Bangkok Brunch at So Sofitel Red Oven Restaurant

Saturday, December 3, 2016

So Sofitel’s Red Oven Restaurant offers one of the most extensive and lavish weekend brunch locales in the city, one where tables encircle its signature Molteni (red oven) and guests revel in panoramic views of green Lumpini Park.

The sights themselves are enough to feast on, but the focal point of the Red Oven is an abundant buffet, with a spread varied enough to satisfy palates from the hard-to-please-child all the way to the true gourmet. The restaurant also takes a modern twist on traditional street food by boasting nine live-cooking stations.


Start your brunch with fresh veggies, cold cuts, imported cheeses, olives, hummus and French breads at the organic salad bar, then move on to the sushi and sashimi counter or indulge in oysters, prawns, and Alaskan King crab from the succulent seafood spread.

For hot entrees, visit the carving station for beef and lamb shank, or help yourself to pastas, quiche, pizza, stews and soups, as well as rice dishes, steamed vegetables and grilled fish.



More traditional breakfast fare is available in the form of waffles and crepes. Load up on the accoutrements: syrups, honey, jams, chocolate spreads and the like.

Just be sure to save some space for sweets, because the star of the show is undoubtedly Red Oven’s dessert bar. Here, the chocolate fountain mesmerizes children, while miniature desserts tempt the more sophisticated adult palates. Recommend are the tiramisu, lemon meringue tarts, panna cotta and rich bites of dark chocolate brownie. The portions are so small (and irresistible) that you’ll definitely enjoy more than one.

The homemade ice cream counter is another crowd-pleaser, showcasing berry sorbets and rich, creamy concoctions. Guests can even handcraft frozen treats by tossing mix-ins onto their ice creams on a cold-stone slab.

A kids’ club gives the littlest luncheon attendees an outlet for the energy gained after dipping marshmallows in the chocolate fountain. Once the kids are occupied, adults can finish off their afternoons in peace and quiet over one of many gourmet teas or coffees.

Saturday and Sunday brunches start at noon. Free-flow wine catered by The Wine Connection allows guests to have their pick of red, white or sparkling wine.


So Sofitel will host various holiday-themed celebration dinners, brunches and parties for Christmas and New Year, giving expats who live far from home a wonderful way to create lasting memories this holiday season.


Brunch is 1,950 ++ per person, including juices and hot teas.

Upgrade to 2,350 ++ for soft drinks and free flow wine.

Children ages 5-12 years are half price, and kids under five eat for free. com/


(published first in Wanderlust: Expat Life & Style Magazine)
by Mandy Smith

The Chocolate Buffet Sukhothai Hotel

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


My girls know me well – I was born in the wrong century.  With a taste for the finer things in life, Id be very content to live the “Downton” existence with afternoon tea time and garden parties and evening wear and dance cards.  And with that in mind, they treated me for my birthday to an indulgent afternoon with all the pomp & circumstance you’d imagine royalty enjoyed on a daily basis in the Victorian era.  Teatime at The Chocolate Buffet Sukhothai Hotel!!








Here my girls and I (and our dapper little escort) partook of afternoon high tea in style.  Two adjacent rooms with parallel buffets, one sweet and one savory, are laden with the the choicest of culinary delights.  Delicate tea sandwiches, crispy spring rolls, salmon croissants, seared tuna bites, fresh sushi, giant prawns, seasonal fruits, exotic olives and nuts are amongst the savory selections and kept our palate balanced so we could frequent the other table; an extensive selection of all things seductively sweet!  The name says it all, “The Chocolate Buffet” does not disappoint with every conceivable truffle and trifle.  Eclairs, cakes, pastries, fondue, macaroons,  creme brûlée, fruit tarts and even an assortment or sherbets and ice creams tantalize the insatiable craving for just a bite more of something sweet.   And it just wouldn’t be high tea without scones and clotted cream, of which we partook more than our share!










But the real highlight of the whole experience is the trolly manned by Swiss pastry chef Laurent who hand crafts custom hot chocolates for guests from a wide assortment of cocoas from around the world.  He will educate you in the varying flavors of chocolate from the robust to mild, acidic to earthy, bitter to sweet and then concoct according to your preferred taste, a demitasse cup of the richest hot chocolate you’ve ever experienced.  Top with cream or a dollop of hazelnut or swirl of caramel or sprinkle of chili or dusting of sea salt for a blend unique specifically to you.  (Swiss Miss will forever be ruined in your list of guilty pleasures!)




And as our afternoon drew to a close and we felt that we could not bear to look at one more chocolate chip (for our lack of self control,) the courteous staff, knowing it was my birthday, presented me with a lovely chocolate cake in celebration of the occasion.  We blew out the candles and boxed it up to take home to the littles who were feeling very left out that we’d spend the entire afternoon in the likes of “Willy Wonkas Chocolate Factory” without them.



I do feel I should have been born in a century where afternoon high tea was a daily pleasure, but how in the world did those ladies live in corsets?  We were grateful for the “breathing room” of our loose fitting dresses as we made our departure after 3 hours of chocolate indulgence!  Ill be coming back for special occasions, but my figure would suffer greatly if I had this little luxury every day!  Recommending this at the top of my list of “things to do in Bangkok”!

Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok – Birthday Getaway

Friday, April 11, 2014

It was an unparalleled treat to be invited as guests to the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok last week.  With C on the road for an extended trip, I was a bit worn out from the task of being a single-mom for play practice, swim meets and homework.  I surprised C by picking him up from the airport when he returned from three grueling weeks of travel in India and whisked him away to celebrate his birthday.


What a treat to reconnect and debrief and get a bit of pampering and relaxation….uninterrupted by little people!

First stop – Lunch at Grand Hyatt’s You and Mee was divine!


A  popular Thai fusion restaurant that boasts some of the Asian cultural classic favorites as well as creative spins on traditional fare.  A great place for local business personnel to grab a tasty lunch and meet clients.  C went with his go-to-favorite, Pad Thai and I ordered a creamy coconut chicken curry with crunchy noodles – exquisite and bursting with flavor!


Ill be honest here, C has traveled a lot in his days and stayed in more than your average number of hotels.  Granted, he’s been in some sub-par locations (the first time he took me to India, we pulled back the sheets and discovered hair on the pillow of the hotel we were staying the night at….ewwww!!)  But globetrotting has allowed him to experience some first class joints as well!

Poolside Grand Hyatt

To say that he was impressed by the Grand Hyatt is a pretty good indication that the this hotel is exceptional.  The staff, accommodations and amenities definitely raised the standard and set the bar high.  The special touches and attention to detail made us feel like guests rather than simply tenants.


Strawberry tarts at bedtime, flowers in our room, lavender sachets with the turn-down service, and a pillow menu!  For real?  Little confession here….Im a pillow hog!  I have to have 5 pillows to myself to sleep.  So this was the epitome of luxury for me.  C rolled his eyes as I ordered up a couple extras.



The Grand Hyatt has just recently completed a renovation project on their rooms in which we were guests.  Plush beds, aesthetically pleasing decor and waterfall shower all catered to comfort and style.  Gorgeous travertine tiles in the bathroom wove a neo-classic thread throughout the structure of the rest of the hotel as well.


Access to the club lounge was enjoyed for happy hour and morning breakfast (when we finally woke at a hour we’ve not slept till in….about…..11 years).  And we’re not talking muffins and coffee here!  A delicious salad bar, cheese trays, omelet station, fresh french breads and croissants, hot appetizers and classy wine assortment.



Oh, and chocolate mousse of which I partook without a touch of guilt…..because how often do we really get to eat chocolate out of crystal stemware?


We skipped our planned morning workout and headed straight to the pool in the morning…there’s time for the gym tomorrow, but probably not time to lounge in the sun!  Decadence!  So relaxing to just get to hang out with this hunk and soak up a few rays!





Dinner with our friends who manage the Hyatt was one for the books!  It was not a meal, it was a dining experience that was unforgettable.  If you’re looking for a place to entertain special guests or to share brunch as a family on a Sunday, Tables is your spot!  Live classical music welcomed us as we stepped off the elevator and we were ushered into a dim mood-lit European style spacious restaurant and introduced to the concept of table side cooking.



Our Swiss chef Michele and debonaire server Iljas went out of their way to cater to our every whim.  Never have I been waited on so properly while being entertained so thoroughly!   A perfect blend of class and fun.  One of the youngest and most accomplished chefs in his field, Michele graciously offered suggestions from the menu and served us course after course of exceptional food both visually appealing and tantalizing to the palate.


We watched as he assembled the most attractive Caesar salad Ive ever consumed and graciously told us the history of Caesar Cardini for whom the legendary salad was named….lets be honest, storytelling from a guy with a swiss accent is intriguing!  Scottish Smoked Salmon was a perfect accompaniment to our salad alongside Tuna Tartar with Avocado.  Next was to-die-for Lobster Bisque.  Don’t even want to know the calorie count…too good to care!



Our entrees left me forever dissatisfied with my own homecooking.  The flavor was unsurpassed!  Succulent Lobster Thermidor, Roasted French Vendee Spring Chicken and melt-in-your-mouth Chateaubriand Australian Black Angus Tenderloin….there are no words!    The preparation of our meal on the copper countertop, carving of our meat and education of what is involved in creating truly amazing dishes left quite an impression!


Every dollop of cream and intentionally placed garnish made for an unforgettable dining experience.  I’d forgotten what it was like to take time with a meal.  No child’s meat to cut for them.  No spills to clean up.  No food fights.  And no complaints or dishes to clean.  Fun to play the part and wine and dine with the other side for a day.  (And by the next day, I was ready for sticky peanut butter kisses and whipping up Kraft Mac n’ cheese again.)


The “frosting on the cake” of our ritzy dinner out was topping off the night with Cherry Jubilée garnished with vanilla bean ice cream.  I’m a confessed chocoholic, but there was nothing that could possibly have complimented our meal more tastefully.  Absolutely delightful.  And the ice-cream chocolate covered truffles brought to our table frothing on a bed of dry ice as a final flamboyant touch to the evening satiated that chocolate sweet tooth of mine.  C and I will be going back to Tables for special occasional date nights!


You dont have to go far to feel like you’ve left big-city crazy Bangkok and enjoy an oasis of refreshment while still enjoying the access to this thriving metropolis!  Its a Songkran Special right now!  If you cant skip town for the week, take the family for a staycation and some water fun.  Grand Hyatt’s special this week includes a water gun “survival kit” that your kids will love, buffet breakfast, 1,000 baht hotel credit and discount on Family room for kids (so you can go as a couple to dinner at Tables and cash in the credit toward a great date-night)  Terms outlined below:

Sonngkran Package 2014_for residents of Thailand

And if you can’t pull it off this week, check out Hyatt’s Staycation package which C and I enjoyed outlined below.  Its good through the 5th of May.  Early check in and late check out allows you maximize your time.  Plan a little get away!!  This 5 star luxury hotel comes with our 5 star approval and endorsement!!

Flyer Staycation 2014