. I look forward to seeing what else Emilie has in store for the Belles in the coming year.


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