Naphalai's Diary: April 1-7
As the country’s top-selling restaurant guide...
It was only natural that Central Phuket partnered with Thailand Tatler Best Restaurants 2019 for the launch of the Summer Sweets campaign in conjunction with Mitr Phol and Central Pattana. A total of 13 restaurants in this new wing, known as Floresta, participated by creating special recipes for the promotion, running from April 4 to May 31. The launch was a tea event, but representatives of Phuket’s social scene who turned up were dressed to the nines. Which made me feel decidedly underdressed, especially since I had to make an appearance on stage, with Sirinij Chokechairitthikul of Mitr Phol, and Ongart Suklertkamol and Wilaiporn Pitimanaaree of CPN.
I would have liked to try all the desserts prepared by the participating restaurants but that would have spiked my sugar level no end, so instead we went to Divana Signature Café for a more manageable menu organised by Plenpit Ranuraksa. The teas here are Divana’s own blends and are an indulgence when combined with a hand massage as you are sipping your beverage.
With the trip to Phuket, I had a rather short week in Bangkok but was still able to get in a few events. One of these was a big affair to introduce Dusit Central Park. On the grounds of the now-closed hotel will rise a mixed-use project featuring a luxury residence, office tower, shopping mall, rooftop park and the rebirth of a new Dusit Thani Bangkok. Expected to cost 36.7 billion baht, it is a joint venture between Dusit Thani and Central Pattana. The reception, headed by Dusit CEO Suphajee Suthumpun and CPN deputy CEO Wallaya Chirathivat, was held in the lobby area of the old Dusit Thani, its last party before the wrecking balls start demolishing this Bangkok landmark. A huge crowd turned up for the final goodbye which also saw many members of the Chirathivat family turning up as well as relatives and friends of Chanin Donavanik and his family.
New Launches From Louis Vuitton
Yet another invitation from Louis Vuitton. During the last year or so this was a brand that was very quiet in Thailand, as far as events went, then all of a sudden it went into overdrive with several within a period of a few months. Last week the maison held an exclusive party and preview for the launch of its pre-fall 2019 collection by Nicolas Ghesquiere as well as the men’s precollection by Virgil Abloh at One Bangkok. Where is that, you may well ask. It is a structure at the corner of Wireless and Rama IV that was built for the Bangkok Art Biennale and a great exhibition space. In connecting rooms, Louis Vuitton displayed its new clothing, leather goods, accessories and watch lines as well as the B Blossom jewellery collection and three perfumes for the summer. I especially love the new take on the Monogram Geant bags with its large monogram flowers.
A Lange & Sohne Opens New Store
A Lange & Sohne, meanwhile, celebrated the opening its second Southeast Asian boutique at Siam Paragon. Together with distributor Pendulum, the watch brand unveiled a showroom featuring 360-degree visibility. An Experience Library tells the story behind the brand, and those observant enough will spot a piece of the former Berlin wall, on display at each of the brand’s boutiques. Flying in for the event was international director Alexis de Laporte who was joined by Pendulum’s Yuki Srikarnchana.
H&M also unveiled its Conscious Exclusive collection of sustainable fashion with a focus on development and innovation. Made from recycled materials, this collection was first presented last month in Los Angeles and features easy-to wear styles for special occasions as well as more relaxed moments. The presentation was at the H&M showroom at Central World.
Runway Asia: Philippines
Still on fashion, Runway Asia presented the works of six designers from the Philippines, organised by fashion gurus Dong Omaga-Diaz and Len Nepomuceno-Mortel and businesswoman Rocky Hizon. Held at the Parrish Jones shop on Sukhumvit, the event was a show-cum-sale of clothes, bags and accessories using traditional hand-woven fabrics and Filipino materials.
With Songkran is just around the corner...
Thoughts are now turning towards the upcoming breaks. With the heat climbing to the 40s, a holiday by the beach sounds like the best bet. Water splashing is also a great idea to cool you down. Eating khao chae is another popular activity during this time of year. For ML Poomchai Chumbala, khao chae brings fond memories of his younger days and he always makes it a point to find the best sources for each item of this delicacy, rice in chilled water eaten with various condiments. Being invited to a khao chae meal at his beautiful Thai house is a sought-after event. Last week, he hosted such a party for the NewsMakers, a group of friends who organise the annual Clutter Sale. It was to celebrate the success of this year’s event, which saw a much larger crowd attending and raised more money than last year for charity.
Previously: Naphalai's Diary: March 25-31