Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Slow Afternoon with the Family in Bangkok: Open House @ Central Embassy

Last Sunday was a special one.

My family spent an entire day in what was my least favourite mall in Bangkok barely a year ago - Central Embassy. When it just opened, I went once in anticipation and got sorely disappointed at a place that seemed to exist to automatically exclude 90% of the local population due to its over-luxurious positioning. "What's the point?" I wondered. It was nice, but a bit (actually a lot) too nice.

It obviously wasn't working very well, so Central Embassy sprang into action and created a whopping 6th floor called Open House, which has single-handedly transformed the mall into one of the most all-inclusive, kid-friendly, family-friendly location in town.

Not the best picture, but this is a snapshot of what Open House is all about.
I am not suggesting you spend an afternoon here and not spend a single cent (it's probably not possible too with all the good food choices), but this is not an indoor playground nor a restaurant, you don't have to pay to enter or be obliged to buy anything, and that makes the concept even more beautiful. It's a food court, cafe, playground, co-working space, restaurant, library, bookstore combined into 1.

The cool co-working space tucked in the corner of Open House. There are meeting rooms for rent too, to impress your staff.

I will now list down a few things a family can do here to chill the entire afternoon away.

1. Treat it like your own restaurant

As a food court, Open House is, to me, something like the the G-floor at The Commons (at Thong Lor Soi 17), just better. Many of the coolest names in town are there (Paris Mikki, Peppina, Lady Nara, Bao and Buns etc.). You can order from any 'stall' and eat anywhere.

Always attracted by the firewood used as the main display at Peppina, referring to their woodfire oven.
You can find every cuisine here, even live freshwater shrimp that can be cooked to your liking.
It always helps when my favourite Paris Mikki is around.


2. Treat it like your favourite cafe

There is more than 1 place to grab a top-notch coffee at Open House (3 in fact, I will let you locate them yourselves) which you can pair with the best pastry/ice-cream Bangkok has to offer.

Have a 'chill' afternoon while your kids can entertain themselves doodling away.
Noah's favourite secret elevated corner.
Baby E's enjoying herself too.

Noah's photography skills improving. We are just gonna pretend Baby E is not in the picture.

3. The most peculiar mini indoor Playground

There's something about that playground. It's small. It looks like a mish-mash of solid-coloured square cushions. Yes they recently added a slide that makes it all the more exciting, but you just can't put a finger to why, without any equipment that you will normally expect from a playground, kids just cannot get enough of it.

Right there, yes just that one in the corner with the slide, that small place is the playground.
They just can't get enough of it.
Kid-friendly dining area conveniently-located near the playground.
Remember to bring socks for your kids. If not you can buy socks from the counter at a good price too.


4. Treat it as your favourite library/bookstore

Some would think that Open House is actually a bookstore, just one that you can eat in. I won't really argue against that. You are free to grab a book, sit somewhere comfortable (there are nice quiet corners everywhere even though there are kids all over the place) and read your way through the afternoon, and have the choice of purchasing it too. Reading is one of our favourite activities here.

Books and dining areas fused into one.

Baby E happily reading.

5. Play a game

If you have run out of ideas, use a receipt to loan a game from the information counter to have some fun with the family. This is a brilliant new initiative by Open House which, at least to me, raises the fun level to great new heights.

Noah chose Bad Dog, which he didn't even dare to play. #COYS
Baby E was the braver one.
Big Brother was just hiding!

So, yeah, now you know where my new favourite place is.

And, no, this is not a sponsored post.

We'll be back soon.

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