Balai Isabel

A picture-pretty dinner party with three ambassadors and wonderful conversations about the world.

Last night, in Manila living a Travelife, I attended a very intimate sit-down farewell dinner hosted by an ambassador of a European country for another ambassador colleague, due to depart Manila soon.


The ambassador is a very learned gentleman who enjoys serious discussions about a wide variety of topics, including politics, history and literature.

Meanwhile, the lady of the house is a very creative person who enjoys paying attention to the beauty of details.


Their dining room, in a fiery red with lovely antiques and Oriental porcelain, was very beautiful.

I kept wanting to take a photo, but I just couldn’t bring myself to take my camera out that high as we were a very small table of 8 persons.

But from where I sat in the middle of the table, it was really a lovely view of the accents Madame had placed in her dining room. It almost inspired me to paint my own walls red, as it was like viewing a painting, to see all these graceful objects amidst a red background.

I really enjoyed this dinner. It was small so everyone could have a very nice conversation about everything in life.


It helped greatly too that Madame prepared such wonderful food.

Everything was simply delicious.

But her starter of a beef gelee with horseradish on the side, and her main course of dumplings with sour cream were so tasty that I would have asked for seconds if I was not so conscious of being seated at dinner party for 8 persons, and there were three ambassadors in the room.

Madame’s dessert was so characteristic of her, as well.

It was so artistically done, with ruby red fruit jelly in the middle of some lovely frozen fruit.

The company chosen for this dinner was a very nice mix, too.


Everyone had lived in at least four or five different countries, and spoke at least four or five languages. So even if we were all from different countries (we were four Filipinos at that dinner), we could all relate to and discuss about other countries in depth.

It was like a first-degree of connectivity with the world.

6 out of 8 had a connection with Japan, everyone had a connection with France and could speak French, 6 out of 8 had a connection with Russia, and 5 out of 8 had a connection with China.

You get the picture.


The three ambassadors at that dinner were particularly conversant about history, politics and literature, so I was very much entertained with the discussions.

It certainly got me inspired to read more and to know more about the world from a perspective of real depth. It’s so nice to learn and understand how other people live, how cultures develop and how countries operate.

I could have sat there talking all night, enjoying just another wonderful evening in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.



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