Naphalai's Diary: August 20-26
You can have too much of a good thing.
On Saturday I had an omakase lunch of 17 items paired with seven Piper Heidsieck champagnes that lasted three hours. This was at the award-winning Sushi Zo restaurant. According to Piper Heidsieck importer Julalak Ponpipom, in Japan more people are turning to champagne to pair with omakase instead of sake and this is the first time it is being done in Bangkok. Being a champagne lover myself, I am all for it. I also had the opportunity to meet the owner of this international chain, Robert Schuler, who has lived in Thailand for almost 20 years but has remained below the radar. The omakase dinner will be held one evening every month at a Sushi Zo.
Then in the evening I attended a farewell party for the outgoing Indian ambassador HE Bhagwant Bishnoi and his wife Rupa organised by ML Poomchai Chumbala at his Agalico House. The host had gone all out for his Bollywood party with the decor, food and even costumes for his guests. So after a big lunch I then had a big dinner—at least it was vegetarian. And there was some exercise in the form of Bollywood dancing, so it wasn't all as bad as it could have been.
You can also have too much of a bad thing.
And that's bottom-numbing traffic jams. The week before I was stuck in a gridlock for three hours and last week it was two hours for a journey that would normally take less than an hour. I really don't know how much longer I can put up with this. Before when we were at our Sathorn office I would complain about bad traffic maybe once a month. But here it appears to be weekly!
Last week started off with a lunch at Siwilai City Club to announce Central Tham, the Central Group’s CSR programme which extends into CSV, or creating shared values. The fours pillars of this concept, which involves improving the livelihood and well-being of the people the group works with, are people, community, environment, peace and cultures. The executives behind Central Tham are Pichai Chirathivat and senior adviser and former Bank of Thailand governor Dr Prasarn Trairatvorakul.
Central also held its annual watch fair at the Chidlom branch, presided over by HRH Princess Soamsawali. As usual, the watch-loving princess spent a long time at each booth and ended up buying several pieces. In the evening there was a reception with celebrities displaying some very pricey limited edition watches in a fashion show that had been presented for the princess earlier.
There were two other watch events last week.
Jaeger Le-Coultre celebrated the launch of its new collection inspired by the Memovax Polaris from 1968 at Siam Paragon. Panerai, meanwhile also launched its new collection at its shop at Siam Paragon. Known for its masculine oversized watches, Panerai has now produced the Luminor Due, its smallest watch at 38mm. That is one that would definitely look good on my wrist.
I also went to the opening of Swarovski’s concept store at Central World with the Signature of the Crystal Forest theme and featuring a crystal rock TV display, the first of its kind in Bangkok. Welcoming guests was Aymeric Lacroix, managing director for Southeast Asia and India. Also attending was Mew Nittha Jirayungyurn, named one of Swarovski’s Brilliant 8 group of inspiring women in the region.
At the plaza between Siam Centre and Siam Discover, Fineline laundry softener set up an installation to present the natural elements for the launch of its new fragrances influenced by nature, in the Closer to Nature Collection. The rain put in an unscheduled appearance and disrupted part of the proceedings although CEO Suthidej Thakolsri made sure as many of his guests as possible remained dry. No, the rainy season is not a good time to organise events.
Club 21 opened the Vetements pop-up concept store at EmQuartier. The crowd that turned up for the launch of this hot streetwear brand was very much a younger crowd and those who appreciate Georgian designer Demna Gvasalia’s edgy, oversized designs.
(Previously: Naphalai's Diary: August 13-19)