October - November 2016






FromLuxuryVillas to Indian Festivals

Counselling What to Expect EveningWear French Flair Cool Kids

MEN Looking Good!

Gift Shopping The Fairs Are Here! CAR QUESTIONS Buy or Lease?


When you become a parent, you realise what a fluid concept time is. My sister-in-law and her husband welcomed twins recently and their world has been turned upside down. Those early days, when you’re running on very little sleep, can seem interminable. Days and nights seem so much longer when you’re awake every couple of hours, and it often feels like time is standing still. EDITOR’SNOTE

Then, suddenly (usually about the time you start getting more sleep), everything speeds up, as if someone has hit the fast-forward button! One minute you’re pacing the floor at all hours with a newborn, then before you know it you’re standing on a corner, waving goodbye to your little ones as they board the school bus. You start using phrases like, “They’re growing so fast,” “It only seems like yesterday…” and “It goes too quickly!” And none of them are clichés; it really does feel as if life is moving at a rapid pace. Experts say this has something to do with age, but I prefer to blame my children. While I am constantly wishing for life to slow down, they are always looking forward, wanting to know how much further or how long till their next birthday, or the next lot of school holidays – and when you’re a kid, these things take forever to come around … My boys plan for Halloween, birthday parties and Christmas all year round! Sitting down to prepare this, our October/November issue, we all had to take a moment to absorb the fact that we’re already looking ahead to December – another of those “is it that time of year already?” moments. But we’ve decided to spare you the reminders that the silly season is almost upon us – for now! So we hope you enjoy our autumn issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together. Until next time!

Stay updated online


NEWS – WHAT’S GOING ON? Read the latest Hong Kong happenings EVENTS CALENDAR – POST YOUR EVENT FOR FREE! Having a party or a promotional launch and want to get the word out about it on our website? Just head to www.expatliving.hk , click on “Post an event”, and fill in the details. We’ll do the rest! WHERE TO BUY A list of retail outlets where you can buy the latest copy of Expat Living

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VALMAI DHIR | GRACE BANTARAN Regional Business Development KATIE PEACE Sales & Marketing KATE WOODBURY | WENDY CHAN Marketing & Business Development Executive VEENA GILL Chief Operations Officer COLIN PURCHASE HR JULIET KEYS Contributing Writers


CONTACT US General Enquiries: +852 3480 7614 | +65 6259 0058 | info@expatliving.hk Advertising Sales: advertising@expatliving.hk | sales@expatliving.hk Subscription: +65 6812 1783 | subscription@expatliving.hk Production: +65 6812 1787 | production@expatliving.hk Editorial & Media Releases: editor@expatliving.hk Calendar of Events: calendar@expatliving.hk Events: info@expatliving.hk Websites: expatliving.sg | expatliving.hk I exmag.sg Printed by Ho Printing Singapore Pte Ltd (hoprinting.com) Published by Expat Living Publications Pte Ltd 18 Howard Road, #08-10 Novelty BizCentre, Singapore 369585

Cover: Everything Under The Sun (everythingunderthesun.com.hk)




UPFRONT 10 What’s New 12 Reader Survey:

48 Our product guide for making your outdoors great

Tell us a bit about yourself and you could win a villa holiday!

14 Social Pages:

Photos from recent events

15 Subscribe Now! 16 What’s On:

A calendar of upcoming events

HOME & PROPERTY 20 News 27 Showcase:

Alena Lee’s American dream home in Sai Kung

35 Bespoke Furniture 37 Buying Guide:

Illuminate your home with these superb lamps and lights

41 Showcase:

We meet Saskia Bowers in her Stanley home

48 Outdoor Living:

Shades, barbecues, furniture and more for your alfresco space

27 We take a peek inside a Sai Kung village house

LIFE & FAMILY 58 News 60 Book Previews 61 Rated PG: Our regular parenting column 62 Outdoor Toys Galore 64 What’s New at Petit Bateau? 66 Expert Voice: Four photographers discuss their favourite shots 70 Education Insights:

74 Prestige Christmas Fairs 78 Sai Kung Pink Ladies 79 American Women’s Association 80 Polo in HK: Meet team captain, Patrick Furlong 82 Trailing Spouses 84 Car Advice: The pros and cons of renting and buying 86 Estate Planning for British Expats


Hong Kong is full of beautiful homes, but every now and then you find one that feels like it belongs in another world. Sophisticated, elegant and loaded with charm,ALENALEE’sLungMeivillagehouse isoneofSaiKung’sbest-kept secrets.


A day at Woodland Montessori Academy 72 New Campus:

American School Hong Kong opens its doors









Introducing Sera By Raashi’s personalised luxury fashion

BODY & MIND 94 News 95 Running Gear:

Hit the trails with Escapade Sports

96 Counselling:

What to expect and how it can help

98 Relationships:

Making marriage a priority


100 Managing Stress 102 Prostate Cancer 103 Gentlemen’s Tonic 104 Menswear Focus

106 Women’s Fashion:

We meet Raashi, from Sera By Raashi

108 Jewellery Trends 110 The Wardrobe Project

WINE & DINE 114 News 115 Wine Focus:

What to drink in the festive season


Our preview of the Prestige Fairs

116 Taste Test:

New restaurants reviewed

TRAVEL 122 News 124 The Villa Difference:



Teresa’sTurkishTowels Colourful 100percentcotton Turkish towels. These towelsareabsorbent,easy todry, lightweight, robustand versatile– for thebeach,boat, hiking,yogaorcamping,or just forwearingasa sarong.Getone embroideredwitha lovedone’s nameasa thoughtfulgift,orgive themawayaswedding favours. hkturkish.com DatesofParticipation:21Nov,29 Nov,8Dec

P.Santiago AlpacaDesigns High-quality fashionaccessories including items in softalpacawool and fur. Thevarious shawls, capes, scarvesand hatsaredesigned inLondonand made fromwool from theHigh AndesofBolivia inSouthAmerica, and theycome in exquisitenatural ordyedhues. psantiago.co.uk Datesof Participation:21 Nov,29Nov,8Dec

KTO2Bespoke Beautifullyhandcraftedhandbags, shoesandaccessories. These luxurycustomdesignsaremade fromethically sourcedexotic skins. Theycome in timelessandclassic styles,with rich texturesandcolours inspiredby thenatural surroundingsof Bali.No twopiecesare the same,and youcancustomiseeachcreation so it’s perfect foryou. kto2bespoke.com DateofParticipation:21Nov

One-stop A Ballroomof Shopping If you’re hoping to get all your end-of-year gift-buying sorted in one swoop, then the ever-popular Prestige Christmas Fairs in the Grand Ballroom of the Conrad HongKong istheplacetogo.You’ll be spoilt for choicewith over 140 pop-up shops, includinghundreds of Hong Kong designers and entrepreneurs offering the latest in jewellery, fashion, homeware, lifestyle products, children’s wear, baby toys and clothes, Christmas decorations, chocolates, wine, gourmet foodandmuchmore.On these pages, we give you just a glimpseofwhat toexpect.

Making the change from hotel accommodation 127 Travel Photography: Capturing India’s Holi Festival 134 Exploring America’s Pacific Coast 136 Ballooning in Turkey REGULARS 142 The Numbers that Matter 143 Our Advertisers 144 Parting Shot: Missing Things

TheHealingSeedHK CherryPitsHeatingColdPad forpain relief. Thisgift forpeopleofallages works to relieveachesandpains in theback,neck, shoulderand muscles,alongwithperiodpain, stressand tension,crampsand more.EveryCherryPitsHeating ColdPad ishandmadeand filledwith 100percentnatural materials.Touse, just “heatand treat”. thehealingseedhk.com DateofParticipation:21Nov

HilarySchwartz Jewellery, fromcontemporary silver linkchains tobespoke engagementandwedding rings to suitevery tasteand occasion. Having startedwitha small collectionof silver jewellery featuringgemstones,Hilary’s pieceshavegrown inpopularity and rangeover theyears.She nowdesigns inboth 18kgold and silver,withall itemscustom- made inHongKong. hilary-schwartz.com DatesofParticipation:21Nov,8Dec

Talented Printed,cottoncanvas totebagsand ethicalgiftware. Talented isaBritishbrandof sustainable totebags, ledby founder and internationally renowned illustrator, JuliaGash.Established in2012, it collaborateswithemergingdesigners each season tocreatea freshand dynamic rangeofbagsandgifts. madebytalented.com DateofParticipation:21Nov

LittleCaleb Trendy silicone jewelleryandbaby teethers thatare stylish formums,yet safe for littleones. Made from 100 percent food-grade silicone rubber, these teethersare ideal for soothingbabies’ soregums.They’re firmly securedon strongorganic cottoncordwitha 100percentnatural woodenclip,andcan be interchangedwith pacifiersorother teethersofmum’s choice.Washwith mild soapandwater. littlecaleb.com Datesof Participation:29Nov, 8Dec, 14Dec

Patinova Cufflinksand


accessorieswith a senseofhistory.

SimplyShoes AcollectionofBrazilian footwear forwomenwith flair,youthful spiritand style. Thecomfortand “oomph” factorof the shoescome technologies thathavebeen internationally researched. simplyshoes.com DatesofParticipation:29 Nov,8Dec from thembeing tested andanalysedwithnew

TheGiftandLifestyleFair: Monday21November ThePre-ChristmasGiftParade: Tuesday29November TheChristmasGiftShowcase: Thursday8December TheChristmasGiftFestival: Wednesday 14December

ThisHongKong jewellerycompany repurposesor recreatesculturaland historicalobjects inamodernand contemporaryway.TheSouthern Lioncufflinks, forexample, recreate thedancing lion’s largeeyesand distinctivehorn,and themirroron its forehead,believed tohelpdriveaway bad spiritsas itdances. patinova.com DatesofParticipation:21Nov,29Nov, 8Dec

OpeningHours: 10am to8pm Admission: Open to thepublic–and free!







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Getting Fresh Paying exorbitant prices for less-than-fresh produce is a way of life here. At least, it used to be! Now there’s a new way to get your veg and more, and the best bit is you don’t even need to leave home. The Eco-Chic Online As much as we love exploring TREE ’s stores, their relaunched website makes it even easier to browse before you buy, or shop online. Featuring a comprehensive catalogue of 2,000 products – including furniture, gifts and soft furnishings – the website also has loads of helpful information on caring for your furniture, styling services, and more. tree.com.hk

Fresh Supply Company has sourced the freshest produce from around the world and Hong Kong, and offers an incredible selection of fruit and vegetables, meat and seafood, and dairy, with some organic and locally grown options too. They don’t pay high rents like

We all know the holiday season is a time for giving, and it’s a great opportunity to support organisations that give so much to others all year round. For the fourth year running, The Lion Rock Press is proudly supporting Hong Kong charity Mother ’s Choice with the sale of its cards, gift wrap and tags, donating 100 percent of the profits to this amazing organisation supporting girls dealing with crisis pregnancies, their babies and their families. Sending a beautiful card means so much more than an email at this time of year, so get your pens out and wish friends and family, near and far, a Merry Christmas or a Happy Hannukah with these colourful, high-quality, FSC-approved paper cards featuring world-famous HK icons. They will be available at The Lion Rock Press stall at the Prestige Pre-Christmas Gift Parade at the Conrad Hong Kong Grand Ballroom on 29 November. Please do support this fantastic cause! For more information, visit motherschoice.org . FAIR FUNDRAISING

supermarkets do, and they source directly from the suppliers, which enables them to sell for heavily discounted prices – meaning value for money for you! Our first order came with a handy storage guide for our produce, so we knew just how to keep it fresh for longer. Ordering online is super easy, and they also offer a delivery or pick- up service. Grocery shopping has never been easier in this town.

thefreshsupplycompany.com Something Unique Whether you’re looking for something really special for someone, or you need a gift for that one person who is impossible to buy for, Gifts Less Ordinary is a great place to start. Based here in Hong Kong, this luxury online marketplace stocks unique and personalised gifts, and it made headlines

this year as a favourite of royals and celebrities alike. Remember the cute dressing gown worn by Prince George when he met President Obama? This was an instant sell-out when it was featured on the site earlier this year – but happily they’ve restocked in time for Christmas! Find gorgeous, high-quality gifts like this and more from all around the world, online today. giftslessordinary.com




WEWANT TOGET TO KNOWYOU! OR A CASE OF WINE FOR JUST 10 MINUTES OF YOUR TIME! In return for completing a short survey about yourself, you’ll be in with the chance of winning a fabulous villa stay in Chiang Mai, Thailand, or a case of delicious red wine. As a special thank you we’ll also give you a FREE one year’s subscription to Expat Living .

ABOUT THE VILLA 88 Place is a fully staffed, private riverside villa set in the heart and soul of Chiang Mai. Perfect for exploring the area on bicycle or just relaxing by your private pool or in air-conditioned luxury by the lounge bar. GRAND PRIZE: A three-night stay at 88 Place Villa, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, courtesy of Ministry of Villas .

RUNNER-UP PRIZES: Five lucky winners will each take away a case of Eddie McDougall Umami Series Sangiovese 2008 red wine from the Flying Winemaker ,worth$1,800.


To enter, visit: expatliving.hk/readersurvey

Terms & Conditions: Price listed in HKD is for a 4 Day/3 Night stay in two bedrooms of 88 Place Villa, Chiang Mai, Thailand for two adults and two children plus 5 prizes of a case of wine (6 bottles) of Eddie McDougall Umami Series Sangiovese 2008 wine. To redeem the wine prize, winners must be aged 18 or above, or the prize must be redeemed by a guardian who is aged 18 or above. Villa stay is valid for 6 months from date of survey conclusion. Return airport transfers and breakfast are included. Black out dates

apply. Offer is subject to availability. The winners will be drawn on 1 November 2016, and announced on expatliving.hk as well as on 7 November 2016 in The Standard and Sing Tao Daily. Trade Promotion Competition Licence No: 47699

Fighting Fit Mindful Wing Chun instructors and students were invited to join Arnold Schwarzenegger at the inaugural Arnold Classic Asia in August to showcase their unique understanding of this cultural heritage. The event featured sports of all varieties and was designed to introduce to the general public ways of getting fit, healthy and active. mindfulwingchun.com.hk

Fashion Forward To celebrate the launch of Hong Kong’s first-ever monthly fashion subscription service, Yeechoo Infinity, Yeochoo held a catwalk launch party this summer. With 600 guests in attendance, the highlight of the event was the Fashion Show that featured Yeechoo customers and founders. yeechoo.com

Food for the Needy

Feeding Hong Kong held i t s Annua l Vo l un t e e r Celebration recently at Pizza Express, sponsor of the event for three years in a row. It’s a small charity with limited resources, whose volunteers play a crucial role in helping the organisation achieve its mission to reduce food waste and help feed people in need. Over the past 12 months, they’ve rescued 522 tons of food

and provided 1.24 million meals. More than 16,600 volunteer hours made this possible, which is definitely worthy of celebration! feedinghk.org








Aug-Sep2016 Issue30


FromMacau to Mauritius and in between! Summer Dining Getaways




School Report News, views and openings



FromLuxuryVillas to Indian Festivals





MEN Looking Good!


Counselling What to Expect




FromLuxuryVillas toIndianFestivals

Office Spaces Guest Rooms Cool Homes Interior Ideas

Counselling WhattoExpect EveningWear FrenchFlair CoolKids

Gift Shopping The Fairs Are Here! CAR QUESTIONS Buy or Lease?

MEN Looking Good!

New Mums Fashion, Fitness,Nannies &More


GiftShopping TheFairs AreHere! CAR QUESTIONS BuyorLease?





For only $188 (usual price $288) you’ll get: • Six bi-monthly issues delivered free to your postbox • FREE access to the digital edition, worth $230

Scan the QR code or visit expatliving.hk/print

Offer ends 30 November. Subscription orders received after 15 November will start with the February-March 2017 edition. Subscription is non-refundable but transferable. For overseas subscription rates, email info@expatliving.hk.

SHOPPING & FAIRS Prestige Christmas Shopping

Conrad Fairs (21 & 29 NOV)

’Tis the season to shop till you drop and there’s no better place to do it than at the fabulous Conrad Fairs. With loads of vendors selling their various wares, food and wine, it’s the perfect opportunity to pick up some gifts and avoid the inevitable retail rush before Christmas. And be sure to pop over to the Expat Living table and say “hello”! Conrad Hotel, Pacific Place, Queensway, Admiralty. prestigefairs.hk FESTIVALS Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival (27-30 OCT) Autumn brings some of the world’s best food and wine to town with the Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival. Featuring delicious gastronomic offerings and entertainment right next to the harbour, it will boast 400 booths offering everything from fine wines to creative cocktails, and plenty to eat in between. Central Harbourfront Event Space. discoverhongkong.com Beertopia (18-19 NOV) Hong Kong’s largest craft beer festival returns for its fifth year. This annual event gives festival-goers the opportunity to learn more about beer and sample quality drops from around the globe. There’s food and music too. Central Harbourfront Event Space. beertopiahk.com Hong Kong International Literary Festival (4-13 NOV) Bookworms rejoice! The ever-popular literary festival is back this autumn, featuring celebrated writers from a diverse range of literary genres. There’s also a great line-up of local authors, across more than 35 events over the 10 days. festival.org.hk Kevin Hart What Now?


Roald Dahl’s The Twits (25-27 NOV)

ABA Productions presents one of Roald Dahl’s most mischievous tales. Suitable for ages six and up, the stage show promises to be just as disgusting as the book! The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Lyric Theatre. hkticketing.com Bookazine Boofest (30 OCT) Are you ready to read, listen, get creative and have spooky fun? Then visit the Halloween-themed Bookfest or “Boofest” at Repulse Bay. Featuring storytelling and workshops, a Halloween costume contest, a Room on the Broom treasure hunt, face painting, and a scary performance by Faust, it’s suitable for ages three to 12. Admission is free; pop in anytime from 3pm to 6.30pm. The Repulse Bay, 109 Repulse Bay Road. enquiries@bookazine.com.hk


Clockenflap (25-27 NOV)

Hong Kong’s biggest music and arts festival returns in November for one massive weekend. With international artists Sigur Ros, Foals, and George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic on the bill, it’s fair to say there’s a great line-up this year. Along with the music is a great mix of arts, film, food and family-friendly fun. Central Harbourfront Event Space. clockenflap.com Thriller Live (UNTIL 13 NOV)

A concert created to commemorate arguably the world’s greatest ever entertainer, Michael Jackson, Thriller is now showing at Macau’s newly built Parisian Theatre. Direct from London’s West End, the 90-minute, high-energy explosion of pop, rock, soul and disco takes the audience on a magical audio-visual journey through Jackson’s astonishing 45-year musical legacy. The Parisian, Cotai Central, Macao. hkticketing.com






FIA Formula E Hong Kong Eprix (8-9 OCT) An electrifying new motorsport will take over the Central Harbourfront when the city hosts the Formula E – the world’s only fully electric racing series that brings an eco-focus to the sport. Fans can watch all the action from the grandstand, as the cars whizz around a challenging 2km circuit in the city’s first “eprix”. Central Harbourfront Event Space. hkformulae.com Hong Kong Tennis Open (8-16 OCT) It’s not often we get to see a world-class sporting event right here on home soil, but the annual Hong Kong Tennis Open

Family Fun Movie Day (1 OCT)

Support the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation (CNCF) and have fun at the same time. From 1pm to 7pm this event will offer a range of fun kids’ activities, including an open-air movie screening of The Lion King , games, workshops, music and dance, face painting, prizes and performances by Rumple and Friends. All proceeds of this fun family event will go towards CNCF projects, supporting the children in CNCF’s care. Cyberport Podium. ticketflap.com/cncf Lamma Fun Day Beach Music Festival (12 NOV) This one-day charity event has something for everyone: live music on a beach stage, DJs, market stalls, a licensed bar, arts and crafts, tasty food, free water, a charity auction, bric-a-brac stalls, plus sports and activities for kids during the day. Entrance is free. Now in its 16th edition, this year’s event will raise money for education projects in Nepal. Tai Wan To Beach (Power Station Beach), Lamma Island. facebook/LammaFunDay | cwshk.org One Sky Hike Get the family outside and hike some of the city’s coolest trails to raise funds for a great cause. The 6th Annual Hong Kong Charity Hike for OneSky will take place on the MacLehose Trail this year, and once again hikers will have the option of choosing from three different trails, geared to different skill levels, so everyone from children to experienced hikers can participate and enjoy raising funds to help vulnerable children in OneSky’s programmes. onesky.org OTHER EVENTS 1 OCTOBER: National Day fireworks, Victoria Harbour discoverhongkong.com 1 OCTOBER: Game of Bones, Hong Kong Dog Rescue Gala Dinner hongkongdogrescue.com 22 OCTOBER: AWA 60th Anniversary Gala Dinner awa.org.hk 26-29 OCTOBER: Eco-Expo, Asia World Expo ecoexpoasia.com

gives us a chance to do just that. The WTA event brings more than 50 of the world’s best female tennis stars to Victoria Park, to compete in singles and doubles events over 10 days. Legends such as Venus Williams, Samantha Stosur and Wang Qiang will grace the courts this year, making it a must-see for sports fans. Victoria Park Tennis Stadium, Causeway Bay. hktennisopen.hk

Barclays Moontrekker (14 OCT)

Hong Kong’s most popular night-time activity challenges runners to beat the sun for a good cause! Barclays MoonTrekker features two trek distances, the Moonlit 30km and the Sunrise 43km. Both races begin on a Friday night in Mui Wo, and finish on Pui O beach, Lantau Island. The overnight trek is a fantastic experience and raises money for a nominated charity. Registration is closed but you can still support runners. barclaysmoontrekker.com STAGE TEDxWanChai (29 OCT) In its sixth year, TEDxWanChai is hosting possibly the largest TEDx event in Hong Kong. This year, a diverse range of speakers – including global leaders, local thinkers, artists, environmentalists and more – will explore the theme of “Crossroads”, bringing together Hong Kong’s people and their diverse interests for a daylong event to celebrate our past and our future. The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Lyric Theatre. info@tedxwanchai.com 10th Annual Hong Kong International Comedy Festival (13 OCT – 5 NOV) Laugh yourself silly at one of the largest comedy festivals in Asia. Featuring a line up of 30 international comedians competing for giggles and a top prize of $40,000, the festival will be held at various venues around town. hkcomedyfestival.com

17 OCT-NOV2016


37 Best Buys:

A whole range of lamps and lights for indoors and out

Gloster Bay lounge and Voyager lantern, Everything Under The Sun

19 What’s News: Furniture finds, store updates and other retail happenings

22 Home Showcase: We explore a gorgeous village house in Sai Kung

48 Great Outdoors: Ideas for your alfresco space, be it a balcony or a garden


Step Inside The re ha v e be en lots of changes at Horizon Plaza this year, and now Inside has opened a lovely new store on the 15th floor. As well as the same great selection

of vintage teak furniture and a tight edit of homeware and accessories, there are lots of exciting new arrivals. Discover stylish lanterns, outdoor hammocks and umbrellas, linen cushions and throws, and fabulous new lamps. The carefully curated range of gifts is also pretty fantastic, including frames from Addison Ross London, and exquisite home fragrances in beautiful packaging from Lollia. 1510 Horizon Plaza, Ap Lei Chau. 2873 1795 | inside.com.hk

EverythingOld isNewAgain

Known for its antique Asian art and furniture, and contemporary crafts and homeware, AltfieldGallery in Central has just been renovated. The new space displays these treasures in a new and creative way, with 18th-century lacquer furniture sitting alongside modern handworked silver, Japanese paintings offset by sculptural bronze lighting, and modern monochrome glass and porcelain works complemented by chinoiserie hand-painted wall panels. Visit the gallery to see how some of these piecesmight look in your home. 249 Prince’s Building, 10Chater Road, Central. 25376370 | altfield.com.hk

Food for Thought Whether you shop there to furnish your whole house, or you just love the meatballs, IKEA is often an expat’s first stop, and most Hong Kong homes have at least one piece from the Swedish giant. The 2017 catalogue is as inspiring as ever, with a new collection focused on food. Encouraging you to create a space that suits your individual style and needs, rather than simply following trends, the new ranges include everything from whole kitchens to utensils. A small selection of products are now available online too, or you can visit the stores at Megabox, Sha Tin or Causeway Bay. ikea.com/hk/en







Hong Kong is full of beautiful homes, but every now and then you find one that feels like it belongs in another world. Sophisticated, elegant and loaded with charm, ALENA LEE’s LungMei village house is one of Sai Kung’s best-kept secrets.

23 OCT-NOV2016

W alking through the village of Lung Mei on the outskirts of Sai Kung, trying to find the home of Alena and Greg Lee, I was more than a little lost. But as soon as I spotted the pristine white village house, with its simple black detailing, I knew I’d found the place. Alena is a fellow school mum and friend, and I’d heard whispers about how beautiful her home is. She’s one of those ladies who always looks immaculate, so I had high expectations as I wound my way through the neighbouring houses to her front door. From the outside, the first thing you notice, apart from the stark white of the walls and the sheer size of the place, is the sprawling lawn and the view over Sai Kung from the back. Sitting high on a hill, the house manages to be both open and private, quite a rarity in Hong Kong. At over 4,000 square feet – double the size of a standard village house – it offers far more space than most HK homes too! The Lee family moved here in the summer of 2014, drawn to a number of appealing aspects: “The space, the view, the village, and the feel of it,” says Alena. The house had been previously renovated, and the space provided the perfect blank canvas for interior designer Alena. While some would be overwhelmed by such a large place, she relished the challenge, “I came up with a theme and an idea of how I wanted the home to feel. I knew as soon as I saw it that the basis of my colour scheme would be grey, and I’m very fortunate that I have a husband that trusts me and lets me do my thing!” Originally from Australia, Alena lived in California for a number of years and moved to Hong Kong 13 years ago, but the influence of her second home is evident in her design style. Of the Lung Mei village house, Alena says, “I like to call it ‘my American Home in Hong Kong’.” From the neutral tones and natural fabrics to the simple, clean lines and subtle furnishings, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a home in the




25 OCT-NOV2016

Hamptons. Alena admits that she has ordered a lot of her décor from the US and shipped it back to HK – “FedEx loves me!” – but there are other elements of the property that trick you into forgetting that you’re in a village house. The spacious ground floor boasts an open living and dining area, which features a mezzanine up to the first floor. The height of this adds to the feeling of space, and the elegant black wrought-iron balustrade is very classy. A large dining table is the centrepiece of the room, and it’s the kind of table that would work for both sophisticated dinner parties and low-key family dinners. It was custom- made for Alena by TREE. “I actually worked with one of their carpenters to custom finish and colour our table to make it more unique and fit in with the design theme in our home.” Alena’s favourite piece in the room is a beautiful shagreen cocktail cabinet from Bowerbird Home, a gift she purchased for her husband one Christmas. She says, “I love the colour and texture of it. When you open the doors it has antique glass from France on the inside – it really is a stunning and unique piece of furniture that makes a statement.” Alena admits that this is her favourite room in the house: “We’ve had so many good times here, and it gets amazing light.” Art is a prominent feature throughout the home, and Alena has used it to both decorate the space and also as a reminder of their travels around the world. “The larger pieces I bought from an auction house in Indonesia, as I loved what was being produced by artists in Southeast Asia,” she says. One of these pieces, a depiction of a man in a yoga pose, hangs on a partition wall in the entryway. It divides the space and provides a focal point where there would otherwise be a void. The first floor has been designed with family-friendly living in mind. The family room has lots of storage space, as well as






“I design homes that are elegant, calm, warm and inviting, with an unexpected twist.” ample room for six-year-old Harley to play, and a large sofa from TREE. “The sofa has been fantastic,” says Alena. “It’s comfortable – even for my tall husband – but has also withstood kids eating and jumping on it, and still looks as good as new.” A large guest room with its own built- in wardrobe is on this floor, too. It’s a cosy space with a “home-away-from- home” feel that you can imagine would have guests hoping to extend their stays indefinitely! Upstairs is a series of rooms that gives a whole newmeaning to the term “master suite”. A luxurious master bedroom, in the same warm tones as the rest of the house, offers a relaxing retreat, complete with an incredible master bathroom. “His and hers” offices take up two of the rooms, each a reflection of its inhabitant. But the showstopper on this floor would have to be the walk-in closet. More like a room than a closet, this perfectly organised, jaw-dropping space inspires nothing but envy!

29 OCT-NOV2016




Every detail of this home has been carefully thought out. The rooms are beautifully coordinated, and filled with furnishings that manage to be luxurious and comfortable at the same time. Alena’s shopping style reflects the tastes of a woman who knows what to spend money on and when to save – with a mixture of high-end pieces that will last a lifetime, and more affordable accents that are easily replaced for a new look. When I ask her to describe her style, she replies, “I’m a classicist by nature, but I design homes that are elegant, calm, warm and inviting, with an unexpected twist. Plus, they must always be functional and practical.” This particular place is her pièce de résistance – a perfect example of her talents, and a wonderful family home.

31 OCT-NOV2016

Alena’s Recommendations

SHOPPING Bowerbird Home 8/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau bowerbird-home.com Indigo Living 6/F, Horizon Plaza indigo-living.com TREE 28/F, Horizon Plaza 2870 1582 | tree.com.hk Lane Crawford Home Shop 4008, 4/F, IFC Mall, 8 Canaan Curtains and Blinds Kam Wah Building, King Man Street, Sai Kung 2792 9892 ONLINE SHOPPING overstock.com (“I bought rugs, curtain rails and side tables from them; it’s a great site with fantastic discounts”) onekingslane.com (“Beautiful and unique things for the home – everything from the picture frames and throws to the gorgeous mirror in the sitting room all came from them”) BEAUTY AESOP 42 Hollywood Road, Central aesop.com/hk The Skin Gym 21/F, The Centrium, 60 Wyndham Street, Central 2810 8088 theskingym.com.hk Nail House G/F, 7A Hang Hau Village, New Finance Street, Central lanecrawford.com.hk

Territories 2719 8718




Living BY KATE DAVIES Living in a cookie-cutter apartment can leave even the most imaginative dweller uninspired –which is why interior designer SUZANNE WONG created a new range of bespoke furniture, to inspire clients to tell their own story in their own way. When Suzanne Wong walks into an empty room she sees much more than windows, walls and square feet; she sees the potential for a story. “That’s why a home is my favourite space to decorate; it’s something personal – a story relating to a single individual. This makes it interesting to create things for.” Since opening her own business, Attitude Asia Interiors , in 2005, Suzanne and her team have notched up 11 years of design expertise, working with high-end developers to create luxurious interiors for hotels, apartments and villas around Hong Kong and China. She’s familiar with meeting high standards in affordable and luxurious fittings – indeed, one of her projects was recognised in last year’s International Design & Architecture Awards in London – and has now transferred these sought-after qualities to her latest venture, bespoke furniture line Verde . The word means green in Italian, and it refers to the line’s signature colour, an icy celadon; it also hints at her elegant, comfortable and timeless style. “Furniture can be like sculpture or artwork,” says Suzanne. “You might choose pieces from a particular brand only to find that they don’t fit or suit your available space.” So, before you head to a popular store or mall to pick up a new sofa or dining room set, she suggests you consider another option: bespoke furniture. Clients should consider the “total look”, she urges. “If you’re buying furniture from different retailers, you’re unlikely to get one creative look. We have a whole set of furniture that is coordinated for a single living room, on the other hand, so we can build a colour story for you from the items you pick.” Another piece of advice from Suzanne is to keep quality in mind. “We do believe that, for the modest prices people pay with us, they get a higher level of quality than usual; our cushions are 50 to 60 percent down feather, for example, and TAILOR-MADE

our marble, metal and bed upholstery are all high quality, but with mid-market retail pricing.” Finally, by going bespoke you can make furniture work for you. “For example, you have the option to pick Teflon fabric to cater to your lifestyle; if you have children or pets, it’s durable and easy to clean.” And if you don’t want to stop there, Suzanne can help you with decisions on everything from lighting and rugs to artwork and bedding. She’s passionate about helping people reflect their personalities through their living spaces, whether it’s across 60,000 square feet or 600. As a final note, she says she would recommend to anyone doing up a home to be fully aware of the available options. Consultations with Suzanne are private and by appointment and can be arranged by phoning 2267 0699 or emailing info@ verdedecoration.com. To see some of her latest products, visit verdedecoration.com.

35 OCT-NOV2016

Lighting is just as important whether it’s outside the house or inside, and now there is such variety and versatility in the lights on the market: solar-powered, remote-controlled, portable – you name it! With what we’ve sourced for you here, you’ll never be in the dark again. LAMPS& LIGHTS


High Boy pendant, OVO Home, 2526 7226, ovohome.com.hk

Porcelain lamps with stand, Oriental Home, 3542 5336, sales@orientalhome.com.hk

Gloster Voyager lanterns, Everything Under The Sun, 2554 9088, everythingunderthesun.com.hk

Sputnik chandelier-style pendant lamp, Stockroom Furniture Outlet, 2817 0999, stockroom.com.hk

Woode n a r t i c ho ke - s t y l e pendant lamp, Stockroom Furniture Outlet, 2817 0999, stockroom.com.hk

37 OCT-NOV2016


David Trubridge Lights in bamboo, available in various shapes and sizes, Okooko, 2870 1132, okooko.com

Ti e red hang i ng l amps , Forbidden City, 2556 8968, forbiddencity.com.hk

Halycon table lamp in quartz with antique brass shade, Verde Decoration, 2267 0699, verdedecoration.com

Balloon floor lamp, Tequila Kola, 2877 3295, tequilakola.com

Standing lamp, Altfield Interiors, 2526 8681, altfield.com.hk



Maiori La Lampe Paris, suitable for indoors and outdoors, Everything Under The Sun, 2554 9088, everythingunderthesun.com.hk


Ruhlmann chandelier, Verde Decoration, 2267 0699, verdedecoration.com

Bazar Pendant lamp, Tequila Kola, 2877 3295, tequilakola.com

Five Fingers floor lamp, Tequila Kola, 2877 3295, tequilakola.com

Chinese lantern table lamps, Forbidden City, 2556 8968, forbiddencity.com.hk

Atlantic floor lamp, Stockroom Furniture Outlet, 2817 0999, stockroom.com.hk

39 OCT-NOV2016


Amsterdam, Paris, Beijing, Nepal, Hong Kong and beyond: SASKIA BOWERS has a long and intricate expat trail, and along that trail she’s made a point of squeezing every ounce out of each opportunity that has come her way. &


F orget any old-fashioned notion about the hearth being the heart of the home: in Saskia Bowers light-filled, cheerful space in Stanley, it’s all about the fridge. Here you’ll find memories, pictures and keepsakes that are special to the family, including six-year-old Orlando’s first attempts at writing, hand-made cards from friends in far-flung places, and numerous photographs, including one of an appealing little boy in school uniform, beaming cheek to cheek. “That’s Navaraj, the Nepalese boy we’ve been sponsoring since he was four,” smiles Saskia. “He’s now 11, very handsome, and is doing incredibly well at school. Twice a year I get a letter from him with an update, and a picture of the Manchester United or Real Madrid club logo, where he’d one day like to play! Instead of giving money randomly to charity, you can see

the impact of your giving this way, and you know a little boy will be better off because of it. It’s a brilliant and strategic way to be involved.” Actually, Saskia’s involvement is far greater than sponsorship of one little boy: she’s the Chair of the Nepal Youth Foundation in Hong Kong, and was responsible for setting up the local chapter. It’s a well-trodden route – financial services executive frustrated with money markets decides to invest time in something more meaningful – but Saskia’s approach to getting involved was via a cerebral path, and rather than merely helping raise funds for the underprivileged, she helped orchestrate strategies for change in communities. “I started volunteering with an organisation called the Asian Charity Services, who match a number of different professionals with small to medium charities in Hong Kong,” she explains. “During a six-week period, the group goes through a detailed

process where the charity comes out with a pro-bono business plan at the end – it could be on strategic planning, fundraising or even corporate governance. I loved it! I enjoyed understanding so much more about how to strategically assist a NGO, not just helping paint a wall or sending them colour pencils, but really helping in a different way.” Then a chance meeting in Starbucks with a colleague sparked the beginning of her involvement with Nepal: on the day Saskia resigned from her job, he invited her to accompany him on his next trip to Kathmandu. In 2009, they stayed for ten days with Olga Murray, the inspirational founder of the Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF). “That was it: I fell in love with the country and the charity,” says Saskia. “There are so many fantastic charities out there – this isn’t the only one – but I really felt every dollar made such a difference, and I could see Olga was affecting real change.”




“A chance meeting in Starbucks sparked the beginning of Saskia’s involvement with Nepal”

43 OCT-NOV2016

It’s true the NYF has made impressive gains so far – Murray’s initiative to offer poor Nepalese families a piglet or goat in return for a promise not to sell their daughters into bonded labour (girls as young as two were being sold into slavery, where they might be sexually abused or starved) has resulted in an official ban of the practice by the government. A different programme aims to train selected mothers in hygiene and nutrition, and in how to grow local vegetables and prepare them, before sending them back to their local community to spread the knowledge. “After five weeks with us, the mother is transformed, and goes back to her village with a healthy, happy child” explains Saskia. “The scheme has been going for ten years, and has a 93 percent success rate. Eventually the government got wind of it, and asked us to attach a unit to a hospital in each of Nepal’s 16 districts. So far we have set up six units: we keep a management team there for five years to help train and support, and then we pass it back to the government. We’re lucky to have such a good relationship with them – when the earthquake hit, we were uniquely placed to respond within 24 hours. And because we’re smaller and less bureaucratic than many charities, we can move faster.” Today, the charity administrates a wealth of different programmes in Nepal, including running homes for rescued children, where sponsorship, scholarships and vocational training ensure their charges can stand on their own two feet, financially and emotionally, by the age of 18. Little Navaraj – whose parents were both HIV-positive – was one such charge. Saskia describes their initial meeting: “It was my first time in Nepal, and I opened Olga’s front door to a young woman and a tiny four-year-old boy wearing a beanie, looking sad and angry with the world. The woman was handing papers to Olga, and it took me some time to realise this was the moment the mother would say goodbye to her son, and she would go back to her village. He would become part of our charity, our home. And once I realised what was happening, I




started to cry. As soon as the mother left, I turned to Olga and said: ‘He’s mine, we’re sponsoring him!’ I still get goosebumps when I think about it. Investing in him, and working with the charity, has been a very warm experience.” Saskia has had her fair share of experiences since leaving her hometown of Amsterdam, and the Stanley house is crammed full of precious keepsakes from her travels, and those of husband Kieran. Originally British, he’s lived in Japan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia since leaving the UK, and has also collected a host of mementos along the way. So there are hand-worked, beaten copper bowls from Nepal, antique silver scrolls from India, Dutch paintings, a delicate baby’s christening gown – framed – from an antique market in Paris. “My parents spent whatever money they had on travelling, and I remember visiting Paris four times a year when I was a child,” says Saskia. “There’s a special magic about

Paris for me and my sister. I remember being there at Christmas, and seeing the twinkling, magnificent window displays at the Galleries Lafayette; and then we would always visit this restaurant called La Grande Colbert. My mother eventually got me a little tray from there, and it’s one of my most treasured possessions!” The tray is displayed – along with other intriguing keepsakes – in a beautifully made walnut wood and glass cabinet, which Saskia commissioned during a posting in Beijing. “The guy who made the cabinet is an amazing magician,” she enthuses. “He loves puzzles and fitting pieces of wood together – there isn’t one screw in there, but it all works together perfectly!” The same man made the fabulous bed in the boys’ room, which is shaped like a London bus, complete with authentic steering wheels and blackboard paint. “It doubles as a climbing frame when the boys have play dates,” she laughs.

There are several pieces of standout art from Beijing around the house, including a quirky map of the city cut out of paper; an ancient ancestral print of a Chinese couple Saskia bought in a house sale; and an ultra-modern portrait of a miner’s face, which has been cleverly constructed out of RMB coins and paper notes. Next to this modern piece of art are some beautiful antique Chinese doors that have been wall-mounted, and this is typical of Saskia’s eclectic decorating style: Eames chairs rub shoulders with a French-style cabinet, an antique map of Groningen (a province in Holland) mounted next to a poster for a James Bond movie. Antique and contemporary; new and old. The couple spent three years in Beijing – they had previously lived in Hong Kong for seven – and Saskia relished her sojourn there. “Every day was both exciting and surprising; there was always something you could laugh about, whether it was funny or just frustrating!” she says. “The

45 OCT-NOV2016

Saskia’s Recommendations

expatriate community is so interesting and diverse: journalists, ambassadors, even spies – people who have spent time in places like Iraq and Moscow. Living in Hong Kong is pretty easy, and no one really says no to a posting here. But not everyone says yes to China, so the expats there are the real pioneers, the adventurers!” One of the advantages of returning to Hong Kong in 2013 was the country trails; Saskia’s a keen runner: “I used to go running with my dad in the forests in Holland, and I really miss them!” she says. “It’s not easy to run in the country in Beijing, so I was happy when we came back to Hong Kong. I didn’t realise how much I missed being outside, and being part of nature. When I run, I have a permanent smile on my face. I turn a corner and see these beautiful pristine beaches and islands, and I literally start smiling!”

Otherwise, she’s happily exploring everything the city has to offer, from the best place to have breakfast on the island (a tiny place on the corner by the carpark in Shek O) to the quirky Eslite bookshop/café (“it has planting, seeds, organic vegetables, and a hydroponic system!”) before Kieran’s job moves them on once again. “I don’t mind moving, but I never realised this would be my life,” says Saskia reflectively. “At some point my cousin asked me, when are you coming back to Amsterdam? And I thought, I don’t think I’ll ever go back. Not to live. We won’t live in Holland, or in England, so who knows where we’ll eventually settle? Italy perhaps? I’m not sure I can stay in one place anymore!” One thing’s for sure: wherever she ends up, she’ll be making the most of every single opportunity.


Yallay Gallery 6 Yip Fat Street, Aberdeen yallaygallery.net Indigo Living 6/F, Horizon Plaza 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau indigo-living.com


Eslite Bookstore 10/F Hysan Place Lee Gardens, Causeway Bay leegardens.com.hk

Ming’s Café Shek O Road, Shek O The Lobster Bar Island Shangri-La Supreme Court Road, 6/F, Pacific Place shangri-la.com



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