For those who know Waris, they will know that beyond being a designer, a regular on Wes Anderson's films and a tea brewer, he is also the consummate host able to make anyone feel at home at any of his parties and get-togethers; and that beyond New York City, he is able traverse effortlessly around the globe, always in the company of good friends in whatever city or village he finds himself in. It is this abundance of superpowers that makes his newest venture, the HOUSE of WARIS BOTANICALS ever so magical for it is the culmination of years of research, discovery and love put into starting a brand which he feels epitomizes all the values he believes in.
It is for that reason that Waris' return to the Top of the Standard to the same room where he hosted an afternoon tea party for his friends some years ago when his teas were in their nascent days, is a true feat. His commitment to creating a brand that is more about lifestyle than simply product, became evident the moment you walked into the room - pink neon light welcomed you, the sounds too, familiar, fun and also unexpected. The Tea Party debuted functional blends– Sweet Clarity, Night of Nights and Love Conquers served as zero-proof beverages and cocktails made with premium Tanqueray No. TEN. Three distinct bars were set up throughout the room to show case each special blend, each given its very own neon sign inviting guests to meander through the room finding the next potion of their fancy. No surprise that Sweet Clarity was identified with a blue light suggestive of the Third-Eye chakra which is the colour indigo.
At some point in the night chanteuse Caroline Vreeland serenaded Waris with a sultry yet delicate Happy Birthday song making way for the birthday boy and mastermind behind the night to make a speech. Waris thanked his mother Darshan, who also joined the party, crediting her as his first ever investor and then his partner Lyman Carter. His last remarks being "Heal thyself, love thyself", and perhaps the red neon light in the room is not just a tea blend but a motto that our host lives by, Love Conquers All. That his friends were served a cup of the Night of Nights blend on their way out as a nightcap (it supports rest and relaxation) showed that Waris indeed had his friends covered, and love, and friendship does indeed conquer all.
"Heal thyself, love thyself"- Waris Ahluwalia