Liv Magazine December 2022

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DECEMBER 2022 | LIV MAGAZINE FITNESS NUTRITION WELLBEING HOME ECO SPA TAKE I’MMEHOME FREE! The best festive events and happenings to spread joy this season Light Up Your Christmas


Dr. See Yunn Ho of Restore Integrative Medical Clinic


wly launched medical wellbeing centre, Restore Integrative Medical Clinic, has just opened in the heart of Central. With a mission to optimise wellbeing using a combination of conventional medicine, functional medicine and Swiss Biological medicine, it aims to restore a profound sense of wellbeing, beyond merely treating symptoms. We chat to founder Dr. See Yunn Ho to learn more about what makes this practice unique.

What do you hope to achieve with Restore Integrative Medical Clinic?

With Restore Integrative Medical Clinic, our vision is to integrate care across functional medicine and complementary services. All the therapists at our clinic are very experienced and holistic in their approach. We use nutritional and diet changes to help our patients achieve better outcomes from their conditions. Our four pillars of health are detoxification, gut health, hormonal balance, and longevity. Besides Functional and Family medicine services, our other complementary treatments include physiotherapy, craniosacral therapy, acupuncture, osteopathy and lymphatic massage. We also offer anti-aging facial and aesthetic services using organic ingredients and innovative technologies to regenerate ageing skin and hair cells.

Tell us about the patients you see. We commonly see men and women in their 40s and 50s. They are usually professionals who are well educated about their health and seeking to optimise their performance. For patients coming to us with gut health concerns, it can present at any age group but it is commonly found among young or middle-aged adults who lead a highly stressed lifestyle.

What are some of the common concerns among your patients?

We see many functional gut issues and toxinrelated illnesses from heavy metals and mould. I also see women in their late 40s having menopausal symptoms including hot flushes, brain fog, and sleep issues. Male hormonal issues usually manifest as declining energy, libido and sleep issues. Another common issue that I see is weight gain that comes from underlying hormonal and metabolic issues. Can you tell us more about your team and how you integrate care for the patient?

At Restore, we hope to change the model of healthcare to make it more patient centric. For every patient, we will have a health coach to offer guidance on nutrition and follow-ups. Our practitioners speak to each other regarding the condition and treatment of the patient so that the individual gets a holistic overview of their health. Our team of practitioners are also very holistic, for example, our physiotherapist also does craniosacral work and acupuncture, and our acupuncturist also works on energy healing. On the medical side we focus also on nutrition and lifestyle in addition to the medical condition itself.

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05 Editor’s Letter LIV | NEWS 06 Wishlist Lovely things we want right now 08 Hot Right Now New happenings on the wellness scene 10 Fresh Cuts Where to buy an organic turkey 14 Review Staycation at The Peninsula and an agate stone massage 16 Community Charities speading cheer to those in need LIV | STORIES 18 Events To Remember The best Christmas and holiday happenings in town 25 Gift Guide Thoughtful gifts and experiences, courtesy of our partners LIV | MORE 38 Recipe Holiday kombucha cocktails, by Taboocha 40 Beauty Infrared saunas, explained 42 Home Quirky Christmas decorations for a festive home 44 Pets Holiday hazards pets should avoid 44 DECEMBER 06 42 3



In 2022, I travelled to Europe and Canada, reconnecting with people in life that matter most to me. After spending so much time apart, those experiences have reinforced how important it is to value and invest in quality time together. We can all hold on to those small shared moments and memories, even if the worst comes to pass.

Seeing so many events make a comeback this year - from Hong Kong Sevens to next year’s highly anticipated Clockenflap - inspired us to do something that celebrated the beauty of shared experiences. So this month’s cover story sees the return of our “It’s a Date” column, with a festive slant highlighting all the Christmas and holiday-themed events to mark on your calendar this month. Read it on p.18

As always in our December issue, you’ll find our Christmas Gift Guide (p.25) stuffed with ideas and experiences from our preferred partners to surprise your friends and family this giving season.

The festive theme continues with quirky Christmas decorations (p.40), where to pick up an organic turkey (p.10), surprising holiday hazards for pets (p.44), and a yuletide cocktail recipe (p.38) that local kombucha producer Taboocha developed especially for us - yum!

I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday this year and take every opportunity to make memories with loved ones. Honestly, it’s everything that matters.

Aarohi Narain shines a welldeserved spotlight on local Christmas charity campaigns on p.16.

The heat is on! Nicole Slater learns all there is to know about infrared saunas and where to find them in Hong Kong on p.40.

CARLA THOMAS EDITOR Say hi work with us

‘‘Liv Magazine’’ Copyright 2022 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. Send invites and info to: Makerhive, 10/F, Cheung Hing Industrial Building, 12P Smithfield, Kennedy Town Another year in the bucket - when did that happen? Although this year might have started rough with a fifth wave that just would NOT quit, it’s somehow turned itself around, at least for me personally.


Here's what we're crushing on this month


‘Tis the season for cosy, warm materials and fluffy textures, like this feel-good fleece belt bag that you can wear across your body or around your hips for a hands-free lewk. $420 from lululemon


Crochet is back in style, and we’re not mad about it! Snuggle up this winter with a kaleidoscopic pastel scarf by luxury knitwear designer, Rose Carmine. $6,900 at Lane Crawford


This Shea Golden Latte hand cream smells and feels oh-so comforting! Like most L’Occitane products, it’s sustainably packaged in tubes made of 95 percent recycled aluminium.

$245 from L’Occitane en Provence


Count us in as big fans of the new Uniqlo x Marni collection. These wide-legged red cotton-based corduroy pants are the very essence of Italian sophistication!

$399 from Uniqlo

6 Retail Therapy


Oh, you thought puzzles were a thing of the pandemic past? Think again! This Hong Kong-themed 500-piece puzzle combines a traditional jigsaw puzzle with a mystery and scavenger hunt, with illustrations by local artist Kitty N. Wong.

$360 at Bookazine


Is this the ultimate east-meets-west fusion? Truffle meets chilli crisp in this epic condiment from cookbook author Simran Savlani. We’re planning on spooning this all over turkey, mashed potatoes, cheeseboards - the list goes on and on.

$145 from


These stunning 70s-inspired coupe glasses are the perfect gift for the stylista on your list, or just save them for yourself and toast to another year gone by.

$760 from Belevivi


From gummy bears made with real Dom Pérignon to peppermint marshmallow puffs and sprinkle-dusted cookies for Santa, this Christmas candy bento box is almost too adorable to eat! ….Almost.

$688 from Sugarfina

7 Retail Therapy



For the fashionista on your holiday shopping list, check out Vestiaire Collective. The preloved fashion online marketplace is a stylish trove of sought-after luxury brands at affordable prices that meet most budgets (you can easily find gifts for less than US$100). Not only are preloved luxury goods more economical, but they also help cut down on the staggering amount of landfill waste created by the fashion industry every year. For December, Vestiaire Collective is offering new shoppers 10 percent off their first purchase (up to $500) using the code XMAS2022. A great incentive to support fashion circularity over the gift-giving season!

8 Cool Stuff


Earth-saving sneakers? We love it! Fullup is a new sustainable sneaker brand that just launched out of China, and it’s safe to say we’re loving its eco-friendly ethos and designs. The brand features a hyper-streamlined production process, meaning high traceability and minimal waste, and is made from over 90 percent recycled materials. In fact, each pair of sneakers rescues about 10 plastic water bottles from oceans and landfills. The debut collection comes in a small but well-curated range of colorways, and should be popping up in Hong Kong stockists in the near future, or find them online.


In case you missed it, last month, we met high-schooler James Wang, co-founder of the new startup Jord. Jord is an online platform aggregating sustainable brands and products into one centralised directory, making it easier for Hongkongers to shop and consume more sustainably. Jord operates according to a set of strict criteria, including but not limited to carbon neutrality plans, responsible sourcing practices, sustainable packaging, phasing out of unsustainable goods like plastic, and the use of renewables or carbon offsetting in their operations. The website even features an interactive simulator to discover sustainable alternatives for your home! We love anything that takes the guesswork out of conscious consumerism, so this innovative startup gets two green thumbs up from us.

Christmas Abroad

It feels like everyone and their aunt twice-removed are taking advantage of Hong Kong’s loosened travel restrictions and getting out of town. At least it’s easier to get a brunch reso in Central!


The latest social media app to take off is still unfettered by ads and sucks up less of your time. Jump on this bandwagon before bots and trolls inevitably ruin it!

Insane Flight Prices

Christmas airfares are reportedly 28 percent higher than they usually are. Bah humbug!

Fancy Gift Wrap

Overpriced, and a lot of it can’t be recycled. This year we’re going full “Sound of Music” with brown paper packages tied up with string!


9 Cool Stuff



Organic-certified turkeys have only ever been fed with organic feed and are never treated with antibiotics. That makes it better for the birds, your body, and the planet! Here are some local businesses that sell organic and free-range turkeys.

Eat The Kiwi

One of our go-to shops, this sustainable online grocery store specialises in top-quality food products imported from New Zealand. This year, Eat The Kiwi is stocking cage-free turkeys from Tegel ($720), which allows birds to roam freely and forage on bugs and grass. The turkeys are also tenderbasted (pre-brined) so you’re virtually guaranteed to have a tender bird on Christmas Day.

South Stream Foods

This food importer is a reliable source of organic meats in Hong Kong. They carry two turkey brands - Organic Prairie and Shelton’s - both of which are USDA-certified organic. To sweeten the pot, South Stream is taking 50 percent off all their organic turkeys from December 6-29. Nothing tastes better than good savings! Prices range from $435-$740, after the discount.

10 Dining


This year, City’super is carrying whole frozen turkeys in three sizes from Larchwood Farm, a British farm specialising in eco-friendly and sustainable practices. The family-run farm only feeds turkeys grain that’s been grown on their own land, where the birds are allowed to naturally grow and mature. From $768-$998.

Tenderloin Fine Foods

This meat purveyor imports high-quality meat, seafood and organic poultry from all over the world. If you don’t actually need an entire turkey for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, or you’re trying to reduce your food waste this year, you might consider buying some of their organic turkey legs or breasts, which are certified by ECOCERT, Europe’s strictest organic certifying board. Birds are free to roam and forage and are raised in small batches on organically grown grain. They also offer a whole turkey for $720.

Feather & Bone

You can order your bird frozen or thawed from Feather and Bone, which carries Australian poultry producer Steggles. Though not organic or free-range, the turkeys are given a natural grain diet, raised without hormonal growth promotants and roam freely in large barns. Costs $888 per bird (around 5kg).

Aussie Meats

This antipodean meat purveyor specialises in ocean-caught seafood and premium meat that’s grass-fed, organic, naturally farmed, and free from hormones and antibiotics. This year they’re doing a 12-14 pound turkey from Norbest ($903), a collection of farms that produce ranch-raised turkeys. Their birds are not technically certified organic, but they are free from hormones and antibiotics.

11 Dining



Accidentally vegan chocolate brand Conspiracy Chocolate just landed its inaugural pop-up shop, a first-of-its-kind collaboration with premium whiskey supplier, The Whisky Library. A match made in gastronomic heaven? We think so! The space invites guests to discover a world of tradition and terroir, offering workshops and intimate tastings that aim to redefine how we experience chocolate and whisky. Find this epicurean pop-up next to Pret a Manger until May 2023. Shop 1019B, ifc mall, 8 Finance St., Central,



What would Christmas be without an amply-stocked cheeseboard to nibble on? Local plant-based chef Amy Elkhoury has done it again this year, putting together a range of hampers and boxes with her signature nut-based cheeses, Nuteese. All her cheeses are made with fermented nuts (cashews, macademias, and almonds) and aged for 21 days for maximum flavour. Order a Festive 7 Wheels Box ($1,075) and receive a bottle of Perrier Jouet to pair it with.



The Year of the Rabbit is just around the corner, and that means traditional snacks and treats galore! To keep your festive spread more sustainable this year, plant-based grocer Green Common has developed a special collection of CNY treats that are meat-free and eco-friendly. Think Pumpkin Rice Cake with Red Quinoa, Turmeric & Oatmilk ($168), or OmniPork Vegan XO Sauce Red Quinoa Turnip Cake ($168). But it’s the Buddhist-friendly Poon Choi ($868) with chewy mochi, Omnipork meatballs, purple sweet potato, and a variety of mushroom types, that’s really got our mouths watering. Here’s to festive overindulgences done right!

12 Dining FOOD NEWS




The Buzz: We all love a good massage, but with prices at high-end hotels and boutique spas easily topping $1,000, we need a more wallet-friendly option in our back pocket. Popular massage spot Sun & Moon has opened a third branch in Tsim Sha Tsui. It combines gorgeous interiors with fairly priced treatments and quality therapists - and it’s a rare feat to get all three in one place! Prices start at $238 for a 45-minute foot massage.


The Buzz: Hong Kong’s OG five-star hotel might not be synonymous with health and wellbeing, but we reckon that’s set to change! The Peninsula Life Lived Best programme weaves wellbeing into the DNA of the hotel, with classes, cuisine, treatments and other wellness opportunities that take health and wellbeing to the next level. Their “Life Lived Best” staycation package lets you experience all their wellbeing offerings as part of a stay.

The Programme: The Life Lived Best staycation package runs from now until March 31, 2023. It includes a night in a superior suite, healthy welcome amenities, a “Blissful Sleep” bath ritual from Irish brand Voya, a Naturally Peninsula set dinner and breakfast for two at the pool, and a 60-minute personal training session for two.

The Verdict: We were blown away by the wellness programming on a recent visit to the hotel. Not only was the cuisine fully plant-based, it was absolutely delicious and we didn’t have any omnivore FOMO at all. The classes, which took place on the hotel’s sun terrace with spectacular harbour views, were challenging and invigorating; our aching muscles certainly enjoyed the mineral-rich bath we had that night. If you’re looking for a proper wellness escape right here in Hong Kong, this one is a thumbs-up from Team Liv.

Price: $6,250 for two guests. Salisbury Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui,

The Experience: Stepping into the spa from hectic Austin Road, you’re greeted with warm minimalism, curved lines and sprays of eucalyptus dotted here and there. We changed into a pair of slippers and enjoyed the ambiance over a welcome tea and an osmanthus candy. We were led through the foot massage area into a private room, where we had a 90-minute hot stone massage, using polished agate stones that had been gently warmed. The experienced therapist slowly teased out the tension from all over, paying particular attention to our shoulders and forearms (blame too much time at the laptop!).

The Verdict: This day spa ticked all our boxes. From the reasonably priced treatments to the calming environment, we thoroughly enjoyed our time at Sun & Moon. It really gave us a chance to decompress and enter a meditative state, refreshing both mind and body. We will be back for sure!

The Power of Agate therapy is $1,088 for 90 minutes. G/F, Tai Chi Court, 134 Austin Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui,

14 Reviews
Liv checks out the newest workouts and wellness trends

WIN: An LM Experience package at Le Meridien Hong Kong, Cyberport worth $2,600!

After closing for 18 months for a top-to-bottom refurb, Le Meridien Hong Kong, Cyberport has reopened its doors with a brand new look, and completely revamped restaurants to boot. With 170 guest rooms, it’s a perfect spot for couples, families and pet owners. To celebrate the reopening, we have a signature staycation package up for grabs, which includes one night in an ocean view room, breakfast and afternoon tea for two at Southside Bistro and signature welcome amenities. The package also include complimentary parking for added convenience. WIN: A

As the weather cools, cosy up underneath a weighted blanket for a soothing night’s sleep. Courtesy of DORMU, we have a Snuggler blanket up for grabs. Made with a thick cable knit, it feels like a tight hug. The blanket is worth $1,900.

Incredible prizes up for grabs, exclusively for Liv readers! GIVEAWAYS Enter at by December 20 for a chance to win!
DORMU weighted blanket worth $1,900!


Spreading cheer to those less fortunate is a fundamental part of the festive season. So there’s no better time to support charities working tirelessly to ensure no one is forgotten over the holidays. Here are a few campaigns you can support this month to make sure everyone’s Christmas is a special one.

Angels for Children

You don’t need a beard, belly, or glasses to play Santa! Instead, contribute to a Secret Santa gift drive that benefits children in Hong Kong. Hosted by nonprofit Angels of Children, this annual campaign supplies gifts to children living in group homes or below the poverty line, in partnership with local charities Po Leung Kuk and the Society for Community Organization (SoCo). Donate now to make sure Santa’s sleigh is well-stocked with presents for all.

Zubin Foundation

Get your Zubin Christmas Crackers now! Launched in 2021 by the Zubin Foundation - a nonprofit working to empower ethnic minorities in Hong Kong - the inaugural campaign raised $550,000 from sales of the classic festive decoration. The funds were used to set up Zubin’s Family Centre, which provides free services such as therapy for children with disabilities, mental health counselling for adults and children, and skills training workshops for women. These do-good decoration are also plastic-free and made locally.

Cookie Smiles

Everyone appreciates a gift they can eat! And even better when it benefits a good cause. Charity campaign Gingerbread for Good is back for a second year, selling custom gingerbread treats made by 22 of the city’s most celebrated chefs and bakers. The Upper House, The Mandarin Oriental, Moxie and more are taking part at this seasonal pop-up in LANDMARK, so it’s well worth stopping by for a snack or two. The campaign is spearheaded by local nonprofit Cookie Smiles, and benefits Box of Hope and Vocational Training Council’s Shine Skills Centre, which provides work experience to students with disabilities.

Feeding HK

Around 25 percent of the city’s population lives in poverty, and hunger remains a serious issue for many. Do your part to help everyone enjoy a good meal this holiday season, by supporting Feeding HK’s Christmas Food Drive. Drop off any surplus food items at Feeding Hong Kong’s 19 community collection points or their foodbank in Yau Tong, and they will be delivered to one of over 150 charity partners free of charge. Rice, cooking oil, noodles, canned food and casual chain restaurant vouchers are especially welcome. Feeling extra generous? Volunteer to collect unsold bread from vendors any time throughout the year.

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Angels for Children Feeding HK


Street sleeping has risen steadily in Hong Kong, and has leapt by 22 percent since 2019, according to a government study. Local charity ImpactHK helps Hongkongers experiencing homelessness settle into safe homes, and conducts Kindness Walks, which provide food and essential items to hundreds of people sleeping rough in districts across the city. This festive season, the nonprofit has launched its “No One Forgotten This Winter” campaign. They hope to raise

$1 million to fund 900 kindness walks taking place in 2023. The charity’s founder, Jeff Rotmeyer, will also embark on a camping trip with a twist: the more money raised, the fewer comforts he will get to enjoy while camping in the wilderness of Lantau. The goal? To better understand what it’s like to live without a home.

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Aarohi Narain is a writer from New Delhi, based in Hong Kong. She most enjoys covering topics in food, arts, travel and identity. Read her work at, and email her with your community news at
LIV’S CHRISTMAS IT’S A HOLI-DATE: Calendar PERFORMANCES AND PRODUCTIONS The Nutcracker: Disney Live in Concert, Holiday Music Celebration The Silveri Hong Kong- MGallery Cover Story 18


Over the past few years, large gatherings have been out of reach for Hongkongers. Still, with loosened restrictions and more events popping up, it appears as though we might finally be coming out the other side of our city’s social distancing era. Woohoo!

With so many events on the books, it gives us great pleasure this year to bring you Liv’s Christmas Calendar! Find everything you need this yuletide season, from dazzling festive displays and joyful celebrations of the season, buttonpopping holiday feasts, traditional markets brimming with local handicrafts and gifts, and where to find Santa and his elves this month.

Meet Santa at IFC Mall:
The Murray Christmas Market: BRUNCHES, LUNCHES, AND DECADENT DINNERS White Carnival at The Sixteenth Cover Story 19


THE NUTCRACKER: December 16-31

Enter a world of dancing sugar plums and waltzing bauhinia flowers with a uniquely modern Hong Kong twist on the quintessential Christmas ballet! Hong Kong Ballet teams up with the Hong Kong Sinfonietta to bring us the story of Clara and the Nutcracker as they battle the evil Rat King’s army and travel through a majestic bamboo forest, with local history and traditions woven into this classic tale. Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui,

ROBIN HOOD: December 1-11

What would the holidays be without pantomime? Hong Kong Players are back again with the classic English folk tale, Robin Hood. Join the heroic outlaw and his band of Merry Men as they strive to right wrongs and ensure justice prevails, all while having a laugh and a rousing sing-along. Shouson Theatre, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Rd, Wan Chai.


CELEBRATION: November 25-December 10

The happiest place on earth hosts a team of renowned musicians this month, performing classical, jazz, and musical songs alongside Mickey Mouse and other Disney Friends for an exceptional holiday performance. The first show of its kind, guests can enjoy this limited edition event for three consecutive Fridays and Saturdays. Hong Kong Disneyland Sunny Bay, Lantau,

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This annual fundraising service at St. John’s Cathedral is always well-attended, featuring live choir and orchestra performances and a tree-lighting ceremony. Organised by the Society for the Promotion of Hospice Care, the event encourages attendees to remember those loved ones who are gone but not forgotten. Donations raised go towards improving the lives of the terminally ill. Tickets are essential and cost $250. 4-8 Garden Rd., Central,


For naughty and nice laughs this holiday season, check out Bitches in Stitches’ festive comedy night, Wreck the Halls. The all-women stand-up comedy lineup features some of the city’s best comedians, including Fran Ayala, Bailey A, Jenna Hudson, Lilit Marcus, Abby Tsao, Hillian Siu, and Rose Rage. The Aftermath, 57-59 Wyndham St., Hong Kong,



December 17-18

Bring the whole family to this live musical event at West Kowloon Cultural District! Organised by the SAR Philharmonic Orchestra, which helps to raise money for charities across Hong Kong through fundraising music performances, this fun-filled performance features live theatre and a symphony of orchestral music. Freespace, The BOX, West Kowloon Cultural District




November 23, 2022 - January 2, 2023

Collaborating with the world-renowned official Santa Claus Village in Lapland, Finland, IFC will host Asia’s first-ever “Santa Claus Village” Christmas Installation, complete with Santa Claus’ Main Post Office and Elf Workshop. Expect photo ops galore, interactive games, and a chance to meet the big man himself! Oval Atrium, Podium Level 1, 8 Finance St., Central,


November 24, 2022 - January 2, 2023

Pay a visit to Mrs Claus and her hardworking bakery this festive season at LANDMARK. As part of the upscale mall’s elaborate holiday lineup, guests can meet Christmas’ first lady and the Gingerbread Man and participate in fun-filled activities (like making your augmented reality e-card!). All proceeds from ticket and merchandise sales will be donated to charity. LANDMARK, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central,


November 20 - December 26

This month, the iconic luxury hotel transforms its palatial lobby and its retail boutique into a winter wonderland. Guests can pose with a life-sized Christmas Pen Bear, post a letter to Santa, and indulge in exclusive holiday treats, including the hotel’s famous panettone, cookies and pralines. The Peninsula Hong Kong, Salisbury Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui,


throughout December

Join Santa and his happy helpers aboard the Aqua Luna for a memorable holiday cruise perfect for little ones and visiting relatives! Parents can snack on festive cookies and hot chocolate while kids hunt for candy canes and hang out with Santa. Sailings depart throughout December on weekends and from 23-27.

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AT SHANGRI-LA: November 17-January

Meet Santa, shop at a European Christmas market, dine in a Swiss Chalet, and build your own wreath – if it’s festive and fun, you better believe Shangri-La is offering it! The luxury hotel’s Enchanted Wonders offerings take place throughout the holiday period, giving you ample time to make it to either of their locations (Island or Kowloon) and avail yourself of all the family-friendly fun. For a memorable experience, you can also book a stay in the Nutcracker Suite; a signature suite decked out in festive trimmings with a surprise in-suite visit from Santa Claus himself.



December 1-23

We love the sustainable ethos of Lantau eco-resort The Silveri Hong Kong-MGallery, and its lush Lantau surroundings are the perfect place for a holiday escape. The hotel’s Silveri Festive Brunch will have you spoilt for choice with traditional roast turkey, grass-fed Australian striploin, and honey-glazed ham. For dessert, tuck into Christmas pudding, mince pies, gingerbread biscuits, and French-style yuletide log cake Bûche De Noël.

16 Tat Tung Rd., Tung Chung,

MOXIE: December 1-31

THE GROUNDS: Throughout December

This fabulous winter weather shouldn’t be wasted watching movies indoors! Head down to The Grounds this month to watch a classic festive film from your very own pod, and take advantage of complimentary mince pies and mulled wine beforehand, courtesy of The Upper House. 33 Man Kwong St., Central,

Conscious dining champion Moxie has introduced a sustainably-minded six-course Christmas Tasting Menu showcasing seasonal ingredients. The menu, designed by Chef de Cuisine Michael Smith, features responsibly sourced seafood, including Ora King Salmon and Black Tiger Prawns, and fresh seasonal vegetables like butternut squash, chestnuts, and Brussels sprouts. Shop 203, 2/F Alexandra House, LANDMARK, Central,

VEDA: December 1-31

Looking for a more plant-based feast? Vegetarian restaurant VEDA is rolling out all the stops with an innovative festive menu that sounds positively scrumptious! From a hearty Vege Wellington, featuring spinach paneer and beets rolled into a flakey pastry, to Mushroom and Brussel Sprouts Bourguignon and a homemade apple crumble with salted vanilla ice cream to finish, this meat-free menu is guaranteed to satisfy. The sharing-style set menu includes starters, mains, desserts and a bottle of Nicolas Feuillate Champagne for four guests ($2,388). 2 Arbuthnot Rd., Central, ovolohotels. com/ovolo/central/veda/

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Located under the hotel’s iconic three-storey arches, The Murray Christmas Market is an event we look forward to every year! Shop everything from lifestyle goods and tasty treats to clothing, art, and jewellery, and sip on some mulled wine while you do it. It’s also worth mentioning that The Murray offers some pretty sweet holiday-themed wellness offerings, like a Christmas Spice Massage, Festive Chocolate Body Wrap, and kids’ yoga!

22 Cotton Tree Drive, Central,




YEAR’S CELEBRATION: December 30-31

Culture vultures will appreciate a more refined approach to New Year’s revelling. To mark the end of another year, the Hong Kong Philharmonic presents an exciting lineup of classical compositions, including Strauss, Berlioz, and Tchaikovsky. Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall, 10 Salisbury Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui,



December 5

With 120 vendors, the Prestige Christmas Gift and Lifestyle Fair is one of the largest markets to hit up ahead of the holidays. Support small local businesses and artisans, discover new brands, and, best of all – get 20 per cent off at Conrad’s cafes and restaurants on the day of the fair!


MARKET: December 11

Even if you’re not a DB resident, it’s worth the ferry ride to check out this charming holiday edition of this famous Sunday market. With a focus on handmade goods, you’re sure to find something unique and made with care, and your money directly supports local artisans and creators. They also do a CNY version, which will take place on January 15, 2023. Discovery Bay Plaza, Lantau, handmadehongkong. com/events

Dress to impress at this all-white soiree, held on the expansive terrace at Tempo Tempo. This outdoor countdown party features a live DJ with free-flow drinks, bubbly and snacks until the wee hours. Guests with a dinner reservation at one of the four dining outlets in The Sixteenth – Pirata Group’s multi-concept restaurant space in Taikoo Shing – can score entry for the bargain early bird price of just $680. The Sixteenth, 2/F, Oxford House, Taikoo Place, 979 King’s Rd., Quarry Bay,

SALISTERRA: December 31

We’ve been big fans of Salisterra ever since it opened, and with so much emphasis on sustainability and freshness, it’s easy to see why! Located on the 49th floor of The Upper House, this luxury hotel restaurant boasts both epic views for the countdown and a nutrientdense, Mediterranean-inspired menu. For New Year’s Eve, Executive Chef Cary Docherty has developed a multi-course menu ($1,588-$2,488) including Lobster Consomme, Wagyu Beef, and other epicurean delights. If you really want to push the boat out, you can book a private dining experience for 8-10 guests and indulge in caviar and Jerusalem artichoke risotto & white truffle ($3,388 per guest) while you soak up the stunning city skyline. Salisterra, 49/F, The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, salisterra.

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Christmas may be a magical time of the year, but it takes a lot of WORK to make those memories! Take the hassle out of Christmas shopping with our gift recommendations, courtesy of our partners. You'll find something for just about everyone in these pages!

Biltong Chief

An award-winning purveyor of quality meat, wine and other produce, Biltong Chief sources its products from South Africa and around the world. Check out our top picks for the festive season.

Talkin’ Turkey

Hosting Christmas dinner? This succulent, mountain-grown turkey is perfect for oven-roasting. With a tender-timer and natural flavouring, dry and tasteless turkey will be a thing of the past.


Shell Shocked

Oysters and bubbly just got a whole lot more affordable with these fresh Canadian oysters that start from just $19 per piece. Pair with a bottle of Methode Cap Classique, South Africa’s double fermented bubbly, which is made in the same style as Champagne but at a fraction of the price.

Just the Tipple Pinotage is South Africa’s flagship red grape varietal, and this bottle from the Stellenbosch region of South Africa is from Kanonkop, a fourth generation family-owned winery. A must-have red wine pairing for your Christmas dinner.

Price: $160

Ham it Up

The perfect complement to your Christmas turkey. This mouthwatering gammon, imported from South Africa, is a must-have for your festive table.


Christmas Guide 26

The Big Things Catering

Can’t cook? Won’t cook? The Big Things Catering takes the headache out of party planning with its impressive canape selection. Wow your guests with these delicious bite-sized morsels at your next event.

Abalone Fabulous

Sweet and succulent, abalone is a much-loved premium ingredient in Chinese cooking, and often eaten during celebration feasts. Try this canape version - featuring crispy bacon - for a fusion flavour.

Queen of Tarts

This stylish tart pairs fresh mango with juicy crab meat and purple oxalis sauce on a potato patty base.

Toast of the Town

Everyone loves sesamecrusted tuna. This version is served on toast with homemade scallion oil and fresh mango.

Chicken Tonight

This Sichuan-inspired dish is served on a crispy dumpling skin filled with diced chicken, cucumber and “mala” sauceflavoured jelly.

Enquiry hotline 62921989 | Email | ig: thebigthingskitchen

Christmas Guide 27


This Christmas, top beauty destination High Society Skin Clinic is offering Liv readers an exclusive rate on the Vanquish slimming treatment.

For a promotional rate of $680 (regular price $3,000), you can try this cutting edge treatment, which uses radio frequency technology to destroy fat cells underneath the skin, which are then naturally expelled by the body through the lymphatic system.

The treatment is FDA approved, safe, non-invasive, non-contact and with zero downtime. Perfect for squeezing into a lunch break!


Simply mention Liv when pacing your booking. Offer valid until December 31, 2022.


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22/F, Car Po Commercial Building, 18-20 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong Phone: 27990800 Whatsapp: 63388359 High Society Skin Clinic

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Pirata Group

Celebrate the festive season over a knockout Christmas menu with Pirata Group. All their restaurants have put together delectable menus to suit all tastes. Check out a few of our top picks:


Begin the yuletide gathering at Honjokko, Pirata Group’s elevated sushi club. Don’t miss their signature chilled spinach with creamy sesame sauce, or the soft shell crab tempura. There’s also sushi and sashimi galore, as well as hot dishes such as tempura and skewers.


Whether you prefer to be on the naughty or nice list (as far as festive indulgence is concerned!) Chaiwala’s sharing dishes have somethign for everyon. Our pick? The decadent vegetarian truffle saag paneer with cumin and garlic-tempered spinach with cottage cheese, truffle paste and fresh truffle shavings.


Pane e Latte

Just for the festive season, Pane e Latte has transformed into a Winter Mystic Forest, with eyecatching festive displays galore. Joining the festive display will be a selection of seasonal pastries, including this towering edible Christmas tree.

Pirata Group’s flagship restaurant, Pirata’s festive menu is rich in guilty pleasures such as the Christmas pork cotechino trotter served with roasted winter vegetables, Italian lentil stew and a creamy, smooth parsnip puree.


Pici’s December specials include traditional Christmas cannelloni stuffed with roasted turkey and broccolini; tagliolini with Sicilian red prawns, ravioli al brasato with garlic confit; and whipped ricotta-filled ravioli with Chianti braised short ribs. For dessert? Don’t miss the classic Christmas Italian panettone filled with chestnut chantilly cream.

Christmas Guide 29

METZ Luxury Tea

Hailing from Canada, METZ Luxury Tea is renowned for its organic tea blends that are sustainably sourced from the best suppliers around the world. For the festive season, they’re offering two beautifully packaged gift sets, as well as individual boxes.

True Blue

Harvested on the banks of the Nile River, the camomile used in this tea share the same heritage as the flowers used in ancient Egypt. Known for its soothing and calming properties, it’s the perfect, non-caffeinated bedtime drink.


Cherry Bomb

For lovers of floral teas, the Kyoto Cherry Rose 131 evokes the famous cherry blossom festival in Japan, where people gather to admire the blooming sakura trees. This green tea is blended with rose petals for a refreshing springtime taste.


Enter the Dragon

There’s jasmine, and then there’s Jasmine Gold Dragon, an ultra-premium centuries-old jasmine tea blended with midnight blossom jasmine petals for a sweet and uplifting brew.


Evening All

Calm down and unwind after a busy day with a tea from the Evening at the Tea Garden set. Inside you’ll find Jasmine Gold Dragon, Turmeric Ginger Peach and Cascade Peppermint teas, specially selected to soothe, nourish and calm.

$450 (regular price $500)



This exquisitely presented gift set contains three of METZ Luxury Tea’s most popular blends: Kyoto Cherry Rose, Earl Grey and Blue NIle Camomile.

$450 (regular price $500)

Christmas Guide 30

SpiceBox Organics

So much more than a health food store, SpiceBox Organics offers a ton of lovely homewares and lifestyle products that make thoughtful gifts for the wellness warrior in your life.

Get Carded

Hamper Time

SpiceBox Organics is known for their incredible custom holiday gift baskets! Just tell them your budget and the kind of products you want included, and they will do the rest. Not sure what you want? Check out their pre-made hampers, themed around gluten-free, zero-waste and more!

Prices start at $300

Give the gift of health this holiday with a SpiceBox Organics gift card. With more than 1,000 products to choose from and an extensive plant-based café menu, this gift card is redeemable at any of its three locations - Mid Levels, Kennedy Town and Tseung Kwan O - or online at From $100 up

Our Top Wick

Exclusive to SpiceBox Organics, Kobo Candles are made from pure soy wax. Consciously designed, their raw materials lovingly sourced from trusted partners. With truly unique scents, these candles will brighten any home.

Prices start at $300

Dish it Out

Hosting a holiday party, or need to bring a dish to one? SpiceBox Organics offers plant-based dishes and canapés that are not only festive, but delicious and healthy! Having catered many events, their services are a must-try, particularly if you’re catering to dietary needs. Try their Tempeh “Meat” Balls, Mini Savory Mushroom Quiche, and Mixed Nuts & Date Squares.

Platters start at $150

137 Caine Road, Shop 1, Golden Valley Mansion, Mid Levels, Hong Kong | 2559 9887

39–45 Hau Wo Street, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong | 2191 0886

Cottoning On

Level up your towel game with these lovely waffle towel sets by Inka. This eco brand works with skilled Indian artisans to produce the gorgeous hand-printed designs. Prices start at $140

Shop G10, G/F, Capri Place, 33 Tong Yin Street, Tseung Kwan O, Hong Kong | 3485 8393 | IG / FB @spiceboxorganics

Christmas Guide 31

Treet Yourself

How cute is this miniature pine tree? Suitable for a desk, table or countertop, this adorable evergreen is ideal for Hong Kong homes. Comes with 20 decorations.


Indigo Living

One of Hong Kong’s best homeware brands, Indigo Living is a one-stop shop for gorgeous gift ideas.

One Gold Ring

Bling up your door with this luxurious gold-flecked wreath bursting with berries and pinecones.


Think Pink

This delightful floral arrangement makes for a striking centrepiece that works well with pretty much any decor. The floral stems are hand set with acrylic water in a classic wide cylindrical vase for an ultra realistic forever bouquet.


Check Mate

This chess set has a transparent chess board, which allows you to appreciate the table it sits on. Perfect for a seasoned player, or as a bold accent piece.


A Hearty Meal

This copper serving set is perfect for entertaining guests; the heart-shaped serving bowls are perfect for dips and sauces.


Christmas Guide 32

Homestyle Athena

A dinnerware supplier to some of Hong Kong’s best hotels, Homestyle Athena has recently launched a retail arm that allows customers to shop for their gorgeous products! Here are some of our top picks for your Christmas table.

Plate Up

This gorgeous plate is perfect for presenting your signature dishes; with its transparent top layer and metallic underside, it gives a festive flair to your Christmas table.

$98 Christmas special price ($140 regular. Four colours available)

Red Red Wine

Made of Italian lead-free crystal glass, this two-piece set is shaped to amplify the flavours of the wine you’re drinking for a better tasting experience. They’re light but strong and very durable.

$278 Christmas special price ($396 regular)

In the Clink

Italian-made whisky glasses is a perfect gift for anyone who enjoys a tipple. Made of lead-free crystal glass, this durable drinkware has a classic diamond-faceted cut for a timeless look.

$166 Christmas special price ($236 regular)

Time to Recoupe

Designed in Singapore, this elegant coupe plate comes in four colour options, and gives a rustic, homey feel to your table.

$88 Christmas special price ($125 regular)

Gold Standard

This five-piece cutlery set is made of stainless steel and finished in vintage Champagne gold for an elegant festive look.

$245 Christmas special price ($350 regular)

Plus: Get 30% off all items when shopping in-store from December 12 to January 8.
Christmas Guide 33

THE FLO Wellness Garden

A one-stop shop for the wellness warriors in your life, THE FLO is a sanctuary of wellbeing, with a carefully curated selection of gifts and lifestyle items hand-selected to enhance your wellbeing. Here are a few of our favourite gift recommendations.

Clip On

Mask breath is a thing of the past with these clip-on aroma diffusers. For the holidays, pick a gingerbread man, snowflake or reindeer design for additional festive cheer. It also makes a cute lapel pin if you’re going maskless overseas. Buy on its own, or as part of a gift set that includes an aroma oil, spare magnet and aroma stone.


Down to a Tea

The Winter Tea Delights gift set comes with six festive blend tea bags, plus an adorable tea bag holder - pick from a gingerbread man, snowman or angel for the ultimate festive vibe.

Wellness to Order

Get a fresh stash of wellness goodies every month with THE FLO Wellness box! Available as a monthly subscription, each box contains seven to eight sustainable and thoughtful wellness products, worth up to $1,000. Plans start at $400, including spiritual services.

This Rocks

If you’ve always wanted to learn more about crystals, this delightful advent calendar reveals a different one every day, together with an information card on their respective properties. $400

Christmas Guide 34
$198 G/F, 6 On Wo Lane, Central FB/IG: @theflowellness Get an extra 10% off with the code ‘LIVXMAS22’.

Jan’s Aesthetics of Nature

Harnessing the power of aromatherapy, this natural, locally-made skincare brand ticks all our botanical boxes.

Spray it with Scents

This water-based hydrosol face mist is perfect for popping in your bag to calm reactive skin conditions. It contains distilled champaca, a botanical that soothes irritation, redness, allergies and acne. Pair with a candle for a perfect festive gift.


Massage in a Bottle

Pamper the one you rub with this indulgent massage oil that contains sandalwood, mandarin and ginger to boost circulation, ease muscle aches and improve digestion. It also has anti-inflammatory, scar-lightening and acneimproving properties. Gift set comes with a soy candle. $380

Soy Gorgeous

These limited-edition tin candles are made with a mix of floral wax and soy wax for a healthy home environment. Using Jan’s signature aroma blend featured with champaca, it smells intensely floral, with a musky undertone to add complexity, while the bright pattern lifts your mood. $250 (large) or $120 (small)

Moist Wanted

Tackle the harsh winter weather with this intense serum designed to help you retain moisture. It’s great for dry skin but is suitable for anyone when the humidity drops. It plumps the skin, improves elasticity and reduces the appearance of fine lines. GIft set includes a soy wax candle.


Christmas Guide 35

Tea Appreciation A New Generation of

To celebrate this festive season, we are serving a seasonal Christmas Gift Set ($280) with four unique and signature tea-blends, including Christmas Peppermint, Royal Cinnamon, Rooibos Latte and Lychee Rose with a special package.

Christmas Peppermint

Here is a seasonal product blended by scented green tea with flowery fragrance and mint with refreshing taste which is different from the traditional version. Besides the taste, mint benefits our health to help relieve headache and improve brain function.

Royal Cinnamon

As a signature condiment of Christmas, Cinnamon with mild spicy taste is perfectly mingled with citrusy Earl Grey tea to keep us warm during the Christmas holiday and cool winter.


To celebrate the festive season, Chinese Tea Gallery will be giving away thre Christmas box sets. To enter, simply scan the QR code and sign up for our mailing list between December 1 and December 18. The winners will be announced on Instagram on December 19, and contacted directly.

Rooibos Latte

A special house-blended Tea with latte coffee flavor is a delightful pairing that could be discovered from our gift box! The nutty flavor will come with every sip of the tea splendidly.

Lychee Rose

The combination of flowery aromatic French Rose and fruity Lychee Black Tea gives an extraordinarily pleasant and mellow taste with a grammable appearance to soothe your senses.

Sponsored Feature
Add: Rm A, 6/F, Yam Hop Hing Ind. Bldg., 40-44 Kwai Wing Road, Kwai Chung, HK
Tel: 28162659 / 51674647

Glow Salon & Spa

A one-stop pampering shop, Glow offers a products, treatments and gift cards galore, making it one of our favourite shopping destinations for festive gifts.

Pamper Palace

Looking for the ultimate pampering gift? Blow your budget on this amazing gift set that includes a free Skeyndor Power Hyaluronic Facial valued at $1,080! This set includes a GHD iron, a four-piece hair care set from Living Proof, plus products galore from Environ, Davines and Nutraluxe MD. $4,805

Curl Girl

Anyone with curly hair knows that it can be a challenge to look after in Hong Kong’s heat and humidity. This Davines gift set contains everything you need for perfect curly tresses

37 WLA


Holiday Kombucha Kocktail

This Christmas-themed cocktail is courtesy of the creative geniuses over at local kombucha brand Taboocha ( They’ve paired one of their seasonal flavours, Banana Cinnamon Black Tea, with spirits and spices for a luxurious holiday tipple that’s gut-friendly to boot!

You can purchase 750ml bottles of the exclusive Christmas flavour ($180) or a set of two bottles ($350) online, with a $10 donation made to Sai Kung Stray Friends for each bottle sold.

Makes one serving


• 30ml rum (either white or dark works, but dark offers a richer, more complex flavour)

• 120-150ml Taboocha’s Banana Cinnamon Black Tea kombucha

• lemon zest or an orange peel strip

• 1 dash Angostura bitters


1. Fill a glass of your preference with 1-3 ice cubes (big cubes are better).

2. Add the rum, kombucha and lemon zest, and stir gently. If using the orange peel, twist it over the drink first to express the oil, then tuck the peel into the glass.

3. Drink and be merry!

38 Food


All you need to know about infrared saunas in Hong Kong. By Nicole Slater

Many of us are familiar with a traditional sauna experience, which uses dry heat and hot coals to draw out impurities in the skin. But have you ever heard of an infrared sauna? They’ve steadily risen in popularity over the last few years, and much to our delight, are now popping up in spas and health centres across the city. Here’s what you need to know about infrared saunas, and where to sweat it out in Hong Kong.

How do they differ from traditional saunas?

By employing infrared lights, infrared saunas are said to generate as much as seven times more sweat out of the human than conventional saunas. Talk about a hot commodity! Instead of warming the air around the room, they warm the body directly, increasing the body’s core temperature and stimulating its sweat glands faster. This allows users to sweat more intensely at a lower temperature, making it more manageable for anyone sensitive to heat.

What benefits do they offer?

Similar to traditional saunas, infrared saunas offer a wide range of potential benefits linked to detoxification, including improved sleep, weight loss, and improved circulation. Some users have also reported that they’ve experienced some relief from arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and certain skin conditions. As the infrared lights heat the body more intensively, they tend to help improve joint and muscle pain, and may encourage collagen production (the key to smoother, healthier skin.)

THE GLOW UP News from the beauty aisle
40 Pamper



Known for its professional spray-tanning services, California Beach Club also offers wellness and spa services. The Detox/Hydration SpaCapsule: RedFusion treatment works similarly to an infrared sauna, where users step inside a specially designed SpaCapsule using infrared lights. The treatment comes in three unique packages depending on the desired result: an Anti-Ageing Programme, a WeightLoss Programme, and a Pre-Tan Programme.

3/F, Unit B, Jade Centre, 98 Wellington St., Central,


From hair removal to tailored skin treatments, The Skin Gym is a one-stop shop for self-improvement. It also offers various packages for their infrared sauna, ranging from 10 to 30 sessions, with a unique trial price of just $200. After each session, clients are encouraged to take the treatment one step further with an ice-cold private shower allocated to each sauna. The Skin Gym also offers free infrared sauna treatments for cancer patients.

The Centrium, 21/F, Room 6, 60 Wyndham St.,



Offering a more tailored experience, LifeHub’s individual infrared sauna chambers come with a choice of music to create an immersive sensory experience. The health centre offers two types of infrared sessions; a 25-minute Express Detox for those on-the-go and a more relaxed 45-minute Full Rejuvenation session to cleanse the body. Sessions are available as an individual visit or as part of an unlimited monthly pass.

2-3/F, The Loop, 33 Wellington St., Central,

We’ve long celebrated this Balinese-inspired day spa, Sense of Touch. During the hectic holiday weeks, we make a point to drop in for some R&R. The spa offers three unique infrared sauna packages depending on time and intensity. Choose from the Express 25-minute; 45-minute Regeneration; or a 50-minute Detox & Rejuvenate. You can also choose to opt for an unlimited 30-day pass. First time users can also enjoy 50 percent off their first Detox & Rejuvenate session.

1-5/F, 52 D’Aguilar St., Central,

41 Pamper


Where to buy the cutest and quirkiest Christmas decorations in town.

By Nicole Slater

Make your home as unique as you are this festive season with these fun and stylish holiday decorations.


Gingerbread Santa Sack

As one of Hong Kong’s go-to stores for chic homewares, Indigo Living’s holiday collection is something to look forward to each year. Leave the stockings in their box, as this season is all about the sack – a Gingerbread Santa Sack ($559), to be precise. Fill this generous receptacle with presents and pop it under the tree for a real surprise on Christmas morning.


Yoga Santa Wreath

Keep wellness at the forefront of your holiday decor this year with a festively flexible Yoga Santa ($140) practising a little dynamic flow. Choose from various yoga postures, including Half-Moon, Downward Dog, and the holiday-appropriate Tree Pose. Perfect for any yogis on your shopping list.


Jug Wish Tree & Fox: $740

Eggnog and rum, spiced punch, mulled wine –everything tastes better when served from a festive vessel! We like the small details (like a tiny hidden Christmas tree) in this handblown glass pitcher ($740), but we doubly appreciate the borosilicate glass it’s made with for increased durability.

2 3 2
42 Home


Baby Yoda Ornament

Home to a wide range of luxury homeware brands, Lane Crawford has something for everyone’s unique tastes – and that officially extends to Star Wars fans. So snap up this adorable Baby Yoda ornament by Lenox Grogu ($280) for a cute, contemporary bauble. The festive force is strong with this one!

LION ROCK PRESS Steaming Christmas Pudding

Premium stationery and gift purveyor Lion Rock Press is known for its quirky east-meets-west designs and Hong Kong-themed goodies. The brand has released two new Hong Kong-inspired tree decorations, including this appetite-inducing Christmas Pudding ($120). Nestled in a classic dim sum basket, this pudding deserves pride of place on your tree.

STITCH SISTER Candy Cane Hoop Kit

Hong Kong-owned embroidery brand Stitch Sister’s Candy Cane Hoop Kit ($250) is the perfect personalised decoration to hang in your house – or make and gift to your loved ones! The limited edition festive hoop kit includes all the fabric and tools needed to make two hoops, along with a step-by-step style guide, so all you need to do is get sewing!

4 5 6 4 5 6 43 Home



A vet tells us how to keep our furry friends safe over the holiday period.

Did you know that veterinary clinics see a spike in admissions over the holiday season? We speak to Dr Katherine Simpson, Emergency Veterinarian at VSH (Veterinary Specialty Hospital) about how to keep your furry pals safe during this jolly (yet surprisingly treacherous!) time of year.


From mince pies to chocolates, a lot of festive fare is dangerous for our furry friends. “Fortunately, most people know about the danger of chocolate for dogs and cats,” says Dr. Simpson. “the toxic ingredient is a stimulant known as theobromine, which is more present in dark chocolate.”

If your pet does accidentally eat some chocolate, Simpson suggests calling a vet immediately, so they can quickly assess if any further intervention is required. If you know exactly how much your pet has eaten, you can also find chocolate toxicity calculators online that can roughly help to assess your pet’s risk, using the animal's

weight, the amount of chocolate eaten and the type of chocolate as a guide.

Other dangerous foods include raisins and grapesthink mince pies and Christmas puddings. “My advice is to keep these foods high up out of reach of any animals, or in a cupboard. Dogs in particular may find a box of chocolates under the tree or in a bag on the floor, and get into them that way.”

Onions and garlic are a lesser-known toxin, but one worth remembering during the festive season. “It’s very tempting to give your pet a special treat such as a piece of stuffing, or pour some Christmas gravy on their kibble. But make sure that they don’t contain large chunks of onion, or you may risk a sick pet,” Dr. Simpson adds.

The alcohol may be flowing, but make sure it stays out of reach. “Animals are much smaller than us, so a safe amount of alcohol for a human could be disastrous for a three- or four-kilo cat,” says Dr. Simpson. “If alcohol gets spilled on the floor - particularly spirits, make sure to clean it up immediately if there are pets around.”

with Sarah Fung
44 Pets
Dr Katherine Simpson


• Blue cheese, xylitol and macadamia nuts are all toxic to animals.

• Turkey bones can splinter just like chicken bones. Make sure your pets can’t open your rubbish bin when you’re not looking!

• Very rich or fatty food can lead to upset stomachs or, in extreme cases, pancreatitis. Keep in mind

that your pet is a lot smaller than you, and it won’t take as much for them to get sick from rich food.

• The same goes for salty food such as gravy. Again, our pets weigh less than us, so they’re unable to tolerate the same quantity of salt as us. A safe amount for a human could be dangerous for a small dog or cat.


When in doubt, ring your vet or VSH immediately. Located on both sides of the harbour, VSH is open 24/7 for emergencies. Most vets will not charge for an informal advice call.


• Salt dough ornaments are popular DIY decorations, but they can be lethal if ingested due to the high salt content.

• Batteries are usually everywhere at Christmas, particularly if you have children. But battery acid is corrosive and can be very nasty if swallowed. Keep all batteries safely out of your pets’ reach.

• Snowglobes often contain antifreeze; if you smash one, make sure to clean it up before a pet is tempted to lap it up.


Another common danger for pets is Christmas decorations. “Petsparticularly cats and puppies - love playing with shiny tinsel. But they also tend to swallow it, which can cause nasty intestinal blockages requiring surgery,” says Dr. Simpson. “Glass baubles can also be dangerous, leading to cut mouths and paws. Display them high up and out of reach, or don’t put them up at all.”

Your Christmas tree is also a potential source of danger for your pets. “Pine needles can be sharp, leading to stomach upsets if swallowed. If they’re very sharp, they could even lead to gut perforations. Best to keep puppies and cats out of the room, or put up an artificial tree instead,” Dr. Simpson advises.

In terms of festive plants, poinsettia, holly and mistletoe are also known to be mildly toxic. “Lilies are also known to be dangerous for cats - even brushing past the pollen can be unsafe. If you own a cat, I would advise never having lilies in the house,” she adds.

• Supervise your pets carefully if they’re ripping up wrapping paper. It’s fun, but if they swallow too much it can cause an intestinal blockage.

45 Pets
Sarah Fung is the publisher of Liv Magazine. A recent pet-owner, she's on a mission to learn all she can about caring for animals in Hong Kong. Email her with your pet news at


I choose to make peace with what today has come to teach me.

46 Back Page
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