In Manila yesterday, living a Travelife, I attended the grand launch of Solaire Resort in the afternoon.
It was a major event graced by President Aquino himself, and attended by practically everyone who was anyone in this small town.
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Then I rushed back home to get dressed and head to the Makati Shangri-la for the 41st grand dinner of the Chaine des Rotisseurs, an international food society that was established in Europe in the 13th century.
A NIGHT OF SHAKESPEARE
Last night's dinner was a long gown and black-tie affair featuring 10 courses with a Shakespearean theme.
I had about 30 minutes to dress up and head out again.
When I returned from the Solaire event, I hadn't even thought about what I would wear for the long gown dinner of the Chaine. I was about to select one of the many sarees I'd picked up last month on a Travelife to Colombo, when I realized this was rather inappropriate for a dinner with a Shakespearean theme.
|This was the very long menu of the dinner last night|
MEDIEVAL, BUT MADE IN DUBAI
So I rummaged through my gowns and found a purple gown created by a designer in Dubai.
It was a Middle Eastern dress but it had a sort of medieval design. So I literally jumped into it and then jumped into the car to head to Makati Shangri-la.
I was already late when I got there, but it was a decent sort of late.
Unfortunately, just as I was about to enter the venue, I spotted all the Chaine members mulling about, and everyone was wearing their Chaine medallions.
THIRD TIME UNLUCKY
I couldn't believe I'd forgotten to wear my Chaine medallion again. This was the third event in a row which I'd done so.
The last two events, I'd sent my driver back to pick up the medallion at home.
|The induction ceremony of the Chaine...|
This time, same thing.
By the time I'd organized my medallion and all, the formal induction of new members into the society was in progress.
This was followed by the very grand dinner.
FORMAL AND FUN
|Each and every course was served and taken away at the same time.|
A grand dinner by the Chaine is very formal.
The dress code is strictly followed and everyone finds their seat via an elaborate seating chart. There are inhouse experts to annotate dinner and the accompanying wines served.
There are other rules as well.
Water is not served unless specifically requested, no extra seasoning or condiments are allowed, and discussions on politics and religion are actively discouraged. I think mobile phones have to be put on silent as well.
But the dinners are lots of fun.
UNITED BY A LOVE FOR FOOD
First, it's great to get together with different people who have one thing in common -- and that's the love of food and wine.
Second, there are quite a number of very well-read and well-versed people among Chaine members.
The guy on my right was quoting Shakespeare by heart, and the guy diagonally across me knew the history of the papacy in detail -- as in literally, through the centuries.
Yes, we talked about the popes through the ages, but this was more in a historical context rather than a religious context.
More on the actual ten-course dinner especially prepared by the Makati Shangri-la in my next blog entry.
This meal certainly made for another most wonderful evening in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.
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