The Expat Penang Mingle at Park Royal

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Although The Heavens opened at the recent Expat/IWA Mingle, rain didn’t stop play. A delightful sunset cocktail had been planned for the Mingle, an event co-hosted by the Expat Group (which publishes Penang International) and the IWA (the International Women’s Organisation of Penang). It started well, with an elaborate buffet and a bar all set out in the Park Royal’s lovely seaside gardens.

The guests were just starting to arrive when the some dark clouds, perhaps under the impression that they, too, had received an invitation, showed up.Then the first drops of rain. In my mind’s eye, I saw the buffet collapsing in chaos, with plates flying everywhere as the guests ran helter-skelter for cover. Nothing could have been further from the reality.The General Manager, Francois Sigrist, calmly made a single phone call and the staff of the Park Royal moved with well-trained professional precision and deftly moved everything and everyone inside.Within seconds the bar (so essential at events like these) was up and running and the buffet recreated in all its perfection. It was so smoothly done that I am not sure that everyone realised that the venue had been changed!

After our last Mingle, it didn’t seem possible that the food could be bettered. But I think the Park Royal managed it.There were dips and crudités, samosas, pizza slices, small sausages, mushroom puffs, and tarts. There was even dessert, including chocolate mousse and fresh fruit. It’s definitely worth checking out as a venue for dinner, or a drink by the sea.

The wine was sponsored by the Wine Shop and both the red and the white were delicious. As well as selling excellently priced, high quality wines, the Wine Shop in Pulau Tikus is a great place for lunch or dinner as they have a selection of imported European cheeses and cold cuts which are without equal in Penang.

One of the best things about Mingles is that there’s a chance to meet and talk to people you haven’t met. Often you see business cards being exchanged as well as animated conversations and new friendship being formed.This time, members of the Malaysian-German Association joined the Mingle. Pauline Harwood, who runs modelling training courses for people of all ages, was there, and took some of the pictures of the evening.

The new Business Development and Sales Manager, Rebekah Macdonald was present, with her husband Stuart, who works for the The new Business Development and Sales Manager, Rebekah Macdonald was present, with her husband Stuart, who works for the Penang Institute’s Penang Think Tank. I met an interesting couple who have a jewellery business where they collect seashells from the shore and craft them into exquisite one-off pieces.

Josh Lee kindly donated two bottles of his new perfume, George Town, as prizes, and two well-known members of the community won a bottle each.The treasurer of the IWA, Jenny Ng, who is a realtor as well as an accountant won one, and Douglas Fox, who can be seen driving his 1934 Lagonda around Penang, won the other. Fortunately the perfume is unisex, otherwise Douglas would have had to give his prize to Marlene, his wife who runs the IWA Choir and is very prominent in the Penang Music scene. Perhaps they shared it!

Although the Mingles are aimed at expats, all are welcome.There were even a couple of local people who had heard about it through Facebook. When I say all are welcome, that doesn’t include the rain clouds of course!


The Park Royal Resort, Batu Ferringhi Beach, 11100 Batu Ferringhi, Penang. 04-881 1133.

If you would like to sign up for Park Royal’s special offers and discounts, please email [email protected].


The Wine Shop, 15,
Lintang Burma, Penang,
10250, Pulau Pinang,
10250 Penang.
04-226 0331

Source: Penang International April 2013 – May 2013
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