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

Global Gastronomy

Restaurants inspired by world cities

Hit The Deck

Sailing the Hong Kong seas

Green House Effect

Eco-friendly hacks for your home

High Hopes

Make 2021 The Year of Positivity! WIN: a rose quartz beauty kit and a $2,000 grocery voucher on page 13!

New Year’s Resolutions: Online Training Programmes, All Levels Your Personal Strength Coach Education, Not Just Instructions



JANUARY-FEBRUARY 05 Editor’s Letter



26 Recipe

06 Wishlist

Lovely things we want right now

08 Hot Right Now

New happenings on the wellness scene

10 Fresh Cuts

Travel for your tastebuds at destination-themed restaurants

12 Reviews

A nutrition-focused camper van retreat on Lantau

Fallen olive oil dark chocolate cake

28 Pamper

Face priming tips from a makeup pro

30 Home

Sustainable changes for a greener home

32 Family

Explore the great outdoors with family-friendly campsites


LIV | STORIES 16 Optimism Prime

With 2020 done and dusted, here's how to stay positive in 2021

22 Wind Powered

Learning the ropes on a Hong Kong sailboat 10 32






ell. We made it. We have officially put 2020 behind us. (Insert sad noisemaker sound effect, played to exactly one other person permitted in close proximity.) While we’re starting off this year in sadly similar fashion to where we were at the start of the year, when Hong Kong was in its first pandemic throes, there’s so much to look forward to in the coming year! From vaccines to vaccines, and vaccines to vaccines… OK, so there’s one BIG thing to look forward to. But it’s a good one, and it certainly does feel like we’re on the precipice of possibly catching a glimpse of what appears to perhaps be a light at the end of the tunnel. Hooray! With or without vaccines, the start of a new year usually coincides with a little extra optimism, as we all look ahead and dream about what we’ll accomplish in the next twelve months. That’s why we’re going all in on keeping that New Year’s mindset going, with our cover story on fostering positivity and maintaining a healthy headspace throughout 2021 (and beyond!). Read more on p.16. Land, ho! One very cool thing I got to cross off my bucket list in 2020 was learning how to sail - or learning why I wanted to learn how to sail, since I’m still pretty terrible at it. Find out why I now believe that everyone should try their hand at sailing in Hong Kong at least once on p.22. We’ve also found some Insta-worthy destination-themed restaurants to try if you’re craving travel on p.10, pro tips on skin priming on p.28, and a decadent fallen olive oil dark chocolate cake *drool noise* on p.26. It’s been a real pleasure serving as editor to you fine, health-conscious readers of ours for yet another year. Happy New Year!


Zoe Belhomme checks out the city’s best kid-friendly campsites on p.32.

Kate Springer is homeward bound with a new homeinspired column on p.30.

Cherry Lee rounds up the best exotic restaurants to transport you abroad (without a quarantine) on p.10.

Sarah Highfield talks to local wellness experts about strategies to stay positive on p.16.


Model: Sarah Highfield Photo: yogaandphoto.com Outfit: Manduka




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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 MANAGER TERRY HU 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


Trying to eat more greens in 2021? Give yourself a reminder by lighting up this plant-based wax candle, with notes of supergreen foods like kale, spinach, green tea and spearmint. And it’s locally made in Sai Kung! $280 from becandle.com.hk


Get your creative juices flowing with this pretty painting set! It comes with everything you’ll need to paint on the go, including a sketchbook, mini pastel pots, brush, black fineliner and ceramic dish, so you don’t make (too much of) a mess. $250 from 513paintshop.com 6


Pandemic precautions... but make it fashion. These sparkly crystal covers slip easily over a standard surgical mask, so you can razzle dazzle while staying socially responsible. $150 from oneofakindhk.com


What does Brad Pitt know about making wine? Apparently quite a lot, as this new sparkling rose from his champagne brand, Fleur de Miraval, recently earned top marks from a world’s leading sommelier. $3,500 from Altaya Wines

Retail Therapy


This fermented face mist from Drunk Elephant uses a bacteria-rich cocktail of sake, hops and kombucha to keep your skin’s microbiome in check while building a barrier against harsh winter weather. $330 from Sephora


If you’re looking for something a bit funkier than standard fairy lights, try stringing up these mini red lamps, which make any space feel like a scene from an old Wong Kar-wai flick. $228 from GOD


Warm up then mellow out with a CBD-infused hot chocolate kit, which comes with two types of cannabidiol chocolate stirrers, raw cacao powder and gluten-free gingerbread cookies for all your dunkin’ desires. $480 from found.hk


Get a load of these swirly-twirly baking dishes from enamelware brand BORNN. Each one develops its own unique design depending on where it’s placed in the kiln, giving each tray a one-of-a-kind colour pop. $330 from garian.hk


Cool Stuff

HOT RIGHT NOW With Jo Robinson


In an effort to make recycling as exciting as a visit to the Apple store, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has launched some ultra-modern recycling centres around town which are just starting to open their doors to the public. Rebranding as 6green, the sleek, multipurpose recycling network of 22 centres comes with no-fuss bins for all your recyclables, including batteries, lamps and small electrical appliances. The centres are also equipped to hold exhibitions, seminars and workshops on environmental education. Best of all, the EPD has launched a “Green Points” rewards programme, giving recyclers a way to earn points on a smart card that can be exchanged for gift redemptions - a much-needed incentive to get Hongkongers recycling! If you’re not located close to one of the 22 centres, fear not: the EPD has also launched over 100 pop-up recycling points in residential areas. Check out the website for more info on where and when to find them. 6green.hk


Looking for a new way to escape the city hustle? Sheraton Hotels have just launched a Lantau Landscape Escape staycation package to celebrate the opening of their Tung Chung location, with some awesome goodies included for anyone looking to explore the nearby trails. For $1,500 per night (plus 10 percent service), you get accommodation and breakfast, plus they’ll send you on your happy way with a healthy lunch box and hiking pack, including sports drink, towel, trail map and knapsack. Make a weekend out of it and finally smash out all those Lantau hikes you’ve been meaning to tick off! 9 Yi Tung Rd., Tung Chung, Lantau Island, sheratonhongkongtungchung.com


Cool Stuff

GOING UP Vaccine Hopes


Love to see a local business expanding its empire! Beloved Hong Kong cafe chain, Classified, is getting into the baked goods game with their very own bakery, Rise by Classified. The new sister brand serves up pastries hot and fresh out the kitchen, perfecting classics like butter croissants, as well as daily specials made with seasonal ingredients. There’s also more substantial plates to fill up on, like eggs benedict on sourdough, and some nice healthy take-home products, like PÜRA VÏDA granola and Alive Food vegan cheese. Our new fave spot for a power lunch or cheeky pain au chocolat! Exchange Square Podium, Shop 313, 3/F, 8 Connaught Place, Central, risebyclassified.com


If your New Year’s resolutions include reading more, you’ll be pleased to know there’s now a super easy way to buy books online while still supporting local business. Bookazine has launched an online platform, meaning you can order from their long list of titles with most deliveries arriving to you within a week of purchase. One of the last remaining English-language chains in Hong Kong, the bookshop has been a fixture of the city’s bibliophiles since it opened in 1985, but has struggled amidst the economic slowdown, like most local businesses. This pivot to e-commerce might be overdue, but we’re happy to support a homegrown brand as opposed to giving Amazon any more of our hard-earned dollars! In addition to books, you can also browse the online shop, which carries other small local brands like Lion Rock Press and Liz Fry Design.

Yay for science! Could our COVID nightmare be over soon? Fingers crossed.

Community Recycling Government-led recycling schemes like 6green (see opposite) are making it easier than ever to be planet-positive. We stan!

CNY Distancing


How are we meant to collect our laisee if we’re not allowed to socialise?

New Year’s Resolutions Forget diets and unattainable goals. With the year we’ve had, our resolution is to be good to ourselves.

bookazine.com.hk 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 jo@liv.media




Travel might still be off the table as we head into 2021, but you can still dine like you’re abroad! The exotic decor and menus at these destination-themed restaurants will transport you around the world without ever leaving Hong Kong. By Cherry Lee


BILLOW BAR SEAFOOD BISTRO Open, airy and lined by palm trees, Billow Bistro has the easy, breezy feel of a Los Angeles patio. This modern and spacious restaurant serves up a wide variety of western cuisine, but it’s their seafood dishes, like fresh lobster tail with crab meat and tomato lemon salsa, or Argentine red prawns in green mango Thai salad, that are the must-trys. Worth a stop if you’re in the New Territories and looking for a relaxed yet chic place to wet your whistle for an afternoon. Lake Egret Nature Park, No.2 Hung Lam Drive, Tai Po Kau, 2657-6628, billowbarseafoodbistro.com


CÔ THÀNH Missing Vietnam and some real authentic pho? Sitting just between Sheung Wan and Soho, this casual eatery will make you feel like you’re sitting in a hole-in-the-wall culinary gem in Hanoi. Make sure to check out the chicken pho, with fresh broth made from scratch and flat rice noodles imported from Vietnam. For a slightly lighter option, try the cold noodle salad with lemongrass roasted chicken. G/F, 2-4 Kau U Fong, Central, cothanhrestaurant.com


BEHUMBLE Love to lounge? Head to this bohemian Turkish lounge in Kowloon, where guests get comfy in a sea of intricately adorned floor cushions before kicking back with shisha and tea. Everything here is designed and decorated in traditional Turkish style, from the tableware to the absolutely stunning stained glass windows. Try the BeHumble salad, a house specialty with crispy fried avocado slices, and their signature peach cocktail with a light milk foam. 18/F, Mongkok Metro, 594-596 Nathan Rd., Mong Kok, 5348-141, IG:@Behumblehk 10


FRESH CUTS Dining news that’s good for you


SAMSEN Sawadika! Inspired by the street food of Bangkok, Samsen’s bold flavours have won popular approval from hungry diners since they first opened in Wan Chai, followed by a second branch in Sheung Wan. Using ingredients imported daily from Thailand, you’ll get authentic hearty dishes like beef boat noodles or pad thai, as well as lighter bites like spicy chopped duck and Thai herb salad. 68 Stone Nullah Lane, Wan Chai, 2234-0001, samsen-hk.com

TEMPLE FOOD-INSPIRED AFTERNOON TEA SET If you read our article about Korean temple food and felt tempted to try it out, check out Soil to Soul for their new plantbased tea set! This new late afternoon menu is packed with yummy Korean-style vegan treats, like chili paste pancake rolls, seaweed rice rolls and traditional Korean donuts. Not only are the sweets and savouries on point, the afternoon sets are limited to ten per day, keeping food waste to an absolute minimum. Reservations recommended, available from 3:30-6pm daily for $498 for two, plus 10% service. 704, 7/F, K11 MUSEA, Tsim Sha Tsui East, 2389-9588, soiltosoulhk.com



SHAHRAZAD LEBANESE DINING LOUNGE & BAR Named after a famed storyteller who went on to become a queen, this restaurant serves authentic Lebanese food from its prime location overlooking Wyndham Street. The dining room is decorated in jewel tones and traditional handicrafts, with a menu of delicious Middle Eastern culinary specialities. Try the chef’s special, Chicken Ala Tork, a hearty half-chicken stuffed with rice and nuts, and served with sautéed vegetables and herb sauce. 2/F, Carfield Commercial Building, 77 Wyndham St., Central, 2330-0242, shahrazad-hk.com

Looking for something healthier than sausage rolls to nosh on for your next batch of holidays? We’re currently craving Eat Better Kitchen, a nutritious snack brand inspired by traditional Chinese comfort food, produced right here in Hong Kong. We love their line of gourmet nuts and dried fruits, like Sichuan coconut chips, black truffle macadamias and maple cinnamon pecans - all great sources of healthy fats and fibres. You can learn more about their healthy snack line and place orders on their website. hkeatbetter.com 11


TEST-DRIVE Liv checks out the newest workouts and wellness trends


day on our private camper terrace, before we’re served a special porridge-like breakfast, a signature recipe that contains no less than 80 (yes, really!) ingredients. We join everyone in the garden to learn more about organic farming, before harvesting bits to make our own all-natural pesto (with passionfruit leaves) and jam (with roselle). After lunch, we’re treated to a sunset meditation on nearby Pui O beach, followed by a kimchi-themed dinner. On our final morning, we kick off with a challenging yet satisfying Yogalates class, before we sit down to our final enzyme drink of the retreat and a light breakfast.

Enzyme Nutrition Retreat with Natural Plus The Buzz: Local retreats are big business these days, thanks to travel restrictions that have made it impossible for Hongkongers to visit retreat meccas like Bali or Thailand. Instead, the city’s wellness-seekers have been settling for homegrown retreats, in districts like Sai Kung, New Territories or the outlying islands, to get their staycation fix. We checked out a new offering, an enzyme nutrition retreat with organic food producer Natural Plus, in Lo Wai Village on Lantau. The Retreat: We arrive at 4pm, and check into our glamping accommodation, a camper van with hot shower, aircon, barbecue and WiFi. The glampgrounds are actually located behind a gardening centre, so the site is generously adorned with fresh flowers everywhere you look - quite a nice touch! The first evening, we meet the rest of the retreaters, do an ice-breaking exercise, and learn more about the low-calorie, enzyme-packed diet we’ll be following for the next 48 hours, which is specially designed by the in-house nutritionist to rejuvenate the mind and body. We learn that every meal will be preceded by an enzyme drink, allowing time for our stomachs to get primed for optimal digestion and absorption! The next day, we receive our first enzyme drink of the 12

The Verdict: A very worthy alternative for anyone feeling starved for a staycation! We absolutely loved the rural setting, with majestic Lantau mountainside greeting us every morning as we awoke to birdsong and sunshine. The camper vans were comfortable (although we recommend springing for the larger size, as they do run small), and even though the low-calorie diet was minimalistic, the meals were all delicious, nutritious and always enough to fill us up and stave off hunger. We left feeling rejuvenated, and with our gut health in far better shape than before we arrived! Cost: $5,998 per head for a two-night stay (double occupancy: 50 percent discount for the second guest) 11A, Lo Wai Village, Pui O, Lantau Island. For reservation and enquiry contact 9708-2233, or visit naturalplus.com.hk.

What are enzymes? Enzymes are proteins that speed up chemical reactions in the body, aiding in breaking down nutrients and eliminating toxins from the body. They’re made naturally in the stomach and pancreas, but you can also eat enyzyme-rich foods to help boost your digestive process .

GIVEAWAYS Visit liv-magazine.com/giveaways for a chance to win!

Free stuff!

WIN: a Rose Quartz Antioxidant Discovery Kit from KNESKO! Calm, soothe and protect your skin with KNESKO’s Rose Quartz Antioxidant Discovery Kit. Known as the stone of universal love, rose quartz opens your heart to greater self-love and deeper compassion. Each discovery kit contains a collagen face mask, eye mask and rose quartz gemstone roller, all inside a limitededition cosmetic bag. The set is worth $1,154 and we have one up for grabs.

WIN: a $2,000 voucher for Eat the Kiwi! Want to upgrade the contents of your fridge this new year? Eat The Kiwi sources the finest foods directly from producers in New Zealand and delivers it straight to your door. Both fresh and packaged foods are on offer, including meats, fruits and veg, yoghurt, cheese, snacks and more. Courtesy of Eat the Kiwi, we have a $2,000 voucher for one lucky reader up for grabs that will allow you to discover their impressive range for yourself!

Enter at liv-magazine.com/giveaways before February 26 to win! 13

S pons ored Fea ture




he New Year is here, and there’s no better time to set an intention, prioritise self-care and take that first step on your wellness journey. Asia Miles has collaborated with their partners to reward you with Miles for every healthy choice you make. Discover just a few of our favourite ideas to motivate you to be a better self this new year:

Fitness First* After all that festive indulgence, who’s ready to kick-start their fitness programme? Personal trainers in Fitness First are ready to get you in shape. Earn up to 1,000 when booking personal training sessions or spa treatments.

Fivelements Habitat* An urban escape for holistic wellbeing, Fivelements Habitat is a space for yoga, wellness and sacred arts. Earn up to 1,000 when you treat yourself to a spa treatment, or meditate with private wellness classes.

INVIS Cycling Get out and enjoy Hong Kong’s magnificent natural scenery by hopping on a bike with INVIS Cycling. Learn to cycle with INVIS and get 100 for every open or private coaching class. *Temporary closure un accordance to tightened social distancing measure. Reopen is subject to review by The Government of the HKSAR

BETTER BODY Stay healthy and boost your immune system by starting healthy habits now! Set your intention for the new year by signing up for fitness classes to nourish your body and soul.

S po nso re d Fea ture

BETTER MIND It’s vital to cultivate a sense of resilience and positivity to get you through difficult times. Finding joy in simplicity, reducing time spent online and pursuing a sense of mindfulness can help to boost our mental wellbeing.

Store Friendly Self Storage Group A neat and orderly home can significantly boost your sense of wellbeing and the new year is the perfect time to sort out your possessions. With convenient locations citywide and walletfriendly pricing, earn 1 on every HKD2 spent when storing items for six months or longer.

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Book Depository Hands up if you’re guilty of spending too much time scrolling through your cell phone! If you’re anything like us, it’s time to put down your phone and pick up a book to nourish your soul. Earn 2.5 on every USD1 spent at bookdepository.com through shop.asiamiles.com.

Ato Hair Club Leave last year’s energy behind on the salon floor at Ato Hair Club, where you can refresh your style and earn 1 on every HKD5 spent when you spend HKD1,500 on salon services.

BETTER DIET If you’re working out for physical health, why not improve your eating habits too, with healthy ingredients and cookware from Asia Miles’ partners.



With thousands of niche wellness products, supplements and more, iHerb is a one-stop shop for health enthusiasts. Earn 2.5 on every USD1 spent on iHerb Hong Kong on shop.asiamiles.com.

Upgrade your kitchen when you shop with Miles on lifestyle.asiamiles.com for premium branded appliances and kitchen accessories. récolte’s candy-coloured appliances that will brighten up your worktop.

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For optimum health, we must look at body, mind and diet as a whole. Get more Better Me inspirations here:

Cover Story

How To Embrace Positivity in 2021 Do yourself a favour this year and skip the unrealistic resolutions. Instead, try making small changes to foster more positivity in your day-to-day life. By Sarah Highfield


recent 2020 Hong Kong COVID-19 Health Information Survey showed that stress levels among Hongkongers have increased by 28.3 percent, while anxiety levels have grown by 42.3 percent, compared to 2016 and 2017. This seems to point to the inevitable conclusion that it has been hard to stay positive in recent times - which hardly comes as a surprise to anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock!


Cover Story

It can be easy to dwell on everything that went wrong in 2020 and feel nervous, anxious, or just plain negative about what 2021 will bring. But a new year is also the best time to turn over a new leaf and try something new. This year, instead of making resolutions that probably won’t stick, and might not serve you anyway (who cares if you drop a dress size!), try a little positivity! Commit to making small changes that help to keep you in a healthy headspace - no matter what life throws at you this year.

ACCEPT YO’SELF How well do you know yourself? It might not seem immediately obvious why that matters when we talk about positivity, but it turns out there’s a very important link between the two. A 2014 study by University of Hertfordshire found that of several “happy habits” - which included things like “giving” and “relating” - the one most strongly linked to life satisfaction was “self-acceptance”. The kicker? It’s also the habit that people tend to practice the least! Researchers theorised that people will prioritise doing things for others (such as helping others or investing in relationships) in order to feel happier, but neglect their own needs.

Mac Ling Mac Ling is a transformational coach and the founder of Coaching Collective, an executive coaching firm based in Hong Kong. He also heads up a local men’s group, Evryman, focused on helping men with their emotional fitness. Ling works with his clients to help establish “radical authenticity,” a cognitive practice dedicated to knowing then accepting yourself entirely - the good, the bad, the ugly, even the super weird stuff! Once someone has done the work of selfacceptance, Ling says, they’re more able to share with the world and feel fulfilled and accomplished in return. This lines up with what researchers have also found, suggesting that if you’re searching for ways to foster more happiness and positivity in your life the best place to start is by looking in a mirror! TRY THIS: On a piece of paper, create two sections: one for work, and one for personal life. Divide each section into “pluses” and “minuses” then fill it out according to what you think you do well or like about yourself, as well as things you don’t do well or like about yourself. Look it over and ask yourself: do these negatives take away from all the positives on the page? Is it fair to judge a whole page by just a few minuses, or is it more accurate to look at the whole picture?


Cover Story

A MATTER OF PERSPECTIVE So you’ve practiced some self-acceptance and you’re feeling pretty good, but then something terrible happens and it all goes out the window. Whether you lost your job, endured some heartbreak, or just spilled some coffee on your favourite white shirt, there’s a path to positivity in it. Mac Ling says much of how we approach positivity and negativity is in the framing of our lives - even with something as objectively awful as COVID-19. “Am I sad that I’m unable to take vacations this year?” says Ling. “Sure. But am I also thankful that I’ve been able to take this year of non-travel to really be present for my family? Yes!” What Ling is referring to is actually a common element in many therapeutic models, like cognitive behavioural therapy. Reframing events, ideas, or emotions in alternative and more positive ways to our initial knee-jerk reaction can help us to accept them more easily as part of life (and we’ve already established how important acceptance is!). Choosing to view a loss or disappointment as an opportunity for personal growth can be critical to fostering a sense of positivity, according to Ling. But he’s careful to caution that this approach doesn’t

amount to repressing your emotions entirely. “While it’s important to feel positive about your life overall, I support the need for us to find solace in the negativity, and to not deny ourselves those feelings. Healthy emotional lives mean experiencing happiness and positivity, and also sadness, anger, fear, and other negative emotions.” What deserves our attention, according to Ling, is the need to develop the strength to process those emotions healthily, something he says many people struggle with in modern times. TRY THIS: To reframe a negative experience, first identify it. Write it down in a circle, then ask yourself some questions about it. Things like “Is this entirely accurate?”, “Will this matter in a week?”, or “What would I say to a friend if they expressed this to me?”. Write the answers down in little bubbles linked to the main circle on the page. Once you’ve asked enough questions to give yourself some clarity, visualise a “redemptive narrative”: picture yourself telling the story of how you overcame this adversity and what positive change it produced in you!

WHEN MIND MEETS BODY We all know there’s a connection between the mind and the body, and what affects one will ultimately influence the other. For centuries, people have practiced mind-body pursuits like yoga, tai-chi or qigong, which all serve to combine body movement, mental focus and controlled breathing. Just because it’s been around forever doesn’t mean we’ve progressed past the need for it, though. Dominique Antiglio is a UK-based practitioner of sophrology, a self-development technique which combines meditation and breathing techniques with gentle movement and visualisation. Antiglio says she has noticed a growing public consciousness around the positive effects of mindbody work, hosting workshops for major brands like Lululemon, Soho House and Bamford. Antiglio says a mind-body practice such as sophrology helps her clients to come out of “auto-pilot,” which promotes more presence, awareness, and ultimately, positivity in their everyday life. “Sophrology uses a simple combination of short 18

Cover Story

relaxation, breathing, movement and visualisation exercises to support everyone with stress, anxiety, sleep or confidence issues, or to find more balance and positivity in daily life.” Not all physical activity is created equally, though. While exercise definitely plays a role in happiness, running a 10K or smashing it out at CrossFit skips that useful mindfulness we gain from slower, more meditative pursuits. So while sophrology, or tai chi or qigong for that matter, might not be your bag, it’s worth committing to some form of physical practice that encourages you to slow down, breathe, and appreciate the space your body takes up. TRY THIS: “The Pump” is a sophrological exercise that helps relax the body by refocusing the mind on feeling sensations, oxygenating the body, and calming the nervous system. Here’s how to do it:

Dominique Antiglio

1. Stand tall. Exhale through the mouth, then inhale through the nose, and hold your breath. 2. Now “pump” your shoulders up and down to get the muscles moving and blood circulating again whilst simply focusing on what you feel in your body. 3. When you need to, exhale through the mouth and relax your shoulders, arms and hands and listen again for what you feel in your body. 4. Then sit down and take a moment to visualise a positive outcome in your day or your next meeting. This can help refocus your brain towards a more positive state.

2021 Vision New year, new mindset! Here are some ways to stop your negative self-talk in its tracks this year. Old mindset

New mindset

Feeling like a victim when things go wrong

Think about what you can and can’t control and shift your mindset to a different angle. Instead of saying “Why me?”, ask “OK, so what now?”.

Frustrated with work or personal failures

Turn that perceived failure into an opportunity for some self-care! MindHK has webinars that are free and accessible through their website to help better manage stress. Try one out and see what skills you might pick up.

Fixated on the past or anxious about the future

Meditation is an effective way to bring us into the present, which helps to stop obsessing over the past or future. Check out a reputable meditation centre such as Fivelements Habitat to gain some presence.

Confusion and apprehension for the year ahead

Feeling a bit lost? Seek clarity through better understanding yourself. Consider working with a transformative coach, such as those at Coaching Collective, who can work with you to identify goals and help overcome self-doubt.

Feeling negative about everything

We all have bad days when it’s impossible to spot a silver lining! Run yourself a hot bath, pour a glass of wine, and know that you can try again tomorrow. 19

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Over The Ocean Blue Carla Thomas casts off and hoists sail to learn more about one of Hong Kong’s most timehonoured pastimes. Photos by Jay Sharp.




ne of the world’s busiest port cities, Hong Kong is a city blessed generously by water, with bays, coves and coastlines galore. With so much open water to play with, it’s no surprise that recreational boating abounds; you’ll find everything from the humble fisherman’s dinghy to blinged out superyachts of the city’s rich and famous cruising the city’s waterways. But among the maritime masses, it’s Hong Kong’s sailboats that have always captured my imagination: more graceful than my usual ferry commute, but not nearly as tumultuous as a sampan - plus you can really lean into a “nautical chic” look for the day without accidentally dressing yourself like Paddington Bear. Keen to get my feet wet (proverbially, that is) in a well-loved local pastime, I checked out a local sailing charter company to spend an afternoon learning the ropes on the high seas.

SHIP GOALS Classic Sailing Charters is run by husband-andwife team, Wayne and Myrna Robinson, both active in Hong Kong’s sailing community for over 20 years and responsible for organising some of the city’s most popular racing events. They own and operate Sawadee: a 35-foot blue water classic cutter rigged sailing yacht, built in 1980 by Hong Kong shipmaker, Cheoy Lee. After they purchased Sawadee in 1995, the couple restored her extensively before sailing to tropical destinations in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia. These days, however, she sails primarily as a charter in Hong Kong waters, offering budding bluejackets a chance to learn the ins and outs of a proper sailing yacht, as well as some decidedly spectacular vantage points of the city. I arranged to meet Wayne and Myrna in Aberdeen for a Sunday out on the high seas.



ALL ABOARD Once we checked our temperatures and slathered on some precautionary hand sanitiser, we boarded Sawadee and settled in while Wayne briefed us on emergency procedures and other points of safety as he navigated us out into the open water from Aberdeen Channel. Wayne runs a tight ship quite literally, and he wasted no time getting all hands on deck and asking me to take the helm. Sailing is a constant practice in physics, playing off the force of air against your sail with the resistance of water against your keel (underneath the boat), which together keeps you upright and moving forward. By counterbalancing the position of the keel in the water with the direction of the wind, you create a vacuum that propels you forward much like the wind over a plane’s wing. Confused? Yes, me too! Born and raised a landlubber, and not exactly a natural math whiz, this took me far longer to digest than I’d like to admit. But the best way to learn is by doing, and after a few minutes of steering us to the brink of shipwreck, I started to get a feel for what we were trying to achieve - namely not hitting another boat or running us ashore. Lofty ambitions aside, I learned that there’s a lot to love about sailing apart from simply learning a new skill. Wayne is a huge history buff, and when he wasn’t giving us directives about how to keep us all afloat and plain sailing, he was pointing out little-known historical sites and regaling us with interesting anecdotes about Hong Kong history. My favourite was Waterfall Bay, once an important source of fresh water... and long believed to be haunted by the victims of pirates, whose bodies were burned and disposed of there.



WILD SIDE Limited by my fledgling seafarer skills, we stuck to the easily traversed waters between Southside and Lamma Island. It wasn’t an ambitious route, but it did offer us some stunning offshore views of Lamma’s more inaccessible backwoods. At one point on our way into Pichic Bay for a lunch at the (commendably named) Genuine Lamma Hilton Restaurant, we spotted dozens of herons hanging out among the lush mangroves. There was something so peaceful about seeing so many grouped together, like frozen white statues against a Monet-esque verdant backdrop. It did also feel like a scene from “The Birds,” and the irony wasn’t lost on me when I later found out the collective noun for a group of herons is actually a “siege.” Either way, the nature-spotting was spectacular, and an unexpected bonus of an afternoon spent discovering the city’s coastal waters.

SAIL AWAY Classic Sailing Charters does just about any kind of on-the-water experience, from full- or halfday private charters, a local history cruise, even a one-way sunset cruise that drops you off on Lamma just in time to do sundowners at a local Yung Shue Wan bar. They also offer a kid-friendly excursion with a real-life treasure hunt, complete with map and pirate’s booty that’s perfect for a birthday party. If, however, you’re like me and just interested in learning a bit more about sailing without too much financial commitment, they also offer a “Start Crewing” programme ($1,500 per person) which mixes groups of novices to practice boat handling, sailing skills and confidence-building at basic levels for an affordable rate (social restrictions permitting, of course).

Whatever you fancy, to my mind it’s definitely part of the quinessential Hong Kong experience to head out on a sailboat here at least once. Pick up some skills, see some unexplored nature, and learn more about the city’s maritime history without having to brave a museum on the weekend - what more could anyone ask for?

MORE HK SAILING RESOURCES LCSD government-sponsored sailing courses for all levels, including beginners (bit.ly/3rFe9EO) Aberdeen Boat Club offers five-day Level 1 & 2 Dinghy Sailing Course for $4,800 (abcmiddleisland.com) Hebe Haven Yacht Club Sai Kung-based private club offering five-day course, held monthly, for $5,500 (hhyc.org.hk)

For more information on Classic Sailing Charters, email info@classicsailinghk.com or call 9803-4059 or 9803-8049. classicsailinghk.com




Fallen Olive Oil Dark Chocolate Cake Who would have thought olive oil and chocolate would go so well together? This recipe isn’t overly sweet but packs a deep, rich flavour. No butter or flour is required for this cake - just dark chocolate, olive oil and sugar! This recipe is by food blogger Michelle Tang of kitchenmess.com, a healthy recipe blog designed for busy working professionals. Follow her on IG and FB @kitchenmesshk.



75 minutes



• 200g dark chocolate

1. Heat oven to 180C. Butter and line a 20cm springform pan with parchment paper. 2. Break chocolate into pieces and melt using double boiler method on a stove (i.e. heatproof pan set on top of simmering water). 3. Once completely melted, whisk oil in and two thirds of sugar. Stir until combined. Remove from heat and stir in ground nuts, pinch of sea salt and egg yolks. 4. In a separate clean bowl, whisk egg whites with the remaining sugar till you have medium stiff peaks forming (firm tips that droop slightly). 5. Using a spatula, loosen the chocolate mixture and gently fold in the egg whites. Fold thoroughly but be careful not to lose air. Transfer combined content to the springform pan. Bake for 40 minutes. Test by inserting skewer; if it comes out clean, the cake is done. 6. Remove from oven and leave to cool in the tin. 7. Carefully turn over and remove the paper. Plate then dust with icing sugar. Serve with some vanilla ice cream, creme fraiche, whipped cream or by itself!

• 125g strong-flavoured olive oil • 100g caster sugar • 2 tbsp ground almonds • 5 large eggs, separated • pinch of sea salt

TIP: The cake is meant to look cracked and deflated don’t worry if it’s not perfectlooking!


• 1 tbsp icing sugar, for dusting

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THE GLOW UP News from the beauty aisle


Makeup artist Leticia Bishop teaches us how to get our skin primed for makeup.


he key to flawless makeup begins with having a good skin prep routine. Looking after your skin and following the right steps will make sure your makeup goes on perfectly and stays put all day. Everyone is different, and finding the right routine for you might take time, but here’s a simple guide that will suit most complexions. START WITH EXFOLIATION Some type of gentle exfoliation a few times a week will help improve your skin and create a good base for applying makeup. Makeup can do lots of things, but it’s not great at changing your skin’s texture. For me, I opt for a chemical type of exfoliation over a physical scrub because I find it gentler. TIMING Some people do their makeup directly after skincare and sunscreen, but I encourage people to leave a gap if possible. Do your hair, brush teeth, find your outfit, and then apply your makeup. Why? Leaving your skin for a few minutes allows time for your skincare/ sunscreen to sink in, avoiding that dreaded pilling effect (when little balls of product roll off your skin) when applying foundation. If you’re leaving time for your products to absorb and are still getting product pilling, check your ingredient labels. It could be that too many of your products contain silicon, which doesn’t layer well. You may have the opposite routine, and do your skincare and sunscreen first thing, but you don’t apply makeup until you leave the house. If you applied your skincare several hours ago, your skin needs a refresh so the makeup can blend well. If this is the case, spritz your face with a moisturising mist to dampen the skin. PRIME TIME? Makeup primers are beneficial, but in my opinion, not always needed. You should assess your skin, the weather and the look you’re doing. In winter, they are often required less, as you’re less likely to sweat your makeup off. For oil control, evaluate your skin and just apply a primer in the affected regions, e.g. in the T-zone. When doing an eye look with using different eyeshadows, it’s useful to apply an eye primer to hold shadows in place and help prevent creasing. Do be sure to blend the primer well; otherwise, your shadows on top won’t be as nice.

Looking for more makeup tips? Check out Leticia’s blog at leticiabishop.com. 28




Looking for a manipedi that’s eco-friendly AND cruelty-free? Head down to South Island, where you’ll find new nail bar, Urban Chillez. This Wong Chuk Hang salon uses only vegan products that are at least 9-free (free from the nine most harmful chemicals commonly found in beauty products). The space itself is a stunning converted industrial space just steps from the MTR, making it a quick and easy spot to duck into when you’re southside. Like any good salon should do, this place feels like an oasis of calm a world away from the

busy streets outside. Guests are welcome to unwind with a glass of wine on the house whilst perfecting their talons with beautiful - and biodegradable - nail art. 2A, E-Fat Industrial Building, 4 Heung Yip Rd., Wong Chuk Hang, 5597-4277, urbanchillez.com



Looking for a little upgrade to your beauty routine? We’ve noticed a slew of A-listers, including Chrissy Teigen, Katy Perry and Jessica Alba, using athome LED light masks to keep their skin looking bright and red carpet-ready. What is an LED light mask, and how does it work? These devices expose your skin to different wavelengths of light in order to produce a wide range of benefits. The light stimulates collagen production, giving your skin a brighter and smoother appearance, while fighting other common skin concerns like fine lines, pigmentation, and acne. If it’s good enough for Chrissy, it’s good enough for us! While these tend to run on the more expensive side, if you’re keen to give one a go this winter, we recommend the relatively affordable Deesse Mellite LED Phototherapy Face Mask ($3,980), which you can order online from Thea Home Beauty (formerly The Artistry). theahomebeauty.com



RIGHT AT HOME with Kate Springer


hile travel is still on hold, we’re spending an unprecedented amount of time at home these days. That’s why we’ll be dedicating this space to home and interiors - think indie homeware brands, cosy winter decor ideas, locally made ceramics, notable renovation projects, and lots of eco-friendly inspiration. Speaking of... To kick off the new year, I’ve made a personal resolution to go greener at home. But I needed some advice - and who better than Dora Lam Shuk-man, the co-founder of sustainable lifestyle oasis Slowood? Dora and her husband Chen Kai-ping founded Slowood in Kennedy Town in 2018. Since then, the husband-and-wife duo has opened two more locations: Discovery Bay and Sha Tin. I turned to Dora to hear a few of her top tips for a cleaner, green new year:

1. BUY BIODEGRADABLE TABLEWARE If you are planning to upgrade your plates, cups and cutlery this year - think carefully about materials. These days, there are lots of biodegradable options (typically made from bamboo or corn) that not only look beautiful but are also better for the environment. If you eventually grow out of them, you can rest easy knowing that the earth can reabsorb these natural materials.

2. SHOP IN BULK Plastic packaging is one of the most significant contributors to landfill waste, but you can reduce your impact by shopping in bulk and carrying reusable containers. These days in Hong Kong, various stores sell bulk food and personal care products, which welcome you to refill your own jars and containers.

3. START A GARDEN Plants are an excellent way to make your home visually greener and improve your indoor air quality. Depending on how much direct light you have, you can choose shade-loving houseplants, like snake plants, or try your hand at a herb garden. For the advanced: Start a small compost bin for food scraps, then use the compost to add nutrients to your plants’ soil.

4. CHOOSE SUSTAINABLY PRODUCED FOODS Support sustainable farming by buying organic foods from local brands. These farmers are making tremendous efforts to sustain our ecosystem, and consuming food produced by organic farming helps maintain soil fertility and biodiversity. You’ll also support the local community and reduce your carbon footprint. 30


MORE TIPS FOR A GREENER HOME Ahead of 2021, evaluate your energy usage, diet and shopping habits. 1 Go vegetarian on weekdays With so many meat-free alternatives out there, it’s easier than ever to go meatless from Monday to Friday. Or start with one day a week, and work your way up from there. 2 Use package-free products When it comes to shampoo, conditioner, soap and toothpaste, there are many packaging-free options available, like LUSH’s “naked” shampoo bars or Live Zero’s toothpaste tablets and powders.

I’d recommend Into The Wild (fb.com/intothewild.day), a local brand that specialises in delicious vegan olive tapenade spreads and sourdough bread. I also shop at FAIRTASTE (fairtaste.com.hk), an organic grocery store that carries local, fairtrade brands.


3 Switch to LED bulbs If you haven’t already, swap out old incandescent bulbs with energyefficient LEDs. It is a simple change that can make a significant impact. Most last over a decade, so they will save you money too.

You don’t need to use plastic wrap and baggies anymore. Other options, like beeswax sheets, are pliable and adhesive so you can easily cover food. Using the beeswax at home is also convenient, because you can reuse the sheets and clean them easily. It's a quick, sustainable habit that every beginner can do!

4 Invest in a smart thermostat Sync up your air-conditioning unit with a smart thermostat that can automatically turn off when you’re not around to save energy.


5 Wash clothes in cold water Heating water accounts for the vast majority of the energy emitted by a washing machine. Use cold or warm water, then line-dry when possible to reduce electric consumption.

Most people don’t realise that chemical-packed cleaning products can harm the environment after being washed down your sink and into the water supply. But if you choose chemical-free cleaning soaps made with plant-based and biodegradable ingredients, your run-off will be much safer. Natural cleaners are just as effective as chemical-based cleaners, not to mention gentler on your skin too. Tip: Natural products can be more expensive. If you’re on a budget, try a quick DIY alternative, like making natural dishwashing soap made from vinegar, citric acid and bicarbonate of soda.

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 kate@kate-springer.com.



FIT FAM with Zoe Belhomme


For my family, 2020 was a chance to discover what was on our doorstep. Not being able to travel allowed us more time to explore Hong Kong’s coasts, grasslands, forests, historical sites - and campsites! Here are my favourite family-friendly camping locations to explore before it gets hot again.


Pak Lap Wan

Situated in Sai Kung Country Park, Pak Lap is an idyllic spot right on the water. The beach is a favourite with campers because of its clean waters, easy accessibility and relative seclusion. There's a restaurant and shop open during the day, where you can hire tents, sleeping bags and stoves, or grab some rice or noodles. If a sandy sleeping bag isn’t your thing, just pay $50 to pitch your tent on the grassy area in the village behind the beach. How to get there: From Sai Kung town, take a green taxi into the country park towards the East Dam. Alight just before and take the paved pathway down to Pak Lap village.


Tap Mun


If you like the idea of camping but not the work involved, check out a “glamping” option, like Sai Yuen on Cheung Chau. If you’re after a spot of luxury, book one of the park’s Stargazing Domes, which come with comfy beds, air-con, hot running water, private bathroom and mozzie nets.

Known as Grass Island, Tap Mun has much to offer a family in need of adventure. As the name suggests, the campsite is on open grassland and has spectacular views of the South China Sea and surrounding islands. By day, explore the trails, check out the traditional village buildings, and see local wildlife. As a working fishing village, Tap Mun has several restaurants and stores, so you don’t have to worry about supplies. How to get there: From Sai Kung, take a green taxi or 94 bus to Wong Shek and pick up a ferry or speedboat from the pier.

How to get there: Cheung Chau can be accessed by ferries from Central Pier No.5. Once you arrive make a right towards the Municipal Services Building, walk along Sai Tai Road to Tsan Tuen Road, then walk up the hill.


For a wooded camping experience, head to Hok Tau Campsite in Pat Sin Leng Country Park. The Hok Tau Family Walk is a great route to explore, and nearby you’ll find local farms and reservoirs. Facilities include a barbecue site, seating and bathrooms with toilets. How to get there: Take the 52B minibus from Fanling MTR Station and get off at Hok Tau Tsuen Terminus. Walk along Hok Tau Road towards Hok Tau Reservoir for 15 minutes. 32

Sai Yuen


A NEW CHAPTER In need of some new books for your kid’s library? Check out Rebooked, a not-for-profit social enterprise bringing the principles of circular economy to children's story books. Founded by local student, Bailey Cherry, who noticed her family’s book collection was gathering dust, the initiative sprang from her desire to collect and redistribute books to families who might better use them. Within a year of its inception, Rebooked has now become Hong Kong’s largest online shop for secondhand books. The process is simple: Rebooked collects pre-loved books from your home and posts them to their website, where people can buy them for a fraction of their original cost. In just one year, Rebooked has saved over 20,000 books from the landfill, resold over 8,000 books to families in Hong Kong, and donated 5,000 books to charities and other NGOs. rebooked-hk.com

WEE WARRIORS Looking for a fun family challenge? Pending restrictions from COVID-19, Spartan Kids is scheduled to take over the Central Harbourfront event space on March 6 with a fun-filled mini obstacle course. Designed for children aged 4-14, the smallest of spartans will swing, crawl and jump through an 800m course, while older participants can take on a more competitive 3.2km route with bigger obstacles. Designed to be challenging but great fun, the race is all about promoting a healthy lifestyle amongst children (and adults too, of course!). Tickets range from $480-$520 and all entrants must be accompanied by an adult. Takes place March 6, 2021 from 10am-6:30pm. Central Harbourfront Event Space, 9 Lung Wo Rd., Central, spartanrace.hk.

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 zoe@liv.media.


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For last year's words belong to last year's language. And next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning. - T.S. Eliot

@racheeeeek @blissbodyretreat_hk

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GO WITH THE FLO Flora Chan, founder of Flo Jewellery, tells us how 2020’s challenges had some unexpected upsides for her business and her mission to boost consciousness and wellbeing.

Q 2020 has been tough on everyone. As a business owner, how do you keep positive during tough times? I try to keep myself resilient by going with the flow - listening to my intuition and being adaptable. Being present and living in the moment are what I lived by last year. When there were so many uncertainties, I focused on my daily priorities instead of putting my energy into worrying about the future. I choose to look at what I have instead of what I miss. I believe in collective effort, and collaborating with like-minded people who share our vibe and values really energised me. To me, everything happens for a reason. Things that seem to be daunting at the surface are actually perfect opportunities to learn and grow. I have learned so much in 2020 and I am thankful for that. Q Tell us about how you pivoted your business during the pandemic. I would say that our business’ core values have always been helping people in their journey of transformation. Last year was tough for many people and I’m so grateful that Flo Jewellery could be a part of people’s journeys by inspiring positive changes in their lives and empowering them to be their best selves. During uncertain times, we focused on inspiring conscious living. We hope to provide an alternative lens for our customers to look at their lives by exploring their connection with the universe or their spiritual self. We started providing online classes, in which we shared tools and tips to navigate the waves concerning their emotional and physical well-being.

Going beyond jewellery, we also offer personal consultations to support our customers in their life’s journey. Witnessing how they overcome their self-limiting thoughts, improving relationships or finding their dream job or partner is always the most rewarding part of this business. Q Tell us about the FLO Diffusers. I’m very thankful to launch the FLO Diffuser [a wearable aromatherapy diffuser that attaches to your mask with a magnet] to offer a way to make mask-wearing more comfortable. We have been overwhelmed with positive feedback and are so glad that people have started to explore aromatherapy as a way to promote well-being. We look forward to more creative collaborations with different parties in 2021. Q How can a chakra reading benefit someone who has been struggling in 2020? I believe that if you struggle and have emotions about certain situations or people, it’s very likely to be a sign that you need to do something different with yourself and your life. A chakra reading helps you to gain insights into yourself. Knowing the influences of your upbringing, parents, past relationships and experiences have on your thought patterns and emotions help you navigate the changes. Some clients feel more stable, some feel more joy, some recognise their life’s mission and some realise their gifts to the world. Our chakra consultation empowers people to focus on possible actions to manifest their dream life. Learn more at flojewellery.com

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Liv Magazine January-February 2021