Naphalai’s Diary: November 19-25
I’m totally partied out
—and we’re still only in November. Wait until December comes around—I just hope I don’t collapse under the weight of trying to attend too many events. There is way too much happening in Bangkok. You can very easily not have dinner at home seven days a week, which is what occurs regularly with me. And no, it’s not because I am such an important personality that I am deluged with invitations, but it is because I am a magazine editor. If I were just Ms Nobody, I wouldn’t bother going to most of the events anyway (and wouldn’t be invited to them all either) but it’s precisely because I am editor of Thailand Tatler that I try to turn up at as many parties as I can.
Anand Panyarachun Book Launch
Last week, however, a rebellious streak took hold. On Wednesday, there were eight invitations and for the first time, I decided I wasn’t going to do my usual running around. I chose one event, and that was it. Did I feel a bit guilty? Yes, but I must say it felt good. The event I did go to was the book launch of Anand Panyarachun and the Making of Modern Thailand, written by veteran journalist Dominic Faulder. Held at Bangkok Marriott The Surawongse, it was an interesting gathering of familiar faces who, once upon a time, were the country’s movers and shakers. The book published by Editions Didier Millet took five years in the making and, at 576 pages, is quite a detailed biography of one of the country’s most influential prime ministers. Anand was there escorted by his daughters Daranee Charoen-Rajapark and Nanda Krairksh.
Loy Krathong = Avoid The River
The next day was Loy Krathong day, which meant the one area to avoid was the Chao Phraya River as everyone would be heading there to float their offerings to the Mother of Water. However, Tiffany & Co chose to host a dinner for its high jewellery travelling collection at the riverside Peninsula Bangkok that evening. I decided to be smart and not drive there (and I was right as some who did reported a commute of two hours or more) but take the skytrain instead. Unfortunately too many others had the same idea—I had to wait for four trains, and that was with quite a bit of squeezing my way to the front, before I was finally able to get on. Needless to say I arrived at the Peninsula not a little dishevelled and not quite fitting in with the rest of the ladies looking elegant in their long gowns. After dinner, country manager Apinya Dolan led guests on boats from which they released their krathongs decorated with the Tiffany blue box in the middle of the river.
Gontran Cherrier Opening
Friday was my busiest day, with three events. In the morning I went to the new Singha Complex at the Asoke Petchburi junction for the opening of Gontran Cherrier—I know, I speak some French but even for me it is a bit of a mouthful to get the name out. It is one of France’s well-known bakeries with Bangkok being among the eight that fourth-generation baker Cherrier has opened outside of France. Sisters Suchunya and Supicha Kiatipoj are behind the Thai branch and hosted an opening attended by a huge crowd waiting to try Cherrier’s famed croissants and meet the chef in person.
U-P Sportswear Launch
McGroup, which produces Mc Jeans, has now branched into activewear and launched the U-P brand at Central World. Brand manager Kunanon Juntarapartsavorn introduced the Conceal and Reveal collection of clothing that can be worn for fitness activities or for casual wear. Male brand presenter Push Puttichai Kasetsin was introduced at the event.
Moroccan Night is always good.
In the evening was A Taste of Morocco, the annual food and cultural event hosted by the embassy of Morocco and The Sukosol Hotel. I love food from this part of the world so was not about to say no to the opportunity to feast on this cuisine. In addition, hosts Kamala Sukosol and ambassador HE Abdelilah El Housni are two very charming people to spend time with. I have been to dinner at the ambassador’s residence and each time there was so much food you could feed a small army. According to him, Moroccan hospitality is to make sure there is more food than guests.
On Saturday there were several interesting fairs that I wanted to go to, including the Ploenchit Fair’s final appearance on the grounds of the British embassy. In the end, I didn’t go to any but stopped by the International Dance Education Expo as part of the International Festival of Dance organised by Vararom Pachinsawat of the Friends of the Art Foundation. Held at EmQuartier’s Helix Garden, the event featured a performance by Italian Ludovica Ballarin as well as other dancers including Wattana Wattanawithee, winner of the Young Choreographer award.
150 Years Of GP
That evening was the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the GP Group, with business in the shipping, pharmaceuticals, construction and resources sectors, at the new Hyatt Regency Bangkok. The great-great grandfather of current chairman Kirit Shah founded the company in Mumbai and expanded in the region, setting up in Thailand in 1918. Kirit came on board in 1974 and expanded the business from its rice and grain trading base into an international conglomerate. He was joined by wife Anju and children Nishita, Sameera and Ishaan to welcome a huge crowd of guests who enjoyed entertainment from performers flown in from overseas and Indian and Thai delicacies.
(Previously: Naphalai's Diary: November 12-18)