I got excited when I heard that Frances Mayes is in Singapore and even more so when I found out she’s hosting dinner at Singapore’s premier restaurant Au Jardin by Les Amis. What a brilliant opportunity to meet an author I've always admired. I remember reading her book ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ several years ago which inspired me so much, I made a solo trip to Italy for 2 weeks. Those were the best 2 weeks of my life!
At the dinner tonight, Frances will talk about her life, aspirations and transition of her inspiration novel into a major motion picture. Guests will be treated to champagne and a luxurious meal prepared by Michelin and 5AA Rosette award winning chef Jean-Christophe Novelli, paired with superb wine specially selected by Au Jardin’s sommelier.
It all sounds very nice but at a price of almost S$400 (US$270) per person, I have decided to give it a miss. Some things in life are ‘nice to have’, but not necessarily a ‘must have’.
Maybe it’s my humble upbringing but I have always tried to live as simply as I can. Opulence and grandiosity tend to make me feel uneasy. I don't crave for luxury brands nor do I have an expensive taste. That said, I am willing to pay for good workmanship and quality if it gives a better mileage in the long run. I would buy a reliable car knowing that our lives depend on it to bring us around safely. I like a good pair of sturdy shoes or a well constructed bag that can withstand daily wear and tear. But I’m not a clothes horse and don’t chase after the latest trends, nor do I spend lots of money on things that go out of fashion so quickly. I only buy timeless pieces.
I avoid indulgences like facials, pedicures and hair treatments at the salons, yet I am willing to fork out money for things that enrich my life in other ways. I usually travel on a budget, but wouldn’t mind paying more when the kids are with me because then, comfort and safety become more of a priority.
I’m glad most of my friends are pragmatic like me but I hope that my kids will grow up with a good understanding of what's a ‘nice to have’ or a ‘must have’.