The Sybaritic Single’s festive plans were falling apart: instead of flying home and spending a few days in the snow, it now appeared that he was stuck in Dubai with the cheering overexcited crowds, adults dressed as toy soldiers and herds of reindeers that looked like donkeys.
After the magnificent Dior spectacle at the Great Pyramids earlier this month, the last thing he wanted to see was another laser show or a formal dinner. Luxury hotels and Michelin restaurants showered him with invitations, but the expected appalling repertoire of truffles, caviar and foie gras in various combinations just didn’t tick the box.
The Sybaritic Single remembered the times when he rang in the New Year on Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang (mesmerising), surrounded by mountains of pineapples in Mauritius (he had never seen so much fruit in his entire life) or onboard Singapore Airlines – at the very front, naturally. The whole cabin was turned into a giant apartment for just one passenger, as the idea of flying into the New Year, somehow, did not appeal to any other travellers. That flight was fun as the crew announced New Year three times as the airplane kept crossing time zones.
Desperate for festive inspiration, the Sybaritic Single suddenly got a call from The Peninsula. “Hong Kong is easing all restrictions and fully reopening to travellers!” exclaimed the cheerful voice at the other end of the line. Even before the call was over, the Sybaritic Single was on the Cathay Pacific website checking flights. To coincide with the city’s reopening, the airline just restarted First Class service – yet only between London and Hong Kong. Flying anything less than First seemed a terrible compromise, but the idea of waking-up in a glitzy suite of The Peninsula after all these years suddenly seemed insanely tempting – the perfect Feng Shui to attract new energy for the New Year. Shall he?