Naphalai's Diary: January 6-19
We’re three weeks into the new year and new decade as well, and things haven’t started off on such a great footing. I have had a cough since Christmas and the darn hacking doesn’t show any signs of going away. At first, I thought it was because of a cold, but no, it is just a dry, rasping cough that is brought on by the dirty air pollution. The government thinks it is doing something by spraying a sprinkling of water into the air but in the meantime, our lungs are ingesting loads of PM2.5 particles that can damage organ function. I have taken to wearing a tiny portable air purifier that I clip on to the collar of my top or dress. I was rather sceptical about its efficacy but I must say I seem to be coughing less when I have it on.
You may have noticed that I went silent for the last few weeks as nothing much happens during the pre- and post-New Year periods. Not that I got much time off —we were hard at work on our annual Society and Expat Society lists in addition to the monthly magazine. The Christmas-New Year period is when many people get to take off on long holidays but no, not for us. It’s also when relatives from overseas visit including my son and his family, and it was unfortunate I could not spend as much time as I wanted with them.
Dior Spring-Summer 2020
Back at work, I went to three events held at unique venues perfect for those looking for a hidden gem to hold their wedding or party. The first was Aube at Ratchaphruek, with two large rooms surrounded by open lawn areas. Dior held its regional presentation for its women and men ready-to-wear and accessories spring-summer 2020 collections, the first regional event in Bangkok for Dior in a long while. The women’s collection was inspired by the environment and earth-tone shades while the men’s boasted bright pinks and blues. Since the venue is not centrally located, Dior kindly provided transportation there and back, which was greatly appreciated.
A Johnnie Walker Chinese New Year
The next one is Untitled, a small restaurant next to ATT 19 Gallery on Charoenkrung 30 that’s hidden from the road. Johnnie Walker Blue Label celebrated an early Chinese New Year with the launch of its limited edition Year of the Rat whiskey in a stylish bottle designed by Chinese artist Shirley Gong. Diageo managing director Alberto Ibeas hosted the dinner with a Chinese menu especially created for the occasion, paired with Johnnie Walker whiskies. Since it was a Blue Label event, the classic Chinese colour had been replaced with an elegant blue for the décor.
And finally Agalico at Sukhumvit 53 belonging to ML Poomchai Chumbala. He has expanded the former tea room and English garden to include a small chapel for weddings and both open and outdoor event spaces decorated in a European style. The host invited friends for a New Year tea and also to introduce the new space to them. He also made a donation of cuddly toys for underprivileged children to celebrate Children’s Day.
Opening of InterContinental Phuket Resort
The weekend of January 10 to 12 I was in Phuket for the opening of InterContinental Phuket Resort, owned by Proud Group. Although opened since October, it was celebrating its official launch with a grand event where Proud Group chairman Suwat Liptapanlop had pulled out the stops to make it a truly spectacular affair. Located on Kamala beach, the 221-room resort consists of a beachfront section connected by an underground path to the main hotel surrounded by pine forests. The resort showcases Thai heritage with visual and architectural works by well-known designers. Since its opening, it has already garnered international awards such as the 2019 Readers Choices, Best Overseas Hotel from Travel + Leisure China.
Cindy Chao in Bangkok
Cindy Chao, the jewellery brand known for its artistic designs, celebrated its 15th anniversary with an exhibition that featured its Aurora butterfly brooch—only one design is released each year—and one-of-a-kind Black Label masterpieces. In addition, 12 Thai celebrities were photographed by leading photographer Nat Prakobsantisuk with the brand’s jewel pieces and displayed during a dinner as a tribute to creativity and beauty. The exhibition and dinner were held at Waldorf Astoria. Flying in for the event was the designer herself, Cindy Chao, and her team.
More photos: Cindy Chao Brings A Glamorous Exhibition To Bangkok, Hosted With Thailand Tatler
Dinner at Tiffany's
Another jewellery company, Tiffany & Co, held its annual dinner for clients at the Marriott Marquis Bangkok, hosted by Wei Ling Wong, vice president for Asia Pacific and Apinya Dolan, retail director Thailand. This was followed by an after party at the hotel’s outdoor bar.
Sretsis X Morgan
Homegrown brand Sretsis launched its first collaboration with Morgan showing its resort and lingerie collections. Following cakes and drinks at Sretsis Parlour, there was a show at the boutique of the very feminine designs that any woman would love to have in her wardrobe. The three founder sisters, Pimdao, Klyduan, and Matina Sukhahuta were there to welcome the guests.
Lunch With Club 21
Then a lunch by Club 21 to welcome the New Year. Sopavadee Bejrati and Piyanat Chairat hosted the get-together for three senior editors at the new Co-Limited, co-owned by Polpat Asavaprapha and the Nara Group at Velaa Sindhorn. It was good to get together with three old friends, Krongkarn Pongsathorn, and Kessuda Marawichai, where local gossip was the agenda.
B Grimm-BMW Thai Polo Open
The past weekend I was at the Thai Polo and Equestrian Club in Pattaya for the B Grimm-BMW Thai Polo Open, the first major tournament of the season. Co-founder Harald Link’s team came in second in an exciting close match. In spite of a bad flu, the other co-founder, Nunthinee Tanner, dragged herself to the event to make sure everything went well. However, she had to leave early and asked me to stand in for her to present the awards for the best hat and best dress winners. Best dress went to Duangjai Phoin and best hat to Praewpreya Chumsai na Ayuthaya.
Previously: Naphalai's Diary: December 16-22