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    Asiatique The Riverfront: Eat, shop, learn history

    Life, Gary Boyle, Published on 07/12/2012

    » With all the capital's downtown hustle and jams, it's easy to forget that Bangkok is almost coastal. Heading anywhere south of Sathorn along the Chao Phraya, where the riverside hotels cede the valuable real estate to more industrial enterprises, you are reminded that Bangkok is indeed an active port, a tradition that began over 100 years ago with the opening of the East Asiatic Company's Siam pier. Hans Niels Andersen founded the company to create passenger and freight links by sea between Denmark and the Far East. He organized the construction of the pier and warehouses, the oldest of which date back to 1907, and would hopefully be impressed by a tasteful renovation of the area which is now Asiatique The Riverfront.


    A luxury of choice

    Life, Gary Boyle, Published on 13/12/2012

    » Traditionally at this time of year, calorie-watchers worry about what they eat between Christmas and New Year. A better policy would be to worry about what you eat between New Year and Christmas, and leave this season for a dose of rewarding indulgence. Luckily for those fond of extravagance, one of Bangkok's best hotels has created a festive menu featuring the finest ingredients from every gastronome's wish-list.


    Christmas Eve Cravings

    Life, Gary Boyle, Published on 17/12/2012

    » Sukhumvit Soi 11 has been cool for some time. Spaceship supperclub Bed landed on 11 ten years ago, and Q Bar opened its party doors as far back as 1999. The less well-heeled have been propping up the scrapyard bar at Cheap Charlie's since the early eighties. In between Charlie's and Q Bar, physically and fiscally, was a mish-mash of massage parlours, tailor touts, street food stalls and a handful of dodgy hostess bars.


    Around the world in 8 dishes

    Life, Gary Boyle, Published on 18/12/2012

    » The Dusit Thani, as one of the grandest hotels in the Kingdom, does not do Christmas by halves. This is not the place to visit for lovers of dry turkey and sweaty Christmas puddings. In their place is a gourmand's global wish-list of the best food available on the planet. Eating one chef's special dish per day in each of their eight outlets would take over a week, but it would be an epic week of epicurean pleasure.


    All That Jazz and More

    Life, Gary Boyle, Published on 21/12/2012

    » What makes a hotel five-star? For most people it's the service, ideally utterly charming and catering to your every outlandish whim. For others it's the food, with delicious menus conjured up by international kitchen-wizards. For others yet it's the other guests: one's view must be peopled with those of a certain station. Add a concierge who knows how to get you into the best nightspots, or, if sir prefers, the worst nightspots.


    Lights, Camera, Cuisine!

    Life, Gary Boyle, Published on 16/12/2013

    » It begins, like a good movie, with a great opening sequence. You enter the lift in the Landmark Bangkok lobby, hit the highest button, and the glass cage slowly ascends 31 floors of the hotel's facade as Bangkok's inverted constellation of night time neon reveals itself, extending out to the horizon. You emerge from the lift into a plush bar fitted with deep seats and a wall of spirit bottles flanked by two wine cellars. To the right is the restaurant, bathed in red light...but is it the red of sensuality or danger?


    Ring in the new

    Life, Gary Boyle, Published on 16/12/2013

    » Bangkok was different in February 1970, back when Dusit Thani first opened her doors onto the junction of Silom and Rama IV. Beer was ten baht, gas one baht a litre, a good hotel room eight dollars. Siam Centre was a copse of trees by a dusty roundabout. An original print ad for the hotel boasted of 'a wide choice of sophisticated supper clubs, Continental and Siamese restaurants, coffee shops and cocktail lounges.' The photo shows the building looking much as it does today, minus the towering downtown skyscrapers, which is precisely the appeal of this grand dame of Bangkok hospitality.


    A touch of Michelin magic

    Life, Gary Boyle, Published on 19/12/2013

    » Who are the heavyweights of cooking right now: Heston Blumenthal and his avant-garde creations? Bellowing TV bully Gordon Ramsey? The woman who wrote 'Cooking with Poo'? Yes and no. Yes, they get plenty of column inches and television moments, but the real powerhouses of cooking are Michelin magnets like Ferran Adria, Alain Ducasse and, for Thai cuisine, David Thompson.


    Head to Hank's

    Life, Gary Boyle, Published on 23/12/2013

    » You'll hear Christmas songs, you'll hear classic party music, you might even hear some Elvis but one sound that's definitely absent is the rumbling of tummies. No one goes hungry here. Henry J. Beans is a classic American diner, which means everything is big: huge plates of wings, 750g T-bones, two-hander tacos and giant glasses of margarhita. Go alone if you dare, but it's best to share.


    Between Heaven and Earth

    Life, Gary Boyle, Published on 27/12/2013

    » The name means new heaven and Earth, and although the altitude of the 22nd floor is not quite heavenly, the food certainly is. Master chef is the talented Singaporean-Chinese Lam Kok Weng whose skills ensured that this place won the Chinese category in the 2013 awards from Bangkok's Best Restaurants.

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