Liv Magazine June 2021

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JUNE 2021 | l i v - m a g a z i n e . co m LIV MAGAZINE

Home, Not Away

Hong Kong wellness retreats to check out this summer

Kombucha Korner

Fizzy fermented tea drinks, all made locally

EMBRACE YOUR AGE The secret to living well for longer

WIN: a tooth-whitening session, nutrition coaching and a box of self-care treats on page 15!

JUNE 05 Editor’s Letter



30 Recipe

06 Wishlist

Lovely things we want right now

08 Hot Right Now

New happenings on the wellness scene

10 Fresh Cuts

Local kombucha brands we love


Pesto cod with tomato and zucchini

32 Pamper

Advice on how to survive a salon-made hair disaster 06

34 Home

Grow your own herbs at home

36 Family

Summer camps for kids of all ages and interests

16 Golden Years

Exploring the art of ageing well 08

26 Local Departure

Where to find wellness retreats on home soil this summer



26 3

Sponsored Feature


SUPERCHARGED SUMMER RETREAT It’s looking to be another staycation summer this year, so we’re super grateful that here in Hong Kong we have the option to escape without having to leave the city! Local wellness retreats are becoming increasingly popular as a way for Hongkongers to reset and destress, and what better place to do so than overlooking the iconic Victoria Harbour from The Peninsula Hotel?


appiness Factory was founded by Health

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out their inaugural retreat in April, Happiness

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• Integrated Heartopening Flow and Chi Breathwork • Inside Flow • Mindful Connection and Movement with Purpose

& Wellness corporate executive Joyce

people across four key pillars of wellness: sleep, nutrition, movement and mindfulness.

Over the weekend at The Peninsula, guests will supercharge their mind, body and soul with

• Sleep Happy with Summerlicious Gong Bath • Summer Sunrise Yoga • The Wim Hof Method and IceBath Experience


‘I felt re-energised and had the best sleep in

let go and listen to what our bodies are telling

a long time. As a full-time lawyer and busy

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mother of three young boys (including twins!),

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I’m glad to have taken time out to give my

challenges we face, especially in these COVID

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body and mind the chance to reset. It was

times. The day after I definitely felt more

$6,478 + 10% for single occupancy in a

definitely an invigorating experience!’, Karen

energy for my three children (and husband!)

Deluxe Room

Chan, Legal Counsel at a global investment bank

and clients. The laughter in Inside Flow was

$9,778 + 10% for two based on shared

and mother of 3

definitely a highlight for me - focusing on the

occupancy in a Deluxe Room

present, letting go of inhibitions but most of

For workshops only: $3,800 + 10%

‘As a TRE (Tension & Trauma Release) teacher, I highlight the importance of finding ways to

Location: The Peninsula, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

all having fun!’ Emma Saunders, TRE teacher and mother of 3

For more information, email




ike too many people this past year, I’ve had to deal with being separated from my family, who live in Canada. It’s been hard not to go home, but it’s been even harder hearing how much my parents have struggled under on-again, off-again lockdowns, and how it’s affected their personal health. As challenging as the pandemic has been for me in my 30s, it’s been amplified for my mom and dad, who are in their late 60s and early 70s. I hadn’t ever seriously considered all the ways our bodies start to change as we get older. Because of my parents, however, I found it was a topic I wanted to learn more about this month, in our cover story on ageing. It happens to everyone, but so many people refuse to acknowledge it. As I found out, this exacerbates the situation; by not taking the right steps to mitigate or prevent the problems of tomorrow, we inadvertently create a far rougher transition into our later stages of life. You can read more about ageing and what we can all start doing today to extend our “wellspan”, in our cover story on p.18. It’s looking like it’s going to be another summer spent in Hong Kong this year, unless you’re willing to put up with a two- to three-week quarantine and the general uncertainty of international travel right now. If you need some plans to look forward to, consider booking a wellness retreat right here in the 852! We rounded up some excellent options, from aerial yoga on the beach to sound meditation in a private villa, on p.26. We’ve also popped off with round-ups of local kombucha brands on p.10, summer camps to send the kids on p.36, and a firsthand account of one Liv reader’s personal hair nightmare (plus how to get through one yourself) on p.32. A special thanks as well to our AMAZING June cover model, Dawnna Wayburne, who at 66 can still strike a pose (and the splits, if you ask her nicely) like a pro!


Zoe Belhomme rounds up the best camps to send the kids over their summer holidays on p.36.

Kate Springer discovers which herbs grow best in a tiny, sun-starved apartment on p.34.

Jo Robinson explores Hong Kong’s health and wellness retreats to check out this summer on p.26.

Talk about a hairy situation... Bernadette O’Donnell learns how to survive a hairmare with advice from a local salon owner on p.32.

ON THE COVER Model: Dawnna Wayburne Photo: Talya Neser


liv.magazine, #livmagazine

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Send invites and info to: Makerhive, 10/F, Cheung Hing Industrial Building, 12P Smithfield, Kennedy Town PUBLISHER SARAH FUNG DIRECTOR OF PARTNERSHIPS JO ROBINSON SENIOR PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER ANSHU RIJHWANI DIGITAL & PARTNERSHIPS MANAGERS TERRY HU, MANDY CHAN EDITOR CARLA THOMAS SOCIAL MEDIA STACEY MARCELO ADMINISTRATOR JASMIN BLUNCK GRAPHIC DESIGN TAMMY TAN CONTRIBUTORS KATE SPRINGER, ZOE BELHOMME PRINTED BY GEAR PRINTING LIMITED, ROOM B, 3/F, DERRICK INDUSTRIAL BUILDING, 49-51 WONG CHUK HANG ROAD, ABERDEEN ‘‘Liv Magazine’’ Copyright 2021 Liv Media Limited. The content provided here is the property of Liv Media Limited and may not be reproduced in any part without the written permission of the Publisher. The information provided by Liv Media Limited’s contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or the company. The information provided by Liv Media Limited, or its staff, advertisers and contributors is given in good faith; readers should gather more information before making the decision to purchase any goods or services highlighted here. Liv Media Limited will not be held responsible for any action, omission or error resulting from actions taken on the basis of the information provided here. Please seek the approval of a doctor before following any health advice.


Retail Therapy



Here's what we're crushing on this month



This versatile balm can be used on your hair, cuticles, lips... anywhere you need a moisture boost! From BruneBlonde




MUCHA BUCHA This delicious can of kombucha will help you get your probiotics in. From Remedy Drinks



Put a pep in that ponytail! We are crushing on these silk scrunchies, which come in an array of patterns. From Emma Wallace


Add a pop of colour to your next picnic or barbecue with these cute birch wood trays. From Tribe by Indigo 6

You'll be amazed at how many uses you can come up with for raw, organic ginger powder, from baking to herbal teas. From Aveita Limited


It's hot and sticky out, so pick up this ultra lightweight vegan serum to keep your skin happy and hydrated all summer. From Muldream

Retail Therapy



Quick-drying and easy to pack, Turkish towels have myriad uses and should be a summer staple in your pool bag. From Teresa's Turkish Towels

Stay hydrated and replenish vitamins with these effervescent tabs, available in apple & blackcurrant or orange flavours. From Phizz


These cute borosilicate storage jars make it so easy to upgrade your kitchen or bathroom display. From Swoop Lifestyle


Lightweight, durable and eco-friendly to boot, this bamboo fibre cup is the perfect companion to your next camping trip. From TaKe Lifestyle


A quick spritz of this spray will give your hair the perfect texture for relaxed beachy waves. We love it! From BruneBlonde

Love everything you see here?

Everything on this page can be found in our summer edition JENG! Box for just $480! Order now and score an additional $50 off your order using the code LIVJENG at checkout. Order online at 7

Cool Stuff

HOT RIGHT NOW With Jo Robinson


Do your bit for the planet while keeping cool this summer with August Society, a sustainable swimwear brand made from recycled materials. Founded by Toni Chan, a Hongkonger now based in Singapore, this ethical fashion label collects recyclable goods like plastic bottles and ghost fishing nets, turning them into eye-catching bikinis, onepieces, rash guards and activewear. All their goods are resistant to chlorine, sun creams and oils, and they only produce in limited quantities to minimise overstock and waste. The summer collection is out now, and pieces range from $480-$1000.


Ok, so we readily admit that pizza, wings and cheesecake aren’t exactly the pinnacles of wellness. But something that is important to our overall wellbeing is social connection, which you’ll find in spades at Graham Street Food Market, a new neighbourhood food hall. From the team behind Smoke & Barrels, the venue has just opened its doors in the heart of Central, serving up mouthwatering comfort food from around the world. We love that it’s pet-friendly, and social restrictions permitting, you can expect to see weekly community events here in the near future, including trivia nights, flea markets, and pet adoption days. A great way to shop local, reconnect with the community, and treat yo’self with some delicious snacks and cocktails. Open from 10am-10pm daily. Shop 3, 23 Graham St., Central,


Cool Stuff

GOING UP Cookiepreneurs We love a soft-baked circle of joy as much as the next person, but how many artisanal cookie startups can one city take?


Trying to get fit with plenty of room to stay socially distant? There’s a new gym in town in Kowloon, and they’ve got a whopping 10,000 square feet of space for you to play with! Located just steps from Austin MTR station, AQ Strong is a hub of athletic activity, offering group training and private coaching sessions, as well as professional development courses for trainers and coaches. The huge open-plan turf area is a serious show-stopper, and we can’t wait to start working our way through the copious number of classes to choose from, including weightlifting, speed & agility training, and their signature offering, AQ Flow, a class aimed at improving overall fitness and performance for all levels. Shop 116-118, Victoria Mall, 188 Canton Rd., Austin,


With most sporting events and races cancelled or postponed, it’s been hard to muster the motivation to train as a runner the past year. For those of us in need of a little extra push, local running organisation Runner Reg just launched their very own app collating various virtual challenges and races that you can take part in. Choose your challenge to keep you on track - single or cumulative distance, set time or elevation - and sync your activity on all major fitness wearables to ensure you’re hitting those all important daily and weekly activity goals!

Boxer Braids Also known as Dutch braids, we’re seeing this hairstyle all over the place this summer. All you need is a YouTube tutorial and a patient friend to help you out.

Summer Plans Panic It’s barely June and junks are full, staycations are booked and Airbnb is out of the question. So how ARE we expected to clear our leave this summer?

Vaccine Hesitancy Get vaxxed already, people! It’s our only way out of this pandemic. A lover of all things wellness, Jo is an NASM-certified personal trainer and Liv’s Director of Partnerships. She loves nothing more than discovering the latest wellness news in Hong Kong. Got a tip? Email




Bubbly and bacteria-rich, kombucha is a fermented tea beverage that’s packed with billions of living probiotics, which are said to do wonders for your gut health. It’s also turning into quite the cottage industry here in Hong Kong, with a few choice homegrown brands popping up in the last year. Here are some of our favourite locally produced kombucha brands. By Carla Thomas

TABOOCHA Hong Kong’s first kombucha brewery, Taboocha has been slinging tasty probiotic tea-blends since 2014, and boasts an impressive range of flavours that they’ve cultivated (pun intended) over the years. From classics like Jasmine Green Tea to fruitier blends like Shiso Watermelon, Passionfruit Turmeric or Lime Basil, there’s something for everyone at this institution of local booch. Check out their firstever pop-up at K11 MUSEA, or find them in restaurants, cafes, gyms and supermarkets across the city, including City’Super, Market Place by Jason’s, and Great Food Hall.

SOULISTIC ON THE WAGON Brewed in small batches right here in Hong Kong, On The Wagon was born as the passion project of two friends who wanted a tasty non-alcoholic alternative to bring to parties. After their booch blends became more popular than wine and beer, the creators knew they were onto something. Currently they have three flavours - Darjeeling & Assam, Roasted Green Tea, and Jasmine - which can be found at select locations around town, including Craftissimo, Sweetpea Cafe, Nacasa Cafe, Frantzen’s Kitchen and Momo Moment. $40, 10

Both a chef and certified plant-based nutritionist, Tiffany Lau is the mind behind Soulistic, a vegan food brand and catering company based in Hong Kong. Among the plant-based goodies available to buy in this online “vegan tuck shop,” you’ll find her OH My Gut kombucha that’s been specially designed by Lau to support healthy digestion and improve gut health. Choose from Original (made with black tea and sugar cane) or Revive (apple and elderflower), and keep an eye out for the Soul Festive series during the holidays, when she releases limited edition blends like Spiced Mulled Wine. $50-$58 for 250ml, $200-$252 for 1.2L, order online at


ALIVE As its name suggests, Alive is all about harnessing the power of healthy active bacteria to better our digestive system. They carry four fruit-inspired flavours - Pineapple Chili, Grapefruit Rose, Blueberry Basil, Lemon Ginger. This fermented food brand isn’t just limited to kombucha, either; they also make their own vegan cream cheese, sourdough breads and pastries, and run a healthy brunch cafe in Sham Shui Po that’s well worth checking out.

FOODCRAFT For the DIY types out there, buying kombucha might not thrill and excite as much as the prospect of making your own. If that’s the case, check out FoodCraft’s kombucha classes and kits, which teaches home-brewers everything they need to know, from recipes and instructions to how to grow and maintain the SCOBY (which stands for “symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast”) that is the bedrock of every bottle of booch. $680 for a two-hour guided workshop including materials, or $480 for a starter kit.

KUPPA KOMBUCHA Appealing to everyone from kombucha enthusiasts to first-time buyers, Kuppa Kombucha strives to replace high-sugar soft drinks and fruit juices with this decidedly healthier alternative. They offer three green tea-based flavours - Original, Lychee & Ginger, and Strawberry & Szechuan Peppercorn - which can be found at select cafes and restaurants, or you can order your own six-pack online. Pro tip: the brand’s founder, James, swears by this booch as a perfect mixer for a summertime cocktail. $190 for six,

BOMBOOCH Hailing all the way from our sister SAR, BomBooch is another OG kombucha brand that’s been around for ages. It was started in 2014 as Blissful BomBooch, out of the iconic Macau vegetarian takeaway Blissful Carrot, and quickly found a market in Hong Kong in popular healthy food joints like MANA!. Today, you can also find this bubbly bevvy in health food stores like SpiceBox Organics and Redwood Health, or order online from Tai Pan Beer Co ($720 for a case of 12 bottles).

FRESH CUTS Dining news that’s good for you INTERVAL X FARMACY FOODS OPENS UP IN CYBERPORT Cyberport has always been a bit short on cool, healthy restaurants, which is why the entire neighbourhood is pumped to have Interval Cafe open up in the Arcade! A collaboration between local coffee brand, Interval, and Farmacy, a startup incubated in Cyberport that builds intelligent urban gardens for microgreens, this restaurant grows its own herbs and veggies in a set of six hydroponic planters lovingly displayed along one wall. The mobile farms currently supply coriander, rosemary, mustard, radish and kale for the restaurant dishes, with more veggies to come later. You can taste the homegrown greens for yourself in their open-faced sandwiches, salads and more. Shop 207, Arcade, Cyberport, 100 Cyberport Rd., Pok Fu Lam, 2380-3498.

KARANA LAUNCHES IN SELECT LOCAL RESTAURANTS Singapore startup KARANA is a meatless protein brand, billing itself as Asia’s first whole-plant meat company. Instead of being made in a laboratory like many other plant-based proteins on the market, they’re made with jackfruit, which is sustainably sourced, free from artificial flavours or colours, and has no protein isolates or concentrates. We’ve taste-tested it and can also confirm, it’s yummy to boot. You can try dishes made with KARANA at restaurants including Chaat, Sip Song, all Beef & Liberty outlets, all Elephant Grounds outlets and Deliveroo brand, Hot N’ Meen. 11





n May 24, an intimate group of Women of Wellness awardees gathered at Causeway Bay's prestigious Alto restaurant for a socially distanced awards presentation and afternoon tea event. Fifty of Hong Kong's most inspiring women in wellness gathered to chat, network, and have a ton of fun, all while enjoying free-flow bubbles from Links Concept, kombucha from Remedy Drinks, and CBD beer from Plant B. After being presented with their


certificates, the party moved up to Alto's spectacular outdoor terrace for more bubbles, before going home with a gorgeous goodie bag filled with gifts from Aveda, Benefit, Nature Discovery Park, Flo Jewellery, 513 Paints, Gorilla Weekend and Lunite Crystals. Three lucky guests also won fabulous prizes in our lucky draw, courtesy of Sense of Touch and Dyson. A huge thank you to all our sponsors, and everyone who came and made the event such a success!




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WIN: a premium tooth-whitening session from Smile Center Get that smile nice and bright for junk season with Smile Center, which offers a safe, peroxide-free tooth whitening service that helps to brighten your teeth without any side effects. Want to give it a go? We have a premium tooth whitening treatment in their LKF studio for one lucky reader, valued at $1,400.

WIN: a special edition summertime JENG! Box!

WIN: a free nutrition coaching session at PURE K11 Musea!

Summer’s here and we’re all stuck in town (again!). Why not treat yourself to a box loaded with summery, self-care goodies? From flat-woven towels to luxury silk scrunchies, kombucha to deluxe hair care products, the summer JENG! Box is too good to miss! We have one box, valued at $1,500, for one lucky winner. If it’s not your lucky month, however, you can still pick one up for yourself for just $480 at

As the saying goes, abs are made in the kitchen. If you’re doing all the right things but still not getting the results you want, or if you simply want a friendly expert to give you some actionable advice on how to eat better, book in for a nutrition coaching consultation at PURE K11 Musea! We have one complimentary session to give away to one lucky winner.

Enter at before June 28 to win! 15

Sponsored Feature

UPGRADE YOUR HEALTH TO LIVE & PERFORM BETTER, “Getting older is a normal part of life, but medical science can prolong our youthful lifespan far beyond what our parents could expect,” says Dr Jonathan Seah, the Chairman of LifeClinic and LifeHub. He believes “50 could be the new 30, and 80 the new 50!”


any aspects of ageing can be proactively mitigated with Functional Medicine and Swiss Biological Medicine methods, rather than waiting to treat individual symptoms of ageing-related diseases or only addressing the external appearances of ageing. At LifeClinic and LifeHub, doctors and practitioners take a scientific wholebody approach to Anti-Ageing and Medical Wellness. For example, working with partners like Deep Longevity, they use Artificial Intelligence to help determine biological age, which can lead to better lifestyle interventions and treatments for disease prevention and longevity. LifeClinic doctors might also recommend special laboratory tests that are much more detailed than your regular “annual health check,” and design customized treatments that might include diet and lifestyle changes, supplements, detoxification, IV or other innovative therapies, that could help you look, feel, and perform like a younger you. Below are some common ageing-related complaints.

TIREDNESS OR SLEEPING PROBLEMS Chronic tiredness or poor quality sleep can be due to an imbalance of your hormones. Often seen in fast-paced Hong Kong, your body could be releasing too many stress hormones - leading to your feeling “wired” all day, and sleeping problems at night. If this continues for a long time, your main adrenaline-producing organs, the adrenal glands, might also become depleted and “burnt out”. This is why many people in highly competitive industries like finance and law are often tired. LifeClinic Says: It is important to investigate the many underlying root causes of why an individual is feeling exhausted all the time. In addition to a detailed look at dietary and lifestyle habits, we might also test for hormone levels. Any imbalances found could then be corrected with a combination of diet and lifestyle recommendations, nutritional supplements or sometimes bio-identical hormone creams or capsules. Many clients who might previously have been tired for years can experience a noticeable improvement in their energy levels and sleep quality within weeks of starting treatment.

DIGESTIVE ISSUES AND FOOD INTOLERANCES Allergies and food sensitivities are on the rise worldwide, and it is increasingly common for people to find they have developed a new allergy or intolerance to foods they never had a problem with before. The culprit can often be poor gut health. A healthy gut biome is essential for the immune system to correctly identify and neutralise bacteria, parasites, and viruses, while not over-reacting to innocuous substances like gluten, dairy or eggs! LifeClinic Says: If you have itchy and watery eyes or a congested nose in the mornings, or if you frequently feel bloated after eating, you can consider having a blood test to check for food sensitivities or allergies. An experienced Functional Medicine doctor or practitioner may also recommend an advanced stool test, called GI Map, to determine if there is enough good bacteria to protect the gut, if there are sufficient enzymes to digest your food, and if there are any signs of “leakiness” or inflammation that may have given rise to new food allergies or intolerances. A nutritionist will then be able to guide you through what you should and should not eat, and prescribe additional treatments if necessary. Most people who follow this protocol find their allergies or digestive symptoms improve significantly within a couple of months.

DETERIORATING MENTAL PERFORMANCE In order to protect our brains and stay sharp as we grow older, it is important to identify and address things that might be negatively affecting it, such as harmful diets and


LifeClinic or LifeHub? While LifeClinic is an anti-ageing medical clinic, LifeHub is a walk-in medical wellness centre that offers easy and affordable testing, products and treatments to help optimise your health. VISIT LIFECLINIC IF... You are interested in medical anti-ageing, and in preventing the diseases and the mental and physical decline that can come with getting older. You have a persistent chronic ailment that you just can’t seem to get to the bottom of.

lifestyles, weak beneficial gut bacteria, or deficiencies in vital hormones or nutrients. Studies out of Harvard University have shown that mental ageing may also be related to declining levels of a molecule called NAD+, and that restoring these to healthy levels could significantly help. LifeClinic Says: If your memory seems to be much worse or it is taking you much longer to do simple mental tasks that used to be easy, consider consulting an experienced Functional Medicine doctor or practitioner. Once the likely underlying causes are identified, they could be removed, and a personalised treatment protocol could be followed to restore your mental performance.

DETERIORATING PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE As we move into our 40’s and beyond, it can take more effort to get going in the mornings, our endurance and stamina may decline, injuries seem to happen more, and sex might not feel as important or spontaneous as it used to be. LifeClinic Says: We all age, but we do not all age at the same rate. Using physical age markers and special blood tests, it is now possible to estimate your biological age. This can give an indication of how well we are ageing. If you are ageing too quickly, a personalised Medical Anti-Ageing treatment program could increase your overall energy and performance. 1/F-3/F, The Loop, 33 Wellington St., Central.

T: 2881-8131.,

You have a challenging condition like Cancer, Parkinson's or Dementia, and are looking for additional treatment options other than those you have so far been offered. You need a family doctor who will give enough time to actually listen to you.

VISIT LIFEHUB IF... You are generally healthy but wish to improve yourself more and be the best you can be. You are a “biohacker” and are interested in trying the newest tests and treatments to maximise your health and performance. You are interested in high-quality supplements. You are interested in external anti-ageing or aesthetics, so that you can look your best at all times. You prefer quick off-the-shelf solutions facilitated by Health Coaches.

Cover Story

As Time Goes By We’re all ageing - but that doesn’t mean you need to feel old. Carla Thomas asks the experts what changes we can make now in order to live better, healthier lives. 18

Cover Story


Dr. Laurena Law

s much as we might not like to hear it, we’re all getting older by the second. Time waits for no man or woman; in fact, since you started reading this article, you have aged - however infinitesimally. Ageing is universal, a shared condition that hopefully most of us understand we are all subject to. But despite how unavoidable it is, many of us still think about ageing in abstract terms - something that exists but isn’t applicable to our own bodies just yet. Part of the problem why many people approach (or avoid approaching, more accurately) the issue of ageing, is because of its negative connotations. “I think one of the biggest misconceptions that people have about getting older is believing that everybody ages

badly,” says Dr. Laurena Law. “It doesn't have to be that way - you can actually age really well!” Dr. Law, 45, is a medical doctor and ageing specialist at LifeClinic, an integrative health clinic located in Central. Certified by the American Association of Anti-ageing Medicine as an Advanced Fellow in Antiageing, Metabolic and Functional Medicine, she has spent most of her career exploring how our bodies age, and what we can do to make the process more comfortable. “I found that in medical school it was all about medication and what to prescribe for problems after they already exist, but I wanted to take a more preventive and holistic approach so I went into further training to study how we can optimise things like our diet, exercise and hormones in order to improve the ageing process.” Dr. Law says that we already know what accelerates ageing, listing chronic inflammation, unhealthy diet and poor gut health as some of the most common culprits behind many age-related diseases. The key to slowing the process, she says, is a holistic approach that takes into account all the different ways our bodies start to change as we get older. “I think a lot of people mistake chronic symptoms, like weight

Tricia Yap

gain or lack of energy, for ageing, when in fact it could be just a sub-optimal level diet, exercise, recovery or sleep.” Tricia Yap is the founder of Limitless, a movement and functional medicine facility that focuses on helping clients navigate life stages with optimum wellbeing. She mainly trains clients who are in their 40s and beyond, and says that for many, their goal is not to look good in the mirror, but to maintain their physical abilities in terms of strength and range of motion. “We have people coming in saying, ‘I just don't want to have that back pain anymore’ or ‘I want to be able to pick up my kids’. They want to be able to still do the sports they did in their 30s, but they’re worried because they’re going into their 60s, and that’s where preventive medicine is actually really helpful.” 19

Cover Story

I think it’s important to make exercise a habit as early on as your teens.

Tricia Yap

Yap, whose oldest client is 70 years old, says that she’s noticed that women tend to de-prioritise their health more than men, particularly when they have young children. “We do see a drop-off when kids start going to primary school and there is a larger load on the primary caregiver. Maybe they are concentrating on their career and family, and their own health comes last, but when the children are in their late teens, that’s when women start to come back to their own needs.” Yap, who is 38, adds that as more women choose to have children later in life, it’s more important than ever for them to start taking the right preventative steps now to ensure a healthier future for themselves. That’s something that Dawnna 20

Wayburne, 66, has known, and practiced, for years. A former dancer, Wayburne says she was cognizant early on about ageing, and thought carefully about how to mitigate the effects. “I think it’s more common with dancers and people who work with their bodies to think about these things, because you have these expectations about what your body can demonstrate,” she says. Wayburne owns a ballet studio in Discovery Bay and Isofit, a Central-based Pilates studio, and regularly trains clients there who are in their 70s and up in movement-based disciplines. These are aimed at increasing range of motion, enhancing flexibility and improving balance - all areas we tend to neglect - which can cause

serious issues later on in life. She says she agrees that the key to longevity rests in prioritising one’s health earlier on, specifically in the form of daily fitness. “I think it’s important to make exercise a habit, as early on as your teens,” says the studio owner, adding that she does an hour-long light workout every morning before her tea. “Exercise often isn’t a built-in discipline; people are so exhausted these days, and physically or mentally taking the time to care for themselves often takes second place,” she adds. “Making it a core part of your daily routine as soon as possible helps to prepare our bodies for what comes later. Even when you’re in your 50s and 60s, and things

Cover Story

start to ache or hurt, there are still ways of taking care of yourself.” Wayburne says as she gets older, she’s also learning firsthand about what needs her senior clients may have. She has started incorporating more functional training, like being able to do a push-up, which she believes is essential to master in case of a serious fall at home alone. Most importantly, Wayburne recommends setting the benchmark for one’s own health. Instead of comparing yourself to what others in their 60s can or cannot do, listen and trust in your body something she learned after a back injury four years ago. “When I was rehabilitating, doctors would say, ‘Look how well you move for a 60-year-old’ when it should have been how well am I moving for me. There is that ageist mindframe in society, so it becomes even more important to take control of your own health in your later years.” So what aspects of wellbeing should we focus on now in order to reap the benefits later? If you want to increase your “wellspan” - that is, the number of years in your life in which you enjoy optimum energy, vibrancy and physical capability start putting the work in now across these seven pillars.


MOBILITY & FLEXIBILITY Changes in the quality of our spine and connective tissue happen naturally as we age, but that is actually compounded these days by modern workplace culture, which requires many of us to sit at computers for hours on end. Dr. Law says this causes worse problems, like back and neck tension and hip tightness, because we aren’t moving our major joints in a full range of movements throughout the day. “It's extremely important to focus on mobility and flexibility, because the risk of hip replacements and cervical disc degeneration increase as we get older,” she says. “In order to prevent that, we want to constantly have mobility throughout our spine and in our joints.”



STRENGTH Dr. Law says that a common condition that tends to affect our strength as we age is sarcopenia, or a loss of skeletal muscle mass and function. “As we get older, we start to accumulate intramuscular fat, and at the same, we start losing density of muscle fibers,” she says. “Together, it amounts to quite a disproportionate loss of strength, which is why older people can often have issues with balance, and have a lot more falls related to that.” Including some form of strength-training, even simple body weight exercises like pushups, can help to counteract this process.

BALANCE It’s not just a loss of muscle mass that can lead to falls. Dr. Law says that our central nervous system also changes as we age, slowing down our reaction times. This means that seemingly minor events, like stumbling on a crack in the sidewalk, can be less easily compensated for by our bodies, leading to a greater risk of injury. “That’s why it’s important to keep up physical activity,” she recommends. Wayburne agrees that balance and the fear of falling can play a big part in insecurities around ageing. Her best advice? “Challenge your balance every day by standing on one leg, and see if you can control your body’s position in space for a few minutes.” 21

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NUTRITION “One of the things that happens as we get older is that our digestive functions and stomach acids fall to half of what they used to be,” says Dr. Law. This in turn affects how we break down and absorb nutrients from food, making our diet choices even more important as we age. Dr. Law recommends consuming nutrient-dense foods, chewing thoroughly, and giving your body time to digest a meal. She also says that certain micronutrients like iron, calcium and vitamin B12 - become harder for our bodies to absorb, and suggests taking supplements to correct any deficiencies.

SLEEP People of all ages struggle with sleep quality, thanks to a profusion of blue light from smartphones and computer screens. In addition, about half the population have underactive pineal glands, which secrete the hormone melatonin that controls our sleep. But Dr. Law says the situation gets even worse for women as they age. “During menopause, women don’t have sufficient amounts of estrogen and progesterone to keep them asleep, so they tend to be more restless. By the time it’s over, they end up thinking it’s normal to have not slept deeply for years, but it’s not and there is help for that.” Dr. Laws recommends ensuring that you’re getting adequate amounts of amino acids such as tryptophan, glycine and vitamins B6, magnesium and zinc to support serotonin and melatonin production.





As Dr. Law says, it’s normal for our levels of hormones like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone to fall as we age. We commonly associate this with menopause, but it can actually start much earlier than that, in a process known as perimenopause. “Perimenopausal symptoms can start as early as our 30s and can range from mild to severe,” says Dr. Law. Symptoms include irritability, anxiety, vaginal and bladder symptoms, hot flashes, headaches and breast pain. “There is also an increased risk of bone density loss and rising cholesterol during this time, which can contribute to an increased risk of heart disease.”

We also experience a loss of collagen and elasticity in our skin, which leads to signs of ageing like wrinkles. Dr Law says that there is a direct connection from our gut health to the state of our skin, and recommends taking probiotics to keep skin nourished with everything it needs to stay strong and supple well into our advanced years. “Our skin is actually a reflection of the internal state of our body, so it’s important to be mindful of it and pay attention to any signs you might notice.”

Sponsored Feature

Age Well with Yoga Kishore kumar, co-founder of Prajna Yoga, explains how yoga can help to improve your wellbeing as you age.

A MOVE IT, MOVE IT We asked Hanish Daryanani, a geratric physiotherapist from Central Stanley Wellness, about the best way to prevent falls and injuries as we age. His advice? Practice “meaningful movement” - any activity that is fun and more importantly social - which keeps you accountable and doing it consistently. “Being older doesn’t mean being on your own; you can still be social and active!” he says. His top picks for meaningful movement activities in Hong Kong are: 1. HIKING: hit the trails with a friend, partner, or with a hiking enthusiast group. 2. ZUMBA: a low-intensity dance class is often fun and always social, plus they’re widely available in gyms, studios and parks. 3. YOGA: Work on your balance, core and body weight strength training in this breath-based practice. 4. TAICHI OR QIGONG: you’ll easily find a community of these Eastern disciplines here in Hong Kong.

ging is an inevitable and natural part of life. First, we must respect and accept this. While getting older presents many gifts - maturity, grace, wisdom, experience, and perspective - it can also bring many challenges. As we age, our physical mobility can decrease. One’s risk of illness such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer also increases. Emotionally and psychologically, with age one can be more prone to depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. Memory can decline, balance can be impaired, and with that, your sense of self can suffer. Healthy eating and Yoga can assist in preventing disease, injury, and keeping your physical body in good shape, while meditation and brain training exercises can keep one’s mind sharp. If struggle with pain, joint stress, imbalance, osteoarthritis, and other physical limitations, you can benefit from incorporating a yoga practice into their daily routine.

WHY START YOGA? YOGA REDUCES ANXIETY By focusing on the breath and slow movements, yoga can help trigger your parasympathetic nervous system, reducing stress and anxiety. YOGA ENCOURAGES MINDFULNESS By becoming mindful of not just your body, but also of your thoughts and emotions, you will become more connected to and mindful of your environment, community, and the world around you. YOGA IMPROVES BALANCE AND STABILITY Many yoga poses focus on

balance and stability, which are both incredibly important as you age. YOGA IMPROVES FLEXIBILITY AND JOINT HEALTH Yoga’s easy moves keep you flexible while strengthening your muscles. YOGA REDUCES HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE Yoga reduces oxidative stress in the elderly. Oxidative stress is one of the underlying causes of high blood pressure and, especially for seniors, is a strong risk factor for heart attacks.

Prajna Yoga has recently relocated to Shop -2, 3/F, Sing Shun Centre, 495 Castle Peak Road, Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon. Check out their new studio, offering Hot Yoga, Aerial Yoga, Wall Rope yoga, Chair Yoga and many more. Showers and lockers are provided.


Wellness Retreats 2021

THE SWEET ESCAPE Faced with the prospect of yet another summer spent grounded from international travel, everyone needs some options for how to holiday at home this year. Here are some retreats and other wellness-oriented options around town to check out. By Jo Robinson.


Wellness Retreats 2021

Bliss Body Retreats

Bliss Body Retreats

Mandarin Oriental

B li ss B o dy R et r eats Located on a private eco-luxury farm in the New Territories, Bliss Body Retreat feels like a world away from the urban jungle. Currently, they offer two retreat types, each held over a weekend in July, August and September. Their signature retreat is a four-day getaway (Friday to Monday) which combines daily yoga, breathwork and meditation practices with other workshops and vegan cuisine. They also offer deeper spiritual practice with a three-day silent retreat and meditation immersion. Spots fill up fast as each event is capped at six people, so book now if you’ve got your heart set on attending this summer. Retreats start from July 5. Rates start at US$1,380, based on shared occupancy for three days.

M a n da r i n O r i en ta l For those looking for a staycation with more flexibility, Mandarin Oriental has launched their Hong Kong Staycation by M.O. This package gives guests the option to book into in-house wellness sessions with the hotel’s visiting practitioners during their stay. Current sessions include TaiQi Yoga with PURE yoga teacher Ella Tham, and a

hypnotherapy workshop. And for some added value, the promotion also comes with a 30 percent discount at some of the Mandarin Oriental’s restaurants. Choose your own experiences and meals, for a build-your-own wellness retreat! From $1,963 per night + 10 percent service. luxury-hotel

Ba m b o o Yo ga Bamboo Yoga returns to the shores of Sai Kung this summer, with their popular one-day aerial yoga and hiking mini-retreats. Facilitators break the day up into three smaller workshops, kicking off with a morning vinyasa flow aerial class at White Yoga in Kwun Tong, followed by a short hike from Sai Wan Pavilion to Tai Long Wan beach, and culminating in another 2.5 hour beach aerial yoga session on bamboo tripods over the water. If you’ve never tried your hand at aerial yoga before, fear not; it’s beginner-friendly and staff are experienced enough to make you feel at ease. The whole thing wraps up by late afternoon, at which point you can grab a boat back to Sai Kung town, or hike back to the Pavilion trailhead and be home in time for dinner. Costs $888 per person. 27

Wellness Retreats 2021

Natural Plus

Upper House

Natural Plus

U p p er H o u s e Fancy a getaway without having to go to the very edge of the city limits? Upper House’s 24-hour #WellnessOnTheRoad package could be just what you’re after. This wellness-oriented promotion starts with a selection of cold-pressed juices as a welcome treat, plus a surprise gift. You’ll get complimentary access to all group classes at the hotel, as well as a one-hour in-room massage for two, which alone is valued at $2,400. There’s also a daily set breakfast for two and complimentary mini-bar access. Enjoy flexible check-in times, and a full day of pampering and self-care at this centrally located hotel - what could be better? From $4,100 + 10% per room per night.

H a p p i n ess Facto ry After the sold-out launch of their inaugural weekend retreat back in April, Happiness Factory is returning to The Peninsula on June 19 and 20 for two days of pure relaxation. Bringing together some of the city’s best practitioners for a packed schedule of classes and workshops covering yoga, sound healing, meditation, breathwork and more, Happiness Factory promises to provide a weekend packed with 28

wellness activities. Expect sunrise yoga, an evening sound-healing gong bath, and a Wim Hof Method workshop and ice bath experience. You’ll also get a gift bag, and if you fancy going all out and treating yourself, a 15 percent discount at The Peninsula Spa. Start from $6,478 + 10% per night.

N at u r a l P lu s Nestled among the bucolic nature of Lo Wai Village, the Enzyme Nutrition Detox Retreat from Natural Plus takes a simpler approach. There are no hotels here; only camper vans equipped with hot showers, air conditioning and WiFi for a fun glamping getaway. More focused on nutrition education, all your meals are provided to you, and preceded by an enzyme drink which primes the stomach for optimal digestion and absorption. Join in with activities like eco-farming, cooking, yoga and meditation during your stay, or just bask in the quiet, rural setting of Lantau’s mountains. The next scheduled retreat takes place June 9-11. Cost $5,998 per person for a two-night stay, 50 percent off a second occupant. 11A, Lo Wai Village, Pui O, Lantau, 9708-2233,

Master Your Life Upper House

Kerry Hotel

C h ery l Ro d r i g u ez Sound meditation coach Cheryl Rodriguez has hosted several yoga and sound meditation sessions at Sai Kung’s Pier Hotel, and plans to offer an extraspecial weekend retreat in September to mark the end of summer. The retreat is tipped to take place in a private villa that allows guests to escape and connect through movement, sound and nature. Besides the upscale setting, guests will also enjoy an itinerary of daily group yoga and sound meditations, vegetarian-friendly meals and optional private sessions. From $6,500 per person. IG: @cheriko_wellnessnomad

K er ry H ot el Looking for something a bit less spenny? Try the daycation at Kerry Hotel, which gives you a full-day pass to their the harbourside infinity pool and a set poolside lunch. You can also opt for a few fun add-ons, like a bottle of Champagne or a 60-minute massage treatment, for a discounted rate too. Costs $500 for day-pass and set lunch.

We sit down with clinical hypnotherapist, speaker and coach, Sonia Samtani, of All About You Wellness Centre to understand her centre’s unique approach to healing the body by nurturing the mind. QAll About You offers an alternative path to mental wellbeing. What differentiates your services from more conventional approaches, such as clinical psychology? Our approach to wellbeing is dealing with the mind to address all issues. What differentiates us is that we work with both the conscious and subconscious mind. We understand that people come to us with symptoms of an issue (such as panic attacks), and we believe the cause of the symptoms come from their belief systems (such as “I cannot cope”). Pep-talks and advice is usually not enough in changing a person’s belief, we need to go much deeper and understand why we have created that belief. Only then can we eliminate it. QTell us about the mind-body connection. How could a mental health issue manifest itself physically, and what can you do to help? We believe that long-term physical ailments start off as mental issues, and that by working with the mind we can address physical symptoms. When you have a strong emotion, you can feel it in the body (like your heart beating faster with fear), and when we express our emotions, the sensations subside. We help clients release the trapped toxicity in their body and healthily express their emotions, which can in turn reduce or eliminate physical symptoms. QWhat does All About You stand for? My intention with All About You is to inspire people to understand that your life really is “All About You”; your thoughts, interpretations, and beliefs have created your current reality. Life mastery simply requires you to become aware of what you’ve created, and accept all that you have previously judged. Through private sessions, workshops and training programs, I hope to provide a space where people feel safe to reveal their deepest truths, heal their deepest pains, and experience a profound sense of transformation. 10A Wing Cheong Commercial Building,19-25 Jervois St., Sheung Wan,

24 29



Foil-baked Pesto Cod with Tomato and Zucchini BY SEAFOOD SOCIETY Sustainable seafood brand Seafood Society pairs omegas-rich cod filets with fresh herbs, veggies and dairy-free pesto, for a delicious and simply mid-week dinner. Seafood Society sells premium fish that is MSC and ASC certified, learn more about them at



20 minutes

TIP: Fresh thyme is an ideal herb to use for this kind of fish.



• 2 cod fillets

1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Add two sheets of aluminum foil to a baking sheet (just big enough to individually wrap the fish). 2. In each foil sheet, add a bed of diced tomatoes and zucchini. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add any herbs you may like. 3. Lay cod fillet on top, add a bit more salt and pepper, and top with three tablespoons of pesto. 4. Cook for 15-17 minutes. 5. Remove from oven and let sit for another 2 minutes before serving.

• 6 tbsp raw sprouted walnut pesto (or pesto of your choice) • 1 zucchini, diced • 2 medium tomatoes, diced • Fresh herbs (optional)



THE GLOW UP News from the beauty aisle


One woman’s hair catastrophe leads to an admirable rescue from local angel and salon owner, Paul Gerrard. Here’s what you need to know about how to handle hair blunders. By Bernadette O’Donnell. Paul Gerrard Salon




veryone expects to walk out of a hair salon feeling and looking great, especially when you’re paying top dollar at a Hong Kong salon. Yet, disasters do still happen, and that’s when you need a hair hero like Paul Gerrard Paul Gerrard (pictured, right). I recently decided to go for a full head of highlights and chose a well-regarded salon in Central. After hearing I lived in Sai Kung, the salon recommended I visit a staff member’s home salon there to save on the commute. IT DID NOT GO WELL. After the first visit did not yield the results we were after, my hair was bleached and coloured twice more in one week, leaving my hair damaged, broken and disastrously cut. After unsuccessfully trying to negotiate a refund of some sort for the $4,200 I paid, I gave up and went to six other Central salons for advice. Everyone I approached was


supportive, and some, like Glow and Love Hair, were so moved by my situation that they donated hair treatment products to me. One, however, volunteered to fix it at no charge, in an effort to restore my trust in the industry. “A professional hairdresser will always put aside their own feelings, and be there to listen and offer support and solutions to a client,” says Gerrard. “As hairdressers, this is our job: to put our clients first, make them comfortable and show them genuine human compassion and understanding.” Gerrard says that when it comes to salon fails, there are a few steps to handling it so you don’t end up pulling your hair out from the stress of it all:

1. BE HONEST AND SPEAK UP WHILE YOU’RE STILL IN THE SALON CHAIR “Time and time again, we hear stories like Bernadette’s. But when asked how the salon handled it, the client often says ‘I didn’t want to say anything, I was too embarrassed’”, says Gerrard. “Most professional hairdressers would rather hear the truth as it gives them the opportunity to correct the problem.

2. GIVE IT A FEW DAYS, AND DON’T BE AFRAID TO REACH OUT IF YOU ARE STILL UNHAPPY If you’ve gone home and washed and styled your hair, and it’s still not sitting right, don’t hesitate to contact the salon and speak to the stylist. “Give them the opportunity to show their professionalism and satisfy you as their valued client,” says Gerrard.

3. WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, ASK FOR A REFUND. THEN LEVEL UP TO A BETTER SALON! “If you do not get a positive response or feel as though you’re battling to be heard, ask the salon for a refund and consult with a sympathetic stylist,” says Gerrard. Communication is essential to a good hair job, and if your hairdresser is being defensive, it probably isn’t going to get better. Cut your losses and move on!




One of our favourite medi-spas in town just got a little easier to book into! EstheClinic just opened its second location on Western Street, right in the heart of Sai Ying Pun. The new 1,200-square-foot space has three treatment rooms, where they do everything from facial and body treatments to permanent hair removal. All their treatments are safe and painless, using the same French state-of-the-art technology and machines that they offer over in their first, highly popular clinic on Lyndhurst Terrace in Central. To celebrate the second opening, this award-winning clinic is offering 50 percent off any treatment for your first session. In addition, for any package purchased, you'll get a further $1,000 voucher to spend on future packages. A perfect way to treat yo’self this summer! Shop F, G/F, King’s Hill, 38 Western St., Sai Ying Pun, 9782-3525,

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RIGHT AT HOME with Kate Springer


n a busy, dense city like Hong Kong, there’s something undeniably soothing about having some greenery at home. And there’s a reason for that: a growing body of research has shown that plants, green space and gardening can improve our mental and physical health. While most of us don’t have room for a bountiful outdoor vegetable garden, you can likely spare a windowsill for some leafy herbs or microgreens. And who doesn’t love fresh herbs to jazz up their cooking, cocktails and baked goods? Homegrown social enterprise Rooftop Republic is all about cultivating urban farming and gardening across Hong Kong, so we caught up with keen home gardener Cherry Mak, the company’s marketing and operations executive. She shares her insights on how to start a herb garden, the basic tools you’ll need, common mistakes, and which herbs will work best for your living space: Q When did you start gardening at home? After I joined Rooftop Republic, I felt inspired to start my own indoor garden in 2018. I have a small plot of herbs and plants – basil, rosemary and mint – which is perfect for my apartment.


Q What’s your favourite thing about having a herb garden? I love that it’s very practical. Herbs are quite expensive in Hong Kong and, often, you have to buy a big pack, only to use a few leaves. But when I have my own herbs, I can just pluck leaves when I need them for pizza, mojitos, pasta, pork dishes, steak, baking... For instance, I love to put fresh basil in my tomato bread. Q What’s the first step to starting your own herb garden? Buy a pot, organic soil, seeds, and get started. It’s so simple, but a lot of people overthink it. And actually, you don't even need a pot! You can use a bottle, jar or a cup for a small garden in your apartment, then use a fork or spoon to care for them. Q What are the best types of herbs to grow indoors? My windows are north-facing, so I don’t have direct sunlight, which I think is a common issue in Hong Kong. I have found that rosemary and mint can tolerate low-light well. Even though basil prefers direct sunlight, it can still grow on your windowsill. Mine just grows a bit slower. We also suggest microgreens, sage, parsley, lemon balm and marigold for indoor spaces. Marigold is like a


much. I always stress that you water your plants’ soil twice a day - once in the early morning, once in the evening. Don’t spritz the leaves, because the heat from the sun will evaporate the water and burn the leaves. If you see insects emerge, we suggest using yellow sticky fly paper to trap the insects. If that doesn't work, then you can spray diluted neem oil or soapy water. You want to avoid chemicals because you plan to consume those herbs and vegetables. Q What are some common mistakes that people make? People often get confused about seasonality and climate. You should choose seeds that are meant for your climate. For instance, if you buy some rosemary seeds online from Japan or Australia, they might not be suitable for Hong Kong. Buy seed varieties from Southeast Asia or Taiwan, so you know they will grow well here. Seasonality is more important when growing fruiting crops - melon or beans grow well in the summer, while kale, radish, and tomato do well in winter. But if you’re just planning on growing herbs, then it is much easier. Basil is a good example: In winter, basil may not germinate as well and growth may slow down, then it will put out many more leaves in the summer. Yet, it still grows all year round.

chrysanthemum - it’s an edible flower and you can make a really nice, aromatic tea with it. Sage, on the other hand, is ideal to cook with, especially for meat and fish dishes. Q And which herbs are best for a terrace or rooftop? If you have lots of direct sunlight, we suggest plants like basil, mint, rosemary, sage, and dill. Generally speaking, herbs grow easily compared to fruiting crops. Although chilli and fennel also love sunlight, they need more care in general. Another thing to keep in mind is that plants with strong aromas - like sage - will keep pests away, while those that sprout fruits can attract pests. Q How do you ward off insects? When you grow plants indoors, make sure the ventilation is good because a wet, moist environment will attract a lot of insects, especially if you water your plants too

Q What else will keep our herb garden healthy and happy? Prune your herbs! Pruning stimulates the side branches and helps the plant grow outward, so it can get wider and fuller. If you don’t prune, then they’ll just grow straight up. Also, consume your herbs regularly, because the plant will learn to replenish itself and keep up with demand. Q When’s the best time to start a herb garden? Right now, especially since we are all spending way too much time at home these days. Planting herbs is a simple way to improve your personal environment, and wellbeing in the process. If you have a family, it is also a nice way to bond with your children and give them some hands-on, educational activities. Kids can learn all about the life cycles of plants, how to care for their herbs, and how to use them in cooking and baking!

Kate Springer is a Hong Kong-based lifestyle writer who contributes to Vogue, CNN, Home Journal, Tatler, BBC Travel, Forbes Travel Guide, Fodor’s, Vice, and more. You can follow her on Instagram @katespringer. Send news about exciting home and design stories to



FIT FAM with Zoe Belhomme


Keeping little ones entertained throughout the school summer holidays can be a daunting task. Thankfully, Hong Kong has plenty of excellent camps that will keep them entertained, engaged and exhausted by the end of their day.



Ark Eden’s summer camp teaches kids about the natural world through a varied lineup of outdoor activities and eco-inspired fun, including trips to beaches and waterfalls, campfires, and crafts using the surrounding nature of its gorgeous valley location on Lantau. Summer 2021 camps run from June 21-August 27. 11 Tung Hang Mei, Mui Wo, Lantau Island,



Backyard Gang takes small groups of kids into country parks and beaches to play and discover. They’ll learn to build a rope swing, identify bugs, paddle in rivers and more. Current restrictions limit group sizes, so space is quite limited. More camp dates may be announced if restrictions permit.

BALLROOM BEES AGES 4-11 Divided into five day camps and culminating in a performance for parents, kids can explore movement and dance through obstacle courses, fun games and choreographed routines to popular tunes. With the help of internationally acclaimed dance teachers and choreographers, your little one will leave knowing how to do the chacha, waltz and jive! Locations vary,


If your child was born to be on stage then check out Kid’s Gallery performance camps. The five-day Dream Camp explores different artistic mediums during their onehour sessions. The culmination of the camp is a performance of Beauty & The Beast, for parents and siblings. Locations vary,


SKIP’s summer sessions are perfect entertainment for toddlers and preschoolers, which lets them get messy and creative in an outdoor environment. In addition to arts and crafts, there’s climbing, balancing, bouncing and sliding, as well as lots of messy playtime with materials like goop, slime, mud and water, so don’t forget to bring a change of clothes!


KIDDY CUISINE If you’re looking for a good family-friendly dining option, head to Origami Cafe on the roof of the Kai Tak Terminal. On a nice day, the terminal roof has a lovely open park where you can set up a picnic and the kids can scoot or run about, but as it was pouring down we headed straight inside to the cafe. My two girls relished having free reign over all the toys on offer there. The cafe features some small climbing areas, a well-equipped kids kitchen, dressing up and dolls’ area, a soft space for babies and a lovely reading corner with books. You’re given a table for two hours and during this time you order food and your kids are free to roam and explore. Don’t expect gourmet dining here; the predominantly Chinese menu has lots of relatively healthy set meals that will appeal to toddlers and young children and they have all the right amenities, such as highchairs, cups, cutlery and plates to make your life as a parent as easy as possible. Kids will love the freedom here, as they can leave the table and safely entertain themselves nearby while you pretend to kick back, drink your coffee, and engage in some adult conversations. We were a bit surprised by our $700 bill but there is a set charge for children (none for adults or babies under one). Weekdays are $138 per child and on weekends and public holidays it’s $198 per child. Food and drinks are charged on top. Open 11.30am-9pm. Kai Tak Cruise Terminal, Kowloon Bay, Shing Fung Rd.,

STRIKE A POSE Luxury kidswear retailer Retykle is searching for new models to be the stars of their summer marketing campaign. The circular brand, which sells preloved designer children’s clothing, hosts several campaign shoots each year to reflect Hong Kong's community of diverse and eclectic kids, and they are on the look for new models. This summer Retykle will be casting up to 20 girls and boys aged 2-14 years, and as a thank-you for taking part, models get a $250 gift card as well as access to their professional photos for their parents to enjoy. Applications close on 7 June 2021 and the shoot will be held on Friday 25 June 2021. Apply via

Zoe Belhomme is our resident fitness writer and new mum. She loves working out, eco-friendly parenting, and partnering with her husband to produce some of the region’s biggest sports events at MBS Concepts. Reach out to her directly with your healthy family news at


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