Hong Kong Living December 2021

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CONTENT S — 1 2 / 2 1


The Night Before Christmas: Quarantine Edition


Hello from the hot desk


Meet the team


Out and about in Central


Festive fun this December



Jeff Rotmeyer, founder and CEO of ImpactHK


Where to shop locally` this festive season


Christmas feasts around town

Where to get festive party ready


Here’s what’s written in the stars for you this month


Nury Vittachi on unique car names


Dr Pauline Taylor on festive fatalities

What’s happening in our backyard






“Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see” ~ The Polar Express

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EDITOR’S LETTER It’s beginning to look a lot like… Christmas! While Christmas is many people’s favourite time of the year, unfortunately many of us will not be able to spend it with our families due to the on-going travel restrictions. As this will be my first Christmas without my family, I wanted to make sure this issue was filled with festive feasts, gifts and stories for families, couples and friends to enjoy. This year’s Christmas poem on page 16 gives a lighthearted spin on some of Hong Kong’s Covid rules and sees Santa get sent to Penny’s Bay for breaking quarantine regulations. If you’re in need of some last minute gift inspiration flick to our annual gift guide on page 19 for the best local businesses to shop for your loved ones. Of course no Christmas is complete without eating your bodyweight in Turkey. Or the vegan equivalent. Turn to page 31 for the best dinners and brunches to feast on this season. While there is plenty to celebrate, the holidays are also a good time to reflect on the year and give back. This month we sat down with Jeff Rotmeyer, founder and CEO of Impacthk on page 13 to talk about what we can do to reduce the number of homeless people in the city. Wishing you a magical Christmas and a positive start to the New Year!

Editorial Editor-in-chief Nicole Slater, nicole@hongkongliving.com Features Editor Cheyelene Fontanilla, cheyelene@hongkongliving.com Senior Writer Charmaine Ng, charmaineng@hongkongliving.com

Design Graphic Designer Jason Lau, jason@hongkongliving.com

Sales & Marketing Director of Content Hilda Chan, hilda@hongkongliving.com Partnership Manager Elaine Li, elaine@hongkongliving.com Janessa Chan, janessa@hongkongliving.com Jasmine Hung, jasmine@hongkongliving.com Events Manager Pranali Gupta, pranali@hongkongliving.com



Tom Hilditch, tom@hongkongliving.com








Things we love Contact us 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

hongkongliving.com talk@hongkongliving.com

Cosying down with a candle

We wish every month could have a chocolate countdown, especially with this year's delicious selection of advent calendars. The Peninsula Boutique and La Maison du Chocolat’s calendars will start your day off sweet or for a more stylish countdown opt for The Ritual of Advent calendar with 24 luxury body care gifts.

There’s no better way to cosy down on a winter's evening, then by lighting some candles. Wicks&Co is committed to making an effort in sustainable living and offers a range of handpoured, organic, raw paraffin-free wax candles. It’s newest Christmas scent Sweet Cinnamon will help get you in the festive spirit. wicksnco.com

Covid-19 update

As Hong Kong Living goes to print we have done our best to keep our content as accurate and up-to-date as possible, but life under Covid-19 regulations means things tend to change, often from day-to-day. Please check with local businesses for operation hours and services available and remember, stay safe.


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Counting down the days


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Hong Kong Living Magazine 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. Hong Kong Living Ltd 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 in any way, part or format without written permission from the publisher.

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Nury Vittachi

Dr Pauline Taylore

Our monthly backpage columnist Nury Vittachi is a Hong Kong-based author of more than 40 books. His journalism has appeared in more than a dozen publications and is now editor of Friday magazine at fridayeveryday.com

Dr Pauline Taylor is a senior vet at Pets Central. She graduated in Scotland and spent the past 10 years practicing in NewZealand before moving to Hong Kong with her four-legged family members. This month, she takes to her pets column to answer your questions.

Jeff Rotmeyer As the founder and CEO of ImpactHK, Jeff Rotmeyer is on a mission to support Hong Kong’s homeless population through fundraising, volunteer programmes and Kindness Walks. Learn more about the charity and how you can support it in our five minutes with section.









Patrick Ho Patrick has accumulated over 10 years of experience in the education consulting industry and is responsible for coaching and developing college application methodologies for students wanting to get accepted into U.S. and U.K. boarding schools and universities. This month he shares his tips on interview preparation in our education column.

Letao Wang Founder of the Healing Kingdom, Letao Wang has been practising professional astrology and spiritual counselling in Hong Kong for over seven years. He reveals what’s in store for each sign this December in our horoscope section.

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Hong Kong Dining Awards 2021 at Conrad Hong Kong

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Hong Kong Living Influencer Awards Ceremony at ZZURA

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Hong Kong Living Christmas Charity Lunch Celebrate the start of the festive season with our Christmas Charity Lunch in support of Box of Hope. The lunch includes a three-course meal, freeflowing wine and a festive quiz where guests can win exclusive raffle prizes. $480. 11.45am-1.30pm or 2-3.45pm. Como Italian Restaurant & Bar, 55 Tai Hong Street, Sai Wan Ho. hongkongliving.com/shop

DEC 3-12

Jack and the Beanstalk No Christmas is complete without a classic pantomime. Join Jack and his friends on a singing and dancing adventure as he ventures up the beanstalk. $295. Times vary. Shouson Theatre, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai. hkplayers.com



A festive open-air market taking place in the Amphitheatre at Stanley Plaza. With 60 booths, this cashless market will have plenty of stalls to shop from, along with an AR game, a Santa Meet & Greet and more. 12-8pm. Stanley Plaza, Stanley. linkhk.com

Enjoy an evening of free-flow drinks, mince pies and stocking filler shopping opportunities. All proceeds go towards supporting the children of Po Leung Kuk and Society for Community Organization. $400. 7-9.30pm. Rula Live, 58-62 D’Aguilar Street, Central. angels-for-children.org

Stanley Plaza Wild West Adventure Christmas Market 2021

Angels for Children Christmas Cocktail Party

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DEC 12

The Prestige Christmas Fair is back for another year, selling jewellery, gourmet food, homeware, clothing and babywear from vendors across Hong Kong. 10am-8pm. Grand Ballroom, Conrad Hotel, Pacific Place, Admiralty. prestigefairs.hk

The Cross Harbour swim is back after a two-year hiatus, with participants swimming from Wan Chai’s Golden Bauhinia Square Public Pier to Tsim Sha Tsui’s Avenue of Stars. Just keep swimming. Free. 8-11am. hkharbourrace.com

Prestige Christmas Fair

New World Harbour Race


Lantau 50 Tackle some of Lantau’s toughest trails including Lantau Peak and Sunset Peak in a race against the clock. The race is divided into 16km, 27km or 54km categories. Top five men and women will receive a trophy and certificate. $420. 6.30am. Man Tung Road Park, Tung Chung, Lantau. actionasiaevents.com


TQM Latin Party Once a month the popular Latin restaurant hosts a night of live music, a four-course dinner and free-flow drinks at the popular Sheung Wan location. $900. 8pm-late. The Sheung Wan, 286 Queen’s Road Central. ovolohotels.com

Kristina Vanhave Photography at Xiqu Centre West Kowloon

DEC 10

TEDxTinHauWomen Shining a spotlight on issues that matter most for communities in Hong Kong and the world, this year’s event takes on the theme, What Matters Now? Ten bold women will take to the stage to share their perspective on a variety of thought provoking topics, each re-evaluating what really matters the most to them. 1-6.30pm. $600. Grand Theatre, Xiqu Centre, West Kowloon. westkowloon.hk

DEC 23

The Snowman & The Bear Experience the classic Christmas tale, The Snowman like never before with live music by the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong and storytelling by Australian actor Michael Sharmon and TVB artist Corinna Cheng. From $150. 4.30pm & 7.30pm. Sha Tin Town Hall Auditorium, 1 Yuen Wo Road, Sha Tin. ccohk.com

DEC 23-24

Hong Kong Philharmonic: Christmas Fantasia Listen to the sounds of the HK Phil Chorus and The Hong Kong Children’s Choir as they perform an array of Christmas classics, conducted by Apollo Wong. From $220. Concert Hall, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. hkphil.org

DEC 25

Christmas Day Eat, drink and be merry!

DEC 4 & 5

Glam and Glitters Christmas Shopping Fair A Christmas fair that supports local business owners. Expect niche and artisanal brands, selling unique jewellery, children’s clothing, natural cosmetics, fashion, art and vintage goods. 10am7pm. Hong Kong Football Club, 3 Sports Road, Happy Valley. shoppinghongkong.net

DEC 11-26

DEC 31

The classic Christmas tale comes to life on stage with the Hong Kong Ballet. Set in early 20th century Hong Kong, this tale follows young Clara on an adventure after opening one of her Christmas presents. From $180. 7.30-9pm. Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui. hkballet.com

Celebrate the New Year in style with Grand Hyatt Hong Kong’s extravagant Masquerade dinner featuring a six-piece band, buffet dinner selection, free-flow champagne and LED dance floor. $2,560. 7pm-1am. Grand Ballroom, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai. hyatt.com

The Nutcracker

Grand Masquerade Countdown party

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NYE COUNTDOWN PARTY RETURNS This New Year, 1,500 lucky vaccinated Hongkongers will be invited to join a countdown celebration at the West Kowloon Art Park, overlooking the skyline. The celebration will be the first public countdown party in the city in two years and will feature Cantopop band Mirror along with other performances. Winners will be selected via a lucky draw and will receive two tickets each. Those that don’t win can still enjoy the performances live on the Hong Kong Tourism Board’s website.



As a renowned international organisation, Inspiring Girls is dedicated to raising and broadening career aspirations for young females. The charity currently operates across 20 countries worldwide with Hong Kong being its latest addition. On a mission to empower girls aged 6-18 the charity has partnered with five schools across Hong Kong including French International School, to connect students with female role models from a variety of vocations and careers.

Named The Good Deed Tree, Eaton Hotel has extended an open invitation to participate in the creation of the hotel’s upcycled tree. Hongkongers can donate any green items up to 50x50cm, which will be stacked to create an environmentally friendly tree that will be further upcycled after that new year. Sturdy green items like old luggage, books and empty tea tins will be used in the making of the tree.



This year many Hongkonger’s have had their Christmas tree orders cancelled due to delays in deliveries. Having been delivering Christmas trees to the city for over six years, Xmas Trees Online are one of the most reliable suppliers, offering three types of firs, Douglas, Nordmann and Noble from responsibly grown in sustainably managed tree farms in North America. They also offer a removal service to make sure your tree is disposed of in a sustainable manner after the festive period. xmastree.online









Guests and fans of Mandarin Oriental are now able to experience a range of the Group’s branded products in the comfort of their home. Providing a global online shopping experience, Shop M.O. features a collection of signature luxury items including the hotel’s own bedding and spa products.

Hong Kong Disneyland’s firework show is set to return in 2022 after a four-year hiatus. The show, featuring the new Castle of Magical Dreams, will become a multimedia display of “projection mapping, water projections, theatrical lighting, lasers, choreographed water fountains, flames, pyrotechnics and firework effects,” says an official statement from Disneyland. The announcement was made just a couple of weeks after Hong Kong Disneyland raised their peak-day ticket price by 10 percent.

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A smooth Christmas

In collaboration with Glow Spa The temperature is dropping, fashion is changing and we are starting to bundle up – so it is the perfect time to quit the waxing and start a course of laser hair removal.

Have you been considering laser hair removal? Well, winter is the perfect time to start a course. The experts at Glow have taken us through the ‘in’s and outs’ of this treatment, so you can get started with confidence!

How does laser hair removal work? The treatment area is exposed to intense light of a single frequency. The pigment in the hair absorbs the light and converts it into heat energy that preferentially heats the hair and the root ball and reduces oxygen around the hair follicle causing damage to the hair root, reducing its ability to regrow. As the laser relies on pigment absorbing the light, the treatments work best when there is contrast between the hair and the skin tone, making it easier for the light to travel along the hair shaft. Winter is the perfect time to start a course of laser hair removal, as we bundle up against the cooler weather, our skin is also protected from the harsh rays of the sun, making it easier to avoid the sun exposure before and after your treatment. It is essential to do your research before starting a course of treatments. Make sure you ask lots of questions, if you are confused about anything, your therapist should be able to clarify

The Glow team are all fully qualified aestheticians holding internationally-recognised qualifications in Light and Laser therapies. The lasers are new, purchased just a couple of months pre-Covid, and use the very latest technology. The treatments are fast and comfortable and the therapist follows strict safety guidelines.

your hormone levels. At Glow, treatments typically yield greater than 70 percent hair reduction within four to five treatments for most clients, and it is recommended that treatments are completed regularly every four to five weeks. Glow offers laser hair removal for both men and women, for all body area, including intimate areas. Christmas is the time to treat yourself or a loved one, especially for those looking for a gift that is a little different or have been considering embarking on the journey to being hair-free. This Christmas Glow is offering a 50 percent discount on single treatments and 15 percent discount on laser hair removal courses, between the 1-24th December. Details of this promotion can be found at glowspa.hk/laser-hair-removal

for you. Voice your concerns, especially if you have any medical conditions.

Is it painful? Laser hair removal is not pain-free but the level of pain is appreciably less than waxing. The slight discomfort can best be described as the feeling of a pokey hairbrush rolling against your skin. The lasers at Glow have built in cooling systems, ensuring the surrounding areas are cooled to minimise discomfort.

How many treatments will I need? There are several factors that determine the number of treatments you will need, including your hair colour and your skin pigmentation, your age, the time between treatments, and

For a free consultation with one of Glow’s laser hair removal experts, to book an appointment or to purchase a package, call 2525 5198, Whatsapp 9680 2107 or email reception@glowspa.hk

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Jeff Rotmeyer


Nicole Slater meets the founder and CEO of ImpactHK

The ImpactHK team in action

Moving to the Hong Kong to teach English over 16 years ago, Jeff Rotmeyer has always been passionate about charity work and began coaching football to refugees and asylum seekers in his free time soon after his arrival. As the second most expensive city in the world (according to The Mercer Cost of Living Survey 2021), housing has been an ongoing problem for many residents. But it wasn’t until Rotmeyer was introduced to a park in Sham Shui Po and saw over a hundred individuals sleeping around the area, that he understood

the true extent of Hong Kong’s issue with homelessness. “I never thought of the homeless or knew there was even a problem here. I was completely blind to the issue,” he says. He set up ImpactHK in 2017, intending to simply distribute meals to the less fortunate outside once per month. In just four years the non-profit organisation has served over 500 meals daily and has helped nearly 400 individuals get off the streets. “The homeless issue continues to get worse year by year. However, through ImpactHK we’ve seen thousands of volunteers coming together to care and stand up for those experiencing homelessness.” Through fundraising, volunteer programmes and Kindness Walks, ImpactHK has been tackling homelessness as holistically as possible. The non-profit organisation even has its own community centre, Centre 29 in Tai Kok Tsui where people can go for shelter and food support, along with daily activities, mental health support programmes, senior support, employment assistance programmes and more. “We see new people coming through our doors daily and distribute 300 meal boxes seven days a week. Centre 29 is a place where people are welcome and safe,” says Rotmeyer. This year also saw the opening of ImpactHK’s first retail store 1ofaKIND, which sells high-quality clothing samples from top designer brands at low prices, employs

individuals who were previously homeless and raises funds to give others an opportunity. Not only are the staff in the store previously homeless but almost 50 percent of ImpactHK’s staff and volunteers are individuals whom they first met sleeping outside. “It’s been amazing to see so many people making it a priority in their lives to do what they can to support and the results of that care show.” For many organisations throughout the city and world, the past few years have been financially challenging, with donations dropping. ImpactHK has also seen a large increase in homelessness, with the average age getting younger and a doubling for female residents. “Our work is challenging to say the least but I couldn’t be more proud of our team for their constant care and hard work. Every day we are doing our best to give this community outside, who are facing incredible pain and challenges, the very best opportunity we can.” This Christmas the non-profit organisation will be fundraising for our Full Time Assistants Programme, which employs individuals off the streets to care for and help people who are in similar situations. Over the next year, ImpactHK is aiming to improve its mental health and drug rehabilitation programme and continue to give everyone more opportunities and services. impacthk.org

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Christmas feastin’ at J Senses In collaboration with J Senses

Located at the intersection of Johnston Road and Ship Street, J Senses is a unique dining and lifestyle complex capturing the spirit of Wan Chai’s ever-changing cityscape. Housed in a building where the heritage has been preserved, including the French windows, the inscribed Chinese names of Woo Cheong Pawn Shop and the Hong Kong Yu Clansman Association on the façade, J Senses has become a living heritage where the historic and the contemporary blend harmoniously together. Come visit the complex this festive season and enjoy all the specials it has to offer.

CRUST Italian

a pasticceria (Italian pastry shop) with a restaurant and Italian street food takeaway counter. The all-day venue specialises in sfogliatelle, which are puff pastries filled with lemon-scented cream or custard; street-food style calamari or pizza fritti wrapped in a paper cone for takeaway; and seafood scialatielli served with a 14-hour ragu made with six different cuts of pork beef and veal, among many other Italian dishes. Wash it all down with a variety of cocktails made with Amalfi gins, Campari, and wines by the glass, which are all accompanied by a complimentary buffet of dishes during aperitivo hour. G/F, 66 Johnston Road Tel: 2191 0278

MW Gunpowder Indian RestoBar

Conceptualised by celebrated actor Michael Wong and the team behind Gaylord Indian Restaurant, MW Gunpowder takes inspiration from Indian, Chinese and American cuisine. It offers a number of Indian and Indo-Chinese dishes with bold flavours, including the signature “IndiSum” street favourites in Dim Sum portions. Other options include street savouries, tandoori grills, freshly baked breads and curries, all made with a modern twist that will surely tickle your taste buds. Design-wise, the restaurant boasts a long bar with a hanging shelf in copper tones and a sparkling tile inlay that brings style and sophistication. Meanwhile, the dining section is backed by full-height wine cellars and marbled high tables, highlighted with metallic pendant lights, making for a perfect spot for date night or for catching up with friends. G/F, 18 Ship Street Tel: 2827 7777

RUAM A vibrant and casual Thai garden eatery and bar set above Ship Street, Ruam is a welcoming venue that serves Thai market favourites and

Recently opened, CRUST offers a taste of Naples and the Amalfi Coast, combining

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innovative cocktails. Pronounced roo-uhm, the name is the Thai word for ‘gather’ and reflects its welcoming environment and buzzing atmosphere – a spirited bar, lush expansive terrace and intimate indoor dining area. For a twist this Christmas, head over to try out the restaurant’s Southeast Asian delights. 1/F, 18 Ship Street Tel: 3160 8535

of spiciness and explosive flavours this Christmas season. 2/F, 1-7 Ship Street Tel: 2527 7117

BO Innovation

Cheesecake made with Truffle Manchego and more. A whole roasted sucking pig and the Patxaran Royal set are also available a la carte or as add ons, or you can opt for special private catering menus. To pre-order, visit jiacatering. com. G/F, 22 Ship Street Tel: 2555 0722

Bibi and Baba


Known for its modern interpretation of Japanese fine dining, the team at Tenzushi consistently surprises even its most regular guests with delightful innovations. Sporting minimalist décor and modest crockery, Tenzushi chooses to focus on its chefs’ craft and creativity, providing guests with a true omakase experience in a private and intimate setting. 2/F, 18 Ship Street whatsapp: 5533 9263

Qi – House of Sichuan

Helmed by top Sichuan chef Wong Chun Fai, Qi – House of Sichuan has been awarded One Michelin Star from 2016 to 2019 in the Hong Kong and Macau Michelin Guide. Its authentic Sichuan dishes reflect the “seven flavours of Sichuan” – spicy, aromatic, sweet, bitter, sour, peppery and salty and are not for the faint-hearted. If you’re up for the challenge, be prepared to experience a wide spectrum

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Obtaining Michelin’s highest honour of three stars for three consecutive years, BO Innovation has taken discerning diners and food critics round the world by storm. Alvin Leung Jr., aka the “Demon Chef“, is the creative wizard running the astounding restaurant. Despite having no formal training, his passion for experimental cuisines and creative improvisation cannot be doubted. 1/F, 1-7 Ship Street Tel: 2850 8371

Christmas Special 22 Ships This Christmas, 22 Ships brings rustic festive flavours to the comfort of your home. The Christmas En Tu Casa menu includes a classic cold cut selection, Grilled XXXL Carabineros, Blue Lobster Salpicón, as well as the restaurant’s signature Burnt Basque

Gather with your loved ones at Bibi & Baba this season and opt for a cosy feast featuring 3 Festive Season Specials. Exclusively available for the whole month of December, the restaurant has handpicked some of its most popular dishes, such as Singaporean Chilli Crab, Sambal Stingray, and Hainanese Chicken. Spice up the feast and share a pitcher or two of classic Mulled Wine to get into the Christmas spirit. G/F, 1-7 Ship Street Tel: 2555 0628

Want more? Other restaurants at J Senses include Five Guys, LHC Coffee and Zoë.

Visit J Senses at 60A-66 Johnston Road and 1-22 Ship Street, Wan Chai and learn more about its upcoming Christmas events at jsenses.com.hk and follow its Facebook: J Senses, Instagram: @ jsenseshkg, Wechat: J Senses 香港

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A quarantine Christmas A festive poem by Nicole Slater

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Hong Kong, Partygoers were texting, “Meet at the Fong?”, The moon over Harbour City glittered on white plastic snow, Giving the lustre of midday to objects below, Times Square gathered a line for the lifts, With parents rushing for last minute gifts. Amongst the Christmas chaos there are a few to remember, Those stuck in hotel quarantine throughout December,

With travel bans keeping families apart, The 21 days makes it difficult to depart, After two years of waiting many are fed up, When will the restrictions finally be cut? On a mission to bring back Christmas cheer, Santa jumps straight onto his reindeer, He soars through the night, flying over The Peak, And enters the city before hearing a shriek, “WHERE IS YOUR MASK?” the people shout, He forgot to pick one up before heading out.

Upon further inspection they notice his deer, “Did you skip quarantine before arriving here?” A bus pulls up and Santa is ushered in, It’s straight to Penny’s Bay for him, Is Penny’s Bay really that bad? He asks, Before reading the Facebook quarantine posts from the past. He is welcomed by hazmat suits and a form, Before being escorted to his dorm, It’s cozy and compact, there’s even a group WhatsApp,

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With nothing to do, he lays down for a nap, Before realising they forgot to take the sacks, Who will deliver the presents? He yacks. He paces up and down the room, Hoping to talk to someone soon, But alas there is hope, a delivery of food, This will help keep him in a good mood, As he tucks into his feast he has an idea, Dough Bro’s can deliver the presents from here. Santa rallies up the trusty drivers,

And asks them to bring presents to the quarantine ​​survivors. Speeding through the night to dodge the traffic, The delivery men do their magic, Presents, parcels, cards and more, Going straight through people’s quarantine door. The guests spring from their beds, curious about the clatter, Who sent them these gifts, oh why does it matter?

This small act of kindness is more than enough, To keep them going until New Year, before it gets too tough. Santa lays back on his bed with a sigh and smile, He’s going to be in that room for a while, Before he drifts off to sleep he mumbles so slight, MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!

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Locally sourced gifts and experiences for the whole family to enjoy

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the most prestigious hotels around the world and a trusted partner of Cathay Pacific. The ultimate gift set includes eight unique cocktail flavours, packaged in a beautiful gift box with a personalised handwritten note. With these classic cocktails and original creations, you’ll be sure to impress your friends and family.

For those who love a festive tipple, LAIBA Beverages has a collection of award-winning cocktails to enjoy at home. Each cocktail is prepared by a world-class mixologist and served in some of

LAIBA Beverages is offering a 15 percent off discount code until January 1st to all Hong Kong Living readers by using the discount code HKL15. hk.shop.laibabeverages.com

EMMA WALLACE Relax this holiday season with Emma Wallace’s new Christmas gift sets. Choose from different combinations from the best-selling Emma Silk collection, made up of luxury loungewear and sleepwear with matching silk accessories and twinning Baby Em baby kimono sets. Three iconic prints will be featured: the rich green Kiku print, inspired by the Japanese chrysanthemum; the Papaver print, using the wild poppy as a muse; and the Cassia print, stunning with its pretty pink hues.

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Each item from the festive collection is designed by British born, Hong Kong-based designer Emma Wallace. Drawing on her travels in Asia, Wallace’s designs blend together Western and Asian heritage, at the same time taking inspiration from the 1920s and 1970s. Fabric, colour and pattern play are also some of Wallace’s key techniques when creating her collections. Celebrities who love the brand supermodel Coco Rocha and Kimberly Wyatt. The Emma Wallace store is located at No. 2 Po Hing Fong Street, Sheung Wan. emma-wallace.com For those who love to dream in decadence, the gift sets bring together pyjamas, slips, kimono gowns, eye masks and scrunches. Shopping for a mum who loves to match with their mini-me? Then the baby and adult robe set is the selfie-worthy gift their Instagram feed has been waiting for. There are no chicer gifts for babies, mums and anyone who longs to slumber in style.

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Season‘s Greetings from our valued suppliers

Causeway Bay Central t: 2891 1855 t: 2851 0769

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Repulse Bay t: 2395 2778

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MOMOMI Give the gift of comfort this Christmas with Momomi’s Soft Touch Tatami Mat. Both baby and child-friendly, the mat is soft to touch and perfect for walking or resting on. As the International Innovative Design Award 2020, the mat is designed to be very easy to clean, non-pilling, does not shed hair and quick to dry. And best of all, it looks stylish and harmoniously blends with most floors and furniture in your home.

With a range of sizes and 11 tasteful colours, the Soft Touch Tatami Mat is not only a beautiful piece of decoration in your living space, but also for family to sit and lie on it to spend quality time together – giving you a sense of cosiness and relaxation that is perfect for Christmas. If you would like to give one to a friend or family member this season, the brand also offers gift vouchers so they can choose their ideal colour and size.

Each mat is also ethically produced. This means Momomi provides sustainable income for its female artisans and empowers them to further develop and promote their skills. The mat is coloured using only eco-friendly and non-toxic dyes that are free from AZO, making it better for the future of our planet, child-safe and pet-friendly. momomijapan.com

SodaMagic Give your drinks an upgrade with the help of SodaMagic. It offers sparkling water machines and CO2 refills, so you can make carbonated water, personalised to your taste, in the comfort of your home. The ‘Auto’ machine is perfect for individuals who want to make their own sparkling water and flavored carbonated beverages in seconds. Just push the button one time and the machine will start and stop automatically. If you’re new to the world of carbonating your own drinks, the Starter Kit includes one SodaMagic Sparkling Water Machine, one CO2 Cylinder (for up to 52 liters and one 1 Liter Plastic Carbonating Bottle. This Christmas, impress your guests and make your own carbonated drinks the way you like – with high, medium or low carbonation. There’s also no need to carry, store or dispose of heavy bottles anymore, making it an eco-friendly option. When your CO2 cylinder is empty, SodaMagic offers CO2 refills.

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And of course, all of its machines are modern and trendy and fit the look and style of all kitchens. sodamagic.hk

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cuts, Basque Country cold cuts, cheese aged in Toulouse, premium fruit juices from Alain Milliat and chilled meat and poultry flown in fresh from France. For those who appreciate the finer things in life, Plantin Kaviari is offering a range of gift hampers for the festive season. They are currently offering three unique sets with a 10 percent discount or you can custom make your own hamper with chocolate by Valrhona, signature Kristal Caviar by Kaviari and even fresh black and white truffle and truffle delicacies by Plantin Kaviari.

Specialising in fine dining since 2009, Plantin Kaviari has been providing premium gourmet products to top hotels and restaurants in the city. Joining hands with a range of French producers, the online retailer delivers home Caviar from Kaviari, fresh truffles and truffle delicacies from Plantin, Foie Gras from Les Landes, Valrhona chocolates, Polmard beef

If you’re looking to spruce up your Christmas dinner, Plantin Kaviari’s fresh selection of goose, capon, turkey, foie gras, beef tenderloin, veal roti, lamb leg can be delivered by Christmas Eve if you order before 1pm on December 13. Order online at: plantinkaviari.hk Contact the team by WhatsApp: 9451 6412

DAVISAGE Shower your loved ones with some self care items this holiday. Founded on the principles of specialised knowledge and science, DAVISAGE focuses on producing high quality anti-aging products for the face and hands. Through their luxuriously crafted products, DAVISAGE was hand-picked to become an Official Partner for the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club, Royal Edition 2021 Showcase. Their most popular products include the Face X’cercise Visager tool, the Handie Bottle and the Wrinkle Smoothers. These have all won acclaimed international awards in the beauty and wellbeing categories. The DVS Visager, a patented design, is a unique

patches address the physical element of deep lines and fine wrinkles, providing instantly noticeable results overnight.

DVS Face X’cercise VISAGER $1,380

all-in-one exercise and massage tool that uses state of the art Japanese technology to stimulate cellular renewal, boost collagen regeneration and improve skin elasticity. It goes hand in hand with the DAVISAGE Face X’cercise program, a series of stylishly made video tutorials, that focuses on the neck and face muscles. The DVS Wrinkle Smoothers are designed specifically for the face. These anti-wrinkle tape

Lastly, The Handie Bottle has dual tubes–one with hand sanitizer and another with luxurious anti-aging hand cream made in France with the finest black orchid oil, which soothes and reduces fine lines. Use code HKLiving at checkout for a 15% discount and free Wrinkle Smoothers set. davisage.com

DVS Handie Bottle $280 DVS Wrinkle Smoothers $880

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Highlights from this year’s collection include the store’s Signature Mini Decorated Fresh Christmas Tree, which are available in 30cm, 40cm and 50cm sizes. They come either decorated, or if you prefer to do so yourself, Moda Flora will provide all the materials and supplies, from fairy lights and flashing LED lights to personalised wooden ornaments. If you wish to go down the faux tree route, Moda Flora also offers the Premium Quality Pre-Lit Artificial

Walking through Queen’s Road Sheung Wan, Moda Flora’s shop at G/F 235 Queen’s Road Central is sure to catch your eye. Decked and filled to the brim with Christmas goodies, Moda Flora Santa’s Workshop stocks over 300 Christmas-related essentials, such as Christmas trees, Christmas tree decorations, personalised santa sacks, stockings, ornaments, toys, hampers and even handmade Gingerbread cookies from Queensland Australia.

Christmas Tree. Sizing five, six and seven feet in height, the trees are remarkably realistic with options of green and flocked trees. Lastly, children will love the Personalised Santa Sack and Stockings. Moda Flora understands that Christmas is especially important for kids and how to make this exciting and joyful time meaningful and magical. hkchristmas.com

Marks & Spencer

If you can’t decide what delicious snack to give this year, M&S has pre-made 10 hampers ranging in price and themes to give your loved ones a treat this Christmas. Shop in store or via M&S Hong Kong App: https://bit.ly/HKLivingDec21 now.

No Christmas Day is complete without some M&S goodies. Their 2021 limited Christmas food and gift collections have something for everyone, from cookie gift boxes, Christmas desserts and snacks including its first-ever light-up chocolate box and light-up gins in a variety of festive flavours including Clementine, Spiced Sugar Plum and a Madagascan Vanilla Light Up Snow Globe Gin Liqueur. Even M&S’s beloved characters have donned

their festive frocks for the occasion. Percy Pig has been made into a Percy The Pig Hot Chocolate Bomb, Percy Musical Tins and Percy & Penny Vanilla Biscuits.

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DREAM CRUISES If you desire to escape Hong Kong this Christmas, Genting Dream will be transformed into a winter wonderland with gingerbread town and festive decorations. For two or three nights, you and your loved ones can indulge in a Scandinavian feast and check out the goodies at the Christmas Market onboard.

A wide variety of events await you on your cruise holiday. For the little ones, the Little Dreamers Academy at Sea will introduce the legend of St. Lucia in Swedish folklore and the mysterious story of the Icelandic Yule Lads. Meanwhile, entertain yourself with the Very Christmas, a Christmas spectacular with all the elements you love in a yuletide show – with a unique twist. And if you like arts and crafts, the Nordic Art Lab has prepared a range of activities including the Norway Northern Lights Scratch Art and Nordic Christmas Ornament Making workshops. If that’s not enough, Genting Dream has prepared a feast onboard. Dig in on roast turkey, slipper lobster, gammon ham and on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, with ginger-spiced chocolate cake, Christmas cookies, Scandinavian caramel florentine torte and more as desserts. All of this is completely free! Set sail and get ready for a white Nordic Christmas adventure this season!


your own candle experience of blending your personal scent from its curated fragrance collection and hand pour your very own candle. This month, it is running a special Christmas Smells class – a sensual journey to explore your imaginations about the long awaited festival. BeCandle’s staff will guide you through the creative process and help you find inspiration from your precious Christmas stories to

create your own unique scent. Fill your home with Christmas scents this season with BeCandle’s festive collection. The Sai Kung-based homegrown brand has introduced two new 500g holiday scents for you to share with your loved ones. Tangerine Cinnamon Sweet is an enticing and spicy sensation of cinnamon whilst Pine Needle is a woody, ambery and zingy smell of the old pine tree. BeCandle also hosts workshops for you to have

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Founded in 2012, BeCandle’s creations are all handmade at their Sai Kung Factory using a blend of vegetal and soy wax, fine fragrances and essential oils from Europe, then housed in hand-blown glass vessels. @BeCandle_SaiKung www.becandle.com.hk BeCandle Shop: 18B Sai Kung Tai Street, Sai Kung BeCandle Lab: 8 Wang Street, Sai Kung T: +852 8481 7684

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M FLORIST Founded in 2017, homegrown brand M Florist specialises in online flower delivery and creating unique displays for high end fashion brands and luxury hotel groups, weddings and corporate events.

This holiday season, it has released a new bouquet theme for you and your loved ones. Named the Peppermint Parade, these Christmas flowers are strikingly red with a hint of pink, featuring vibrant, festive hues to get you into the holiday spirit. Christmas wreaths are also available. https://mflorist.hk/


As a bonus, for every watch sold, 2°EAST’s partner Trees for the Future plants 30 trees to help end hunger, poverty and deforestation. This is a watch that doesn’t just look and feel good – but does good too.

Give the gift of kindness this Christmas. 2°EAST is a Hong Kong-based, female-founded company that makes quality, everyday watches for men, women and children.

Hong Kong Living readers can enjoy 15 percent off with code HK15 between now and February 2022. Free shipping is available on all orders within Hong Kong and Singapore. 2degreeseast.com

The brand takes pride in creating watches that don’t cost the earth, using only high quality ecofriendly materials, ethical practices and a direct and transparent process from the manufacturer to the consumer. With 2°EAST, it’s cool to be kind again. Its products are incredibly comfortable with easily interchangeable strap options that include printed NATOs in a variety of colourful patterns (think tropical fruits, tigers and triangles), soft vegetable tanned leather and fine stainless steel or rose gold mesh.

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of old shoes for over 10 years. Working with Hong Kong’s Crossroads Foundation, it helps make shoes available to those who can’t afford them.

ESCAPADE SPORTS Offering a wide variety of quality sports items, there is something for the whole family at Escapade sports. From marathon equipment to yoga gear, the fitness retailer is the perfect one-stop shop for those looking to get a kick-start on their New Year’s resolutions.

With an online platform and stores across Hong Kong Island, shoppers can conveniently access their chosen gifts, even on Christmas Eve. Better yet, all items are easily exchangeable for wrong sizes or colours. escapade.com.hk

From 2XU, Asics, Brooks, Garmin and Gilbert to Hammer Nutrition, Hoka One One and Vibram

Fivefingers, Escapade provides products from the world’s leading suppliers. These are just some of the names you’ll find in store. As a large corporation, the retailer also makes sure to do its part for the environment. Not only does it work with its suppliers to reduce packaging by reusing cardboard boxes and reducing the use of plastic, but it has also encouraged the donation

Sai Ying Pun

Starborough ‘FE’, Sav Blanc

$118 Marlborough N.Z

MDLC Reserva, Rioja

$128 Rioja, Spain

Hong Kong’s best value wine store Orders Tel: 2433 9929 | www.winerack.com.hk

Patriarche Cremant Brut

$138 Burgundy, France

Poggio Le Volpi Roma

$145 Lazio, Italy

Penny’s Hill Specialized

$180 McLaren Vale, Australia Center St.

Third Street


eleven eleven


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Eastern Street

High Street


Schild Ben RSV Shiraz

$228 Barossa Valley Australia

Tabali Transversal

$258 Maipo/Limari Valley, Chile

Balfour 1503 Classic Cuvée

$268 Kent, England

Finca La Escuela Malbec

$305 Altamira, Argentina

G/F, 25A High Street Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong Telephone: 9728 2252

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Festive feasts

Where to wine and dine in the city this Christmas

Porterhouse Seafood & Steak

181 at Fortnum & Mason

Located on the seventh floor of California Tower, Porterhouse is the perfect spot for any celebration. From December 25-27 diner’s can enjoy a festive seafood brunch buffet featuring turkey, Boston lobster, Sardinian suckling pig and melted raclette cheese for $628 per adult. Make it a real celebration and add on its free-flow Taittinger Brut Reserve champagne package for $338. porterhousehk.com

For a classic British Christmas dinner look no further than 181 at Fortnum & Mason. The cozy restaurant is the perfect backdrop for any festive celebration. Available from December 1, the restaurant is serving up 13 new festive dishes including turkey for two with all the trimmings for $688, pigs in blankets for $88 and Christmas pudding with cognac butter and brandy cream for $188. 181fortnums.com.hk

The Grill, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Enjoy some of the season’s glorious weather and dine alfresco this year with The Grill’s premium seafood barbecue dinner for $980 per person. From December 24-27 the restaurant will feature a range of meats, seafood, salads and more in its buffet selection, guaranteeing something for everyone. hongkong.grand.hyattrestaurants.com

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Feather & Bone Christmas time is all about sharing and Feather & Bone’s Christmas sharing menu comes in at $598 per person and features a range of signature dishes to pass around the table. Tuck into housemade smoked brisket pastrami, brussels sprouts and its much-loved house slaw with Christmas pudding and eggnog custard to finish. For more festive spirit(s), guests can pair the feast with freeflow wine starting from $298. featherandbone.com.hk


Buenos Aires Polo Club

If you fancy adding a bit of spice to your festive feast, Chaiwala’s Christmas dinner tasting menu is sure to be a hit. Start with signature Indian snacks including pani puri with jal-jeera and malabar scallops, before tucking into a selection of smoky, charcoal-grilled meats and vegetables off the Tandoori and mouth-watering curries. End the meal with a selection of Bollywood desserts for $489 per person. chaiwala.hk

Offering a Festín de Navidad menu this season, Buenos Aires Polo Club is bringing together South American inspired cuisine with classic festive flavours. The four-course sharing menu comes in at $898 per person and features a range of starters and sides including Argentinian prawn cocktail, mashed potatoes and creamed corn with a choice of three mains from Boston lobster to its signature USDA prime rib. End the meal on a sweet note with a spiced baked apple pie and ice-cream. bapoloclub.com

AWARD-WINNING NZ GROCERIES, Enter HKLIVING10 to enjoy 10% off your first order. Shop now at eatthekiwi.com

Offer is valid until 30 April 2022. 32 | hongkongliving.com

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Embark a Nordic journey this Christmas In collaboration with Aurora Lab This Christmas season, the pulse has welcomed a new pop-up concept “Aurora Lab” on its 5,000-square-foot sky garden overlooking the stunning Repulse Bay into an Arctic sanctuary complete with snow, Arctic-styled huts and a sea of lights. From December 11, Aurora Lab will offer two immersive and interactive Arctic and Aurora-themed fine-dining experiences. The Artic Dinner will take place at sunset and consist of a three-course dinner, while the Aurora Dinner will feature four-courses and take place later in the evening. Throughout each dining experience diners will sit inside cosy and secluded huts and enjoy a true Nordic winter experience with an aurora-searching story.

In Finnish, Aurora is called Revontulet, the fire of the foxes. Folklore states that Aurora was created when foxes ran amidst the snow, sweeping up snowflakes that shimmered under the moon. Inspired by the story, the team at Aurora Lab have curated an immersive fine dining experience by inviting guests to join the soul-seeking journey of a little fox. Throughout the meal, a unique story card will be presented with each course, followed by mind quizzes, where an Aurora ambassador will lead the adventurers to open a puzzle box in the advent calendar. Each dining experience will tell a different story to truly make it a night to remember. Along with the unique and festive dining experience, guests can also visit The Moroccan Moment, located on the third floor of the East Wing and enjoy a complimentary special cocktail in the designated time slot to revisit some of the most memorable moments from the Nordic journey.

Arctic Dinner 5-7pm | $988 + 10% per head ($1,688 on December 24-26, 31 and January 1) Aurora Dinner 7.30-10pm | $1288 + 10% per head ($1,988 on December 24-26, 31 and January 1) R/F, East Wing, the pulse, 28 Beach Road, Repulse Bay Book now: auroralab.rezio.shop/en-US

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1 (complicated) tax regime 1 (extremely busy) expat 1 (specialist) Buzzacott tax adviser A conversation (you won’t regret)

Nothing is certain but death and taxes. And in Hong Kong making sure your tax liabilities are not overestimated can seem like an impossible task. Especially if you are an expat busy enough running everything else in your life. We are specialist UK and US tax advisers. We have tons of experience and pride ourselves on our down-to-earth approach. Perhaps we should have a chat soon.. Buzzacott, it just adds up Check us out at www.buzzacott.hk Or scan the QR code 34 | hongkongliving.com

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Festive fatalities

Dr Pauline shares her tips to avoid a visit to an ER this festive season

Christmas treats During the festive period there are many goodies laying around that are hazards for our pets. One item to avoid at all costs is rawhide pet toys and treats. The vast majority of them are made from cattle or horse hides which get soaked in many chemicals to split the hides into layers, and bleached. Upon testing, many have shown traces of arsenic, mercury, chromium and formaldehyde to name a few, certainly not ingredients to feed our pets.

our pets. Lilies, all parts of them, are fatal to cats causing renal failure. Dogs can also get poisoned but are less likely to show such serious side effects. Other toxic plants include Mistletoe which causes diarrhoea and the ever present poinsettia can cause mild irritation to lips and mucous membranes in addition to gastroenteritis.

Other holiday goodies to be aware of include foods with a high fat content. Ice cream, raisins, grapes and onions are toxic leading to blood abnormalities and renal failure. Take extreme care where you store your chocolate boxes and gifts, some pets can open edible gifts wrapped under a Christmas tree. Cats are included in this prank. Decorations Certain flowers and plants are dangerous to


Interview Prep Patrick Ho on telling your unique story “Just be yourself.” That’s often the advice given to students preparing for an interview. Yet, how easy is it for a 13-year-old to meet with a stranger, knowing in the back of their mind that what they say can make or break their application? My advice is: to tell a story. Every story is unique and that’s what will make your answer more interesting. It requires no memorisation on the student’s part since they are just retelling a moment from their life. When asked about your favourite subject, tell a story about a science class that you particularly enjoyed. When asked about your family, tell a story about one of your most memorable times together. In everyone’s quest to stand out in an interview, stories are powerful because “no one sees the world as you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell.”

Dr Pauline Taylor, Pets Central veterinarian.

As a Senior Admissions Counselor, Patrick Ho has over 10 years of experience in the education consulting industry. His mission is to empower students to be the best version of themselves. Contact him via patrick.ho@kaplan.com

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YOUR DREAM LASHES COME TRUE In collaboration with la’deLashesmor

Eyes are arguably the most stunning feature on our faces – especially now that we’re wearing masks every day. Because beautiful lashes can help complement and highlight our eyes, eyelash extensions and lash lifts have become an indispensable beauty routine in the past few years. Here is what you need to know about eyelash extensions: Every eye extension set is unique in terms of design and application The right eyelash extensions will help bring out your character and style. If you’ve never had extensions before, get in touch with the Lash experts at la’deLashesmor, who will conduct a consultation with you to work out which extensions best suit your needs and eye shape. The right fit is not just about the volume or thickness of the extensions, but also requires careful calculation of their density, thickness and length. Safety and reliability is of key importance in choosing lashes The experts at la’deLashesmor will conduct a preliminary allergy test for clients who may be allergy-prone. Working with a computer graphic sketch, they will present the proposed design of lashes to fit your eyes and brows, taking into account your preferred style. As for the keratin lash lift treatment, your lashes will become longer, darker and fuller for six to eight weeks.

la’deLashesmor If you’re interested in giving your eyes a new look, Hong Kong Living readers can enjoy a special price of $598 for a full set of classic or volume extensions or keratin lash lifting and tinting treatment.

From now until December 20, la’deLashesmor is also offering lifting and extensions for gents. Contact the gentlemen hotline at 5380 0581 or to find out more.

Telephone: 2895 1666 Whatsapp: 6886 4989 Address: 2/F, 108-110 Wellington Street, Central Instagram: la’deLashesmor Website: ladelashesmor.com

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Festive party prep


Nicole Slater rounds up the best places to get your glam on

The Chaless The newest edition to Central’s beauty scene, The Chaless offers a modern approach to beauty and wellness with transformative treatments. This winter the spa is offering a Christmas Luxe Skin Retreat Hamper perfect for any beauty fan. The hamper includes a Thalgo Silk Moisture Facial or CS Tension Relief Massage voucher and a lux pure silk face mask from Sıˉ Silk Officina. thechaless.com

Bliss Spa If you’ve partied a little too hard this festive season, Bliss Spa’s Nights Like This detox package is the perfect cure. The treatment starts with a 75-minute CBD bamboo pain relief massage or Carol Joy meridian detox massage experience, followed by a 45-minute facial or scrub treatment for $3,280. End your relaxing day with a seasonal detox drink and complimentary access to W Hong Kong’s outdoor swimming pool and gym. marriott.com

The Mandarin Spa Give your skin a festive fragrance with The Mandarin Spa’s 90-minute Cinnamon and Spice Body treatment for $1,445. The pamper session starts with a warming body polish to smooth and soften the skin, followed by a revitalising full body massage using an aromatic blend of citrus oil. mandarinoriental.com

Recanto Wellness Concept Opening just last month on Wellington Street, Recanto Wellness Concept is inspired by Chinese medicine with its principles and healing philosophies. The spa offers a hotel experience without the hefty price tag. Their 90-minute Recanto Signature treatment is the perfect way to relax before and during the holiday season. The treatment includes a 50-minute foot massage, followed by a 40-minute foot steaming and a 20-minute neck and shoulder massage for $628.

Balance Health Detox before you retox this holiday season with Balance Health’s 3-in-1 Detox Cleanse Package for $1280. Combining acupuncture and cupping therapy, the treatment aims to eliminate and release toxins from the body. Each treatment comes with a 7-Day Easy Detox Kit, to continue the cleansing at home with powerful herbal formula shakes. balancehealth.com.hk

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Add some sparkle with these holiday makeup sets Charlotte Tilbury In celebration of their new Holiday Superstar Look Set this year Charlotte Tilbury has decked out their Fashion Walk store with photo booths and fairground games for guests to win some of Charlotte Tilbury’s exclusive products. Their holiday collections include two new lipstick shades, Lucky Lips and Berry Lucky, along with a ​​12-shade instant eye palette, Smokey Eyes Are Forever, a mini brush set and Flawless Finish skincare set.

M.A.C Cosmetics For a complete holiday glam look, M.A.C Cosmetics has introduced a selection of holiday products for eyes, lips and skin, which include a limited edition makeup bag. The mistletoe matte powder kiss lipstick set comes in five limited-edition shades of red for the perfect Christmas kiss.

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Fenty Beauty Rhianna’s beauty brand has taken inspiration from its popular Gloss Bomb shades Fenty Glow, Fu$$y and Hot Chocolit for this year’s holiday collection. Featuring 12 unique eyeshadows for all skin tones, The Bomb Posse Mega Mix & Match Eyeshadow palette will take you from night to day with subtle everyday shades along with shimmer and metallic finishes.

SHOW YOUR LOVE Bring your loved ones over. Learn how to color their gray hair with our natural herbal hair color. Attendees must be in a pair. One will color the other’s gray hair. Great bonding with loved one. Conducted in English & Cantonese EXCLUSIVE 5 PAIRS PER SESSION ONLY FOR THE BEST EXPERIENCE

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Written in the stars Letao Wang, The Kingdom Healer shares his insights on what the stars hold for you this month thehealingkingdom.com

AQUARIUS The planetary configuration will emphasize respect for personal boundaries and those of others.Try to build relationships based on tolerance and acceptance. In doing so, you will create moremature bonds that will accompany you for the rest of your life.

TAURUS You will focus your energies on material and spiritual security, Taurus. Try to consciously work on strengthening your self-esteem and overcoming old beliefs to regain abundance in your life.Certainty and confidence grow in your heart, not in the accumulation of material goods.

LEO Planetary energies propose breaking through stagnation and self-imposed limitations, Leo. Seek freedom in whatever area of your life you feel trapped. Sign up for an academic course and other expansion strategies. Have fun with your dearest friends and don’t forget to be grateful for all the blessings life has given you.

SCORPIO Trust your dreams, Scorpio, and don’t lose sight of the goal despite the obstacles. Your enthusiasm and recklessness will give you the motivation you need to accomplish what you set out to do. Don’t let impulsivity make you take shortcuts that put your goals at stake.

PISCES Your intense connection with the source of inner wisdom can lead to unexpected revelations. Therefore, pay attention to the signs that appear during this time. If you have vivid dreams, write down all their messages in a notebook. Later you will find meaning in them that will change your life.

GEMINI As long as you practice self-control and caution, it will be a very profitable time for your work affairs. So, plan for lucrative investments and ventures. Be guided by your common sense, Gemini, rather than by hunches based on superstitions.

VIRGO If you usually behave based on your emotions, now you will feel more cautious when making decisions. You will prefer practical solutions and will feel apt to participate in intellectual matters. Take advantage of this period to start a work project, as it may become a lasting way of earning a living.

SAGITTARIUS It will be a propitious time to engage in philosophical discussions, Sagittarius. Your wisdom and knowledge are vast enough to teach others. Consider giving classes in a university course. You’ll be so enthusiastic about it that you may want to make it your new profession.

ARIES Connecting with your feelings will help you to engage with the essence of your being. The planetary configuration will encourage you to link with your individuality and to affirm yourself personally. Remember that vulnerability is not a weakness, Aries.

CANCER Work demands will be hard to cope with. Your hypersensitivity will cause your emotions to fluctuate and will put more obstacles in your way. However, staying at home and not facing the real world may bring unfavorable consequences. Find the strength to get out of your bed and get your work done, Cancer.

LIBRA You may experience some difficulty expressing your feelings, Libra. Your partner or romantic interest may sense that you reject them, so try to explain what’s happening. Avoid beginning romantic relationships out of interest in material goods or to achieve a better social status.

CAPRICORN You will feel a duality and contradiction concerning different areas of your life. You will start newactivities and challenges with enthusiasm, but you will lack the necessary perseverance tocomplete them. Do not expect to have things clear about your future at this time.

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My wife’s car is not silly Nury Vittachi on unique names for cars When my wife bought a Japanese car five years ago, I was pleasantly surprised by its name. “Prius” wasn’t silly. “That’s a first,” I thought. Japan has given us vehicles like the Honda Life Dunk and the Daihatsu Naked. Isuzu makes or made vehicles called the Mysterious Utility. Mazda’s list includes the Bongo. Toyota has the Deliboy. Nissan has the Prairie Joy. Mitsubishi’s list of vehicles includes a car called the Pistachio. Why would anyone name a car after something small, green and wrinkled? Is ET the target market? A friend of a friend in Japan used to have a Light Dump—no, that’s not a bodily function but the brand name of a truck. In contrast, Prius was a clever name, being Latin for “first step” – and the car was widely successful as the first step towards moving the public to electric vehicles. Several neighbours also bought one which created a new challenge: what’s the plural of Prius? Is it Priuses, or do we follow the octopus/ octopi model, in which case the word is Prii? Anyway, a mere five years later, Hong Kong car parks are filling up with electric cars, mostly Teslas, so all those Prii had literally been the first step for many. Car names are important in cultural terms, as can be seen from the way they are often iconically used in songs: “Drove my Chevy to the levy” was a history-making rhyme. But they have triggered east-west tension. UK TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson, not famous for racial sensitivity, assumed the Starion (a Japanese

car) was meant to be “Stallion” spoken in an East Asian accent. In fact it was derived from Greek mythology, short for “Star of Arion”. Fact is, the west has also had its share of silly names, Mr Clarkson. Cars from GM had names associated with burning, like Pontiac Firebird and Trailblazer. That was kinda weird. GM also had the Avalanche, a car named after a type of disaster, and the Citation, seemingly named after a traffic offence. The American Motor Corp once launched a car called the Gremlin, a word which means “irritating problem”. European cars were worse. They have codes for names, so cannot be mentioned in songs: “Oh what fun it is to ride in my BMW E9 2800CS.” See what I mean? A few European cars do have names. There’s a car in Italy called the Volugrafo Bimbo (Italian for “Car with politically incorrect name”.) But I have to admit, some Chinese cars have names which are just daft. From China comes a brand of pick-up truck called the Rural Nanny. Geely, a major car maker in China, makes a car called the King Kong. This might make sense if it was big and dangerous, but it’s as tiny and meek as a Japanese Prime Minister. Indian car names are sleep-inducing: there’s the Mahindra Classic and the Padmini. I still can’t see how an Asian car could fit into a song like American Pie. “Drove my Daihatsu Charade to the levy but the levy was dry.” It just didn’t have the right ring to it. But there needs to be songs about eastern cars. The biggest market for motors is Asia, and

the biggest selling global brand is Toyota. So I set to work. I found two problems. First, the top Asian cars, such as Toyota, are reliable, but ugly and boring. Second, not many words rhyme with Toyota. The best I could do is this: My car is really dull, yes, it is a Toyota I had to pay a premium (there’s an import quota) I wash it every Sunday on a cleaning rota I think I’ll buy a Chevy and move to Dakota. Somehow I don’t think it’s gonna be as big as American Pie.

Nury Vittachi is an award-winning author and journalist based in Hong Kong. He is best known for his novel series, The Feng Shui Detective and is now editor of Friday Magazine. Contact him via nury@vittachi.com or through his public Facebook page.

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