Magnum treating Karachi’s elite like Royalty

KARACHI: It was a night of Belgian chocolate indulgence. Held at the spacious Convention Center at the DHA Golf Club in Karachi on Sunday, Magnum’s much talked about chocolate party was attended by “entertainment and media royalty”, as described by Fareshteh Aslam, Brands and External Communications Manager at Unilever Pakistan. “We want to give people royal treatment and some Magnum indulgence,” she added.

At the entrance stood Tanya and Julia, two young Belarusian girls who had been flown in from Dubai especially for eyecandy at this party. Each of them stood in the middle of a round table that was a part of their ensemble, which was a shoulder baring dress in gold and black. “We are serving these desserts for a few hours tonight,” gushed Tanya, as she presented a tray of chocolate treats with a bright smile.

Photographer Adeela Badshah felt the idea of the human tables was “exciting and creepy at the same time”, adding that these girls were “weirdly sexy”. While some guests oggled at the attractive model-cum-table, others busied themselves at the chocolate bar, sampling the various goodies on display.

The larger part of the hall looked regal; against a black and gold backdrop, guests were ushered to long tables with dark velvet tablecloths. Gold masquerade masks and napkin holders complemented red gerbera daisies and roses — a theme that boasted extravagance and luxury.

“They’ve gone all out! It’s a great affair with lots of beautiful people,” said one smartly dressed gentleman as he dipped a marshmallow into the chocolate fountain. Long dresses, jumpsuits and funky accessories were the wardrobe choice for most ladies, while the men looked stylish in their suits. Looking especially radiant was the brand ambassador for Magnum, model Ayaan, who wore a décolleté sequined gown made by Deepak Perwani. She spoke enthusiastically about the product she was endorsing, and made her way to a table where Nabila, Tapu Javeri, Kiran Aman and Madiha Sultan were seated amongst other members of the Magnum brand council.

Slackistan starlet Aisha Linnea Akhtar and video producer Adnan Malik were the hosts for the evening. Amidst fanfare and anecdotes of their affinity with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, they introduced the entertainers on stage.

A royal pain

Director and choreographer Nida Butt of Made for Stage Productions presented “A Royal Remedy”, a short musical performed to keep the guests entertained while waiters served dinner. But after the roaring success of her previous production, “Karachi: The Musical”, Sunday’s performance failed to meet expectations. “The entertainment was quite boring,” said a guest Nida Khan, adding that the overall arrangement was impressive. The musical was set in the late 1700s and centered around Princess Magnolia, played by actor Sanam Saeed. Rubya Chaudhry played the villainous queen who had cast a spell on Magnolia. As a result, the princess had lost her sense of taste — a cause of great worry for the indulgent father, the king. At the end, a French chef manages to break the spell, by feeding the princess a mixture of ice, milk and Belgian chocolate. While the costumes were colourful, complete with wigs and brocade jackets, the script was weak and failed to keep the audience interested.

“Why couldn’t they have had something else?” asked one irked member of the audience. “I lost interest halfway — I expected better from Nida Butt after her last show.”

After dinner, the Belarusian models took to the floor and walked — along with their tables full of desserts — along the aisles offering bite sized treats to the guests. “Now this is something different,” murmured a guest, as a gentleman at the front whipped out his phone to make a video of the girls dancing.

A brighter part of the evening was the ice cream itself. Served with whipped cream and blueberry sauce, the Belgian chocolate Magnum was rich and sumptuous. “I could have had two of those icecream bars — but I didn’t!” exclaimed one guest.

“The icecream has always been my favourite,” said Lal Majid, the brains behind Lal’s Chocolate. “The Belgian chocolate coating just melts in your mouth. It really is the very best.”

The Express Tribune