November was probably my busiest month yet in Hong Kong with two weeks of back-to-back visitors, all the sight-seeing, all the food tasting and festive drinking. First my mum came out and we had the best week ever, it was all the TLC that I needed and more. Since my parents used to live here and I was #MadeInHongKong, there were lots of things mum wanted to do and revisit. We kept ourselves busy with a trip up to the Peak at night (the views of which I controversially think I might even prefer to during the day, I just have a thing for twinkling lights… my future home is legitimately going to be an advert for fairy lights), as well as day trips to Lamma and Lantau islands.
We also took the star ferry over to Kowloon-side and had a good old nosy around the markets, picking up some decent merch along the way (I’m particularly fond of my new poo emoji IPhone charger), as well as checking out the antiques offering on Hollywood Road. Of course, mother-daughter time necessitates some pampering, and we had the most amazing foot massages at Ten Feet Tall and full body massages at Zen (which has actually become a weekly after work treat and is the best thing EVER). Mum loves a glass or 17 of the bubbles too, so I took her to some of my favourite bars, including Wooloomooloo rooftop, Brickhouse, Feather Boa (chocolate strawberry daiquiris are their speciality and utterly to die for), Iron Fairies (which is absolutely stunning, with the entire ceiling covered in dangling butterflies), Felix Bar at the Peninsula (I’d actually give this one a miss) and Mo Bar and Captain’s Bar at the new and old Mandarin Oriental hotels.
Having mum come to stay was like someone pressing the reset button on me, which meant David couldn’t have arrived to a happier host. We did a fair bit more partying but we also got ourselves out on a junk for the day with all of my friends which was really good fun and got in a hike along the Maclehose trail, heading to Sai Kung and Ham Tin beach, the nicest beach in Hong Kong where, despite the fact it was a little overcast, it was the perfect temperature for hiking and enjoying some fresh seafood with a cold beer whilst looking out at sea.
The following weekend a group of us went to Secret Island Party, an event which changes location every year and essentially consists of music, performance and wellness, though I can’t say we partook in much of the latter. This year it was held on a farm on Cheung Chau island, beside the sea, which made for quite an interesting location – nothing like listening to a DJ blaring tunes and going for a wander with the sheep. My friends & I decided to go all out too and booked ourselves a super nice tent, giving me my first ever glamping experience, which I can assure you was on reflection in the morning one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I also went to Clockenflap festival, with the Chemical Brothers, Foals and Crystal Castles all making an appearance.
Visitors both fortunately and unfortunately entails hardcore wining & dining, and when in Asia, I think it’s only right to indulge in all-things-Asian (plus, it’s my favourite cuisine so I’m more than happy to push that party line). I took both mum and David to Chom Chom, an equal parts relaxed and delicious super fresh Vietnamese restaurant, where the shredded Wagyu beef lettuce cups will make you want to cry with joy. With mum having lived for several years in Korea (it’s actually where my parents met) and making constant cries for kimchee, I also took her to a modern Korean restaurant here (which we also have in London) called JinJuu, which is far from authentic, but tasty and vibey nonetheless.
Mama San scores very highly on my list of restaurants in Hong Kong, with mostly Malaysian and Indonesian offerings but some extra Asian twists thrown in for good measure too. Both mum and David were introduced and both thoroughly enjoyed. The staff are absolutely lovely, with Marissa in particular being my number 1 babe. Cha Cha Wan (northern, spicy Thai, with no phad Thai’s in sight) and BEP (a cheap and delicious Vietnamese) both also got look in’s, and are regular go-to’s for me.
Things got a little fancier at China Club, a members-only restaurant that is incredibly authentic in every way possible, from the decor to the service to the food, and served up some of the best duck that I’ve ever had, whilst singers and special performers kept us entertained. A very good meal was also had at Rhoda, which essentially serves smart tapas, and also at Alchemy, which emulates the concept of Dans Le Noir and had me eating my first ever meal in the pitch black, which I must admit was a really fab experience and one I would recommend to all. I absolutely LOVE Aqua, having been there for dinner with Michael and bottomless brunch more recently with a group of friends. For me, it ticks every box, and it goes without saying that the food is outstanding.
I’m not really much of a bruncher but Butcher & Baker in Kennedy Town definitely made me reevaluate this. Mum & I had delicious poached eggs and avo, the staples to any good brunch, in relaxed and cute surroundings. I could easily and very happily have spent many hours there chilling on the happy green sofas!
I didn’t leave the country at all last month which to be honest I’m quite happy about as I got to explore more of Hong Kong and get out of Central (though I’ve still got a lot of ground to cover in this respect). Hong Kong is truly such an amazing and diverse country, with the most rural and basic of living in lush countryside juxtaposed by the super slick and highly efficient Central concrete jungle. Especially since I will be out of the country for most of December, with a short visit to Singapore and long holiday over Christmas in Langkawi booked!
Bring on the festive season, it’s my favourite time of year. Happy holidays! x