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Hong Kong – the Pleasure Guide

Time is of the essence in Hong Kong where the diary fills fast and leisure options abound. From rich, polished environments to rich, polished conversations - and the decidedly spiritual- it’s all here. Aural accompaniment? Try Toxygene by The Orb.  (28 Nov’13)

 

Dining


 

The China Club

Closed the big contract? Or simply enjoy dining in immersive multi-level environments? The China Club find favour with businessman and artisan alike. Sir David Tang’s private club invokes a bygone colonial feel as soon as you step through the portals of, what was, the original Bank of China building in Central. The clientele is international, equally drawn to the 1930s Shanghai interiors as to the contemporary Chinese cuisine.  Here, the apex of Asian service meets style and flair with three floors time-warping guests into Maoist memorabilia décor, a lavish library and artwork from Sir David Tang’s private collection. Among its oft-quoted quirks are the huge shoe that signifies polishing and the tea waiter who refills cups with a fiendishly long-spouted teapot.     

Reputedly ‘members-only’ but a good hotel concierge should be able to secure booking. Try the barbecue pork - in the private dining room- meat won’t taste the same again!

Old China Bank Building, Bank St, Central

 

Yardbird

Capacity of 50 and minimalist design with no bookings taken. But Yardbird’s izakaya casual grazing style is beloved of the cool crowd which is happy to wait until tables free up. Still, the delicious yakitori chicken skewered over the charcoal fire is worth the wait. Try it with Yardbird’s own Shichimi Togarashi seven-spice Japanese seasoning.

33-35 Bridges Street, Sheung Wan

Also:  Zuma, The Landmark, Level 5 & 6, 15 Queen’s Road, Central 

 

 

Shopping

 

Moustache

Offbeat quality men’s fashion retailer set in a 1970s Hong Kong backdrop. Moustache is the work of two ex-pats and it lies on the borders of the cool Soho district. The ready-to-wear collection includes polo shirts, slim cotton suits and lightweight cotton voile shirts. Founder Ellis Kreuger’s  house cut dips into English and Italian tailoring influences and lightweight Japanese fabrics also rank high with Kreuger.

 31 Aberdeen Street, Sheung Wan

 

Monocle

Monocle magazine’s digest of international trends is here to stay. The title’s confidence has led to the gradually global expansion of Monocle retail outlets in London, Los Angeles and Tokyo. And now its heartening to see a Hong Kong outpost in Wan Chai where the Monocle shop stocks stationery, cards and fashion-partnered gifts. An editorial bureau works away behind the scenes - behind the store, in fact, in a business model which sees retail profits diverted to the magazine.   

 1 UG, Bo Fung Mansion, 1-4 St. Francis Yard, Wanchai.

 

 

Staying

 

The Peninsula 


It’s easy to be struck by the vast opulent spaces of The Peninsula. Even its cars are vast, a 14-strong fleet of Rolls-Royce Extended Wheelbase Phantoms; a serious glide from the airport. Following its newly-renovated Tower Suites, The Peninsula’s Deluxe suites are undergoing refurbishment so expect even greater enhancements when they open in April 2013. One of our great escapes involved drinking in the intimate dark of the upstairs bar, scattering whisky shorts across the narrow illumined marble bar top while the harbour twinkled down below.

Also: The Four Seasons, The Upper House, W Hong Kong and the Mandarin Oriental (see our review).

 

 

Drinking

 

Sevva Bar   


Don’t look down – it’s a bit of a precipice from Sevva’s 360-degree half-glass terrace up on the 25th floor of Prince’s Building. The night vistas are fantastic as are the cocktails sipped by the jet set crowd. Sevva’s menus span Asian and European tastes and for dessert why not watch the Symphony of Lights laser spectacle?

Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road, Central

 

Club 71

Club 71 is to Sevva bar what Yardbird is to The China Club. The bar at 71 has an endearing no-fuss informality as you’d expect from its back alley location. It (thankfully) relocated from its original home of loud and boorish Lan Kwai Fong. At Club 71 the chat is pointed, political, useful and entertaining and the atmosphere’s cordial enough to make 2am appear from nowhere. Expect to engage with colourful locals, artists and writers.

Basement, 67 Hollywood Road, Central

Also : OZONE Bar  ‘the highest bar in the world’ - Ritz-Carlton hotel, International Commerce Centre, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon

 

 

Escaping – Body & Soul

 

Man Mo Temple

Amid the hot city bustle of Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, lies the peaceful sanctuary of Man Mo temple. Solitude, silence and contemplation reign here. Overhead, intricately twirled incense coils dispense their holy scent enhancing the tranquility. Man Mo temple pays homage to Man ‘the God of Literature’ and Mo ‘the God of War’ and was built in 1847. Be warned – leaving this haven of peace isn’t easy.    

 

Long Ke Wan Beach

Autumn in Hong Kong throws out some deep heat. Away from the humid density of the city lie picturesque beaches that  the locals escape to. Probably the most idyllic of these is the remotest: Long Ke Wan beach. It’s not easy to get to but it is a rival to any of the world’s beaches.

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