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Home decor Carols &


December 2016


… g n i t n e s e

Christmas dinners Stocking fillers Turkeys & trimmi

A Southside Christmas story

Dear re ader, Look ins id season. e for your gui de to th Plus: e festive A weeke n An inter d at the Banya v n Our fav iew with Sir Da Tree Lăng Cỡ ourite f v oot trea id Tang Love, tments Southsi de Mag azine xx x

Shop now at One Island South Home Store and Showroom G/F, 2 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang


The really useful magazine December 2016

PEOPLE 4 Snapped! Southside’s social life. THE PLANNER 8 Happening in December What’s on. - your guide to the festive season. FAMILY 22 Dear Santa... Items on our Christmas wish list. NEWS 24 What’s going on? In your backyard. GIVEAWAYS 30 Free stuff Fab things to win. FIVE MINUTES WITH... 32 Samuel Pleitgen On music, working with Sting and voice acting.

LOCAL 34 School’s out Tensions are high amid development plans in Ap Lei Chau. NEWS FROM THE GREENS 36 I don’t want no scrub Is your exfoliant polluting the ocean? COVER STORY 38 A Southside Christmas story A festive tale by Sarah Brennan. ARTS & CULTURE 46 The Nutcracker We chat to the choreographer. Plus a new book inspired by Hong Kong shop cats. EATING 50 Eat, drink and be merry The best places to eat out this Christmas. Plus turkeys to go and hampers.

HOME & LIVING 60 Deck your halls How to do Sham Shui Po. Plus tips on festive decoration and where to get your tree. INTERVIEW 68 Sir David Tang On his new book and party etiquette.

DOCTOR, DOCTOR 80 Ask Dr. Pauline “Should we get a family pet this Christmas?” SEASONAL SPECIAL 88 Merry Christmas! And a Happy New Year. See you in 2017.

TRAVEL 70 Banyan Tree Lăng Cô A relaxing weekend in central Vietnam. HEALTH & BEAUTY 78 Happy feet Our favourite foot treatments. Plus, staying fit over Christmas. PETS 80 SPCA stories SPCA Inspector Bob reflects on his work.


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Photo credit: Ocean Recovery Alliance/Malibu Foundation/Spectral Q/Alastair Gray Photography

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Photos by Eugene Metreveli and Doan Ho

The Dragon Run, Tai Tam Tuk, Stanley Main Beach and Clearwater Bay

Share your event photos with us at Get snapping!




St. Stephen’s Chapel Annual Christmas Fête

Pick up some excellent Christmas puddings, fudge and second-hand books at the stalls and watch Santa arrive by helicopter at 12:30pm. Plus, bouncy castles and an entertainment programme packed with a coconut shy, Santa’s Grotto, Chinese Acrobats, Lion Dancers, a magic show, marching bands, Morris dancers, festive music, Scottish Highlanders and Soak the Vicar! Free admission for children, $20 for adults. 11am to 4:30pm. St Stephen’s College Sports Ground, Wong Ma Kok Road, Stanley. 2813 0360,

DEC 1 & 2 Fringe Club

DEC 2 Quarry Bay School

This annual event is packed with local and international high-end vendors. 12-7pm, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central. Anita Chan Lai Gallery, G/F. Open to the public. Credit cards accepted. For more information, email

Run by Quarry Bay School (QBS) parents, the Christmas Winter Fayre includes a host of international food stalls where you’ll find

DEC 2 Bradbury School Winter Night Market Local vendors, international food, games, prizes and more, plus a silent auction. 5:30-8:30pm, 43C Stubbs Road. No parking available (a regular shuttle bus operates from Central and the cricket club). Entrance is $30 per person, $100 per family.


Bradbury School’s Winter Night Market.

markets & fêtes delicacies from around the world. Don’t miss the lucky draw, games stalls and special performances. Tickets $10 per person. 5.30-8.30pm, 6 Hau Yuen Path, Braemar Hill, North Point, 2566 4242,

DEC 2 American International School The annual Winter Fair includes international food stalls run by parents, a wide variety of game booths, student performances and a grand prize lucky draw for families of all ages. Fair tickets and raffle tickets are available at the door. 3:30pm – 8pm. 125 Waterloo Road, Kowloon Tong, 2336 3812.

DEC 2-4 Hullett House Christmas Market Head to this Nordic-themed Christmas market and enjoy live music while shopping for gourmet food and drink, fashion, handmade accessories and festive decorations. Free entry. 5-11pm (Friday); noon-11pm (Saturday); noon-9pm (Sunday). 50 Pigeons Courtyard, Hullett House, 1881 Heritage, 2A Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon.

DEC 3 Il Mercatino, a charity fair by the Italian Women’s Association Clothes, toys, ornaments, jewellery, Christmas cards, and more. Don’t miss the Italian Gourmet Corner. Bring your own bag. Entrance fee is $20. All proceeds go to charity. 10am - 5pm, the gardens of The Duchess of Kent Children’s Hospital, 12 Sandy Bay Road, Pok Fu Lam. Closest parking is Cyberport.

Il Mercatino, Cyberport.

DEC 3 Butchers Club Christmas Southside Shopping Market & Long Lunch $250 for an all-you-can-eat food package (those aged 18 and over can add free-flow bubbly, wine and beer for an extra $200 online, $250 at the door). Children aged 3 and under eat free. The sumptuous buffet long lunch includes roast beef and Yorkshire puds, pies and turkey. Plus, enjoy a holiday raffle, lawn games, live music, face painters and other selected F&B vendors. Head to the 16th floor for the Christmas Gift Shopping Market and Kid Zone hosted by Little Picasso. Noon-4pm. Buy your tickets before they sell out at

DEC 3 Discovery College Family Fun Day Discovery College’s biggest event of the year and its major fundraiser. Delicious food stalls, great games and activities for children of all ages, live music and entertainment, arts and crafts, bouncy castles, prizes and more. Noon to 5pm, 38 Siena Avenue, Discovery Bay, Lantau Island.

Disocvery College Family Fun Day.

DEC 3 Island Five-0 Winter Arts Festival Island School’s long standing winter fair focuses on the arts this year, as the school celebrates it’s 50th anniversary. Enjoy an international food hall, craft beer stalls and games, plus musical performances by students, teachers and alumni, art exhibitions, film screenings and theatre. 3-10pm. Entry $20. 20 Borrett Road, Mid-levels, 2524 7135,

DEC 3 French International School The school’s Christmas fair returns with a kids’ wonderland, festive refreshments and over 35 stalls for all your Christmas shopping needs. Plus, a surprise visit from Santa. 34 Price Road, Jardine’s Lookout, 2577 6217,

DEC 3 Singapore International School Held at SIS’ primary school campus, with food and drink, bazaar stalls, games, arts and crafts and a flea market for second hand books and uniforms. 10am-4pm. 23 Nam Long Shan Road, Aberdeen, 2872 0266,

Hullet House Christmas Market runs from Dec 2-4.


planner DEC 4 Winter Wonderland with Stamford American School Meet Santa, enjoy a Christmas-themed drama workshop, scavenger hunt, arts and crafts activities and a specialist-led playgroup. Held in partnership with Safari Kid, KidsFest and FAUST. Suitable for children aged 1 to 8. 10am-12pm, 101 Chi Fu Landmark, Chi Fu Fa Yuen, Pok Fu Lam. Free but places are limited. RSVP at or call 2500 8688.

DEC 11

Wellness 360 Festive Fair Presenting ways you can live a healthy life during this season of indulgence. Expect live dance and fitness performances, plus workout sessions throughout the day. Free entry. 10am-7pm, Lee Garden One, Driveway, Causeway Bay.

DEC 7 WIFA Annual Holiday Bazaar Hosted by Women in Finance Asia in aid of Free To Run, an organisation that uses the power of sports to help women and girls overcome the harmful effects of conflict and discrimination.. Browse products from local businesses, artisans and designers, while enjoying holiday treats. Don’t forget to enter the lucky draw for a chance to win prizes. Free entry. 6.30-9pm, Clifford Chance, 27/F, Jardine House, Central.

DEC 9 King George V School Alongside Kowloon Junior School and Jockey Club Sarah Roe School, the KGV Christmas fair will feature food and drinks stalls with the highlight of the night being the carol concert where student musicians and singers will perform Christmas classics. Stalls open at 5pm, concert starts at 6pm at KGV’s Piazza. 2 Tin Kwong Road, Ho Man Tin, 2711 3029,

Discovery Bay Christmas Market

DEC 11

Find one-of-a-kind, locally crafted gifts for everyone on your list. Free entry, 11am-6pm, Main Plaza, Discovery Bay. Stay for dinner at one of the designated D’Deck restaurants and enjoy a free ferry ride back to Central.


DEC 10-11 Italian Christmas Market 2016 Fine Italian wines, cheeses and cold cuts, plus accessories and clothes. Bellissimo! Free entry. Noon-7pm, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central.

DEC 10 & 11, 17 & 18 Stanley Plaza Enchanted Christmas Market Oceanside festive fun. This year’s market invites guests to explore the magical world of classic German fairy tales, with festive handicrafts,

authentic German snacks, mulled wine and a giant candy house filled with lollipops. Spend $600 or more to receive a limited edition fairy tale glass cup, engraved with images of iconic German fairy tales and Stanley Plaza. Noon to 8pm.

DEC 24-28 Hong Kong Food Festival 2016 Stock up on tasty Christmas treats for the family. Tickets are $20, available at the door. Hall 3, HKEC, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai.

winter camps




The Annual Christmas Carol Concert Appeal

This annual event has been running for five years in support of Society for Community Organisation (SoCO), a charity which supports the poorest of Hong Kong’s society, many of whom are “cage dwellers”. This year’s event takes place at The Helena May. Open to all, tickets are $600 from, and include free flow food and drink.

DEC 1 The Fayre of St. John’s Raise fund for Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre at the magnificent St. John’s Cathedral with an evening of carols, mince pies, mulled wine


and performances from some of Hong Kong’s noted celebrities and singers. Tickets start from $2,500 and can be purchased by making a direct donation to Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre.

DEC 1 Carols by Candlelight Five Christmas choirs, Father Christmas and snowmen join forces at the Matilda International Hospital, whose heritage hospital grounds have been transformed into a romantic, twinkling Christmas wonderland. Families can enjoy Christmas stalls of food and other goodies, games and crafts, plus Santa’s grotto. Free, and open to all, with all proceeds going to Matilda Children’s Foundation, which provides life-changing surgeries to children with no other means of assistance. 6-8pm, Matilda International Hospital, 41 Mount Kellett Road, The Peak, 2849 0355. A free shuttle bus runs between the Peak Galleria and the Matilda International Hospital every 30 minutes starting at the Peak from 5:15pm to 8:30pm.

carols & concerts DEC 4 & 11 Classics for Kids Christmas Concert The SAR Philharmonic Orchestra’s 15th annual interactive concert introduces children to classical music and lets them try out the instruments too. 2.15pm and 5pm, Hong Kong Jockey Club Amphitheatre, HKAPA, Wan Chai. Tickets from $295 from, 3128 8288.

DEC 24 Midnight Mass

DEC 25 Christmas Eucharist with Carols

11pm. (Christmas Crib Service for young families, with carols at 5pm). St Stephen’s College Sports Ground, Wong Ma Kok Road, Stanley. 2813 0360,

St Stephen’s College Sports Ground, Wong Ma Kok Road, Stanley. 2813 0360,

DEC 10 CentreStage Christmas Concert & Poetry Recital Start the festive season by singing along to Christmas classics, listening to poetry recitals and live opera, against the backdrop of the South China Sea. Open to the public. Adult tickets are $320 and children’s tickets are $150. Tickets include a mince pie and drink on arrival. 6:308:30pm, Maggie & Rose rooftop, 301 the pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay. Book online at or call 5689 2272.

DEC 11 Christmas Lessons & Carols by candlelight 6pm, St Stephen’s College Sports Ground, Wong Ma Kok Road, Stanley. 2813 0360,

Have a go on an instrument at the Classics for Kids Christmas Concert.




The Nutcracker

The annual performance by the Hong Kong Ballet never fails to impress. Read more in our interview with choreographer Terence Kohler on page 46. Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui. Tickets from $180 at

DEC 8-12 Disney on Ice Join all your favourite Disney characters from Minnie and Mickey to Dory, Timon and Pumba in a dazzling performance on ice. Performance lasts two hours with a 15 minute intermission. Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wan Chai. Tickets from $280-$680 from or call 3128 8288.

DEC 11 & 14-18 Hong Kong Players Pantomime Hong Kong Players have been staging Christmas pantos in Hong Kong for the past 54 years. The group’s 55th panto - The Snow Queen - an icy take of love and hate, good and evil, courage and cowardice, and trolls! Performances on December 11 and 14-18 at Kellett School Theatre, Kowloon Bay. Concession tickets from $250 and adults tickets from $270 at More details at

DEC 11 & 23-24 The Snowman & the Bear Watch Raymond Briggs’ heartwarming


Christmas classics on the big screen with a live orchestral accompaniment, narration and singing. Sha Tin Town Hall Auditorium on December 11 and Hong Kong City Hall Concert Hall on December 23-24.

UNTIL DEC 28 Christmas-themed 3D Light Show See Victoria Harbour in all its glory during this nightly Christmas-themed spectacular with audiovisual effects at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre and Clock Tower in Tsim Sha Tsui. Four shows each night (8.20pm, 8.45pm, 9.15pm, 9.45pm).

UNTIL JAN 2 Ocean Park Christmas Sensation 2016 This year’s attractions include a 4D stage show, the all-new Penguin Dress-Up Delights and the Cyber Illusion Spectacular stage show featuring world-class illusionists and finalists of the reality show, Australia’s Got Talent). Watch them perform lightning-fast costume changes, disappearances, double levitations and fire

cage escapes. Make sure to visit Santa’s Tree Hut and the Park’s signature, giant 40-foot Christmas tree. Visit the park on the evening of December 17 to enjoy carols under the tree and have the chance to help Santa turn on the Christmas tree lights.

UNTIL JAN 4 PAPINEE WORLD at Mandarin Oriental This Christmas, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong’s hotel lobby has been taken over by storytelling social enterprise PAPINEE WORLD. This multisensory fantasy land magics you to different cities around the world - from London to Paris and the Japanese gardens of Tokyo - without you having to step foot on a plane. Meanwhile, Café Causette has been converted into a PAPINEE Storytelling Café with storytelling events for children. To see the full exhibition, visit Pearl Lam Galleries in Sheung Wan. Visit Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road Central, 2522 0111.



Winter camps & events...

weather sets in, learn how to make sweet and savoury pies at The Butchers Club’s new “All About That Pie” classes with Head Chef of Events Nick Ratzlaff. Enjoy a welcome brunch buffet and Bellini to start, plus charcuterie, freeflow mimosas and wine all day long. $1,000 per head. Classes take place on December 10 and mid-January 2017 from 11am-5pm at 13/F, Unit C, Sun Ying Industrial Centre, 9 Tin Wan Close, Tin Wan, Aberdeen. Maximum 12 students per class. Book online at

DEC 11 South Island Art Auction This contemporary art auction features over 80 artworks by famous international artists and South Island based artists. Part of the proceeds will be donated to local charity Food Angel. Ovolo Southside, 64 Wong Chuk Hang Rd, 3460 8100.

DEC 14-16 & 19-23

Little Picasso Christmas Camp

Go glitter mad and add a bit of extra sparkle to your Christmas through drawing, canvas painting and 3D creations! Daily mini art projects include making a Santa’s belt, a reindeer headband, a chimney for Santa, decorating baubles and more. Choose from two-, four- and five-day camps. Suitable for ages 3 and up. Prices start at $900 for two days. Studio 6, 15/F, Remex Centre, 42 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, 5220 7720,

UNTIL DEC 2 TLS presents...A Winter Wonderland Take the family to help the elves in Santa’s Workshop. Write a letter to Santa, make crafts, drink mulled wine and hot chocolate and eat mince pies. Finally, you’ll meet the big man himself and get a professional photo as a family with loads of fun props and of course, snow. You’ll receive three edited photos after the event. $900 per family for a 30-minute slot from 4-7pm at The White Loft, Wong Chuk Hang. For tickets email

DEC 3, 4, 10 & 11 Santa Tour at Bookazine Santa is visiting Bookazinea. He’ll be coming straight from Lapland on a whistlestop tour as, of course, this is his busiest time of the year. See him at the Repulse Bay store on December 3, 2-4pm, and ask him questions, listen to stories and belt out a few songs. G/F, Shop 107C-D, The Repulse Bay Arcade, 2750 1136 (for the full schedule, visit To register, email


DEC 4 Hong Kong Corporate Sevens Suits play sevens. The 2016 tournament has set their sights on raising $1 million for The Deaf Rugby Programme. Free entry. 9am-8pm. So Kon Po Recreation Field, 55 Caroline Hill Road,

DEC 10 & MID-JAN Pie-making at The Butchers Club The Great British Bake Off as we know it may be coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to put away your spatulas. As the colder

Yoshitaka Amano, Deva Loka (2010), $1,800,000

DEC 12-30 Sport4Kids’ Christmas camps Mini-Sports (ages 18 monts-3years) and MultiSports (ages 4-10) camps run weekly, from December 12-30. Choose from three-, four- or five-day options. For Mini-Sport, fees start at $570 for three days for members ($690 for guests). For Multi-Sport, fees start at $1,620 for three days for members ($1,770 for guests). For a mixture of language and sport, try the Mandarin and Multi-Sports Camp (ages 3-6), which runs weekly from 19-30 December; three- and five-day options available. Fees start at $1,200 for three days for members ($1,380 for guests). Camps take place at Hong Kong Parkview, 88 Tai Tam Road. Pay before December 10 for a 10 percent discount. To sign up, call Parkview directly on 2812 3945 or email

DECEMBER 13-30 ESF After School Winter Camps Give your kids the runaround this Christmas with ESF’s winter sports camps and clinics. Choose from Multi Sports Camps (for ages 2+) and clinics in football, basketball, netball, gymnastics and tennis. For something less sporty, ESF’s Kindergarten Winter Wonderland English Language Camp takes students on a journey into the world of well-loved stories.

winter camps & events Sports camps ($1,035 - $3,300 per week) run Monday to Friday; language camps ($2,400) from Wednesday to Saturday, across several ESF schools. Sign up at

and sign up before December 10 to get 10 percent off. Shop 106-107 One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang,

DEC 14-JAN 6 Banana Art Club Christmas Camp

DEC 19-23, 28-30 & JAN 3-6 Holly Jolly Holiday workshops at Art Loop

Activities include painting “Christmas around the globe”, making Arctic animal coasters with Hama beads, i-clay gingerbread houses and felt stuffy door hangers. Camp runs in the morning (times vary) but not on public holidays. Suitable for ages 3-17. $398/ two hour session, $590/ threehour session. All materials included. Get five percent off when you book six or more sessions. Causeway Bay center, Discovery College and Kennedy School., 6020 5476

DEC 19-31 Southside Mandarin

Spend time with your kids at the two-day Family Ceramics Workshop ($2,000 for one adult and one child) where you can work together to make a gingerbread family decoration. Alternatively, if your children want to go it alone, sign them up for the two-day Ceramic Ornament Workshop ($660). One-day painting workshops ($320) are also available where kids can design their own snow globe or Christmas tree posters. Suitable

for ages 3 and up. Each day workshop session lasts an hour and a half. To register, call 5238 8186 or email 621 One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Road, Aberdeen,

DEC 20-22 Big Kids Christmas Camp at Maggie & Rose Three-hour camp sessions let kids get messy at ‘School of Elf’ where they can write letters to Father Christmas while simultaneously exploring Jackson Pollock and having snowball fights on the club’s festive sea-view roof. Open to members (for $575 per session) and non-members ($810). Suitable for children aged 4 to 8 years old. To book, email or call 2638 7191.

Learn all about Christmas through songs, stories and Santa himself, while also exploring Chinese culture. Children in primary years will focus on creative writing, with themes including: “Christmas holiday with my family” and “My favourite winter activity”. Suitable for children aged one and a half to 12 years old. Morning and afternoon sessions available. $600 per twoand-a-half hour session (reduced rates for block bookings). Email

Prepare your child for school interviews and assessments. ITS Education Asia Caption caption

Tel: 852 2116 3916 Email:




AIA Christmas Carnival

Roll up, roll up! The AIA Great European Carnival returns to Central Harbourfront. Attracting more than one million visitors last year, the carnival will once again play host to fairground rides, games, dance shows, pantomimes and magicians. More than one million cuddly toys are there to be won! Tickets start at $90 for children and $125 for adults. More information at

UNTIL JAN 1 Winterfest Hong Kong’s festive offerings include the Pulse 3D Light Show and the classic Statue Square Christmas tree. Look out for special appearances by Santa Claus and friends while a Christmas choir will serenade the crowds with festive carols. This year lovebirds can buy a lock for charity and hang it to the railings for posterity too.




Goofy is bringing Christmas cheer to Hong Kong this year as he dons his Santa costume and greets guests during Hong Kong Disneyland’s “A Sparkling Christmas” . Tell Santa Goofy what you’re wishing for this year or send a limited edition Christmas postcard through the Santa Goofy mailbox. An 18-metre LED-wrapped Christmas tree is not to be missed while the night parade is a visual feast of seasonal decorations with Christmas carollers singing all your favourite tunes. Visit for more details.

mark it in your calendar

DEC 14 Deadline for letters to Santa via Hongkong Post

DEC 27 The second weekday after Christmas Day

We are assured that letters addressed to ‘Hong Kong Post Santa Claus’ and fixed with a local stamp and return address by this deadline are guaranteed to reach Santa before he packs the last of his presents into the sleigh. Letters posted before today will even receive a reply before the big day.

Another public holiday!

DEC 31 New Year’s Eve Celebrate the start of 2017 with the masses by grabbing a prime spot along the harbourfront for the midnight firework display. Those seeking a quieter start to the year should head to Bowen Road for all the spectacular views but without the throng of people.

DEC 24 Christmas Eve Don’t forget to leave out a snack for Santa Claus and his reindeer.

DEC 25 Christmas Day Santa’s been (hopefully). Open your presents, eat, drink and be merry.

DEC 26 Boxing Day Public holiday. Play with your new presents.



BOOK NOW JAN 1-31 Soberman

If a birthday or anniversary means you can’t go completely alcohol-free, don’t fret - just donate a $100 “liquor levy”. The top fundraiser will receive a three-night stay (including breakfast) at a luxury villa in Phuket.

Stay sober throughout January in aid of the Hong Kong Cancer Fund. Sign up online this month, either by scanning the QR code on promotional posters and adverts or at and set a fundraising target.

Credit Steve Ullathorne

JAN 5-FEB 12 Kidsfest 2017

Don’t miss Gruffalos, Ladybirds and other Beasts at Kidsfest.

The biggest children’s theatre festival returns for another year of fun-filled performances at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. One production not to miss is Gruffalos, Ladybirds and other Beasts which will feature Julia Donaldson herself live on stage. Tickets available at or call 3128 8288.

FEB 3-5 Legends in Concert The live celebrity tribute show features an allstar cast of Elvis Presley, Adele, David Bowie and Madonna direct from Las Vegas to The Parisian, Macau. Running for 33 years, Legends in Concert is Las Vegas’ longest-running live

entertainment show. Tickets $180-$480 from, 3128 8288.

FEB 12 Standard Chartered Marathon Hong Kong’s annual marathon is back with full, half and 10km marathons, plus 3km and 10km wheelchair races. Starts on Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. The public ballot is closed but charity entry is open until Dec 7.

Got an event? We can publish the details for free. Email




“ We Love Hong Kong” print by Louise Hill from $2,850 (including delivery) from Also available at Mirth, Mezzanine Floor, BT Centre, 23 Wong Chuck Hang Road (shop access from Yip Kan St), 2553 9811,

 lizabeth Taylor style Ruby & Diamond E Bracelet $98,000 from Bee's Diamonds, Unit 1502, 15th Floor, The Center, 99 Queen's Road Central, 2180 7812,

Benefit gift sets from $380-450 from Benefit, Shop 201, Stanley Plaza, 3621 0909

 ufflinks in 18K gold and semiC precious stones $  4,650 each from Altfield Gallery, Landmark, 248 Prince’s Building, Central  ox of six (edible) limited edition playing B cards by Emmanuel Pierre for Maison Chaudon $698 from The Mandarin Cake Shop, Mandarin Oriental, 5 Connaught Rd, Central. For orders, call 2825 4008 or email

 ingerbread Man Crew G Neck Christmas Jumper by TOPMAN $549 from Zalora,

Reminder braid (rose gold and warm grey) $379  from The Mindful Company,  bove the world: A Earth through a drone’s eye $580 from Girls boots (patent leather and suede) $  450.00 from Simply Shoes, Unit 12, 15/F., Remex Centre, 42 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, 3709 9359,


the ghost of Christmas present

WRAPPING The “Bell” bag by ESEMBLĒ $  1,850 (more colours available) from Lab Concept: 93 Queensway, Admiralty; Kapok St Francis Yard: 5 St Francis Yard, Wan Chai; Kapok Hysan Place: Eslite Bookstore 10/F. Hysan Place, Causeway Bay and  nowman stripe organic S bodysuit (0-18M) $160 from Cigognebebe,

 ards, wrapping C paper and tags by The Lion Rock Press Cards ($25 each), wrapping paper ($20 per sheet) and tags ($5 each) from All profits go to Hong Kong charity Mother’s Choice.

 o Malone Christmas J ornament $300 from Lane Crawford

 ega Happy M Christmas Chocolate Gift Card $75 from Bookazine

Jo Malone Advent Calendar $4,700 from Lane Crawford, stores in IFC mall (2118 5720) and Times Square (2118 6182),

 e Funny Christmas Stocking Th Filler Book $96 from Bookazine “ Teeny-tiny Nativity” wooden nativity set and mini book $100 from Bookazine

 ules for modern life by Sir R David Tang $208 from Bookazine, G/F, Shop 107C-D, The Repulse Bay Arcade, 2750 1136. Branches in IFC Mall and Princes Building, Central

Large goodie bag $125 for a pack of 10 from kikki.K, Shop 220, 2/F Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road Central, 2116 0870,


news Photo credit: Ocean Recovery Alliance/Malibu Foundation/Spectral Q/Alastair Gray Photography


Multi-award winning spa group Sense of Touch has opened a new location at Le Méridien Cyberport. From now until December 16, spend at least $500 and enjoy a complimentary light buffet lunch, with choices of organic salads and soup. Open Monday to Sunday, 9am-10pm. 3/F, Le Meridien Cyberport, 100 Cyberport Road, Pok Fu Lam. To reserve your treatment, call 2980 7698.

TRASHZILLA SIGHTED ON REPULSE BAY BEACH Last month, over 800 local children and volunteers teamed together as part of Kids Ocean Day to form an image of Hong Kong’s trash monster “Lap Sap Chung”, or Trashzilla, on Repulse Bay Beach. The aerial art image carried a powerful message about protecting the ocean from plastic pollution that endangers marine life. Young ocean ambassadors came from schools across Hong Kong and Macau to volunteer. The image of Trashzilla, designed by nine-year-old Ty Curnow from The International School of Macao, was chosen as part of a drawing competition organised by Hong Kongbased NGO Ocean Recovery Alliance. Another

BUMPS TO BABES RELOCATES WITHIN CENTRAL winning drawing of a cleaning crab, by 11-yearold Henry Sung of local school Kwai Ming Wu Memorial School of the Precious Blood, will be made into a ceramic plaque. These plaques will be installed on public pavements as a colourful reminder that litter in the drains leads directly to the ocean. Michael Klubock, the Founder of Kids Ocean Day, which was conceived in the U.S. in 1994, said, “Kids Ocean Day is about alerting us all to the need [to protect] the ocean from the everyday trash and plastic litter that is thrown on streets, which sadly often ends up in our waters, killing marine life and polluting our food resources.”

Our favourite mother and baby superstore Bumps to Babes has moved to a new location on Queens Road Central. The new, bigger store stocks maternity, new baby and children’s ranges (from birth to 8 years old) from around the world. Whether you’re looking for nursery furniture, pushchairs, toddler food, toys or clothing, it’s a one-stop shop. The new location also houses a mother-and-baby feeding/changing room. Open seven days a week, 10am-7pm (Monday to Saturday); 11am-6pm (Sundays and public holidays). 13/F Entertainment Building, 30 Queen’s Road Central, 2522 7112,

Despite recent projections of further delays, the South Island Line (East) is expected to start operating at the end of this month, depending on the outcome of final inspections. The seven-kilometre railway will link up the south and north of Hong Kong, stopping at South Horizons, Lei Tung, Wong Chuk Hang, Ocean Park and Admiralty. “The SIL project team has worked hard to overcome the tremendous challenges at Admiralty Station,” said Mr Ken Wong, General Manager of the South Island


Line. “Thanks to the effort of the team and our contractors, as well as the cooperation of relevant Government departments, we are on target to open the new line by the end of this year.” Hooray! Minibus 69A will be extended to the Wong Chuk Hang MTR station and operate every 15 minutes from Mondays to Saturdays from 7am to 7pm and every 30 minutes on Sundays from 10am-5pm.

Photo from MTR Corporation






Know somebody new to Hong Kong? This newly published travel sketchbook might be the perfect Christmas gift. Written and illustrated by Hong Kong journalist Lena Sin and her artist husband Nicholas Tay, the book is packed with tales of growing up in Hong Kong. Watercolour illustrations and photographs brighten the pages, taking the reader from the wet markets of North Point to the sleepy island backwater of Tai O. Chapters include “Go slow in Sheung Wan”, “Find Magic in Stanley” and “Step Back in Time in Tai O”. $198, available at

Coworking space Campfire has opened a new centre in Wong Chuk Hang. Geared towards the creative industries, the new space is equipped with photo studios, art making studio, 3D printers, sewing machines and even a runway. “Campfire helps people to start their career adventures as a community, sharing ideas, skills and knowledge. Each of our centres caters to different industries,” says Campfire co-founder Albert Fung. “The first centre [in Kennedy Town] is geared towards digital marketing and tech. Our new centre caters to the needs of creative industries such as fashion, jewelry, art and craft and bloggers. It’s ideal for online shops and mumtrepreneurs.” A week after the grand opening, the Wong Chuk Hang space is 20 percent occupied, with another 15 percent in progress. Current campers include an interior designer, fashion PR company, online party supply shop and a photographer. Space is available to rent by the weekend, week and month, with morning and afternoon packages also available. Prices start at $1,750 for a morning camper pass (MondayFriday, 9am-1pm). Campfire also hosts a range

of creative workshops, from calligraphy to instagramming. Fellow co-founders Brian Fung and Wang Tse are excited about the prospect of a new creative community in Southside. “We picked Southside because we realized there is so much hidden talent here,” says Tse. “We love the energy from all of the change makers and creators.” 5/F, Remex Centre, 42 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, 2780 5586

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Hong Kong’s world-famous floating restaurant, Jumbo Kingdom, found itself in a spot of trouble last month when a barge, connected to the rear of the restaurant, started to sink. At around 4pm on November 13, four Jumbo Kingdom staff noticed that the barge used to store seafood - had begun to slant. No customers were in the restaurant at the time, but staff were told to evacuate due to fears


that the structure was not safe. It took around eight hours for firefighters and marine police to pump all the water out from the sinking barge. An authorized surveyor speculated that it had been damaged by a “foreign object” but saw no imminent danger. With the fiasco over, Jumbo Kingdom is now open for business as usual.

Nord Anglia International School (NAIS HK) has announced the opening of its second campus in Tin Wan, Aberdeen. The new four-floor campus - scheduled to open next August - is expected to create around 520 nursery, reception and primary places. This added capacity will allow NAIS HK to further develop its existing campus in Lam Tin to house its expanding secondary school. Parents with children in Years 1 to 3 will be able to choose between either the Lam Tin or Tin Wan campus. Each will have its own Head of School. Overseeing both campuses will be Principal of NAIS HK, Brian Cooklin. “This is exactly what we have dreamt about, because it means we can offer our distinctive style of education in a premium school for all ages,” he said. Enrolments for the new campus are now open; existing parents will be given the first choice of places. For information on admissions, contact Jane Archibald, Director of Admissions and Marketing at, 3958 1488.


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Bee’s Diamonds is Hong Kong’s award winning diamond supplier and bespoke jeweller. It supplies diamonds to jewellery shops and helps individuals to design and produce one of a kind jewellery at its workshop in Central. This month, three lucky couples will win the opportunity to learn and make their own wedding bands (worth $2,500) with Bee’s Diamonds’ Chief Gemologist and its Chief Artisan, who possesses over 30 years of jewellery crafting experience. In the hour-long workshop, couples will use the traditional wax carving method to create a pair of wax rings that will be turned into commercial caster, which can then be turned into gold bands of their choice. To enter, send a photo of your engagement ring to along with a message about why you want to create wedding bands together. The workshop must be attended by both bride and groom-to-be.

Start 2017 the clean way with a six-day detox at Flex Studio led by Michelle Ricaille, Homeopath Doctor and EYRT-500-hour Yoga Alliance Instructor. One lucky reader will win a spot at this transformative detox, which starts on January 16. The workshop includes a comprehensive detox manual, a lecture and cooking class, a daily yoga class and much more.

Benefit Cosmetics is giving us a Christmas to remember: there are seven holiday sets to choose from this year, and we’ve got three pairs to give away! Take your pick from Girl O’Clock Rock, an advent calendar containing Benefit’s 12 bestsellers, Kissy Missy (for lipstick lovers) or Girls Gone Wow (containing full size products for your entire face)! Deadline: December 22 Deadline: December 23 Deadline: December 20

Ovolo Southside Enjoy the ultimate staycation at Ovolo Southside. On offer is two nights’ accommodation at the hotel’s premier room category, the Long Loft, as well as a Sunday buffet brunch* for two worth a grand total of $6,000! And of course, all of Ovolo’s amazing freebies are included – breakfast, Wi-Fi, mini bar, happy hour, selflaundry, flexible check in / check out...yep, all free. *Beverage packages must be purchased separately for brunch Deadline: December 21

Subscribe to our e-newsletter to get all our giveaways delivered straight to your inbox: 30 | WWW.SOUTHSIDE.HK

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five minutes with


Tom Hilditch

The music producer turned voice actor talks to Robyn Or about working with Sting and what’s on his Christmas list.


Editor-in-Chief Shreena Patel Contributing Editor Callum Wiggins Annie Wong Carolynne Dear Senior Staff Writer Eric Ho


Design Manager Cindy Suen Graphic Designer Anna Schulteisz

Thanks to

Adele Brunner Amanda Sheppard Claire Billson Dr Pauline Taylor Doan Ho Ellie Kehoe Graham Turner Kim Buggins Nicole Roquel Paul Zimmerman Robyn Or Sarah Brennan Tracey Read

Published by

Fast Media Floor LG1, 222 Queens Road Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong

Illustration by Nicole Roquel

Samuel is a former band member of “MIT” (Made in Taiwan), where he played bass guitar.

I am an English speaking voice actor. You can hear my voice in TV commercials of major brands like Canon, Nikon, Cathay Pacific, Warner Brothers, National Geographic, CNN and more. I used to be a music producer - I’ve worked with British pop bands, UB40 and Sting. A few years ago, I was working with a client at my studio in Shek O and the voiceover talent didn’t show up. The client liked my voice so I had a go. Later, I was introduced to a production house in Chai Wan for casting. Working with Sting and his band was a great pleasure. They were in Hong Kong as part of their “Mercury Falling” tour. I engineered several live broadcasts from a studio in Hong


Kong to radio stations in the US, including the Howard Stern show in New York. It was so much fun while we were waiting for our time slots we had a lot of time to play around and it ended up being a bit of a jam session between all of us. Sting is a really interesting person to spend time with, a philosophical and extremely well read man who is very much into yoga and meditation. Our conversations were never boring and, of course, his skills as musician blew me away. My first proper voice acting job was a four-word recording which I finished in 5 minutes. It paid me enough to cover the next month’s rent. Then I made a demo tape and sent it to advertising companies and production houses in Hong Kong.

As a voice actor, you need to be imaginative and flexible. Clients don’t always know what they are looking for. My most unforgettable voice acting job was when the script for a large event at the Wanchai Convention Centre didn’t arrive in time from the US. Instead of recording the five-page script, I had to read it live to the audience, standing behind a curtain while taking cues from at least five different people, none of whom really knew what was going on. It came so close to being a disaster. I was born in Hong Kong but went to boarding school in India when I was 13. My school was in the Himalayas - that’s where I found my passion for music.

sounds familiar I asked my parents if they would buy me a bass guitar but they said no, so I built a one. I took some drawings and magazines to a local carpenter in India. It took six months to make.

house in a friendly neighbourhood. Life here is quiet on the weekdays. I walk barefoot everywhere: to the grocery stores, the beach, small restaurants...this year I was the official photographer for Tai Ping Ching Chiu Festival.

Instead of going to college, I made a deal with my dad: I could play music if I went to Taiwan for a year to learn Mandarin. I ended up staying in Taiwan for an extra five years as part of a local band called MIT, short for “Made In Taiwan”. I played bass guitar. We didn’t have any hits but we got a lot of radio airplay. We also won sponsorship from Coca Cola Taiwan. I’m really proud of our album, “We Can Be One”, all written and produced by us.

I walk barefoot everywhere

We toured in Southeast Asian countries. It was unforgettable, but a very young lifestyle: awake all night, asleep all day. My ears became damaged due to the prolonged high volume working environment. Eventually, I decided to be a music producer and studied music engineering in the UK.

I am a yes man, I say “yes” to every new opportunity. I was once wandering around at Art Walk in Stanley and I could sense someone stalking me, so I stopped and turned to face her - she worked for a model agency and invited me for a casting. Since then, I’ve been modelling. I have shot around 60 commercials for the likes of Sun Hung Kai Property and Quaker, plus many in China.

One day, I woke up and my heart was telling me to go to Hong Kong. I arrived in 1993, and moved to Shek O. I live in a village

Modelling work has taken me to many places: from a freezing Mongolian mountain top at 3:15am in the winter, surrounded by

wild horses and curious sheep (I was given a week-long crash course in horse riding so the director could get a single shot of me in full gallop), to driving an SUV at full speed through a very rocky river north of Beijing - I was told not to worry about trashing it. I live a sober lifestyle. I am a vegetarian now. I wake up at 5:30am every morning, feed my three cats and meditate for up to an hour. After working out, I make myself a fresh juice. My working day usually starts at 11am. Today might be a voiceover work, tomorrow might be a casting overseas. This Christmas, I will be hosting a Christmas Eve gathering in Shek O for the 23rd year in a row. Most of Christmas Day will be spent surfing followed by dinner with my close friends next door. I like to keep Christmas simple and not get caught up in the frenzy of it all. What’s on my wishlist? The gifts of knowledge and new experiences are always welcome in my life, but my christmas wish is for the return of sanity and the end of suffering.




Digital Marketing Manager Charmaine Mirandilla

Sales & Marketing Sales Director Oliver Simons

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PA to the Publisher Amanda Chia Accounting Executive Jason To Office Security Cat the dog


Apex Print Limited 11-13 Dai Kwai Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, Tai Po, Hong Kong @southsidemag

GIVE US A CALL! Admin: 3568 3722 Editorial: 2776 2773 Advertising: 2776 2772, 3563 9755 Southside Magazine is published by Fast Media Ltd. This magazine is published on the understanding that the publishers, advertisers, contributors and their employees are not responsible for the results of any actions, errors and omissions taken on the basis of information contained in this publication. The publisher, advertisers, contributors and their employees expressly disclaim all and any liability to any person, whether a reader of this publication or not, in respect of any action or omission by this publication. Southside Magazine cannot be held responsible for any errors or inaccuracies provided by advertisers or contributors. The views herein are not necessarily shared by the staff or pubishers. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher.


SCHOOL’S OUT Plans to build 1,400 luxury apartments on Ap Lei Chau have triggered a fierce battle, with local residents and constituent council-members on one side and the planning authority on the other. Graham Turner reports.


ou might not think it, but the small Southside island of Ap Lei Chau is in fact the second most densely populated island in the world, only behind Santa Cruz del Islote in Colombia. It came as a surprise then, when the government unveiled plans earlier this year to demolish the island’s School of Motoring (the only one on Hong Kong island of its kind) to make way for the construction 1,400 luxury apartments. With the island already squeezing a staggering 90,000 residents into a meagre 1.32 square km, the plans were met with strong opposition. This came to a head at a recent forum gathering legislators, lawmakers and local residents to discuss the issue. South Horizons Concern Group chairman Joseph Au Yuenfat shared results of a survey he

had conducted around the island, telling the meeting that over 80 percent of residents are against the plan. “I am not against land development, but you should look for a suitable land plot and rezone with suitable process, and not with coercive measures,” he

Ap Lei Chau is...the second most densely populated island in the world

said, referring and rejecting the government’s implied reasoning that the planned MTR South Island line will alleviate any increase in traffic and congestion. District councillor for South

Horizons West, Judy Chan Ka-pui, intimated that the government had cherry-picked its arguments when drafting the proposal to rezone the land that the School of Motoring currently occupies. She also said the government ignored the population density in Ap Lei Chau: about one-third of the district’s population live on the small island. “All 16 district councillors have reached the consensus that no more residences should be built on the island,” she said. Despite this, the Hong Kong Planning Authority is standing its ground on the controversial proposal. “Taking into account the increase in traffic flows brought about by the proposed residential development, all major road junctions in Ap Lei Chau would still have spare capacity in by the year of 2021,” said Ginger Kiang Kam-yin, a district planning officer from the department.

building blocks The general sentiment of local residents is that the space would be much better suited as an open-area, harbour front space. Mr Chan, a resident of Ap Lei Chau’s South Horizons for 20 years, is worried about the already formidable amount of traffic if even more homes are built on the densely populated island. “It’s just further insult to injury for me,” he says. “Ap Lei Chau long ago exceeded its limit in terms of housing, we’re already squeezed in here tight and it doesn’t help that we only have one connecting bridge to and from the island.” It seems that the strength of opposition has at the very least, put a spanner in the works of the Planning Department as it has been forced to delay a final consent. However, it seems likely that protest will only postpone the inevitable. Ms Li, a 36-year South Horizons resident, seems to know only too well of the government’s position when it comes to regional concerns such as this. She says, “The government is basically ignoring our concerns. Residents here have, in their totality, objected to the rezoning and planned building, but they won’t listen to us.” Got a local story? Have your say by emailing


news from the greens

I DON’T WANT NO SCRUB What’s the connection between body scrubs and polluted oceans? Tracey Read, founder of local environmental charity Plastic Free Seas, explains.


id you know...some face and body scrubs sold in Hong Kong contain over one million tiny plastic microbeads? Each time you wash your face you could be releasing 17,000 plastic beads down the drain, many of which flush straight through the wastewater treatment system out to sea. But why focus on these microbeads when larger pieces of plastic are more of a problem for oceans by volume? Because it’s simple to fix. Unlike other broken plastic fragments, plastic microbeads have one major source point - exfoliating personal care products. By targeting this source point, we can prevent trillions of plastic pieces from entering our local waterways and potentially polluting our food chain. Due to their small size, microbeads are easily ingested by marine life – zooplankton, fish, and filter feeders such as mussels, clams and the blue whale – from the base of the food chain to the top. They are known to negatively impact the health of many species. Microplastics (including microbeads and polyester fibres) in the marine environment are known to accumulate toxic contaminants such as persistent organic pollutants (or POPs) that are already in seawater in minute quantities. Over time, these POPs accumulate on the surface of the plastic and create a very unhealthy plastic soup. To date, governments in the USA, Canada, UK, Taiwan and Korea have all issued statements on microbeads with some legislation enacted or due to be in the near future. In 2013, the HKSAR government released a report, commissioned by government working group Clean Shorelines, which committed to source reduction initiatives for plastic marine pollution. It is now time that the government makes good How can you push for change on its commitments to reduce in Hong Kong and Asia? plastic marine pollution at source, • Sign the microbead petition recognises microbead usage in at to show body care products as an issue the government we want less and officially commits to taking a microplastic pollution in our waters proactive and preventative approach • Use your voice on social media to cleaning our seas. to raise awareness of plastic microbeads Tracey Read is the • Don’t buy products which Founder & CEO of contain plastic microbeads Plastic Free Seas, (download the app at for Hong Kong products)


Valley Fort Rugby Football Club

JOIN THE BEST SPORTING COMMUNITY ON THE SOUTHSIDE Valley Fort is one of the largest mini rugby clubs in Hong Kong, and an all-inclusive, close-knit community of children and their parents. We welcome girls and boys aged 5 to 18 to learn the sport in a safe environment, and to enjoy its principles of respect, teamwork and fair play for many years to come.

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cover story

A Southside Christmas story by Sarah Brennan.

Best-selling local author of The Chinese Calendar Tales and the Dirty Stories for kids You can find all of Sarah’s books at Illustrations by Nicole Roquel.


ho, ho, ho!


cover story


’ was the night before Christmas when, sleigh flying low, Poor Santa Claus sighed as he looked down below: The roads from Pok Fu Lam to distant Tai Tam Were blinking with cars in a long traffic jam; The buildings were glowing, their lights still ablaze; The kids were still running around in a daze; The Christmas trees glittered with tinsel and light But nobody acted as if it were night, And, parking his sleigh on a low-hanging cloud, He scratched at his beard as he wondered aloud. “I’ve gifts to deliver up here in my sleigh, All wrapped up and ready to send on their way, With candy for stockings and wonderful treats, Like chocolate and jellies and colourful sweets


And games by the dozen and wonderful toys To razzle the girls and to dazzle the boys, And way down below, I just know there is cake And carrots for Rudolph and all of his mates But ‘til there is darkness, we’re stuck in the sky For if we are seen, all the magic will die!” Now everyone knows that his warning is right, For magic can never survive in the light, And things that are seen become boring and plain So no-one is ever excited again. Thus Santa Claus only delivers at night, When kids are asleep with their eyes shuttered tight And mothers and dads are at last in their beds, While visions of shopping lists dance in their heads, And silence is golden, and darkness is nigh So Santa can safely slip down from the sky.


cover story

The minutes ticked by, then an hour, then two Poor Santa Claus muttered “Oh, what shall I do? A billion more kids are awaiting my sleigh, From China to Russia and further away, And I must be back home, with deliveries done, Ere a new day begins with the rise of the sun!” Yet way down below, there was no calm in sight With the buildings still winking and blinking their lights, Till finally Santa declared with a groan “I guess we’ll just have to leave Southside alone!” He pulled on his boots and he put on his hat; He summoned the elves, who’d been having a chat, Then, pursing his lips, started whistling out loud, To gather the reindeer back onto the cloud. But call as he might, not a deer trotted in; Not one ruddy nose nor an antler nor chin; Not one trusty steed to hitch up to the sleigh To set Santa back on his globe-trotting way. So, finally, caught in a terrible trap, The weary old man settled down for a nap. Meanwhile, down below, dodging buildings and trees As swift as an arrow, and quiet as you please, Nine dark furry shadows were trotting a course To follow the power-lines back to their source. They flew over Stanley, they passed Repulse Bay, They skimmed by the beaches at Deepwater Bay, Then over the Aberdeen rooftops they flew Till finally Pok Fu Lam came into view. Then, taking a left turn and galloping fast They finally made it to Lamma at last…




cover story

Meanwhile, up above, Santa woke with a start It seemed that the Southside was suddenly dark! The houses and high-rise apartments lay still; No light could be seen over beachside or hill; The roads and the playgrounds were quiet as the dead; The children were finally tucked up in bed; And even the mums and the dads were asleep With presents still lying unwrapped in a heap… Then eight happy reindeer dashed back with a neigh So Santa could safely descend in his sleigh...


The gifts were delivered, the Southside was done, There still were six hours till the rise of the sun Yet, just as old Santa set off with his team, It seemed that the darkness had all been a dream. For, stretching from Lamma, as if in a chain, The island lit up like a candle again! Meanwhile, with his rump looking angry and sore, Young Rudolph caught up with the reindeer once more And proudly they sang, as they dashed out of sight, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!”



Courtesy of Hong Kong Ballet

arts & culture

A REAL CHRISTMAS CRACKER Amanda Sheppard speaks to choreographer Terence Kohler about the Hong Kong Ballet’s production of the timeless Christmas classic, The Nutcracker.


hen the season starts to turn, the cooler air leaves a spring in the step of most city-dwellers in Hong Kong. This tends to mean just one thing: Christmas is around the corner. There is perhaps no better way to get yourself into the festive spirit than an evening with the quintessential Christmas feat: The Nutcracker. The production made its debut in 1892 in St Petersburg, Russia, and has been delighting ballet enthusiasts from around the world for more than a century since. Which piece of choreography made you realise this was the career for you? Two ballets are important for me. When I was a child I fell completely in love with the art form, performing with the Australian Ballet in Kenneth Macmillan’s Manon. But it was when I saw a performance of Jiri Kylian’s One of a Kind by the Netherlands Dance Theatre that I knew I wanted to be a choreographer. How have you made The Nutcracker your own? Like any choreographer, I’m influenced by my own fantasy, and when you start creating in the studio together with the dancers, it’s their individual qualities and impulses that help to shape the work further. Hong Kong is lucky to


have such wonderful and unique dancers. I like to believe that the ballet as it exists now is not only my Nutcracker, but our Nutcracker. I can only give them the choreographic score; they bring it to life each show. Would you say you are imprinting your trademarks onto the production? A common misconception about The Nutcracker is that a definitive version of the ballet exists worldwide. Over the years, each ballet company has formed their own tradition, and very little of the original choreography is performed nowadays. When we researched how the Christmas tradition was adopted in Hong Kong, we discovered that many families come together to eat a special meal with each other. This became the basis of our party scene in Act One. When considering my own trademarks; I guess one can never really escape themselves when creating new work. Does Tchaikovsky’s score still inspire you in new ways? I have been listening to Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker score ever since I first discovered my parent’s record collection as a child. Even now though, listening to the music still manages to excite and awaken a similar sense of magic and awe inspiring wonder that I had all those years ago.

Terence Kohler

Every time I start listening to the music again, I find new impulses and inspirations that translate into new solutions to improve upon the last year. My favourite moment is when we have our first orchestral dress rehearsal just before opening night because the dancers are so inspired by the score it manages to push them to dance even better than the year before! Could you talk us through your opening night routine? Opening night is a ‘blink and you miss it’ kind of moment. We have normally been working so incredibly hard to get the production ready that there is only enough time to grab something to eat, put on a suit and suddenly there we are. I normally go backstage to greet the dancers, wishing them the energy and strength to do their very best. Then I wait for the ballet staff on the side of the stage and we accompany each other out into the auditorium. It doesn’t matter how many years we have been doing the ballet, as we sit there together eagerly anticipating the dimming of the lights and the first notes of Tchaikovsky’s famous overture, we all have butterflies in our stomach.


Photos by Marcel Heijnen, ‘Hong Kong Shop Cats’ Courtesy of Blue Lotus Gallery, Hong Kong

arts & culture

Hong Kong’s shop owners share space with their feline friends

CATITUDE Hong Kong’s feline friends feature in their own new book. Amanda Sheppard finds out more.


n a tale as old as time, a game of cat and mouse ensues in Hong Kong’s western district – a place where time seems to have stood still – despite an encroaching urbanisation of nearby streets. Dutch Photographer Marcel Heijnen has sought to encapsulate just this in his new book, Hong Kong Shop Cats, featuring a series of stills, stories, and poems. Shot over a period of nine months, Heijnen, who was previously based in Singapore, has recently relocated back to Hong Kong, a place he called home some 18 years ago. It was here, he tells us, “I found myself living without cats for the first time in about 40 years”. Near his home in the Sheung Wan, Sai Ying Pun area, Heijnen struck inspirational gold, and began taking pictures of these proud animals in their adopted homes. “I just hang around until something interesting happens. Often,


there’s a very loving relationship between the shop owners and the cats”, he says. The photographs in Heijnen’s book are intercut with featured poems, prose and calligraphy by contributing writers, including pieces by poet and friend Ian Row. “Ian often features haikus written from the point of view of his wonderful cat, Charlie”, says Heijnen. “The results are highly creative, observational, and most of all: humorous. They provide a deeper meaning to the photos, and make this more than just a book with cool photos in it”. The book includes a foreword by Heijnen himself, and an essay which gives insight into the Hong Kong shopcat phenomenon by Catharine Nicol. These images evoke a sense of timelessness, explains Heijnen. “Hardly anything in these photos tells the viewer that they were taken in 2016. The shops are void

of retail designs and branding. I was surprised to find out that this particular story has yet to be told by any photographer, as far as I am aware”. “It’s mainly just goods, people, and cats”, Heijnen says of his compositions. However, a quick glance reveals much, much more than first meets the eye. Ironic, audacious, and ever-endearing, the subjects of these photographs are confident and curious, and we can testify that the true kings of the castles have indeed claimed their thrones. The Hong Kong Shop Cats book launches at a pop up at the ZZHK art space in Sheung Wan from December 9-11. Books and prints will then be displayed at the Blue Lotus Gallery in Chai Wan. For more information, visit



Christmas feasts Where to dine out, plus turkeys to go and hampers.


The hotels

bring us a figgy pudding Ovolo Southside Southside’s Ovolo presents a Christmas day BBQ lunch at CIRQLE. Priced at $448 per adult ($268 for children), the festive feast includes a meat station serving turkey, ham and sausages, a seafood station, a salad bar and a dessert corner. Add on $65 per person for free-flow soft drinks, or $198 for Christmas mulled wine and more. Available from 12-3pm.

Grand Hyatt Fill your boots at Grand Hyatt’s buffet restaurant, Tiffin. The buffet offers a delicious spread of Western and European delicacies, freshly prepared waffles and an ice cream station. Carols will be performed during Christmas eve dinner and Christmas day, along with a visit from Santa. $1,280 per adult, $640 per child for lunch and dinner.

64 Wong Chuck Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang,

Mezzanine floor, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, 2584 7722,

Hyatt Regency Sha Tin Hong Kong The Sha Tin-based hotel is offering a Christmas lunch ($558 for adult, $279 for children) and dinner ($688 for adult, $344 for children). Feast on pan-fried foie gras, turkey with traditional stuffing, lobster and more at Hyatt Regency’s Cafe. Each sitting includes a glass of wine, beer or soft drink. 18 Chak Cheung Street, Sha Tin, 3723 1234,

The Peninsula Hong Kong Available from Dec 22-26, the much-loved Lobby at The Peninsula is offering a delectable Christmas afternoon tea ($458 per person) and four course set dinner ($1,488). Meanwhile, the hotel’s European avantgarde restaurant, Felix, is serving up a three-

Crowne Plaza Hong Kong Kowloon East Situated on the first floor, Chef’s Table is serving traditional Christmas dishes like turkey and ham, as well as seafood favourites including oysters, blue mussels, lobster and clams. Special items such as scallop carpaccio and pan fried goose liver are available at dinner. ($358 per adult, $268 per child for the lunch buffet; $638 per adult and $518 per child for dinner). In addition, a festive tea set is available at Cielo on the 47th floor, complete with savoury items like turkey burrito and mini lobster burgers. Desserts include English scones and Christmas log cake. $328 for two, available from Dec 20 to Jan 1.

InterContinental Hong Kong The Steak House Winebar and Grill is offering surf-and-turf Christmas lunch and dinner set menus. Both menus start with a trip to the salad bar, followed by a choice of main, dessert buffet and coffee or tea. Choices for mains include U.S rib eye steak (8oz for lunch; 14oz for dinner), filet mignon and sirloin steak (8oz for lunch). Lunch is $1,138 per person; $838 per child. Dinner is $1,688; $1,388 per child. Inspired by Christmas classic “The Nutcracker”, Executive Pastry Chef Cyril Dupuis’ has put together a Festive Nutcracker Afternoon tea. Available throughout December, starts at $608 for two (prices vary depending on dates).

3 Tong Tak Street, Tseung Kwan O,

Lower level, InterContinental Hong Kong, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2313 2323,

course ($1,388 from 6-8pm) or a five-course dinner from 8pm onwards ($1,888). Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui,




208 Duecento Otto Italian restaurant, 208 Duecento Otto has prepared a selection of Christmas dishes with an Italian twist. On the menu are venison carpaccio, porcini and wild mushroom risotto, Christmas trifle and more. Guests also receive a complimentary panettone. Available December 21-27. Head to 208 Duecento Otto on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day for the restaurant’s signature brunch: an unlimited spread of salads and antipasti for $508 per person. Mains and desserts available at extra cost, additional $180 for free-flow Veuve Clicquot.

208 Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan, 2549 0208,

Casa Lisboa For cosy Portuguese fare, Casa Lisboa’s Christmas buffet is filled with new dishes. Sample from the cold buffet, hot food, bacalhau (dried and salted cod) and dessert station. Homemade Portuguese bread, soup and sharing plates are available. ($480 per adult; $250 per child aged 4-11). Free-flow options start at $90 per person. The Optimist Feliz Navidad! The Optimist brings Spanish fever to its five-course Christmas menu. The menu includes the restaurant’s signature dishes like grilled Galician octopus, wild monkfish and Spanish fillet Chateaubriand. It finishes with Turrón de Navidad, a traditional dessert of sweet nougat, honey and roasted almonds. Available on December 24 and 25. $688 per person, with free flow packages starting at an additional $240 for bottomless wine, beer, prosecco, champagne and house spirits. The Optimist is also offering a semi-buffet style brunch. Expect roast turkey, with various small dishes, mains and desserts. $348 per person, additional $180 per person for free flow prosecco, sangria, wine and beer. G/F-2/F, 239 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, 2433 3324,

8/F LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham Street, Central, 2905 1168,

Jamie’s Italian Sharing is caring at Jamie’s Italian. The eatery has two specific menus this Christmas - Festive Lunch Set and the WOW menu. The lunch set has an option for two ($168) or three ($198) courses which comes with starters, mains and dessert. For groups of 10 or more, the WOW menu ($468 per person) includes three courses of two starters, two mains, two side dishes and a dessert. Available throughout December. 2/F, Soundwill Plaza II - Midtown, 1 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, 3958 2222,

M Cuisine Mediterranean private dining restaurant M Cuisine has put together a four-course set dinner. Guests are welcomed with a cocktail, oysters, canapes and mince pies. The menu then leads to a spread of antipasti, entrees and ends with a citrus garden panna cotta for dessert. The dinner menu can also be tailored and delivered to your home. Free flow drinks included. $1,200 per person, minimum of 10 guests.

Pirata Celebrate the Italian way with Pirata’s festive lunch and dinner menu. Marvel at the giant carved out parmesan wheel full of boletus mushroom risotto during brunch ($298 per person; free-flow for an extra $180). The five-course dinner menu ($648 per person) tantalises taste buds with wild boar ragout, Tuscan sea bass and butchers’ cut steak, followed by popular Italian desserts like tiramisu and panna cotta.

Flat B, 17/F, Derrick Industrial Building, 49 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Wong Chuk Hang, 2558 8664,

29-30/F, 239 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, 2887 0270,



eating Wooloomooloo Prime With glittering views of Hong Kong, Wooloomooloo Prime has crafted a Christmas set dinner menu ($988 per person, available December 24 and 25) which starts with a smoked salmon and crab parcel, smoked duck breast and foie gras, soup and a main choice option of traditional Christmas turkey, panseared halibut or the signature Wooloomooloo grilled Australian beef tenderloin. The evening finishes with a dessert, coffee, tea and petit four. Level 27 & 28, Soundwill Plaza II – Midtown, 1 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, 2771 3600,

Popsy Modern Kitchen Art inspired restaurant Popsy Modern Kitchen has been transformed into a black and gold winter garden with silk flowers. The restaurant has also prepared a special eight-course Enchanted Christmas menu. Dishes include seared scallops, pan seared duck foie gras and poached turbot. Following the tradition of roasting game, roasted duck is served and finished with a ‘Christmas Wreath’ dessert. $988 per person. 5/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Sheung Wan, 2907 8188,

Catalunya Along with specially created dishes like homemade terrine foie gras and and the seafood platter for two (available December 24, 25 and 31), a Spanish brunch awaits diners at Catalunya. The Christmas day brunch starts from $780 ($208 for children aged 3-9) and includes free-flow French oysters, plus a seafood station and signature dishes like charcuterie, pinchos, salads and desserts. Free flow starts at an additional $230.

Landmark Level 5 & 6, 15 Queen’s Road Central, 3657 6388,

G/F, Guardian House, Morrison Hill, 32 Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai, 2866 7900,

With a view

The Ocean Dine with serene views of Repulse Bay at The Ocean. Led by Chef Agustin Balbi, ride the waves through the restaurant’s understated yet impressive seven-course festive menu ($1,788 per person) which includes abalone, scallop, lobster and turbot, and a coffee mousse dessert with almond ice cream, candied hazelnuts and meringue.

aqua Located on the top level of One Peking, aqua has panoramic views of Hong Kong Island. This year’s festive offering is a Yuletide five course feast ($1,498 per person; extra $398 per person with wine pairing). The restaurant uses both Japanese and Italian flavours and conjures up grilled umami Hokkaido scallop, roasted turkey breast and grilled Japanese sea bass.

Morton’s The Steakhouse With harbour views available from every table, guests are spoilt for choice at Morton’s The Steakhouse this Christmas. The dinner set menu ($1,088 per person) begins with a starter, followed by a choice of appetizers, mains, sides and desserts. Mains include 16oz rib eye and 8oz filet mignon as well as salmon and chicken dishes. Served with coffee and tea.

29-30/F, One Peking, Tsim Sha Tsui, 3427 2288,

4/F, The Sheraton Hotel & Towers, 20 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2732 2343,


Zuma Go fancy with Zuma’s Baikingu Christmas brunch. Acclaimed for its Japanese cuisine, Zuma has ensured that this year’s festive menu features its signature dishes as well as seasonal delicacies, like iberico pork ribs with Japanese BBQ sauce and spicy cashew nuts, Teriyaki turkey and roasted blue lobster. For an added festive twist, guests will enjoy white truffle shaved table side by the chef. Zuma is also serving its own homemade mulled wine. $590 per person; $650 for the Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne package. Available on Dec 24 and 25. A Festive Season Tasting Menu with white truffle is also available from December 5 2016. Finally, if you still haven’t made plans for New Year’s Eve, ZUMA is bringing the glitz and glamour of 1920s America with Japan in the form of Gatsby Shogatsu. Enjoy a special tasting menu with white truffle accompanied by live performances, or head upstairs to the lounge for DJs, performances and a set menu and wine pairing menu offering.

3/F, the pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, 2889 5939,



l Traditiona

The Butchers Club Suitable for groups of six or more, The Butchers Club’s Christmas private dining menu includes both land and sea dishes like The Butchers Club’s Seafood Trough, slow roasted pork belly and chef Nick’s famous beer bread. Guests have an option of dry-aged beef (carved tableside) or a traditional whole roast turkey served with homemade stuffing and all the trimmings. The meal is finished off with homemade desserts. $1,000 per person. Available throughout December at Butchers Club Deli and Private Kitchen in Aberdeen. For details, visit

Classified Christmas dishes include honey roast ham, rolled Norfolk turkey and Christmas pudding. Plus, roast potatoes, honeyed carrots and brussel sprouts to share. $480 per person available from December 1, minimum of six guests per booking.

Outlets across Hong Kong including 5 Sha Tsui Path, Sai Kung, 2529 3454,

Feast (Food by EAST) Feast is kicking off the festive season with a semi-buffet brunch, which comes with half Boston lobster, antipasti and a range of seafood. Choose from hand-carved turkey breast, organic baby rack of lamb and rib of beef for mains. The brunch is topped with festive desserts like cinnamon creme brulee, lemon ginger polenta cake, mince pies and more. Look out for a visit from Santa and the Snowman. EAST, 29 Taikoo Shing, Taikoo Shing Road, 3968 3777,

FRITES Tuck into a three-course Christmas menu at Belgian beer house FRITES. The menu starts with a pot of Guezue mussels, followed by turkey ballotine served with sausage and chestnut stuffing or black angus roast beef. Things are rounded of nicely with a Christmas brioche pudding. $495 per person. Additional $250 per person for two hours of free-flow prosecco,


beers, wine, spirits, juices and soft drinks. The dishes in the express lunch menu change weekly during the three weeks leading up to Christmas. Branches available across Hong Kong including 1/F, The Wellington, 198 Wellington Street, Central, 2217 6671,

Aberdeen Street Social Located in PMQ, Aberdeen Street Social has crafted British fare for diners this Christmas. The menu starts with soup and appetizers, followed by various traditional dishes, including turkey, venison wellington and roasted south coast bass, followed by dessert and mince pies. Complimentary mulled wine is available during the two weeks leading up to Christmas. $750 per person. Available Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. PMQ, JPC G/F, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central, 2866 0300,



Turkeys to go Blue Raised on the banks of Hunter Valley in Australia, Blue’s whole ($1,880) and half ($980) semi-deboned Hunter Valley free-range turkeys are available to tuck into at home. The turkey comes with mashed potatoes, homemade pork stuffing, chorizo brussel sprouts, gravy and cranberry sauce. All orders include sweet potato pie and cinnamon whipped cream. All turkeys must be ordered 48 hours in advance.

Limewood Celebrate Christmas by the beach with Limewood’s Hunter Valley free range charcoal roasted turkey ($880). It is served with pineapple sausage stuffing, glazed baby carrots, caramelized shallot mash and turkey jus. Available for dine-in or delivery via Deliveroo. Shop 103-104, G/F, the pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, 2866 8668,

Christmas hampers InterContinental Hong Kong There are four hampers to choose from; The Festive Foodie Basket ($2,998), The Epicurean ($3,998), The Gourmet ($6,998) and the New Life Organic Holiday Hamper ($1,998). Each hamper is topped with various festive items like Panettone, Christmas pudding and mince pies. Hampers come in a specially designed carry case. Order from 2313 2323, Available till December 30.

Berry Bros. & Rudd Make the festive season more merry with Berry Bros. & Rudd’s King’s Ginger Gift Set ($499). Along with a bottle of The King’s Ginger Liqueur, the set comes with a leather hip flask and a brace of two extendable cups. The liqueur is an element to make the perfect Christmas mulled wine. Order from

108 Hollywood Road, Central, 2613 9286,

Classified Morty’s Delicatessen Feast in the comfort of your own home with Morty’s Delicatessen’s Family Feast@HOME package ($2,788). Available throughout the month of December, the package can feed 10-14 people, with a whole roasted American turkey, apple smoked bacon stuffing, mashed potato, sweet potato mash and more. Dessert dishes include Martha’s apple pie and homemade blueberry cheesecake. Extras like honey glazed ham (8kg), salads, desserts and other treats can be ordered separately. Orders need to be placed at least three days in advance. Order at, or call 3665 0900.

GREAT Food Hall Choose from different sized turkeys at the GREAT Food Hall. Imported from France and the US, frozen, chilled and organic turkeys available and range from 3kg to 9.5kg. Prices vary depending on type of turkey. Festive sides like roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, truffle potato gratin and turkey gravy can also be ordered separately at an extra cost. Cooked dinner sets are also available and start from $1,299. Order at least four days in advance, by December 19 at the latest. Order online christmas, call 2918 0091 or in store. Basement, Two Pacific Place, Queensway, Admiralty.


Oliver’s The Delicatessen Oliver’s offers two choices of turkeys this festive season. The Ali Oli Christmas turkey dinner set ($4,388) comes with a full spread of antipasti, roasted turkey with apple and walnut stuffing, honey-glazed ham, salmon, sides, desserts and mulled wine. Orders must be placed by December 19 (at least four days in advance for delivery). Alternatively, there’s an oven-ready 13lbs US roast turkey without stuffing ($680 each, needs to be picked up). To order, email or for more information, call 2810 7710,

CRFT-PIT CRFT-PIT has created a Christmas dinner with a Southern twist. Delivered chilled or ready to be served, the set comes with mains including a traditional hickory-smoked turkey with cranberry BBQ sauce, sticky St Louis ribs and maple salmon cubes. Sides include southern slaw, bourbon sweet potato mash. For dessert, choose from apple crumble pie or homemade pecan pie. $2,300, serves six to eight. Available throughout December and orders must be placed three days in advance for delivery. Unit 2, 3/F, Harbour Industrial Centre, 10 Lee Hing Street, Ap Lei Chau, 2476 2800,

Choose from a variety of hampers from Classified that are filled with all your favourite Christmas goodies including gingerbread, mince pies and mulled wine mix. Hamper sets include The All I want for Christmas Hamper ($2,600), Winter Wonderland Hamper ($1,190), Little Drummer Boy Hamper ($900) are all available. Delivery fee varies depending on location. Orders must be placed before December 26, by emailing

Marks and Spencer There is a wide range of hampers available from Marks and Spencer including the Christmas Spectacular ($3,699) which is filled with all the Christmas goodies, the Christmas Joy ($299) and Kids’ Delights ($125.5). Gluten free hampers available. Order to be placed before Dec 16 to receive free delivery, call 3656 2223,

Invisible Kitchen Hong Kong’s gourmet little helpers have put together a classic Christmas home hamper. The hamper serves eight to 12 people and includes a traditional roast turkey, sliced turkey breast with pork and cranberry stuffing, roasted potatoes, brussel sprouts and more. $2,400 per hamper. Call 2711 5788, or visit

HK$6.98 million


home & living


material girl

HOW TO DO SHAM SHUI PO Insider tips from designer Kim Buggins on navigating the fabric bedecked lanes of Sham Shui Po.


f you’re looking for advice on Sham Shui Po, home accessories designer Kim Buggins is your lady. She happily admits to spending “most of her time” trawling the lanes for materials and inspiration for her designs. She knows the suburb like the back of her hand, and is on first-name terms with many of the shopkeepers. So where to start? First up, a coffee. For those in the know, Cafe Sausalito on Tai Nan Street is the only place to go. “There didn’t used to be a lot here for coffee lovers,” admits Buggins. “But since (Sausalito owner) Michael Tam opened up, I have my perfect caffeine stop.” The coffee is indeed so good I would actually make a detour for it - along with a lovely latte, Tam does a nice line in sandwiches, cakes and other assorted snacks and lunch items. Fully caffeined up, now it’s time to shop. For first-timers, the blocks of streets and myriad shops can be daunting. However, if you know what you’re doing, the roads can be divided into specific items. Yu Chau Street, for example, is all about beads and ribbons. While Buggins has a handful of personal favourites, she says on the whole they’re all pretty good. “And so cheap. You can buy an entire roll rather than just a length for a great price. My cupboards are groaning with rolls of ribbon, fantastic for gift-wrapping.” Shopkeepers are also happy to cut snippets if you need to go away and compare colour schemes. “From wrapping presents, trimming cushions or just keeping lengths of ribbon for kids’ hair ties, the products are great value,” says Buggins. Top buys at this time of year include Christmasthemed ribbons decorated with trees, gifts and stars, to anything glittery - including yards of sparkling rope “which would look great as a tie for napkins or for hanging name labels onto chairs at the Christmas table. Also fabulous for trimming hand-made stockings and sacks.” The MTR end of the street is stuffed with bead and button shops. Let your imagination run riot - from stitching colourful beads onto stockings or gift bags, to creating necklaces for kids or using them to trim a plain dress or top, there are plenty of ways they can be used to accessorize. Tai Nan Street is chock full of leather goods. Certain shops offer masterclasses in leather-making - Buggins recommends the bag making classes. Alternatively, the rolls of brightly coloured leather could be used for placemats at the Christmas lunch table. Ki Lung Street is a treasure trove of beautiful fabrics, including the fabric market. Ricky’s

Where to go

at 1J-1K Shek Kip Mei Street is overflowing (literally, some jostle on the pavement outside) with rolls of gorgeous material - there are loads of silver and gold options that would look great as table runners or napkins. Lengths of white cotton are good value and cheap enough to turn into luxurious looking table cloths that can soak up the odd red wine stain without worrying. It’s also worth rummaging inside the shop for the odd designer remnant - we turned up a gorgeous roll of Tory Burch end-of-line. Also recommended is Kazaf Chau on Yu Chau Street - the silks are to die for and would make perfect party dresses or wraps. Buggins recommends purchasing materials (and also zips) to be tailored from Sham Shui Po rather than buying in Shenzhen - “the quality is better.” If you’re looking for stocking fillers, head to Fuk Wa Street, it’s bright, gaudy and perfect for cheap decorations, dress-ups and bits and pieces for the kids. Buggins’ Love Friday designs can be bought in Mirth,

Coffee stop - Cafe Sausalito, 201 Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po, 6305 1887. Leather workshops - Tepee, 217 Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po, 2488 9101; Brothers Leathercraft, 222 Tai Nan Street, SSP, 9136 0897. Rope - Wai Hung Weaving Factory, 90 Nam Cheong Street, Sham Shui Po, 2394 7838. Ribbon - Po Wai Knitting Limited, 150A Yu Chau Street, Sham Shui Po, 2361 1003; Cheng Hsing Ribbons Company, 162 Yu Chau Street, SSP, 2381 5611. Personalised ribbons and woven tags - Mei Shing Company, 164D Yu Chau Street, SSP, 2381 0991. Fabric - Ricky, 1J-1K Shek Kip Mei Street, SSP, 2393 3525; Moon Yue Piece Goods, 1/F, 125-127 Yu Chau Street, SSP, 2789 9661.

Top tips DON’T go if it’s raining - a lot of the marketholders stay closed. DON’T go before 11am - Hong Kong is a late opening kind of city! DON’T go on a public holiday - many stores and market-holders will stay closed. DO take a small handbag and fold-away shopping bag - the fabric shops in particular are stuffed with treasures, you don’t want to be toting over-sized bags around the material rolls. DO catch the MTR - Sham Shui Po is on the Tsuen Wan (red) line, seven stops from Central, exit A1 and walk straight ahead until you reach “bead street” (Yu Chau Street). Happy shopping!


home & living

DECK YOUR HALLS There’s no right or wrong way to do Christmas - but there’s always room for improvement, says Adele Brunner.


veryone has their own traditions at Christmas, and whether you’re a stalwart of the pile-em-high brigade, or prefer something more minimal, it’s up to you how you deck your halls. But then again, who hasn’t felt a twinge of tree envy when faced with a friend’s stunningly decorated fir or wanted more of a creative Christmas table? The key is planning says Jude Bailey, cofounder of party planning company Events For Life. “Don’t leave everything to the last minute. Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time both to assemble your ideas and to actually decorate,” she says.


If you want a stylish living area, she advises, it helps to have a stylish room to begin with. With space so tight in Hong Kong homes, too much furniture and clutter can stop a room from looking its best. Bailey suggests moving furniture around and decluttering shelves and other areas to create empty space for Christmas decorations. “Decide which areas of the room you want to accent and create one or two focal points (such as a Christmas tree in one corner or a festive display on a sideboard) which will draw the eye towards them,” says Bailey. “Don’t go overboard or it will look messy. It’s also best to

have a plain backdrop so the decorations really stand out.” She also advises sticking to one or two neutral base colours such as white, silver or gold, and adding pops of colour to these. This even extends to the colour of your wrapping paper, which should be bought to complement your decorations and complete the overall look. “It’s worth investing in some good quality baubles in your base colour because they will be used every year,” she says. “If you like a bit of colour at Christmas, buy cheaper decorations in that shade. That way, you can change it from one year to the next without


home & living Christmas tree ornaments $100 each from Lion Rock Press, Also available at Bookazine, Shop G107 C&D, The Repulse Bay, 109 Repulse Bay Road, 2750 1136.

Baubles Porcelain hanging decorations $49.9/2 from the Vinter 2016 range at IKEA,

from $79 each from Indigo Living, 6/F Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau, 2555 0540 (flagship). For a list of stores, visit

Elephant candle holders $3,250 each from Altfield Gallery.

Pure beeswax hand-rolled candles Artificial tall red berries $840 for six stems from Amaranthine Blooms, Also available at Bowerbird Home, 8/F Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing St, Ap Lei Chau, 2552 2727.

breaking the bank. Purple, green and red are the obvious Christmassy colours but if you want something more contemporary, try hot pink, lime green and orange.” If you’re not particularly creative, have no fear. Decorating inspiration abounds online. You only have to go to Pinterest for thousands of amazingly simple ideas, such as Mason jars filled with pine cones, a line of different sized wreaths on a coat rail and mini trees made out of twigs. Bailey suggests playing with scale - even going “big” in a small flat - and using windows, windowsills, ceilings and balconies and banisters if you have them. “You can get some fabulous snowflake stickers from stationery shops that you can stick onto windows, or boughs of greenery with battery powered fairy lights entwined in them that look great running up a banister,” she says. Nor does having children mean you have to abandon all sense of style, even though they often have a homing instinct for picking the most garish, gaudy decorations they can find. Bailey suggests allocating them their own corner to decorate, giving them a box of preselected decorations that they can use in any way they like, or letting them go wild in their


own bedrooms. (Or you could discreetly change the choice and placement of tree ornaments and decorations once they’ve gone to bed). “I would advise not going overboard multicoloured flashing fairy lights are a definite “no” in my book,” says Bailey. As with room decoration, similar rules apply to your table setting - don’t overdo it, invest in a couple of key festive pieces to go with what you already have, and keep it simple. Candles, fresh foliage, a table runner and sprinkles of table confetti are all relatively inexpensive elements that can easily be used to jazz up a table; coordinating napkins, name-cards, placemats and crackers add to the elegance. Try filling a clear vase with baubles or fresh clementines, or a assembling a tower of crackers. Stanley market is a great location for sourcing good quality, snow-white table linen; or try Sham Shui Po for inexpensive lengths of silvery fabric for table runners. “Be careful with the height of your centrepiece,” says Bailey. “It should either be low down on the table or very high. If it is at eye level, it will only get in the way.” Christmas is a theme in itself, so you can pick an aspect such as winter woodland or the

$380-$685 from Altfield Gallery, Landmark, 248 Prince’s Building, Central.

twelve days of Christmas and run with that. If you are entertaining children at the Christmas lunch table, incorporate table games like Secret Santa, or tactile centrepieces such as a nativity scene with wooden animals. Personalised messages and gifts at each person’s table setting create are also nice touches. At the end of the day, it’s all about getting into the spirit of the season and having some fun.

What’s hot this winter Pastels - combine pale blues and greens with pale grey and white, translucent, metallic and frosted. Rustic materials - go for a homemade approach with hessian, twine and brown paper packages. Vintage kitsch - bring on turquoise, hot pink, canary yellow, red and lime; the brighter, the better. Geometrics - delicate, angular baubles in gold and silver. Beautiful birds - peacoks, owls and birds of paradise as well as mini bird houses.


home & living

O CHRISTM S TREE * * Looking for ornaments? Check out page 64!

Eric Ho has your tree needs covered.

Fir real

Real trees, for that fresh pine scent. Anglo Chinese Florist

This year is the florist’s 70th anniversary. Choose between Noble fir, starting from $936, and Douglas fir, starting from $990. All trees are sourced directly from the Oregon Tree Farm. G/F & Basement, No. 9 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, 8am-8pm, 2921 2986,

Christmas trees 101 Buying a real Christmas tree for the first time and feeling frazzled by all the choices? Here’s a breakdown of the 3 most common Christmas tree types you’ll find in Hong Kong:

Noble - The longest native fir in North America. Loved for its symmetrical bluegreen needles, spaced out and sturdy branches - great for holding up heavy ornaments.

Douglas - The most popular tree in the US thanks to its nice cone shape, bushy appearance and fragrant scent. Usually the cheapest type of Christmas tree as it grows relatively quickly, allowing farmers to harvest sooner.

Nordmann - This variant is the most popular Christmas tree throughout Europe and steadily gaining popularity around the rest of the world. The tree has softer needles, which have a higher resistance to shedding as the tree dries. Due to the minimal fragrance, the tree is great for households with sensitive noses or allergies.



Douglas, Noble and Nordmann fir, all imported from USA Oregon State. All trees will come with a stand. Prices start at $1,198. Open for orders until December 12. Shop 201-205, 2/F Landmark Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road, Central.

The Flower Market

During the festive season, the aptly named Flower Market in Mong Kok is lined with Christmas trees and other festive plants and decorations. Don’t buy too quick, shop around for the best bargain! Flower Market Road, Mong Kok, 9.30am7.30pm.


Order a real fir tree, grown in a sustainable ecoenvironment, from IKEA. Prices start at $599 for a 150cm tree with orders open until December 18. Available to order at any of the IKEA stores including Upper Basement, Parklane Hotel, 310 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay, 10.30am10.30pm.

P&F Garden

P&F Garden have over 30 years of experience in Christmas trees. Pop down to this local nursery and pick out a Noble or Douglas fir. Prices start at $588. 50 Shui Choi Tin Village, Victoria Road, Pok Fu Lam, 10am-5pm, 2572 6430,

rocking around Sophie’s Christmas Trees

Visit the website, fill out an online form and send it via email or post. Prices start at $685 for a 4-5ft Noble fir. 42E Ha Pun Shan, Ma On Shan Tsuen, Ma On Shan, 2649 6280,

Christmas trees from $680. Trees can be custom designed with florals ribbons and ornaments. Unit 15B, 40 Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen, 2291 0388,

Faux fir Artificial trees, for easy upkeep. City’super

Stanley Flower Shop

The premium supermarket is stocking six different types of artificial Christmas trees this year, with prices ranging between $98 to $1,680. ifc mall Level 1, Shops 1041-1049, Central.

Choose your perfect Christmas tree from this Stanley Market flower stall. Stanley Flower Shop, 434A Stanley Market Road, Stanley, 2813 0624,

Oncor Recycled Trees

Oncor stocks just about every shape and size of artificial tree you can think of with prices ranging from $240 to $5,490. Free shipping. Available online at

Ellermann Flower Boutique

Don’t want a tree taking up too much space in your home? This year Ellerman is offering miniature

Toys “R” Us

Toys “R” Us have a selection of miniature artificial christmas trees, coming in fun neon colours as well as more traditional styles. Shop 23, 2/F at Site 2 of Aberdeen Centre, 4 Nam Ning St., Aberdeen, 11am-10pm, 2572 6430,

Ellerman Flower Boutique has a selection of miniature trees.


Pick up a tree next time you’re doing your groceries. Wellcome is stocking Nordmann, Douglas and Noble fir, with prices starting at $1,198. Red Hill Plaza, Shop G25, G/F, Tai Tam, 2813 1783.


Order a tree in just a few clicks. XmasTreeOnline ships Hong Kong wide until December 10 and also operates a limited removal service after Christmas. Order online at XmasTreeOnline has a selection of trees like this one - online.



SS: Do you enjoy Christmas?

Is it ok to serve prosecco?

Sir David: Yes, yes, yes.

Yes because it’s all relative.

So your social diary must be looking pretty busy about now...

Are handwritten thank you notes still de rigeur?

No, no, no. I never accept any Christmas parties.

Email is an acceptable substitute these days. It’s not the mode of thanks that counts, it’s what you actually write that matters.

Oh, ok. How will you be spending Christmas Day then?

What about e-Christmas cards?

I always spend it quietly with my family.

I hate e-cards.

You’re a social kind of guy the rest of the year. What makes a good party?

In terms of Christmas decorations, how do you dress your tree? Sleek and sophisticated or submerged in hand-crafted ornaments from younger family members?

A good party is one where the host only pays attention to his or her guests.

It’s often said it’s fashionable to be late, but how late is too late? It is never fashionable to be late. People who are late are rude.

I like old-fashioned Christmas trees full of oldfashioned decorations.

Is an artificial tree ok? No.

Any tips for making small talk? All small talks should be banned.

How do you navigate duller guests? When you meet someone boring, leave them in mid-sentence.

Any advice for escaping the party from hell?

It is never fashionable to be late. People who are late are rude.

If I don’t like the party, I simply slip away without saying goodbye to anyone.

Doesn’t politeness dictate that you seek out the host when you’re leaving? It really depends on how well you know the host. On the whole, if you’re leaving because you’re not enjoying the party, say nothing to the host. But if you’re leaving full of beans, then thank them.

What’s the biggest faux pas you’ve committed at a party? I don’t commit faux pas.

If you’re hosting, how do you go about evicting unwanted guests? One should be firm about unwanted guests and drunks. You must make sure that they leave. With help if necessary.


Who is Sir David Tang? Sir David Tang is founder of the China Club, Shanghai Tang and the China Exchange. He lives in Hong Kong and writes a weekly column for London’s Financial Times, answering readers queries about anything from etiquette to grammar. His book, Rules For Modern Life, is available from Bookazine. “If you think that I am doing this (Financial Times) column in order to enhance my social standing and reputation, and that I would become more famous and a better networker, would climb up the social ladder and command greater celebrity status; and that by being a regular contributor to the FT, the most prestigious international paper in the world, I would become the envy of other writers, established or aspiring - then you would be absolutely correct.”



Banyan Tree Lang Co

Shreena Patel checks in for the weekend.


weekend break



The view from a Hillside Pool Villa.


s Christmas approaches, many of us are preparing to fly out of Hong Kong to spend the holidays with extended family. But if thoughts of successive turkey-based meals, “Trexit” and overly aggressive games of Monopoly are stressing you out already, perhaps it’s time to book a(nother) holiday. When it comes to short breaks from Hong Kong, Vietnam is a perennial favourite for good reason - delicious food and cheap massages just an hour and a half away. Nevertheless, the scooter-filled streets of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh don’t exactly spring to mind when thinking of relaxing holiday destinations. Enter Banyan Tree Lăng Cô. Any resort where you can choose your pillow in advance must have its priorities right. The place Located along the tranquil south-central coast of Vietnam near Lăng Cô Bay, beneath the Truong Son mountain range, Banyan Tree Lăng Cô’s collection of private pool villas opened four years ago, the hotel group’s first foray into Vietnam. Together, with its sister (not as plush, more family oriented) hotel Angsana next door and a championship golf course designed by Sir Nick Faldo, they form Laguna Lăng Cô, a 280-hectare integrated resort, complete with a threekilometre stretch of pristine private beach. The concept is similar to Laguna Phuket, the group’s flagship integrated resort in southern Thailand. Banyan Tree Holdings is not the only luxury hotel group to move into central Vietnam over the last five years - in fact, the pace of change is dizzying. Travelling in the car from Danang airport to the resort, we pass numerous luxury residences, manicured golf courses and beachfront hotels under construction. However, Laguna Lăng Cô’s location is uniquely beautiful


and secluded - this part of the country was traditionally a retreat favoured by Vietnamese royalty and it’s clear why. As we approach Laguna Lăng Cô, there is a definite change of pace from the city. The landscape is dominated by rice paddies, dotted with the conical bamboo hats of farmers and quietly grazing water buffalo. Fishermen’s nets hang silently above the lakes. Just outside the resort we pass a few signs declaring that development of a new luxury resort - Mediterraneano - is underway, but Laguna Lăng Cô is vast and there is no resulting disturbance to its guests. The room 49 private detached villas, modelled on the traditional houses of the nearby imperial city of Hué, each with its own infinity pool. There are six different types of villa to choose from, with capacity ranging from one to three bedrooms. Ocean-view villas (on the hillside and by the beach) are more expensive. For something slightly cheaper, opt for a residence that faces

the lagoon and the surrounding hills. It’s still gorgeous and you’re only a two-minute walk from the beach. The rooms are beautiful - huge comfy beds, a big stone bath and separate shower, a large covered and furnished terrace with a wooden sundeck and best of all - an inviting private pool. Dining I love a good hotel breakfast and the Banyan Tree’s does not disappoint. Each morning, guests enjoy a vast spread of Western and Asian delights - make sure to try the Vietnamese pancakes (banh xeo). As for lunch and dinner, there are seven restaurants to choose from across Banyan Tree and Angsana, each with its own distinctive cuisine and style. The food is good but not the primary motivation for staying here (you can find cheaper yet delicious food across Vietnam).



The hotel operates a daily shuttle to and from the royal city of Hue.

Frequent guests of Banyan Tree will be familiar with the hotel’s signature Thai-inspired restaurant, Saffron. Set in the hills (don’t worry, a buggy will take you up there and back), it’s definitely worth a visit. The best seats are on the outdoor terrace, where you can dine in the moonlight overlooking the waves crashing against the rocks below. Activities A championship golf course is just one of the delights on offer at Laguna Lăng Cô. There are activities going on throughout the day, from Vietnamese coffee making, to morning yoga, lantern making and archery - you’ll get a schedule of activities when you arrive (some activities - such as boat tours through the local fishing village, cooking classes and bike tours along the Hai Van Pass - cost extra). During our stay, the fully equipped gym is almost always empty whereas the spa is pretty much fully booked (book your treatments in early!). The treatments are expensive but wonderful. Tip: those staying in Sanctuary villas can enjoy unlimited spa treatments. Guests are free to migrate between Banyan Tree and Angsana - both have large main pools


but Angsana’s pool is particularly great for kids, with lazy rings, waterways and water jets. There are also lots of games (Pétanque, frisbee, darts, pool) available - just ask a pool attendant for the equipment. I recommend taking advantage of the free bicycle rental to get around the resort (nothing is very far away but it’s great fun) - there is also a small boat that operates between Banyan Tree and Angsana. Excursions Culture aficionados will be pleased to hear that Laguna Lăng Cô lies within a two-hour drive of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the imperial city of Hue, the ancient port town of Hoi An and the architectural ensemble that is My Son Sanctuary. Banyan Tree operates daily two-way shuttles to both Hoi An and Hue, free of charge. Private car rentals and tour guide packages are also available at an extra cost. If you go to Hue, it’s worth getting a guide (either from the hotel or once you’re there) as attractions are spaced far apart.

weekend break private beach, golf course, day trips to Hue and Hoi An - not to mention the quiet serenity of your villa, there’s plenty to keep you entertained for up to a week. Those who really take to the area may want to consider purchasing a hillside pool villa. These villas come in one-, two- and three-room configurations - depending on the view, prices start from USD$850,000 for a one-bedroom villa. I’m told there are 11 for sale at the moment, all three-bedroom, with prices ranging from US$1,280,000 to US$1,430,000.

Other guests Hotel Manager José Luis Barrera informs me that Hong Kong ranks first in terms of visitor numbers to the hotel this year (for the first time), followed by China and South Korea. During our stay, it appears to be mostly families and honeymooners, from across the world: America, Israel, Germany...The design of the hotel ensures that even when it’s busy, it still feels very peaceful. Every Tuesday and Friday at 6pm, there are complimentary drinks and nibbles at the main bar - a chance for guests and hotel management to mingle over a few glasses of wine and some (delicious) spring rolls and other Vietnamese treats. I recommend going - there’s no pressure

to chat if you don’t want to and it’s a good spread, with live music and a few activities to keep any little ones entertained. I advise against booking a big evening meal on the same night. General thoughts Throughout our stay, our villa host Tieu strikes the perfect balance between being attentive without being intrusive, helping us to make the most of our stay and sample what the hotel has to offer. I would recommend Banyan Tree Lăng Cô for families and couples looking for an easy, luxurious and relaxing holiday. True, you are largely confined to the resort but with a daily schedule of free activities, games and facilities, a

T : + 852 3188 8802 + 852 9222 6085 hk hk

Need to know Banyan Tree Lăng Cô Cu Du Village, Loc Vinh Commune, Phu Loc District, Thua Thien Hue Province Vietnam Tel: +84 54 3695 888 Email: 60km from Danang airport. A complimentary shuttle bus is available book 24 hours prior to arrival. Rates from USD399/night When to go: February to July Don’t forget to the Vietnamese embassy website to check if you need a visa.

Locations Limited Licensed Real Estate Agents License No.C-065228







health & beauty


Put your feet up at Sense of Touch.

Put your best foot forward this Christmas, with our roundup of Hong Kong’s best massages and pedicures. Foot massage Sense of Touch Put your feet up and relax with a foot massage ($320/30mins; $600/60mins). Open 8:30am8pm (Monday to Friday); 9-7pm (Sunday). G211, 1/F, The Repulse Bay Arcade, 109 Repulse Bay Road, 2592 9668; or visit the new location, open daily 9am-10pm: 3/F, Le Meridien Cyberport, 100 Cyberport Road, Pok Fu Lam, 2980 7698.

Fung Foot City

Open 11am - 1am (Monday - Thursday); 11am - 2am (Friday); 10:30am - 1:30am (Saturday); 10:30am to 12:30am (Sunday). 20/F & 21/F, L Place, 139 Queen’s Road Central, 2971 1010,

Fab Pros This Hong Kong startup delivers beauty and wellness services to homes across Hong Kong, including those in the Southside. Simply download the app, select the service you want and book an appointment at your desired location, sit back and relax. Fab’s professionals will come directly to you - there’s no need

to carry cash either. Your credit card will be charged once you’ve received your treatment. Choose between a relaxing foot massage ($350/45 mins) and foot reflexology ($560/45 mins). Pedicures are also available with polish, soft and hard gel and start at $350. Available at the App Store and Google Play. Visit

Pedicure Pulse Aveda Book in advance as the pedicurist is a freelancer. Rates are $300 for pedicure with

The cheapest foot massage on our list by far at $178 for 45 minutes. 7/F, Goodview Centre, 12 Wu Pak Street, Aberdeen, 2580 5558.

Ten Feet Tall Foot reflexology massages start at $320 for 50 minutes ($370 on Fridays, weekends and public holidays). There are four pedicure options to choose from, starting at $150 for a basic polish. For the full shabang, the “Cheeky Treatment” includes a file, shape, cuticle, polish, scrub, wrap and massage. Pick up a magazine from the rack and order a drink while you’re being pampered, or lie back and close your eyes...


Fancy a late night foot massage? Head to Ten Feet Tall.

feet first normal polish; an extra $100 for a soft gel pedicure. Open daily, 10am-7pm. Shop 216, Level 2, the pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay, 2149 1900

Massada Spa For something quick, opt for the Express Pedicure ($280/30 mins, with shaping, buffing and OPI polish) . If your feet need more attention, consider the Intensive Pedicure ($380/60 mins), which includes cuticle work, or the Spa Aromapedicure ($600/75 mins) which includes a foot massage and mask. You can also add on a french manicure, shellac, soft gel, massage or paraffin treatment at extra cost. Open daily, 10am-9pm. 25/F Guangdong Tour Centre, 18 Pennington St., Causeway Bay, 2506 9005,

Mandarin Oriental Salon The Shanghainese Pedicure by Samuel So ($820) is world famous. So’s family has been performing this masterful treatment at the hotel since 1984: So took over the job from his father, who retired in 1999. The treatment involves removing corns, while painlessly cutting away the hard skin on the soles of the feet. Pedicures start at $500. Shellac is also available. Download the spa menu online. Open 8am-8pm (Monday to Saturday). Closed on Sunday. 24/F, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, 5 Connaught Road Central, 2825 4800,

Sense of Touch The spa says its Shellac Pedicure ($600/70mins at the Repulse Bay branch) uses new innovations in gel nail technology to give a mirror finish that lasts for up to 14 days, with zero dry time and no nail damage.The Sexy Spa Pedicure ($580/90mins at the Repulse Bay branch) starts with an Italian Mandarin footbath to relieve aching muscles, followed by a traditional pedicure and organic sugar scrub to release layers of dead cells and soften calluses. Next, a foot massage and paraffin wax to soften dry skin, before a coat of polish. Treatments are $30 cheaper at the Cyberport branch.

Stay fit during the holidays What: 12 classes carefully curated to increase thermogenic fat burn during party season. Plus, weekly guidance on healthy holiday recipes, recovery after festive nights out and how to calculate your resting metabolic rate. When: Nov 1-Dec 31 How much: $1,990 Where: Studios in Central (2813 2399) and One Island South (2813 2212),

What: Calling all prima ballerinas. Get fit practising the choreography of the classic Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker. This is the story of a girl called Clara who must face the evil Mouse King, with the help of a toy soldier, the Nutcracker. Suitable for all levels. When: Dec 20-24 How much: $230/workshop Where: 801 Lansing House,

Choose from five different types of pedicure, from the Express Pedicure (25 mins) to Sabai’s Luxury Pedicure (90 mins) which includes a full pedicure, plus a rehydrating foot mask and a 15-minute foot massage. GF/12A, Stanley Main Street, 2104 0566,

measurement, nutritional guidance (including an initial review of diet and meal plans) and feedback. When: Dec 1-Jan 31 How much: $8,888 Where: Locations in Central and Causeway Bay, 2798 9000,

Flex Studio’s Holiday Survival Package

Twinkle Dance’s Nutcracker Ballet Adult Variation Workshop

Sabai Day Spa

The POWER PACK at Pure Yoga and Pure Fitness

41-47 Queen’s Road Central, 6608 6689,

Ultimate Performance personal training package What: Join the likes of Peter Andre, Game of Thrones actress Gwendoline Christie and English Rugby Union player James Haskell and train with Ultimate Performance. 10 personal training sessions to be completed within 14 days. The package includes body fat

What: A one-month pass for all Pure fitness and Pure Yoga locations, plus a $200 voucher for nood food, a tenpercent-off voucher on Pure apparel and two guest passes for friends. Pure cardholders get a $100 Pure voucher with every POWER PACK purchased. When: Available to buy until Jan 31, 2017. The pass must be activated on or before 28 February, 2017 How much: $1,288 Where: All Pure Fitness and Pure Yoga locations, including Pure South at the pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay.



AN INSPECTOR CALLS SPCA Inspector Kwong Tze Shun (Bob) has been in the job for 20 years. He reflects on two decades of rescuing animals. When I joined the SPCA Inspectorate in 1995, there were no other animal welfare organisations or government departments devoted to animal rescue. I heard about the job from my girlfriend at the time and thought I would give it a go. Before joining, I underwent a physical examination and language test. I received some basic veterinary training but most of the training is on the job. On my first day I was partnered with a senior inspector on a dog rescue case in Tuen Mun. The dog had been involved in a car accident that left him immobile in his hind legs. He was still able to move rapidly with his forelegs and ended up falling into a water catchment. We rescued him and took him to the SPCA’s 24-hour hospital.

During my early years of service I often had to go into villages where many homeowners loved to keep dogs as guard dogs. Often, the dogs were not provided with adequate food and water - it was hard to know whether they had been abandoned by their owners or if they had just been left unattended temporarily. We would undertake multiple home visits and speak to neighbours to ensure there was no animal cruelty. In my experience, most cases of mistreatment are due to owner negligence. Only a small portion involve intentional cruelty. It’s more common for us to rescue a lost or injured pet and return it to the owner, than rescue a pet that is being mistreated by its owner. 10 years ago, we were at a loss as to what to do when we received dogs and cats suspected of having been poisoned. Now, we send their bodies to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) laboratory for toxicological testing. The evidence obtained can greatly assist our investigations. The manpower, resources and hard work involved is immense, something of which the public is probably unaware. In my 20 years of service I have learned much about animals and - most importantly - how to communicate articulately and patiently between pet owners and informants. During this time, I think Hongkongers’ attitudes towards animals have drastically: there is greater awareness of animal welfare. However, there is still no consensus on the form it should take, which produces misunderstanding and can be dispiriting. What we hold inviolable is to save animals from unnecessary suffering. I have a twelve-year-old pug at home and every time I rescue a pet and give it back to its owner, I am very aware of the significance of the SPCA’s work.

The SPCA Inspectorate are on call 24/7, rescuing animals across Hong Kong. If you see an animal requiring assistance or suspect animal cruelty, call the animal rescue hotline on 2711 1000.




Pets Central veterinarian Dr. Pauline Taylor answers your questions. Q: “We’re thinking about getting a family pet this Christmas, but I’m not sure if it’s a good idea...” - Lauren S., Stanley A: Getting a pet around Christmas used to be considered a bad idea. Impulse pet buying and adoption were thought to lead to a higher “postholiday” rate of both pet abandonment and returns to welfare groups and shelters. The theory behind this is that as the holiday spirit wears off and life returns to normal, having a pet becomes more work, more expensive and the magic wears off with the daily drudge of taking them on walks, cleaning their feet, washing their bowls and so on. However, studies in California show that pets adopted around the holidays actually have the lowest rate of return to animal shelters. With this in mind, if you are considering getting a pet, you should ask yourself two basic questions: 1) Have you enough time for a pet in your dayto-day life? Pets need to be walked, they need exercise, playtime, bathtime, feeding, hair combing and so on. They need this for their entire lives. 2) Can you afford a pet? Expenses include food, regular vaccinations and parasite prevention, and other unforeseen medical bills. If you answered “yes” to both questions, I would advise you to go ahead and rescue a pet for Christmas. There are many homeless animals waiting to be adopted. If you choose carefully to suit your family and lifestyle, not only will you help a pet find a loving home, you will get a lifelong companion. Got a question for Dr. Pauline? Email



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X'mas Fenicng Camp To advertise, email or call 2776 2772.


Shop 203 & 205, 2/F., One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang Tel: 2110 9655  Whatsapp: 5512 2169

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南區獸醫中心 Tel : 2805 1318 / 2805 1328 Address: Shop A1 A2, G/F Happy View Bldg, 165-167 Main Street, Ap Lei Chau, Hong Kong (under McDonalds Restaurant) 香港鴨脷洲大街 165-167 號, 樂景大廈地下 A1 A2 舖

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We wish you a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Love, all the team at Fast Media. See you in 2017! xxx 88 | WWW.SOUTHSIDE.HK

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