And this is what a high-tea event should be… a morning at Good Housekeeping’s Shine Strong event

August 28, 2015

It was a gorgeous spring morning in Joburg for Good Housekeeping magazine’s Shine Strong high tea, but the weather wasn’t the only star – we had great food, activations, treats and inspiration, and I left with my own spring in my step, and arms full of goodie bags and take-homes.

It was an event that we left feeling richer (tickets were R350, but we got so much more than that), fuller and a bit more motivated, and while it was aptly timed for Women’s Month, this great morning could – and should – fit anywhere in the year.

Significantly though for Women’s Month, a donation was made (via the sale of raffle tickets for great prizes) to Sisters for Sisters, an organisation that helps destitute and abused women.

Here is why Shine Strong ticked all the boxes:

The setting

The event was held at the magnificent Shepstone Gardens in Mountainview, with its beautiful gardens and huge space (every time I’m there I feel like I’m in an old castle, somewhere faraway).

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Picture credit: Good Housekeeping
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The product stands

Lancewood and CNA had beautiful stands where we could look and see some products, and take home something.  I was surprised by CNA’s range of stationery, and didn’t realise they have so much for kids and grown-ups (and of course me, a stationery addict).

CNA exclusive ranges include:


This is a stunning range of stationery designed in London, and produced and printed to the highest standard. Prices start from R35.

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Little Venice Cake Company is London’s leading designer of couture wedding, birthday and celebration cakes, and have a global range of professional quality cake and decorating tools at affordable prices, starting at R39.



This range encompasses paper product, fine bone china, photo accessories, jewellery boxes and so much more. Prices start from R69.

Bicycle gifting range


This is a collection of stationery such as notebooks, bags and pens, and feature beautiful artworks. These are awesome for young girls, or for those who love something whimsical or cute. Prices start from R20.

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CNA also stocks Raising Superheroes, which follows the success of Real Meal Revolution. I was surprised to see that this is not a Banting cookbook, and it doesn’t offer no-carb eating for kids. Rather, it advocates low-sugar, low-refined-carb, “real” food eating.

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The activations

it’s divine being at an event where you can leave looking better than when you arrived. Benefit Cosmetics (new in South Africa – yay!) and Braun had stands where they prettified guests even more. We could also ask questions about their products, and get some tips.

Sasko also had a great activation where they made pancakes, and where we could decorate cupcakes, and take them home in pretty boxes (assuming they lasted from platter to box). Here we could also get some information on their products (did you know that cupcake mix can be used to make cakes?)

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Pantene also had “photo frames” to pose with, and after the event we share what strength means to us – a great idea as it was good to think about it on a personal level.

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The speakers

From the MC Gail Mabalane, to Good Housekeeping editor Sally Emery, to SA Fashion Week founder Lucilla Booyzen, the speakers were inspiring, engaging and funny (I’ve learnt that at events like these, the speaking lineup can go one of two ways, but this one went in the right direction).

We were inspired to think a bit differently about what strength in a woman means, and what we want from life (a simple question that some of us struggled to answer).

We also picked up some great tips about how to create a high tea, and how to take your baking from drab to fab with Sasko.



The food

Cupcakes, macaroons, meringues, sandwiches, mini-sized puddings and more… this was high tea that elevated the event! There was even bubbly to end it all off.


Great swag to take home

I know it’s not only about goodie bags, but it kinda is, and we went home with lots to keep, indulge in and use, including a three-month subscription to Good Houskeeping. There were also raffle-ticket giveaways, and the prizes were sensational – from Tupperware sets and a Kenwood Chef to Mangwanani Spa vouchers, and a getaway.

You know when they tell you to look under your chair as there might be a ticket or a prize? Well, I chose my chair well and went home with some Body Shop body butter.


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Thanks to CNA for having me – I had a great morning.




Photo credits: Own, and Good Housekeeping

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  • Sally Emery

    Thank you for being there,Tanya, and your lovely blogged. Such a special, fab morning.

    September 16, 2015 at 1:33 pm Reply
    • Tanya

      Thank you so much Sally for having me, and for such an inspirational event. I loved your talk, and I love how you used a notebook… classic cool!

      September 20, 2015 at 2:39 pm Reply

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