Expat Parent November 2020

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the really useful magazine hongkongliving.com

November 2020

Hong Kong Dining Awards

We reveal the winners

INSIDE Camping for cooler weather Picturesque picnic sites Fun at the farm

A look around

Hong Kong Adventist Academy

The great outdoors 100 ways to enjoy autumn days


CONTENTS — 1 1/ 2 0


Cover Story Your guide to autumnal days out in Hong Kong Hello from the hot desk







Meet party boutique owner Brenda Wilson

Hong Kong Dining Awards: We reveal the winners

Meet this month’s team





Events to look forward to this November

Your monthly local news roundup

Host in style with these dinner party essentials

Southside resident Suzanne Younan publishes her new book

Life lessons from a one-year-old


Take a tour of Hong Kong Adventist Academy


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“Unless you’re at a picnic, life is not a picnic” - Jane Wagner


editor’s Letter November is affectionately known amongst Hong Kong’s expat parent community as ‘granny season’ on account of the hordes of grandparents, who ‘fly east’ to visit family at this time of year. Traditionally, our November issue includes an extensive guide on how to keep extended family busy on their elongated holidays. This year is different of course, there are no visiting grandparents. But we can still enjoy long days out in the autumn sunshine, sans-inlaws. Our cover story features picturesque picnic spots, family-friendly farms and campsites for cooler weather (page 12). Meet the versatile chefs and adaptable restaurants not just surviving, but thriving in our Hong Kong Dining Awards (page 21). Meanwhile, we took a tour of Hong Kong Adventist Academy in Clearwater Bay, read about the school’s warm community feel in our education section (page 28).

who’s in charge? Editorial editorial@hongkongliving.com Editor-in-chief Nicole Slater

Editor Gemma Shaw

Digital Editor Apple Lee

Senior Staff Writer Charmaine Ng

Design vicky@hongkongliving.com Graphic Designer Vicky Lam

Graphic Designer Yankee Tsang

Sales & Marketing talk@hongkongliving.com

Enjoy the month. I’ll be celebrating my little one turning six months with a picnic at Inspiration Lake over on Lantau island.

Director of Content Hilda Chan

Head of Digital Content Isamonia Chui

Partnership Manager Chrissie Ip

Partnership Manager Elaine Li

Circulation Manager Pranali Gupta


Editor’s picks

Matt Eaton matt@hongkongliving.com

Founding Director Tom Hilditch tom@hongkongliving.com

Contact us Admin: 3568 3722 | Editorial: 2776 2773 | Advertising: 2776 2772

To mark this most challenging of years, The Lion Rock Press has released a special set of Hong Kong-themed seasonal decorations. Featuring a safely masked lucky cat, lion dance and snowman figurines, along with 2020’s most wanted accessory – a bottle of hand sanitiser. From $100, or $350 for a set of four. thelionrockpress.com

Donate a meal

To help raise funds to support the community, a number of restaurants in Hong Kong have joined the newlylaunched Donate-a-Meal campaign, inviting diners to make a small donation in addition to their bill. Proceeds will go towards supporting three local charities. donate-a-meal.org

Covid-19 update As Expat Parent goes to print we have done our best to keep our content as accurate and timely as possible, but if Covid-19 has taught us anything it’s that life is nothing if not unpredictable. Check with local businesses for the most up to date operation hours and services and above all, stay safe.


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

HONG KONG hongkongliving.com 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 any liability to any person, whether 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.

Photo: Graham Uden

Mask the occasion


contributors Thank you to our contributors

Rachel Rudisaile American-born Rachel taught in the Czech Republic and Mainland China before arriving in Hong Kong. This month, the Elementary Vice Principal of Hong Kong Adventist Academy takes us on a tour of the non-profit school in our school visit column.

Suzanne Younan Southside environmentalist Suzanne celebrates the release of her second children’s book The Green Dragon and the ‘Oh No’ Bird! this month. Through her writing Suzanne hopes to educate readers about the importance of keeping our country parks clean and tidy.

Becky Love Expat mum-of-one Becky is constantly learning and adapting to life as seen through the eyes of her 20-month-old son. She reveals what she’s been up to this month in her column Dim Sum Mum.

Graham Uden This month’s cover comes courtesy of photographer Graham Uden. The man needs no introduction. A former war photographer, Uden has shot (photographs that is) of gun-toting Khmer Rouge soldiers and spent time in the trenches of Afghanistan dodging bullets from the Taliban. @grahamuden

Pia Zhang Having just turned three, Pia Zhang recently started her first year at Victoria Kindergarten and is loving it. She adores nature and frequently picks up fallen leaves and twigs and brings them home for her own collection. Find out her favourite Hong Kong activity in our cover story.

Danica Yeung Currently in Grade 1 at Hong Kong International School, Danica Yeung is following in her mum’s footsteps with a passion for skincare and spa treatments, they frequently get mani-pedis together. Find out her favourite Hong Kong activity in our cover story.

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


what’s on NOV 13

Stanley Quiz Night Southsiders no longer need to travel into town to enjoy one of Beef & Liberty’s famous quiz nights with top notch banter and happy hour burgers. $150. 7.30pm. G/F, Stanley Plaza, 23 Carmel Road, Stanley. beef-liberty.com

NOV 14

Steelcase Dragon Run An international surfski event taking paddlers from Clearwater Bay Beach to Stanley. From $500 or spectate for free. 10am. Hong Kong Sea School, Stanley. hongkongdragonrun.com.hk


Women’s Five This year participants will run 5km or 10km in pairs or groups of four at their chosen time and date between Nov 7 and Nov 15. The organisers emphasise - this is not a virtual race, everyone will be out there on the trail, just not all at the same time. From $390. Aberdeen Country Park. womensfive.com

NOV 5-15

Hong Kong International Literary Festival

Get some inspiration for your next home renovation at the city’s largest Expo for homewares. 12-9pm. Free. Hall 1 DE, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wan Chai. exhibitiongroup.com.hk

Hong Kong Mental Health Conference

NOV 26

Thanksgiving Day

Mindful HK hosts over 45 local and international speakers. 9am-8pm. $715. 1/F, Exchange Square, Connaught Place, Central. hkmentalhealthconference.com

Donate unwanted items including clothing, toiletries and appliances to Impact HK in Tai Kok Tsui while enjoying a coffee and listening to live music. Free. 10am-1pm. The Guestroom, 29 Oak Street, Tai Kok Tsui. impacthk.org

Celebrate a day of gratitude with friends and family. And of course, stuff yourself silly with turkey.

NOV 10-14

Shorties Film Festival

NOV 28

Pink Diving

The third annual celebration of Asia Pacific’s most exciting short films and brightest film entrepreneurs. From $158. Times vary. The Hive, 33-35 Hillier Street, Sheung Wan. thehivesheungwan.com.hk

A fun day on and under the water in support of the LGBT+ community. Dive independently or follow one of Sai Kung Scuba’s experienced divemasters at some of Sai Kung’s finest underwater locations. 8am-4pm. From $550. saikungscuba.com

NOV 13

NOV 27-29

An immersive photography and video exhibition by Derry Ainsworth showcasing work from over six years in Hong Kong. Free. 7pm. Famaland, Block A, G/F, PMQ, 35 Aberdeen Street, Central. derryography.com

A scenic ultra-endurance race across Hong Kong made up of four categories: 20km, 55km, 84km and 168km. All participants must finish within 48 hours. From $480. 9am. Tai Mei Tuk, Tai Po. hk168.com.hk

Life Through a Lens


A weekend of yoga, sound and breathwork with yoga teacher Amelie of Ikigai studio and sound meditation coach Cheryl Rodriguez. From $5,500. The Pier Hotel, Sai Kung. thepierhotel.com.hk

NOV 20-22

NOV 6-7

ImpactHK Donation Day

Let Go Yoga Retreat

In-Home Expo

A virtual event with the theme ‘Present Tense, Future Perfect’ will celebrate the festival’s 20th anniversary. A mix of free and paid events. festival.org.hk


NOV 20-22


book now BOOK NOW DEC 16

race across Lamma, Launtau and Hong Kong Island. 7am-6.30pm. From $400. Central Ferry Pier 4. tgr.run

Future City Summit Annual Meet This year’s annual meet will address multiple pandemic shocks to urban planning, future workforce, designs and environmental sustainability. From $160. 8.30am-5pm. Online with Cyberport as the Giant Studio for global live streaming. futurecitysummit.org

Baby Shark Live Expect plenty of singing and dancing as the sharks take part in Reefville’s first annual treasure hunt. Multiple showtimes. From $280. Star Hall, 3/F, KITEC. pinkfong.com

finally here. Find our full list of activities for the festive season at hongkongliving.com

DEC 25

DEC 26

Sit back and enjoy the turkey, Christmas is

Burn off those Christmas calories in this

Three Islands Green Race

Christmas Day

Conrad Dy-Liacco, courtesy of Hong Kong Ballet

DEC 19-20

Got an event? We can publish the details. Email editorial@hongkongliving.com

Gemma’s Diary

You’ve got mail

Hong Kong Dining Awards

At 11am on November 19, I’ll be first in ‘virtual’ line to book an appointment with Santa Claus. With his travel plans scuppered this year, Pacific Place has organised for Santa to meet the children of Hong Kong via digital link from the North Pole. christmas.pacificplace.com.hk

On November 3, the team at Hong Kong Living are hosting the city’s first socially-distanced awards ceremony to celebrate Hong Kong’s best chefs and restaurants. I’ll be there, bubbles in hand, to meet the chefs and get a culinary tip or two. zicket.co



Get paid to play with Lego It’s now possible to make money from playing with Lego. LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Hong Kong is on the lookout for a full-time Master Model Builder at its 30,000sq ft store in K11 MUSEA. The successful candidate will spend their days building new models, maintaining existing ones and delivering inspirational model builder workshops. Apply online at hongkong.legolanddiscoverycentre.com

We wish you a virtual Christmas With the pandemic accelerating digital transformation, going online is one of the biggest trends this year. To practice safe social distancing, Pacific Place is welcoming the jolly man in red in a Covid-safe, virtual format. The mall will introduce Hong Kong’s first-ever augmentedreality meet and greet with Santa. From November 19 through January 2, the atrium will

also transform into a winter elf town, featuring a Little Elves’ Training Camp, Christmas fair games, storytelling and handcraft workshops. Selected activities will be made available online, so you can enjoy the festivities from the comfort of your own home. Ticket sales to meet Santa virtually will go live online on November 19 at 11am. christmas.pacificplace.com.hk

Indigo Atelier launches Award-winning home furnishing retailer, Indigo Living has launched its new premium home furnishings and lifestyle concept, Indigo Atelier. Perfectly suited to the high-end, design-savvy customer, Indigo Atelier features sophisticated home furniture, lighting, accessories and artwork collections from its esteemed network of artists and designers. The launch of Indigo

Let it snow in TKO

Step into a winter wonderland this November as a Frozen-themed exhibition arrives at Park Central in Tseung Kwan O. Visitors can experience the breathtaking Arendelle’s castle, explore the mystical Troll Valley and visit the famous Enchanted Forest at the 18,000sq ft exhibition which runs from November 17 until February 28. Tickets for a 90-minute session cost $198 for adults and children over the age of 12, and $178 for kids aged three to 11. Available at klook.com


Atelier also serves as a fresh, upscale new face to the previous SONDER Living @ Indigo brand. “Indigo Atelier is all about the art of design - it’s for the connoisseur who truly wants to express their unique personality through a beautifully designed space.” says John McLennan, Indigo Founder and Chairman. indigo-living.com


Charity card supports Mother’s Choice The Lion Rock Press recently launched its 2020 charity Christmas card appeal with 100% of the profits going to support Mother’s Choice. This is the eighth year that The Lion Rock Press has supported the charity with the aim of exceeding $350,000 in donations by the end of 2020. Mother’s Choice works to change the lives of children without families and young women in crisis pregnancies in our city. The Christmas cards illustrate the 12 Days of Christmas with a

tongue-in-cheek Hong Kong theme. Cards retail at $30 or $120 for a pack of 10 from selected retailers, including all Bookazine stores or online at thelionrockpress.com

Kids’ wellbeing in need of boost Hong Kong children ranked bottom in a recent study on wellbeing conducted by Hong Kong’s only public liberal arts university, Lingnan University. Over 1,500 10 and 12 years olds across 35 counties were interviewed on their subjective wellbeing. Those in Hong Kong scored 7.25 and 8.09 respectively on a scale from 0 to 10, the lowest scores of all countries surveyed. The

findings indicate that the well-being of Hong Kong children is currently behind international standards with the team behind the study expressing concern about the negative implications on mental health and wellness. They emphasise the importance of listening and care, as well as guidance on how to use free time effectively in order to balance study and leisure time.

Kellett appoints new Head After a rigorous selection process, Kellett School has appointed Samantha Steed as the new Head of School for The Kowloon Bay Campus. Steed will assume her new position at the British international school at the end of this academic year. She holds a Master’s Degree in Education and has over 20 years of Primary and Early Years education experience, including three headships. Steed began her teaching career at Holy Trinity School in London and was appointed Deputy Head at Prospect School in Putney, Head of Haresfoot Preparatory School in Hertfordshire and Head of Berkhamsted Pre-Prep, where her husband Mark Steed was Principal.


me & my big idea


me & my big idea

Let’s party Swoon Soirées celebrates five years in business. By Charmaine Ng Hong Kong can be a tough market to succeed in. But against all odds, party supplies business Swoon Soirées has found mainstream success and will be celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. Founded by Brenda Wilson when there was little in the way of party supplies available in the local market, Swoon Soirées has become one of the city’s goto destinations for unique partyware. Its website features over 100 party themes to choose from, offering everything needed to plan a picture-perfect day for children and adults alike. “I could often be found with suitcases full of party and baking supplies on trips back from the United States,” recounts Wilson, when asked about the start of her business. “After being ‘randomly’ stopped a hundred percent of the time by TSA for additional screening, I thought perhaps it was time to start importing my favourite goodies in bulk.” She decided that an online party supplies platform would give her maximum flexibility to focus on raising her daughter while still building a business from the ground up. A Hong Kong-based company with an international outlook, Swoon Soirées prides itself on sourcing the finest quality items from around the world, such as gourmet sprinkles from Canada, giant balloon kits from Australia, colourfully themed lollipops from the United States and sophisticated ceramic cake stands from Denmark. “We don’t limit ourselves by geography. We scour the globe to ensure that Swoon Soirées is always one step ahead of the latest trends in hosting,” explains Wilson. “We are also the exclusive importers of several brands only available at Swoon Soirées, which gives our customers something special.” The business’ focus on premium quality also ensures that much of its partyware is designed to be reusable, reducing waste and saving time, money and resources for its customers’ next celebration. Since Swoon Soirées’ inception, Wilson has been committed to offering peerless customer service. All orders over $750 include free two-day delivery,

Brenda Wilson

while clients with urgent requirements can upgrade to an optional same-day courier service to anywhere in Hong Kong. The easy-to-navigate website is searchable by preferred colour, product, occasion and gender, with specific collections to make children’s parties magical or add a sprinkle of sophistication to adult gatherings. As the end of the year draws near, Swoon Soirées is gearing up for its birthday. Normally, Wilson would call for a big celebration – as expected with a party supplies business. “But, with a global

pandemic on our minds, it just does not seem like the right time to wax lyrical about party supplies,” she says. “It is enough to simply take a moment to look forward to brighter days, months and years ahead for the business.” Swoon Soirées is Hong Kong’s online party boutique filled with creative themes and must-have accessories. swoonxoxo.com


cover story



Enjoy the cooler weather at these campsites, picnic spots and family-friendly farms


cover story


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Sai Yuen Farm

Tung Lung Chau Tung Lung Chau Island, located off the tip of the Clear Water Bay Peninsula in the New Territories, famously offers some of the best rock climbing facilities in Hong Kong with walls suitable for all levels. Tung Lung Chau Campsite on the northeastern side of the island is a 20-minute walk from Tung Lung Island Public Pier and boasts nearby restaurants, barbeque pits and excellent stargazing opportunities.

Treasure Island Hong Kong Located in South Lantau, Pui O Beach is popular with beginner surfers and kite surfers. The campsite is easily accessible, making it perfect for families and meals can be enjoyed at the popular Treasure Island Beach Club. The team at Treasure Island take the hassle out of camping, renting out everything from sleeping bags and S’mores packs to fully kitted out cabanas, so all you need to do is show up and relax. treasureislandhk.com

Ger, Romantic Tree Cocoon or a Star Gazing Geodesic Dome. The farm also offers a range of adventurous activities including a tree top canopy walk, bubble soccer and junior abseiling to keep the whole tribe entertained. saiyuen.com

Ham Tin If you fancy waking up on soft sand to witness the sun rise over turquoise waters, Ham Tin is the spot for you. One of four white sandy beaches in the Tai Long Wan Bay area, Ham Tin Beach boasts stunning scenery, access to toilets and rental facilities for surfboards and camping equipment. The area is popular with overnight campers and reachable via a 2.5 kilometre hike from Sai Wan Pavilion, or

Treasure Island Hong Kong

by boat from Sai Kung Waterfront. A small restaurant serves up cold beers, coconuts and noodles throughout the year.

Cool Campsites Sai Yuen Farm For a more glamorous camping experience, Sai Yuen Farm offers six themed camping experiences. Visitors can opt to spend the night in a Native American Teepee, Mongolian

Tai Long Wan Bay


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Wan Tsai Wan Tsai South Campsite is located at the northern extremity of the north-western Sai Kung Peninsula and overlooks Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park. The campsite is spaciously designed and features pavilions, barbeque grills and bathrooms, it also offers some of the best sunrises and sunsets in Hong Kong. Access is via a short ferry ride from Wong Shek Pier.

Family-friendly Farms Butterfly Valley This butterfly-themed farm in Tai Po is a wonderland for family photos, touting stunning lake views, pink-purple windmills and rainbow bridges. The farm has recently introduced a small alpaca enclosure and launched a camping package, making it the perfect weekend trip for families. butterfly-valley.com

Nature’s Harvest Located in Sai Kung, Nature’s Harvest advertises itself as an ‘organic farm and wellness getaway’ with plenty of photo opportunities, including its signature Dutch windmill and Swiss wooden houses. Within its picturesque site, a large piece of farmland provides a platform for farming workshops. naturesharvest.com.hk

Bunny Wonderland Encompassing an area of over 100,000 square feet, Bunny Wonderland in the Lam Tsuen Country Park has a variety of outdoor facilities to keep kids busy, including pirate ships, trampolines, rope nets and swings. And as the name suggests, the farm has a dedicated zone full of bunnies for the public to pet. bunnywonderland.com

Nature’s Harvest

Go Green Organic Farm Go Green Organic Farm is a charming spread of bright pineapple fields situated on the outskirts of town in Kam Tin. This farm offers seasonal fruit and vegetable picking, farming workshops, handicraft and cooking classes, as well as camping and barbecue facilities. Nothing compares to its most popular attraction though – the alpaca enclosure, where children and their parents can get up close and personal with these furry animals. gogreenlife.com.hk

Long Ping Strawberry Grape Farm With a 200,000-square-foot field, this massive organic farm in Yuen Long lends itself as one of the best places to go for strawberry and grape picking. It has garnered much attention in recent years with its offers of Japanese fruit varieties, such as the Shine Muscat grapes and Kyoho grapes. The farm is free to enter with a small fee to pay for your fruit pickings. yl.hk/lpsb


cover story


cover story Picnic Spots

What’s your favourite day out? Our cover stars share their favourite outdoor pastimes

Victoria Peak Garden A short 15-minute walk from Peak Galleria lies a lush meadow which is idyllic for picnics. The Victorian-style pagodas and garden exude old school charm and the hiking path up towards Mount High West is just metres away.

West Kowloon Art Park This vibrant waterfront promenade has taken Instagram by storm this year. The open lawn offers panoramic views across Victoria Harbour and the Art Park sometimes hosts live performances, so you can catch some chill tunes from the comfort of your picnic blanket. Nearby restaurants and cafes serve up delicious bites, fresh coffee and sundowners.

Kwun Tong Promenade Formerly a landfill site, Jordan Valley Park scrubbed up well and is now the largest park in Kwun Tong District with numerous outdoor facilities. The Kwun Tong Promenade offers picturesque views across the harbour and a grassy area close to the boardwalk provides the perfect place to lay your blanket.

I love being in the water so my Mummy and Daddy will often take me to try out one of the many beautiful beaches in Hong Kong. -Pia Zhang

Inspiration Lake With Hong Kong Disneyland recently reopened for business, man-made Inspiration Lake is a short walk from the park entrance. Free entrance, an onsite tuck shop and pedal boatsmake- makes for the perfect place for little ones to let off steam in Lantau. hongkongdisneyland.com

Cyberport Waterfront Park Enjoy a lazy Sunday at this waterfront park tucked behind the Cyberport Arcade. The area is perfect for people-watching on it’s expansive grass lawn and since the park is dog-friendly, even your pooch can join in the fun.

I love running through the grass at The American Country Club and when the weather isn’t so nice, I’ll get a mani-pedi with my mum. - Danica Yeung Inspiration Lake




HONG KONG DINING AWARDS The city’s top restaurants, chefs and food delivery services as voted by you. By Apple Lee This month Expat Parent’s sister magazine Hong Kong Living announced the winners of the second annual Dining Awards. Here are some of the highlights, for the full list of winners, visit hongkongliving.com



dining Chef of the Year

Vicky Lau

As the chef-owner of Tate Dining Room, Vicky Lau is the only female Asian chef with a Michelinstarred restaurant in Hong Kong. After graduating from New York University with a degree in graphic communications, Lau left the design field to embark on her culinary career and enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu. Her cutting-edge culinary creations and intricate plating earned Tate Dining Room a prestigious Michelin star in 2013, only one year after its conceptualisation, and in 2015, Lau won the title of Best Female Chef in Asia voted by World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Today, Lau is one of the first people who comes to mind when we think of French-Chinese cuisine. In the city’s highly competitive dining scene, she has managed to find innovation in her culinary craft with seasonal menus centred around native ingredients. tate.com.hk

John Nguyen

Bold and conventional are how John Nguyen would describe his culinary style. “I don’t hold back and the result is dishes that boast plentiful strong flavours,” he says. “You’ll either love us – or love us. There is no in between.”As the head chef of Xuan, a newlyopened modern Vietnamese restaurant, Nguyen challenges the perceptions of traditional Vietnamese cuisine being just pho or banh mi. With daring dishes that often come with a trace of spiciness and umami, the chef is known for combining French techniques and a hefty dose of American-style cooking to concoct flavoursome creations. John Nguyen


dining Best Al Fresco Restaurant


Located on the shores of Repulse Bay, Limewood is a beachside stronghold for both Southsiders and those travelling from afar. With bright interiors and breathtaking views, this Cali-inspired restaurant will make you feel miles away, without even stepping on a plane, perfect with the current travel restrictions in place.“We wanted to create somewhere that really embodied beachside living and bring the best dishes from the most beautiful beaches in the world together with flavours of Hawaii, Mexico, Thailand and Vietnam all feature strongly,” says Matt Reid, co-founder of Maximal Concepts, the hospitality group behind Limewood. Both family and pet-friendly, this beachside hangout is the perfect spot to sit back and enjoy Hong Kong’s cooler months. “We hope to continue to offer the feeling of having ‘holiday at home’ when the sun shines, the rosé is cold and the BBQ is fired up and buzzing,” says Reid. limewood.hk


Nestled inside a heritage house in PMQ, Louise doles out elevated French classics with heartwarming flavours that pay homage to homecooked delights. Helmed by internationally acclaimed Michelin-starred chef Julien Royer, the restaurant earned its first Michelin star this year after opening last summer. Designwise,

homegrown architect André Fu has transformed the two-storey building into a chic and elegant restaurant while retaining the essence of colonial style architecture. On the ground floor by the restaurant entrance, there is a cosy al fresco terrace surrounded by luscious greens. Beyond its relaxing outdoor area, Louise features an upstairs dining room and a high-ceilinged bar and lounge serving up specialty charcuterie and handpicked wines by its sommelier. louise.hk

Best Delivery Service


Foodpanda has evolved significantly since its beginnings in 2014 as a food delivery service. Not only can you have your favourite meals delivered straight to your door, nowadays, Foodpanda also operates a number of virtual kitchens and offers a 24/7 online shopping experience with Foodpanda Mall and Pandamart. Most recently, with Hong Kong’s dine-in restrictions and gathering bans during the coronavirus outbreak, Foodpanda has seen a surge in restaurant partners on its platform. The delivery platform now works with over 11,000 restaurants across the city, giving customers an even broader selection. Looking forward, Foodpanda is expecting to achieve an even greater coverage across Hong Kong, the opening of more Pandamart locations and a delivery time as fast as fifteen minutes. foodpanda.hk


dining Restaurant of the Year


Known for its contemporary izakaya dishes, free-flow brunches and atmospheric setting, Zuma is crowned Restaurant of the Year in this year’s Hong Kong Dining Awards. The two-storey Japanese restaurant, located inside the Landmark Building, beckons a diverse crowd from white-collars and partygoers to couples and families. Opened more than a decade ago, the restaurant’s longevity speaks volumes, especially being in such a fastpaced city where restaurants come and go. “Being strong in the Hong Kong scene after 14 years is not easy. We strive for perfection on a daily basis. We never stop thinking about innovation, progress, quality, product and guest experience,” says Alex Bellafronte, Zuma’s Operations Director Asia. zumarestaurants. com


Aside from its undisputed status as one of Hong Kong’s best fine dining restaurants, Amber is widely recognised as a pioneer of sustainability and plant-based cuisine. Last year, the restaurant eliminated dairy, gluten and refined sugar from its menu and replaced the French culinary staples with healthier alternatives. At the new Amber, guests are encouraged to opt for the vegetarian or vegan tasting menu, where fresh produce is given a leading role in the degustation rather than just a garnish. Led by executive chef Ricahrd Ekkebus, the two Michelin-starred restaurant continues to pave the way for sustainable eating in 2020. The restaurant has already launched plastic-free and sustainable seafood policies and uses

only cage-free eggs in its dishes. “Sustainability efforts never stop. The climate crisis is becoming more and more urgent and many of our peers are following suit to make positive changes to the environment,” Ekkebus says. mandarinoriental.com



May Coupe champagne glass set $2,050 from Lane Crawford lanecrawford.com.hk

Marshall emberton speaker $1,299 from Lane Crawford and TechLife by Fortress lanecrawford.com.hk, fortress.com.hk

Solo wine holder $1,250 from Tree tree.com.hk

BE OUR GUEST Entertain in style with these dinner party essentials. By Nicole Slater

Stanton 42 piece cutlery set $2,620 from Indigo Living indigo-living.com

After work glass top bar $21,980 from Tequila Kola tequilakola.com


MUST HAVES Kennedy cross leg dining table $15,900 from Indigo Living indigo-living.com

Dessert bowl $89 from Marks & Spencer marksandspencer.com

Deep ocean wine bucket $3,836 from Mary Justice Designs maryjusitcedesigns.com

Rory acrylic bar cart $7,990 from Indigo Living indigo-living.com

Cael round coasters $799 from Indigo Living indigo-living.com

Six-layered etagere paradise $12,980 from Tequila Kola tequilakola.com

The LAIBA gift set $559 from LAIBA Beverages hk.shop.laibabeverages.com

Christmas felt placemats $259 from Marks & Spencer marksandspencer.com



Hong Kong Adventist Academy Charmaine Ng visits the non-profit school in Clearwater Bay

Set amidst the greenery of dense forests in Clearwater Bay, Hong Kong Adventist Academy (HKAA) is a Christian throughtrain school that emphasises a healthy, balanced education with a goal to develop compassion and integrity in its students. The school’s strategic location enjoys all the benefits of nature, looking out over the South China Sea and the islands that


rise from it, at the same time being only 15 minutes from the bustling city of Tseung Kwan O and Sai Kung. As a holistic Seventh-day Adventist Christian school, HKAA is part of the second-largest private educational system in the world, with over 8,500 schools, 100,000 teachers and two million students. The global network has been in service

since 1853, and in 2011, HKAA was established as a locally licensed English private school in Hong Kong.

Non-profit approach to education Upon our visit to HKAA, the first thing that jumps out at us is the warmth of its community. We are greeted like family

EDUCATION which are recognised worldwide and prepares students to begin their university studies.

Diverse community Whilst HKAA is a Christian school, its student body is a melting pot of religions. We are told that aside from Christianity, individuals with varying beliefs from Buddhism to Hinduism are brought together here. And this diversity is not just limited to religion – the community is also diverse in terms of ethnicity and family background, with people coming in from all walks of life. For example, teachers at HKAA come from 17 different countries, all speak fluent English and half are multilingual. What the school does take from Christianity, though, is its values. Most teachers are members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and are happy to instil in students compassion, thankfulness and service. Regular morning meetings and assembly time are held to bring togetherness to the school. Students participate in food drives to help those in need and develop empathy on the way. And, every year, those by the teaching staff and surrounded by smiling faces all around. The atmosphere is comfortable, humble and a breath of fresh air after countless visits to bigger schools in the city. Perhaps it’s the school’s small size (in terms of population – its spacious campus is something else altogether), or perhaps it’s the fact that its values stem from Christian teachings, but every interaction feels more genuine at HKAA. Later on, we learn that the school is part of a global private non-profit organisation, which explains the warmth that is so rarely felt at other institutions. Here, the focus isn’t on recruiting as many students as possible for financial gain. Instead, every staff member, from teachers to the administration team, has a sincere love of educating and helping students.

Flexible curriculum HKAA’s primary curriculum meets local Hong Kong Education Bureau standards, emphasising Hong Kong objectives in subjects like Chinese and Maths while simultaneously challenging students to meet international standards in courses like English and Science. This way, HKAA enjoys the benefits of both systems and students are taught to perform at high levels of academic excellence. Meanwhile, the school’s secondary students follow the US Common Core and have a choice between the College Preparatory Diploma or the Standard High School Diploma. They will go on to take the ACT, SAT or PSAT,



in high school are taken on service-learning trips to countries such as Cambodia and India to widen their horizons.


Campus One of the highlights of HKAA is its large campus, which we had a chance to enjoy in person on a lovely autumn afternoon. Rather

than being enclosed to a limited amount of space, students at HKAA have access to a vast, open green site dotted with Grade III historic buildings. These buildings are low-rise red brick structures in Art Deco style, boasting intricate architectural details like archways and double-return staircases. Set against the backdrop of a tranquil lawn, HKAA reminds us of a university campus elsewhere in the world where square footage comes unrestricted. Of the multiple red brick blocks at HKAA, two are reserved for staff accommodation and one is designated as a student dormitory. Students in Grade 7 and above who wish to live on campus can choose between a five-day programme and a seven-day programme. The former is popular with local students who reside far from the school and the latter is attractive to international students. Last, but definitely not least, the school emphasises healthy eating and is fully vegetarian. Both HKAA’s canteen and outsourced catering services are wholly plant-based, with a strict ‘no meat on campus’ rule. This refreshing approach to eating is embraced by teachers, students and even parents, showing that the community here is forward-thinking and receptive to change.

EDUCATION Meet Ms Rachel Rudisaile, Elementary Vice Principal Czech Republic to teach. Then, I returned to the US to pursue a degree in education. After obtaining my degree, I moved to China, where I taught for seven years in private international schools. Eventually, I decided I wanted a change of scenery and arrived in Hong Kong. What attracted you to HKAA? I’m a parent, so the first thing I look for in a school is a community that is safe for my own child. I wanted somewhere that was good for my son, with a warm and safe environment and no bullying. As a non-profit school with a small community, HKAA ticked all the boxes.

Can you tell us about your career? What brought you to Hong Kong? I was born in the US and grew up in a military family. I’ve loved travelling since I was young, so before I finished college, I flew over to

What’s your favourite part about what you do? The best part about HKAA is the people – we’ve got a great group of students, a supportive parent community and a collaborative team of staff. You can tell the heart of education here is in the right place,

all the stakeholders are on board and rowing the boat. Tell us about a memorable experience at school? Our Christmas programme last year really stood out to me. We had students perform in an orchestra and a choir to showcase their talents. It was one of the last times we gathered face-to-face as one big family before the pandemic and it was so heartening to see students take pride in the work they had prepared. What do you like to do in your spare time? I like to spend time with my family and enjoy the different sides of Hong Kong. Hong Kong Adventist Academy has rolling admissions and welcomes prospective students to register for a campus tour at hkaa.edu.hk



book club

The Green Dragon and the ‘Oh No’ Bird Suzanne Younan teaches children the importance of keeping our country parks clean in her new book. By Charmaine Ng how light on their feet wild boars are. Lastly, Wendy is an elegant wagtail. I just love the way these birds swoop and dive along the waterways – just like the rollercoasters at Ocean Park. How can parents raise environmentallyconscious children? Parents can lead by example. It’s imperative to show how we are all connected to nature and that we cannot live without it. Speaking to children about the importance of our decisions and how we impact the environment is key. We are the only species that pollutes the very thing that keeps us alive. What’s your hope for the book? I really hope that the book inspires families and educational bodies to get outside to enjoy and appreciate nature. There are so many family trails in Hong Kong that can be easily managed by youngsters or inexperienced hikers. Sharing a love of nature can bring family and friends closer together.

What’s the story? The book is set in the country parks of Hong Kong and tackles the problem of picnic waste. Willy, The Green Dragon, meets some new, colourful friends and comes across several distressing environmental situations. What inspired you to write the book? I felt compelled to write the book after witnessing firsthand the state of country park picnic areas once weekend visitors have left. It is truly distressing. It looks as though the people just disappeared mid-picnic, with everything left behind for someone else to pick up. Where is the story set? The book is set in Aberdeen Country Park and features the marina, reservoirs and a

view over Ocean Park. I spend a lot of time with my dog hiking the trails, so the park is very beautiful and familiar to me. I write from personal experience. That’s why I chose Hong Kong as the backdrop – children love to be able to identify places they know and feel a connection with. Can you tell us a bit more about the characters? The characters came to me almost immediately. Aiya the Asian Koel had to be a neurotic mess – if you have ever heard an Asian Koel, you will hear and feel its panic. Wild boars lend themselves to be the perfect, naughty character. After seeing lots of antics on my hikes, it was easy to see how Herbert the Boar had to feature in the book. His ballet dancing talent comes from my awe at

And where can people buy the book? The Green Dragon and the ‘Oh No’ Bird can be found at the WWF HK online store, Bookazine, Bookwise, Swindon book stores, Edgar, Vibe, Bleak House Books and Tree Children’s Lodge – hopefully, more stockists coming soon. Suzanne Younan runs Green Dragons HK, a community of dragon boat teams combating plastic pollution in Hong Kong. Facebook: Green Dragons HK



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Dim sum mum

The way of the world, as taught by a one-year-old Becky Love learns some life lessons from her tiny little sidekick And as you may or may not know, a simple smile is a domino effect into happiness. There have actually been tests that have revealed that smiling can boost your mood and endorphins. So, whilst life can at times feel like a never-ending cycle of nappies and tantrums, that one smile can do wonders for your health, your soul, your life.

I had always heard that having a baby would change my life. “Just you wait,” people would tell me throughout my pregnancy, “you’ll learn so much from them – your life will never be the same”. To be honest, I thought that was complete baloney. What could a tiny nugget who couldn’t even walk or talk yet possibly teach me about life that I didn’t already know after thirty-seven years? Really? I was going to get new life lessons from a kid who couldn’t even put on his own pants? I didn’t understand it and I certainly didn’t anticipate it happening to me. I would be doing the teaching. Me. The adult over here. Hello! But as days turned into restless nights and dark eye circles morphed into brighter days, I began to see that perhaps this young man was about to teach me a few things and change my life after all.

Patience Ever stand at your coffee machine wishing it would pour that little bit faster? Or keep refreshing your online order page in the hopes that your delivery would arrive earlier than expected? I have, and of course I still do. However, when it comes to waiting for a toddler that is still learning how his arms and legs move, you require a bucket load of patience. But, funnily enough, you manage to find it without those feelings of frustration. You find it through love and understanding. There’s a peaceful patience I have now that I didn’t have before and I never would have felt it if it weren’t for my boo.

Every new day is a chance to explore I have lived in Discovery Bay for three years and not once had I made my way over to Mui Wo. Shameful, I know, but here’s the thing. I always thought I had tomorrow. When you’re married without kids you actually have all the time in the world – I realise that now – however, I always thought I was busy. “HA, ‘Old Me’! You think you knew busy? Oh, no, no, no, you never knew busy until now… and oh while you’re here – SLEEP NOW ‘Old Me’. Sleep now.” So why is it that I finally decided to explore the other side of Lantau Island with a wriggling one-year old attached to my chest? Why now? Well, apart from the fact that I don’t want to chase my very mobile sweet potato around the house in circles all day, I actually want to show him the world. And whilst Mui Wo isn’t exactly ‘the world’ – it’s different from our day to day life. It’s something that will make his eyes big with wonder and his mind tick over with questions. Exploring new places makes him weary from the excitement


There’s nothing in life more important than family and as he fell asleep in my arms on the ferry ride home, I knew I had given him a day unlike any other. Although I got him dressed, packed his day bag and carried him close to my chest, I did that because of him. Since he arrived, every day is different, for the both of us.

A smile can turn your day around Kids are great, but there are hard days too. Days when you don’t want to wake up at 5.30AM and would rather stick your head under the covers and sleep until midday. Even so, when you’re changing your fifth nappy for the day before you’ve had your coffee fix and your little boy or girl looks up at you and giggles, I don’t know about you, but that’s enough for me to crack a smile.

Pre-baby, I had really important things on my mind. Or so I thought. Turns out what I was making for dinner, trying out a new bar in Central or the newest binge-worthy Netflix series didn’t even come close to being as great as the bean that changed my world. Overseas holidays, apartments with sea views, money in the bank, the latest iPhone – all great and all worthy of giving me good feelings. But they do not come close to watching my kid walk for the first time, reading him his favourite story at night, giving him his first bite of a strawberry or picking him up out of his cot as he smiles at me after a good night’s sleep. Those are the things that I will be most thankful for and cherish at the end of my life. And I have him and only him to thank for finally teaching me about what matters most of all.