The night had finally arrived - after all the buildup and excitement it was finally time for Rave Review to go to the ball. The Grand Viennese Ball certainly lived up to all expectations and if we're being honest, it exceeded them. Dressed to the nines in a sensational  ballgown that we're sure Cinderella would be proud of, I made my way to The Sandton Sun to waltz the night away - and waltz I sure did.

To get all glam for an event like this, one of the biggest on the Joburg social calendar, I needed more than a fairy godmother and her trusty seamstress mice working around the clock. Some say it take's a village to raise a child, well, it took a village to get me to the ball. When it came to the 'Piece de resistance', ie The Dress I needed a designer to die for, and I found one. My beautiful ballgown was dreamed up by Cantal Abro of Chantal Couture, and let me say, this is one Jozi gal who is in touch with the latest and trendiest designs around. Her gowns are born to dazzle. When my princess dress was finally on ( took a while), it was time for hair and makeup. Justine Isaacson made sure that my face was bronzed and beautiful, while Alessandro Benigno from Grand Stile Hair Salon saw to it that my 'side do' was perfection. Adding a little sparkle to my 'do', were the hair jewels loaned to me for the night by Jeanette Abro from the most divine company, Wedding Jewels.

So the dress was on, the makeup and hair was done, photo's were taken and everything was in place. Now onto the ball..but as I soon realised, getting there posed to be a little on side. Getting into the car was such an experience entirely on it's own, the ballgown was so huge that I just could not get into the car. If the petticoat was'nt smacking me in the face, the skirt just would not fit in. I knew I should have hired that huge Hummer Limo but alas after about twenty minutes of poking and prodding I was in and on my way.

The Sandton Sun was awash with beautiful gowns everywhere you looked and masks of all colours and sizes. It was a real feast for the eyes. The champagne was flowing and it was a perfect opportunity to mingle in the foyer. Heading into the Marula Room when the doors finally opened was definitely a WOW moment. The purple lighting was so romantic, the perfect  setting for finding a Viennese prince (...wait does Vienna even have a Royal Family?), and the decor - sensational (Gideon). The menu was incredible, and if you'll remember RAVE REVIEW gave you a preview of it at the Chef's Table for the Viennese Ball a few months back.

Debutantes from the German School opened the dance floor to much applause, they danced around the room like butterflies and made it look super easy. The floor was then opened up to everyone and we waltzed to the classics and boogied to more contemporary tunes.  At 10pm the doors to all the other rooms opened and we enjoyed Oysters and French Champagne, an incredible Piano Bar, as well as our personal favourite and the place we partied in till the early hours of the morning - the authentic beer garden complete with Schrammel Musicians as well as the best coffee I have ever tasted. When Midnight rolled over, the party kicked into high gear when the traditional Viennese Goulash was served and a gobsmacking Cake Bar was opened.  At the end of the night (or morning as we say) every lady was presented with a Gold Onyx Pendant - a wonderful touch from The City of Vienna, an incredible host.

We left way past midnight, and while my carriage didn't quite turn into a pumpkin, my feet were on the tender side from all that dancing. All in all, an incredible experience and an evening of constant memories. I'm sad it's over for another year, but of this you can be sure; I'll be back there next year, in another gorgeous Cinderella dress and perhaps i'll opt for the proper horse and carriage that time. It was most certainly a magical night. Bravo Vienna.

Have a look at our HUGE gallery of pictures from the night below...PHOTO CREDITS - BLANE VENTER (082 324 8777)

RAVE REVIEW would like to thank our own personal Glam Squad for making my night fan-tabulous -


Chantal Abro from Chantal Couture - 083 602 0822. Not only does Chantal make amazing evening gowns but she's also the Houghton branch for Olivelli Bridal as well as the most sought after wedding gowns from the UK and Europe's top wedding designer Maggie Sottero and Rosa Clara dresses.

Justine Isaacson for the fabulous makeup -  072 782 4958. Be sure to check out her site Glamour Gloss Girls as well for her stunning mobile beauty bars for any occassion.

Alessandro Benigno from Grand Stile Hair Salon - 011 454 5471

Jeanette Abro from Wedding Jewels for the gorgeous Diamante Hair Brooch - 082 783 7130


Justine Isaacson making sure my makeup is perfect!


The finished product.


A dress fit for a princess, thanks to Chantal Couture




Hair 'Jewel' sponsored by Jeanette from Wedding Jewels




Mandi Strimling and Jonny Lechtman



Wes Spolander, Michelle Loewenstein, Mandi Strimling, Chris Meklis



Mandi Strimling and Chris Meklis



Gorgeous emcee for the evening Gerri Elsdon and her husband Kerry



Woman&Home Magazine's Julia Mafcher and partner



The Citizen's Sarah Cangley and fashion designer Simon Rademan


Monique Ireland, Danielle Dooley, Mandi Strimling and Chris Meklis

We think this guy wins for best mask!

Mandi Strimling and Chris Meklis


Stunning decor by Gideon





Danielle, Mandi and Monique show off their masks



An amazing couple - Edith and Johnny Shwartz



Magnificent Masks by Chris and Mandi



Dinner is served...Sweet Potato and Ginger soup..Yummo!



The gorgeous debutantes open this years Viennese Ball



Waltzing the night away...



Stunning emcee Gerri Elsdon

Schrammel Musicians entertained into the wee hours of the morning

Stunning ex Miss South Africa and friend Amy Kleinhans-Curd dazzled

in a chocolate brown number

Taking to the Oyster Bar

Radio and TV personality Dorianne Weil AKA Dr D looked gorgeous with

her husband Les by her side

Co-organiser of this year's Viennese Ball Thomas Zilk

The press table - definitely the best table

Chris Meklis and Mandi Strimling

An amazing lady and friend - Edith Venter and Mandi Strimling

Monique Ireland, Danielle Dooley, Chris Meklis,

Mandi Strimling, Sarah Cangley and Simon Rademan

Co organiser of the ball Irmgard Ulrich and Mandi Strimling

Mandi Strimling, Chris Meklis, Johnny and Edith Shwartz

Mandi Strimling and Gerri Elsdon

In the piano bar...oh play us a song...

It's just past 2am and we're a little pooped...

until next year Vienna, its been