I think every one of my strongest early memories of Hong Kong revolves around water. My first trip on the Star Ferry was a knockout, of course – taking in those views of precipitous highrises and hills for the first time. (As a backpacker, it helped that I was paying next to nothing for the privilege!) Sitting at the front of the top deck on the bus from Central to Stanley was another eye-opener – and for me it happened to be an intensely blue-sky day. Just wow . I’ll also never forget my first “proper” boat adventure, pulling into deserted coves and beaches for swimming and wandering, followed by a late lunch and cold beer at Yau Ley. My only bad memory of water in Hong Kong is absentmindedly forgetting to take a bottle of the stuff on a long Maclehose hike in the middle of summer. To this day, I worship that vending machine at Pak Tam Au like a god. As you might be able to tell from our cover, this issue celebrates Hong Kong’s hotter months with an aquatic theme. We slap on the sunscreen and head out with some of the best junk companies and caterers – and give you the chance to win your own junk trip with 20 mates. If you prefer swimming in a stylish hotel pool, we’ve also rounded up some great summer staycation offers – and, again, the chance to win one. Elsewhere, you’ll find a feature on 20 of the best ways to have fun in, on and around water in HK, a glimpse at living by the sea at Tseung Kwan O, insights from a school that treats the beach as another classroom, and a review of some booze-free drinks if you happen to be the one driving the boat. Finally, if you’re like me and you tend to forget water when it’s most needed, you’ll also appreciate our look at the easiest indoor plants to keep alive in Hong Kong! There’s plenty for landlubbers to enjoy too: a buying guide for sprucing your living room, a taste test of Middle Eastern treats, a pregnancy and maternity special, and a look inside readers’ homes in Lantau and on the Peak. And, if somehow none of all that takes your fancy … we’ve also got pictures of cute puppies.

Shamus Sillar

Have a great summer.




Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET Group Editor


Sales & Marketing KATE WOODBURY Chief Operations Officer COLIN PURCHASE Contributing Writers


CONTACT US General Enquiries: +852 3480 7614 | +65 6259 0058 | info@expatliving.hk Advertising Sales: advertising@expatliving.hk | sales@expatliving.hk

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

Cover: Charter Junks (charterjunkshk.com)





Our online antics and upcoming events

10 Hong Kong News 16 WIN … a night junk-trip for 20 people! 17 WIN … a Hyatt Regency staycation! HOME & LIFE 20 Home Showcase: A project in Lantau 26 Summer Style: Bring the tropics indoors 27 Green Thumb: Three perfect house plants 28 Cool Collection: Indigo Living launches a new range 30 Home Showcase: A writer’s retreat on the Peak 37 Sustainable Sheets: We look at bamboo bedding 38 Bedroom Décor: Five tips for a stylish sleeping area 40 Interior Design: A creative director shares his latest work 42 Buying Guide: Living room furniture and accessories

20 The McGuigans invite us in!

46 Street Talk:

62 Super Summer:

What it’s like living in Tseung Kwan O

Inside a great holiday camp option

63 Kids & Languages:

62 Summer fun for the kids!

50 Jolly Junks:

The benefits of starting young

A guide to companies and caterers

64 Behind the Lens:

54 On The Screen:

Capturing families and their fur- kids! 68 The Hong Kong Pages: Facts, trivia, history and more 70 Transfer Tips: An app to help you send money overseas 71 Dollar Advice: Getting your investment strategy started 72 Guardianship Guide: How to be prepared overseas

Top TV and film recommendations

56 On The Page:

We preview the latest great reads

57 Eco Education:

How sustainable are Hong Kong schools?

58 Nature’s Classroom:

The benefits of outdoor learning

60 Virtual Learning:

Meet principal and pioneer Jo Vigneron





Advice from a baby sleep guru

96 Super Staycays:

Great packages and deals all over HK

Maternity Special! 78 Pregnancy Prepping: Getting your body healthy and ready 79 Hospital Help: Why women choose Matilda 80 Fitness Focus: Tips on exercising with the bump 81 Postnatal Plan: One reader’s wellness journey 82 Newborn Know-how: What is a dream feed? 84 Snooze Struggles: Tips for helping baby to sleep 86 Expert Advice:

102 Wet n’ Wild:

20 aquatic activities to beat the heat

106 Travel Trends:

How tourism will change

110 Design Focus:

A future landmark set to rise in Bangkok

88 Hair Care:

REGULARS 112 Puzzle Pages 114 Important Numbers 115 Our Advertisers 116 Parting Shot: The promise of dawn

Treatments to fight the summer frizz

90 Tried & Tested:

We try a range of low- and no- alcohol drinks

92 Taste Test:

Middle Eastern feasts to discover

Disciplining kids without spanking


Skip the hangover!

We put Middle Eastern eateries to the test 92

7 JUN-AUG2021



A talk about understanding perimenopause and menopause with IMC MENOPAUSE

11 June 10am Zoom Online

To register, visit expatliving.hk/ELevents

Are you looking to make the most out of living in Hong Kong or know someone new in town who needs a helping hand? Whether you’ve just arrived or have been here a while, our City Guide offers loads of tips and advice on neighbourhoods to live in, property, education, health, dining out and more!

Scan the QR code to read the digital edition or get a copy delivered to you expatliving.hk/guides



to your door! Get your favourite mag delivered

Subscribe for just $192

and you’ll also enjoy free access to the digital edition on the Magzter app! $128 A digital subscription is available too, for just $69.

expatliving.hk/subscribe Scan or visit

9 JUN-AUG2021


Beddingby Bamboa Sustainable homeware and lifestyle store Bamboa Home has a new range of Pomegranate & Pear bedding that looks perfect for diving into. The Pomegranate & Pear Duvet Sheet (HK$3,180) includes two pillow cases, a fitted sheet and a duvet cover, all made from Tencel manufactured in Austria. This sustainable fabric made from beech wood is eco-friendly and non-toxic, and 98 percent of the water used is recycled. So, you can sleep easy this summer on linens that feel incredible and were ethically and sustainably made. bamboahome.com

Designer furniture brand Dalisay Collection (DACO) derives its name from the Tagalog word meaning “pure, sincere, genuine”, and offers hand- crafted furniture and home décor that celebrates the impeccable work of Filipino artisans. Visit the Dalisay pop-up at K11 MUSEA and you’ll find long-lasting pieces that are made to be loved, refurbished, repaired and reused again and again. Ask about the flexible ownership plans too; these range from three to 12 months, giving you the chance to enjoy high-end furniture in the home with low upfront costs. dalisaycollection.com Philippines From the

Spruce Up Your Kitchen Premium kitchen interiors brand Vespa imports high-quality hardware and storage systems from Italy and Germany; they’re made from durable materials and certified safe and environmentally friendly. Vespa’s door panels, for instance, feature an innovative Italian coating known as FENIX NTM (nanotechnology matt materials), which is fade-resistant, anti- bacterial, water-repellent, anti-fingerprint and allows thermal healing of superficial micro-scratches. Visit the showroom at G/F, 62 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay. 3188 0659 | vespacucine.com



To encourage readers in Hong Kong to discover new authors and genres, Bookazine has launched Bookspoke, a great new book subscription service available through the Bookazine website. There are four different plans – picture books, middle grade books, crime novels and fiction – which means something to suit every reader. Every month, Bookspoke subscribers receive a book curated by Bookazine’s book experts according to their age and preferences. bookazine.com.hk Books! Subscribe for

The Australian International School Hong Kong has an award- winning campus just two minutes fromKowloon Tong Station. Discover it for yourself – and see the school in action – by joining one of the weekly tours. AISHK offers a balanced education, focusing on both wellbeing and academic success, to more than 1,100 students from Reception (aged 4) to Year 12, representing over 25 nationalities. Senior students graduate with either the IB Diploma or NSW Higher School Certificate (HSC) curriculum, for a seamless transition to universities around the world. admissions@aishk.edu.hk | aishk.edu.hk | 2304 6078 Discover a Day at AISHK

The Australian Association of Hong Kong has honoured Joan Leong, their colleague, mentor, friend and Association Honorary Life Member, after she celebrated her 100th birthday in May. In collaboration with the Australian International School, it announced the creation of the Joan Leong Australian Association Community Service Award. The annual award will go to a student who shows commitment to volunteering in community service. Born in Sydney, Joan has spent more than four decades in HK; her late husband Lawrence was a distinguished barrister here, while Joan devoted decades of voluntary service to the Aussie Association, becoming its first female President in the 1980s. ozhongkong.com

Summer Fun Ge t r e a d y f o r a n innovative, educational and super-fun summer break for the kids ! Chi ldren aged from three to 17 will love the multiple activities o n o f f e r a t t h e various camps run by ActiveKids Hong Kong; choose f rom STEM Science and Robotics,

Chess, Cooking, Arts and Fashion Design. The three-to-five-day camps run until 28 August. Special offer: Book by 15 June to enjoy a $150 early bird discount, plus additional discounts for signing up multiple kids! 3480 4199 | 9178 7376 | activekidshk.com

11 JUN-AUG2021

The unisex Crabtree Collection will appeal to everyone, from the Nourish + Renew Lip Balm that hydrates your lips anywhere and anytime, to the Cleanse + Awaken Shower Gel, perfect for washing away another busy day. These are products designed to be shared – which is what we discovered when sampling the Shower Gel at home; the whole family – parents and teenage kids alike – loved the fresh apple fragrance! In other Crabtree & Evelyn news, the Evelyn Rose Hydrating Glow Face Moisturiser launched here in May; described as being like a “luscious pudding”, it has a blend of active ingredients that enhance skin tone and reduce fine lines. crabtree-evelyn.com.hk

For a Sun-kissed Glow Fenty’s new Body Sauce is a lightweight body tint that provides a subtle shimmer for a healthy- looking glow. The innovative formula applies evenly and instantly blends to enhance your skin tone; it has a light, silky texture and is smooth to the touch. Seven shades are available, catering to all skin tones, with buildable coverage that evens out blemishes and imperfections. Plus, the humidity- and sweat- resistant gel-cream is formulated with babassu oil and vitamin E to nourish the skin all day or night. Apply it to clean, dry skin and blend with the Face & Body Kabuki Brush 160 (we love this brush!). The Body Sauce Body Luminizing Tint is $428 from Sephora and Harvey Nichols.

Restore & Replenish The Tatcha skincare l ine is a celebration of classical Japanese beauty culture – in fact, it’s said to be based on the beauty rituals of geishas. Newly available is The Dewy Serum, a smoothing, hydrating and plumping serum that gives skin new life. As we write this, one of the EL team has been using it for a week; “I really like it; I find it absorbs easily and is perfect as a base layer before foundation – and, yes, it does make my skin look a bit ‘dewy’!” The Dewy Serum is HK$770 at Lane Crawford. lanecrawford.com.hk



Beauty Brands Galore Opened 31 May, Beauty Botanica is a new beauty and wellness destination located on the third floor of the Landmark Atrium. Designed to look like a country garden, the boutique is a permanent space created to celebrate everything luxury, niche and natural. It will feature 27 beauty and wellness brands, from famed Erno Lazslo and Aromatherapy Associates, to more boutique offerings from the likes of Wildheart Organics, Melyon, Monastery and EiR NYC. 15 Queen’s Road Central.

Mix Your Own

Get Better Cover To protect your loved ones with the best available private healthcare when needed, Bupa Global’s Elite Global Health Plan offers a wealth of benefits; these include cover for treating cancer and other serious illnesses, and outpatient and maternity benefits (waiting period applies). Bupa will also cover two children up to age 10 at no extra cost, subject to underwriting. Plus, until 30 June 2021, enrol in a designated Health Plan and earn a

Pibu Pibu was first released in Korea in 2018, and its iconic shampoo and body wash went on to become a big hit. The unique concept lets you mix and match two bio-active ampoules made from a wide range of natural ingredients into the base product to create a personalised product just for you. Pibu Pibu is now available in Hong Kong, so you can try this brand-new skincare experience. We’ve had a go ourselves; we loved the shampoo with the “Jack” and “Oz” ampoules added in, and the body wash with “Cindy” and “Brick”! www.pibupibu.com.hk | instagram.com/ pibupibu_hk

hotel cash voucher for HK$1,500 – you can pamper yourself with a luxury spa or dining experience while prioritising your health at the same time! Call 2531 8562 for more info. bupaglobal.com

Neelam Pure Health offers coaching programmes including one-on-one sessions for men, women and teenagers, with packages also available. Sessions include a detailed analysis of your food and health history, and valuable insights into progressing your health goals. You’ll hear about areas you may want to prioritise and focus on to maximise your energy, and improve your sleep and overall health. Goals are reviewed individually so you have a personalised plan to kick-start your progress. Connect with Neelam for a 15-minute complimentary consultation. @nee l ampurehea l th | nee l ampurehea l th@gma i l . com | neelampurehealth.com

13 JUN-AUG2021

GrubonGrahamStreet Just opened in NoHo is Graham St Food Hall (GSFH), an all- day dining venue for work or play (it’s pet-friendly, too). Five homegrown food vendors serve a range of tasty dishes: Japanese- style hamburg steak donburi bowls at Hambaga; expertly smoked American meat dishes at Smoke & Barrels; thick and cheesy Detroit- style pizza (HK’s first) at Motown Pizza & Wings; signature Basque burnt cheesecake at La Viña; and artisanal bean-to-bar chocolates from Girona, Spain at Casa Cacao. Plus, GSFH has drinks for any time of day, including 15 different American bourbons. All vendors cater for takeaway and dining in; you can order via the website or Deliveroo. Look out for special offers and pop-ups. Shop 3, 23 Graham Street, Central. 9612 0988 | grahamstfoodhall.hk

Hello to a New Hotel

Turning Jackfruit to Pork Karana, Asia’s first whole-plant based meat brand, has arrived in Hong Kong after a successful launch in Singapore. Delicious and sustainable, Karana’s first product is a tasty and healthy “pork” made with an often underutilised and wasted product, jackfruit. The brand is partnering with various HK restaurants – including Chaat, Sip Song, Emerald, Beef & Liberty, Elephant Grounds and more – as well as with Deliveroo brand Hot ‘N’ Meen, and with distributor Classic Fine Foods. eatkarana.com | instagram@eatkarana.com

Hong Hong has another hotel! The Arca from Yulan Group had its soft opening in May, in Wong Chuk Hang. The 187-room property is driven by art and design, and looks out over Aberdeen Harbour and the peaceful slopes of Southside. First-class amenities include a rooftop infinity pool, a fitness studio, a casual yet modern indoor/outdoor dining space (in full operation by mid-Q3), and an event space. The Arca is also dog-friendly, with plenty of services to keep tails wagging. Don’t miss the diverse art collection, including the rooftop mural by #creativehustlers, and the “Meet Tourist” photography series by French fine art photographer Laurent Segretier. The Arca is a seven-minute walk from Wong Chuk Hang MTR. thearca.com | instagram.com@thearcahotel

Opening in an iconic heritage building in Wan Chai in June is CRUST Italian. This new dining destination is for those who love the warmth, the tastes and the ingredients of Naples and the Amalfi Coast’s legendary food

culture. It combines an all-day Pasticceria pastry and coffee shop, with a restaurant and Italian street food takeaway counter; so, the essence of the Campania region all in one spot! Woo Cheong Pawn Shop, G/F, 60A-66 Johnston Road. instagram.com/crust_italian



Upgrade Your Staycation! HK-based travel specialist Intriq Journey, through its membership in the Virtuoso Luxury Travel network, offers its customers all kinds of add-ons. This includes room upgrades – like the one you can get at the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong right now. The Four Seasons has just had a renovation, unveiling a new cocktail bar, lobby and café, and beautifully refreshed guest rooms. Book through Intriq Journey and you can upgrade for free from a Deluxe Peak View Room to a Harbour ViewRoom, plus earn US$100 hotel credit at the same time. There’s a range of other perks available, too. To find out more, call 2885 2181 or WhatsApp 9727 7016 . intriqjourney.com/hk

On theMove 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 provide advice for expats arriving and leaving Hong Kong. “What is the best timing for relocation?” Moving is a highly seasonal business. It seems almost everyone wants to move between June and the beginning of September, with another bump in activity, albeit less pronounced, at the end of the calendar year. This seasonality is closely tied to the school year; understandably, people want to move when school is on summer break and allow their children to get settled and ready to start the new school year in their new city of residence. If you need to move during a peak period, contact a mover as soon as possible to get the ball rolling. Leave it until everything is confirmed and you risk finding there’s no space available to put your household goods on a ship. On the other hand, if you’re more flexible with timing, consider the seasonal cycle and plan for your move for outside peak period. This will save a lot of undue stress! Here’s a quick guide to booking your move: #1 Avoid moves from June to early September, if possible; this is peak moving season in Hong Kong. #2 Avoid booking towards the end of the month – early in the month is often best; late is worst. #3 Start making enquiries about your move as early as you can – a month or more in advance, where possible. #4 If moving in the peak season, be prepared for strong competition for moving dates, less flexibility in terms of date, scale and scope of your move, and higher costs compared to off-peak moves.

Sublime Sardinia Still making a whole bunch of travel plans, like us? Here’s one we’ve pencilled in! Italian hotel brand Baglioni Hotels & Resorts, which operates luxury properties from Venice to London and the Maldives, has just launched Baglioni Resort Sardinia. Set within the Tavolara marina, a protected natural landscape, the Mediterranean hotel makes the most of the wild and majestic surroundings of Sardinia’s unspoilt coast – with plenty of chic Italian touches to boot. baglionihotels.com

Read a full version of this article at asiantigersgroup. com/timing-your-move-peak-vs-non-peak-times, and contact Asian Tigers for further assistance at asiantigersgroup.com/contact-us.

15 JUN-AUG2021


It’s one of the iconic Hong Kong experiences: a trip on a junk with a big group of family or friends and plenty of awesome eats and drinks. Now you have the chance to do exactly that, thanks to the competition we’re running with Charter Junks Hong Kong . About the prize The four-hour evening junk trip will be aboard one of Charter Junks HK’s special teak junks, Kitty or Poppy (depending on availability). You can bring along a heap of mates (maximum number of guests is 20), and the whole group will be catered for with food and drinks by Charter Junks’ catering partner Zebratasty . Here are some more details: … A NIGHT JUNK TRIP WORTH OVER HK$16,000! FOR 20 PEOPLE

Don’t miss this giveaway and the opportunity for a great time out on the water with family or friends.

Date: Any available day you like (except a public holiday) between now and 21 December 2021. Time: You can opt for a 6pm to 10pm sailing, or 7pm to 11pm. Route: You can customise the route, but generally most night junk trips go through Central and up to Kai Tak, before sailing down the Kowloon front and back to Central. Food: A BBQ Menu will be available; check it out at charterjunkshk.com/food. Drinks: Three cases of beer, 12 bottles of wine (red, white and/ or bubbles – your choice), soft drinks (various). Extras: A staff member will be on hand to serve food and drinks, plus there’s a music system that you can connect to via iPhone to play your favourite playlists!


You can find all the details at expatliving.hk/competitions or scan the QR code to enter. Hurry – entries close on 14 June!

Find out more about Charter Junks Hong Kong in our feature article in this issue – turn to page 52.




Keen for a summer escape? Here’s your chance to grab a New Territories getaway.

We’re all striving to find fun ways to evoke that familiar travel feeling of old right now. A stay at the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Sha Tin will give you exactly that. “Nestled” may be an overused word when it comes to describing hotel locations, but it’s the perfect fit for this one! The property is perched beside Tolo Harbour, with rolling green hills rising up on either side – which puts the trees and trails of the New Territories’ nature zones within easy striking distance. About the prize If you’re lucky enough to come up trumps in our competition, you’ll enjoy an overnight in a One Bedroom Harbour View Suite at the Hyatt Regency in Sha Tin (valid for weekday stays). Included in the prize are a lunch buffet for two people and a breakfast buffet for two, both at the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant Cafe. There’s also complementary bicycle hire for two people, so you can explore the area on two wheels. Sha Tin is great for cycling, with some excellent waterside paths around the harbour.

About the hotel Located adjacent to the University MTR Station, the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Sha Tin is an urban oasis ideal for couples and families to enjoy a restful getaway. Along with scenic views of Tolo Harbour or Kau To Shan mountain from your room, there’s a full range of facilities to enhance your stay, including five F&B outlets (restaurants, bars and a pastry shop), an outdoor heated swimming pool, the Melo Spa and more.


You can find all the details at expatliving.hk/competitions or scan the QR code to enter. Hurry – entries close on 30 June!

Find out more about staycations at the Hyatt Regency in our feature article in this issue – turn to page 96.

17 JUN-AUG2021

Furniture Finds: Fabulous picks for your living room

Altfield Interiors



Lantau PHOTOGRAPHY COL SIM The idea of renovating a home had long appealed to JENYA MCGUIGAN; a recent move from Lamma to Lantau gave her the chance to do exactly that. Project


About the Home Type and location: 2,100-square-foot village house in Pui O, Lantau Layout: 5 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, 2 living rooms, helper’s quarters, roof deck overlooking Lantau Peak and the sea, and a small garden Who lives here: The McGuigans – Jenya, Steven and daughter Gwyneth (2.5), along with their helper Jojo Where they’re from: Jenya was born in Russia and raised in Toronto; Steven is from London How long they’ve been in Hong Kong: Jenya – 8 years; Steven – 15 years Style of home: “Modern, renovated

family home with a boldly colourful beach vibe”




Did you buy or rent, and why did you choose this particular property? We bought the house in the summer of 2020, and we carried out renovations over four months, from January to April 2021. We chose this particular property because of its wonderful energy; we appreciated the good-quality bones of the home – it offered an exciting opportunity for a makeover. There used to be a garage that occupied a large part of the ground floor; its potential made us very excited when we viewed the house, and we went on to renovate it into a master bedroom and bathroom abode. Tell us a bit about the location; what do you like most about the neighbourhood? We both work in demanding jobs in finance in Central, and we love coming home to peaceful South Lantau, winding down with an alfresco cup or a glass; we thoroughly enjoy weekends on the beach or driving around Lantau and discovering its never-ending coves, hiking trails and

various villages – that’s if we’re not hosting and entertaining! We love the neighbourhood’s hip and quiet family-friendly vibe, the quirky and colourful houses and temple, and the proximity to both Pui O beach and to a hiking paradise! We wanted to achieve a cosy, quirky and boldly colourful beach house that was perfect for entertaining little and big people. We have separated nicely the areas where kids and adults play (and work), with the ground floor, third floor and fourth-floor roof deck being adult areas, and the second floor and garden perfect for children to enjoy themselves. I wanted to have excellent storage solutions, too, so we designed built-in wardrobes and storage spaces in four of the five bedrooms. Storage was key! Having a superb kitchen where I could cook while entertaining was also a non- negotiable. (The kitchen is on the third What was your vision for the renovation?

floor, just below the roof deck, rather than more traditionally located on the ground floor.) And last but not least, a Japanese toilet with “extra features” in the Japan- inspired master bathroom was another item I felt I had to have. How did you come to use Jenny Perry and Perry Contracting for the work? I read an article in Expat Living in June 2020 about Jenny and it included photos of a renovated village house that looked very lovely. I experienced an immediate lightbulb moment and ran to Steven saying, “Look! This is what we need to do!” The truth is that we lived in a house on Lamma Island at the time, and it was very nice, but I was itching to improve many parts of it. However, because it was a rental, that naturally didn’t make any sense. I have a very creative mind, so I would just spend time imaging what I might do instead. When we decided we would actually start on a renovation project in real life, I was exhilarated!

21 JUN-AUG2021


I saw an Expat Living article about a renovated village house, and I ran to Steven saying, “Look! This is what we need to do!”




How were you involved in the design process? I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the house and all the spaces, and I was involved in every step of the design process. Jenny and I luckily had four months for the design and planning process before renovations began, so once we broke ground, everything was straightforward. Firstly, we are so, so pleased with the kitchen overall – particularly the stunning terrazzo countertop! It was the very first item I decided was a must, before we even found the right house. But then I became a bit worried it might turn out too bright or clash with all the other colourful details on the third floor. In fact, the opposite happened: the countertop complements the blue cabinets, the blue “shimmering-like-the-sea” tiles and the funky macaroon lights perfectly. We can’t stop swooning over it! The second thing is def initely our daughter’s circus-inspired playroom, with its dramatic velvet curtains, bold red cabinets, and the incredible jelly bean (or “Jenny bean”!) bathroom. We love supporting talented friends, and we have a beautiful photograph by our friend Lucy that looks stunning in the master bathroom. We also have several pieces by our friend Nelly in the lounge room, dining room and playroom. What are one or two of your favourite aspects of the reno? And what about a few of your favourite items in the home?

23 JUN-AUG2021


Jenya & Steven’s Recommendations Organic Modernism organicmodernism.com

Oriental Home (for custom-made) orientalhome.business.site Moma momastore.hk Anthropologie hk.anthropologie.com Omo (for furniture from the Philippines) facebook.com/omofurniture.ph Perry Contracting 9225 6565 | perrycontractinghk.com




Bring the Outside In! The Altfield Interiors team share some of their top décor tips for creating a year-round and al l- weather “outdoor” oasis, right in the comfort of your own home. WhileHong Kong summers are blessedwith brilliant sunshine, the hot and humid days are oftenmore comfortably spent indoors in the air-conditioning. So, why not bring the outdoors in? It’s easy enough to do via a few simple décor “tricks” – and the result allows you to enhance your seasonal experience during the summer months and beyond. Check out these tips below for an easy and effective home upgrade! #1 Pattern Play Pay homage to the motifs and

patterns found in the great outdoors by selecting suitably themed fabrics and trimmings. From undulating ocean waves to verdant green leaves and punchy florals, allow your spirit – and home! – to be carried away into the beauty of nature. #2 Summer Shades Brighten up your space by using a colour palette reflective of your favourite outdoor destination, whether that’s Italy’s Amalfi Coast or a tropical rainforest. Firstly, select one principal colour to form the foundation of your palette. Secondly, combine and layer pieces from the same colour group, for a multi-dimensional tonal look. Feeling bold? Try mixing a few strong colours together! We especially like green/ blue and pink/green/yellow combinations.

#3 It’s All in The Details In addition to soft furnishings, smaller decorative pieces also play a role in enhancing the overall look and feel of a space. From potted plants to beautiful vases and glassware, have fun and don’t be afraid to experiment. Create the feel of an outdoor picnic with a few simple floor cushions, a refreshing drink, and a delicious spread of your favourite canapés.

1101, Nine Queen’s Road, Central 2525 2738 | altfield.com.hk




3 Perfect House Plants

The team from Green It Up HK recommend a few pretty (and hardy!) plants for giving your indoor space a bit of a spruce, and share some tips on maintenance.

Browse these three plant varieties and many others at the website; order online by 3pm, and your plants will be delivered at the earliest opportunity the next day. You’ll also get an email from the team about how to handle your particular purchases. greenituphk.com The company offers everything from small, medium and large green plants, flowering plants and fruit trees, to soil, pots, fertiliser, landscape design, gardening tools and maintenance services, with delivery in Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories. They also provide free plant consultation to ensure you get the right plant for your environment. Maintenance tips fromGreen It Up • “All plants need light and air to thrive. So, when you choose a plant, first understand the lighting conditions of your space, and how well air circulates in it. We will then recommend plants that are most suitable. Note: most plants struggle to do well in areas with poor circulation; you may be left with only a small choice of options.” • “Know how committed you are to take care of your plants. There are certain types of ‘lazy’ plants that don’t require much care, so even people with the busiest schedule can look after them. If you have plants that require more maintenance and you find that you’re short on time, we offer maintenance services to help keep them in good condition.” • “Plants take their nutrients from the soil. We ensure there is enough potted soil for your plant to support its growth. We use premium soil with plenty of NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) that’s well mixedwith perlite, silica, coco peat and peat moss to provide good drainage; more importantly, it has been steamed and so is less likely to carry insect eggs.” About Green It Up HK

#1 Bird of Paradise The bird of paradise (strelitzia) has tall stems with big stunning leaves; it’s definitely a statement piece for any kind of space. It’s suitable for Hong Kong’s climate, too, and easy to care for. In fact, we haven’t received any bad feedback about this plant – even some of our newer “green thumb” clients can handle them well!

The plant is better to be in a bright space with good air circulation, preferably where it will get one to two hours of direct sunlight. It can still survive in medium-lit areas; we would just suggest that you move it to a spot once a week where it can get direct sunlight for one to two hours. Keep an eye soil condition and water it once the soil is dry. #2 Monstera

With its stunning green leaves with holes, monstera is a plant that everyone can handle well. It’s best placed in a space with medium to bright lighting, with no direct sunlight, and with good air circulation.

All you need to do is water the plant to keep the soil moist, and spray water on the leaves to allow it a bit of humidity.

#3 Snake Plant This is perhaps the easiest plant of all to take care of. No matter what kind of lighting you have – from weak to bright, or from no direct sunlight to lots of direct sunlight – the snake plant can handle it well. If you have it placed indoors, only water it once a week.

27 JUN-AUG21



We explore the offerings from an exciting new furniture and home accessory brand.




Indigo Living is celebrating a new launch! According to the team, the emphasis of the range at TRIBE by Indigo is to show off your individuality and creativity throughout your home, while being free from the kinds of limitations that so often intrude on the furniture-buying process. So, they don’t want you to compromise on style for the sake of function; nor do they want you to fret about the size (or lack thereof!) of your particular living space, or whether an item is going to break the bank. Instead, the focus is on affordable accessories and furnishings that look good and fit your pad, and which can be mixed and matched with ease so you can get the look you want. We’ve run our eye over the catalogue of TRIBE goodies, and picked out some of our faves!






1 Owen table clock, HK$379 2 Charlie armchair, HK$4,790 3 Leah chair, HK$4,790

4 Amara dual-seat ottoman, HK$2,290 5 Dean drawer and dresser, HK$9,900 6 TRIBE by Indigo furniture and accessories 7 Ceramic vases, from $HK279 each 8 Havana Pompom cushion, HK$299 9 Relax paperweight, HK$349 10 Happy Hour birch-wood tray, HK$359 11 Scented candles, from HK$199






The Indigo Group includes Indigo Living, Indigo Atelier, Indigo Kids and now TRIBE by Indigo. Find out more at Instagram @tribebyindigo and at indigo-living.com, or visit the flagship stores at 6/F and 8/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau.

29 JUN-AUG2021




We meet children’s author (and saree enthusiast!) BHAKTI MATHUR at her peaceful home on the Peak.

Who lives here: Bhakti, husband Anurag, their two boys, Shiv (13) and Veer (11), two dogs, Rafa (from Hong Kong Dog Rescue) and Sam (a Golden Labrador froma breeder in Australia), and helper Dolores. Where is it: The Peak Style of home: “Warm, colourful and homely!”

Where are you originally from? What do you miss about it? I grew up in Delhi. It can be a tough city for a girl from a middle-class family, but it’s a city that makes you strong and independent. I think that’s what I got out of growing up there. That apart, when I think about Delhi, the images that flash across my mind are the changing seasons – the nip in the air in October, the smell of the flowers in spring and eating golgappas (a kind of street food) from a road-side eatery. And, of course, spending time with friends and family. My husband and I came to Hong Kong in 2000. Prior to this we were in San Francisco for a year, and Mumbai before that. My husband’s work brought us here. I worked as a relationship manager in private banking from 2001 to 2017 with ING, Bank of Singapore and J Safra Sarasin. When did you come here and what brought you here?




Before we ask about your lovely home, tell us what do you do in Hong Kong now. I left the banking industry in 2017 to focus on writing and to spend more time with my children. I write books for children on Indian mythology; I have 16 published titles, with the 17th slated for release in June. And I have two series – Amma Tell Me (self-published) and Amma Take Me (published by Penguin India). I also freelance as a feature writer, writing on culture, life and fitness for the South China Morning Post. While I enjoyed my work in banking, I always had a longing to do something more fulfilling with my life. For years, I couldn’t figure out what that was. I finally had my eureka moment in December 2010. The Indian festival of colours, Holi, was round the corner. I was looking for a good book to explain the festival to my older son who was then two years old. When I couldn’t find anything that I liked, I got the idea to write one myself!

31 JUN-AUG2021


What was the next step? I decided to make it a series, and I called it Amma Tell Me (“Amma” means mother). I then set up my own publishing company, Anjana Publishing; Anjana is the mother of my favourite god, the monkey god Hanuman. I wrote the Amma Tell Me series to share with my sons the fascinating stories from Indian mythology that I’d grown up with. There were no resources that were simple to understand and that captured the rich imagery of mythological India – such an integral part of these stories. So I started writing in a style that I think kids find fun and non-preachy; and I collaborated on the illustrations to bring out the imagery I wanted my stories to convey. The series has 12 books, including on the festivals of Diwali and Holi, and on the Hindu gods Krishna, Hanuman and Ganesha, among others. The second series, Amma Take Me, introduces readers to the history of the major Indian faiths through important places of worship. Styled as a travelogue of a mother and her two young children, the books are based on conversations I had with my children as we visited these fascinating places. They link history, tradition and mythology to bring the monuments alive. There are four in the series, including one on the famous Golden Temple in Amritsar. The books are aimed at readers aged eight to 12 years. And one more distraction first: tell us a bit about your fascination with sarees. My recent rediscovery of my love for the saree is akin to falling for an old ex-flame! There is excitement, a tingling freshness to each caress and yet also the comfort and security of a shared past in every embrace. My love affair with these garments began when I was around 10, with a beautiful pink saree woven with silver threads that my mother wore. I was thrilled to tag along with my grandmother as she went saree shopping, fascinated by the endless shelves piled with neatly folded colourful sarees, entertained by the salespeople – always men – unfolding and draping the sarees on themselves, and amused by the haggling over the prices while countless cups of tea were consumed.

In winter, I write on the roof. I love the sun, being in the open, and writing surrounded by nature.




Soon, college and work took over and sarees took a back seat. I would wear a saree a few times a year, on Diwali, at a family wedding or for a special occasion. A few months back, while writing a feature on sarees for a publication, I started to research this iconic garment. As I spoke with textile scholars in India about its origin and evolution, I thought of my wedding trousseau (comprised of sarees), lying in a trunk, unopened for years. I opened my trousseau box and took out all the sarees my mother had collected for my wedding, 23 years ago. There were hand- woven sarees from different parts of India – brocaded Banarasis from Varanasi, pure silk Kanjeevarams from Tamil Nadu, Balucharis from West Bengal, among others. The old flame was rekindled. I started wearing them, one by one, for business meetings, for lunches, dinners and sometimes for no reason at all. As I draped myself in the whole six yards, I realised the amount of effort my mother had invested to curate this collection – different sarees from all across India, each with its own identity, traditional design, motifs and colours. I felt my mother’s love through these sarees. Most importantly, when I draped a saree, I felt beautiful, confident, sexy and feminine – like a woman ready to take on the world! Today, I share my love for sarees by wearing them as often as I can. I also share posts on social media wearing different weaves and give a bit of the history of each type of weave.

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Okay, now to your home! What brought you to this location on the Peak? We have always lived on the Peak, since we came to Hong Kong, and we’ve changed homes four times. We’ve been living in this house for the past eight years. What I love about it is the amount of light and air that we get. It’s bright and happy. We have a sun- roof that allows a lot more light to enter. I also love that we have a roof (600 to 700 square feet). It’s where I spend many hours writing in the winter, and reading all through the year. And it’s also the cricket ground for the boys – many a match has been played here under the term “roof cricket”. The fact that the swimming pool is five steps away from our roof is an added bonus. I also like that the house is on different levels, with each level offering privacy.

Tell us a bit about the location; what do you like most about the neighbourhood? I love the greenery and the peace and quiet on the Peak. We have two dogs, and it’s great to have so many trails starting close by where we can take them for walks. I’m an avid hiker. I love walking on Severn Road (a 40-minute walk) – the views are stunning – and I also enjoy Peel Rise (1.5 hours), and down to Pok Fu Lam Reservoir and up to Lugard Road (1.5 hours). I also love the fact that I can be in Central in 15 minutes and back home climbing a hill in another 15! You have some fabulous art in your home; could you tell us the story behind two or three of your favourite items? “She” by Samir Mondal is a water colour on paper and the first painting that my husband and I bought. Saffron Art (saffronart.com) was exhibiting a few artists in Hong Kong and as soon as we saw the painting we knew it had to be in our home; the imagery and the colours were so striking. Mondal is an Indian artist (born




in 1952) who is known as the “watercolour man”. His main contribution to Indian art has been the revival of the watercolour painting (samirmondal.com). We also have an untitled old painting by Jatin Das that I bought in 2005 in Mumbai. I loved it for its simplicity in depicting a woman who looks both traditional and modern at the same time. The use of colours is subtle. Das (born in 1941) is an Indian painter, sculptor and muralist. What about your furniture; is it old or new? Bought here or abroad? Do you have a favourite? All our furniture pieces have been bought in Hong Kong over the past 20 years, from different places. The places we tend to frequent are Tequila Kola, Indigo, TREE and Bowerbird, and also Shambala and when it was open. My favourite piece is a wooden centre table and side stand that we purchased from Shambala. I love the interplay of colours and the earthy touch.

What’s your more recent purchase for the home? The blue-coloured table. I love where we have placed it and how it contrasts against the yellow wall. Where do you do your writing? I write primarily in three areas. The dining and television area opens into the living room and gives an expansive feeling; it’s full of light. A part of the ceiling is glass, and the sun’s rays make me feel cheerful. There is a huge bookcase behind the dining table that I love looking at – there are more unread books on it than ones that have been read! Working from the dining area also allows me to keep an eye on the kids once they’re back from school. I also use my study to write. I love the aquamarine wall and the books that adorn the shelves. In winter, I write on the roof. I love the sun, being in the open and writing surrounded by nature. What’s your favourite space in the house and why? I love reading in the living room; it’s warm and cosy. And I love looking at the plants on our balcony. My husband plays the guitar, and many evenings I sit listening to him as he practices in the living area.

Find out about Bhakti’s book projects and more at bhaktimathur.com.

35 JUN-AUG2021


Bamboo&Bedding You only need to glance at a construction site inHongKong to get an idea of just howuseful and versatile bamboo is as amaterial.

7 super “eco facts” about bamboo #1 It’s self-sustainable. Unlike cotton, bamboo is a grass: it flourishes and multiplies on its own with close to no artificial aid. #2 For this reason, no insecticides, pesticides or fertilisers are used – so it’s safe to say that bamboo is naturally organic! #3 A field of bamboo requires only one-third the amount of water to grow compared to its cotton counterparts. #4 It doesn’t need human intervention to replant. #5 A newly planted bamboo shoot is ready to harvest in as little as three to four years, so it’s a super-fast grower. #6 Bambooplantations improve soil quality andprevent soil erosion. #7 It absorbs five times more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and produces 35 percent more oxygen than similar plants. Get a set for yourself Okooko’s Heveya Organic Bamboo Lyocell sheets feature a smooth, soft, feathery texture that’s similar to silk, but not as shiny or slippery. The softness of the fibres is comparable to cotton with a 1,000 thread count, yet it comes at a fraction of the price. Another advantage is that the sheets are naturally hypoallergenic and antimicrobial. They’re amazingly breathable, too, which means perspiration is quickly wicked away to keep you dry all night. The temperature-regulating properties mean you’ll be cool in summer and cosy and warm in winter. And an added bonus is the easy maintenance (unlike silk); a cold wash on a gentle cycle without bleach or softeners, and you’re done. Visit the store in person or check out the website to see the whole range of bamboo sheets, along with everything you might need to set up your bedroom for maximum comfort – from bed bases and mattresses, to pillows, accessories and more.

Bamboo wood obviously isn’t super-soft in its natural state – which explains why workers can put it up as scaffolding around a building. How, then, does it get to be so luxuriously comfy by the time it reaches the bedsheets on your bed? Okooko by European Bedding specialises in silky soft bamboo sheets; we asked the team to explain the manufacturing background. “The traditional process is one that takes raw bamboo and creates bamboo fibres known as viscose or rayon. However, this is detrimental to the environment since it uses harmful chemicals like sulphuric acid, sodium hydroxide and chlorinated bleach to breakdown bamboo cellulose and convert it to fibre. “Creating bamboo lyocell, on the other hand, is a more eco-friendly process; fewer chemicals are used, and they’re never released into the soil as a by-product. It’s a ‘closed-loop’ manufacturing process; so, the solution used to make fibres out of the bamboo pulp is 99 percent recaptured and reused.” The upshot? Lyocell is the most cost-effective and eco-friendly bamboo fibre on the market today – which is why it’s the product of choice for Okooko, in the form of its Heveya Organic Bamboo Lyocell sheets. What’s more, the company’s manufacturing partner only uses bamboo from FSC-certified plantations, and it is WRAP-certified as well, which means an ethical workplace for its employees.

13/F, The Plaza LKF, 21 D’Aguilar Street, Central 6286 1132 | europeanbedding.hk

37 JUN-AUG2021

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