More tea, vicar? Escape the World Cup madness with a pleasant lunch at Raffles.
It’s trite to note that the World Cup is more than the ultimate global sporting event. But it’s fair to say that the greatest manifestation of the “beautiful” game, that unifier of peoples, is also a bit of a home-wrecker. The World Cup gives men an open licence to stay out, let loose and generally behave badly. The late nights and carousing leave him looking exhausted and guilty when he does stagger home. Conversations about any other subject wither as he obsesses about dates, formations and dirty tackles, and endlessly relives brief moments of agony or ecstasy. Sadly, as there are laws against false imprisonment, there’s not much the partner of a football lover can do about it.
Tradition once held that you should stand by your man, regardless of his indiscretions, leading some women to gamely cheer alongside their men, and sometimes they really mean it. If you don’t, experience indicates that you can keep up the pretence for about a week, at which point even the most deranged England fan may notice that his wife/girlfriend has spent 90 minutes consoling the charming Irish guy at the bar over his country’s failure to qualify.
That week is now up and if there’s nothing you can do about him for the remaining three weeks, at least there’s something you can do for you. Siem Reap is not bereft of options for World Cup widows. So forget about football, it’s time for something special.
More red carpet than red card, Raffles Le Grand sets a perfect pitch if you’re looking for a footballing respite. Genteel and elegant, or everything that football is not, it’s hard to imagine a better opportunity to get a team of girls together and, for US$16 per person, indulge in an abundance of freshly baked scones, pralines, cakes and tarts, accompanied by smooth sandwiches of smoked salmon, cucumber and cream cheese, salami, mortadella and tapenade and fresh basil and cucumber.
Take a free moment to discuss, or not, the intricacies of the offside rule, as you wash the delicious treats down with free-flowing tea and coffee. Afternoon tea is served every day between 2.30pm and 5.30pm.
Naturally, you’re going to need the right kit for stepping out, and happily OroRosso (Street 11, near the old market) is launching its new summer collection on June 21. Get in to the shop early to score some of the spring season’s lines that are still being sold at 50 percent off. Or, wait until Monday to get the summer collection that Keo Sophea, the owner, promises will have many more of the graceful designs in summery yellows and blues, with the same soft cottons, linens and ramia.
You don’t need to be in a personal relationship to feel the foul effects of World Cup dementia. If you are looking for decent conversation not involving embarrassing, clutched-head wailing over missed opportunities and dodgy referees, there is simply no substitute for Miss Wong. This bastion of the chic, the cosmopolitan and the mai-tai may be the safest place in town to hide away from all World Cup references, and attempts to stay there until the middle of July will be completely understandable.
Christian de Boer, marketing director at the Hotel de la Paix, has noted that the Arts Lounge and the Spa Indochine have seen an upsurge of patrons since the World Cup kicked off. It’s clear that escape attempts are already being made. If you’re looking for more peace and quiet, and a reward for trying to stay awake during the opening matches, it’s worth noting that the hotel’s Spa Indochine is currently offering 20 percent off all treatments on the main menu during off peak hours (10am-12pm and 8.30pm-10.30pm), and a further 30 percent off all retail products in the spa.
If your partner still doesn’t notice you after a treatment here, it may be time to go back and find that Irish guy. See if he needs any more consoling.