Naphalai's Diary: August 5-11
Mother's Day in Thailand
With the 87th birthday of HM Queen Sirikit the Queen Mother, also National Mother's Day, just around the corner, last week there were several events in her honour. It was also the opportunity for restaurants and retail outlets to offer promotions for that most important lady in your life, without whom you wouldn't be around. So do something special for her on Mother's Day, but don't stop there as she deserves your attention not just only on that day, but every day.
I went to a few events organised to celebrate the royal birthday and Mother's Day. Her Majesty has spent the better part of her life promoting Thai arts, crafts and textiles in order to lift villagers from poverty. At EmQuartier the Support Arts and Craft International Centre of Thailand (SACICT) together with the Emporium and the Government Savings Bank co-hosted the EmMomories exhibition of traditional textiles and crafts produced by local, ethnic and tribal groups. There were also booths offering a variety of quality products for sale.
At IconSiam was the Thai Treasures exhibition showcasing Thai textiles and fashion combined with Thai rice. Organised with the Ministry of Culture, the Thai Rice Foundation and Chat rice brand, the event featured displays of local rice types for good health and Thai silk from five communities. The highlight was a fashion show with top models in traditional costumes, dresses from the four regions and contemporary outfits by designer Ek Thongprasert. The opening was presided by deputy prime minister Wissanu Kruea-ngam and culture minister Itthiphol Kunplome. After, the mall's consultant Kleddao Panichsamai kindly hosted dinner at D'Ark for a few of us ladies.
Mother's Day At Lady L
I also joined the afternoon tea for Mother's Day at Lady L Garden Bistro at Nai Lert Park available until the end of the month. However, only until August 12, guests can view for the first time ever an exhibition of the clothes and accessories of the late matriarch of the family, Thanpuying Lursakdi Sampatisiri. The mini-exhibition was organised by her granddaughter Naphaporn Bodiratnangkura to mark what would have been her 100th birthday.
Women With Wine
Still on the subject of women, at the Austrian Embassy was the Women With Wine event featuring three ladies: Benjawan Wisootsat of Fin Wines, Jutamas Theantae of Karmakamet Diner and winemaker Dorli Muhr of Muhr-van der Niepoort. Together they presented an evening of premium wines paired with good food. Actually, there was a fourth female element as the ambassador, HE Dr Eva Hager, is also a lady.
Norway In Thailand
Another embassy also with a female ambassador is that of Norway, HE Kjersti Rodsmoen, who also hosted a food event, in this case on behalf of the Norwegian Seafood Council. Norway is one of the world's leading exporters of seafood. According to the NSC's Southeast Asia regional director Asbjorn Warvik Rortveit, Thailand is an important market in the region for Norwegian salmon. Guests at the event had Japanese dishes prepared by chef Puttipong Wichachai, winner of the NSC's Global Sushi Academy competition who will be representing Thailand at the World Sushi Cup tournament in Tokyo this month. With the culinary skill of the chef and the freshness of the seafood from Norway, it was a very enjoyable experience.
More Japanese food came with the relaunch of JW Marriott Bangkok's Tsu. Hotel general manager Peter Caprez, one of Bangkok's longest-serving hotel executives, hosted the reopening of the renovated restaurant with a loads of food including fresh sashimi from a huge tuna carved by the chefs at the event.
Bath & Body Works Goes Gingham
Also just in time for Mother's Day, Bath & Body Works unveiled its new core collection Gingham blending the fragrance of white florals with blue freesias and other blossoms. Distributor Valiram turned Escape at EmQuartier into a garden of white and blue blooms where guests were able to participate in gingham-pattern manicure, dried flower hoop embroidery and candle personalisation workshops. Such a relaxing way to spend an afternoon.
A Jim Thompson Pop-Up
Over at Siam Paragon, Jim Thompson opened a pop-up store at the very prominent Hall of Fame location on the main floor. Until August 22, clients can peruse its range of clothing, scarves and accessories. In addition this pop-up also has a section for furniture and furnishing items and fabrics featuring a collaboration with Alexander Lamont, known for his fine craftsmanship and use of exotic materials. This store also offers personalisation services.
RCB Presents The Italian Renaissance In 2019
For art buffs, River City Bangkok presents an immersive multimedia exhibition on the Italian Renaissance. With the success of the From Monet to Kandinsky show, RCB Galleria is now focusing on the works of the Italian masters: Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli and Raphael. Managing director Linda Cheng welcomed guests to the opening and the presentation of the premiere of the multimedia programme created especially for River City. The show runs until October 21. Prior to the opening there was a press conference to launch Refill Not Landfill, a campaign by businesses in the Bangkok River group to provide free water refill stations to encourage the public to reduce single-use plastic bottles.
Drinks At The Mandarin
I also made a brief stop at Mandarin Oriental and I must say it was unusual to see it so empty. This is because many sections of the hotel are closed for a major renovation. I was there for a mixologist masterclass conducted by Agung Prabowo, founder of the award-winning bar The Old Man in Hong Kong. I am not normally a fan of cocktails but I must say one of his vodka-based signatures was actually very drinkable and likeable.
Omega Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11
Finally I took a ride in a time machine back to the moon landing half a century ago. Omega, whose Speedmaster watch was worn on this historic occasion, held the Golden Moments party to celebrate its 50th anniversary and the launch of the Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition. In addition to viewing vintage Omega timepieces, brand manager and The Swatch Group Trading Thailand general manager Tipanat Lenbury organised several Instagram opportunities: for guests to be photographed as though they were floating in space, next to a giant model of the Lunar Excursion Module or by a gold figure of an astronaut. They could also meet guest of honour Col Terry Virts, a NASA astronaut since 2000.
Omega’s event made an impact in more ways than one. It was held at One Bangkok, an exhibition space at the corner of Wireless and Rama IV, which has parking for probably no more than 30 cars. Since the guests numbered several hundred, there was not enough parking and the cars spilled onto Wireless Road, holding up traffic at one of the city’s busiest intersections. Not a pleasant experience for guests who took several hours to get there or the other drivers on that stretch of road.
Previously: Naphalai's Diary: July 29-August 4