Chinese New Year was on February 5 and for many Chinese around the world the celebrations last all week. When I was young and lived in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, Chinese businesses were closed for five to seven days. In Thailand though, we don’t get the Lunar New Year off—not officially anyway—but there are lots of festivities especially in the week leading up to it.
Moet's Valentine's Rose Imperial Dinner
Last week, however, thoughts were beginning to veer towards the next celebration: Valentine’s Day. Moet and Chandon hosted the Valentine’s Rose Imperial dinner with food by chef Pichaya Utharntharm, better known as chef Pam. A Generation T honouree for 2018 and Top Chef Thailand judge, she prepares a chef’s table at her own house on Sukhumvit. In a setting decorated with pink heart balloons, I enjoyed a delicious meal together with four celebrity couples: Jay and Jareyadee Spencer, Sikanya Sktidej Bhanubandh and Nachanok Ratanadaros, Natalie Chearavanont and Krikphol Masayavanich and Chollada Mekratri and Prom Sirisant.
Friday: Fendi and Bulgari
On Friday there were two high-profile events, both at the same time, and in different areas of town. Fendi Casa celebrated its 30th anniversary with a party hosted by importer Motif at its Central Embassy store, while Bulgari launched its Fiorever collection at the new boutique at IconSiam. This called for some clever manoeuvring to be able to make it to both and I ended by going to Central Embassy first, after which I took the boat across to IconSiam. It meant I was early at one and late for the other, but at least I managed to put in an appearance at both.
Mikimoto's Latest Launch
Mikimoto, also, presented its Praise to Nature collection of dazzling pearl and diamond jewellery including a spectacular 20-million-baht necklace. Held at Siam Paragon in a setting surrounded by floral displays, Mikimoto’s Japanese executives were joined by Achiraya and Wanthani Inkatanuvat of Premier Diamonds, the local distributor.
Walking A Fineline
Suthidej and Patama Thakolsri of Neo Corporate, manufacturer of home consumer products, meanwhile, introduced the ambassador for their fabric care product brand Fineline, Yaya Urassaya Sperbund. Held at Central World, the event aims to link the brand to fashion, with an exhibition by well-known Thai designers and a talk by fashion gurus.
A Fabulous Luggage Preview
Another product event was the launch of Samsonite’s new global brand advertising campaign, Generation Go, featuring savvy female globetrotters. Also at Central World, the campaign highlighted three of the best-selling collections: Cosmolite, Lite-Box and Aspero.
Downtime With The Family
Finally, some family time. I am always being scolded for spending so much time at work that I neglect family affairs. So I made it a point to turn up for a dinner cooked by my nephew. Chef Jonathan Chantarasak is my brother’s son who was born and grew up in the UK. After graduating from university he decided he wanted to be a chef and came to Bangkok to attend Le Cordon Bleu Dusit. He worked for some Bangkok-based chefs including Jarret Wrisley and David Thompson before returning to London where he was the chef for the trendy Thai eatery Som Saa. He was in town last week as the guest chef at Soul Food Mahanakorn.
I also have a son who lives in the UK and he is now visiting with his partner and adopted four-year-old son, so my weekend was spent playing grandmother. Not something I get to do often so I had a really wonderful time—just wish it could be on a more regular basis. I’ve just decided I do like being a grandmother.
(Previously: Naphalai's Diary: January 28-February 3)