September - November 2020
PERFECT PASTRIES & READER RECIPES
HERE & ABROAD
SHORT & LONG STAYS WHERE TO LIVE 12 YEARS ON LANTAU LIFE IN YAU MA TEI
HEART CHECKS & MENOPAUSE
+WIN A KID’S BED WORTH $16K!
Funny to think that I used to get annoyed when the person beside me on a plane claimed “ownership” of the armrest with an elbow and refused to budge for the entire flight. These days, nothing about being in the air would bother me. Not the lack of legroom; not the frozen screen on the in-flight entertainment system; not even the eight-year-old kid kicking the back of my chair for hours on end. Well, maybe that. Really, though, I’d have zero complaints – especially if I were off somewhere nice for a holiday. That’s how much I miss travel. We all do. Still, if there’s a silver lining (pardon the coronavirus cliché), it’s howmuch I’ve found myself reflecting on past trips lately. From the brilliant moments, like watching the rising sun cast a glow on the Taj Mahal’s tiles or seeing the children disappear into a kids’ club for a full-day session, to the less-than-stellar times, like being rescued by rowboat after a bus crash next to the Yangzi (long story…). At a time when we can’t travel, we can still think about it. We can ponder past journeys, as I’ve been doing. And we can dream about future expeditions. That’s what we expect you’ll do when you read this month’s Greenland story (page 94); it’s an absolute cracker. We also have a bunch of the world’s best tropical island locations for you to mentally retreat to (page 90). Of course, we can still travel locally, and this is a superb place for exactly that. See our staycation review of the Hong Kong Golf & Tennis Academy (page 54), for example, and our hitlist of HK’s best waterfalls (page 18). We also have the day-to-day things – life’s essentials – completely covered. School is back in session (albeit from home again, boo! ), so there’s a raft of education stories, including a special focus on boarding (from page 62). Elsewhere, you’ll find advice and opinions on health, finance, property and more; we even have a tip for getting restaurant-quality croissants delivered to your door. We also wander through a home on Lantau, chat with a celebrity chef and give you the chance to win over $16,000 in children’s bedroom gear. While we can’t travel just now, we can at least flick through the pages of a magazine. We hope ours allows you to go to all kinds of places while staying right where you are.
Read about the all- woman team who tackled the icy terrain of Greenland … by bike!
Editor-in-Chief REBECCA BISSET Group Editor
SHAMUS SILLAR Digital Content JULIET KEYS MICHAELA BISSET Client Services & Production LEANDA RATHMELL NUR HANANI KAMAL LUDDIN Senior Graphic Designers MICHAEL BERNABE JEANNE WONG Circulation & Marketing ANNA TSERLINGAS
Sales & Marketing KATE WOODBURY Chief Operations Officer COLIN PURCHASE Contributing Writers CHRISTINE AMOUR-LEVAR BROOKE CHENOWETH ANTHIA CHNG LIZ COWARD REBECCA SIMPSON JO UPCRAFT KARL WOODBURY LINDSAY YAP Contributing Photographers COLIN SIM (COLSIMPHOTOGRAPHY.COM) Printed by MIRACLE PRINTING CO. LTD.
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Jane Churchill 2020 Collection, Altfield Interiors (altfield.com.hk)
UPFRONT 10 Follow Us Online 12 Hong Kong News 18 The Hong Kong Pages: Facts, trivia, history and more HOME & LIFE 22 Home Showcase: A Scandi home in Shui Hau Village 28 Buying Guide: Bedroom furniture and accessories 34 WIN! … a designer kids’ bed set of your choice! 36 Under the Sheets: We profile the ultimate duvet 38 On the Market: A selection of top serviced suites 42 Street Talk: What it’s like living in Yau Ma Tei 46 On the Page: A preview of the latest great reads 48 On the Screen: Top TV and film recommendations 50 Money Matters: Planning to leave Hong Kong? 52 Legal Lowdown: Family implications of a pandemic 54 Staycation Spot: A luxury sports and wellness retreat
Lantau Island living
SCHOOL SPECIAL 56 School Report: News from the classroom 58 Little Learners: Inside a renowned French preschool 59 People Profile: Meet the new face at Shrewsbury 60 Scholarship Scheme: Recognising our future leaders 61 Expert Advice: Helping teenage students in uncertain times 62 Boarding School Special:
Deck out your bedroom 28
Student insights from Singapore to Australia
What’s new in bedding?
WELLNESS & LEISURE 70 Total Wellness: 10 ways to be kind to yourself 71 Maternity Matters: Newborns and reflux 72 Heart Health: What is atrial fibrillation? 74 Menopause Focus: Signs, symptoms and coping mechanisms
78 Fitness Focus:
How a PT can help you achieve your goals
80 Two Scents:
We share our fave fragrances
82 Meet the Chef: A chat with a street food specialist 84 Perfect Pastries:
How to get them delivered to your door
80 Find out our favourite scents
86 Recipe Corner:
Fail-safe favourites for your repertoire
90 Island Dreams:
Tropical retreats for future travels
REGULARS 108 Puzzle Pages 110 Important Numbers 111 Our Advertisers 112 Parting Shot: Those we leave behind
94 Bikes on Ice:
A breathtaking adventure in Greenland 102 Taking on Tanzania: Fitness feats in the Serengeti 104 Destination Focus: We rate our top girls’ getaways!
Fresh baked goodness
Tropical islands to add to the list
FRESH EVENT UPDATES AND GREAT CONTENT TO HELP YOU MAKE THE MOST OF LIVING HERE
Latest fashion news and things to do
SETTING UP HOME • INTERIOR DÉCOR • THINGS TO DO
GET A FREE COPY OF OUR LATEST CITY GUIDE! Are you looking to make the most out of living in Hong Kong or know someone new in town who needs a helping hand? Our latest City Guide is filled with handy tips and advice on neighbourhoods to live in, property, education, health and more!
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SHORT&LONGSTAYS WHERETOLIVE 12YEARSONLANTAU LIFE INYAUMATEI
SHORT&LONGSTAYS WHERETOLIVE 12YEARSONLANTAU LIFE INYAUMATEI
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Create Your Dream Home! Did you know that the Altfield Showroom has a team of professional interior decorators on hand to provide complimentary décor advice? Based on your aesthetic preferences and requirements, the Altfield team can create bespoke interior schemes for your home, curated from an array of over 30 interior furnishing brands that cover textiles, wallcoverings, and more. Tailoring and upholstery services are available, too! Call 2525 2738 or email showroom@ altfield.com.hk to arrange an appointment, or just drop in to the Altfield Showroom at 1101, Nine Queen’s Road Central. altfield.com.hk
Paint Pros The first official Eicó store is now open in Hong Kong, which means you can head down and pick your favourite colours of the brand’s environmentally friendly paint, along with other products you know and love. Eicó has been recognised by multiple bodies from here in Hong Kong across to Europe for its excellence in environmental consideration. Take a look at what the fuss is all about at Shop S1-2, G/F, Block B, Fuk Keung Industrial Building, 66-68 Tong Mei Road, Mong Kok. eico.hk
Launched in August, PO House offers everything from slow fashion to skincare products and F&B concepts aimed at environmentally conscious consumers and retailers, across digital and brick-and-mortar sites. Three main brands have been unveiled so far, including Mother Pearl offering handcrafted tea-basedbeverages (thinkbubble tea made with superfoods!) from a Lyndhurst Terrace store and
Fashion-forward HQ Redress, the environmental NGO working to reduce waste in the fashion industry, has moved into new headquarters in Sham Shui Po. The space was formerly a textiles and fabrics shop, and has been revamped as a sustainable hub to support Redress’s projects, through exhibitions, workshops, events and pop-up shops, and to support and promote sustainable fashion and the Redress Design Award Alumni. Find out more at redress.com.hk .
a kitchen in Wong Chuk Hang. Meanwhile, Something Ode is a sustainable fashion operation, and Nourish features “clean” skincare and beauty brands. Find out more at po-house.com .
Indigo Atelier is the new incarnation of SONDER Living @Indigo, and with the rebranding comes a move to a beautiful new home on the eighth floor of Horizon Plaza – close to Indigo Living & Kids on the sixth floor. Shoppers can expect sophisticated home furniture, lighting, accessories, artworks and more, along with striking designer collections. September offer! Quote “EXPATLIVING20” when checking out either in store or online, and receive 20 percent off fixed priced items andmade-to-order items. You can also enjoy a free in-store design consultation when booking inadvance. Email designconsultant@ indigo-living.com to make an appointment and an Indigo designer will meet you there. indigo-living.com
You Are Feeling Sleepy… For so many of us, getting the recommended seven or more hours of good-quality shut-eye – and the many benefits that come with it – can seem like a tall order. Good news: LifeHub has designed Sleep Drops, a natural supplement that aims to reset your sleep cycle and get you drifting off again. The key ingredient for a healthy sleep cycle is melatonin, and taking melatonin can help reset our internal sleep clock. Sleep Drops is a pharmaceutical-grade micro- dose of melatonin designed to support natural circadian rhythms. No more counting sheep! Available from LifeHub, 1/F, 33 Wellington Street, or the e-store at lifehub.com .
Smoother Skin Portugal-based luxury skincare brand Ignae has been unveiled in Asia, and is available through Hong Kong entrepreneur Canny Leung’s Maxi House online shop. Ignae’s anti-ageing formula combines ingredients such as Azorean colostrum and camellia oil to leave the skin looking younger. One EL team member recently tried the brand’s Eye Complex and Night Complex, and commented: “My skin is definitely smoother and I think some of those pesky fine lines around my eyes are smoothing out. The product absorbed easily, without leaving any greasy feeling.” The Eye Complex combines high-performance peptides designed to reduce dark circles around the eyes and diminish wrinkles while the Night Complex stimulates collagen production and softens skin for a youthful glow. h2o-living.com/news | maxihousehk.shoplineapp.com
Tunes on the Go Audio company 1MORE has expanded its collection of fab-looking headphones with the launch of ColorBuds True Wireless Headphones. Optimised for Android and iOS devices alike, the earbuds feature excellent sound, convenient controls, lightweight portability and a pop of colour via the different shades of Midnight Black, Twilight Gold, Sakura Pink and Spearmint Green. You can expect around six hours of battery power, while the sweat- and water-resistant handles allow for use during all kinds of rigorous outdoor activity. 1more.com
On theMove Asian Tigers Group provides international relocation solutions for more than 16,000 families each year, with offices in 14 different territories. In this regular column, they provide advice for expats arriving and leaving Hong Kong. “How can we make our next move an eco-friendly one?” Everyone is keen to reduce their impact on the environment, so what can be done when you’re moving house? There’s a role for the mover in this, but the transferee also has a part to play. Movers are major consumers of paper and paper products. No one has yet come up with a better material to pack and protect furniture than paper – and lots of it. Fortunately, paper is recyclable and we do work hard to collect, package and deliver used packing materials to local recycling companies. We also make use of plastic bins, which, although less recyclable, can be reused literally thousands of times. Our electric consumption in our warehouse has been reduced by 30 percent in the past 24 months by using automatic timers connected to our air-conditioning and dehumidifying systems. On your side, you could ask your mover if they have a supply of clean, lightly-used paper materials. Recycling carton boxes has a positive impact on the amount of material needed for a move. Manymovers, Asian Tigers included, have eco-related quality standards that formalise and standardise our environmental impact; plus, all our offices have plans on how to minimise that impact. We also established the Tiger Action Fund in 2000 to support worldwide environmental protection projects. Recently, we’ve been working with the WWF TX2 project that aims at doubling the number of wild tigers by 2022 – the Year of the Tiger; find out more at asiantigersgroup.com/doubling-wild- tigers-with-asian-tigers-group.
R i m o w a h a s b e e n p rodu c i ng h i gh - e nd luggage for over 120 years, but at a recent virtual press presentation they showcased some products with a difference: namely two lightweight unisex sunglasses lines. The Bridge line echoes the industrial look of Rimowa luggage, while Rim has a minimal frame and is ultra- light for full-on comfort. There’s also a lightweight optical range called Air. Available at Rimowa stores in Hong Kong and online at rimowa.com .
Got more questions about eco-friendly moving? Contact Asian Tigers for further assistance. asiantigersgroup.com/contact-us
Music Makers Clockenflap Music is a new platform that celebrates musical discovery in all its forms. Created by the team behind Hong Kong’s premier music and arts festival, Clockenflap Music aims to champion the best new and underground sounds from across the musical spectrum. It will feature a handpicked line-up of DJs, artists and music industry insiders from here, the rest of Asia and around the world, with exclusive artist- led playlists and live performances, plus insider news and revealing interviews. clockenflapmusic.com
Churro Champions Hong Kong’s first authentic churro shop, Twist & Buckle, has arrived in Tsim Sha Tsui, on Chatham Road. The brainchild of a pair of South Americans with a passion for sharing authentic churros like those they enjoyed from local bakeries as kids, the churrería dishes out soft, crispy, handcrafted churros with a “twist”. Try the classic El Churro Original ($22), dusted with cinnamon and served with a choice of dipping sauces including traditional dulce de leche. Or go for a Glazed option or something from the Chilled selection (warm churros served with vanilla ice cream). There’s a range of freshly squeezed lemonades to wash everything down, too. Open seven days, 11am to 11pm. instagram.com/twistandbuckle
Quarantine Like a Queen (or King!) With COVID-19 still disrupting our lives, Ovolo Hotels is giving things a twist with a 14-night Quarantine Concierge Serviced designed to welcome returning HK residents in style. The two-week stay includes everything from a dedicated Quarantine Concierge to run errands in the “outside world”, to gym gear, plants for added greenery, complimentary breakfast, a Loot Bag of snacks that gets replenished daily, HK$1,000 in F&B credits, unlimited entertainment, wellness kits and more. You can enjoy unlimited premiumWi-Fi, Apple TV and Alexa to fulfil your binge- watching needs. Plus, there’s a Happy Hour each day with complimentary tipples brought to your room, and a free barista-made coffee on the house eachmorning. It’s available at both Ovolo Central or Ovolo Southside via ovolohotels.com/ovolo/offers , or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fast Wheels The LEGO Group and Automobili Lamborghini have teamed up to reveal the LEGO Technic Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 model car. Coming in a vibrant lime-green exterior with gold rims, the 3,696-piece replica has been recreated with amazingly intricate details. Get it at LEGO-certified stores in Hong Kong. lego.com
Luxury resort brand Aman has introduced gift cards that can be used for accommodation, dining, spa treatments, retail or activities. Order themonline with cash values ranging from US$10 to $10,000! They can be sent through the post or emailed to the purchaser or recipient, and are valid for three years from the time of purchase. At the end of their stay, guests just present the gift card to get deductions from their bill. aman.com/gift-card of Travel
Where Can We Go Next? Luxury tour operator Lightfoot Travel has launched a new COVID-19 travel restrictions section on its website. It lists official travel protocols from countries all over the world and will be updated weekly. Very useful! Check it out at lightfoottravel.com/en/covid-19-travel-restrictions .
Nordic Adventure Once we’re back in the travel saddle, it’ll be nice to try a very different kind of getaway. How about a thrilling sea safari along the west coast of Norway? Scott Dunn offers a seven-night package to the Norwegian fjords, where you can enjoy gorgeous scenery and get up close to wildlife including seals, eagles and puffins. Popular spots to visit include the seal colony at Grasøyane and the Runde Bird Sanctuary. Find out more at scottdunn.com .
THEHKPAGES Our regular feature where we investigate
DO GO CHASINGWATERFALLS! With travel mostly off the agenda, it’s a great time to explore more of our own backyard. And Hong Kong has so many hidden gems, we can count ourselves lucky. Here, we list five of our favourite waterfalls to visit. (Most involve a hike of some kind, so be prepared for terrain, and also keep in mind factors such as weather and water levels.) Ng Tung Chai Waterfalls Where: Tai Mo Shan
Hong Kong’s past and present, with tips, trivia and time travel – and the occasional tricky challenge for readers!
How: 64K bus from Tai Wo MTR. Get off at Ng Tung Chai. Follow Ng Tung Chai Road for half a kilometre to the village, then follow the waterfall path (signposted) uphill.
Animal World EYE-POPPING PYTHON A warning to anyone with ophidiophobia (that’s a fear of snakes, folks): you might want to turn the page. In late July, the snake team at Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Gardens (KFBG) took possession of the biggest python they’ve recorded since the launch of their snake relocation programme over two decades ago. How big? Well, along with being 4.56m long, the healthy female tipped the scales at a whopping 46.9kg. The KFBG Wild Snake Rescue Project was established with the AFCD and the Hong Kong Police in 1999. Native snakes that get reported are captured by a snake catcher and then released back into nature after getting a clean bill of health. Snakes have been in the news lately, It seems. Also in July, a large Burmese python was spotted consuming a barking deer in the forest near Tsuen Wan. Yikes!
Why: It’s not just the falls that are beautiful here – arguably Hong Kong’s best – but you’ll also pass through some super dense jungle to get to them. After a steep walk (set aside a couple of hours), the reward is four separate falls to admire – and the chance for a cooling dip. The most impressive is Main Falls, which is over 30 metres high. Adventure-heads can continue onward to the summit of Tai Mo Shan, or, if you’re done for the day, just head back down the path to the bus stop. Also: Ng Tung Chai means “Chinese parasol tree” – if you know what to look for, you’ll see plenty of them around! Waterfall Bay
Where: Pok Fu Lam How: Take Bus 4 from Central, get off at Wah Fu Commercial Complex, and walk 10 minutes down Waterfall Bay Road to the stairs down to the bay. You could walk here from Cyberport Waterfront Park, too. Why: Unlike the
other waterfalls in our list, this one drops almost directly into the sea. And since it’s much more visible from sea than from land, it’s been a well-known spot for centuries; passing sailors would replenish their water supplies here. Getting down to the sandy cove for the best view of the waterfall requires hopping over a fence or two, and you’ll need to keep in mind any signage you come across. It’s also best to come here when there’s been some rain and the waterfall is more impressive. Also: Near Waterfall Bay is an interesting unofficial religious site of “abandoned gods” staring out to sea.
If you want to read more about Hong Kong’s reptilian world, go to expatliving.hk and search for “snakes”. We’ve got a full article on the topic – just one instalment of our new online series of nature articles.
Tai TamMound Where: Tai Tam
How: Take bus 14 from Sai Wan Ho MTR, getting off at Tai Tam Reservoir (North). Walk back along the road for 150 metres to reach the entrance of the Tai Tam Country Park. The falls are an easy 1km hike from this point, with a scramble down from a small wooden bridge at the end (take care in wet conditions). Why: This whole area is a joy to walk in, with jungle trails, reservoirs, granite aqueducts and dams to view, photograph and explore. And, tucked away along Section 6 of the Hong Kong Trail, is a pretty waterfall with a cooling pool. As inviting as it looks, there are rules against swimming in reservoir waters, so this may be one place where you’re better off admiring from the shore. It’s still a serene spot that’s well worth a visit. Also: In 2009, 22 waterworks structures surrounding Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir – frommasonry bridges ( pictured ) to pumping stations and the dam itself – were declared as monuments; most are over a century old.
Bride’s Pool Where: Plover Cove Country Park
Think you know Hong Kong well? Tell us who is portrayed in this sculpture. The building in our Summer issue was the Jockey Club Innovation Tower, designed by Zaha Hadid, arguably the most famous female architect in history. It’s part of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus. Click! How: From Sai Kung Town, take the 29R minibus to Sai Wan Pavilion and hike to Sai Wan Village (45 minutes – or sampan from Sai Kung is another option). Follow the stream from the end of the beach up to falls. Why: This is arguablyHong Kong’s most picturesque region, with beautiful beaches and dramatic headlands. And the pools and cliffs of Sheung Luk Stream – known as the Sai Kung Rock Pools, or “Four Pools” – are a highlight. There are several waterfalls to admire, plus you can swim, and jumping from the cliffs is also popular among more daring day-trippers. Also: You’ll also pass by close to the falls and pools of Sheung Luk Stream while walking Stage 2 of the Maclehose Trail, so stop off to cool down. How: 20C minibus from Tai Po Market MTR. Get off at Tai Mei Tuk and take a taxi (4km). Sunday is easier: the frequent 275R bus goes straight from the MTR to Bride’s Pool bus stop. Why: With its 15-metre falls, this is the best known of Hong Kong’s waterholes. That doesn’t mean getting to it is a breeze, though. If you’re using public transport, we suggest a Sunday morning visit to take advantage of the more direct bus route. Why “Bride’s Pool”? The story goes that a bride was being delivered to her wedding by four porters carrying her in a sedan, when one man slipped. The wife-to-be plunged into the pool and drowned. Also: In view of this backstory, it’s perhaps no surprise that supernatural sightings are a “thing” here. One report tells of a woman appearing in a red cheongsam, presumably the bride, brushing her hair nearby the pool. Sheung Luk Stream Where: Sai Kung
5 others that are worth a look… • Ma Dai Stream (Ma On Shan Country Park) • Lotus Stream (Tai Lam Country Park) • Tai O Infinity Pool / Man Cheung Po (Tai O)
• Lugard Falls (Victoria Peak) • Silvermine Waterfall (Mui Wo)
Boarding Abroad: What to expect from an overseas school experience
LANTAU LIVING • BEDROOM PICKS • PROPERTIES FOR RENT MONEY MATTERS • TV & BOOK REVIEWS • A STAYCAY SPOT
HOME & LIFE
Practically Perfect Not many homeowners can look at an empty shell and see the potential, but that’s exactly what pilots LISA and BEN GRANT found in their Shui Hau village house on Lantau Island. After a full renovation, this comfortable, country-style home shows what happens when Scandi cool meets DIY design. BY BROOKE CHENOWETH
W hen you travel for a living, it’s important to find a place you really feel at home in. After living in Soho on Staunton Street when they first moved to Hong Kong 14 years ago, Ben and Lisa have spent the last 12 years on Lantau. Island life Ben is Australian and Lisa is Swedish, and Lantau offered something that appealed to both of them. Lisa says, “It was fun to have lived in the city, but we knew it wasn’t for us in the long run; we liked the Lantau lifestyle and Shui Hau represented more value for money. “After living here for a while, we’ve grown to love it. The expat community is constantly growing and we now have many friends we get together with every week. And the locals are friendly too and quite often stop by to have a chat when Ben and I are outside in our little garden – I think they like that we do most of the work ourselves, and they’re probably a bit surprised by it!” After a brief stint in Sweden, the couple returned to Hong Kong three years ago and got to work renovating what was nothing but a concrete shell. Despite the fact that their jobs keep them busy, Ben and Lisa did a lot of the work themselves, from designing the home’s layout to sourcing fixtures and fittings. They even made some of the furniture!
Ben and Lisa with their dogs, Stella and Harry
Their main priority when planning the house was a big kitchen with lots of storage. Lisa says, “We love cooking and my husband has a habit of buying a lot of kitchen utensils and appliances when he is away on trips!” Keeping everything within a tight budget was also essential. She adds, “The kitchen is from IKEA. So are the bathroom cabinets. The Smeg appliances we imported from the UK, as it was a fraction of the price we would have paid in Hong Kong. We spent many hours walking up and down Lockhart Road to find tiles and appliances that would fit inside our budget.” Rooms with views Not only is the kitchen everything they hoped it would be, it’s also unique as it sits on the top floor, rather than on the ground floor as in most traditional village houses. Lisa says it’s their favourite thing about their home. “I’m so happy that we decided to have the kitchen on the top floor. This way, we’re only one floor below the rooftop, which means we cook and hang out on the roof all the time! The mountain views surrounding the house are amazing and I love coming up to the kitchen in the mornings and taking that view in. This also created more of a proper entrance downstairs to take off shoes and hang your coat or umbrella.” As experienced renovators, Ben and Lisa have learnt from past mistakes, and were able to create a space that was more in keeping with how they spend their time when they’re at home. Lisa says, “We were determined not to have too many rooms and bathrooms in the house for potential guests. We’d made that mistake before, and in reality we usually only have one other couple staying at a time. So, having two extra bedrooms felt unnecessary. She continues: “We also didn’t plan for an office in this house as both Ben and I mostly sit at the kitchen island when we have to do admin or study. We decided instead to use the extra space for a TV room, which leaves the upstairs lounge room television-free, for socialising, listening to music and reading.” Well-placed lamps and soft furnishings add to the cosy feel of the home, and invite you to sit and stay a while, something Lisa has worked hard to achieve. “I love blankets and throws and I have them all over the house to make our home feel inviting and a place where you want to hang out. I also opted for more lamps rather than lights, except for where it’s absolutely necessary, like in the kitchen and bathrooms. I wanted to create a cosy and warm ambience with no harsh lighting.”
Smart choices A savvy sense of budget-friendly design and considered choices give the home an eclectic but sophisticated feel. Each room is filled with a carefully curated selection of pieces that the couple have either bought on their travels, had custom-made, or tweaked. “I love our bed,” says Lisa. “It’s been with us for a long time; it was custom-made by Bricks and Stones in Wan Chai and has storage underneath.” Meanwhile, the desk and chair at the entrance are flea market finds from Sweden. “I painted them, changed the handles and re-upholstered the seat as a little project,” says Lisa. “The lamps and rugs are also from Sweden.” There are little touches from Hong Kong in the home too. The dining chairs are one-of-a-kind, and possibly the cheapest item in the kitchen. Lisa says, “I bought them from our local dai pai dong here in Shui Hau for HK$50 each and was going to paint them; but after sanding them down in preparation they looked so lovely in their natural state that I decided to keep them like that.”
I want to make our home feel inviting and a place where you want to hang out
HOME & LIFE
Not one to be outdone, Ben has taken up welding in his spare time, and put his new skills to good use when it came time to furnish the home. Lisa adds, “He made both the metal frames for the coffee tables and the firepit in his workshop. All I had to do was get the marble and stone tops made to order in Wan Chai.” Focus on art Art is another interesting feature of the home, and Lisa has scoured a mixture of flea markets, galleries and auction houses around the world for pieces that bring colour and texture to the rooms. Her favourite is the piece by Vietnamese artists Van Tho in the dining area, which she purchased in Hanoi and brought back to Hong Kong to be framed. Another very special piece, in the guest room, was created by Lisa’s close friend, artist Tanja Ocenasek. From the open-air living room and garden on the rooftop, to the welcoming foyer on the ground floor, every room has been designed with purpose, practicality, and comfort in mind. The couple’s flair for DIY and keen eye for stylish homeware ensure that this is a home you’ll want to hang out in.
Lisa’s DIY Decorating Tips • “Make an artwork with fabric! Find a nice piece of fabric, andmake a wooden frame or buy a big piece of styrofoam. Fold it neatly around your frame and staple the fabric in place. Voila! ” • “IKEA hacks: I bought marble tops for our bedside tables and ordered new legs from PrettyPegs.com to raise them up. I had some left over doorknobs lying around that I put on them as well. There are numerous companies – Bemz.com for example – that provide more stylish sofa covers, legs and knobs for your IKEA furniture, which I think is fantastic!”
HOME & LIFE
Recommendations Art King Framing 105 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai Stockholm 31 Aberdeen Street, Central stockholm.com.hk Homeless homeless.hk (various locations) Bricks and Stones 97 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai Also … nordicnest.com finnishdesignshop.com
svenskttenn.se vallgatan12.se bukowskis.com muuto.com hay.dk tellmemore.se
Beds, side tables, storage and more; read on for some bedroom furniture inspiration!
HOME & LIFE
1 Heveya natural organic latex mattress, from HK$19,500 (queen), Okooko by European Bedding 2 Charlotte storage ottoman, HK$5,490, Indigo Living request, Altfield Interiors 4 Osaka bedside table, $6,380, Tequila Kola 5 Wool and bamboo silk rug, price on request, CarpetBuyer 3 Colefax & Fowler wallpaper, price on
6 Jane Churchill fabric collection, starting at $560 per metre, Altfield Interiors 7 Orly standing mirror, $9,990, Indigo Living 8 Colefax & Fowler fabric, $660 per metre, Altfield Interiors
HOME & LIFE
9 Burnaby bed by Designers Guild, price on request, Tequila Kola 10 Extra-fine Nain carpet in wool and silk, price on request, CarpetBuyer 11 Newman drawer in solid oak, $18,193, Indigo Atelier
12 Nordic console table, $7,950, TREE 13 Teak bedframe and Indian bedding, price on request, TREE 14 Wardrobe trunk office, $32,980, Tequila Kola 15 Bed linen in soft cotton muslin from India, from $850 for a double quilt, Red Velvet Designs 16 Oakland brass ottoman, $8,490, Indigo Living 17 Heveya Bamboo Sheets Dream Package, including fitted sheet, duvet cover and four pillowcases, $2,388 (queen), European Bedding.
HOME & LIFE
Altfield Interiors 2525 2738 | altfield.com.hk CarpetBuyer 2850 5508 | carpetbuyer.com Indigo Atelier 2799 5878 | indigo-living.com Indigo Living 2555 0540 | indigo-living.com Okooko by European Bedding 6286 1132 | europeanbedding.hk Red Velvet Designs 9010 5832 | redvelvetdesigns.net
Tequila Kola 2877 3295 | tequilakola.com
TREE 2870 1582 | tree.com.hk
HOME & LIFE
a Hoppekids bed set from Indigo Living
Danish brand Hoppekids specialises in safe and sustainable furniture that’s designed with play and creativity in mind. From fairy-tale fantasies to bedtime galaxies, Hoppekids’ themed modular bed systems are a fun addition to any bedroom! Exclusively available at renowned Hong Kong home-furnishing retailer IndigoKids and Indigo Living, Hoppekids is the only brand in the world to have been awarded the Nordic Swan Ecolabel. This official sustainability and safety certification from the five Nordic countries guarantees that a product’s entire journey lives up to the strictest standards regarding health and the environment. Now, we’re giving one lucky winner a Hoppekids bed of their choice! Choose between the House Bed, the Premium Bunk Bed or the PremiumMid-High Bed – you’ll also receive amatchingmattress and bed linen, too! To stand a chance to win, all you need to do is let us know, in 50 words or less, which lucky kid deserves this bed and why!
worth up to HK$16,500!
Clockwise from top: House Bed; Premium Bunk Bed;
About Indigo Living For over 40 years, Indigo Living has been a leading lifestyle, home furnishings and accessory brand known for its authentic and unique design philosophy. The team source seasonal, on-trend, coveted home furnishings and kids’ furnishings from celebrated international designers, and they also create their own in-house-designed furniture. Their suite of comprehensive design consultancy services includes interior design, home furniture rental and a host of design and styling services for property developers, designers and organisations.
Premium Mid-High Bed
For more info, visit hoppekids.com and indigo-living.com.
Entries close on 30 November! To enter, go to expatliving.hk/competitions
HOME & LIFE
The health benefits of getting a good night’s sleep are well documented; it can improve your memory, boost your immune system, aid attention span and physical activity, not to mention just put you in a better mood. Of all the items in your home, your bed could be the most important – it’s certainly the piece of furniture you’ll spend the most amount of time with! So, making sure it’s a comfortable and healthy one is worth it. Of course, it’s not just the furniture itself that contributes to sleeping well; the bedding plays a huge role, too. You could have the most expensive bed in the world, but a scratchy blanket will have you tossing and turning all night. Heveya Organic Duvet On that front, Okooko by European Bedding , Hong Kong’s organic bedding specialist, has got you covered, literally! The store has just introduced its new Heveya Organic Duvet – and there’s plenty to love about it. #1 The duvet is made ethically in Germany under excellent quality-control conditions. #2 It consists of a 100 percent GOTS-certified cotton cover and 100 percent bamboo lyocell fibre padding. (What’s GOTS? It stands for Global Organic Textile Standard and is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres.) #3 The natural and organicmaterials contain no chemicals and are easy to care for. While most natural duvets are only machine-washable at low temperatures, this can be washed at up to 60 degrees, which really ensures good hygiene! #4 It’s a light-weight duvet that’s breathable and hypoallergenic – that means it’s ideal for all seasons of weather in Hong Kong. (We’re particularly looking forward to snuggling under ours as the late autumn chill starts to kick in!) #5 Natural organic and hypoallergenic duvets aren’t that easy to come by, and you’re unlikely to find very much like it on the market. Pair it with a set of Heveya Bamboo Sheets, also from Okooko by European Bedding, and you’re in for a cosy, comfortable sleep all year round. This organic duvet is super comfortable and easy to care for.
Beyond bedding Okooko by European Bedding doesn’t just sell premium bedding. The brand specialises in 100 percent natural organic Heveya latex mattresses. Natural latex’s elasticity is well-known to provide excellent sleeping comfort; as it moulds to your body’s
A word about bed covers… While those with a British background will almost always talk about the duvets on their beds, Aussies are more likely to refer to their doona. Both terms ultimately derive from the same word, “down”, referring to a bird’s feathers – “duvet” is from French (in rural France, people used to sleep under covers stuffed with duck or goose down), and “doona” has its origins in Danish and Norwegian. There are other variations around the English-speaking world, too: quilt, comforter, eiderdown, continental quilt and more – thoughnot all of themrefer to exactly the same piece of bedding. contours, it gives great support to ensure proper spinal alignment for a restful sleep. The mattresses are made with no pesticides, fertilisers, heavy metals, VOCs or other chemicals that may put health in harm’s way. On top of being naturally anti-mould and dust-mite-resistant, they come with a removable and cleanable cover made of soft and luxurious bamboo fibre and filled with organic cotton padding.
Visit the Okooko by European Bedding showroom at 13/F, The Plaza LKF, 21 D’Aguilar Street, Central. 6286 1132 | europeanbedding.hk
S taying in a serviced suite can be a great option for all kinds of scenarios. For example, many newcomers to Hong Kong choose this kind of accommodation because their work contract stipulates an end-date and they don’t want to enter into a lengthy lease. Some people simply prefer to live in a place that’s furnished and has all the mod cons at their fingertips, while others may just want to test the waters for a few months in a particular area. Signature Homes is the leasing arm of Sun Hung Kai Properties, the largest purveyor of luxury residential accommodation in Hong Kong. It has over 1,000 serviced suites across its portfolio, in properties that provide guests with world-class premises in prime locations. Here, we explore some of the company’s current offerings.
Locations don’t get much better than this! Four Seasons Place is right in the heart of Hong Kong, yet you still have immediate access to the Airport Express Link – which means the airport is just 24 minutes away. Designed by the renowned Yabu Pushelberg and Bilkey Llinas Design, the 519 serviced suites ooze elegance – and they come with stunning Victoria Harbour views. In the immediate neighbourhood is a fabulous array of dining and entertainment options – for example, the property is adjacent to the IFC Mall and the Four Seasons Hotel, home to Michelin-starred restaurants. Guests have access to state-of-the-art facilities including a rooftop heated pool, with a jacuzzi and a 24-hour fully-equipped gym. FOUR SEASONS PLACE Location: Atop the Airport Express Link at Hong Kong Station Room Charge: From HK$54,600 a month Type: Serviced Suite Hotel Gross Size: 547 to 3,562 sq. ft. Bedrooms: From Studios to 3-Bedroom and Penthouses
HOME & LIFE
THE HARBOURVIEW PLACE Location: Atop MTR/AEL Kowloon Station Room Charge: From HK$39,000 a month (short-stay packages available) Type: Serviced Suite Hotel Gross Size: 464 to 3,270 sq. ft. Bedrooms: From Studios to 3-Bedroom and Presidential Suites The HarbourView Place is a serviced suite hotel combining the convenience of hotel living with the comfort of home. The suites are thoughtfully appointed with artistic décor and modern in-room amenities – plus, you get a comprehensive kitchenette with a washing and drying unit. Central is five minutes away by train, and the airport just 22 minutes. The property sits above the luxury Elements shopping mall, adjacent to the ICC and international hotels, so you have a huge range of fine dining and entertainment options on the doorstep. In-house facilities include a heated rooftop pool and jacuzzi on the 76th floor, a well-equipped 24- hour gym and sauna, and a cosy lounge with reading room.
VICTORIA HARBOUR RESIDENCE Location: Near MTR North Point Station Rent: From HK$32,000 a month Type: Serviced Residence Saleable Size: 361 to 1,063 sq. ft. Bedrooms: From 1-Bedroom to 3-Bedroom Apartments (including special units with roof) Located in Tower 6 of luxury residential project Victoria Harbour, this is an exceptional living experience in a world-class integrated complex by the harbour. Each flat is furnished with stylish décor, from furniture and high-quality appliances to comprehensive home entertainment systems. There’s not only free Wi-Fi but an intelligent home system for each unit, where you can use voice control or a specially designed app to operate and remotely control lights, audio-visuals, air-conditioning, and, in the three-bedroom units, electric curtains. There’s also Club Vici, Victoria Harbour’s exclusive private clubhouse, with indoor and outdoor heated pool, jacuzzi and a gym with great equipment.
VEGA SUITES Location: Atop MTR Tseung Kwan O Station Room Charge: From HK$20,800 a month Type: Serviced Suite Hotel Gross Size: 372 to 1,560 sq. ft. Bedrooms: From Studios to 3-Bedroom Suites
Vega Suites is part of an integrated development complex in Kowloon East, offering both urban convenience and a tranquil lifestyle. Kowloon Bay, Quarry Bay and North Point are 11 to 15 minutes by MTR; with Admiralty, Central and Tsim Sha Tsui around 25 to 30 minutes away. International hotels and trendy shopping malls like PopCorn and PopWalk are a short walk. Designed by Philip Liao, the stylish property has chic contemporary interiors, comprehensive in-room provisions and modern furnishings, including a kitchenette. There’s a spacious Green Terrace, a barbecue corner for private functions, and a workout corner, or you can use the pool and gym at neighbouring Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Kowloon East.
TOWNPLACE SOHO Location: 18 Caine Road, Central Rent: From HK$22,000 a month Type: Serviced Apartments, Furnished
and Unfurnished Apartments Gross Size: 354 to 1,299 sq. ft. Bedrooms: From Studios to 4-Bedroom Apartments
Located a stone’s throw from the CBD and a three-minute stroll to Lan Kwai Fong, this new residential leasing property gives you instant connection to IFC, Admiralty and ICC at Kowloon Station. Young professionals have the option of flexible lease terms from one month to years and you can also choose from Serviced, Furnished and Unfurnished categories at different rates. Each residence features home automation, wireless mobile charging and a Bluetooth speaker in the bathroom for hassle-free living. A great bonus here is the TOWNPLACE Duo Social Space concept, which allows residents to enjoy a huge 30,000 square feet of communal space in conjunction with residents from the sister property in Kennedy Town ( below ). There’s free business-grade Wi-Fi covering every apartment, plus the common areas across both properties, with a seamless login experience.
TOWNPLACE KENNEDY TOWN Location: 97 Belcher’s Street, Kennedy Town Rent: From HK$24,000 a month Type: Furnished and Unfurnished Apartments Gross Size: 463 to 1,025 sq. ft. Bedrooms: From 1-Bedroom to 3-Bedroom Apartments
This new residential leasing concept is just three minutes from MTR Kennedy Town station, from where you can quickly reach the CBD and airport. It has one of the highest clubhouses on Hong Kong Island, and a sky gym with a panoramic sea view. Flexible leasing options here are along the same lines as the Soho property ( above ), with plenty of variety depending on your needs. There are more of those magnificent sea views from the three-bedroom apartments, plus a range of handy amenities and mod cons. And the aforementioned Duo Social Space concept means you have access to the community living spaces at Soho. There’s also a resident-exclusive app with a range of residents’ privileges, from home automation to a social network platform.
For more info on these properties or to see more options, go to signaturehomes.com.hk/servicedapartments
RHIANWIDDOWSON From: Chesterfield, England Occupation: Studio Manager and Dance Teacher at Academy of Dance
AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO LIFE IN THEIR ’HOOD
Why Yau Ma Tei? I love being in the heart of the city, amongst the noise and neon lights. I also love the convenience of travelling around Hong Kong from YMT. Also, because the dance studio I work in is in Shek Mun (Sha Tin) – and also because I don’t mind a few drinks and a brunch on the island – it makes the perfect in-the-middle spot. Jordan is technically my closest MTR station, so I’m only two stops from Hong Kong Island. I love it when HK Islanders ask why I live so far away on the “dark side” and I can tell them it takes me 10 minutes to get there!
Where do you live? I live in Yau Ma Tei with my boyfriend and Pickles the dog. How long have you been here? I’ve lived in Hong Kong for over four years now after being sure I would just be here for a year! I started off living in Sai Kung for a fewmonths and then made the move to Kowloon, and I’ve never looked back!
HOME & LIFE
The ‘dark side’ really is the best side!
Describe your lifestyle in Yau Ma Tei? My YMT lifestyle is exactly how it should be in Kowloon: chaotic and busy but still with enough space to kick back and relax. I love going for dinner in TST and going to a dance class even after teaching dance all day; but I’m equally happy staying at home and snuggling my dog pickles. It’s surprisingly quiet, even though I live near Nathan Road. The Curry Leaf restaurant. It has super-friendly staff and they not only do great curries, but they also take in my very important ASOS orders when I’m at work; what more could you want! Closest store? My closest shop is a pharmacy, but my favourite shop is 1 of a KIND. It’s a thrift store run by Impact HK where the proceeds all go to supporting the homeless in Hong Kong. They also sell excellent coffee, apparently. (I’m a devout tea drinker but my boyfriend says it’s the best he’s had in HK.) Your street would make the perfect backdrop for a remake of… Actually, there are often films being shot on and around our street, but sadly I’ve never been asked to join... yet! How are the neighbours? They’re friendly enough and generally keep themselves to themselves. The unofficial uniform of your street is: My unofficial uniform of the street is wearing my pyjamas or my boyfriend’s clothes to walk Pickles. A mandatory stop for guests is: I’m walking distance from the night delights of Temple Street Market – including plates of clams and tacky T-shirts. You can listen to the questionable outdoor karaoke, get your fortune read and also get scammed if you don’t know how to bargain! I also always take visitors to Qi – Nine Dragons. Incredible food and views, and no one ever leaves disappointed. (I highly recommend the sugar-glazed beef.) When you walk out of your place, the first thing you see is…
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