Monday, March 25, 2013

Breakfast in Manila with an ambassador's wife and a dog



The crisp invitation that landed on my table, complete with the official seal of the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands was too intriguing to resist: “Please come and have a Lazy Breakfast with Martine and Max,” it read.

The date was for March the 19th at 9 AM.

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It was a busy work day, of course. But I like Madame Martine Boon von Ochssee, wife the the Ambassador of the Netherlands, a lot.

And I hadn’t enjoyed a “lazy breakfast” in a very long time.

Consul Fortune Ledesma of Monaco


A DOG AS A CO-HOST

These were just the excuses I needed to play hooky for a morning and literally just hang out with a group of diplomatic and society ladies, talking about travel and dogs.

With Consul Helen Ong of Angola, Ms. Minerva Tanseco,
the painter Betsy Westendorp, and Madame Yan Donko of Austria


Dogs were a hot topic that morning because Max, Madame Boon von Ochssee’s co-host for this “lazy breakfast” at her beautiful modern home, was actually a lively little dog.

The good Ambassador, H.E. Ton Boon von Ochssee, was nowhere in sight. But Max was certainly one of the celebrities at the party, with his own place of privilege right in the living room.

OTHER DOG GUESTS AT THE PARTY

Max had his own guests as well.

Madame Isabelle Garachon, wife of the Ambassador Gilles Garachon of France, was present at this breakfast, and she had brought her dog with her to keep Max company.

They had their own tete-a-tete in the living room while we ladies sat around tables on the terrace.

Madame Isabelle Garachon on France, Sevrine Miailhe,
and Madame Martine Bon von Ochsee of the Netherlands


And, of course, as long as I’m around, travel will be a big topic.

HOLIDAYS, HERE WE COME

Everyone was exchanging notes on where they’re headed for the Holy Week holidays.

I’m going to India for an interesting and pretty luxurious adventure -- and a much-needed holiday.

Meanwhile. several ladies at the breakfast also confirmed they’re joining me on a Travelife to Sri Lanka this July. We’re certainly going to have lots of fun.

SIMPLY DELICIOUS FOOD



Meanwhile, for the breakfast, Madame Boon von Ochssee entertained as always with homey warmth, cosmopolitan flair and simple elegance.

Every savoury and sweet treat laid out so prettily on two square tables in her official dining room was made in her own kitchens.




There were plates of fruit, and all kinds of breads and cheeses.

And a very delicious onion and bacon quiche that I had three large servings of.

This quiche was absolutely delicious


I could’ve lazily stayed way into lunch, enjoying this Dutch hospitality.

A TRAVELIFE TO PLAN.
NO ONE TRAVELS LIKE US.

Everyone relaxed on the terrace with lovely food and great company

Unfortunately, my Travelife was literally calling me back to the office as I had our next issue to close (on sale everywhere from April 15) and trips to India, Danang, France, Spain, Tanzania and Kenya to finalize.

Before leaving, I had a few minutes with Madame Boon Von Ochssee.

What a lovely idea,” I said to her. “It was so nice to see all the ladies in such a fun and relaxed setting.”

Madame Boon Von Ochssee smiled and replied: “We’ll have more of these fun events soon…”

This also appeared in The Diplomatic Travelife column in the March 24, 2013 issue of Business Mirror, the leading daily business newspaper.




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