In Bangkok, The Peninsula has set aside one room of its Mei Jiang for a special experience. It sells a Mei Jiang Exclusive menu, for a maximum four people. The table is set with bespoke Vera Pure cutlery. Since the food is plant-based, the usual tank of live choose-your-own fish is now filled with choose-your-own designer seaweed. You are served, for around US$ 300 pp, inclusive of tax and service charge (or US$ 420 pp inclusive, with paired wines): Krug and snacks; Barbequed King Oyster, Char Siu, Chinese Vinegar, Cordero di Montezemolo Langhe Arneis, Piedmont Italy 2018; Seascape – shown above -Crispy Sea Lettuce, Seaweed Dumpling, Sea Grape Salad, Pazo Barrantes Albarino, Rias Baixas Spain 2016; Ginseng consommé, Winter Melon, Lotus Root, Puffed Sago; Sweet and sour Omni Meat, Rice Noodle, Phuket Pineapple, Delas Chateauneuf du Pape Haute Pierre, Rhône Valley 2017; White Asparagus, Garlic Leaves, Crispy Onion, XO Sauce; Pumpkin, Tofu, Bamboo Shoots, Porcini Soy, Yam Bean, Castello di Bolgheri Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany 2017; Wild Rice, Black Truffle, Bamboo Leaf, Taro, Spring Onion; Soy Custard, Tofu Panna Cotta, Ginger Sorbet, Black Sesame; Eight Treasure, Syrup Jelly, Taro, Ginko, Jujubee, Rice Mochi, Coconut Foam, Schlossgut Diel Riesling Kabinett, Nahe Germany 2018; Petit Fours. And then, dear plant-based foodie, it must be time for a nap.
Hangzhou Kempinski GM Alex Pichel is immersing himself in high-level younger-generation local. Taobao millennials, nearly all female, were anyway using the more highly-decorated areas of his hotel for taking selfies of garments, often their own, that they were then selling online (to take necessary selfies they even infiltrated wedding functions to which they were not invited). Pichel decided to capitalise on this. Via his brand’s Ladies In Red lobby concierges, he sells, by the hour, exclusive use of suites, restaurants between service, pool-side after closing. There is no hotel demand to include a Kempinski logo, although some shots are, says Pichel, easily recognisable, and, anyway, word-of-mouth via online retail is great marketing, for which he is paid rather than having to pay for. (Listen to Alex Pichel’s boss, on Podcast, below)
Another good idea, says Girlahead. UK’s BBC, through its StoryWorks Commercial Productions, is working with Walpole on Love Letters from Britain, a new series of short documentary films on innovative luxury brands. This will start screening on 5th July. Members of Walpole, which is led by CEO Helen Brocklebank, range from Dunhill and Jo Malone to such think-outside-the-box hotels as 11 Cadogan Garden, Brown’s, The Corinthia and, outside London, Chewton Glen Hampshire, Cliveden and Gleneagles. Well done everyone.
Finally, today, listen again to Michael Henssler, who runs all of Asia for Kempinski: