"A palace official is here to see you,"
says the office receptionist. As you would expect, my first reaction was one of incredulity. What would the palace want with me? I went out with great trepidation to the reception, and there was this not-so-young lady in an official khaki uniform holding a paan (tray on a pedestal), on which was an envelope. It was a greeting card from HRH Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana. I have received cards from HRH before but not during the last few years and never with the personalised service. So it's nice to see that I am back on the mailing list. Unlike the previous ones which looked more like fashion shoots, this year's card features casual pictures of HRH with her dogs and horses, plus a beautiful formal one of the princess in a tiara.
A winning streak perhaps...
So that was a highlight of last week, which was, again, rather heavy on food, starting with a lunch hosted by Issey Miyake at Morimoto. The ladies from distributor Club 21 led by Sopavadee Bejrati and Issey Miyake brand manager Praewa Pongsathorn were there to take care of the media guests. I don't normally order beef for the main course but I'm glad I did as it really was among the best I've had. Also making the event special was this: I won a door prize! Remember how I said earlier that I never win anything? It's true–—I've been to a party where nearly all the guests won something except for me. But it looks like my luck is changing—–this is the second prize I've won within a month!
Dinner At Haoma
That evening I had dinner at Haoma, a new restaurant that’s slightly hard to find on Sukhumvit Soi 31 but worth it when you get there. Chef Deepanker Khosla offers urban-farming dining, which means using the ingredients grown on-site (31 varieties) plus those from organic suppliers. In a glass and green setting, diners can enjoy creative vegetable and meat specialities, which was what my friends and I did.
Lunch at Sava, Dinner at J'Aime
The next day was another one with lunch and dinner obligations. The lunch was hosted by fashion designer Polpat Asavaprapha of the Asava label at his Sava Dining at EmQuartier. It always amazes me how this energetic man, who seems to be everywhere and doing everything, copes with all on his plate. He is celebrating the 10th anniversary of his brand and you can expect he will be coming up with quite a few surprises. In the evening I had dinner at J’Aime by Jean-Michel Lorain, hosted by Charlotte Tanneur, marketing and communications manager of Van Cleef & Arpels. You know how some people are suited to certain careers? Well, this chatty, always-smiling lady is in the right job and it was nice to spend time with her. The food at J’Aime was, as always, deserving of the one Michelin star it acquired in the inaugural Thai edition.
Opening of Patcharavipa
There were several other events last week that I had to miss as I had to be in the office because of work, which doesn’t look as though it will ever be finished. But I did manage to squeeze in the opening of Patcharavipa, the opening of the showroom of young designer Patcharavipa Bodiratnangkura. This young lady, a graduate of Central Saint Martins, the mecca of wannabe young Thai designers, started to create jewellery at the age of 13. Her flagship store is located at the family’s Bhakdi building, where brother Pollawut also has a showroom for his classical and antique reproduction furniture from Jonathan Sainsbury of the UK. Mother Sanhapit and sisters Naphaporn and Duangpatra were there to lend support.
Before I wound down for the weekend, I had one last mission. How many of you have heard of the Clutter Sale? You haven’t? How can you not—–it’s only been around for the last 11 years! It’s a charity event that my friends and I have been organising where those who want to empty out their closets bring their unused goods to sell. The venue is the ballroom which Anantara Siam (since its Four Seasons days) has generously contributed for this one-day affair. We had our first meeting to start work on the 12th Clutter Sale, which will be held on Saturday, March 31. Those who want to participate can do so in three ways: buy a table to sell their stuff, donate whatever they no longer need, or just come on the day to buy and have fun. People who come are bound to find something they like (no-one goes home empty handed) and many have ended up with designer products at a fraction of the real price. And it’s all for a good cause. All proceeds go to the Genetic Cancer Research Center of Chulalongkorn Hospital. So anyone out there who is interested to take a table or donate their clutter, please contact me.
(Revisit: Naphalai's Diary: January 1-7)