On Saturday 27th April, at the beautiful Bela Romão Croquet Club, overlooking the azul waters of the Ria Formosa Islands, a Fashion show and charity lunch was held. The event was to raise money for RIAS, the wildlife hospital, located in the Ria Formosa National Park, Olhão. Fábia Azevedo, the centre representative, shared with the visitors, how the centre staff shelter and nurse hundreds of orphaned chicks who are brought to the centre each spring.
Western Algarve fashion designer Jouk and her ten models paraded down a red carpet catwalk in front of the Moroccan style tents where over 60 guests enjoyed a scrumptious lunch of watercress salad, Panko crusted baked brie on a bed of caramelized apples, Marrakesh chicken Tagine on Saffron vegetable couscous and ginger snap ganache torte with rose water Chantilly. All this was prepared by Sarah, the New York City trained Slow Food Chef.
As the club members played croquet on the great lawn in front of the clubhouse, day guests meandered through stalls of blown glass artwork, hand crafted jewellery, cards and aromatherapy gifts. An assortment of live music played throughout the day. Bob Dylan impersonator, Andre Viane sang, the accordion musician Koos Terphoven entertained and Lita Gale happily acted as DJ playing a mix of good music.
Charitable raffle prizes were graciously donated by club owner Lita Gale of Lita Gale Solicitors (a years membership to the private club and a free legal consultation), Californian Chef & joint owner Sarah Byrne (romantic dinner for two), Maureen Jones (Jewellery), Andre Viane of Cine Clube de Tavira (cinema posters), Taran Flaten (coloured glass), Maureen Jones and Katerina Chrenscova (alternative therapist/masseuse). Together over €500 was raised for RIAS and as a big thank you surprise from Fábia and her colleagues from the sanctuary, a short toed eagle, nursed back to health, was released back into the wild after being brought to the centre with massive gun shot wounds caused during the hunting season.
Lita Gale and Sarah Byrne would like to say a big thank you to the event organiser Lynne Booker, of Algarve History Association for all of her hard work and ongoing efforts to bring such events to the club. Lita would like to mention that club membership is open for 2013 and day passes for guests wanting to enjoy a game of croquet, Sunday Brunch or just hang out by the pool. Visit their website for news of ongoing summer events. www.belaromaocroquet.com