Naphalai's Diary: October 14-20
It was billed as a think tank meeting...
Whatever, it was the first time the company had ever organised such an event: an off-site meeting to brainstorm ideas. Blue Mango chairman Nigel Oakins decided to pretty much close the office and holed us away at Pacific City Club for a full day of brain exercise. He acted as mentor together with advertising guru Kevin Clarke. We were divided into three groups to work on new initiatives that can help the company grow. The winning team (not mine unfortunately) won a bottle of wine for each of its members. Some good ideas came out of the meeting but most of all, it was a good opportunity to show the staff that we can come up with creative input by putting their heads together.
Other than that the week was rather quiet event-wise. Work-wise it wasn’t so good as we lost one day as Monday was a public holiday, plus another day gone because of the off-site meeting. It would have been a relaxing week if it weren’t for the fact that we were trying to close the November issue by Friday—which of course didn’t happen.
The New Alliance Francaise Turns 1
So what events did I attend last week? The main one was the gala dinner to celebrate the first anniversary of Alliance Francaise’s new building. There is an interesting story behind this. Initially, the French cultural centre moved from Sathorn to a new site on Wireless. However, it became part of One Bangkok’s land so the developer, Frasers Property and TCC Assets, undertook to build a bigger, modern structure just metres away from the existing one. This new building was inaugurated in July 2018.
The Alliance director Pascale Fabre organised a black-tie dinner at the centre itself that started with a cocktail reception followed by a programme in the auditorium to provide a report on last year’s activities. Speeches were made by Dr Jingjai Hanchanlash, the Alliance’s chairman, and HE Jacques Lapouge, French ambassador, as well as a show on the piano accompanied by large gongs performed by Melanie Sukosol Clapp. The main aim, however, was to pay tribute to the late French sculptress Valerie Goutard, better known as Val, through raising funds to present a permanent installation of her work at the Alliance. Also present at the event was Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi, CEO of Thai Beverage.
Farewell Dinner For The Canadian Ambassador
There were other events attended by members of the diplomatic corps, including a farewell dinner for Canadian ambassador Donica Pottie and husband Scott Slessor hosted by ML Poomchai Chumbala at his Thai house. Ambassador Pottie is being reassigned to Lebanon after three years in Thailand. Also attending were Italian ambassador HR Laurenzo Galanti and his wife, Turkish ambassador Evren Dagdelen Akgun and ambassador of Malta Michael Douglas Mann and his wife, and Watt and Juling Chirathivat.
Tea With Elizabeth Romhild
Artist Elizabeth Romhild also organised a tea for ambassador’s wives and other guests at her studio at her condominium in Soi Nana Nuea. Joining in were Olga Tapiola, wife of the EU ambassador, Chrissy Macpherson, wife of the New Zealand ambassador, Marie Patricia Cotter, wife of the Irish ambassador and Susie A Ruff, wife of the Danish ambassador. It was a nice ambience to have tea surrounded by the artist’s works.
Grand Opening Of TELA Thonglor
TELA Thonglor held a reception to launch its Sky Villa, the penthouse furnished by Roberto Cavalli. Already 90 per cent sold with only five units remaining, the event was also to thank the luxury condominium’s clients. Developed by Gaysorn Property, top management led by Charn Srivikorn and Fafuen Temboonkiat were on hand to welcome the guests.
Dinner At Yao, Bangkok Marriott Surawongse
There was also dinner at Yao Chinese restaurant of Bangkok Marriott Surawongse to meet the new general manager Blair Fowler. Yao is probably the only Chinese restaurant in town with an open rooftop bar, which is where we enjoyed the food presented at booths set up. Dessert was an interesting take on the Thai kanom tung tak, a pancake-like sweet that was inexpensive in the old days, hence the name meaning dessert for those without money. However, here it was presented scattered on a table together with other sweets highlighted by a huge egg-shaped white chocolate confection. Everyone could dig in and help themselves to whatever they fancied. Nice sweet ending to the event.
The Gem Of Thrones
And finally I stopped by the Gem of Thrones, a tea organised by Chuchai Chairittilert of Gempeace to unveil its new collection. Although the dress code hinted at a Games of Thrones theme, none of the guests quite made the look. But everyone had fun all the same.
Previously: Naphalai's Diary: October 7-13