Naphalai's Diary: December 2-8
Last week Bangkok showed its good face: light traffic (Thursday was a public holiday), breathable air and temperatures that went down to the low 20s. If only it could always be like this, I swear I would never have another unkind word to say about it again. But then, of course, we know that this is only a fleeting mask that our city puts on once in a blue moon, as if to say, hey, I can also be nice but don’t expect it all the time. Look, we are not asking for all the time, but perhaps more than one week out of a whole year? Even a month would be acceptable. Living in Bangkok would be a privilege if only these three elements could remain the way they were last week.
Unfortunately, we have no choice. This is our city and we learn to live with the bad while rejoicing in the good. I suppose there is nowhere in the world where everything is perfect (that’s why Utopia doesn’t exist in the real world) but as long as we are able to laugh more than we cry, then it probably means that things are going as well as can be expected. To be fair, there is still a lot going for the City of Angels at the top of which must be its dining scene. And last week, I enjoyed quite a bit of the best of this.
A Wine Masterclass
Actually, looking back, the last seven days were dominated by lots of eating and drinking. It started off with a masterclass by wine cellar company Temptech featuring Chateau Margaux wines. Even for a non-connoisseur like me, I could tell we were tasting some really exceptional oenological products. Held at La Casa Nostra, Chateau Margaux managing director Aurelien Valance introduced us to five vintages: two of the lower tier Pavillion Blanc du Chateau Margaux 2010 and 2016 and three Chateau Margaux 2003, 2000 and 1996. Now I know why this brand is so highly rated.
Good wines go with good food, and my dinner at White Lies had lots of both. The restaurant belonging to the Areeya Property group is located in a quiet corner at Peninsula Plaza. Chef Maurizio Menconi serves Italian omakase, or classic Italian in a multi-course, no-choice chef’s menu, at the 22-seat restaurant. Refined and elegant, I and my dining companions, Chulalaxana and MR Nicholas Dilok Chudadhuj, greatly enjoyed the experience.
Dinner With Self-Portrait
Another dinner was hosted by Self-Portrait, the UK brand with fans including Reese Witherspoon and Gigi Hadid, to celebrate its launch in Bangkok. Creative director and founder Han Chong and managing director Rachada Chaiyachote welcomed fashionistas to the opening of the boutique at Central Embassy, the first in Asia. This was followed by dinner at Park Hyatt’s outdoor Garden Terrace, which proved to be a wonderful location with the cooler temperature. Catching up with Chong was Thai designer Vatanika Patamasingh, who was his classmate when they were studying together at Central Saint Martins in London.
The Latest Supanniga
I also had a lunch hosted by Duangkamol Vephula Waagensen to thank the media on behalf of Georg Jensen, the Danish brand of which she and her husband are the local distributors. It was at Supanniga Eating Room’s new branch on Charoenkrung Soi 38. Inspired by the recipes of his grandmother, owner Thanareuk Laoraowirodge introduces some heritage dishes not available at the other branches.
A Grand (Hyatt) Thank-You
Grand Hyatt Erawan also held a media thank-you dinner which I was not able to stay for, but I did drop by to say hello to general manager Edouard Demptos and his team. There were stations serving some really interesting pre-dinner dishes, including lobster pizza—which I couldn’t say no to. I must say it was really good.
Annual Anantara Tree Lighting
Anantara Siam hosted as well its tree lighting attended by ML Saralee Kitiyakorn representing HRH Princess Soamsawali Krom Muen Suddhanarinatha. A big attraction of this annual event is the food: stations offering a wide selection of specialities including turkey. That’s where I normally have my turkey feast but wasn’t able to this year as I had to rush off for something else.
The Oasis Of Diamonds
Finally, on Saturday I went to Central Chidlom for Beauty Gems’ The Oasis of Diamonds, an exhibition and sale of dazzling jewellery in a desert-like setting. Host Suriyon Sriorathaikul made sure his guests had plenty to eat, with Chinese, Japanese and Western food catered by his restaurants. There was also a fashion show featuring the jewellery collection highlighted by a 77-carat diamond necklace.
Previously: Naphalai's Diary: November 25-December 1