Madame Zingara is celebrating 15 years of transporting guests into a magical world where they can escape reality for a night. Adding to this dreamy affair, The Queen of Flanders tent will be the new home to Madame Zinagra’s The Celebration tour. This three-tiered Belgian built palace features 3 200 mirrors and 1 800 m of velvet for unrivalled decadence while still being able to comfortably seat 650 people.
One thing is for sure, everything at Madame Zingara is bigger, better and sexier. As soon as we walked in, we were greeted by a red carpet and grand stone entrance complete with low-hanging chandeliers filled with champagne. A clear indicator that a night of opulence was in store for us.
After stopping off at the chandeliers for a glass of champagne, my date and I set off to explore the mirrored palace. Inside, I was drawn further into the world of Madame Zingara with every inch we discovered.
You can look the part by getting your face painted, or adding a hat or feather bower to your outfit. I decided to join the festivities by getting a feather hair extension. As far as décor goes it’s the perfect blend of luxurious and quirky; with velvet seating arrangements, mirrors everywhere you look, and interesting, oversized decorative pieces from a buddha to helicopter made out of recycling to a unicorn.
After all that excitement, we grabbed an hors d’oeuvre or three to whet our appetites and headed to our table. If you want to get the party started early, make sure you visit the impressive bar while you wait to be seated.
We got introduced to our fellow diners at our table over a basket of grapes and bread while our loveable waitress, who was dressed as a new character with every course, cracked open a bottle of chenin blanc for the table.
For our first order of the night, my dinner partner and I both went for the gnocchi. We both skipped Madame Zingara’s famous chilli chocolate steak for mains as I decided on the lamb shank and he opted for the salmon and baby potatoes. Everyone was treated to the same delicious dessert selection with mini servings of cheesecake, malva pudding, and ice cream.
Richard Griffin, the creative genius behind Madame Zingara, directed the spectacular show for The Celebration tour. This special production has brought in new acts from around the world. My favourite performance was the first act of the night. The aerial pole artist Saulo Sarmiento came out tops not just because he’s eye candy, but rather, it was the Spaniard’s display of strength, flexibility and grace that I found mesmerising.
As spell bounding for their incredible strength and flexibility was the Ukranian trio whose specialisation is contortion and hand balance. The act would have broken anybody into a sweat, but the three women made it look as effortless as eating a chocolate cake.
South Africa was represented by one-half of the quick change duo as well as, The Specifics, our very own singing quartet. I found myself singing along with The Specifics to hits like ‘Be My Baby’ from Dirty Dancing to Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’. Holding down the fort as the MC was Cathy Specific, who has returned to rejoin Madame Zingara after she travelled the world for two years. You’ll be delighted to know that Cathy will continue to return every night dazzling in a variety of jewels and gowns.
Photography Anton de Beer and Cassidy Emmanuel