• Natalia Anakkar

"Putting on The Ritz"

Updated: Mar 24, 2018

Let me tell you about the night "I became a movie star!"

The Surprise

To celebrate being with my wonderful boyfriend for 2 years, he surprised me by taking me to The Ritz for a Dinner & Dance, just like "the good ol days".

Every since I was a little girl, these were the sort of places I only ever dreamt about and yet here I was, at this glamorous, decadent and historic venue.


The Entrance

It all started at the grand entrance, the chauffeur led us to the main foyer of The Ritz and in the swinging doors I went, dress in hand, only to come out the other side to see all things gold, shimmering and in such fine detail. Chandeliers hung from the high ceilings dimming the place somewhere between romance and entertainment yet to begin. Everything was marble and with a certain decor that seemed saturated in an almost tropical red palette of light. I could barely contain my excitement, wearing this dress was one thing but actually being entertained at The Ritz in it was another.


The Dress

I had been on the lookout for the perfect cocktail dress for about 3 weeks since the surprise came about. All I knew was I wanted it to be a "wow" dress and my goal was to be the best dressed and turn heads. I had never worn a cocktail dress until now, so this was a big deal to me. Plus, if you can't wear one to the Ritz, where can you?! I set myself a budget of no more than £200 max. Shopping on a budget can be tough and you have to be strict with yourself but I'm very focused when I have to be. And so, the search began, I trailed through website after website until I thought google search could take no more. This was becoming a full time job or what felt like it and of course I was super excited but knew exactly what I wanted and wasn't going to settle for anything less than perfect. After about a week before the Dinner & Dance at The Ritz, I finally found my dream dress from Pink Boutique. I was between these two dresses: Gold sparkly dress, Pink sequinned dress. So I ordered them both, what's a girl to do at a time like this! Having paraded around in them both pretending to be Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (the classy end result of course, even if she was smoking hot at the beginning).





I decided on the gold number - it was Kylie Minogue on her Showgirl tour mixed with Mermaids and Beyoncé. It was a tough call because they were both lovely but I didn't think the pink one was as flattering on my body type and would have suited someone taller. I am petite after all, not the height of a Victoria Secret Model but hey, we can be sexy in more ways than one. I just loved the trail on the gold dress and the bustier fit had more elegance showing off my shoulders and décolletage. So I was sold, I returned the pink number after a little sob, only joking, but I did say I was on a budget and I was totally happy with this spend of £120. What would you have guessed for the price?


Check out my blog shopping for cocktail dresses on a budget and find similar dresses to mine.


Thank you Pink Boutique and my mum of course who knows exactly what suits me and has an honest opinion of which I truly admire.


So I sauntered my way in, boyfriend following suit. I felt eyes on me and all of a sudden had an overwhelming feeling of many emotions. I felt powerful, a little insecure but above all else, I really just felt like a true woman. This dress had achieved its purpose. As a naturally confident person, dressing up had not been anything new or unusual to me but tonight was another level. I was proud to be dressed up to the nines with my best friend and partner right by my side. The trick is this - accept the attention, hold your head high (everyone's a princess right), remember to breathe and just smile. Audrey Hepburn always said "the happiest girls are the prettiest".


The Dinner & Dance

The evening was pure bliss. We dined like Kings and Queens. The wine tasting was divine and the staff were on top form, you could see the years of experience oozing from them as they presented food to guests in complete unison, letting the hot steam rise up from the silver lids they pulled away, watering everyone's palates with the delicious aromas of the best dining experience. The menu tasting was dreamy with unique dishes full of colour and spices. It was food made with love. One of my favourite things in life happened next...dancing. I mean it's in the name: Dinner & Dance, when my boyfriend asked me for a dance it really touched a part of me. It took me back to one of my favourite stories of when my Grandpa first met my Nan. And so, we made our way to the dance floor. We were graced by the presence of a pianist who I personally thanked for such a beautiful array of songs throughout the night. To top it off, we were entertained by a fabulous dance duo who really did put on The Ritz, top hat and all. I felt like I was living in the 20's, true Great Gatsby style.


The Exit

Like all good things, they must come to an end. With our tummies full of wine, my dress still in tact, and having indulged in the best Soufflé ever, we parted this heavenly place in all it's splendour. Leaving it behind but keeping the memories stored within. After many pictures to mark our night, we made out exit. The doorman thanked us and wished us well, but before we left, I couldn't help myself, I flaunted my dress once more on the steps with The Ritz carpet at my feet. The doorman gave me a sweet smile and said - "hey miss, it's just like the movies!" And it was at that very moment that I became a movie star.



Make memories with your #Ritzexperience


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