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WHILE some folk are down to crackers and baked beans as “Januworry” starts to pinch, celebrities including comedian Siv Ngesi and radio personality Liezel van der Westhuizen feasted on designer nosh and popped bottles of bubbly at the uber-glamorous L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate in Cape Town yesterday.

The blue and white-themed gala boasted a five-star menu for VIPs in the prestigious “chef’s table” marquee, catered by Annalize Buchanan at R5000 a head, with wines from Anthonij Rupert.

The event, in its 156th year, was held over two days for the first time this year, with eight races run on Friday.

Yesterday was the main day, attended by about 5000 guests who watched 10 races. Twelve horses competed for the R1.5-million prize in the title race, which was run over 1600m.

Many celebs wore white, like former Miss South Africa Tatum Keshwar, who showed off her model-long legs in a short French-lace dress with a plunging neckline by designer David Tlale.

“I chose this dress because it’s fresh, easy to wear and sexy yet classy, like the Queen’s Plate,” said Keshwar.

Van der Westhuizen also showed off her legs in a short white number that she laughingly called “beachwear”.

“I decided to play with my hairstyle rather than wear a hat because every time I wear a big hat it always flies off due to the wind,” she said.

Another former Miss South Africa, Jo-Ann Strauss, arrived in a long white dress by Klûk CGDT. “I was actually going to wear another dress, then my son hugged me with his sunscreen body and I had to go with option two.”

Ngesi wore stylish Xhosa garb. “I’ve seen Mandla Mandela wearing Xhosa regalia and was inspired.”

He arrived with fellow comedian Angel Campey, who wore a long white skirt and top designed by Demet Karatas.

Actress Boity Thulo wore an all-white two-piece from Quiteria & George — palazzo pants and a top she described as “eccentric”.

“The idea of the outfit was to look classy, neat and stylish. We moved away from wearing a dress but still kept it elegant and fun,” Thulo said

Bucking the theme, actress Nomzamo Mbatha chose a pink outfit designed by Nigerian Toju Foyeh.

“Blue and white is the order of the day, but the designer decided to play with a lighter shade of pink to showcase my delicate, sweet and feminine side without disrespecting the theme,” said Mbatha.

MasterChef SA winner Kamini Pather arrived with singer Mathew Gold, fuelling the rumours that they are together.

Other celebrities included former Miss South Africa Cindy Nell and singer Lindiwe Suttle, while rugby players Oliver Kebble and Huw Jones also showed up, as did cricketer Herschelle Gibbs.

Event co-ordinator Katherine Gray said limits were imposed on attendance.

“We didn’t want [the event] to be overwhelming so we kept the numbers at 5000, split between general access and VIP guests,” she said. - article published in Sunday Times

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