Bairbre Power... Out and about
Our resident diarist calls into the best parties and social events
I have a new favourite word. It used to be discombobulated, and it has been replaced with Omotenashi, which, in essence, expresses the Japanese desire to provide the guest, or customer, with a memorable experience.
And there were lots of thoroughly memorable experiences when I travelled to Switzerland last week to join Lexus, the luxury hybrid leader, on the 'sense the anticipation' tour, showcasing their craftsmanship, advanced technologies and innovation in design.
The luxury lifestyle event opened with a quite extraordinary dinner and drinks reception at Manoir de Ban in Corsier-sur-Vevey, a picture-perfect location overlooking Lake Geneva - and when I say azure water with snowcapped mountains in the distance, you get the picture.
As dinner settings go, the Swiss Riviera mansion was a wow, and was home to Charlie Chaplin and his family from 1953. For years, the actor/film-maker wintered there, enjoying summer holidays in Waterville, Co Kerry.
After drinks on the lawn with Spiros Fotinos, head of brand communications with Lexus Europe, and Graeme Slattery, MD of PSG Communications in Dublin, we went on a tour of Chaplin's World, which has only just opened to the public. Talk about whetting our appetite, the amuse-bouche turned out to be a walk through the museum with its montages of the Little Tramp's silent movies and a Hollywood-style studio.
We went to the movies too and watched entrants in the Lexus Short Films project, a collaboration with The Weinstein company. Launched three years ago to nurture a new generation of film-makers, this year one of the four finalists is Kev Cahill, whose More than God is a short comedy set in modern Ireland.
Methinks that Chaplin's comic genius would have thoroughly approved of Kev's humorous work. Yes indeed, there was a synchronicity to our Swiss movie night that only enhanced our Omotenashi.
A belated happy Bastille Day to all my Francophile friends. HE Jean-Pierre Thébault, the French Ambassador in Ireland — pictured above with Gareth Mullins, executive chef at the Marker Hotel, and Róisín O’Sullivan, director of sales and marketing — was in ebullient form when I met him on the rooftop of the Marker for BubbleClaws, a summer pairing of Champagne and flame-grilled blue lobster, delivered by Mayo fisherman Stephen McHale, from Belderrig. The ambassador was excited about his July 14 guest list, including members of the Irish soccer squad plus supporters who joined them at the Euros in France.
Congratulations to cashmere queen Lucy Nagle and her hubby, property developer Jamie Rohan (pictured, above, at the Goal ball last year) on the birth of their son, James, born last weekend — a little brother for Scott.