Naphalai’s Diary: December 10-16
I missed several events last week.
Not because I was sick or anything like that, in case you care to ask—but because I was in Hong Kong from mid-week to the weekend. Among those I had to take a raincheck were for the opening of the Prada and Miu Miu store at Siam Paragon and Gucci at Iconsiam. But I did attend the opening of the renovated Louis Vuitton boutique at Siam Paragon. Hosted by general manager Laurent Barrere, this showroom as well as the one at Iconsiam is decorated with art by local designers, among them Ploenchan Vinyaratn, who created textile pieces hanging from the ceiling at the Iconsiam branch.
Also, for the first time in Bangkok, the Objets Nomades collection of travel-inspired pieces for the home was also featured at the Siam Paragon branch opening, including the egg-shaped Cocoon hanging chair and the Bomboca eight-piece modular sofa.
That was on Tuesday, Monday being a public holiday because of Constitution Day, and on Wednesday I was at Suvarnabhumi in the morning for my flight to Hong Kong. With the cool weather appearing to have decided to give Bangkok a miss this year, it was nice to arrive to a very pleasant temperature in the low 20s during the day going down to the low teens at night. In fact, it was almost cold, but I certainly wasn’t complaining as it was nice to have the opportunity to put my jackets to good use. We stayed at The Upper House, which has great views of The Peak.
We had been invited for the launch of L’Essence Fondamentale and L’Essence Lumiere, the new serums from the premium Sublimage line. At the Galerie Perrotin, decorated all-white and turned into a Chanel address, we were introduced to Armelle Souraud, international scientific communications director and Nicola Fuzzati, ingredients innovation and development director. They took us on a journey to the Southern French Alps, where an “open-sky laboratory” developed two key active ingredients from the solidago and anthyllis flowers grown at this botanical research station. The solidago extract used in L’Essence Fondamentale is said to improve cellular activity and restore skin density while the anthyllis extract in L’Essence helps in promoting skin radiance. We applied some drops of the essences on the back of our hands (I put off washing my hands for as long as possible after) and they certainly made them feel rejuvenated.
Discovering new skincare products was the objective of the trip, but we also took the opportunity to try out the dining scene. Our Chanel escorts from Thailand Proud Permpoolsombat and Khunnadech Mabuppha chose three Chinese restaurants for us to try: Mott 32, Summer Palace at Shangri-La Island and Tycoon Tann. My favourite? Probably Mott 32 as it presented Chinese cuisine with an interesting twist. The other two were also good, but at all of them we over ordered and ended up suffering from too much eating. Guess who is exercising like mad now to get off all those extra calories which were really not required?
Lobster dumpling at Mott 32
The best baked roast pork bun I've had, at a Summer Palace
Crab meat and egg white with Truffle at Tycoon Tann
Hong Kong is said to put up some great decorations for Christmas so we decided to also see the lights. We found some nice installations at Harbour City, but since I was expecting more, it was a bit anti-climactic. Or maybe we didn’t go to the right places. But the cool weather did help to make Christmas feel more “real”.
Back in Bangkok I had to attend my mother’s family’s annual ancestor worship tradition on Sunday. My mother comes from a large Chinese/Thai clan where the deceased senior members are buried at ancestral shrines in a cemetery at Samut Sakhon. Members of the clan, from young to old, gather every year to pay their respects, followed by lunch. Although my mother is no longer able to attend, we try to continue with the tradition. Besides, it is nice to be able to catch up with your relatives at least once a year.
(Previously: Naphalai's Diary: December 5-9)