I lived in Hong Kong for eight years and have fond memories of the place. Someone once said that Hong Kong is like Manhattan on steroids and I couldn’t agree more – the energy here is palpable and it’s one of the most dynamic cities I’ve been to. Hong Kong is a small island but it’s jam packed with fabulous restaurants, shops and culture. I recently spent a few days in the city and thought I’d share some of my favorite finds.
The Four Seasons brand is synonymous with service and quality and their outpost in Hong Kong is no exception. Boasting a convenient location connected to the luxurious IFC mall, the hotel hosts a Chinese Michelin-star restaurant (Lung King Heen) and an infinity pool with a killer view. The rooms are decked out in either luxurious Chinoiserie or minimalistic modern and both have massive bathrooms with sunken tubs.
I stayed here for almost a month and was blown away by their incredible service including delicious gifted fruit baskets and chocolates and service by name.
Don’t forget to check out their world class spa.
The JW Marriott has been around for many years but still continues to impress with it’s fabulous views and attention to detail. The hotel is attached to the Pacific Place Mall which makes access to food and the MTR easy.
I stayed on their club floor and looked forward to the complimentary breakfast each day which featured fresh honeycomb, flakey croissants and a large spread of dim sum.
Their weekend champagne brunch is a must.
Hutong/1 Peking Rd.
To get the best views of Hong Kong one must travel to Kowloon and one can’t beat the views from Hutong restaurant. The restaurants serves northern Chinese specialties like deboned lamb ribs and beggar’s chicken, but the real star is the unparalleled island skyline. Time it right and you’ll catch the nightly laser show too.
Tip: Catch the Aqua Luna boat from Hong Kong to Kowloon. This luxe version of a traditional Chinese junk features dazzling red sails, snazzy cocktails and upclose views of the Hong Kong harbor.
Wang Fu Beijing Dumpling/ 98 Wellington St.
Me and my DH stumbled upon this humble dumpling house while shopping in Central. The interior might be nothing to shout about but their food is delicious. Per their namesake, the dumplings are the star of the show here and are available in a set of 10, or set of 5 with noodles. There are lots of options for vegetarians too. The service is warm and they also serve delicious fresh soy milk.
Yat Tung Heen/ 2F Great Eagle Center, Wan Chai
This restaurant recently received one Michelin star and deservingly so. They are famous for their dim sum which is refined, delicate and ridiculously yummy. I’ve eaten a lot of dim sum and this is probably one of the best I’ve ever had. My favorites are the “char-leong” – fried dough wrapped in white noodles, and crispy spring rolls.
Moustache/31 Aberdeen Street
Moustache is a tiny menswear shop nestled in Sheung Wan. It is known for their bespoke wear but also have some ready-to-wear shirts, ties and pyjamas. It’s a great place to pick up unique gifts for your man. They also sell fun illustrated guides to Hong Kong which make wonderful keepsakes.
Lab Concept/Queensway Plaza
Lab Concept is the newest retail outpost from the creative team behind Lane Crawford and Joyce. Featuring clothes, accessories and beauty – it’s a haven for brands like Sandro, Maje, Henry Holland and Theory. I discovered a Chinese brand with a French sensibility Mo & Co. and picked up one of their delicate silk dresses.
Hysan Place/ Causewaybay
Hysan Place is a recently opened mall in Causewaybay and is a great place to poke around if you’re looking for Korean and Japanese brands that you wouldn’t be able to find in US. There’s also a whole floor dedicated to cosmetics and a huge bookstore called Eslite which sells a large variety of Chinese books.
My favorite part of Hysan? The Sky Garden on the 4/F – its waterfalls and gardens makes a nice respite from the crowd.
I have a confession to make..I love stationery. There’s something to be said about receiving a card from a friend you haven’t heard from in a while or a hand-written note, and although it’s getting more difficult to find handcrafted paper products there are still a handful of producers dedicated to the fine art of printing. My friend Emily is one of those producers and I recently caught up with her to find out more about her company The Victory Special Press, home-roasted coffee and life in Alaska.
1)When and how did you start The Victory Special Press? I woke up one morning in the summer of 2010 with a strong desire to learn to make paper by hand. I took a week-intensive course that I really enjoyed, but then I had a bunch of paper that I didn’t know what to do with. So, I found a letterpress class about an hour away and signed up for that. Ends up that I fell more in love with letterpress printing and started the business within a year, but I do still enjoy making paper for my own personal purposes.
2)Life before The Victory Special Press? I’ve been all over the place, job-wise and location-wise. My degree is in photojournalism and I did a brief stint at a paper in New England, but then I taught both Art History and English as a foreign language. I’ve lived in Boston, New Zealand and Paris. Whew! The Victory Special Press has definitely helped me to settle down and focus.
3)What’s the best part of your job? Probably the yin and yang of the process versus the printing. When designing I get to be free-spirited and creative, but while printing I have to be very precise and a bit of a handyman. It’s exciting to use many different ways to problem solve on any given day.
4)What’s the worst part of your job? I don’t like cleaning the press all that much.
5)How would you describe the style of your designs? I like clean, simple, gender-neutral designs and colors. It’s too easy to put a bunch of stuff on a design – I think that less is more, especially in today’s world where we’re constantly inundated with images. I often incorporate lots of “old-timey” and vintage Western/Gold Rush imagery. I’m assuming that comes from my Nebraska roots and current home in Alaska! Those tried and true typefaces from the 19th and early 20th century are great – there’s a reason they’ve been around so long. And if I can find a way to get my vintage wood type in a design, all the better.
6)Who is your greatest inspiration? It’s cliche I guess, but my grandfather. He started a company during the Great Depression with the money he and my grandmother saved for their honeymoon. With that small start-up cash he ended up doing amazing things with the company and for the community I grew up in. He never took his success for granted and had such great humility throughout his life. I hope I have incorporated many of those values into my business.
7)Beyond TVS Press what fuels your soul? Being as self-sustaining as possible. Obviously we still need lots of things provided to us (electricity, gas, and so on), but I like to make and create as much as possible. In our house we roast our own coffee, make our own veggie stocks and pasta, pick berries in the summer, grow herbs, and knit our winter apparel. It’s really fulfilling to provide for yourself rather than relying on others.
8)Favorite travel destination? I love to travel and have been fortunate to have visited many places over the years, so any place new is always exciting to check out. I like places where I can explore and do some sightseeing, but can also relax over a coffee and chat with locals. Since moving to Alaska I’ve been really keen to check out all sorts of places throughout the state. But internationally? That list is long. If it works out, I hope the next big trip is to go to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia!
9)Describe your perfect day. Waking up to a cup of our home-roasted coffee; sketching and designing and some printing (of course!); an afternoon outside either hiking, skiing or mountain biking; then and a nice dinner of homemade pasta paired with classic cocktails.
Look out for Emily’s creations at www.tvspress.com and Anthropologie stores nationwide.
We were absolutely thrilled that Norein and Michelle Otero, the talented duo behind the fashion house Ecliptica, included Kayu clutches for their recent Spring Summer show.
Their clothing line, Ecliptica has been the trend setting movement in Puerto Rico since 2001 and has been worn by superstars like Hilary Duff, Nelly Furtado and Grammy winner Corinne Bailey Rae. Ecliptica has presented at New York Fashion Week and featured in magazines like WWD, Harper’s Bazaar and In Style.
I’m sure you’ll agree that their Spring Summer collection is amazing and I for one can’t wait to get my hands on some of their creations!
In April I traveled to Bali to work on Kayu’s upcoming ready-to-wear collection. I’d been dreaming of going to Bali for several years now and had such a wonderful time exploring the island. Bali is large and I only covered a very small part of the island but I thought I’d share some of my favorites from my time there -
SLEEPWOLAS VILLAS Jl. Yudistira 18 Seminyak, Kuta
Located in the heart of Seminyak, the Wolas consists of 16 villas each with its own private pool. A personal butler serves you breakfast every morning and ensures that your every need is attended to. The cool pool was a welcome respite from the Bali heat as was the outdoor shower. Don’t forget to check out the onsite spa.
EATMADE WARUNG Raya Legian, Seminyak
Made Warung is an institution in Bali and no wonder as it serves fabulous Balinese food in a rustic and inviting setting. Leave time to explore the various boutiques surrounding the restaurant to pick up delicate pottery and hand-dyed scarves.SARDINE Jalan Petitenget, Kuta
Sardine must be one of the most picturesque spots to have dinner on Bali. We dined al fresco facing a rice field decorated with over-sized parasols. Their cocktails are a must!WARUNG KOLEGA Seminyak
For some great local food look no further than Warung Kolega which serves Javanese dishes in a casual atmosphere. A dazzling array of vegetables and meats are arranged buffet style and includes spicy tempeh, sambal fish and long eggplants. They don’t serve alcohol but if you’re craving a beer the owner will get one for you from the adjacent convenience store.
BARSKuDeTa Jalan Kayu Aya, Seminyak
How can one come to Bali and not go to famed spot Kudeta? My hubby and I spent a perfect afternoon there sipping on cocktails and watching all the beautiful people go by. The surf is so close you can hear the waves crashing and smell the salt all around you.POTATO HEAD BEACH CLUB Jalan Seminyik, Seminyak
Potato Head is Kudeta’s younger, hipper sister. Comprising of several restaurants, bars and an infinity pool that leads right to the ocean one could spend the whole day there and not get bored.
SHOPPINGDeus Canggu and Seminyak
This airy store in Seminyak (they also have locations in Canggu, Sydney and Los Angeles) sells custom motorbikes, relaxed surf threads and also boasts a coffee shop. I don’t know much about bikes but I definitely enjoyed the cool art and strong espresso.ULUWATU LACE Jalan Laksmana, Seminyak (and throughout Bali)
The art of handmade lace is a dying trade which makes the intricate blouses and dresses at this store all the more special. From lace tops to tap shorts you’ll find something for everybody. They even ship internationally.
DOJARI MENARI Jalan Raya Basangkasa 47, Seminyak
We are big fans of the uber talented and gorgeous Solange Knowles so were thrilled when she carried Kayu to President Obama’s fundraiser in NYC.
The bag is our Audrey in white mother-of-pearl and is available at http://kayudesign.com
Vogue’s Bookings Associate Simone Tetteh carries Kayu!
On nights out, it’s always a battle to convince myself that I don’t have to have three extra lipsticks with me and that just one bag will suffice. This internal conflict is always resolved a little more easily when I have a gorgeous clutch like this one by Kayu. I love the iridescent look and interesting texture of this piece enough to forgo my hoarding ways. – Simone Tetteh
You can read the full spread here http://www.vogue.com/fashion/5-days-5-looks-one-girl/simone-tetteh/
Big LOVE to Simone and all the folks at Vogue!