Perhaps rather appropriately for a never-endingly eventful Travelife, I hosted a dinner at home on the very first day of 2015 and my guests included a princess, an ambassador, and an international businessman with homes in at least six countries.
It was the first evening of the year as well as one of the last nights in a very long Christmas season, and I was sure that the last thing many of us wanted to do was to sit in another restaurant and have another very big meal.
So I offered to host everyone at my home instead, for an informal and relaxed evening.
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THE WORLD IS OUR TABLE
What an international, eclectic and cosmopolitan table we had last night, most of them just visiting Manila for a few days.
At my dinner table last night, we had six nationalities (not counting second or third passports), seven languages, and at least 12 homes, as every single guest last night spoke at least four languages and called a minimum of two countries their home.
Talk about a real Travelife of a table, with everyone so effortlessly switching languages and just as effortlessly gliding from one city to the next in topic. And the next. And the next.
WHAT A SMALL WORLD IT IS, TOO
And what a small world it truly is, as well.
We could talk about common friends and common experiences all over the world, in places as disparate as Zurich, Marrakech, Tokyo, Hong Kong and London.
SIMPLE BUT GOOD FOOD FOR DINNER
As for the dinner itself, well, what exactly do you serve a princess anyway on New Year’s Day?
I kept it simple and fuss-free, with sushi and tempura on a rotating table for cocktails, and salads and grilled meats straight from a robatayaki for a main course.
DRINKS ALL NIGHT
We opened a magnum of champagne to start, and then followed through with a bottle each of excellent red and white, before ending with very good French cognac which was bottled in the year I was born.
I won’t tell you the year, but all I can say is that this makes this cognac pretty impressive to drink.
MOROCCO ON MY MIND
And then tomorrow, I’m making a big Moroccan lunch for an equally large French family who so kindly hosted us for a day in France last summer.
I’ve been waiting for some lemons I preserved to be ready for a tagine, and these won’t be 100% ready for another two weeks. But I thought I’d try some anyway for tomorrow, as I am just aching to make a tagine.
I woke up today thinking about the menu for tomorrow, you see, and Morocco had been on my mind since last night. Over dinner, we’d all been comparing notes on our respective stays at the Royal Mansour in Marrakech.
MY FAVORITE HOTEL IN THE WORLD
Some of my guests last night had actually stayed at the Royal Mansour and also stayed in a villa in the newly-refurbished La Mammounia. Meanwhile, so far, I only stayed at the La Mammounia many years ago, before it was renovated.
In June, the Travel Companion and I had stayed at the Royal Mansour but then we’d gone to dinner at La Mammounia on one evening, just to see the hotel after the refurbishments. And as I haven’t seen the new rooms or the new villas at La Mammounia yet, it was interesting to listen to everyone else’s comparative reviews of the Royal Mansour and La Mammounia.
THE BEAUTIFUL ROYAL MANSOUR
If you read this blog, you’ll know that the Royal Mansour is currently my favourite hotel in the world, and it’s also been chosen as one of the most beautiful hotels in the world.
So there was lots to talk about last night, between hotels and holidays, common friends, the global economy and whether China will slow down or not.
Yes, Christmas is over, and it’s back to a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.