Excerpts from the author’s weekend experience on the river
The plan was to settle in at the Peninsula grab a bite and head up to the Jam Factory to find out what it was all about. But we got waylaid by our rather fancy corner room with 180 degree views, a magnificent bowl of fruit that only Bangkok can do, and my favourite box to stick your shoes in for shine over night. I tested the service out with my Spanish blue leather slip ons – by Saturday morning I knew they had matching polish.
I love Bangkok’s local markets, they all have there own feel and the one just down the road was no different .We were there ostensibly to pick out food for our fun afternoon cooking class but really just to check it out. You could smell the mangoes on the street stalls at five hundred paces it was so mango season, the aroma would haunt all day me until I eventually buckled and had a mango margarita by the riverside pool later in the day, it was a spring special. Who could say no?
The best thing about travel, and I am sure I am not telling you anything you don’t know, is the unexpected. And so it was on our evening tuk tuk ride. While the lit up palaces and temples were lovely, it was the night flower market that really gabbed us. I had have always hankered to go but it’s ways away from us and really, I didn’t actually know where. But quite suddenly, we were very obviously in the middle of it. We shrieked at the driver to stop and let us roam around, toggling the variety of blooms and women hard at work, making all sort of arrangements and amulets. My camera finger went mad and I had to be dragged kicking and screaming out of there.
Normally, it would be sad to leave a temporary home as in inviting as the Peninsula – our stay was all but faultless, and quite seriously, I would recommend the place to anyone. But we were excited, we weren’t going home just yet, finally we would see what The Jam Factory had to offer. Around a corner and suddenly there it was: the old factory precinct. Within moments, we were in a funky furniture and home wares store. There was a funky café we almost stopped in. The coffee smelt so good but we spotted a nice space with a photography exhibition so we checked that out, and eventually found ourselves back on the river.
We were right: The Never Ending Summer is a very cool open warehouse space that houses a modern Thai restaurant that serves truly unique cocktails (if you are detecting a theme here you may be right). The barman had spent some time in Melbourne and has slight Aussie twang, always endearing. The food was a knockout, tradition dishes given a bit of zing, friendly staff and reasonably priced it’s the kind of place you could spend hours in with a bunch of friends. In a weekend of jackpots, we had found our hidden gem.