Paphiopedilum delanatii Alba seems to be the closest-in-look to the ‘white orchids’ that are ubiquitous in today’s luxury lifestyle – and, a salient point, they do not cost more than bunches of fresh flowers.
In my own home, we used to have flowers (all white, note) by the bunch. They cost oodles, needed arranging, talking to, putting out, replacing at least every week. Now our faithful orchid in its pot on the dining table still goes on and on.
Its replacement has been in the wings, to use theatrical terms, for weeks but the original is on some anti-ageing success story (don’t we all wish we knew what it was?).
It gets a weekly soak, and tender loving care. It plays leading role, prima donna, against a backcloth of curtains that would do more than justice to New York’s Met or Stratford’s Shakespeare Memorial Theatre.
I see its cousins all around the world, in many of the best hotels, where they may be put next to multi-hued flowers, or sometimes there are just masses of them, clusters of white, like a corps de ballet from Swan Lake.
Photos of the lobby at Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Hamburg do not do it justice – this is a theatrical HEAVEN of ruby furnishings, ruby glass holders for lit night lights and dozens forming just such a ballet (question, why don’t those travelers who post their hotel pix up on social media sites photograph things of beauty rather than seemingly-the-same bathroom pictures, if they are besotted by hygiene?)
I have yet to see an orchid featuring as culinary decoration. There you find nasturtiums galore and, as in the case of the divine caprese across Hamburg at Louis C Daniel, a single violet. A gal also likes herbs as decoration.
Some of the best fish and chips anywhere are at the Old Granary, riverside in Wareham, Dorset, England. In a simple-wood environment with slight maritime hints, you get a big plate with an enormous chunk of battered fish, hand-cut chips (fries) and a sprig of rosemary.
Alain Ducasse puts his fries under a fabric net cloche to let the moisture out – at London Hilton Gatwick (oh so conveniently attached to the south terminal), a room service order comes with a ‘flower’, formed of a spirally-cut lemon. Sometimes a gal longs for just a bowl of fries and a salad!