Expat Parent January 2022

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the really useful magazine expat-parent.com


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Shrewsbury International School Hong Kong nurtures creativity, confidence and a life-long love of learning for children aged between 3 and 11. Offering a programme of study connected to the English National curriculum, we offer outstanding opportunities through primary education and beyond.

Digital Campus Tour on 20 January at 9 am via Zoom 2480 1500


Exceptional People

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Outstanding Opportunities

Academic Excellence 23/12/2021 4:30 PM


CON T E N T S — 01/22



COVER STORY French International School


Hello from the hot desk


Meet this month’s team


Fun in and out of the classroom


Wycombe Abbey’s Founding Principal, Howard Tuckett





What’s on in January

Nursery decor for trendy tykes


Your monthly local news roundup


After school activities for 2022

Get ready to celebrate the Year of The Tiger


Plus Kaplan’s Tina Wu on subject selection

Make new friends at these parent and toddler groups

26 OUT ON THE TOWN What to see and where to be seen


Explore Sunrise Hill


Fuss-free dinners out for families


Matcha Moon by Jo Soo-Tang


Letao Wang reveals your fate in January


Clo Parker potters about the city

11 6


10 19


“2022 - As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen.” - Winnie The Pooh

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editor’s Letter

who’s in charge?

As we head into 2022, the school community in Hong Kong is brimming with excitement. From French International School preparing to unveil a dedicated early years campus (page 16), to Island School relocating back to their state-of-the-art campus in Borrett Road (page 12).

Editorial editorial@hongkongliving.com Editor-in-chief Nicole Slater

Editor Gemma Shaw

Senior Writer Charmaine Ng

Meanwhile, if you’ve got a budding Picasso in the family, or a kid with a craving to learn French, check out our pick of the best after school activities and clubs on page 26.

Design jason@hongkongliving.com Graphic Designer Jason Lau

For little ones, playgroups are becoming trendier than ever. From the barista-style coffee served at Baumhaus to Zumbini lessons on offer at Casita, we’ve got the lowdown on which parent and baby groups to join to keep your little one’s street cred in check (page 20).

Partnerships talk@hongkongliving.com Director of Content Hilda Chan

Partnership Manager Janessa Chan

Event Manager Pranali Gupta

And we start the new year with a sunrise over Sai Kung on a hike in Man On Shan. (page 32).

Publisher Tom Hilditch tom@hongkongliving.com

Happy New Year!

Editor’s picks

Contact us Admin: 3568 3722 | Editorial: 2776 2773 | Advertising: 2776 2772 Published by Hong Kong Living Ltd, L1 Kai Wong Commercial Building, 222 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong Printer Apex Print Limited, 11-13 Dai Kwai Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, Tai Po, Hong Kong




the really useful magazine expat-parent.com

January 2022


Malbert Lee will host a series of sound baths at The Yoga Room incorporating restorative hammock yoga, aromatic meditation and nourishing soundscapes. Priced at $350, these sessions promise to promote circulation, relaxation and rejuvenation. yogaroomhk.com

Malabar Cotton Knit PJs

Founded by Hong Kong mama Anjali Harjani, Malabar Baby’s toddler and big kid cotton knit PJ sets are perfect for cosy days at home. We’re in love with the Pink City print which is inspired by Jaipur’s pink city walls and sweet vibes. $374 for a set. malabarbaby.com

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Photo: Jill Carter

Floating Aromatic Sound Bath


S UID E Expat Parent is published by Hong Kong Living 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 French International School any liability to any person, whether Unveils new early years campus a reader of this publication or not, in respect of any action or omission by this publication. Expat Parent 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 publishers. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. 22/12/2021 5:35 PM


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With travel out of the question, the Hong Kong Observation Wheel and AIA Vitality Park is the place to be with plenty activities for the family. Head down to the city's iconic landmark on the Harbourfront for the brand new AIA Vitality Hub, Winter at the Wheel, and a journey to the past with an exciting AR App.

AIA Vitality Hub

In the face of the pandemic, what Hong Kong people needs is a balanced health and wellness lifestyle. This is why the AIA Vitality Hub has been created. AIA Vitality Hub, an augmentation of AIA Vitality Park, is a unique venue that makes traditional, modern and progressive health and wellness activities accessible to the Hong Kong community, with classes happening daily. Catering to all demographics, from children to the elderly and beginners to the experienced, the programme at AIA Vitality Hub is designed and taught by Hong Kong’s leading wellness and fitness industry professionals. You’ll find knowledge classes on topics like nutrition and sleep; and activities that support mindfulness like tai chi and yoga.

Throughout the year, AIA Vitality Hub will work closely with charities and organisations to support disadvantaged members of society, as well as generate both online and offline content educating the public on taking charge of fitness, wellness and a healthy lifestyle. A monthly programme of special wellness events and classes will be updated regularly throughout the year. View the schedule for January and sign up for your favourite classes at zicket.co/aia-vitality-hub-venue

Winter at the Wheel

Conceptualised by the team behind The Grounds, The Lawn Club and Summer at the Wheel, Winter at the Wheel is here for three months with changing themes and decorations across the different holidays, festivals and celebrations.

immerse yourself in Hong Kong’s most beautiful, European style ‘Luminarie’ Christmas light display. Shop for your loved ones (and yourself, of course) at the traditional Christmas Market filled with uniquely handcrafted, locally sourced lifestyle gifts, sweets and savoury bites, presented by Calioo. Test your finesse at the skill game booths – Hot Shot Basketball, Lobster Bot, Spill the Milk and more – for the chance to win among 300,000 plushie prizes. Reserve tickets in advance at zicket.co/winter-at-the-wheel-tickets-hon g-kong.

Historical AR App

Launched in November, the brand new Hong Kong Observation Wheel AP App offers historical perspectives on Hong Kong’s skyline. Visitors will experience visual immersions of Hong Kong from three viewpoints: Beyond the Beginning (1890-1920); City in Transition (1960-1980); and Present Day. The 1890s-1920s presents iconic landmarks such as the original Peak Tram, Lion Rock and the first-generation Star Ferry Pier. The 1960s-1980s showcases Hong Kong’s economic progress with squatter villages of Lion Rock, The Hilton International and Kai Tak Airport. The journey finishes in the present day, displaying an array of modern-day interpretations of the city’s classic landmarks and newer developments around the harbour.

This January, immerse yourself in a winter wonderland. For the perfect Insta-selfie,

The free mobile application, Hong Kong Observation Wheel AP App, is now available on IOS and Android in English, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese.


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contributors Thank you to our contributors

Clo Parker

Jill Carter

Growing up in a bilingual family between France and Scotland, Clo moved to Hong Kong five years ago and enjoys every minute of her life here. A vegan mum who loves dogs, weightlifting, Muay Thai and old school hip-hop, she constantly looks for ways to use up all her daughter’s energy in the vain hope that the very active Mimi will go to bed at night.

Jill Carter specialises in creative photography and is dedicated to capturing the joy in some of life’s most important moments. This month, she headed to French International School Hong Kong to capture nursery and reception students and their teachers in action. jillcarterphotography.com

Howard Tuckett As the founding headmaster at Wycombe Abbey School Hong Kong, Howard Tuckett is responsible for connecting students with some of England’s best educational institutions. Two years after opening, he shares secrets to the school’s success on page 15.

Tina Wu Admissions counselor Tina is passionate about mentoring the leaders of tomorrow. Leveraging her extensive banking, and MBA experience, Tina coaches students to realise their full potential as they embark on higher education. With her mentoring, students craft applications which set them apart from other qualified applicants. Tina.Wu@kaplan.com

Want to write for Expat Parent? Contact editorial@hongkongliving.com 4 | EXPAT PARENT

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Leaders of Tomorrow 2022 HONG KONG’S FUTURE STARS

“Behind every young child who believes in themself is a parent who believed first.” Announcing a chance to nominate your child into the Hong Kong Living Leaders of Tomorrow Awards 2022 for an unparalleled opportunity to show your child you believe in them and back their dreams.

Contact us:

E-mail: talk@hongkongliving.com EXPAT PARENT | 5

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what’s on

JAN 1-2

Disney in Concert: A Dream is a Wish HKSW Symphony Orchestra perform the soundtracks to classic Disney films against a background of original film footage. 3-7.30pm. From $280. Star Hall, Kowloon Bay International Trade & Exhibition Centre, Kowloon. premier.hkticketing.com

UNTIL JAN 29 HK 100 (Flex)

The Hong Kong Ultra Trail Race is a little different this year. Runners can tackle three distances (33, 56 or 103 km) along the MacLehose Trail at a time that suits them.

Medals and prizes awarded. From $900. hk100-ultra.com


New Year’s Horse Racing Place your bets! Sha Tin Race Course. hkjc.com


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what’s on JAN 7

First 2022 Friday Night Funnies! Hong Kong’s funniest comedians hit the stage in TakeOut Comedy’s first event of 2022. No touching the comedians! 9-10.45pm. From $200. 34 Elgin Street, Central. takeoutcomedy.com

JAN 16

2022 AVOHK China Coast Marathon Organisers are working hard to ensure that Hong Kong’s oldest marathon goes ahead.

Check the website for an update. 8am. $450. Pak Tam Chung, Sai Kung. avohk.org

vividly exciting performances. From $300. The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. kidsfest.com.hk

JAN 27-30

Go Festival HK 2022 Shop for Lunar New Year handicrafts and foods at GO! Hong Kong Carnival 2022. Visitors can get a taste of Taiwanese culture in a dedicated travel section. Free. 10.30am-7.30pm. Asia World Expo. asiaworld-expo.com

JAN 30

Discovery Bay Chinese New Year Market

Chinese New Year Market in Discovery Bay Main Plaza. Free. 11am-6pm. Discovery Bay. handmadehongkong.com

Public holiday dates for 2022 • Jan 1

New Year’s Day

• Feb 1-3

Chinese New Year

• Apr 5

Qingming Festival

• Apr 15

Good Friday

• Apr 16

Day following Good Friday

• Apr 18

Easter Monday

• May 2

Labour Day

• May 9

Buddha’s Birthday

• Jun 3

Dragon Boat Festival

• Jul 1

HKSAR Establishment Day

• Sept 12

The day following MidAutumn Festival

• October 1

National Day

• Dec 24

Christmas Eve

• Dec 25

Christmas Day

• Dec 26

Boxing Day

• Dec 31

New Year’s Eve

The popular Sunday Market will host a

JAN 21-FEB 20

Hong Kong KidsFest Much-loved characters from Tabby McTat and The Gruffalo books are brought to life in these


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MUST HAVES Childhome Standing Giraffe $2,299 from Petit Bazaar petit-bazaar.com

Toddler and Big Kid Knitted PJ Set

KIDKII Round Ball Pit Velvet $1,650 from Bimbo Concept bimboconcept.com

Nursery essentials for stylish and practical parents

$374 from Malabar Baby malabarbaby.com

Unicorn and Apples Reversible Organic Blanket Bimbo Casa Tulip Sofa

$469 from Cotton Pigs cottonpigs.com

$4,950 from Bimbo Concept bimboconcept.com 8 | EXPAT PARENT

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MUST HAVES Mr Maria Miffy Star Light 80cm $2,850 from Homeless homeless.hk

Cot Quilt and Pillow set USD$134 from Bonne Mère bonnemere.com

Fair-trade Dolls - 3 Piece Set $359 from The Wee Bean theweebean.com

Southside Blue Cotton Quilt $616 from Malabar Baby malabarbaby.com

Organic Cotton Safari Mobile $512 from Meri Meri smallable.com

East Desk with rack $6,950 from Tree tree.com.hk

Linea Baby Cot by Leander $6,200 from Bimbo Concept bimboconcept.com EXPAT PARENT | 9

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Aqua shake up After 18 years at the iconic location One Peking Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, popular restaurants from the Aqua Restaurant Group are on the move. Aqua, which serves a fusion of Italian and Japanese cuisine and Hutong, which receives raving reviews for its Northern Chinese dishes, will set up home at the newly-built H Zentre, just a few hundred metres away on Middle Road. The new restaurant spaces, designed by awardwinning London-based designer Robert Angell, offer stunning views out across Victoria Harbour. Meanwhile, Chinese Library and a yet-to-beannounced Italian restaurant will move into the group’s One Peking Road space. aqua.com.hk

AIA launches wellness hub Last month, AIA launched a brand new Vitality Hub at the AIA Vitality Park underneath the Hong Kong Observation Wheel. The hub provides a unique health and wellness venue built to engage the Hong Kong community and its visitors through an array of fresh activities and events designed to educate, motivate and inspire people of all ages to enjoy active lifestyles and adopt healthy living habits. Key leaders in Hong Kong’s wellness industry will participate in the programme, including Tottenham Hotspur Coach Shannon Maloney and Director of Rugbytots Hong Kong Ben Cullen. Classes are free for Hongkongers and available for sign-up via zicket.co/aia-vitality-hub-venue

Quarantine Survival Kits Mumtrepreneur and founder of playgroup Little Nature Wanderlust, Barbie Zeman has launched a new concept to help keep families in hotel quarantine in Hong Kong entertained. Zeman’s Quarantine Survival Kits are carefully curated activity box sets for children which take the hassle out of planning activities and deciding which toys to pack. The boxes are delivered

directly to the quarantine hotel providing multiple activities and all relevant equipment/materials to keep the little ones entertained. Themes on offer include Under the Sea, Jurassic World and Secret Garden and kits can be tailored to cater to seven, 14 and 21 day stays with prices starting from $1,100 for seven days. littlenaturewanderlust.com


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school news

ESF hosts topping out ceremony The English Schools Foundation (ESF) celebrated the topping out of their new Island School campus last month. Co-funded by the HKSAR Government, this one billion Hong Kong dollar redevelopment is the largest construction project in ESF’s history. The renovated campus, which is expected to reopen to students in August 2022, will offer state-of-the-art teaching and learning

facilities. “Today marks not just a milestone on the journey of Island School, but it marks a day closer to bringing Island School home to where it belongs on Borrett Road,” said Belinda Greer, ESF’s Chief Executive Officer. Greer thanked the Secretary for Education, Mr Kevin Yeung Yun-hung, JP, the EDB and the Hong Kong Government for supporting ESF and this project.

Yeung, who was present at the ceremony, commented, “I trust that ESF will make good use of these new state-of-the-art facilities with a view to inspiring creativity amongst their students and nurturing responsible citizens and leaders of the future. May I wish Island School continued success in the years ahead”. esf.org.hk

IMS race across Stanley Against a backdrop of beautiful blue skies and sunshine, The International Montessori School community gathered in Stanley to compete in a PTA Amazing Race charity event. With an enthusiastic turnout, the outdoor area at the Stanley campus was buzzing with excitement as parents, teachers and children chatted, played

and socialised. Teams set out to complete missions and gather clues all around Stanley, as they competed for the most points in the least amount of time. Challenges included building a sandcastle at Stanley Back Beach, having the largest team member go down a slide, and finding ferry times from Po Toi. A wonderful

collection of neighborhood clues, tasks, and puzzles that were fun for both adults and children alike. ims.edu.hk


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school news

Secrets of Subject Selection Tina Wu on the importance of making the right choices in high school

CDNIS looks to a sustainable future Canadian International School of Hong Kong (CDNIS) has long been a benchmark for educational excellence and enjoys a strong reputation as one of the top international schools in Hong Kong. Over the past year, the school has reflected on how the community can work towards a more sustainable future. They published the Education for Sustainable Development Report which highlights the ways in which everyone in the CDNIS community

can work towards common environmental goals. The report provides an overview of significant environmental, social and governance impacts for CDNIS in the past academic year and includes strategies on solar energy, energy management, transport emissions, sustainable menu options, food waste and water sustainability which the whole community can get involved with. To learn more, visit cdnis.edu.hk

International high school curriculums in Hong Kong (IBDP, A-levels and AP) allow students to pick their intended subjects, ranging from humanities and sciences, with varying difficulty levels. In addition to choosing subjects best suited to students’ strengths, families and students must consider specific combinations university courses would look for. In the UK, most engineering courses would look for advanced level Math and sometimes Physics and/or Chemistry, depending on the type of engineering. Aside from STEM-oriented courses, some social science courses such as Economics may also require higher-level Math. The nuances of subject selection are sometimes overlooked. Even selecting the two different math subjects offered under the IB curriculum – Math analysis and approaches (AA) and Math applications and interpretation (AI) may limit students’ university choices down the road. For example, the University of Cambridge requires students to take Math AA HL for any courses requiring Math.

As a Senior Admissions Counselor, Tina has over 10 years of experience in assisting students gain admission to top boarding schools and colleges in the U.S. Contact her via tina.wu@kaplan.com


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School Photos Acorn Playgroup Thanksgiving

Toddlers at Acorn Playgroup eagerly explored autumn-related activities.

IMS’ PTA Charity Amazing Race

IMS’ Creativity Action Service (CAS) project

IMS Upper elementary class’ Creativity Action Service hosted a fun carnival for other students


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Education Principal’s office Wycombe Abbey School Hong Kong’s Founding Principal Howard Tuckett looks ahead to an exciting year ahead What attracted you to Wycombe Abbey? I joined Wycombe Abbey as Founding Principal in 2019. I was thrilled to be involved in every aspect of the design of such a prestigious school from the ground up. I am incredibly proud that we have been able to build and establish a high-regarded British Prep school in Hong Kong for children to enjoy and benefit from.

What are you most proud of? There have been so many wonderful moments since we opened. I’m proud of our success in recruiting pupils so quickly, particularly during the pandemic. We’ve also achieved incredible results in assisting our older pupils gain places in British independent schools. Although we are still very early in the academic year, a number of our students have already received offers from prestigious UK schools, including Cheltenham Ladies College, Caterham School, Roedean, Rugby School and Wycombe Abbey. We look forward to adding to the list of offers over the next few months.

What does Wycombe Abbey offer that is unique? We are a top British Prep school, teaching a British-style curriculum that is culturally relevant for Hong Kong children. The school is private, rather than international, so we are not restricted by nationality quotas. We teach Mandarin intensely, giving the subject the same amount of time on the timetable as English. Our specialist Chinese language teachers work in pairs in each lesson. Our fourteen subjects are all drawn from the British Common Entrance syllabus and are taught to the standards that Wycombe Abbey in the UK requires and our teachers are UK-trained, or similar, (South Africans, New Zealanders, Australians etc.).

Can you tell us about the campus and facilities? Our campus in Tin Wan is set over four floors and filled with natural light. The glass-domed central atrium is used for productions, sports and assemblies. It also holds the highest climbing wall of any school

in Hong Kong. All the classrooms open out onto our library and we have specialist rooms for Art, Speech and Drama, Music, STEM and PE/Sports. We also have two huge outdoor sports areas onsite. It is hard to describe the impact of the building – please come and see it for yourself!

What are the teaching values? We are a kind and caring school with very high academic standards. We teach a purpose written high standard curriculum that meets all UK requirements. We are experts at assessing each child’s academic potential and challenging them accordingly. Children are encouraged to compete against what they are capable of, rather than competing in academic development.

Why is Hong Kong great for international education? Well, the weather helps! We are in a lovely location on the beautiful south side of the island. There is a real culture of learning in Hong Kong with most conversations quickly turning to education. Designing, building and running a school in such an educationally sensitive and aware city is an absolute joy.

What are you excited about? Everything about this school excites me! It truly is outstanding. We will keep growing our pupil numbers and anticipate the school being full during next academic year. We will be taking on more staff accordingly. The model of the school at capacity will be three classes of twenty-four pupils, in each year-group, from Year One (5+), to Year Eight (12+). Being a part of the Wycombe Abbey School Hong Kong project has been the highlight of my very long career in teaching in independent schools around the world.

What advice do you have for prospective parents? Come and visit us for a tour of the campus and a one-to-one conversation with me about your thoughts and wishes for your child. Our philosophy is all about using our resources to support your child within an excellent mainstream primary provision, rather than expecting a child to fit an inflexible universal model. To find out more about Wycombe Abbey School Hong Kong, or to arrange a tour, visit wycombeabbey.was.edu.hk


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cover story

French International School FIS prepares to unveil a dedicated early years campus in Chai Wan Founded almost 60 years ago, French International School Hong Kong (FIS) is a through train school catering to students aged three to 18 years old. The school currently has close to 2,800 students from a variety of backgrounds split across four campuses in Hong Kong. Two streams; French and International,

exist in a cohesive school environment in which pupils can thrive and be themselves. “Our staff and the collaborative approach they take is key in making our school distinctive,” said Francois Xavier Gabet, Head of School. “Every staff member plays their part in delivering a unique educational experience and we aim to develop our pupils’ confidence and imagination through

a bilingual education.” he adds. As a proud member of the growing government network, Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE), FIS is one of 500 connected educational institutions across 135 countries. The school has excellent university success rates with pupils consistently securing offers from top


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cover story

universities around the world. In June 2021, the school was awarded the prestigious and much-coveted ‘AllThrough School of the Year Award’ for strong academic achievements, innovative teaching methods, dedication to staff and student communications, and a commitment to continuous academic improvement. At the beginning of the 2022/23 academic year, FIS is set to unveil a dedicated Early Years/Ecole Maternelle campus. Located in Chai Wan, the spacious


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cover story

campus will offer easy access to families across Hong Kong and excellent indoor and outdoor spaces tailored to maximising the development of their students. A vibrant and creative curriculum coupled with excellent pastoral care will provide a nurturing, motivated and inspiring environment for the very youngest children in the FIS family. Meanwhile, flexible learning spaces will inspire happiness, academic attainment and encourage crossstream learning and social engagement, whilst meeting the needs of the modern curriculum. The French International School

has a proud past, dynamic present and exciting future. It has a distinct reputation as a top-flight international school offering an inclusive learning environment which appeals to families from a range of backgrounds and nationalities. Ian Clayton, Deputy Head of School and Head of International Stream adds, “We are building upon a rich and successful history spanning 60 years and we are committed to continuing on our journey of school improvement with strong, strategic direction and robust leadership”. From the early years right through to Year 13, the wellbeing and intellectual development of each pupil is at the heart of the school’s

ethos and values. FIS students are encouraged to be open-minded, independent and critical thinkers. Students graduate with confidence in their abilities, both academically and personally and this helps them contribute positively towards a common goal of making the world a better place. On February 12, FIS will hold an open day at the brand new Chai Wan campus. Prospective parents are invited to see for themselves what this prestigious school has to offer. For more information call 2892 3631 (French Stream), 2892 3677 (International Stream) or visit the website fis.edu.hk.


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School’s out Excel in 2022 with these sports, musical and performing arts after school activities

Drama and arts Anastassia’s Art House Hong Kong’s only Russian Art Academy offers a range of structured art classes for adults and children aged three to 16 years old. The art house provides an array of classes, including painting, drawing, sketching, ceramics, creative drama and design. Art parties and workshops are also available. arthouse-hk.com

STAGE RIGHT! Enriching young people’s knowledge of theatre since 2011, STAGE RIGHT! offers workshops that allow children of all ages to explore their acting and performance skills and investigate real-world issues in a safe environment. stagerighthk.com

Faust International Established in 1999, Faust runs drama workshops for children aged three to 18 at venues across Hong Kong. In fun, lively sessions, the drama school introduces children to the world of theatre and creativity, developing performance skills, theatre knowledge, teamwork, individual expression and confidence. Faust also organises productions at Hong Kong theatres throughout the year. stagerighthk.com

Dance Russian Ballet School The first ballet school in Hong Kong to follow the disciplined yet vibrant Vaganova system, the Russian Ballet School takes from the rich history of Russian ballet and teaches with a unique focus on performance readiness and individual correction, allowing every student to shine with elegance. russianballetschool-hk.com


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education BallroomBees

Campin’ Out

BallroomBees helps children develop both gross motor skills and agility but also focuses on teamwork, social skills and etiquette. Children will learn choreography to well-known songs and learn to dance and move with a partner, developing confidence and social skills while interacting with their peers. ballroombees.com

Treasure Island Get your kids out and about with Treasure Island. The outdoor education group offers transformative and rewarding outdoor experiences through a series of adventure,

American Vocal Studio An elite vocal studio which provides students with the opportunity to study with some of the finest singing professionals in Asia. The studio specialises in a wide range of styles including pop, musical theater, classical and jazz. americanvocalstudio.com

community and environmental programmes. With various exciting (and safe) surf and adventure camps, your children can explore their passion for life and the great outdoors. treasureislandhk.com

Ark Eden on Lantau Ark Eden has been running holiday camps for young children since 2008. These camps have become very popular and take place at Ark Eden’s beautiful forested valley garden, located in the foothills of Mui Wo. The holiday camp also offers occasional trips to nearby beaches, waterfalls and other islands. arkedenonlantau.org

Twinkle Dance Offering ballet, jazz and contemporary dance classes for children aged 18 months and above, Twinkle Dance seeks to engage kids by

YMCA using fun visual themes. All of its teachers have professional training and qualifications. twinkledance.com

Best known for their camping programmes, YMCA provides regular camps for children aged five to 14 years old. Camps are split by age group and each programme has a


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education specific focus. Sports camps, for example, help children develop healthy and active living habits, whilst specialty camps are learning focused and give children the opportunity to explore interests such as astronomy, cooking and photography. ymcahk.org.hk

Hebe Haven Yacht Club Adventure Watersports Weeks are run by Hebe Haven Yacht Club during the school holidays. The camps provide a safe and guided environment for children aged six to 14 years old to take part in a variety of different water-based activities. Expect fun outdoor adventures such as sailing on various dinghies at the centre, day trips to the outer islands of Sai Kung, beach games, kayaking and more. hhyc.org.hk


sessions for their 600 playing members are held in Stanley Fort, Tai Tam, Aberdeen and Happy Valley. valleyfort.com

HK Rugby Union Children from the age of four can start training under the HKRU Junior Programme in a safe and multi-ethnic environment. Under 7s and Under 12s are registered at one of 20 mini rugby clubs, while Under 14s and Under 19s are placed in the Colts Programme, where they will compete in league events and even have the opportunity to represent Hong Kong in the national squad. hkrugby.com

Valley Fort Rugby Football Club As one of the oldest mini and youth rugby clubs in Hong Kong, Valley Fort has a range of teams for budding rugby players as well as a senior squad for professional games. Training

HK Dragons Football Club With over 25 years experience on the playing field and professional qualifications in youth coaching and child development, HK Dragons Football Club have their eye on the ball. Each session is tailored to suit the student’s level of ability, and focuses on improving children’s skills to make real progress. dragons.hk

Tennis Elite Tennis Elite is a sports company that specialises in delivering tennis coaching services exclusively to private residencies in Hong Kong. Their programmes cater to all ages and abilities, ranging from junior group classes to adult clinics and even tennis holiday retreats. tennis-elite.com

Hong Kong Jockey Club Public Riding School At Hong Kong Jockey Club Public Riding School, riding enthusiasts are trained to the British Horse Society standards. The school is also home to the Riding for the Disabled Association which helps disabled children learn how to ride. There are three locations in Tuen Mun, Pok Fu Lam and Lei Yue Mun. hkjc.com


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Chinese New Year

KUNG HEI FAT CHOY! Nicole Slater rounds up 8 things to do around town this Chinese New Year


rom February 1-3 Hong Kong will be a sea of red and gold as it celebrates the biggest occasion on the Chinese calendar. Ring in the year of the Tiger with these fun and festive things to do.

from the crowds visit Prince Edward Flower Market in Mong Kok.

3 4

Go veggie

Legend has it that going vegetarian for the first day of the Lunar New Year (February 1) enhances longevity and helps purify and cleanse the body. Visit one of the city’s many vegetarian restaurants or create your own homemade vegetarian feast.

Take part in a Lion Dance


Clean up

Lion and dragon dances are performed just about everywhere during the Lunar New Year. Pop down to your local town centre where you’ll find performers dressed as lions and dragons parading around the town while blessing local businesses.


Make it rain with Lai See

‘Lai see’ is the traditional name for the lucky red envelopes given by married people to their single relatives, colleagues and those in the service industry during the 15 days preceding Lunar New Year (February 1-15). The envelopes should contain crisp banknotes and the amount is symbolic, do not give any amount that contains the number four as this number is associated with ‘death’ in Chinese culture.

How much to give?

Homes are thoroughly cleaned in the run up to the festivities, as it is considered bad luck to clean your home during the week of Lunar New Year. Sweep dust into the middle of the room and out the door to symbolise the sweeping away of bad luck. Going one step further, some homeowners paint door frames and windows in order to encourage good luck to enter.


Visit a flower market

Brighten up your home with a bunch of flowers or a Mandarin tree - these are believed to bring good luck around this time. The famous Victoria Park Market is a popular choice, but if you want to stay away

$20 for an acquaintance you see regularly but don’t know well, such as a doorman. $50 for someone close to you such as friends’ children or your hairdresser. $100 as a generous gift to someone you care about. This is generally the minimum bosses give to employees. $500+ is not unheard of, but it is usually given with a good motive such as birthdays or weddings around this time.


Make a wish at the Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees

A visit to the Lam Tsuen Wishing Trees during Lunar New Year is thought to bring good luck. Traditionally joss paper was tied to an orange and thrown into the tree in an attempt to secure it around a high branch to entice good luck. Free admission. Take bus


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Chinese New Year


Fight off bad luck at Man Mo Temple

It’s not all fireworks and feats; for those born during the Year of the Rat, Snake, Monkey and Dog, bad luck may be on the cards in 2022. In order to ward off the

64K or 64P from Tai Po Market station and get off at Fang Ma Po.


Get lucky at Hong Kong Chinese New Year Race Day

On The Third Day of Lunar New Year, head to Sha Tin Racecourse for a spot of betting on the horses. Over 100,000 racing fans will gather to place bets and celebrate. Hong Kong Jockey Club will put on a host of traditional and colourful festivities to accompany the racing. From 11am. The Hong Kong Jockey Club, Sha Tin Racecourse Stand, Sha Tin. hkjc.com

negative vibes, pay a visit to Man Mo Temple on The Third Day of the Lunar New Year (February 3). It is customary to burn incense, candles and joss paper for protection and to encourage good fortune. If you are not sure what to do, the helpful staff at the temple will show you the ropes. Man Mo Temple, Hollywood Road, Sheung Wan.


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HK Baby

Join a tribe Make new friends for the new year at these parent and toddler groups Sessions include sensory play, fine and gross motor skills, arts and crafts, singing and dancing, and storytime. Classes cost $180/$200 per session and are currently held on Wednesdays and Thursdays at two locations in Causeway Bay and in Sheung Wan. Little Nature Wanderlust also provides party playgroup entertainment and quarantine

(1-2 years), talking toddlers (2-3 years) and musical preschool (3-4 years). The play center features a large birch wood “tree house” surrounded by plenty of soft play space and wooden toys. The on-site coffee shop offers a range of healthy snacks guaranteed to keep everyone happy. Open daily 10am and 7pm. $100 per child plus $60 per additional sibling. baumhaus.com.hk

activity boxes with themes such as Discover Bugs and Plants, All About Dinosaurs and Explore Sea Life. The boxes are delivered to your hotel, taking the stress and hassle out of planning activities and deciding which toys to pack. For more information contact the founder Barbie on 6643 1506, or visit littlenaturewanderlust.com


Baumhaus The play area at Baumhaus in Wan Chai is perfect for tiny tots - and parents will love the barista-style coffee served. Sign up for music and drama classes, or simply drop in for a play. Music classes cater to lap and crawling babies (0-12 months), walking toddlers

Little Nature Wanderlust Little Explorer Sensory playgroup is a Reggio Emilia-inspired drop-in session for babies aged from six months up to two years old.

Casita in Sheung Wan is a newly-opened sanctuary for parents and kids up to six years old. The family centre offers classes and freeplay sessions as well as hosting events and private parties. Casita programmes combine Zumbini (an internationally-acclaimed music and movement program created by Zumba) with play-oriented discovery sessions to provide children with a holistic learning experience. Classes cater to tumblers (6-12 months, accompanied), wanderers (1-3 years) and explorers (3-4 years). Family time sessions offer an opportunity for the entire family to participate in Zumbini movement


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HK Baby

and music classes as well as sensory exploration of arts and crafts. casita.com.hk

My Gym My Gym Children’s Fitness Centers offer play-based developmental programmes for children from newborn to six years old. Having arrived in Hong Kong in 2003, the centre now operates two locations in Wong Chuk Hang and Tsim Sha Tsui. Sessions are age-specific with tiny tykes (6-12 months), waddlers (12-18 months), gymsters (18-30 months), terrific tots (2.5-3.5 years) and mighty mites (up to five years). Highly-trained and nurturing teachers deliver lessons in a safe and child-friendly play-gym environment, providing little ones with the opportunity to grow at their own pace and gain in physical and emotional confidence. mygymhk.com

Malvern Playgroup Malvern Playgroup operates out of Malvern College Pre-School Hong Kong’s beautifully landscaped campuses in Sai Ying Pun and West Kowloon. Children aged 6-24 months can enjoy adult-accompanied sessions led by experienced teachers who engage little ones in a wide range of activities including singing, reading, games, free play, arts and craft, music and baby yoga. Lessons are focused on helping young learners build selfawareness, confidence and independence. malvernplaygroup.hk

ESF Playgroup ESF (English Schools Foundation) is a registered charitable organisation which was established in 1994 to provide sports and language learning to ESF schools and non-ESF venues across Hong Kong. The playgroup caters to children aged from six months to two and a half years with three levels dependent on age and development. The playgroup follows an EYFS curriculum that prepares children for their schooling days ahead. Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten Preparation programmes are also held at ESF’s Premium Centre in Wan Chai. Prices start at $1,200 per month. esflearningcentre.org.hk

Kindermusik Kindermusik provides music-based education to children across the world from birth through to age seven. The joy of musicmaking is used to help children learn and grow during the years most critical to brain development. Classes are held by dedicated teachers at locations across Hong Kong including at Baumhaus in Wan Chai, virtual classes are also available. Foundation groups provide a sensory-rich environment in which infants up to 18 months can explore new sounds, sensations, and objects. Level 1 offers young toddlers a stimulating environment to explore their new movement and language skills and level 3 encourages

further cognitive development for children aged up to three years through singing, dancing, and instrument play. kindermusik.com

St Stephen’s Chapel St Stephen’s Chapel in Stanley hosts a popular Parents and Toddlers group on Monday and Thursday mornings from 9.1511.15am. The session comprises of indoor play, outdoor play, arts and crafts activities, snack and song time. Children up to three years old can join sessions and members of the group are also welcomed in church, especially for Family Services at 10am on the first Sunday of each month. For more information, contact ststephensplaygroup@gmail.com

St John’s Playgroup St John’s Cathedral offers a long-standing playgroup popular with parents and babies. Due to government restrictions, sessions have currently been suspended but once up and running again, the friendly, informal group meets at St John’s Cathedral in Central every Thursday from 2.30-4.30pm. Parents can socialise whilst little ones enjoy a range of toys provided. Children from birth to two years old are welcome. For first-time attendees, contact Mrs Vanda Cole on 2855 7074. stjohnscathedral.org.hk


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out on the town

Out on the town What to see and where to be seen this month Throw everything at 2022

Clowning around

New Year’s Eve at Salisterra

Tai Kwun is a circus

For the ultimate New Year’s Eve celebration, pull up a seat at Salisterra’s chef’s table in the Private Dining Room. Priced from $50,000 for up to 10 guests, a six-course sharing menu complete with a champagne and Nomad caviar pairing is the perfect way to ring in the New Year. Alternatively, Salisterra’s Green Room will host a Countdown to 2022 ($1,288 per person) with celebratory beats, free-flowing house wine, spirits and nibbles from 9pm-1am plus a glass of champagne to toast in the New Year. thehousecollective.com

If you haven’t had a chance yet, head to Tai Kwun over the New Year to catch exhilarating circus performances alongside a series of fun family workshops. Enjoy the live Tingkoo-ki Mad Skills Battle and Gala which showcases local and Taiwanese circus talents on the outdoor stage in the Parade Ground. Performers will participate in a battle to win the audience’s vote in one-on-one challenges and a performance of their edgiest acts. Meanwhile, the CircusCracker Workshops which encompass crystal ball, Kendama and puppet-making will be available to the


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out on the town Tea party Mr Men & Little Miss at AMMO

of living in a city that never sleeps. Opt for the Recanto Signature ($628) which includes a 50-minute foot massage, a 40-minute foot steaming and a-20 minute neck and shoulder massage, or try foot reflexology ($348 for 50 minutes), or a CBD Body Massage ($528 for 50-minutes). recantowellness.com

Popular Admiralty restaurant AMMO is hosting a Mr. Men and Little Miss Afternoon Tea Party this month. Dinners can enjoy savories and sweets crafted by AMMO’s Executive Chef and inspired by the much-loved children’s book series. Highlights include Mr. Strong’s appetising truffle potato croquette and fried chicken, Little Miss Giggles and Little Miss Princess’ delectable salted caramel pear cake and a very (Mr.) Happy crème brûlée tart. The tea set, available until February 10, is priced at $528 for two, including a special edition personal planner. ammo.com.hk

public, free-of-charge. Participants can enjoy professional demonstrations before learning and experiencing the crafts and tricks firsthand. For the more advanced, the world’s leading juggling company Gandini Juggling will host advanced training workshops for local jugglers and choreographers. taikwun.hk

Take time to relax Quiet nook in Central Relinquish remnants of holiday stress with a trip to Hong Kong’s newest spa. Tucked away on Wellington Street in Central, Recanto Wellness Concept is a new healing oasis that focuses on providing simple luxuries through bespoke spa experiences. Recanto, which translates as “quiet nook” in Portuguese, is founded by Elda and Keliee who share a vision that the best things in life are simple. From a familiar face to a warm gesture, the comfort they offer allows their guests to feel at home and take much needed “me time” in the midst


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big day out

StartYour Day theRight Way Matthew Teague watches the day begin from Sunrise Hill There is something rather magical about watching the sunrise over the outlying islands of Sai Kung. After wading your way through the dark of night and reaching the summit of one of Hong Kong’s most beautiful hills. Sai Kung has the privilege of facing East, which allows for spectacular cloud-level (and cloudless) sights of a new day springing to life when you are wandering over Section four of the Maclehose Trail, running from Kei Ling Ha to Tate’s Cairn at early dawn. For those willing, an early and wholesome nights’ sleep is ideal - especially if preparing for a fresh Saturday morning hike. A muzzy head at 4am after a few too many gins at Momentai may offer a different, albeit interesting, experience. An early start allows for enough time to pack a light breakfast picnic and dive into an icy shower, or whatever helps wake your body up in the morning. If you can, getting the whole family

involved and out of bed this early certainly adds a fun communal early-rise struggle and a story for the family memory bank. If you are not too confident of a nighttime hiker, a head touch can definitely be helpful, along with your most comfortable hiking gear. Although, for the most authentic experience and once you feel comfortable finding your stepping without your iPhone’s torch, try to let your eyes adjust to the natural light of the moon, especially if its a full one. However, for those scared of wild boar encounters, you best keep your light on. For a leisurely start, it’s best to begin the hike from Sai Kung at around 4:15am. Head up Chuk Yeung Road, onto Shan Liu Sheung, and then further onto Wong Chuk Yeung. Once you reach the divide, bear left and you will find yourself on the Maclehose Trail. Continue on and follow the Maclehose

trail as it veers off the road left once again, you will find yourself journeying up Ma On Shan mountain. (For an easier walk, a taxi can take you to where the Maclehose Trailcrosses Wong Chuk Yeung.) Once you have begun this section of the walk, the path will eventually lead you through a valley to a T-junction. Here, turning right will take you steeper further onto the summit of Ma On Shan, whilst turning left will guide you on a level-path around the north side of a few smaller hills. Continue left until you reach a plateau path running along a ridge, giving you a beautiful vantage point of Sha Tin to the right and Sai Kung to the left. This view will truly put your early morning struggles in perspective. Instead of carrying on across this ridge, take a sharp left. Here, you will find a lesstrodden path leading you up a rocky incline,


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big day out

over High Island and beyond. Once here, you can sit and just be. This is time for yourself, away from the hectic life of Hong Kong and the thoughts we can become absorbed in everyday. Absorb this moment - an opportunity to welcome in a new day in its purest form, and take this calm with you throughout your day and into your week. before bearing slightly right through a grassy area. At this point, a torch may be necessary to find your step. Follow this path for a few more minutes, you will find yourself moving up a small hill to your right, through an area of longer grass. If you time it right, you will be reaching the summit of this hill with an awesome view of a reddening sky, facing East

Many ancient teachings of the East mention the importance of connecting with daybreak and day’s end. The two points in which nature’s energies are most influx and transition, from yin to yang, and back again. Understanding these balances are integral to building your foundation for a calmer, more connected life.

Once you have experienced the bliss of the mountains it is time for breakfast, sharing time with your nearest and dearest and simply reflecting with the rising sun, you can decide your descent back to Sai Kung. Either retrace your steps down the hill or follow over the ridge towards Po Lo Che. To add an extra walk to your morning you can continue along Section four of the Maclehose Trail towards Tate’s Cairn. Remember to leave no trace, and pick up any rubbish that you see along the way to keep the trail clean for the next person to enjoy. Rest and repeat!


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A table of four? Enjoy fuss-free dining at these family-friendly restaurants La Camionetta This husband-and-wife-run pizzeria is a welcoming venue for family pizza nights. It even has a personalised combi-van that acts as the bar whilst adding to the character of the cosy restaurant. Share some antipasti before digging into its 11inch pizzas with classics like the margherita or a creative pie topped with burrata.

Fini’s The family-style restaurant has a cool and

contemporary New York-come-Italian vibe that makes it a fun night out for the whole family. With various changing promotions like kids eating free Monday to Fridays from 4-7, a pizza passport and seasonal specials, there is always something going on at Fini’s. Watch your kids' eyes pop as huge pizzas get served on giant metal saucers. finishk.com

Campsite This rustic cafe transports diners to the woodlands for a glamorous camping


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Burger Circus Designed to look like the inside of a train carriage, Burger Circus has an old-school American diner vibe that children will love. Parents will love the selection of freshly ground burgers, which include fish, chicken and vegetarian alternatives. Wash them down with a delicious house-made milkshake or candy shake and finish with a Circus Sundae, complete with a cherry on top. burgercircus.com.hk

The Pawn A classy affair is sometimes needed and The Pawn has made it easily enjoyable for kids and parents. Its special kids brunch menu includes favourites like mac and cheese, sausage and mash with a range of milkshakes and smoothies. What’s best is the kids' play area where they can roam around whilst you sip on free-flow wine. thepawn.com.hk

Yum Cha experience. The menu also takes inspiration from campfire food and includes cheesy campfire nachos, mac and cheese and a novelty campfire classic s’mores. campsite.com.hk

Dim sum is a fun and social dining experience for families and Yum Cha has made it even more exciting. Taking Chinese classics like barbecue buns, hot custard buns and sausage rolls and transforming them into

adorable faces and animals. Poke a chopstick into the filled egg bun and watch your kids squeal in delight as the filling oozes out the surprised face. yumchahk.com

Frites With a large selection of Belgian beers, Frites is popular with families, particularly during lunch and brunch times. Its newly opened location on Queens Road features high ceilings and colourful stained glass windows. Parents will enjoy the selection of comfort classics including mussel pots, roast chicken and burgers, while kids have their own special menu with five main course options, including bangers and mash and mini burgers. The restaurant is also available for kids’ parties. frites.hk

Bathers Finish your day at the beach with a meal sat by the seaside. Bathers offers children's favourites like cheeseburgers and homemade sausages along with brownies and ice cream to finish. Indulge in fresh seafood with pan-fried sea bass, grilled octopus and salt and pepper squid. A special breakfast menu is available on the weekends with french toast, eggs benedict and avocado toast.bathers.com.hk


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2022 If the past year has taught us anything, it's that family has never been more important.



As we head into the new year, the annual Hong Kong Living Family Guide is essential reading for home and living to finance, education, kids health, family insurance and Hong Kong’s most family-friendly things to do in 2022. If your business is aimed at engaging high-spending and influential parents, please contact us on talk@hongkongliving.com for advertising opportunities


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book club

Book club What’s on our reading list for kids as we head into 2022

Diary dates for book worms

Matcha Moon By Jo Soo-Tang Cookie Smiles co-founder Jo Soo-Tang recently published her first children’s book that aims to educate, encourage and empower Hong Kong kids to get involved in giving back to the community. Matcha Moon is a homegrown tale that follows a pair of cookie-loving siblings and their friend as they embark on a mission to expand their cooking skills, while helping those less fortunate. “I wanted to bring together my passion for cooking, my love of all things Japanese, and a tribute to the humble comfort food that we all know and love. These things also form the basis of the social enterprise that I cofounded last year,” explained Jo. Proceeds from the sale of the book will go towards vocational training, apprenticeships and selected causes. Matcha Moon is written for children aged six and up and available for $120 from Bookazine and online at cookiesmiles.com.hk

Exploring Art By cinnamon art stories

'Appreciate your Dragon' event at Bookazine

Boutique children’s publisher cinnamon art stories recently released their first collection, Exploring Art, which is aimed at young readers. The books shine a light on modern and contemporary artists from diverse and interesting backgrounds. Life stories of each artist are told in a way that captures children’s imaginations through engaging words and vibrant illustrations. The series highlights important artists of different nationalities with distinct styles including wellknown Asian artists such as Wu Guanzhong and Nam June Paik. The books, which are responsibly sourced and printed locally in small batches, are available from Bookazine priced at $200 and online at cinnamonartstories.com

On January 16, Bookazine in Prince’s Building, Central will host a book reading and craft activity event open to children of all ages. Register online at bookazine.com

World Book Day This year, World Book Day which helps to promote reading, publishing, and copyright. will be held on April 23. Note that in the UK World Book Day is celebrated earlier on March 3. worldbookday.com

The Hong Kong Book Fair The Hong Kong Book Fair is set to go ahead this year from July 20-26 at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. hkbookfair.hktdc.com


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Written in the stars Letao Wang, The Kingdom Healer reveals your fate as we head into January 2022 AQUARIUS You should spend some time apart and reconnect with your inner self before making any critical decisions, Aquarius. An old flame may come back into your life to heal all the wounds in your heart. Embrace whatever feelings surface instead of avoiding them. This healing process will bring significant transformations to your relationships for the rest of the year, so welcome it into your life.

TAURUS Your worst enemies are the ones in your head, Taurus. This month, a boost of courage will prompt you to venture into the depths of your psyche and face the demons that have been haunting you. It is time to prioritise your own desires and try new paths towards personal freedom. Build confidence in yourself and your ambitions and good things will follow.

LEO Your work and daily routine will undergo profound transformations, Leo. Far from being negative, this experience will renew your enthusiasm and purpose in your professional path. Stop wasting time on projects with unrealistic expectations and focus on what you are genuinely passionate about. Trust in your talents and the universe will accommodate your aspirations.

SCORPIO Mars prompts you to take action on your finances, Scorpio. Stop waiting for others to give you permission to move forwards. You have strong reasoning power and your mind is firmly rooted in reality, so use your compelling communication skills to bring profitable business deals to fruition. Your family will support you so don’t hesitate to ask them for help, if required.

PISCES Your professional goals are taking centre stage this month, Pisces. You tend to present a distracted and forgetful personality, but now you will be entirely focused on your tasks to move up the career ladder. It is an excellent time to take on more demanding assignments and demonstrate your talents to others. You will benefit from group activities, as your colleagues will give you the support you need to shine.

GEMINI You will experience great clarity this month. Communication will be strong and you’ll be in a great position to solve personal and professional issues. Your strong intuition will enable you to see the true motives behind people’s behaviour. Use this to your advantage when closing business deals, or venturing down unknown paths.

VIRGO This month will be characterised by optimal health. Productivity and emotional stability are the ideal ingredients to seize new job opportunities. Prioritise in advance and pay attention to your heart’s desires. Virgo, you have the mental, emotional, and physical stability to let go of your insecurities and try riskier paths. Take advantage of this opportunity.

SAGITTARIUS January calls you to focus on your ambitions and use all your willpower to take steps towards reaching new objectives. However, avoid tackling too many things simultaneously, as you will be more productive if you approach one goal at a time. You’ll have plenty of energy to put your plans into action. Schedule some time at the gym to ensure you are in optimum fitness.


ARIES January offers a golden opportunity to evaluate your finances and organise professional life. It’s not the time to embark on new relationships or business projects, but to reevaluate your past decisions and discard those paths that no longer serve you. Be mindful when you speak, and don’t rush to conclusions, Aries. Keep a contemplative state of mind.

CANCER Criticism from your loved ones is not meant to make you feel bad but to help you evolve. You may feel frustrated and irritated on occasions, but don’t let that lead you to engage in impulsive behavior that you will later regret. Evaluate every situation calmly and channel your energy into productive pursuits.

LIBRA Demands at home may well become overwhelming this month. Don’t walk away from your responsibilities, Libra. Talk to your partner without blaming them for your discomfort. The cosmos encourages you to be more assertive in your communication and to find a balance between your emotional state and external circumstances.

CAPRICORN This month brings significant challenges to light, Capricorn. The cosmos invites you to look at your current circumstances with a mature and down-toearth approach to finally let go of those relationships that do not foster growth. The challenges you overcome during January will give you enough confidence to fully transform your life. The only limitations you may encounter are in your mind; never forget that.


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2022: the astrological year of love After another year of being plagued by Covid-19, many clients of mine are asking if 2022 could bring us a little bit of change in life - maybe an easy trip to Southern Europe? A career change that can bring prosperity and success? Or a handsome knight in shining armour embracing us? As an astrologer reading for the past 10 years, I can be certain that there is something shifting already. A sense of gentleness and love coming with 2022. 2022 in numerology is reduced into the number 6 (2+0+2+2). This is the number associated with the heart and love, as well as sacrifice. Number 2 symbolises balance, relationships and being in front of a crossroad. The dominant “2’s” in this year are especially emphasised on all the political and environmental decisions on a higher level for the entire humanity, as well as our personal issues such as love and career. “2” needs us to learn how to look at life from different perspectives so that we can use a diplomatic and understanding approach to move forward.

Building and maintaining relationships are also a key for all of us. Meanwhile, “6” is a number that is associated with the concept of love and our heart chakra. For instance, in the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, the 6th sphere, named beauty, is the heart of the tree. It is also associated with Christ Consciousness, the idea of “sacrifice for love”. Anyone fortunate enough to have experienced romantic love knows that true love always needs a certain degree of vulnerability and sacrifice. Here we can see how the numbers “2” and “6” come together: Only by opening your heart and being vulnerable, will we be able to receive and give love. Thus this year, we are seeing the energetic focus for all of us: How to love, how to balance a relationship and how to sacrifice for the bigger good. This amazing theme is of course supported by Jupiter’s transit in Pisces. Jupiter is the traditional ruler of Pisces, so it is a very fortunate position for Jupiter to be in. Pisces is the zodiac sign representing universal love, compassion and benevolence. This is a great year for relationship

building, falling in love, and surrendering ourselves to the cosmic flow. Especially if you are a Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio, the water trinity will bring you lots of good news and happiness. Meanwhile, since Saturn is still transiting in Aquarius for the entire year, we do still have lots of clusters to clean out. Particularly for Taurus, Leo and Aquarius, what old habits and reminiscence are still holding you back? Remove them and make space for your next chapter. The year 2022 has the gravitational pull of love, attraction and kinship. Any opportunities involving the concept of love and relationships are wide open for you. So reassess your situation and achieve oneness with your true purpose through love, sacrifice and give up the old. In return, you will gain what you have always dreamed. I wish that all of you in 2022 would have many magical and indelible experiences in all aspects of life, with lots of beautiful new beginnings and fulfillment.


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Mum about town

Mum about town Our mum about town spends a wholesome Sunday in the city After lunch, we headed to Causeway Bay for some retail therapy. Shopping with a three-year-old is super fun when she cooperates and completely exhausting when she doesn’t. Lee Garden Two is an extremely child-focused shopping centre and offers something for everyone. Even the toilets are down-sized for little children. The second floor is dedicated to kids and we normally spend a considerable amount of time choosing books at Book Castle. I also love browsing the designer kids’ fashion stores with my mini-me fashionista.

We’re getting back to basics this month. We kick off with a trip to a little-known spot which supplies fresh organic vegetables - perfect for cooking up a storm during the cooler weather.

Every Sunday, Central Pier hosts a local farmer’s market from 11am-5pm. I coaxed three-year-old Mimi along to stock up on fruit and veggies with the promise of a Mister Softee soft serve once we were done. It’s a great place to source organic produce directly from local farmers. Mimi loved the hands-on experience and one of the producers from Hok Tau Potted Organic Farm spent time introducing her to new vegetables. When we’re in the area, we always enjoy lunch at the aptly named Café 8 at Pier 8 on the rooftop of the Maritime Museum. Founded by The Nesbitt Centre in 2013, Café 8 offers employment opportunities for adults with learning needs. It’s bright and airy with a large terrace which is great for soaking up the sun at this time of year. Mimi devoured her lasagna, but it was the cake counter that really grabbed her attention. The carrot cake is a huge hit and daddy recommends the strawberry cheesecake, the lemon tart, and the banoffee pie - the list of delicious treats goes on!

Mimi adores the free play areas which offer toys, books, games and plenty of dinosaurs! There is a much bigger (and better) playroom on the third floor called Playdot. This one has slides and climbing walls. To gain 30-minute access, you need to show on-the-day proof of purchase by credit card for $50 or more. I’ve got a great tip for what to spend that $50 on head to NINETYs on the first floor for an award-winning artisan coffee. This place serves up some of the best coffee in Hong Kong and each cup is served alongside accompaniments to enhance the taste of the blend. It’s one of the best kept secrets in Causeway Bay for on-the-go mums, like me!


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