Sure, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … but for our household it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas back in June. That’s when our youngest daughter started rehearsing for her Christmas-themed school production, Elf . When I heard the school was adapting a Will Ferrell film for the stage, I wondered for a glorious second if there was such a thing as Anchorman: The Musical . There isn’t – but it didn’t matter, as Elf ended up being brilliant. The only hitch? I’ve been hearing Christmas-themed songs for half a year now. Our daughter would wander the house, from breakfast to bedtime, belting out tunes from the show – things like “A Christmas Song” and “Sparkle Jolly Twinkle Jingley”. Of course, this is all lovely. I’m just saying I may not be first in line to see a carols concert this December. We’re growing accustomed to this kind of musical accompaniment at home. Our eldest was in a performance of Grease last year, and for months she was hopelessly devoted to singing the entire soundtrack, loudly, in any room she walked into. Then they were both in Annie , and it started all over again – relentless show tunes, 24/7. It’s a hard-knock life. The saving grace is that they’ve both been blessed with the gift of a great singing voice (somehow!). Wouldn’t that be an awesome Christmas present? – to immediately be better at something. Learning a second language would be a handy one. (See our back page “Parting Shot” article in this issue for more about that…) I’d also love the gift of being a better cook – though, just quietly, I’d be tempted to re-gift that one for my wife. If you need more realistic ideas for Christmas presents, we have plenty in this issue – from giveaways of great products (page 10) to a full gift guide for the whole family (page 42). There’s more festive stuff, too, including restaurant dining details for Christmas and New Year (page 102). And, at a time when it’s nice to be thinking about others and how we can help, we have a bunch of stories about charities and organisations doing wonderful, tireless work for different communities in Hong Kong (from page 70). In that same spirit, we’d like to wish everyone a fantastic holiday season and a great start to 2023. And may the joke in your Christmas cracker be as good as this one: A gingerbread man goes to the doctor and complains of a sore knee. The doctor says, “Have you tried icing it?”

Shamus Sillar



Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET Group Editor SHAMUS SILLAR Digital Content JULIET KEYS MICHAELA BISSET Client Services & Production JUDIT GÁL NUR HANANI KAMAL LUDDIN Senior Graphic Designers MICHAEL BERNABE JEANNE WONG Circulation & Marketing ANNA TSERLINGAS Business Development & Partnerships KATE WOODBURY Chief Operations Officer COLIN PURCHASE Contributing Writers HOLLY NAYLOR KARL WOODBURY Contributing Photographers MICHAEL PERINI (MICHAELPERINIPHOTOGRAPHY.COM) Printed by MIRACLE PRINTING CO. LTD.

CONTACT US General Enquiries: +852 3480 7614 | +65 6259 0058 | Advertising Sales: |

Subscription: +65 6812 1783 | Production: +65 6812 1787 | Editorial & Media Releases: Calendar of Events: Events: Websites: |

Printed by Miracle Printing Co. Ltd.

Published by Expat Living Publications Pte Ltd 36 Carpenter Street, #02-01 Carpenter Haus, Singapore 059915

Cover: Simpson Marine (boat); Lucie Petit and Chi-Fai (models) Photography: Michael Perini




Ideas for dining rooms


TV and film recommendations Celebrating Hong Kong’s historic harbour The Hong Kong Pages Boarding at Marlborough College Malaysia A South African school with wildlife on the doorstep Malvern updates: outdoor play and entrepreneurs Choosing a university and finding the right fit


Charity Focus 70

56 58

Providing a future for furry friends Bestowing the gift of swimming




Making sailing accessible to everyone





A school doing things differently


Gaining access to an EU passport Things to consider when moving to Australia


Discover our digital content and guides WIN! Four great giveaways for EL readers


IBDP Insights: Talking about the TOK




The fun of learning an instrument


What’s new and noteworthy in HK?



Transforming a hidden gem in Fortress Hill Exploring the interiors of Hong Kong’s newest hotel A new home in the New Territories Buying Guide: Beautiful dining décor Street Talk: What it’s like living in Tai Wai Our huge Christmas gift guide for everyone! What you’ll find at Prestige Fairs Potted reviews of the latest book releases









All about

Victoria Harbour



returns 84

A fashion icon

WELLNESS & LEISURE Reviving a famous brand’s vintage frocks Pregnant in Hong Kong? What you need to know! Long-distance running and heart health Expert Voice: How to divorce with dignity Getting party-ready for the holiday season! Beauty reviews and new skincare products

99 Sampling some of HK’s best Chinese restaurants 102 Our big roundup of Christmas dining menus and specials 108 French food delicacies delivered to your door 110 Travel Tips: Hot hotels for 2023 114 See how you go in this month’s Puzzle Pages







Parting Shot: Learning a language

Festive feasts! 102


Shopping ideas for Christmas 48

7 DEC22-FEB23

Get your favourite mag delivered to your door!

Subscribe to our quarterly magazine for just $192

$128 a year!

You’ll also enjoy free access to the digital edition on the Magzter app so you can read any issues when you’re out of the house or on vacation! Scan or visit

8 DEC22-FEB23


We’re getting into the season of giving with over six thousand dollars’ worth of goodies and experiences up for grabs, from some fabulous brands in Hong Kong.

2 tickets for a Vegetarian & Vegan Food Tour (worth $1,150!) To keep up with the demand from health-conscious tourists and residents seeking vegetarian and vegan food options while they explore our foodie friendly city, the team at Hong Kong Greeters have created the Vegetarian & Vegan Food and Cultural Tour. And we’re giving away two tickets for it, valued at $575 each.

A Gourmet Treats Hamper (worth $1,698!)

Raise a glass to good times with this delicious Gourmet Treats Hamper courtesy of Hong Kong-based bakery, The Cakery. The hamper includes everything from chocolate biscotti and cookie boxes, to different granolas, mixed nuts and other tasty treats, along with two bottles of organic wine (a pinot noir and a viognier). The Cakery launched its first pop-up shop at The Landmark in 2016, with more pop-ups coming soon after; in 2017, it opened two permanent shops, in Lee Gardens Two and The Landmark. The team believes in “conscious living and mindful eating”, offering a range

The tour combines a curated selection of the most delicious vegetarian cuisine available alongside one cultural, one beautiful and one historical place of interest on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong. All stops have vegetarian and vegan-friendly options. Come with an empty stomach and have a feast!

Competitionperiod: 1-31December (tickets tobeusedby endJanuary) Find out more about the tour:

of products that improve on the nutritional profile of desserts while being organic, sugar-free, gluten free and vegan-friendly.

Competition period: 1-19 December

Find out more about The Cakery:




2 sets of hand-blown Champagne Coupes (worth $1,640!)

These two sets from Tessa’s Kitchen each include six lead-free crystal glasses that have been skilfully hand-blown and hand-etched, one with a delicate oval pattern and the other with stars. Each set is priced at $820. Tessa’s Kitchen brings together a collection of carefully curated glassware and accessories for stylish drinking and fabulous dining. From crystal glassware to scalloped table linen and hand painted candles to bamboo cutlery, you’ll find a

sprinkling of sophistication, charm and whimsy for your table. The brand is inspired by the founder’s passion for entertaining and a belief that the dining table should be the heart of every home.

2 Harry Potter x Fossil necklaces (worth $1,700!) Here’s a special one for all the Harry Potter fans! In partnership with Warner Bros Consumer Products, lifestyle, watch and jewellery brand Fossil has released a magical collection that encapsulates the homecoming atmosphere, spirit of adventure and iconic symbols of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry – something for every witch, wizard or Muggle, across every generation. The collection includes House Necklaces featuring pendants representing the crests of Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and

Competition period: 1 December – 16 January Find out more about Tessa’s Kitchen: IG @tessaskitchenhk |

Slytherin, and an “H” charm in gold-tone stainless steel. We have two available for readers, the Harry Potter Slytherin Gold Tone Stainless Steel Chain and the Harry Potter Gryffindor Gold-Tone Stainless Steel Chain, each valued at $850.

Competition period: 1 December – 16 January Find out more about Harry Potter x Fossil: Facebook @Fossil.APAC Visit the Fossil store at 2108A, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui or see

and follow the instructions. TO ENTER...

... simply scan the QR codes or go to

11 DEC22-FEB23

Open Day at L.I.S. Lantau International School is holding an Open Day on Saturday 14 January, from 12pm to 3pm at its Lower Primary Campus in Tong Fuk. Get a chance to meet the staff, learn about the school and find out why Lantau is such a great place to live. To register for the Open Day, email For more information about L.I.S., visit the website at or scan the QR code.

CDNIS Admissions Webinars

Learn more about the Canadian International School of Hong Kong and its admissions process at the school’s

upcoming webinars on 8 December (Grade 3 to 5 and Chinese Studies Programmes) and 12 January (Grade 6 to 12). Key admissions and teaching staff will be on hand to answer any questions you might have and provide admissions info for the 2023/2024 school year. To register, contact The application deadline for 2023/2024 is 31 January.

New at DBIS Discovery Bay International School has a new Head of School. Marc Morris starts in January 2023, joining DBIS from Jumeirah College, Dubai. He brings a wealth

School Updates

of knowledge from over 35 years in education, having held various senior leadership and principal roles across the globe. In December, the school bids a fond farewell to the current Head of School Stuart Bridge who has been at the helm for the last three and a half years, steering the school through the turbulent COVID years and setting it up for continued success under Marc’s tenure. Welcome, Marc! SecondStore for FREY! Just a year after the debut of its flagship store in Central, FREY has opened a second HK location, at K11 MUSEA. The brand, which offers sustainable, stylish, tailored clothing for women, will bring more ready-to-wear collections as well as made-to-measure services to the new space where women can explore their personal style. To commemorate the occasion, FREY has introduced a new limited-edition tailored jacket and shorts set in a festive shade of red, limited to only 11 pieces and available exclusively at the new location. Look out for the new Autumn/ Winter 2022/23 collection, too, featuring bold, playful prints and colours ranging from blue hues to merlot red.



On the Move

Asian Tigers Group provides international relocation solutions for more than 16,000 families each year, with offices in 14 different territories. In this regular column, they discuss the all-important pre-move survey.

Greener Transport After two years in the making, the first pure electric public minibus from EV Dynamics has been delivered for route testing in Hong Kong; it’s expected to commence service early in 2023. The APEX Mini is one of eight new models of electric minibus selected by the government for a trial of 40 minibuses across HK. It’s estimated there are around 3,000 Public Light Buses in operation, and despite some converting from LPG to diesel, they are still major air polluters in our crowded streets. The new minibus is the first pure electric, fully accessible public minibus in a new era of eco-friendly and socially inclusive public transportation. And that can only be good news! A Sequel for BaseHall! BaseHall 2, the sister venue of the original BaseHall, is set to open in Jardine House in mid-December. Arriving just in time for the festive season, it will bring together some great F&B experiences under one roof – whether you’re looking for a quick bite, a leisurely lunch or a nightcap after a long day. The multi-concept venue will feature an event space, an 18-Seat Chef ’s Counter and a hidden Speakeasy Concept (launching early 2023). BaseHall 2 will also host a variety of events, such as parties, live music performances, cooking classes, film screenings and DJ nights. Stay tuned on social media platforms for more updates and news on the upcoming opening.

To read the full article, visit: Need assistance with relocation or shipping support? Visit Our surveyor will use video conferencing app Zoom to conduct a real-time, face-to-face survey online with the customer. This method is similar to the traditional survey, except the representative sees the customer, home and inventory remotely through a screen instead of physically in person. One big thing people tend to stress about before moving overseas is which international moving company to use. Working with a professional moving company allows for a stress-free and hassle-free international move – and getting a pre-move survey is essential for choosing the company you’d like to work with. At Asian Tigers, the pre-move survey allows our move consultant to meet with you to discuss your requirements. They’ll record the various items to be packed and mark any special needs. Every move is different, so our surveyor will also discuss individual needs – for example, what to ship by sea or by air, what to dispose of, and what to donate to charity; or your particular company’s policies and allowances, your travel plans and timing constraints, whether you have any special service requirements, be it pets, cars, boats, a piano or something else. What is an onsite survey? An onsite survey allows our moving specialist to provide an accurate estimate of the volume of the move and to foresee the services you may require. Since we understand it may be difficult to arrange a time for an onsite survey due to busy schedules, you can also provide us with an inventory of items and any other relevant information about your move. We’ll then provide an What sort of pre-move survey do I need? indicative quote based on the information. What is a video survey?

13 DEC22-FEB23

Luxury Homeware Timed perfectly for the upcoming festive season, new online luxury homeware marketplace Belevivi has launched in Hong Kong. Created by two passionate and creative entrepreneurs – Jennifer Margolin (of BYDEAU) and Sasha Dennig (of Callixto) – Belevivi believes beautiful, quality homeware should be easily available to all. Shop the curated collection of exclusive home- and dinner-wear brands and boutiques from around the world for perfect gift ideas, dinner-party pieces and home-décor fun. The brand is currently delivering to HK, with expansion plans to ship to more countries soon.

Carpet Care Is your favourite rug looking worse for wear? Iqbal Carpets provides professional cleaning services for all types of rugs and carpets, including delicate oriental rugs. Using traditional hand-washing methods, the highly skilled staff will take the best care of your carpet, enhancing its vibrancy and removing dirt, stains and allergens. Iqbal Carpets also offers a repair service using ancient Persian techniques, plus a host of other services, such as reweaving, scotch guarding and odour removal. Need a new rug instead? The company offers a wide selection of new and antique carpets from around the Middle East, including handmade Pakistani, Persian and Afghani carpets and rugs. Open seven days a week with a free pick-up and delivery and installation service.

GIFTS THAT LAST A LIFETIME If you’ re looking for unique , s t y l i sh and c r e a t i v e g i f t i de a s , don’t miss a visi t to Al t f ield Gal lery thi s holiday season! You’ll find a carefully curated collection of decorative artisan pieces, including an interesting selection of fine antiques from the 1800s , Japanese decorative porcelains, f i n e En g l i s h e a r l y Georgian and Regency g l a s swa r e , a n t i qu e Chinese export lacquer boxes and more! Shop 249, Prince’s Building, Central.

New at Indigo Searching for a sofa? Check out the super-stylish Meknes range now in store at Indigo Living. Available in two- and three-seat versions, the sofa features gently curved arms with a channel tufted detail that wraps around the entire sofa. Upholstered in a rich midnight blue velvet with wood legs and elegant metal feet, this will bring a wow factor to any living room.



Gingerbread for Good Following the success of last year’s campaign, the Gingerbread for Good pop-up returns to Landmark Atrium for Christmas. In partnership with Landmark, Cookie Smiles has invited 23 celebrity chefs to create their own take on a Mrs Claus cookie, in a campaign that aims to inspire collaboration and encourage community engagement in HK. Running until 2 January, the pop-up is looking to raise $600,000 for Cookie Smiles’ two beneficiaries, Box of Hope and Vocational Training Council’s Shine Skills Centre.

Vietnamese Vibes Leading hospitality group Lai Sun Dining has opened SEP, an Indochine Vietnamese restaurant at H code (High Block) in the heart of Central. The venue seats up to 90 with four private rooms ideal for groups and an open kitchen with a wood fire – the perfect hangout spot to watch the chefs in action. In addition to wood-fired cuisine, expect Vietnamese dishes with a strong French influence and a modern twist. The restaurant will initially open for dinners only with an eight-course Tasting Menu for two priced at $2,400. Featured dishes include Hoian Old Town Poulet, Highlander Smoked Short Ribs, District 4 Midnight BBQ Pork, and French Quarter Chilean Seabass.

Flowers & More Adding to the successful Star Street branch, award winning luxury florist Grace & Favour HK has recently opened a new boutique in Kowloon at K11 MUSEA. You’ll find the same high quality selection of fresh flowers from around the world, along with tropical plants, houseplants and more . The re a re othe r

goodies too, from gift baskets and festive hamper sets, to porcelain candles and Jellycat plush toys! Order online for ease, or purchase in-store. Delivery is free to Hong Kong Island and Kowloon; New Territories delivery is $100 on orders of $780 and above.

HKAF Turns 51! This year marks the 51st edition of the Hong Kong Arts Festival (HKAF), an event that continues to impress audiences with exhilarating performances by local and international artists across all genres of the performing arts, in-venue and online. The festival officially opens on 17 February 2023 with the Ballet of Slovene National Theatre Maribor’s performance of Radio and Juliet & Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) , and closes on 18 March with the Bamberg Symphony’s performance of Dvo ř ák and Brahms, led by conductor Jakub Hr ů ša. Ticket bookings open on 7 December; for full programme details, visit .

15 DEC22-FEB23

18 Inside a home renovation in Fortress Hill 42 Our huge Christmas gift guide for everyone! 52 Celebrating Hong Kong’s historic harbour

Tequila Kola



REBECCA and BRIANwere born in Hong Kong but both of their families moved to Australia in the early 1990s. After meeting at university and getting married, the pair returned to HK in 2015, where they live today with daughter Billie (3). Here, they take us through the huge home project they’ve just undertaken with the help of interior designer Jenny Perry.




What brought you back to HK a few years ago?

was quiet, facing away from a main road, and still extremely close to all modes of transport. We decided to invest in a revamp from top to bottom. Tell us a bit about the location. We’ve lived in this neighbourhood since 2015. Interestingly, Brian’s family lived in Fortress Hill before they moved to Australia – we could see their old apartment from our previous space. We love Fortress Hill because this neighbourhood strikes the perfect balance between local and expat. It’s also so convenient. During the worst of COVID, we probably spent two weeks within a 400m radius of our apartment and didn’t even realise it. In our previous space, we were looking for someone to help renovate our kitchen. Bec engaged the wisdom of FB Moms and Jenny came with very high recommendations. One thing led to another, we did the previous space with Jenny, and then this apartment was our second project with her. How did you hear about Jenny and her interior design services?

Work! We both work in the financial services sector and we came back to experience the financial industry in a truly global city. Working in Hong Kong has been a very interesting experience. From a product breadth, depth and sophistication perspective (from retail all the way to global institutions), HK is light years ahead of many places we’ve worked with. It’s hard to explain just how many product options are available to anyone who hasn’t actually seen it. Froma technology and governance perspective, HK is a few years behind Australia, which we found quite surprising. For us, we found a niche in being able to leverage our Australian experience into the framework here. Where is your home? We’ve lived in the Harbour Heights estate, Fortress Hill, since February 2022. When we saw this apartment, we absolutely loved the floorplan, the generous lounge room (read: play space!) and giant windows. We also loved the location as it

19 DEC22-FEB23


Did you have a particular brief for your home? Boy, did we have a brief for Jenny! (Apologies, Jenny, and a massive thank you!) When we saw this apartment, we knew it was a hidden gem, but it was in a reasonably rough state. The short story is that the project was a complete gut from top to bottom, down to the concrete shell. The previous décor dated from the early 90s, and the flooring felt like the original. Bec came up with a mood board via copious browsing on Pinterest and YouTube (shoutout to “Never Too Small”!), and episodes of DreamHomeMakeover and The Block Australia . Together with Jenny and her team, we were tasked withmaking everything go from slides to reality. The general theme was neutrals with warm accent colours (and, if you asked Jenny, one too many items in gold). Jenny helped us with her design eye, her expertise on whether something would “work”, and cleaning up the details that we didn’t know existed. She kept us out of trouble! Jenny also kept us informed of the budget every step of the way, and helped manage the numerous contractor teams that we needed. While we did go above our budget due to unforeseen items (as all projects do), we were still within our budget comfort zone.

What were some key features of the project? As with all things Hong Kong, we had limited space, sowe focused onmaximising natural light, creating open surfaces for art, and finding the balance between useful and aesthetic. A lot of the special features are small design tricks to remedy the limitations of this older building. The favourite thing about our apartment is the multi-purpose spaces we have created. For example, we have installed an open clothes rack in one of the bedrooms for drying laundry – it saves space on having an open drying rack in the living room every few days (space is precious in Hong Kong!). Another favourite thing is our generous (for HK!) lounge space where we can chill and watch some good ol’ children’s movies as a family. The separation of space with the corridor door means that we can functionally use all the space, all the time – nothing’s wasted. Arguably, the small study has been a life (and marriage) saver! We can cosily fit two desks and both work from home if needed. And, if one person wants to use the TV, the other can watch something in the study or bedroom without waking the kids. Is there a spot in the home that you all enjoy the most?




What’s your favourite thing about living in this neighbourhood? Convenience, public space and quiet. We have ready access to Victoria Park, East Coast Park Side, Watson Road Park and the Oil Street Art Precinct. And we’re spoilt for choice for food, ranging from local eateries to Five Guys and Frites. If we want to stretch our legs, we can head to Tin Hau Electric Road where there’s more food than you can poke a stick at, or east to the North Point Cooked Food Centre. And it’s a short ride into Central, CWB or Wan Chai.

21 DEC22-FEB23


Brian’s room-by-room project breakdown

Kitchen The kitchen is the heart of the home, so we wanted to maximise this space but also make it functional and kid friendly. We opted against an open kitchen (because kids, noise and smoke!) and instead used windowed sliding doors that lock from the inside – bye, kids! It feels like an open kitchen but with the added safety of optional child protection. The L-shaped kitchen-top allows for a better work flow from sink to prep to stove. A U-shape would have created a dead corner. Speaking of which, the original mains board faced into the kitchen, creating an awkward dead space. We flipped the board and hid it inside the blue cabinet that faces the lounge room area, and our fridge in the old space. Normally, the kitchen would be reasonably dark as it faces the space between adjacent apartments, but we changed the window to a single pane and used an open shelf next to the window to let in more light.

The lounge space has giant sun-lit windows, so we kept that side airy and clear of clutter. The apartment gets flooded with natural light – especially in the mornings. The floors took ages to finalise (thanks for being patient, Jenny!) and we went into incredible detail to make it all work. They’re probably the most over-designed item in the apartment! We used wood-patterned tiles (for water resistance and durability) and opted for a herringbone pattern. Since imitation wood tiles can repeat their pattern in places, ruining the illusion of “wood”, we worked with Jenny on a solution to this very first world problem. We chose three similar but different colours of tile to reduce repeats and better mimic the differences in natural wood. As for furniture, the dining table and couch were recycled from our previous apartment. We consciously wanted to have that lived-in feel when we moved in. The pieces also conveniently fit the new space – I guess we bought them too big in the previous one!

Layout The layout was perfect for what we wanted: three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a potential study. We made a conscious decision to split the living and sleeping areas, so the white door that separates these spaces was designed as a heavy-duty sound-resistant door with a drop-down seal on the bottom and extra seals on the side. It’s a genuine tank! But it’s also a detail that allows the lounge and dining area to be extra useful even after bed time for kids. Lounge and dining room To maximise the feeling of airiness, we wanted to make the ceiling feel as high as possible. We purposely kept dangly items like pendant lights to a minimum, and light fittings as shallow as possible. We also wanted to limit the built in storage as chunky units add visual weight to a space. Instead, we used open shelving, giving our daughter easy access to her toys, and adding a space for decorative and sentimental items. Our TV is also flush-wall mounted, and instead of a TV cabinet, we have an electric piano that doubles as our wiring concealer.




Tell us about a couple of items that have an interesting story behind them. The circular art pieces were created by our sister-in-law and budding artist Marian Ang (@MarianMadeThis). She’s based her work off home-life during the pandemic, and there’s a real sense of peace and calm to her paintings. The red teapot piece ( first page ) took inspiration from our family drinking tea around the CNY orange tree – it’s aptly titled “tea for three”. Separately, the graphic design piece ( opposite ) is from Cynthia Mak (@CynthiaMakStudio); we love how she reimagines Chinese characters into geometric shapes – this one is a character that’s a part of our daughter’s name. What do you like to do in Hong Kong when you’re not working? Family time with our daughter! Disneyland, parks, museums and finding new spots for ice cream in all seasons. Brian has taken up running with a running club at Happy Valley. Since the Victoria Harbour Promenade has opened up, he’s been spoilt with a new running track along the world’s most beautiful city view.

Internet As we had the MCB unit, we asked Jenny to help us rewire the internet outlet into that box. This allowed us to keep the mesh router out of sight, but signals strong. We also added a secret shelf above the corridor door with a satellite router. Now the apartment has strong, consistent Wi-Fi throughout – hooray! Bathrooms The original bathrooms felt claustrophobic so we gutted them and used patterned whites as the feature for each. The main bathroom has a built in soak tub enabled by Jenny’s signature marble mosaics. The guest bathroom has kit-kat tiles throughout, with gold elements to further elevate the space. Jenny worked wonders in making this space look huge (and exceptionally functional) by adding a horizontal mirror cabinet that runs its length. Both rooms are tied together by the same nook where we put common-use shower items. Bedrooms Again, the aim of the game was functional, with plenty of soft lighting and shapes. Billie’s bedroom can transform and fit a sibling if needed – the bed can be flipped and turned into a bunk bed. In the main bedroom, we installed an open wardrobe to save space and create airiness.

23 DEC22-FEB23



Home Salvation Army Tin Hau (“we’ve found so many gems there, including a Stokke Tripp Trapp”) IKEA (“so convenient if their measurements fit your apartment”) Taobao (“we love buying home-organising

accessories here”) Perry Contracting (

Dining Pause-it (“our local coffee shop”)

Suppa (“a vintage HK-inspired hotpot

experience”) Roganic (“fine dining using the best local produce”)




Exploring the marine themed interior design of HK’s newest high-end hotel.

Opening in phases from the middle of 2022, The Fullerton Ocean Park Hotel is a seafront luxury resort – the first overseas property for the Singapore-based Fullerton group – comprising over 400 guest rooms, all with water views. Those same guest rooms feature décor items supplied by a company known well to readers of this magazine, Indigo Living. EMMAMACLEANof EMBespoke was the interior stylist on the project; we asked her about her work on the hotel, and how styling and accessories by Indigo were used to enhance the space. EM Bespoke was invited to work on a number of key features. Our team designed custom indoor furniture for the guest rooms, suites and public spaces including the guest tower lift lobbies and corridors, and we selected all furniture, fixtures and accessories for the guest rooms and outdoor spaces. How did Hong Kong’s maritime history and marine environment inspire the design? Massively! The resort’s tranquil location – from colonial to present day – also played an important role behind the inspiration and concept for the project. Throughout the designs, we bridged the past and present together, weaving elements of linear architecture with soft curvatures inspired by the movement of the sea. The materials selected, such as subtle metallic finishes, reference the What was your brief for the interior design project at the new Fullerton?

glistening reflection of the sun setting on the South China Sea. One of our favourite features is the light installation in the lobby reception. It was designed as an ode to the guiding lights found on sampans and fishing boats from days gone by, welcoming guests into the safe haven of the resort.

Tell us a bit about the cushions and accessories you used from Indigo Living to bring the design to life. With a fresh palette in mind, we selected cushions with splashes of blue and with rich textures that reference the stunning backdrop of the nearby sea. It was important to incorporate bold patterns and geometrics to allow the cushions to pop and stand out against the neutral architectural materials and finishes of the room. The accessories were all hand-picked and curated by our team and they were inspired by the rich colonial history of the city, nearby marine environment and also an element of elegance in the pieces. For example, we selected the blue and green tealight holders not only for the fresh and energetic colours but also the beautiful texture of the glass, mimicking a ripple-like effect of the sea. The brass seashell and starfish/coral sculptures bring an understated richness with their glistening finish. The crystal-cut whiskey glass set, timber tray and vintage car model add a touch of masculinity that contrasts the softer and gentle ambience of the rest of the room.

Photo by Lydia Cheng (EM Bespoke)




New & Notable: Indigo Living Trade The new Fullerton isn’t the only hotel that Indigo Living has lent its design aesthetic to. In fact, the company’s contemporary furniture and accessories have highlighted the designs of luxury residences, upscale serviced apartments and five-star hotel suites across Asia Pacific and the Middle East for more than 40 years. Now, the company has launched Indigo Living Trade, a new platform that will help meet the needs of those like Emma who are involved in design and development, both residentially and commercially. The Indigo team explains: Indigo Living Trade is a dedicated service offering convenient online access to a wide range of products, complete with global shipping and a professional trade service team at hand to serve any bespoke needs. The platform is just like an e-catalogue. We’ve consolidated all of Indigo Living’s past and existing accessories, and put them on a website, with the aim of giving local and global designers a platform to select products for their projects. Our target market includes designers and procurement companies who work for hospitality groups, and art or styling consultants who need accessories to finish off their interiors project.

Getting started #1 Visit and create an account. #2 Log in to explore the product range. #3 Select items of interest and enter your desired quantity of each item. #4 Submit your enquiry list. #5 Indigo’s Trade Team will be in touch shortly after.

Find out more at 2555 4673 or

27 DEC22-FEB23


While it’s closer (by far!) to Shenzhen than Central, Yuen Long is getting more of a buzz as a place not only to explore but also to live. PHOTOGRAPHY: MICHAEL PERINI

In our last issue, we profiled an Australian expat who’s been in Yuen Long for seven years. Here, we chat with MATTHEW LI of interior design and construction company Grande Design Interior about a project that he and his team finished in the area recently – and we take a look inside at the end result. Tell us a bit about the project. This is a newly built house that we designed from scratch. It’s a village house comprising 2,100

square feet, designed in an Australian style, with one master bedroom, two guest bedrooms and a maid’s bedroom. The design takes advantage of the generous natural lighting from outside, with a colour scheme of white and wood, and an open plan to create a fresh, clean feel. The owners have children studying abroad and they wanted a simple, cosy and homely design that would recreate a warm family vibe for them – that’s why we opted for an Australian-style home to achieve this goal.




29 DEC22-FEB23


How long did the work take? We started in April 2019 and finished around January 2020. Were there any particular challenges with the project? The house is located quite a long way from the centre of Hong Kong, which made some aspects of the job quite time-consuming. Also, it was a challenge to install some of the large-scale furniture on the second floor as the stairs are quite narrow; a few of the heavier pieces had to be carried up by machine. What are three key features of the new-look home? #1 Colour The colours used in the project match the atmosphere of the surroundings. The biggest feature of this house is the colour and material palette, which was chosen to create a bright and homely space. Much of the colouring is deliberately kept minimal – white, cream and beige – to merge with the wood and tiles, with some greenery added to help bring in the surrounding natural The open-plan design helps to expand the space. In the living and dining rooms, the layout was rearranged into an open plan including an open kitchen located near a large window door. This connects with the outdoors and allows more light in. #3 Partitions & Storage There is a partition from the foyer to divide the living and dining rooms as a welcoming feature. Also, in the master bedroom, a TV wall cabinet has been designed to work as a partition for the sleeping and working areas, while also serving as a storage cabinet. This house has more of a bright and simple design setting than many of our projects; we tend to do a lot of subtle, minimalist high-end spaces. Our team focuses a lot on aesthetics and functionality, as well as on an expert selection of materials, which can be seen in many of our projects. light and views. #2 Open Layout Is this a “typical” project for Grande Interior Design?




31 DEC22-FEB23


A word from the client I found Grande Interior Design online and hired them to build our new vi l lage house. We met and discussed what I needed. They came up with a design idea and sketched all the concepts including building, lighting, electricity and painting. In addition to the build, they made suggestions on procuring furniture and electrical appliances. Even when the job was finished, they’ve been avai lable to answer my queries, which is very appreciated. They’re a professional, friendly and desirable design team that have made a fantastic home for my family!

Take a look at other projects by Grande Interior Design at




Dining Mealtimes are a chance to recharge, relax and reconnect with family and friends, so why not do this in a stylish setting? These fab furniture ideas will help! DELIGHTS







5 6





Directory Altfield Interiors 1101, Nine Queen’s Road, Central 2525 2738 Indigo Living 6/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau 2555 0540 Tequila Kola 1/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau 2877 3295 TREE 28/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau 2870 1582 |


1 Brooklyn Nature dining table by Kare, Tequila Kola 2 Colefax & Fowler Autumn Winter 2022 fabric collection, Altfield Gallery 3 Oscar sideboard, TREE 4 Ischia Spiral Tre hanging lamp in lacquered steel, Tequila Kola 5 Jane Churchill Autumn Winter 2022 fabric collection, Altfield Gallery 6 Kalif eight-seater dining table in carved solid wood, Tequila Kola 7 Belvedere chairs in charcoal, Indigo Living 8 Vintage dining table, Vintage collection, TREE 9 Cecile marble dining table, Indigo Living 10 Voyage round organic valet tray in bronze, TREE 11 Chelsea armchair in honey brown, Tequila Kola


35 DEC22-FEB23



We chat with ADA WONG and ERIC LIU of Littlemore Interior Design about the small details they enjoy incorporating into their design projects to help make people feel more satisfied in their homes – like a yoga wall! LAUNCH “We established Littlemore in 2008. In the beginning, it was a part-time side business, mainly doing friends’ places and referral projects. It became full-time in 2019 when more and more people knocked on our door and we ended up not being able to cope with all the work on the side.” AIMS “Our top priority is to make our life fulfilling. So, we do projects that are to our liking and that bolster our overall growth and happiness. Design-wise, we believe that the warmness and comfort of a space is determined by whether the people inside feel attached to it. We care about the little details that make a space more than just a place where you exist, but also a personal realm to bring you a homely, carefree and cheerful vibe for whatever stage of life you’re at.”




PROJECTS “We’re currently focusing on commercial F&B and residential projects; in the future, we would also like to involve ourselves in wellness projects like fitness studios and yoga centres.” BACKGROUND “We both have a Master’s in Architecture and worked together in a foreign-based interior design studio specialising in F&B projects before starting up Littlemore. Being interior designers with an architectural background gives us the benefit of overseeing projects from the big picture concept to the finest details of design. We’re always passionate about integrating thoughtful design into daily life to shape a pleasing living environment that allows intimate and joyful interactions among people.”

About the yoga wall installation

“A regular yoga routine can be a difficult thing to establish if you don’t live near a studio, or if you’re an on-the-go type who struggles to make time for a regular class. Doing yoga at home can help you to fit the practice seamlessly into your life. Despite the limited space in most Hong Kong homes, by carefully considering the area, the amount of daylight, the orientation, the view and any safety aspects, a yoga wall can be integrated into a room such as the living room, and can blend perfectly with the interior design.”

TEAM “We try to keep our teamsimple and flexible in order to provide a more personalised experience to clients. The two of us oversee every project from scratch to finish, alongside our trusted long-termpartnering specialists fromvarious fields whenever our projects call for it.” TRENDS “Our way of living has changed a lot in the past few years. Every one of us has been trying our best to adapt to situations that are sometimes out of our control. We’re looking forward to a better time to come in 2023, with more of a focusing on our inner self, while at the same time treasuring moments with our families and friends. Our interior arrangements will also reflect these wishes, and bring more soothing and joyful feelings to people.”

Find out more at and on Instagram

37 DEC22-FEB23


An insider’s guide to life in their ’hood

Amy Overy From: UK

Occupation: Owner and Tour Guide, Hong Kong Greeters


Where do you live? A really quiet street that heads up Monkey Mountain in Tai Wai, New Territories. How long have you lived here? We’ve been here for nine years out of 14 in Hong Kong. I think it’s fair to say we love it! Why here? Tai Wai has always been a brilliantly central location for accessing every corner of Hong Kong, and it has gotten easier and easier over the time we have been here. The new East Rail line extension opened in May 2022 and has been a complete game-changer. We can now be on Hong Kong island in 17 minutes without any MTR changes. However, Tai Wai itself remains unabashedly the same – local family-run eateries and stores, the only recognisable brand is McDonald’s; plus a good mix of old and new residential property overlooked by Lion Rock. I think for those of us that live here, we share a love of its charm.

Describe your Tai Wai lifestyle.

It’s very friendly and relaxing with beautiful scenery and clear air. And it’s so quiet, especially in the evenings, so we really appreciate leaving the hustle and bustle behind when we get home. We love the family and community atmosphere; my kids have grown up on the street, so I’m happy for them to be out exploring with their friends. We still get together to trick or treat every year. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to have the regular evening meet-ups we used to, but when we do again, we usually take upmost of the space in Speak Easy, a great (tiny) local bar.

Monkeys at Kam Shan




The view across Lower Shing Mun

Reservoir to Tai Wai and Sha Tin in the distance


When you walk out of your place, what’s the first thing you see? The Shing Mun Reservoir and Lion Rock – plus the odd monkey or two. We live on a hill behind Kam Shan Country Park, so we’re used to seeing a lot of greenery, birds and other wildlife. My neighbour and I recently helped relocate a two-metre python back into the woods (by taking lots of advice from the lovely volunteers from the Hong Kong Snakes Facebook page). It really didn’t want to move but it had chosen a location in the middle of the road to take a rest! What’s your closest store? Texas, the meat and fish wholesaler – great value and super convenient. We have a Cozy Coffee that has popped up near the station as well, but it only opens at 10am and I usually need my caffeine hit before then! Tai Wai seems to have consolidated all the bike shops into one massive rental street led by Good Luck Bike on Chik Sau Lane. They have every bike that you can imagine (including pedal cars and seats for small children). It gets busy on weekends but I would recommend it for variety and accessibility to the river cycle path, over the hire places in Sha Tin. They already have! The loveliest sisters, Jill and Janice Vidal, Hong Kong pop stars, live along the street. What’s a mandatory stop if you have guests? Lion Rock. If you have a passion for the outdoors, this hike is one of the best, with magnificent views over Sha Tin and Kowloon at various points along the way as your reward. If you’re super keen (and I’ve only done this once), hiking Needle Hill is incredibly challenging but equally satisfying. I enjoyed it for the workout plus the wonderful views across Tai Wai. If a celebrity moves in, who would it be?

The Hakka walled village, Tsang Tai Uk

Hong Kong Heritage Museum

Lion Rock

39 DEC22-FEB23



Best local food in your area? My son would never forgive me if I didn’t mention the Po Po Dumpling House ( 婆婆 家餃子館 ) for homemade dumplings and special chilli sauce. It really is one of the best things to eat in Tai Wai – we order at least once a week. Date night – what and where? Firstly, we would go to Shatin Inn, The House of Satay. It has been going since the 1950’s and even made it into a few Hong Kong black and white movies. It’s such a classic and pretty much everyone has heard of it – they just may be surprised it’s still going! They do the best charcoal-grilled satay as well as a simple and delicious menu that includes curries and rice dishes. Then, I would drag my husband over to Top Nail so I could get a manicure, and he can have a foot massage. Best thing for kids in your area? The Heritage Museum is very close and has an excellent kids’ discovery room. Hin Tin Pool is next to the MTR and has a maze of outdoor slides, bridges and bubble pools – my kids love it. The cycling down by the river is perfect for families and there are a couple of options for learners, including the Bicycle Safety Park for novice cyclers in Sha Tin Wai, complete with road markings, traffic lights and Belisha beacons! Cycle Adventure Park in Shek Mun is for the more adventurous – both are easy to get to via the designated bicycle lane network. Favourite places in your area? Tsang Tai Uk is one of the best preserved Hakka walled villages, and still has its own piece of farmland, along with corner guard towers that were once used for shooting at pirates and looters coming up the Shing Mun River. I also love to take people to see the Ten Thousand Buddhas because it’s quite hard to find if you don’t know it – and so surprising when all the statues are revealed.

The family’s favourite local dumpling place, Po Po

Cycling is a popular pursuit in this area

Strangest thing you’ve seen in your area? Some very rare wildlife sightings, including giant monitor lizards, giant porcupines and barking deer!

Guiltiest pleasure in your area? Coffee and cakes at Cozy.

What would you never change about your area? Tai Wai is till a very traditional town and has some amazing local cuisine. There are very few signs of commercialisation; instead local business thrives. Best thing about living in your area? Apart from the amazing people, brilliant food and wealth of activities? I think it’s the accessibility to all the other brilliant parts of the city: a night out in Sai Kung, eating in Tai Po, shopping in Tsim Sha Tsui, getting kids to school in Kowloon Tong, boating in Plover Cove, hiking up Tai Mo Shan, and now travelling to work on Hong Kong Island in under twenty minutes.

Share it with others – just email us at with “Street Talk” in the subject line. Include your name and street, and we’ll be in touch.



Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter creator