Press & Media

Tonbridge and Malling Courier - March 2010


With British actors failing to shine at this year's Oscars, it fell to a Tonbridge florist to steal the show with a fabulous display on the red carpet. Wendy Andrade played a leading role on television screens across the world on Sunday evening when her floral displays at the Kodak Theater were showcased to millions watching the 82nd Academy Awards. The Exeter Close resident, who was the only British florist flown out to stay at the Hollywood Heights Hotel, also tailor-made bouquets for talk show star Oprah Winfrey and singer Streisand. Wendy went on to say "It was hard work, up at 6am every day and not finishing until 8pm, but there were absolutely no downsides."Mrs Andrade was part of an elite team of 10 who had sole responsibility for decorating the prestigious red carpet with more than 75,000 stems of flowers and 3,000 plants.

The mother-of-two, who has lived in Tonbridge for more than 25 years, said she was "worked extremely hard" for the duration of the 10-day trip by the ceremony's meticulous set designers and producers."We were governed by what they said, so it wasn't a case of us showcasing our designs. We worked as part of a team and lots of changes were made," she added."On the day of the Oscars we were all on stand-by on walkie-talkies."Once everyone had gone into the ceremony, we got the call and had to come back out and turn the Oscars around so it could be filmed for the exit."Afterwards, we had our own party in the flower tent and watched the awards on TV. It was great fun."

Although she did not get to rub shoulders with the stars at any of the post-Oscars parties, she did get to see George Clooney, Elton John, Cameron Diaz and Colin Firth at close quarters on the carpet.The 50-year-old former Hadlow College tutor said the Oscars was the "pinnacle" of her career and was now inspiring her on to even bigger projects."I've done big events like weddings at the Houses of Parliament, I've won 3 medals from Chelsea, and I also created a 3,000-rose road for the Ecuadorian Tourist Board at the World Trade Fair," she said."But I've never done anything like the Oscars in my 35 years of floristry."I have a passion about my job, as I can take it to different heights and limits, and I work with some great people."I get to travel the world and also get to teach. It's a dream job which I never thought would have turned out like this when I started. I'll carry on for the next few years and hopefully be able to achieve more."After all the excitement of the Oscars, many would think Mrs Andrade, married to Stephen, would want to take it easy. But the call of Mother's Day and a wedding this weekend meant she is having little time to recover from her jet lag.

February 2008 Gazette - "THE GREAT BANQUET 2008"

Great BanquetThe SMTA Council has approved plans to hold a banquet at Smithfield Market in 2008 to re-create the original Dejeuner held in Grand Avenue on the 24th November 1868 to celebrate the opening of the new Market Buildings designed by Horace Jones (see Supplement). Chairman Gregory Lawrence has set up a steering Committee chaired by Peter Martinelli Deputy C.C. to help organize the SMTA’s project “The Great Banquet 2008” which will be again be held in Grand Avenue for some 750 guests. Mr Lawrence asks everyone with Market connections to assist in making the event a memorable one. It is anticipated that the Lord Mayor will preside and the Royal Family will be represented.

David Andrade & Sons were the very first wholesale meat company on the Smithfield site founded in 1868. David Andrade & Sons continues to trade today and is run by fifth generation brothers Stephen and Paul Andrade.

Stephens’s wife Wendy Andrade donated her time and labour to support the Great Banquet 2008. An international floral designer and educator, Wendy led a team of 5 highly trained designers and floristry students from Southwark College and executed 150 floral designs for this prestigious event.