Social calendar gathers steam

(shanghai daily)
Updated: 2007-01-25 09:02

Social calendar gathers steamTHE year seems to have now started with proper events taking up the better part of our evenings.

A week ago yesterday, the city's socialites crawled out of hibernation as the Maneo restaurant/lounge popped open the Mumm corks for its promised onslaught of the unconquered Jing'an District. Kylee, the hostess with the mostest, was barely still all evening, while Mint general manager Charles strolled in cool as a cucumber as the party chilled out with a selection of Grey Goose cocktails.

Mary Ann is the real reason we go to Velvet Lounge, and she looks more fabulous each time we see her. It was also good to see ex-Pier One stalwarts Richard and Seth drop in to toast their former employers' new venue on the grand opening. All in all it was a good party, the first of many this year we're sure.

Things were a great deal more serious last Thursday at the Pudong Shangri-La, as restaurateurs, hoteliers and distributors gathered to taste about 50 New Zealand wines.

Serene from New Zealand Trade and Enterprises must have been stoked with the splendid seminar, tasting and dinner. We enjoyed the wines very much, not to mention talking to the New Zealand Consul General to Shanghai Wen Chin, New Zealand Winegrowers' global marketing director Chris, ASC's Howard and the various wine makers and vineyard owners in attendance. The whites are good to go and always have been, but don't give up on the reds yet.

There's never a shortage of reasons to pop into BonBon, and last Thursday night was certainly no exception. I mean, what red-blooded young man can resist a beauty contest? Certainly not our old chum Dragon TV host Andrew, and definitely not DJ Motiv8. Then again, the Black Eyed Peas' spin man probably loves the club to bits anyway, he's almost always there.

Wish we hadn't stayed out till the wee hours though, because the Guess? spring and summer preview at the Family Li Imperial Cuisine restaurant on the Bund was a bit early in the day for us night owls with its noon start. Guess? Asia Managing Director Mary was there, as well as our pal David, whose In the Cut public relations firm keeps scribes like us in the loop.

Friday afternoon came and went with a chilly breeze, and there was nary a taxi in sight. So we made sure no one was watching and took the Metro. Now we see why a mini-mart within the station is a convenience, but why on earth is it 24 hours? Is it really? Do people still run the store after the last trains?

Anyway, we eventually made it to the Regent on Yan'an Road for the Castello Banfi wine dinner presented at Amici by ASC Fine Wines. Hotel Manager Neil was entertaining the label's export director Richard who was in from Bangkok, undoubtedly enjoying the weather similar to his native Canada. He loves the wines his company produces, and it was easy to see why. That brunello went marvelously with the duck.

Dinner ended surprisingly early for an Italian affair, so we were able to get to G Plus before it packed out. Not that we had to worry about standing in line. Albert and Retro were waiting for us when we got there before we went upstairs to celebrate our Jenny's birthday in style. DJ Judge Jules dropped a great set. Even though it was old school, those in attendance didn't look like they were born last week, so most got grooving to his beats.

Before we knew it, Saturday was here. Eric Clapton came, saw and left - all we can say is good riddance to old Slowhand. There was something about his performance that suggested he didn't really want to be there; perhaps he wasn't getting the purse he was after. Never known for his charisma, the so-called guitar god further confirmed his status as the second-most-boring man in rock, a title belonging to his buddy Phil Collins.

With nary a word to the 8,000-plus faithful in attendance, his performance was grudging at best. Having cruelly tantalized the audience with a taster of what he could do, like the hits man, for God's sake, he promptly called it a night. Were guitar solos ever cool? We can see why Jack White of the White Stripes once proclaimed that any ex-Yardbird was welcome on his stage except Eric Clapton.

Where will you be this weekend? If you're lucky you might bump into us; don't be shy to say hi. If you are, then hide behind your screen name and kindly drop us a line at


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