Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Diplomacy at it's best

One of the few perks of my job is that I reasonably regularly get invited to various "dos" at differing embassies in Helsinki. These can range from rather fun and often informative in that one-glass-of-champagne -and-two-gin-and-tonics-all -paid-for-by-some-long-suffering-and -distant-tax-payer, to the mind-numbingly dull and slightly uncomfortable if you can't spot a friendly face to chat with. But tonight was the U.S. Embassy's Christmas "Open House" - although presumably not that open as you pass a van-full of Finnish cops and show your invitation to about four different U.S. security people to get in. Once through security all was Christmas cheer, and the Ambassador was as lovely as always - I can even forgive her for all the photos of her shaking hands with 'Dubbya' himself positioned prominently around the rooms. They completely out did themselves though, with a chocolate fountain in which you could coat strawberries or marshmallows impaled on long sticks.

Perhaps I'm too easily impressed, but a chocolate fountain is about as cool as it gets.


Anonymous said...

So, which embassy throws the best parties? :)

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

Ohhh... good question.

Best nibbles and endless good wine and G&Ts, the French - of course.

Only Embassy to ever serve beer, and surprising to many including myself - very nice beer, the U.S.

Ambassador most up for a good argument (most are far too 'diplomatic') whilst continually refilling your wine glass - Israelis.

Best cheese - the British. A long story on how to get four large stiltons from central London to Helsinki was told to me by the Ambassador's wife and included a friend's car, a rush RAF Brize Norton and a Hercules that was coming in this direction.

Nicest sit down meal I have had, Palestinian Representation. They are on such a tight budget that the Representative's wife had done the cooking. Lovely.

I have heard the best Embassy party of all is the "after the official guests have left" party - St. Patrick's Day at the Irish Embassy. Need to get myself invited to that one.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the speedy answer, I find stories like this fascinating. Maybe it's because of the somewhat exclusive nature of the diplomatic world.

Also, I am not surprised that the Irish have the best embassy parties :D

KGS said...

Just had a quiet dinner with the new Israeli Ambassador, Avi Granot, and friends.

He knows how to put on a spread as well. Though no beer, Cognac. Scotch and a good selection of Israeli wine were readily available.