March - May 2021









Spring is here and we’ve all got a spring in our step – even me (and I’m no spring chicken!). Timing-wise, it seems totally apt that we should be entering the season of renewal and growth at this moment, just as the world seems to be – fingers crossed! – turning the corner on a pretty shaky past 12 months. The two home showcases in this issue – one in Happy Valley (page 22), the other in Sai Kung (page 36) – encapsulate these positive vibes perfectly. Both stories are about families who launched into full-scale makeovers of their properties at precisely the time the pandemic kicked off. (Uh-oh…) Happily, they found ways to forge ahead, and they came out the other side. We love the results as much as they do. Speaking of results, our Expat Living Readers’ Choice Awards are over for another year, and they were a huge success: loads of votes, fantastic winners and a bunch of great prizes – a big thanks again to Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Kerry Hotel Hong Kong and Hotel ICON for those! You can find out who took out the gold awards on page 8, or visit for the complete list. Congrats to all involved. Spring is also about nature, of course, and we have plenty of the green stuff in this issue. Aside from a feature on a trendy new natural health product (page 71) and a beginner’s guide to composting (page 50), we also take to the great outdoors. You’ll find ideas for exploring Hong Kong’s spectacular country parks (page 90), the scoop on a hike you may not have tried (page 94), a look at a few of the animals we share our home with (page 18), and even some travel-planning eye candy in the form of the world’s most Instagrammed waterfalls (page 96). It’s all enough to make me want to strap on the sneakers and head into the hills for a long trek. I may be no spring chicken, as I said, but when I’m hitting full speed

Shamus Sillar

on a nature trail, I’m poultry in motion... Enough of the fowl puns. Enjoy the issue!



Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET Group Editor



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Cover: JenandJeffWong’s Happy Valley home




UPFRONT 8 Readers’ Choice Awards 2021: Find out who won! 14 Hong Kong News 18 The Hong Kong Pages: Facts, trivia, history and more! HOME & LIFE 22 Home Showcase: A Bali villa vibe in Happy Valley 28 Hip Homes: What’s trending in 2021? 30 Buying Guide: Top finds for your home office 36 Home Showcase: Renovating in a pandemic 42 Seaside Living:

28 The latest in home décor

7 highlights of this Repulse Bay gem

44 Street Talk:

What it’s like living in Tai Hang

52 People Profile:

46 On The Screen: Top TV and podcast recommendations 50 Environment Focus: Why composting counts

We meet the President of the AWA

54 Money Matters: Getting a plan in place 56 Considering Relocation? Five things to think about first

22 Resort living in Happy Valley

School Special 58 Getting kids IB ready! 59 Supporting senior students 60 Tips on hiring the right tutor 61 Inside a work

experience programme 62 An intensive

language learning option 64 Helping to battle the bullies


Funky finds for your work zone



78 We share our skin secrets!

WELLNESS & LEISURE 70 Maternity Matters: When to bring in the bottle 71 Natural Medicine: The benefits of CBD

72 Myopia & Kids:

What you need to know

74 Doctor Diaries:

A year at the frontline of COVID-19

76 Face Forward:

Facials to try this spring!

78 Tried & Tested: Body lotions we love 80 Let’s Talk Tacos:

94 Weekend Adventures: A guide to hiking on Mount Davis 96 Insta Travels: Gorgeous waterfalls around the world REGULARS 100 Puzzle Pages 102 Important Numbers 103 Our Advertisers 104 Parting Shot: A young baker making a difference

Three Mexican restaurants that hit the spot

84 People Profile:

The man behind HK’s foodie favourites!

88 Recipe Corner: Two tasty new dishes to add to the repertoire 90 The Great Outdoors: Hong Kong’s best country parks

71 How can CBD help?

Bring on the burritos! 80

7 MAR-MAY2021


Results are in !

We’re delighted to announce the winners of our Readers’ Choice Awards 2021!

Thousands of readers voted for their favourite businesses in Hong Kong in an open voting system, allowing every business a chance to be voted across 98 categories, from Furniture & Décor, Wine & Dine, Beauty & Spa to Retail & Fashion and more. The awards are based on real votes where YOU are the judges, so a big thank you for all your recommendations, and to our partners, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort , Kerry Hotel Hong Kong and Hotel ICON for sponsoring amazing prizes for our voters.



Here’s a list of all the gold winners ! To view the full results, visit

Hotels Hotel for a Romantic Staycation in Hong Kong Rosewood Hong Kong Hotel for a Family Staycation in Hong Kong Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel Spa & Resort Hotel in Hong Kong Four Seasons Hotel Budget-Friendly Hotel in Hong Kong Ovolo Hotels Quarantine Hotel in Hong Kong Ovolo Hotels

Home & Décor Interior Designer / Home Stylist Indigo Design Studio Living & Dining Room Furniture Indigo Living Bedroom Furniture Indigo Living Kids’ Furniture IKEA Outdoor Furniture IKEA Antique & Asian Furniture Oriental Home Home Accessories & Lighting Indigo Living Mattresses Sealy Bedding & Linen

Naked Lab Carpets & Rugs CarpetBuyer Art Gallery Yellow Korner

Wine & Dine

Romantic Dining Amber | Zuma Family-Friendly Restaurant Oolaa Value-For-Money Restaurant Pici Restaurant with Views Aqua Café Elephant Grounds | Fineprint Weekend Brunch Zuma Afternoon Tea The Lobby @ The Peninsula Set Lunch Zuma

Grocers Supermarket Market Place by Jasons Online Grocer & Butcher Biltong Chief Organic & Health Food Store iHerb Gourmet & International Food Store City Super Wine & Alcohol Retailer Watson’s Wine

Bars & Nightlife Iron Fairies


Here’s a list of all the gold winners ! To view the full results, visit

Services Dry Cleaning & Laundry Vogue Laundry Handyman Services Dr Fix It All Aircon Services AC Clean Home Cleaning Services Helpling Movers Asian Tigers Mobility Relocation Agent Crown Relocations Storage Facility Boxful Florists

Leisure & Kids’ Activities Social Club Ladies’ Recreation Club Sports & Golf Club Hong Kong Football Club Indoor Activity for Kids Ryze Ultimate Trampoline Park Kids’ Arts Programme Kids’ Gallery Kids’ Language Programme Mini Mandarins Learning Centre Kids’ Enrichment Programme Faust International Youth Theatre Kids’ Sports Programme Minisport Kids’ Holiday Camp Faust International Youth Theatre

BYDEAU Pest Control BioCycle Property Website Long-Stay / Serviced Apartments Shama Serviced Apartments Auto Dealer / Car Leasing AVIS | Vin’s Motors Financial Planning HSBC Bank Insurance Provider AIA Legal Advice Elsa Law & Co. Solicitors Loans & Mortgages

Beauty & Spa Hair Colouring Glow Spa & Salon Hair Styling Glow Spa & Salon Manicure & Pedicure Feel Good Factor Facials Sense Of Touch Eyebrow & Eyelash Services Benefit Hair Removal Nude Waxing Beautique Hair-Loss Treatments Hair Forest Aesthetic Treatments Dr Reborn Slimming & Shaping Treatments My Perfect Body Body Massage & Spa Treatments The Mandarin Spa

HSBC Bank Food Delivery Deliveroo Maid Agency / Nanny / Confinement Services HelperPlace Photographer Jill Carter Photography Food Caterer The Green Platters



Retail & Fashion Department Store Sogo Women’s High Street Fashion Zara Women’s Independent Fashion Outlet Yi-Ming Cheongsam Store Women’s Shoes Lane Crawford Women’s Jewellery & Accessories Zaha et Cetera Maternity Wear Mothercare Swim & Resort Wear Ozzie Cozzie Activewear lululemon Formal & Cocktail Wear Zara Bridal Wear HITCHED! Bridal Menswear Zara Man Tailor Bobby’s Fashions Bespoke Tailors Kids’ Clothing & Shoes Tachéri Baby Gear

Health & Medical

Gym or Fitness Studio Defin8 Fitness Yoga Studio

PURE Yoga Pilates Studio

Defin8 Fitness Personal Training Defin8 Fitness Chiropractor New York Medical Group Physiotherapist New York Medical Group Osteopath The Round Clinic Alternative & Natural Medicine Integrated Medicine Institute GP & Family Doctor The London Medical Clinic Dentist & Orthodontist Smith & Jain Dental and Implant Practice Obstetrician / Gynaecologist Central Health Medical Practice Paediatrician The Kinder Clinic Counsellor / Psychologist Central Minds

Sports & Orthopaedic Medicine Hong Kong Sports Clinic Veterinary Acorn Veterinary Hospital

Petit Tippi Books & Toys Bookazine Tech Gadgets & Electronics Fortress

The winners announced are based on the highest number of votes received during the campaign period and are not pre-nominated allowing readers to vote for any business of their choice, big or small. Only single entry and eligible votes are counted.

Congrats also to our voters who won vouchers for fun family staycations and dining! Check out the full results at



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13 MAR-MAY2021


Get Ready for

A New Page The ISSIA HK (Inter-school Social Issues Association) is an international, student- led organisation in Hong Kong that aims to provide a collaborative platform and network for discourse on social issues. It recently

launched a 95-page social issues magazine ( ISSIA Magazine ), featuring articles, artwork and photography submissions from across HK, on topics covering mental health, refugees, gentrification, LGBTQ+ issues and more. Contributors come from a range of international schools across Hong Kong. To find out more about this great initiative, visit or Instagram .

Eco-friendly Masks Did you know that around 75 percent of all used face masks end up either in landfill or in our oceans? Mazu Resortwear has come together with HK- based Tsunami Sport to create a reusable face mask that’s not only made from recycled plastic bottles, but is lightweight and breathable, too. It’s printed with Mazu’s signature Junk Twilight pattern, paying tribute to Hong Kong’s humble sailing vessel, and is available in three different sizes for HK$150 at .

The arrival of spring heralds newbeginnings and brighter days – so why not add a more colourful palette to the home, too? The latest textile and trimming collections have just arrived at Altfield Interiors, in time for a refresh of your space. Highlights include exuberant and striking prints for indoor and outdoor applications from Manuel Canovas ( pictured ), as well as charming Eastern-inspired fabrics from Colefax & Fowler. Meanwhile, the newest Oceania trimming collection from Samuel & Sons captures the beauty of the Hawaiian Islands, in clear blues, vivid corals and warm whites. 1101 Nine Queen’s Road Central. 2525 2738 |

Colour Me Hopeful If you’re feeling optimistic about 2021 so far, you’ll love Pantone’s picks for Colour of the Year: Illuminating and Ultimate Gray. According to the American palette pros, this power duo will help people “fortify themselves with energy, clarity and hope” in unnerving times. Illuminating is a bright yellow shade that evokes the “optimistic promise of a sunshine- filled day”, while Ultimate Gray carries the “composure, steadiness and resilience” we need to make it through. Hear, hear!



What Would Rihanna Do?

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. “How have the logistics of relocation changed in the past year?” We in the international moving and relocation business are in the midst of a perfect storm of unprecedented size and scope. The causes are what you might expect: COVID-19, economic uncertainty and Brexit. But other factors have come together to create themost unstable environment that the shipping industry has ever experienced. Why does this matter to an individual relocating from Hong Kong to London, or Singapore to Los Angeles? The easy answer is … cost. In November 2020, a 40-foot container from HK to the UK cost about US$2,500. As we write this in February, that same 40-foot container would cost more than $12,000. That’s if you can get a 40-foot container – and, even if you do, you’ll be lucky to get space on a ship. After all that, your container will likely sit moored outside the harbour in the UK or US for weeks, waiting for a slot to open up for unloading. What can you do? First, be informed and knowledgeable. You’ve taken a good first step if you arrive at this point. Second, manage your expectations. You’ll likely have to deal with a high degree of uncertainty regarding the timing and price of your international relocation. Third, be proactive by asking your moving company or relocation consultant about the latest status and developments. Communication is vital to avoid disappointment.

Fenty Skin has launched Fenty Skin Start’rs, three multi-tasking products that are easy to use and packed with skincare benefits. They comprise Rihanna’s own real-life routine for getting healthy, glowing skin in just a few steps. One of our readers

has tried the range and swears by the moisturiser – “very nice, easily absorbed and leaves the skin feeling hydrated all day”; she adds that her teenage daughter has had great results with the cleanser and toner on spotty skin. Available from Sephora stores and online at . Quarantine Kings

Ovolo Southside is again available for return travellers to Hong Kong to quarantine in – great news for anyone who’s already familiar with the perks of the hotel’s fab Quarantine Concierge package. In an extra step, it has launched the Ovolo Homecoming Project, alongside local partners, tooffer HK residents with financial difficulties the opportunity to quarantine at Ovolo Southside for just HK$1 per night for the 21-night period. Initially, up to 200 room nights have been pledged towards the campaign. Find out more at quarantine-concierge .

Read a full version of this article at, and contact Asian Tigers for further assistance at

15 MAR-MAY2021

Tea, Toast & Treats Opened in l a t e 2020, modern speciality tea café The Tea Academïcs has introduced some wholesome new seasonal menus. All-day breakfast items (from 8am weekdays and 10am on weekends) include Spiced French Toast (HK$78) with blueberries, hibiscus yoghurt and manuka honey, and a Paratha Omelette (HK$88) with halloumi, organic eggs and chilli. Mains (from 11am) include an Impossible Mince Pie (HK$128) and handmade Vegetarian Dumplings in Hot and Sour Soup (HK$108). Wash it all down with fine hand-brewed teas from around the world. 1/F, LHT Tower, 31 Queen’s Road, Central. 3187 7303 |

If you’re missing your annual Japan ski trip, head to THE ALP, a new lodge- style café that’s opened as an adjunct to Lounge Hakuba in Causeway Bay. Here you’ll find brunch, light eats and artisanal coffee, all featuring Japanese ingredients, and put together by a young, dynamic and multicultural crew. While we love the sound of signature dishes Scattered Soba Bowl (HK$118) and Beef Mountain Donburi (HK$118), the Crispy Buttermilk Drumsticks ( pictured , HK$128) are really taking our fancy. Don’t miss the great coffees, too, with a house-roasted blend of beans from Guatemala and Brazil. Tower 535, Causeway Bay. 2111 1707 |


inOne Inspired by Japanese i z a k a y a s , n ew

three-bar concept The Aubrey by Maximal Concepts has opened on the 25th floor of the Mandarin Oriental. Th e Ma i n Ba r features a signature c o c k t a i l me n u inspired by chess (try the amazing Two Bishops!), plus seasonal cocktails using Japanese ingredients; meanwhile, the four-person Omakase Cocktail Bar

Down on the Corner

While we’d love to actual ly be sitting at a bia hoi (“beer corner”) i n V i e t n a m , wa t ch i ng t he m o t o r b i k e s buzz by, we’re h a pp y t o b e able to do the next best thing: head to modern

Vietnamese eatery XUÂN, where a bucket of six Saigon Beers is available for just HK$138, or six artisanal Hong Kong-brewed Moonzen Beers for HK$198. And don’t miss Chef John Nguyen’s new drinking snacks; we love the sound of the Vietnamese Buttery Corn (HK$88), the signature herb-laced Cha Gio Spring Rolls (HK$128) and more. G/F, 12-24 Lun Fat Street, Wan Chai. 2891 1177 |

takes guests on a journey across Japanese spirits and flavours; and The Champagne and Sake Bar does exactly what it says on the lid. Dining is in the hands of Michelin-starred Chef Yukihito Tomiyama, and includes raw, tempura and robata menus, with world-class sushi and sashimi skills. 5 Connaught Road Central. |



Planning Ahead If you’ re anything l ike us, you’ll be spending plenty of time browsing travel websites working out a dream itinerary or two for future trips. Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has rolled out a new mobile travel app that will help in this regard. It links guests with Six Senses resorts and hotels around the world, so you can plan and browse destinations, get information, manage re s e r va t i ons and bookings, and get a taste of the dining and activities available. Download it from the Apple or Google Play store. FreshStart

Holiday Homes Missing those vacay feels? Luxury hotel group Aman has introduced a range of scented candles to trick your senses into holiday mode. Inspired by the varied landscapes of Aman’s destination resorts, the 220g candles come in three scents: Grounding, Nourishing and Purifying. Poured into hand-blown glass vessels, they offer 40 hours of refreshing notes from floral rose to ginger and bergamot, to help with healing, energising and rejuvenating. US$84 from .

Seoul Food The Farmhouse at Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour is saying “ Annyeonghaseyo! ” to spring, with a themed buffet called A Taste of Korea. K-Food lovers will love the spicy Korean fried chicken, bungeoppang ( fish-shaped pastry), pork and kimchi bao, the live barbecue station, and the Korean noodle station. There’s an ample stock of banchan (side dishes), too. Free-flow soju and beer are available, or try a special cocktail like the Soju Popper (from $28). The buffet is available all week for lunch and dinner, until 15 April. 3896 9896 |

Shanghai Tang i s embrac i ng spr ing wi th a collection that includes ready- to-wear pieces, from cardigans to pullovers and po l o s , a l ong with generously sized scarves for transitioning to warmer weather. The scarves can be fash i oned a s a s i mp l e wrap, a layered cowl or a cosy shawl for head and shoulders, and the lattice

design blends a modern, geometric look with stylistic peonies from traditional brush paintings. Available at Shanghai Tang boutiques in Hong Kong and at .

17 MAR-MAY2021

THEHKPAGES Our regular feature where we investigate


ANIMALS OF HK: 7 THINGS TO KNOW Some cool creatures call Hong Kong home, including 50 mammal species, 200 types of freshwater fish, and 200 amphibians and reptiles. In the Year of the Ox, we reckon the cow populations of Lantau and Sai Kung will get plenty of attention, so here's a glimpse at some other animals we share this place with. #1 Half of HK’s mammals are … … bats. Yep, you mightn’t want to hear this, but 50 percent of all of our mammal species are upside-down sleepers. There are more than two dozen species in HK, from the Wrinkle-lipped Free- tailed Bat to the Black-bearded Tomb Bat. Most are found in water tunnels, abandoned mines and country parks. They might be a bit creepy, but bats play an important role in the environment, from pollinating plants to controlling crop-eating insects. Trivia: In Chinese culture, bats are considered a symbol of happiness and luck; the word for them, fú , is pronounced the same way as the word for good fortune. #2 Pigzilla on the Peak

Hong Kong’s past and present, with tips, trivia and time travel – and the occasional tricky challenge for readers!


Wildboar sightingshave increased dramatically in recent years; the Agricultural, Fisheries and Cons e r va t i on Depa r tment spent almost 40 percent more last year in dealing with the boar population than the previous year.

A TEMPLE TURNS 100 Celebrating its centenary in 2021 is Wong Tai Sin Temple . Here’s a fact file for your next visit… • The temple, located south of Lion Rock, is perhaps Hong Kong’s busiest, not only because it’s big (18,000 square metres), but also because it’s home to three religions: Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. • In normal times, Chinese New Year’s Eve is a busy occasion for the temple, with as many 50,000 worshippers gathering outside at midnight, then rushing inside to offer incense sticks to welcome the new year. • Distinctive design elements of the temple include a gold roof, a Nine-Dragon Wall, a portrait of Confucius and three memorial archways. • Nan Lian Garden and Chi Lin Nunnery are a kilometre east of the temple; they’re one MTR station apart, so it’s easy to tie them in if you come for some sightseeing.

A video of a big wild boar (and we mean big – these things can weigh up to 300kg!) standing on its hind legs and ruffling through a Hong Kong rubbish bin went viral in 2018. The footage, dubbed “Pigzilla on the Peak”, was probably one catalyst for a HK$1 million pilot programme introduced in 2019 for new rubbish bins designed to stop pigs tipping them over. #3 Romer’s reawakening It was a sad day for everyone (well, for biologists and science nerds, at least!) when the Romer’s tree frog, endemic to Hong Kong, was declared extinct in 1953 – especially as it had only been discovered a year earlier, by John D Romer, in a cave on Lamma Island. Yet the frog would live to leap another day. In 1984, after a 30-year hiatus, the species was found again. Though endangered, they’re still around, and at 2cm are Hong Kong’s smallest amphibians. Trivia: 200 Romer’s frogs were rescued in 1992 from the construction site of the new international airport at Chek Lap Kok.

Find out more at




#4 Poor old pangolin With its unique appearance – shaped like an anteater, with a coat of scales and hair – and a habit of curling into a ball when threatened, there’s much to admire about the Chinese pangolin, which exists in tiny numbers in Hong Kong. (There are usually only one or two sightings a year.) Unfortunately, the creature is admired too much, and for the wrong reasons. Pangolins are now critically endangered because of poaching – they’re taken for the supposed health benefits of their scales. In fact, this is the most trafficked animal in the world. Figures suggest that trade slowed in 2020, possibly because pangolins for a short time were linked to the transmission of coronavirus to humans. #5 Critters named for the city Let’s get sciencey for a second. A “binomial” is a two-word name for a living thing, consisting of its genus – the first word – and its species – the second word. The second word often includes a placename, or a latinised version of one; in Hong Kong, this is hongkongensis . And there are truckloads of creatures that take this name – from a slimy mould called Hoilungia hongkongensis to a Sai Kung stick insect called Neohirasea hongkongensis . It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re only found in Hong Kong; but often they were found here first. #6 Porcupines following rules The cute Malayan porcupine is common enough in Hong Kong, though you rarely get a chance to see these ultra-shy animals. That wasn’t the case for a Fo Tan resident in December 2020, who captured a night-time video of a porcupine couple shuffling side by side up a village road. As one wag noted in the forum where the two-minute video was posted, at least they were following the COVID restriction of group gatherings of two… Trivia: Malayan porcupines do generally hang out with a lifetime partner, and they can live to around 27 years. #7 Monkey Mountain In the hills north of Kowloon, you’ll find Kam Shan Country Park, whose huge macaque population has earnt it the nickname Monkey Mountain, or Monkey Hill. The rhesus macaques and long-tailed macaques found here are thought to number around 1,800 – out of a total HK population of only 2,100! Careful if you get approached by the monkeys on a visit (and you will get approached). Try to avoid eye contact, don’t rustle any plastic in your pockets or bag, and, if they do that weird flappy-lip thing, walk away slowly! Visit our website,, for a whole series of features on Hong Kong flora and fauna, from birds and insects to trees, flowers and more.

ANOTHER BIRTHDAY A l s o c e l e b r a t i ng a milestone this year is The Big Boss , a Hong Kong film released fifty years ago in 1971. This was Bruce Lee’s first leading role, playing Cheng Chao-an, a worker in an ice factory. The original director didn’t have Lee starring in

the film; when he was replaced, the young martial arts expert

got his opportunity. The Big Boss went on to earn 500 times more than its budget at the box office, propelling Lee to international stardom. Notable quote: Hsiu Chen: Why Cheng, you’re a pretty good fighter. Cheng Chao-an: A few tricks from back home.


Think you know Hong Kong well? What feature is this motorcycle courier zipping past? The pedestrian foot bridge in our last issue was the Lek Yuen Bridge in Sha Tin.

19 MAR-MAY2021

Interior Inspo: What’s trending in home décor?

Indigo Living





We chat with homeowner JENWONG about the renovations she and husband Jeff recently completed in their little corner of Happy Valley.


About the Home Size and location: 1,100-square-foot fourth-floor apartment in Happy Valley Who lives here: Jeff and Jen Wong (and one baby on the way!), and two dogs (a Tasmanian Labradoodle and a rescue Papillon) Where they’re from: Jeff was born in Hong Kong and bred in Northern Ireland; Jen was born in Vancouver, bred in Hong Kong, and spent time in the US What they do: Jeff works at LinkedIn and Jen works at the Hong Kong Jockey Club; both offices are in Causeway Bay

23 MAR-MAY2021




When did you buy your place, and why this particular property? We bought it in May 2020, when we were looking for a bigger space to renovate and add our personality to. Jeff found our current flat on the “Living in Happy Valley” Facebook group. It was the location, the high ceiling and the efficient layout that mostly attracted us. What was your vision for the renovation? Being one with nature; bringing “Bali villa living” to our home in Hong Kong; being away from the city; and having a minimalist, unconventional urban oasis that’s unlike most other flats in the city. We also didn’t want our apartment to be too pretty to touch or use; we’ve seen apartments that are so nice and perfect that you don’t want to do anything in them, just in case you ruin something! We didn’t want that – we wanted to be able to enjoy the space. • Knocked down the wall between the kitchen and living space to create an open kitchen. This was a non-negotiable since we like to entertain and I love to cook; having an open kitchen allows everyone to be in the same space. • Knocked down a storage area to expose the structural pillar (unique to older buildings in Hong Kong); this also gave space to the corridor and living area, allowing for more open vistas. • Added Juliet balconies to the master bedroom to bring the surrounding greenery in, and knocked down the wall between that bedroom and the bathroom to create an open bathroom and spa-like space. It’s as close to a Bali holiday villa as you can get in an HK flat! • Added unpolished concrete flooring from the kitchen to the rooms, which helps create the villa vibe and connects the master bed and bath areas so that it feels like one space instead of separate compartments. The concrete kitchen countertop is also reasonably uncommon in homes here; again, it was done to accentuate the Bali design theme. • Used as many natural materials (like concrete and natural hardwood) as possible to blend in with the environment around us. COVID inspired us to be more experimental with the idea of bringing villa living into our home, as we can’t travel and we really miss it What were some of the specific things you did in the renovation?

25 MAR-MAY2021

Did you come up with the ideas yourselves, or did you use a designer? We came up with the ideas, and we used a design company, MØFT Studio, to help put our vision onto paper. Any challenges or surprises during the renovation work? Was COVID-19 a hindrance? COVID wasn’t a hindrance; if anything, it inspired us to be more experimental with the idea of bringing villa living home as we can’t travel and we really miss checking out different hotels! Since restrictions started, Jeff has been working from home, and this gave him the flexibility to keep a close eye on the renovation and be a project manager. The challenges and surprises were mainly to do with the fact that the building is a 66-year-old walk- up, which means we had to be more creative with electrical wiring, gas piping and internet wiring. Another major challenge was moving the pieces up the four floors. Aside from the extra cost involved, there were some scary moments with significant pieces of furniture that were simply too big to be carried up to the flat. In particular, the bathtub is made of man-made stone and weighs around 130kg, so it was very difficult to manoeuvre it up the narrow stairway. Our contractor spent two days figuring out

how to do it; the bathtub sat on the road during that time, and we were warned that it would be smashed and removed by management by the end of the second day if we didn’t figure it out! Having said all that, the fact that it’s an older flat also means there are fewer limits on what we can change structurally to the windows and walls; the Juliet balconies, for example, wouldn’t have been possible if we lived in a newer building.




What are one or two of your favourite things from the reno? The vanity table behind the concrete master bedroom headboard, which I designed and we got Hardwood Hong Kong to craft. We also love the open bathroom with the free-standing tub that looks out to the green vistas around. The console table, vanity table and master wardrobe were handmade in oak from Poland by Hardwood Hong Kong. This is the first time that Filip from the company has worked with rattan, and the pieces came out perfectly. They’re all handmade – the floor-to-ceiling wardrobe door is especially impressive, as rattan tends to scrunch up if not spread properly over large frames. We absolutely love our sofa from Tequila Kola; we picked a natural tone to match with our oak flooring and it’s super comfy – once you sit down, it’s very hard to get up! We also managed to pick up a hardwood table in teak from Indigo Living. What do you like about this part of Hong Kong? Happy Valley is only a five-minute car ride or 15-minute walk from Causeway Bay and the closest MTR station, but it has a close-knit community and a vibe that feels a little removed from the city. Village Terrace, in particular, is neatly tucked away behind Bowen Road, surrounded by greenery in the hillside; it’s close enough to the main road for convenience but not so close that you hear traffic. We’ve always aspired to live in a Hong Kong village and this is as close as we can get in the city with all the convenience while not having to commute to work. Tell us about some of the furniture pieces that you had tailor-made.


Design MØFT Studio

Furniture Hardwood Hong Kong

Indigo Living Tequila Kola

27 MAR-MAY2021


#1 Forever Blue Indigo’s Forever Blue trend captures a fresh ocean ambience, with nautical organic silhouettes, accents of blue, white and gold, and natural materials in a classic yet contemporary style. It’s ideal for anyone craving a slice of serenity. Two LIVING ROOM • The upholstered Roxy Chair in Moonlight Blue lets you curl up in your own cocoon. • Designed in-house at Indigo, the timeless Forever Blue cabinet captures the colours of the ocean and the blooming flowers of spring. • Complement these pieces with the classic Eclipse Marble coffee table and Circa Marble Side Table; both feature a natural veined pattern and cool texture.

If you’re anything like us, you’ll be feeling the fresh appeal of nature more strongly than ever. That’s what caught our eye about these two new trends from home furnishing retailer Indigo Living. Here are just a few of the highlights!

for ’21 Trends

DINING ROOM • Keen to showcase your culinary masterpieces? The stunning Cecile Marble Dining Table has a white Italian Carrara marble top and sleek golden alloy legs for that classic, contemporary look. • Match the table with the subtly sophisticated upholsteredAnna dining chair in complementary grey. • Alternatively, add some colour, flair and contrast with the rich Lewis velvet chair in bright Teal or Dusty Pink.




#2 Sleek Curves Neutral and contemporary contoured forms, natural materials and a pared-back look are focal points of Indigo’s Sleek Curves trend. The sense of calm is heightened by padded structures, plush fabrics and rounded nest-like forms.

LIVING ROOM • The tactile and rugged yet soft Geneva 3-Seat Sofa and armchair emanate warmth, and match perfectly with the circular silhouette of the Taranto Floor Lamp. • This look comes to life with layering; for this, you can add the Nester Coffee and Side Tables for visual depth and interest. • For a pop of colour to help bring the room together, use a variety of pillows in different shapes, shades, sizes and materials.

Go to to find out more about the two trends, or visit Indigo Living’s flagship store at 6/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau. • Match it with the timeless Belvedere Chair in fresh, upholstered white, or, for a more dramatic statement, the rich leather Duffy with contrasting black legs. DINING ROOM • A l ight-f i l led, minimal ist monochromatic interior lets you focus on cosy entertaining, or just being with those you love. • The marble Ferris Dining Table works as an elegant six-seater centrepiece for the room.

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Get yourself in a corporate headspace from the comfort of home – here are some ideas for making your workspace functional and fabulous.








1 Perth table lamp, $1,990, Indigo Living 2 Kennedy desk, $18,990, and bookcase, $15,990, Indigo Living 3 Oscar desk with teak top, $7,950, TREE 4 Finca Zick Zack chest of drawers in carved wood, $9,980, Tequila Kola 5 Patron desk chair in faux leather, $4,590, Tequila Kola 6 Finca desk in carved wood, $14,980, Tequila Kola

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7 Extra-fine nain carpet in wool and silk, price on request, Carpet Buyer 8 Vintage-inspired desk in solid European oak, $8,950, TREE 9 Lotus Magpie ginger jar base with periwinkle block print shade, bases from $220 and shades from $750, The Ginger Jar Lamp Co. 10 Rusty chair in faux leather, $3,980, Tequila Kola














11 Adjustable chair, available in leather and various metal bases, price on request, IROCO Design 12 Vine Lotus ginger jar base with blue leopard shade, bases from $220 and shades from $750, The Ginger Jar Lamp Co. 13 Palette desk, available in various table-top and metal base finishes, price on request, IROCO Design 14 Tivoli desk, $18,990, Indigo Living 15 Bok adjustable table (64cm to 130cm height) in European oak, $12,950, TREE 16 Ravello desk in sheesham wood, $10,980, and Patron desk chair in faux leather, $4,590, Tequila Kola

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17 Modena shelving unit, $22,980, Tequila Kola 18 Hemingway desk, available in teak, oak and walnut, $10,950 (oak), TREE 19 Simply City hanging desk, available in teak, oak and walnut, $6,450 (walnut), TREE 20 Qum Kashmir silk carpet, price on request, Carpet Buyer 21 Hunan Jade Floral Relief base with Barkot vintage silk sari shade, bases from $220 and shades from $750, The Ginger Jar Lamp Co. 22 Sidus desk bureau in leather and brass, $3,290, Indigo Living 23 Elephant bookends in polyresin, $1,980, Tequila Kola 24 Pedder modular bookcase, from $8,990, Indigo Living








CarpetBuyer 2850 5508 |

The Ginger Jar Lamp Co.


Indigo Living 2555 0540 |

IROCO Design 3426 4942 |

Tequila Kola 2877 3295 |

TREE 2870 1582 |

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Forging The timing couldn’t have been worse: starting a large-scale renovation as a pandemic was breaking out. But interior designer JENNY PERRY persisted with her project. The result? A classy and colourful new look for a Sai Kung village house – which also happens to be her own home! Ahead PHOTOGRAPHY COL SIM




W hen Jenny Perry relocated from her native Shanghai to Hong Kong for work in 2007, she initially suggested to her husband that maybe it wasn’t the right move. In some ways, it felt like leaving one city of high-rises for another. However, once she discovered the fabulous outdoor lifestyle on offer – from hiking to beaches – she changed her mind. Jenny’s career also began to flourish. After first studying fashion design at university in Shanghai, she then completed an interior design course, which she began to put into practice soon after the move to Hong Kong. “The first home I renovated was in 2009,” she says. “I hired a local contractor and sourced materials from Shenzhen. This was the start of my renovation business, Perry Contracting, and from there I went on to do four or five houses a year.” Family and community This time around, it would be her own home she’d be working on. The 2,100-square-foot village house is in the Jade Villa complex in Sai Kung; she lives there with her hubby, their three kids and two dogs, and Jenny’s mum. “We brought it at the end of 2019, finalised the design and then started the renovation at the beginning of 2020 – just as the pandemic broke out!” Jade Villa stood out for many reasons; the lovely family community vibe was one thing, and the easy proximity to Sai Kung town another. In fact, SK is only a 10-minute walk away, so there’s no need even to drive there on weekends.

The kids can also walk to their school, Hong Kong Academy. Jenny adds, “There’s also an amazing swimming pool at Jade Villa – the kids are there every day. And they have lots of friends within the community, which has been great while they’ve been doing online learning.” Proximity to some of Hong Kong’s best hiking trails is another big plus – Stage 4 of the Maclehose Trail is just 10 minutes away by foot.

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The renovation There was another reason the Jade Villa house caught their attention. “When we viewed it, we could see the potential, so we bought it as a renovation project.” Jenny’s vision was to create a family home with plenty of social space; “but I also wanted private space for everyone to be able to close a door for work, school or sleep.” Built in 1999, the property hadn’t had so much as a touch-up in all that time. So this would be a total renovation. “We did everything,” says Jenny. “We totally gutted the place, reconfigured it, rewired it and replaced the plumbing. It was a very dark house, with typically small Hong Kong windows. So we put in new tall ones to bring in the light. We also opened out the ground floor to create a family living space, with an open-plan kitchen.” Behind that expansive area is a second kitchen, a bathroom and a helper’s area. Also on the ground floor is a huge Tequila Kola sofa, where everyone can sit together. The dining table is from TREE, and the plants are from local Sai Kung suppliers such as Wah King. On the first floor of the new-look home is a family bathroom, with striking coloured tiles that are a signature of Jenny (some clients call it the “Jennybean”




look!). This floor also has one of the daughters’ bedrooms and a big room that doubles as Jenny’s office and an arts-and-crafts haven for anyone who’d like to use it. The latter can be closed off by a show-stopping sliding door – this striking feature weighs a whopping 320kg and was hand-painted by Jenny. “I love painting and I love colour,” she says, “and I’m not afraid to use it!” On the second floor is another bathroom, the second daughter’s bedroom, and the master bedroom and bathroom, the latter with more amazing tiles, this time in a herringbone pattern. Jenny clearly knows what she’s doing with tiles, and she creates some striking feature pieces with them in many of her renovation projects. They’re sourced from a Shenzhen supplier who she’s used for 10 years. “Before COVID, I would take clients up there to choose tiles in person – it was such a nice day trip. And by going direct to the manufacturer you get great quality and a wide selection.”

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When we viewed

the place, we could immediately see its potential.

The tiles are one quirky note in the design of the Jade Villa house; another is the bespoke “chandelier” – which is actually a series of 22 “microphone” lights that hang from the top floor. It gives off a fun karaoke vibe, while also hinting at entertaining times ahead when pandemic restrictions ease and more people can gather together. Outside, Jenny originally found it hard to see any potential in the garden. “It was just so full of large trees and shrubs – you couldn’t actually see how big the space was.” At 3,000 square feet, it is indeed a big garden by Hong Kong standards; so it would’ve been a shame not to modernise it along with the rest of the house. Jenny arranged for all the older vegetation to be removed, keeping just one big mango tree (which the kids love to climb). She then added underground drainage, laid some lawn, and planted new shrubs and trees. Other additions include a fabulous outdoor kitchen (with pizza oven), a new flattened garden and perimeter lighting. Challenges and results Jenny was totally hands-on with the reno, managing the whole process with her own team from Perry Contracting. Yet, it wasn’t as smooth a start to the project as she’d hoped. At almost the exact same time as work got underway, the COVID crisis reared its ugly head. It would soon become clear that starting a major renovation as a global pandemic is developing provides a unique set of challenges! One of the main issues, surprisingly, related to noise. When COVID restrictions hit, Jenny’s neighbours (everyone in Jade Villa, in fact) ended up working from home or doing online schooling. That meant the noisier renovation jobs – particularly drainage and wiring work between walls – that would otherwise have been done onweekdays with people away at school or the office, were suddenly a potential disturbance. They managed to find solutions and compromises, though. One of these was an agreement with their neighbours that they wouldn’t do any work on Tuesday of each week. So they battled through. In the end, the setbacks weren’t big enough to bring proceedings to a halt. In July 2020, despite the garden not being finished at that stage, the family moved in. And they’re overjoyed with the results.




Jenny’s Recommendations Tequila Kola 1/F, Horizon Plaza, Ap Lei Chau 2877 3295 | TREE 28/F, Horizon Plaza, Ap Lei Chau 2870 1582 | Wah King Garden Arts DD217, Lot 907, Tai Chung Hau Road, Sai Kung 2792 7440 | Pizza oven Perry Contracting 9225 6565 |

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By the Beach? If you’re thinking of a sea change – and let’s be honest, most of us are! – and you’re in the market for a high-end home, here’s some good news from Southside.

Nothing beats the laidback lifestyle that comes with beachside living. That’s part of the great appeal of Hong Kong Island’s Southside – and why sea-view apartments in beautiful Repulse Bay are so popular. We love this stretch of residential and retail properties set across a picture-postcard beach and bay as much as anyone. If you visit Repulse Bay, it’s impossible to miss The Lily, the signature residential development of Chinachem Group. This 100-apartment property rises dramatically from the southeast end of the bay. Now, Chinachem’s hospitality arm L’hotel Group has announced that a number of spectacular two- bedroom apartments in The Lily will be available for year-long leasing. Could this be your next home? If we’ve pricked your interest, here are a few of more selling points for good measure. 7 highlights of The Lily #1 Architecture The first thing that strikes you about The Lily is the building itself – we’re talking “wow” factor. With a design inspired by London architect Sir Norman Foster, whose vision can be seen in other HK landmarks such as the HSBC Main Building in Central, it features a graceful, curving façade that enhances the panoramic views. Not surprisingly, it has won numerous architecture and property awards, including a prestigious International Property Award in 2011, voted by a panel of over 60 judges from around the world.

#2 Setting

Natural surroundings don’t comemore stunning than this. The Lily is at the heart of Repulse Bay – just off Repulse Bay Road, in fact. It’s surrounded by the greenery of the Southside slopes, and Tai Tambeyond. It overlooks the iconic beach and the South China Sea. Great shopping is just a stone’s throw away, too, including popular retail complex The Pulse. In a matter of minutes, you can be hiking to Victoria Peak, swimming in the ocean, sunbathing or shopping just a few hundred metres from your front door. #3 Location Despite The Lily’s quiet and secluded feel, it’s just a short journey to Central – under half an hour, in fact. Even closer is the cool enclave of Wong Chuk Hang, just 10 or so minutes by car, while seaside favourite Stanley is a couple of kilometres to the south of Repulse Bay. What’s more, you can take advantage of a free shuttle bus toWan Chai, and there are covered parking spaces for those who drive, too.



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