November brings shorter days, darker nights and the desire to either close the binds, bring out the cookbooks, and start the search for the perfect gifts online or when the sun comes out and the sky is blue, take a walk and visit your local independent shops. This is the time to support your local shops and cafes.
Here at Sweetlime, we are celebrating three years since we opened our doors in the lovely coastal town of St Ives. As we become a little more known, we have gathered loyal repeat customers and are always happy when we are discovered by locals and tourists alike. As a thank you, we are having a little party on Thursday, November 29th between 5–8pm. Drinks will be served and goody bags will be on offer to shoppers on the day. Take advantage of our gift wrapping service. Choose your gifts, choose your wrapping preference – traditional or boho –, leave them with us and pick them up a little later. Each gift is wrapped for a small additional cost of £3,50.
This month we go Gold and Bangkok is our golden destination.
With love, Elspeth
Gold is the colour of reverence, achievement and triumph. A gold medal denotes first place. It is the colour of the winner. Confident and eye-catching, gold draws attention to the wearer. Gold holds great importance in Indian culture, as it is the symbol of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi, who is considered to be very auspicious and hence buying gold for an Indian bride will bring them good fortune.
Gold’s rich shimmer, combined with its resistance to tarnishing, have made it the metal of choice for religious buildings around the world. Many religions have chosen it as their chosen metal for religious artefacts and decoration within its churches and temples. Gold is associated with royalty as well as religion.
The Golden Buddha, is a gold statue, weighing 5,500 kilograms. It is located in the temple of Wat Traimit, Bangkok, Thailand. At one point in its history, the statue was covered with a layer of stucco and coloured glass to conceal its true value. After 200 years, during the relocation of the statue in 1955, the plaster was chipped off and the gold revealed.
Although most gold is found in Africa and the East, traces of gold have been found at the South Crofty mine, near Cambourne in Cornwall.
I think one of the most striking things about Bangkok is its contrasts and its juxtaposition of old and new. Sadly, the old is being raised to the ground as building high rises becomes the most important issue when the cost of real estate is so high. The sharp, clean and super modern architecture sits beside traditional temples. The simplicity of the new contrasts against the ornate nature of the temples and palaces of the past. On my first visit, over 25 years ago, I managed to squeeze a few tourist destinations into my business trip. I was there to work with silver suppliers, but after my work was done, I’d grab a tuk-tuk and visit the temples such as Wat Pho, home of the reclining Buddha or a crowded night market. One being completely serene and the other an assault on the senses.
I can’t talk about Bangkok without mentioning the food. I love the street food. Never afraid to try something new, I can happily eat my way around the city.
In contrast to the wonderful street food, I have a favourite restaurant, Issaya. This restaurant is partly owned by a renowned chef, Chef Kittichai, who proudly brings food from farm to table. The setting is beautiful, the interiors are exquisite and the food faultless.
I found a lovely boutique hotel, called The Cabochon. It’s hard to believe that it was only built in 2012, conceived by interior designer, Eugene Yeh, it feels like a colonial building of the 1920’s. Combining reclaimed architectural features and collected artefacts, this hotel brings together old and new. It’s like stepping back in time, but with all the modern conveniences to hand. My only criticism would be that it’s a little too dark and moody if work needs to be done. If you wish to keep your stay in Bangkok, smart, modern and efficient, then I suggest the COMO Metropolitan. For something with a modern edge, but for a keener budget, Ad Lib is great.
I am always impressed by the design and attention to detail in this city. Designers take traditional techniques and crafts and make contemporary items which can work in most western interiors. Sweetlime showcases both traditional Thai designs as well as clean and sculptural items, such as ceramic and wooden vases.