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Hi, I'm back.

Sorry I missed the week of April 9—did anyone even notice?—but everyone knows that nothing happens during Songkran week other than an orgy of water-splashing, so there really wasn't anything to talk about. There was only one event (more about that later), but that was it if you're not into getting your clothes wet and your face powdered. But I did enjoy the break, though we only got four, not five,  days off like the government offices. I didn't go anywhere as long holidays are really the best time to stay in Bangkok where the streets are uncharacteristically empty. I must add that in the past, you are more likely than not to find just about everything closed but I notice more businesses are now staying open especially restaurants and retail places.  

Thailand Tatler's Best Restaurants 2018

Anyway a day after we got back from Songkran we had one of our most eagerly awaited events: the launch of Thailand Tatler Best Restaurants 2018, the only restaurant guide in Thailand that has been published continuously since 2001. We're the go-to tome for information about the places for the best dining in Bangkok as well Chiang Mai, Hua Hin, Pattaya, Phuket and Samui. Each restaurant is visited by food writers anonymously and points are given in four areas: food, setting, drinks and service. For the first time last year we gave out awards for the Top 10 and this year it was expanded to the Top 20.

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 Thailand Tatler's Best Restaurants 2018 [continued]

The launch event was held at Zen Event Gallery at Central World and as in past years many of the restaurants listed in the guide participated with tasting booths. This year some 45 eateries joined us, providing the large crowd of restaurateurs, hoteliers and celebrities who turned up with a feast. Thank you to Central World and Zen plus all the other sponsors for helping us to make this a great success yet again. 

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So what other events were there last week?

Quite a bit actually even though the roads were still relatively light as not everyone was back from their long (and longer) vacations. We couldn't let Songkran month go by without eating that special summer dish, khao chae, and man-about-town and good friend ML Poomchai Chumbala kindly made sure this happened at Klangsoi. According to him, this restaurant makes some of  the best of this dish in town. And I must say all of us at the lunch agreed after filling ourselves up on this speciality. 

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Khao chae with host ML Poomchai Chumbala at Klangsoi

Huawei's P20 & P20 Pro

Huawei meanwhile presented its "ultimate" smartphones, the P20 and P20 Pro at Central Embassy. Following the global launch in Paris last month, the event in Bangkok drew a huge crowd. After listening to Huawei deputy country director Tossaporn Nisthanon and chief marketing officer Chanvit Khieonavavongsa extolling the virtues of the phones and their powerful AI-driven cameras developed with Leica, I must say I felt like I had to get my hands on one too. Would certainly help to improve the quality of my pictures for you readers if I had one. 

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Launch of Huawei's new P20 phones

There were some new brand launches last week,

... including Oysho from Spain, which opened at Central World. The flagship store carries underwear, nightwear, beachwear and exercise and leisure wear, as well as accessories, for ladies.  Another new brand that has landed in the City of Angels is Giorgio Armani Beauty under the umbrella of L'Oreal Thailand. Managing director Nathalie Gerschtein Keraudy welcomed invitees including guest of honour Praya Lundberg. Held at Zen Event Gallery under the theme of Fil Rouge, the products unveiled were Lip Maestro lipstick, My Armani To Go cushion powder and Luminous Silk foundation, all of which were available for guests to try. 

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From left to right: Ornapha Krisadee at the opening of Oysho; Antoine Wassef, Isareit Chirathivat plus other execs; and me of course!

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 At the Giorgio Armani Beauty launch with Preyamon Thanavisuth and Chanadda Chirathivat in the mirror

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There had been some rain last week,

... bringing the temperature down, but unfortunately it went back up with a vengeance on Saturday, the day of the Beach Polo on the beachfront of InterContinental Hua Hin.  Co-organisers Suwat Liptapanlop and his family are on a cruise overseas, so it was up to Nunthinee Tanner and Harald Link of B Grimm to play host to the crowd. Starting with lunch from the many food stands at noon, guests were entertained with activities before the final between teams Thailand and Malaysia, with the visiting team winning the Princess Pa Cup. The event ended with a barbecue dinner where an auction raised more funds for the princess's Nabha Project.

Diary Mar Apr 16-22 05.jpgWith Siriporn Panupong representing Nabha Foundation at Beach Polo; barbeque dinner at Beach Polo

And the event that I mentioned earlier?

It was the introduction of Sisley's Hair Rituel, the first hair products from this French skincare and cosmetics brand. Joining Rujitr Suthanaseriporn for the launch held at Ce La Vi were Sisley's regional executives Nicolas and Nathalie Chesnier. I would have stayed longer but my husband's birthday was the same day so—dutiful wife that I am—I dashed back home to have dinner with him. Didn't quite make it in time but I hope he appreciated the thought!  

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With Areerat Krissanasmit and Khunying Chodchoy Sophonpanich at Sisley Hair Rituel

(Previously: Naphalai's Diary: April 2-8)

Tags: Naphalai's Diary, Thailand Tatler Best Restaurants, Thailand Tatler's Best Restaurants, Best Restaurants 2018, Naphalai Areesorn