October-November 2018


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Life in Stanley & Sai Kung


There’s no doubt that kids’ parties ain’t what they were like in “my day”. I remember when a party was little more than having a bunch of friends come over to run around in the backyard before departing with a party bag consisting of a slice of birthday cake and a balloon! Times and expectations have changed, and living in Hong Kong adds another dimension to contend with. How many of us have a home with the space – or the kitchen! – to host and cater for a group of exuberant children? My personal experience, though, is that there are so many wonderful businesses offering solutions for kids’ parties that, while it may seem daunting at first, it can be remarkably stress- free! Turn to page 50 for our survival guide for your next celebration. When it comes to my own birthday, I must admit I lean more to celebrating with fine dining than face painting these days. If you have a special occasion coming up or friends in town and you want to showcase Hong Kong, there are so many amazing restaurants to choose from that it can get overwhelming. This edition, we’ve put together a guide to some of our favourite high-end spots, which you’ll find from page 90. Meanwhile, it’s probably no surprise, given our location in the region, that a survey found Hong Kongers to be the most frequent travellers on the planet. But did you know Singapore was among our 10 most popular destinations? My family made a trip to the Lion City earlier this year and found it a fab mix of family-friendly and foodie. If you’re thinking of the same for your next holiday, check out our round-up of places to stay from page 115. Closer to home, don’t miss our regular Street Talk column. This edition, we shine a light on one of my absolute favourite parts of Hong Kong, Sheung Wan. We talk to an expat of many years who shares his insider secrets (page 42). Finally, congrats to residential designer Britta Butler on her REA Interior Design Award 2018, recognising her work on a Mid-Levels apartment. Turn to page 24 and find out how to win a HK$18,000 makeover by Britta for your home. Until next time!

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UPFRONT 10 Calendar of Upcoming Events 12 Follow Us Online HOME & PROPERTY 16 News 18 * Showcase: Check out this beautiful makeover in Stanley 24 Inspiring Interiors: Meet award-winning Britta Butler 26 Buying Guide: Fitting out the ideal office in your home 30 Smart Moves: A return to Sai Kung 35 Buying Guide: Stylish furnishing for alfresco living 38 On the Market: Properties for sale and lease 42 Street Talk: Spotlight on Sheung Wan

An inside look at a revamped home 18

LIFE & FAMILY 46 News 48 On the Page: We preview the latest great reads 49 Rated PG: Our regular parenting column 50 Party Planning: A kids’ celebration survival guide 52 Boarding School: Life at Sydney’s Newington College 54 Shopping: Highlights from the upcoming Prestige Fairs 58 Uni Update: SCAD’s incoming Vice President 61 Fair Pair: Meet the new owners of ShoppingHongKong

62 Helping Cambodia:

A community-based approach

64 Dress to Impress:

Top picks for that special occasion

66 Small Business: A gem of an idea



Ideas for your great outdoors

Showcase Features: Each issue, our home showcase features provide a through-the-keyhole look into some of our readers’ lifestyles and their interior design decisions. If you’d like us to profile your own home – whether it’s beautiful, quirky, historic or modern – and you’re willing to be interviewed and photographed, drop us a line at info@expatliving.hk.




BODY & MIND 72 News 74 Green is Good: Hong Kong’s organic hairdresser 76 Men’s Grooming: Top spa and salon treatments 80 Marriage Matters: Combatting the pressures of expat life 82 Counselling: Helping men deal with their fears 83 Women in Medicine: The necessity of support networks 84 Expert Voice: Protect yourself from air pollution WINE & DINE 88 News 90 Special Occasions: Top spots to celebrate 93 Chef Chat: BLT’s Laurent Tourondel 94 Recipe Corner: Fail-safe favourites for your repertoire


The steakhouse with a global reach

TRAVEL 98 News 102 Luxury Boats:


Amazing escapes in Indonesia

Exploring secret coastlines 104 Outback Australia: An extraordinary safari near Kakadu 110 Beautiful Bhutan: A bucket-list itinerary 112 Beyond Bali:

REGULARS 118 Important Numbers 119 Our Advertisers 120 Parting Shot: From expat to compatriot

Off-the-radar spots in Indonesia

115 Singapore Stays:

Four fantastic hotels to book now





SPORT Hong Kong Tennis Open (6-14 OCTOBER) More than 50 of the world’s best female tennis players will compete in singles and doubles matches for prize money of US$500,000. This WTA International Series event takes place at Victoria Park Tennis Stadium. A range of fan and community events will also be on offer. hktennisopen.hk Cross Harbour Race (21 OCTOBER)

Giselle (26-28 OCTOBER & 3-4 NOVEMBER)

The Hong Kong Ballet is staging performances of legendary romantic ballet Giselle . The tale of a young peasant girl who dies of heartbreak after being deceived by a nobleman is said to be one of the most challenging ballets to perform. An array of international guest artists will dance alongside Hong Kong artistes in the lead roles. hkballet.com

Dear Zoo (25-28 OCTOBER)

For 70 years, the Cross Harbour Race has been a highlight for keen swimmers eager to participate in the annual swim across Victoria Harbour. The demanding event starts at Tsim Sha Tsui Public Pier at 8.30am and culminates at Wan Chai’s Golden Bauhinia Square Public Pier. hkharbourrace.com

Rod Campbell’s much-loved children’s classic has sold more than eight million copies worldwide. It has now been brought to life on stage, in a show that’s perfect for anyone aged two years and above. aba-productions.com Clockenflap (9-11 NOVEMBER) Hong Kong’s biggest arts and music festival is back. This year’s line- up includes US indie outfit Interpol, singer Khalid and Talking Heads frontman David Byrne. The weekend promises to be huge for music fans, and there will be the usual mix of arts, film, food and family fun. clockenflap.com New Vision Arts Festival (19 OCTOBER–18 NOVEMBER) This year’s festival will push the boundaries of art with more than 18 programmes of cutting-edge and avant-garde international and local performances. Highlights include the acclaimed ballet Tree of Code , which fuses literature, installation and dance, and Aquasonic , a sound-soaked concert featuring the world's first underwater orchestra!

Oxfam Trailwalker (16-18 NOVEMBER)

This fundraising event sees participants form teams of four to complete the 100km Maclehose Trail within a 48-hour time limit. Since 1986, participants have raised money to support Oxfam’s various poverty alleviation and emergency relief projects in Africa and Asia, including Hong Kong and mainland China. oxfamtrailwalker.org.hk






Beertopia (5-6 OCTOBER)

The Beertopia annual craft beer festival will feature more than 250 different brews from around the world, including offerings from 13 local craft breweries, as well as food, live music and games. beertopiahk.com Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival (25-28 OCTOBER) The Central Harbourfront Event Space will be a foodie paradise during this four-day event, with the chance to sample some fantastic food and drink from more than 300 booths. There will also be special events, such as tasting classes with industry experts. discoverhongkong.com FAMILY Hong Kong Maternity and Baby Event (13 OCTOBER) The Maternity and Baby conference will inform and connect expectant mamas- and papas-to- be on key parenting topics. Maternity experts will speak throughout the day and take part in Q&A sessions, and there will also be an array of exhibitors showcasing products and services. healthymatters.com/hong-kong-maternity-event Harley Davidson’s 115th Year Anniversary (13-20 OCTOBER) Get ready for a week of festivities as Harley Davidson celebrates its 115th anniversary. Highlights include a special “old versus new” bike display, a photography tour around Stanley Plaza, and a photobooth in a Harley Davidson theme. There will also be live music and dance performances. hongkongharleydavidson.com/ events/3582/hd115-party-charity-ride Lamma Fun Day (27 OCTOBER) This long-running event is great fun for music lovers and families, with food and market stalls, a licensed bar, arts and crafts, and kids’ activities, as well as live music on the beach. Lamma Fun Day raises money for the Child Welfare Scheme. cwshk.org/event/lamma-fun-day

Shi Fu Miz Festival (27-28 OCTOBER)

Shi Fu Miz Festival is a two-day music and art project. Held this year at Sai Yuen campsite on Cheung Chau, this eco-festival will feature live music, with a line-up including UK DJs Ben UFO and Dan Shake. There will also be wellbeing activities such as yoga and meditation workshops. shifumiz.com

The Big Picnic (3 NOVEMBER)

The Big Picnic is a community music and dance festival held on Discovery Bay’s Tai Pak beach, D-Deck and main plaza. There are a host of live and original live musical acts, as well as a beach bar, beach volleyball, market stalls and more. thebigpicnichk.com


ShoppingHongKong Fairs (20 OCTOBER & 16-17 NOVEMBER)

ShoppingHongKong’s seasonal shopping fairs kick off at the Gold Coast Yacht and Country Club on 20 October, followed by a Holiday Bazaar at the Fringe Club in November. Expect to find jewellery, fashion, lifestyle, cosmetics and fine wine. shoppinghongkong.net Mums@PLAY (6 OCTOBER & 25-27 OCTOBER) Mums@PLAY is a platform that brings mums who run small businesses together, with bazaars and pop-ups. They have two events in October: a Family Bazaar at The Hive in Sheung Wan on 6 October, and a Diwali Fashion & Fun Pop-up from 27 to 29 October in Central. mumsatplay.com Prestige Fairs (12, 21 & 26 NOVEMBER) Get a headstart on your Christmas shopping with a visit to one of the Prestige Fairs. The fairs see the Grand Ballroom of the Conrad Hotel become a hub for more than 100 pop-up retail shops, with creative designers and innovative entrepreneurs showcasing their products. The Gift and Lifestyle Fair will be held on 12 November, followed by the Pre-Christmas Gift Parade on 21 November, and the Christmas Showcase on 26 November. prestigefairs.hk

11 OCT-NOV2018

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Life in Stanley& SaiKung

14/9/18 11:03AM



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13 OCT-NOV2018


26 Buying Guide:

Fitting out the ideal office in your home

Altfield Interiors

18 Showcase: A beautiful makeover of a house in Stanley

35 Great Outdoors: Stylish furnishing for alfresco living

42 Street Talk: Spotlight on Sheung Wan



New Looks Iconic Spanish brand Lladró has a brand- new Light & Scent collection, with a beautiful array of lamps, votive lights and home fragrances. The lighting range includes dome lamps and firefly lamps, all with detailed designs inspired by the traditional engraving technique of lithophane. The home fragrance range includes aromatic candles and liquid diffusers, with a selection of bespoke aromas. The pieces, which are all handcrafted to the exacting standards associated with Lladró porcelain, can be found at stores in SOGO, Causeway Bay and Harbour City. 2321 8039 | lladro.com

Indigo Living’s Fall/Winter collection launch was an elegant affair, showcasing sophistication, liveability and luxury with four ranges to suit all tastes and styles of home. Fans of Hollywood Hills-inspired interiors will love the Fall Woods collection, while if your tastes run to a more opulent tone then the Gold Play pieces will fit the bill. Meanwhile, the Blackout collection is perfect for those who prefer a minimalist approach, and the Golden Nights range for those who love statement pieces with strong colours and brass and gold accents. Find the right fit for your home at Indigo Living stores in Horizon Plaza and YOHO Mall. 2555 0540 | indigo-living.com SEASONAL STYLE

Space Solutions Spaceman, a leading multi-function furniture brand from Singapore, has arrived in Hong Kong. Spaceman specialises in maximising living spaces with a selection of beautifully designed and adaptable pieces. If you need space-saving solutions, consider its range of wall beds, real mattress sofa beds, kids’ beds, dining/coffee tables, mini kitchens and accessories, which you can browse in the 1,600-square-foot showroom in Horizon Plaza. 1102Horizon Plaza, 2 LeeWing Street, Ap Lei Chau. 3690 9699 | spaceman.com.hk

Lights Fantastic Looking for a statement piece for your home, or a special gift for someone? The Ginger Jar Lamp Co. creates stunning lamp bases fromauthentic ginger jars historically used in China to export spices to the West. The jars were all made by hand up to 80 years ago and originate from Jingdezhen, the heartland of blue and white ceramics, and each one features traditional hand-painted patterns and motifs with auspicious meanings. The company also offers a range of handmade lampshades to complement the bases. The table lamps and lamp shades are available to buy together or separately in Hong Kong. 9135 0418 the-ginger-jar-lamp-co.myshopify.com




L uxur y property specialist Victoria Allan, founder of Habitat Property, developed such an affection for one of the homes she listed in Stanley she ended up buying the house herself! The home has proven to be a great choice for Victoria and her two sons, aged three and five, and their new dog, Spike. Since buying the house seven years ago, she has renovated the property, turning it into a functional, light-filled home. Aussie expat VICTORIA ALLAN has taken inspiration from her hometown in Western Australia in the design of her Stanley home.

Why did you come to Hong Kong from Western Australia? I had a great friend from school who had been living here and she kept asking me to come and visit. Finally, I did, and when I was visiting I decided to do some job interviews. I was offered a job so I moved up three months later, and I’ve been here ever since! I’ve lived all around the world – during the five years before moving to HK, I lived in Vancouver, Chicago and Sydney. I set up my business in 2001 as I saw there was a gap in the market to provide a boutique property service in Hong Kong – so few property agencies offer unique properties with interesting design features. When I’ve been looking to buy a home myself, these are always the type of properties that stand out to me.




How did you end up in your current home? I had the house listed for sale, and probably showed it to around 40 different clients. No one liked it and they couldn’t see the potential. The more I went to the house, the more I liked it, and I started to visualise how I would refurbish it, if it were mine. Eventually I decided that enough was enough! I called the owner and offered to buy it at the price he wanted. What inspired you to renovate? The house was really ugly so it needed a total renovation – it was a terrible 1970s brown house with a spa bath on the roof – you truly needed vision to see the potential! It has great views over Tai Tam Bay, but the windows were small and so I moved the living room upstairs to connect with the water and I now have a window running all the way along the living space that opens everything up and gives us a great view out across Stanley. I pretty much turned the house inside out with a major renovation.

19 OCT-NOV2018

I spent a lot of time maximising space and ensuring everything was very efficient. There’s no wasted space; I have very effective storage and all the cupboard space was maximised. My kitchen is a really small space (it used to be the bathroom) but I viewed the layout like a kitchen on a boat and it’s super-efficient – you can still have three people in there comfortably. I also made the most of my rooftop and set it up with built-in furniture and a barbecue/bar area so it’s easy to use and is an extension of my living space. I entertain outside regularly.




that connection to Western Australia. I also recently purchased a small light box by Shanghainese artist Yang Yongliang; his work is intricate and beautiful. You obviously love mid-century furniture – is it easy to source in HK? I’ve recently been able to source two Clam chairs from the 1940s that were designed by Danish architect Philip Arctander. They’re hard to find and I managed to find someone in Sweden who was restoring a pair; I grabbed them immediately. I lovemid-century furniture and hunting down unusual pieces. It’s very hard to find inHong Kong, though, so I generally source it fromoverseas. The Cherner dining chairs I purchased years ago in London and the Serge Mouille light is still in production; I bought this one in Paris. You come from a part of the world with a lot of space and light; does this influence your taste? Absolutely! This is clear not only in the design of the house but also all the furnishings, which I like to keep simple and relatively neutral in tone. My design choices are minimalist and you’ll notice a real lack of clutter in the rooms. I also make sure to let in as much natural light as possible; this is particularly important in the living/dining space. On the ground floor, the ceilings are 4.5 metres high – this is unusual for Hong Kong and also helps a great deal in keeping the house feeling light and airy! I think it’s important to keep renovations simple and not have too many built-in features as this tends to make space feel smaller and more cluttered. Also, I’ve really tried to maximise the outside space so that it’s connected to the house and set up to use easily. Any advice for people who are renovating?

How long did the renovation take and how have you customised your home to suit your tastes? It took seven months in total. My main goal was to make the house feel open and relaxed, like an Australian beach house – I took a lot of inspiration from Western Australian home design. I love to spend time outside, so we created a beautiful rooftop terrace with lots of space to have guests over and entertain – we have a barbecue area with big comfy sofas where friends and family can relax and admire the views across the bay. I wanted my house to be different from everything you typically see in Hong Kong. It’s unusual to begin with, as it’s a small house, so I took a lot of inspiration fromAustralia – especially beach areas like Camp Cove and Byron Bay. I want to reflect a casual yet stylish interior. My outside space is very considered; everything is built-in, so it’s easy to use and a real extension of the living space. I moved the living space up to the first floor so that it connected better to the roof space and the kitchen was closer. I have a built-in bar area with barbecue, wine fridge and fridge. The seating is all built-in as well; it works really well and the whole space takes advantage of the view over Stanley Bay. I use it all the time for barbecues and I hold a big dragon-boating party every year. The large blue piece ( opposite page ) is by Tanya Ling who is London based and used to be a fashion illustrator. I love the depth of colour and the way it connects to the water outside. The photograph ( first page ) is by Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde; it’s called “Nimbus Power Station” – he creates these amazing clouds in all sorts of spaces. I chose this work as it was done while he was an artist in residence in Perth (where I’m from), so I really like Tell us a little bit about the art you’ve collected.

21 OCT-NOV2018


WINE & DINE • “I’m loving the new Tai Kwun development; it’s across from my office and I particularly like the bar and restaurant at Old Bailey. It’s a cool spot.” taikwun.hk • “The bar at Otto e Mezzo is also good for meeting for drinks. I always book a table behind the bar and not in the restaurant.” ottoemezzobombana.com • “Chino in Kennedy Town has fabulous food and great cocktails. Erik Ikos, the chef, is originally from LA and previously ran Nobu in HK, so the food quality and presentation are very good.” chinorestaurant.com • “One of my favourite hidden spots is Ronin, run by Matt Abergel (also of Yardbird fame). It’s a small space but the food and drinks are fabulous.” roninhk.com SHOPPING For Victoria: • Isabel Marant – Shop D, G/F, 42-48 Paterson Street, Fashion Walk, Causeway Bay • Yves Saint Laurent – Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty

• Net-A-Porter – net-a-porter.com • Matches – matchesfashion.com • J Crew – jcrew.com For the kids: • Pottery Barn – potterybarn.com • Amazon – amazon.com



We meet one of the city’s top residential designers and hear about her recent prestigious award.

I t was 2014 when BRITTA BUTLER, a Harvard and MIT graduate, decided to set up her own architecture and interior design firm, B Squared Design . Seeing a gap in the Hong Kong market, she seized the opportunity to create a full-service firm.

in terms of space usage. I designed bespoke furniture for the living room and bedroom that would be both functional and sculptural. I created spaces that evoked the feeling of a boutique hotel, using visually impactful materials, bold shapes and meticulously sourced one-of-a kind furnishings. What were the biggest challenges and the biggest successes of the project for you? There were many obstacles in terms of logistics, deliveries and construction. The timeframe was tight to get everything done. But, ultimately, I was able to overcome the obstacles by thinking outside of the box for sourcing and materials, and working extremely closely with my amazing project manager, Tina Mak of Beehive & Co., to make sure the schedule and high quality of craftsmanship was maintained. The success of the project was verified when the client walked into the space and said it was exactly what he had envisioned.

This decision has paid off in spades, with Britta’s unique and bold creativity resulting in her winning the REA Interior Design Award 2018 for the Residential Category. The award recognised the work she had done on a Mid-Levels flat, which involved a multi-level, full-scale redesign of a unique duplex on Kennedy Road, transforming the apartment into a stylish gallery, home, restaurant and office in one. We sat down with the design dynamo, a mother of two and a Hong Kong resident of 12 years, to find out more.

Congratulations on the award! Thanks, I’m thrilled to have won it! It’s wonderful to be recognised for the work that I love to do. There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes for a project, and a lot of long hours dealing with issues that come up, so it’s extremely rewarding to receive recognition after completion. Tell us a bit about the project. The project had to serve multiple functions for the client. It had to be a “home away from home” when the CEO was in HK, and act as a meeting/hotel space for VIP clients, and an event space for work functions. The client had an extensive art collection that he wanted showcased, as well as a desire to make an oasis in an urban jungle, so I had to think creatively

Monika Kulon Photography




Jill Carter Photography

What sorts of things are popular or specific to Hong Kong in terms of architecture and design? Obviously, space is a big consideration in Hong Kong, whereas in other places I’ve worked it hasn’t been a big factor. I used to design buildings from the ground up, and here residential almost always means an internal renovation of a flat. I see it as a challenge, not a problem, however, and many of my designs involve innovative approaches to space planning and storage. I also do a lot of custom furniture that has to do double-duty because of spatial constraints (for example, a bed with storage underneath). My signature B Squared Murphy Bed came about as a result of the need to get creative with small spaces. What’s a current interiors trend that you’re particularly excited about? Right now, I’m loving the deep, moody blues I’m seeing everywhere, from furniture, to wallpaper, to rugs. This combined with gold accents evokes a gorgeous, luxurious feel. How does the city inspire you? Hong Kong is such a vibrant city; it truly is ever-changing: A restaurant that is there one week is gone the next. A flower shop you’ve frequented for years can become a bar overnight. And people arrive here from all over the world, bringing their own unique cultures and ideas to play. This all necessarily influences and inspires my work. Nothing can be too stodgy or staid. While I might draw from design classics, this is always in combination with new technologies and materials. It makes for some really interesting, unique designs!

What do you love about Hong Kong? My favourite things about Hong Kong are the food scene, the fact that it’s so safe, the proximity to so many amazing vacation destinations, and, last but not least, the people I’ve met in my decade or more of living here. I truly have made friendships for life, and it is thanks to this great city that we ended up in the same place.

Does your home need a fresh new look? Expat Living has teamed up with B Squared Design to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a room makeover by Britta valued at HK$18,000 ! Head to our website expatliving.hk to find out how to enter.

25 OCT-NOV2018


An environment that can nurture and increase productivity is vital in a home office. So, find a chair that supports your back, lighting that works with your screen and a desk with plenty of space. Here’s a handful of hot items to get you started!

Glaze wallpaper from 1838 Wallcoverings, $640 per roll, Altfield Interiors , 2525 2738, altfield.com.hk




Bookcase with acacia veneers, $10,500, Ashley Furniture Homestore , 2570 0307, ashleyhk.com

Weitzner magnetic wall cover, $1,950 per yard, Altfield Interiors , 2525 2738, altfield.com.hk

Small office desk with engineered wood and veneers, $3,648, Ashley Furniture

Homestore , 2570 0307, ashleyhk.com

Tregardoc desk in mango wood, made in India, $5,600, INSIDE , 2537 6298, inside.com.hk

27 OCT-NOV2018

Vista desk in American walnut wood, $14,785, Organic Modernism , 2556 9499, organicmodernism.com

Soft pad executive chair, available in genuine and synthetic leather, from $3,700, DSL Furniture , 8191 3885, dslfurniture.com

Mirage file cabinet in American walnut, $15,565, Organic Modernism , 2556 9499, organicmodernism.com

Lamberi desk with walnut veneer, $9,600, DSL Furniture , 8191 3885, dslfurniture.com

Patron chair in faux leather and walnut surface, $3,980, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com




Brooklyn walnut desk, $9,980, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com

Cigar lounge office chair in cowhide, $21,980, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com

Swivel chair, adjustable height, $2,280, Ashley Furniture Homestore , 2570 0307, ashleyhk.com

Ladder hanging book shelves, $6,980, Organic Modernism , 2556 9499, organicmodernism.com

29 OCT-NOV2018


Life has come full circle for stylist LIZ KEELING, who is back in Sai Kung with her headmaster husband and baby son in tow, after living there as a child in the 1980s.

BY TARA JENKINS; My favourite piece ismy Star Ferry bench; it was a surprise birthday present from Ben. He couldn’t get hold of an original bench, so he commissioned a craftsman to have it made to exact specifications. The guy made quite a few trips on the ferry, taking photos and measurements to make sure it was exactly the same: the back-rest moves forwards and backwards too, just like the real thing!

I grew up in Sai Kung. I was born at the Matilda Hospital and my family lived in Nam Wai Village, just up the road, until I was ten. The 1980s was Cathay Pacific’s heyday: my father was a flight engineer, and most of my parents’ friends worked for the airline. Many of them lived in Sai Kung because it was near the old airport at Kai Tak – expatriates here were either pilots, or teachers at the nearby ESF school. My early memories centre around playing outside with my friends in the compound, swimming at the beach, and our Filipino helper Emma cooking us sardines and rice. I used to ride up at Bea’s River, andwhenwemoved back to the UKmy parents promised me my own pony. They kept their promise, but returning to England was a rude shock. Most of my new school friends lived miles away, not just down the road, and I really missed the sun and outdoor life. It was a shock for my mother too, I think. All her friends were around her in Nam Wai, and she was quite lonely in our small village in Somerset. My mum and I first went back to Hong Kong when I was in my twenties, to celebrate a friend’s birthday, and I just felt like I’d come home. From then on, I planned to return, and when my husband Ben was offered a job here (as principal at Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong), we jumped at the chance. After we arrived, I continued my work in interiors with The Home Stylist. Ben and I met in the UK, but we did a stint in Jakarta prior to coming to Hong Kong; we both knew we wanted to work and live abroad. All my family are travellers; perhaps being an expatriate gives you a thirst for travel, and you see the world as a less intimidating place. We had such awesome trips, growing up in Asia. I remember one holiday my father drove us from Jakarta to Bali, but there were no other tourists around. We stopped at the temple at Borobodur, but it was completely overgrown, not the tourist attraction it is today! Now my oldest brother lives in Johannesburg, and my middle brother in Australia. My parents lived in Bahrain before coming to Hong Kong, so the travel bug is obviously in the family!




Otherwise, I’m very fond of the 1950s-style furniture we brought with us from Indonesia. It’s beautiful old warm wood, but I’ve mixed the pieces up with brightly coloured chairs fromMirth, a contemporary sofa from TREE, and some quirky accessories I’ve collected from around the globe. When we first arrived in Jakarta, this furniture had fallen out of favour with young Indonesians, who felt it belonged to their grandparents’ era, and the furniture shops were piled high with cheap pieces classified as “antiques”. I upcycled a lot and ended up selling a few. I’m environmentally conscious, but I do like things that are a bit different, and it’s also in my blood! My parents bought a huge old house when we moved back to Somerset, and my mother used to buy furniture at auctions to upcycle. I remember being allowed, at the age of 12, to paint all our kitchen chairs. Upcycling is a big trend now, but my mother was definitely ahead of the curve. Eventually the 50s-style Indonesian furniture became more popular. You’d go back to the same furniture shops a year later and the retailers would tell us everything had been sold to a trendy restaurant or café, who were also upcycling! We tend to stay around Sai Kung at the weekends, especially now we have a young baby. We’re very near the Lions’ Nature Reserve and the Hong Kong Yacht Club, so we’ll stroll down to the Marina at weekends. Trio Beach is a stone’s throw from the house, too. We’re more into coffee houses than bars these days, and Little Cove in Sai Kung is one of my favourites. Otherwise, we love dim sum at the weekends, at one of the many seafood restaurants overlooking the harbour.

31 OCT-NOV2018

LIZ’S RECOMMENDATIONS WINE & DINE Little Cove Espresso Siu Yat Building Block A, G/F, Hoi Pong Square, Sai Kung

There’s so much movement here at the moment. Shops open and close quickly in Sai Kung because the rents are so high, and developers are building two brand new luxury apartment complexes in the centre of the village. The character of Sai Kung is changing fast, and there are so many expatriate families here now. Sometimes I fall a little out of love with Hong Kong, especially with the humidity, pollution and cost of living, but then I go into Central at night, and nothing beats the lights, neon and buzz. It’s such an awesome city, isn’t it? So exciting and vibrant! It’s definitely a hard city to leave.

9572 8560 The Pawn

62 Johnston Road, Wan Chai 2866 3444 | thepawn.com.hk Veggie SF 10/F, 11 Stanley Street, Central 3902 3902 | veggiesf.com

“Sometimes I fall a little out of love with Hong Kong, but then I go into Central at night, and nothing beats the lights, neon and buzz!”


MINT Hong Kong 6312 8644 | fb.com/MadeInNewTerritories TREE 2870 1582 | tree.com.hk H&M Home hm.com/hk/en Mirth Unit A, 3/F, Yally Industrial Centre, 6 Yip Fat Street, Wong Chuk Hang, Aberdeen 2553 9811 | mirthhome.com Pro Wave Salon 19 Sai Kung Main Street, Sai Kung Pepper & Mint Boutique pepperandmintboutique.com The Ginger Jar Lamp Co the-ginger-jar-lamp-co.myshopify.com




Fermob Cocotte side tables and stools in sturdy steel, available in various colours, price on request, Everything Under The Sun , 2554 9088, everythingunderthesun.com.hk

It’s what’s on the outside that counts, so here’s a roundup of fab furniture for your alfresco space, be it a deck, yard, rooftop or balcony. TheOutsiders

35 OCT-NOV2018

Swing chair in rattan and iron frame, $6,000, DSL Furniture , 8191 3885, dslfurniture.com

No.9 Thompson “Surf’s Up” outdoor fabrics, price on request, Altfield Interiors , 2525 2738, altfield.com.hk

Tribù Zoë chargeable outdoor lamps, providing nine hours of LED light, price on request, Everything Under The Sun , 2554 9088, everythingunderthesun.com.hk

Fermob Moood lamps, wireless and chargeable with two levels of LED brightness, price on request, Everything Under The Sun , 2554 9088, everythingunderthesun.com.hk

Outdoor lounge set in a rattan and aluminium frame, $20,000, DSL Furniture , 8191 3885, dslfurniture.com



No.9 Thompson “Surf’s Up” outdoor fabrics, price on request, Altfield Interiors , 2525 2738, altfield.com.hk


Puro table with two drawers in lacquered carved solid wood, $12,980, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com

Sun lounger in rattan and aluminium frame, $4,300, DSL Furniture , 8191 3885, dslfurniture.com

Garden umbrella, $6,500, INSIDE , 2537 6298, inside.com.hk

Spaghetti garden chair in black and rose gold, $2,790, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com

Mosaik garden coffee table, $8,980, Tequila Kola , 2877 3295, tequilakola.com

Moorea outdoor fabric collection from Pierre Frey, from $1,390 per metre, Altfield Interiors , 2525 2738, altfield.com.hk

37 OCT-NOV2018


S ummer 2018 has proven to be the traditional “busy period” for both newcomers to Hong Kong and those relocating within the territory. The upcoming tender of the HK Government’s Mansfield Road Quarters (some 80 to 90 apartments) has seen some pressure on the rental market between $50,000 and $100,000, with an influx of outgoing tenants needing to find new homes. The rental market continues to be competitive across the board, with the higher quality, well presented properties being taken up quickly. Popular developments in the Southside such as The Manhattan and The Repulse Bay portfolios as well as some in Mid-Levels such as Dynasty Court and Queen’s Garden continue to be near to maximum occupancy, and in some cases have waiting lists. As the summer season is also the time when new families tend to relocate to Hong Kong, the typically family-friendly developments and locations found in the Southside and Mid- Levels have proven to be popular as always. There is much speculation about how the new Government Vacancy Tax will affect the overall property market in HK and we have started to see some developers releasing their properties to the leasing market in order to avoid this new measure. This new stock appears to be predominantly smaller apartments for the time being, but there is some hope that this new tax could contribute to an increase in choice for potential tenants’ territory-wide in the near future.

Laurie Lankester Director, Residential Leasing and Relocation Services Jones Lang LaSalle Limited (JLL)


Area: Southside Rent: $120,000 per month Size: 1,700 sq. ft

Bedrooms: 2 Bathrooms: 2

This rarely available low-rise colonial apartment is in a peaceful and extremely well- managed private development, with a huge terrace overlooking spectacular sea and island views. There’s a communal heated swimming pool for year-round enjoyment, plus easy access to hiking trails, yet it’s still just five minutes from all the conveniences in Repulse Bay and Stanley.





Area: Mid-Levels Rent: $122,000 Size: 1,767 sq. ft

Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 2

This superior quality apartment available in the upper Mid- Levels is the ideal family home, with high-quality finishes throughout. Branksome Crest provides convenience, quality and superb management for those seeking apartment living at its finest, with easy access to Central and full club facilities including a lovely outdoor swimming pool, gym, sauna, indoor children’s playground and shuttle bus.


Area: The Peak Rent: $85,000 Size: 1,225 sq. ft Bedrooms: 2 Bathrooms: 2

T h i s s m a l l e x c l u s i v e development on The Peak offers a recently refurbished apartment with spectacular views over the Aberdeen Country Park, Lamma Channel and the islands beyond. With a lovely large swimming pool, it’s ideal for a couple or young family seeking the convenience of being 15 minutes’ drive into Central but wanting to escape to the peace and serenity of The Peak.

39 OCT-NOV2018



Area: South Bay Rent: $75,000 Size: 1,239 sq. ft

Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 2

Grand Garden has just undergone extensive renovations of the communal areas, delivering modern and attractive facilities including a swimming pool, gym, clubhouse, tennis court and children’s playground. This apartment has been newly refurbished and offers superior quality finishes throughout. Being on the lower level of the building, it overlooks a pleasant green area and the swimming pool, and the balcony allows some outdoor space for a small table and chairs.

This a great value: an exceptionally high-quality refurbished apartment enjoying pretty views across South Bay. Due to proposed future external improvements on the building, the apartment is being offered at a greatly reduced rate from the normal market value. No dates are set for the commencement of the renovations, so the property could offer good value for money in the meantime.


Area: South Bay Rent: $92,000 (incl.) Size: 2,143 sq. ft

Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 2



STEVE BRUCE Originally from: Borough, London SE1 Occupation: Independent LinkedIn Trainer & SME Marketing Consultant


One of the most colourful and cool neighbourhoods in Hong Kong, Sheung Wan is located on Hong Kong Island, in between Central and Sai Ying Pun. It’s a fascinating warren of narrow, winding streets where you’ll find traditional Chinese medicine shops side-by-side with hipster coffee houses. Here, a British expat shares his Sheung Wan with us.

How long have you lived in Hong Kong? Twenty-one years so far.

Why here? Because Asia is the place. There is nowhere else in the world that offers me the same combination of opportunity, low tax, ease of doing business as well as easy access to sailing, mountains, country parks, beaches and city living. Where do you live in Sheung Wan? I’ve lived in Wing Lok Street for six years, but I’ve called Sheung Wan home since 1999. I first lived in Po Hing Fong and then Queen’s Road.

What transport to you use to get to and from your house? My feet – my office is two minutes’ walk from my flat.




Wan. The Lot has friendly service and Konfusion also has lovely staff, and it shows sports. I also like Jacomax Pizza for authentic pizza – “just like mama used to make it”. You won’t find better local food than at: I love the hole in the wall on Mercer Street for Thai food and Namaste Café on Queen’s Road. The Queen’s Road Food Centre also has great food, including ABC Kitchen and Nepalese food. The strangest thing you’ve ever seen on your street is: A guy walking home in his underpants.

A mandatory stop for taking out-of-town guests is: The lower deck of the Star Ferry for that Suzie Wong feeling – and it’s also cheaper. You can’t beat the views of the harbour. You can cruise across at sunset, grab a few beers from the 7-Eleven and then go upstairs and watch the sun set at the Cultural Centre. And then you can head back again on the ferry once the sun has set. I have one dream house in Repulse Bay Road. It’s got an awesome view, a giant garden, a round swimming pool, tennis courts and a killer view of Deep Water Bay – but I don’t think the owners would swap with me! They do say Po Hing Fong is super haunted as Blake Garden is where the plague broke out, and it only came to an end after a big fire there. I lived there for 12 years, though, and never saw anything so I’m not so sure myself. You’d swap houses in a second with: A common myth about your neighbourhood is: If you’re ever woken up at night, it’s almost always due to: The metal recycling guys out the back of my flat delivering recycled metal at 4.30am. Thanks, guys – nice one. A massive late-night rager on your street is likely to involve: SheungWan is light on late-night bars, so I normally head toWyndham Street.

The best bargains in your neighbourhood are:

At the factory overrun shops. The hardware store on Possession Street has been open for 50 years and is still going strong. There’s also an essential oil shop on Jervois Street that is a true gem.

When you walk out of your place, what’s the first thing you see? The two super-friendly cats who “work” in the Chinese dried seafood shop next to my flat. These guys make so many people happy every day. The closest store to your front door is? U-Select, which is one minute from my flat. The unofficial uniform of your area is? A t-shirt rolled halfway up with a big tummy exposed. If a celebrity moves in next door, it will most likely be: I live next to a Buddhist centre, so it would probably be a famous Buddhist teacher. When you’re in need of a dose of culture, you: Walk down my street. It’s a working area and you can always find real street culture there at any time of day or night. If you’re missing home, you: Head to The Globe in Graham Street. As one the few proper English boozers in Hong Kong, you’ll always find a friendly English face in there to have a chat with.

The guiltiest pleasure in your area is: Jacomax and a beer.

One thing you’d never change is: Theworking area vibe of SheungWan and the smell of dried seafood products on the street. But one thing you wouldn’t mind seeing go is: No more shark fins, please. The city gives you $5 million to soup up your street. You use it to: Open some local feel outdoor cafes to make better use of the sitting out areas for everyone.

WHAT’S THE WORD ON YOUR STREET? Whether they’re newcomers or “old hands”, we’d love our readers to get to know your neighbourhood. Help us by sending an email to info@ expatliving.hk with “Street Talk” in the subject line. Include

Your hands-down favourite neighbourhood joints are: Brew & Chew is great for burgers and hangover food, while The Cottage has the best English breakfast in Sheung

your name and street, and we’ll be in touch.

43 OCT-NOV2018


50 Party

Planning: Stress-free celebrations for kids


52 Boarding School: Life at Sydney’s Newington College

54 Prestige Fairs: Discover some of the products on offer

66 Small Business: A gem of an idea




Hooray for Hollywood The Heritage Vogue Hollywood Road Street Carnival returns this year on 4 November. This popular carnival features a series of exhibitions, workshops and performances that provide a unique opportunity for the public to experience the rich history, heritage,

cultural and artistic ambience of Hollywood Road. The event will take place on the Wyndham Street to Aberdeen Street stretch of the road. facebook.com/HeritageVogueHollywoodRoad

In support of Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, Teresa’s Turkish Towels has a special edition towel with the breast cancer awareness pink ribbon embroidered on a small dark pink heart. These special 100 percent cotton towels are suitable for a range of uses – from wrap, scarf or bed cover to plane snuggle. They roll up and are easy and light to carry. The towels are retailing for HK$250, and HK$100 will be donated to the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation with every purchase. 6102 4220 | hkturkish.com

Parenting Talk Yale-trained clinical psychologist Dr Thomas E. Brown is presenting a series of talks from 8 to 10 November. He will share recent research on brain development and function, and offer practical strategies to help parents and teachers better recognise and understand how intelligent, capable children can get “stuck” at school or home because of weaknesses in their executive function skills. The event is being hosted by FOCUS, which aims to support families and professionals dealing with children with learning differences. focus.org.hk

Happy Birthday, Harley! Join the party as Harley Davidson of Hong Kong celebrates the brand’s global 115th anniversary with a week of events at Stanley Plaza from 13 to 20 October. Highlights include a bike display, an Instagram photographic exhibition, a biker- themed photobooth and Hong Kong’s first-ever barber battle. The celebrations will culminate in the third annual charity ride, with Harley Owners’ Group members riding in partnership with Hong Kong Rugby Union to raise money for Po Leung Kuk Children’s Charity. Sign up for the barber battle at rsvp@ harleydavidson.hk or the charity ride at rosanna.lam@harleydavidson.hk. hongkongharleydavidson.com/events/3582/hd115-party-charity-ride



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