Naphalai's Diary: September 24-30
Our Anniversary Ball
Thailand Tatler has been celebrating its anniversary each year for the last two decades and more with a gala event to which every self-respecting hi-so must get their hands on an invitation. The dress code has always been formal and elegant, in keeping with the magazine’s luxury image. This year, however, we decided to make it less formal but fun, with a Cuban theme. Which resulted in one of the best parties we’ve ever had—and that’s what our guests say, not us.
They came dressed in flounces and frills, with flowers and fruits as headdresses, and in the brightest colours under the sun. They drooled at the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT C supercar parked in the foyer, enjoyed rum cocktails, smacked their lips at the delicious Cuban dishes created by the Grand Hyatt Erawan and joined in the upbeat music and dancing by the Cuban troupe from Havana Social. Even after the annual awards were presented, when the guests normally rush en masse for the door, many remained on the dance floor and refused to leave until the band stopped playing.
Organising such an event for 450 people requires many hours of effort from the team, and I must say everyone pitched in wholeheartedly. Even then, it is not something that I look forward to each year. Actually, I dread it when September comes around. But the feedback this year was well worth the effort. Now we have to put our thinking caps on to come up with an equally fun theme for next year.
Thailand-Belgium 150 Year Gala Dinner
Ours wasn’t the only grand event last week. Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz and the Belgian embassy held the Thailand-Belgium 150 Year gala dinner at The Athenee Bangkok. Gracing the dinner were Princess Lea of Belgium and Prince Chalermsuk Yugala, who represented Princess Soamsawali as she was sick and couldn’t attend. The original menu that was presented to King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola when they visited Thailand in 1964 was served to guests, which included members of the families who met the Belgian royal couple over half a century ago. The menu consisted of consommé soup, crab gratin, poultry flammarion style with pommes parisien and asparagus salad, and ending with bresilienne for dessert.
A full programme had been organised for Princess Lea during her week-long stay and on Friday, I had the honour to be invited for a private dinner with her hosted by ML Poomchai Chumbala at his beautiful Thai home. The occasion turned out to be an evening with two princesses, the other being Princess Ashi Dechen Yangzom Wangchuk, youngest sister of King Jigme Khesar of Bhutan. Others among the 14 guests included Princess Lea’s companion Alain Zenner, Princess Ashi’s husband Tandin Namgyel, Count Gerald van der Straten Ponthoz and Belgian ambassador Philippe Kridelka and his wife Pascale Fabre. It was truly an elegant occasion as only ML Poomchai, the host with the most, can put together.
For The Love Of Truffle
That was the end of the week, but my week also started off with a dinner on Monday, held to introduce Urbani Truffle Bar and Restaurant at Sathorn Square. Although Urbani truffle products are available around the world, this is the first restaurant for the family that owns the brand. Established together with Roberto Ugolini, the Bangkok eatery presents cuisine that uses truffles imported fresh directly from Italy. In addition to a cellar stocked with premium wines, there are also truffle products on sale to take home.
Dusit Thani Celebrates 11 Years With Le Cordon Bleu
Still on the topic of food, I also stopped by at the Dusit Thani for the celebration of the 11th year of partnership between the hotel group and Le Cordon Bleu with the launch of three special desserts to celebrate the occasion. With the demolition of the hotel in January, Le Cordon Bleu Dusit Culinary School will move to Zen Tower at Central World. There will be more space over three floors and with an investment of 300 million baht, it will be the best-equipped and most modern culinary institute in the region.
At Siam Paragon, there were two events...
The first was My Franck Muller, a photo exhibition of 60 individuals who admire the brand, taken by photographers Thanakorn Poshyananda and Eknaree Wachirabunjong. With so many different models, according to Franck Muller COO Nicholas Rudaz, it would be possible for each one to wear a different model. The exhibition was organised by local distributor Pendulum.
The other event was hosted by Hafele, supplier of complete building solutions for homes from Germany. In addition to celebrating its 24th year, managing director Volker Hellstern also introduced Kimberly Ann Woltemas, a Thai-German actress, as the company’s presenter. Guests enjoyed a fashion show as well as ideas for home improvement.
Vatanika X Oriental Princess
Skincare company Oriental Princess is expanding into lifestyle products with the launch of bags designed by Vatanika Patamasingha na Ayudhya. The Veda and Vanda lines were unveiled at a tea at The Athenee. Love the bright motifs that Vatanika has produced for the bags.
S’uvimol 100 Iconic Colours
Finally, Patcharapimon Youngprapakorn, owner of the S’uvimol brand of exotic leather accessories, held an exhibition of the Mini Square F bags in 100 different colours at the Emporium. Ever the flamboyant dresser, she was clad in a crocodile skin outfit in blue and green. We hear that she will be designing a line of clothing as well.
(Previously: Naphalai's Diary: September 17-23)