NEW YEAR | SPORT | CBD | BEAUTY | DATING
Cut to the chase The best hair salons in the city
Meet the wellness experts taking 2021 by storm
CafE hopping Unwind at these CBD cafĂŠs
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CONTENT S — 0 1 / 2 1
14 COVER STORY
Meet Hong Kong’s wellness influencers taking on 2021
4 CONTRIBUTORS 21 DINING 33 HOROSCOPES
Meet the team
Life on Hong Kong Island
Local news you need to know about
13 FIVE MINUTES WITH
Emmanuel Farcis, head of asset management at Link
26 HEALTH & BEAUTY
What’s happening this year
Relax at these CBD coffee shops
The best salons in the city
What do the stars hold for you this 2021
35 HONG KONG DATING
Valentina Tudose on beating the New Year blues 28 MUST HAVES Get going with this outdoor gear 36 BACKPAGE Nury Vittachi lightens the mood 31 PETS Dr Pauline Taylor on moving house with pets 28 28
“You don’t get what you wish for; you get what you work for” ~ Daniel Milstein
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EDITOR’S LETTER I am pleased to announce that it is officially 2021. Happy New Year Hongkongers. After a turbulent 2020 it’s time to sit back and focus on what is important - our health and wellbeing. January has traditionally been a month to reassess our health goals (and shake off the Christmas excess) and this year we have again turned our attention to what is now, more than ever, a topic of huge importance. From the rise in CBD oil to virtual workout classes, Hong Kong’s wellness sector will be looking a little different this year. With the lessons of 2020 still weighing heavily on the health sector, I had the pleasure of meeting some of the city’s top wellness influencers (page 14) to gain insights into how this ever-growing industry is adapting and evolving under the “new normal”. Speaking of CBD, there is now a growing band of cafes and restaurants themed around cannabidiol, so we decided to round up our favourites (page 21). Whether you’re new to the world of CBD or fully versed on its health benefits, there’s something for everyone. And last but not least, no new year is complete without a new look. Chop off the
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Sales & Marketing old and embrace the new at Hong Kong’s best hair salons (page 26). Wishing you a wonderful start to 2021.
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Things we love
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Sustainable activewear brand SPARKS offers stylish workout clothes at affordable prices. Better yet, the brand donates five percent of its proceeds to each customer's charity of choice. Look good and feel good. sparks-asia.com
Despite the pandemic, heritage hotel The Hari recently opened its doors on Lockhart Road. To celebrate, the hotel is offering a Welcome to The Hari staycation package for $1,450 which includes a nights stay and $700 dining credit until March 31. thehari.com
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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HONG KONG hongkongliving.com 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.
Photo: Karin Bremer
Working out in style
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As the head of asset management at Link, Emmanuel Farcis has been busy revitalisating Hong Kong’s fresh markets. Farcis hopes to bring the markets back into the heart of the community. Learn more about the project in our five minutes with interview.
Nury Vittachi is the awardwinning Hong Kong-based author of more than 40 books, several of which have been published internationally in multiple languages. His journalism has appeared in more than a dozen publications, including The New York Times and Reader’s Digest. firstname.lastname@example.org
Valentina Tudose Certified relationship coach and clinical hypnotherapist Valentina Tudose shares her favourite ways to beat the new years blues.
Letao Wang Founder of the Healing Kingdom, Letao Wanghas been practising professional astrology and spiritual counselling in Hong Kong for over seven years. He reveals what’s in store for each sign this year in our horoscope section.
Boanne Cheung Dee Oh Founder of Dee Dream Life, Dee Oh left her career as an investment banker to pursue her dream of opening a fitness and life coaching studio. Read all about her journey and her positive outlook for 2021 in this month’s cover story.
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Former Miss Hong Kong contestant Boanne Cheung recently opened an online store supplying health products and supplements. Find out more about her journey in our cover story.
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Hong Kong Living Christmas Charity Lunch
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Out and about in Soho
Behind the scenes of our cover photoshoot hongkongliving.com | 7
Mark your calendars for these 2021 events
Hong Kong Race Week Based out of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Middle Island facility, racing will be conducted across four race courses in the areas of Middle Island, Repulse Bay, Deep Water Bay, Stanley, Tai Tam and Beaufort. 9am-6.30pm. Free. hongkongraceweek.com
Kung Hei Fat Choi, ring in the Year of the Ox with markets, lion dances and Lai See.
Throughout May, art enthusiasts can enjoy an array of art exhibitions and shows including the internationally known, Art Basel. Prices and times to be announced. Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wan Chai. artbasel.com
Chinese New Year
Dragon Boat Festival Watch local and international teams compete to win in multiple dragon boat races taking place across the city. dragonboat.org.hk
Virtual Stride For a Cure Choose a 5km or 10km hike around Tai Tam Country Park to raise money for the Hong Kong Cancer Fund. 9am-2pm. $500. cancer-fund.org
JAN 23 HK50
Race three of the HK50 series covering distances of 6km, 10km, 25km or 54km. 7am-5pm. $280. Shing Mun Reservoir Catchwater, Tsuen Wan. actionasiaevents.com
Jam out to the bands thirteenth studio album, Father Of Allâ&#x20AC;Ś 8pm. From $588. AsiaWorld-Expo, Lantau. premier.hkticketing.com
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Green Day Live
WHAT’S ON JUL 2-6
Hong Kong International Jewellery Show Surround yourself with the glitz and glam with hundreds of vendors and jewellery making workshops. 10:30am-6:30pm. Free. AsiaWorld-Expo, Lantau. event.hktdc.com
Mid-Autumn Festival Grab your lanterns, eat a moon cake and celebrate across Hong Kong
Shi Fu Miz A three day festival on the remote island of Cheung Chau with live music from local artists, performances, activites, food and more. 6-10:30pm. From $380. Sai Yuen Camping & Adventure Park, Cheung Chau. shifumiz.com
Rugby Sevens Hong Kong’s biggest spring event is back (hopefully) after a year break. Grab your pint and let’s party. Ticket prices to be announced. Hong Kong Stadium, So Kon Po, Causeway Bay. hksevens.com
NOV 26-28 Clockenflap
Undoubtedly one of Hong Kong’s biggest music events of the year has taken a two year break but is expected to be better than ever this year. Ticket prices to be announced. Central Harbourfront Event Space. clockenflap.com
Christmas Is it too early to start counting down already?
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WORTH THE PRICE TAG?
MORE FAMILY TIME
The Employment Conditions Abroad International (ECA) recently announced that Hong Kong topped the charts once again as the most expensive city for expat living expenses. The association compared costs of living faced by expats in 208 cities from 121 countries. Criteria for the comparison included the price of food and general goods, utility costs and public transport.The expensive city lifestyle in Hong Kong was found to be the toughest to afford
The short length of maternity leave that mothers receive in Hong Kong has always been a talking point. Years of debate later, it seems the government has finally listened. Starting December 11, 2020, statutory maternity leave was extended by four weeks, to a total of 14 weeks, to be taken continuously. Female employees under a continuous employment contract for no less than 40 weeks are now eligible. Congratulations are in order, we think, and new mothers, feel free to breathe a sigh of relief and set more time for your new family.
for expatriates, closely followed by Tokyo and New York. “Hong Kong is the most expensive place in the world for overseas workers to live, in spite of the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Lee Quane, regional director for Asia at ECA International. What will come as a surprise to absolutely no one, Hong Kong was recently ranked as the most overworked city in the world by online platform Kisi, which specialise in work-life balance.
SAFE STAYCATIONS Adhering to ever-changing government restrictions, Airbnb has announced that hosts and guests must agree to follow its Covid-19 Safety Practices, which include wearing a mask, practising social distancing, and, for hosts, abiding by a five-step enhanced cleaning process. All hosts in Hong Kong are now prompted to commit to the new practices and guests will be asked to agree to the guidelines when they book a listing. To ensure the rules are followed, those who do not commit may be subject to warnings, suspensions and, in some cases, removal from the Airbnb platform. Staycationers can now breathe a sigh of relief – healthier stays are in store for this January. airbnb.com
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IN YOUR BACKYARD
THE HARI COMES TO TOWN Heritage hotel The Hari opened its doors on Lockhart Road last month. This is the second hotel opened by the Harilela Family with its first one located in London. Designed by Tara Bernerd the hotel has 210 designer bedrooms, overlooking Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, The Peak and Victoria Harbour, two restaurants and bars, a fitness centre and art gallery. The Hari encourages guests to explore the local neighbourhood with the team ready to share insider knowledge of the best places to visit during your stay. thehari.com
COVID TEST AT YOUR CONVENIENCE Those of you who take the MTR to work may have noticed the newest MTR arrangements. MTR stations across all rail lines have installed vending machines distributing Covid-19 specimen collection packs. There are signs to point out the location of each vending machine within the stations and MTR staff are on hand to assist with the
process in case of complications. By using vending machines, the MTR hopes to make the specimen pack collection process more convenient for testing. Do note that the MTR will not be responsible for collecting the specimen packs after use. You will have to go to the designated collection points to hand over the used packs.
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FIVE MINUTES WITH
Five minutes with Emmanuel Farcis
The head of asset management at Link on transforming Hong Kong’s fresh markets. By Charmaine Ng Born in Southern France, Emmanuel Farcis spent his formative years in Paris, before coming to Hong Kong as an exchange programme student at one of the local universities. Captivated by the city and what it offered, he decided to stay in Hong Kong and travel to other parts of East Asia after his schooling. Eventually, his time in the city led him to his current role as Head of Asset Management at Link. At the company, he has
helped transform countless shopping centres, introducing new shops and restaurants in various neighbourhoods in the process. One of the main projects Farcis and his team have worked on since his start at Link is the revitalisation of Hong Kong’s fresh markets, a cornerstone of local life and culture. The company has recognised that not only do these markets make Cantonese cuisine what it is, but they also highlight the importance of community. “Hong Kong’s fresh markets are a key in local life, as daily purveyors of fresh, affordable, quality and diverse produce,” says Farcis. “They are places you are familiar with, where you can grow trusting relationships with merchants, obtain advice and tips, see familiar faces. Above all, markets are social hubs that need to work hard for the communities they serve.” For Farcis, many older fresh markets
around the city have seen better days. “Due to their age, some markets have become unwelcoming, dark, wet, dirty, hidden… in short, not somewhere where I would choose to buy my food.” These issues are the very ones that Link tackles in its revitalisation scheme. The company considerably modifies the layout and outlook of its markets and shopping centres to create vibrant facilities. It helps facilitate improved people flow to create more vibrant leisure facilities. It also commands the installation of escalators and air-conditioning to bring the markets back to the heart of the communities. “By creating a welcoming, clean environment where people are comfortable browsing, the markets serve their neighbourhoods better,” says Farcis. “We work a lot with our merchants to display produce in the best possible way to showcase their wares. And, we connect our markets to our shopping centres, making them visible and attractive from the outside and inside with wide and bright entrances.” As mentioned, Link helps curate the right tenants to offer the widest possible range of products at various price points. Its markets supply a mixture of locally-grown and imported fruits and vegetables; fresh, chilled and frozen meat, seafood and fish; traditional groceries; Chinese, Asian and Western ingredients and produce; and introduces novel products such as alternative plantbased meat. “We adapt our trade mix depending on the size, location and customer profile of each of its markets,” concludes Farcis. Link’s revitalisation efforts have paid off, as evidenced by the number of younger stall workers who are attracted by the pleasant working environment found at its markets. Unlike supermarkets or even older fresh markets, Link’s reworked markets offer visitors both young and old an unbeatable multi-sensory experience. Ultimately, Farcis’ aim is to see Hong Kong’s traditional market experience evolving into one more attuned to modern need, by offering greater convenience, hygiene and a sense of community. His job at Link has not only proved this to be a possibility, but also a reality. From its home in Hong Kong, Link Asset Management Limited (Link) manages a diversified portfolio including retail facilities, car parks and offices spanning Hong Kong, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Sydney and London. For more information, visit linkreit.com
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Nicole Slater meets the experts ready to take 2021 by storm. Photography by Karin Bremer If 2020 taught us anything, it was the importance of health - both physical and mental. As we usher in a new year under some
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eerily similar circumstances, Nicole Slater sought out the advice and experience of some of Hong Kongâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s newest and most experienced
experts in the fields of health, sport and the rapidly-emerging CBD space. Read on to learn their advice for 2021.
George Bigelow Founder of Hong Kong CBD As a professional golf caddie, George Bigelow travelled the world competing in tournaments. But averaging a walking distance of 20km each day sometimes weeks in a row across multiple time zones eventually took its toll. Bigelow began experiencing joint pain, exercise-induced inflammation and problems sleeping. He eventually turned to CBD to help reduce his symptoms and was surprised by just how well it worked. “The additional benefits that most surprised me were improvements in sleep and mood,” he says. “It gave me resilience to stress and mental clarity during times of anxiety.” Since being legalised in Hong Kong early last year, CBD has become a hot topic with coffee shops and brands selling CBDrelated products right across the city. But Bigelow found himself frustrated
with the difficulty of finding top quality CBD at an affordable price. So he took matters into his own hands, creating Hong Kong CBD. “I want to give CBD the legitimacy it deserves, which is why I am uniquely focused on Softgels to give precise dosage, nanoemulsion technology and CBD plus additions like cucurmin and melatonin to aid in specific conditions.” His unique softgels are easy to swallow and enter the bloodstream faster than other forms of oil, providing quick and predictable relief for those who need it. Heading into 2021, Bigelow believes that wellness will take a front row seat in many people’s lives. “I think once we can turn the corner on the pandemic, a lot of people are going to take care of their mental wellness by shifting their focus to the new pace of life.” hk-cbd.com
Dee Oh Founder of Dee Dream Life
After leaving a promising career as an investment banker in 2016, Dee Oh sought out a more meaningful profession that would add value to other people’s life, while maximising her own potential. That journey led to founding Dee Dream Life, a fitness, yoga, dance and life coaching community with a focus on creating a positive and supportive place for all ages and social statuses. “I love inspiring, motivating and encouraging others to achieve their maximum potential in life,” says Oh. After experiencing mental health challenges and depression as a teenager, Oh turned to dance and meditation as a coping mechanism, which helped her through some difficult years. “In hindsight, I see these challenges as the biggest inspiration behind my passion to help others. I struggled through many ups and downs but somehow always had the strength and guidance to push through and become
a better and stronger person.” Dee Dream Life is more than just a platform to have fun and get fit for Oh and her students. The studio centres around the need to fill a gap within society, providing a warm and safe place with community spirit for students from all walks of life to engage their body, mind and soul through enriching activities. Oh believes that now more than ever is a time for supporting others. “This year is going to be challenging. Many people have either lost their jobs or had a paycut. I want to focus my time on career coaching as many people as possible as well as focusing on mental health through meditation and exercise.” By continuously listening to what society needs, Oh has remained extremely busy and productive over the past year - despite the unexpected starts and stops imposed by government regulations. In fact, she managed to increase her network by connecting with others abroad. deedreamlife.com
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Sonia Samtani Founder of All About You Hong Kong
Growing up in Hong Kong, Sonia Samtani experienced a range of cultures and beliefs from an early age. Upon entering her 20s Samtani began to make a fundamental shift in her mental work and inner-beliefs and saw positive changes in her confidence, health and relationship with others. “I realised that everything starts from looking inside and I wanted to share those tools with others. I have always maintained that I am my very first and most frequent client,” says Samtani. She founded All About You, Hong Kong’s only English-speaking centre that trains people to become mental wellness practitioners, in 2013. “My vision was to empower individuals with simple, yet powerful tools to navigate through the ups and downs of life with awareness and acceptance.” The centre specialises in private sessions, workshops and practitioner training programs in Mental Wellness. After a tough year Samtani believes many people’s emotions have been
triggered but the underlying issues were always there. “The seed for those issues would have been planted a long time ago through the beliefs we already cultivated. If you trust things will be okay, know you are enough and accept things as they are, you will be able to handle the shifts with peace,” says Samtani. One of the biggest fears many people face is the fear of the unknown and Samtani has been guiding her clients through online workshops and private sessions, which saw an increase of 50 percent last year. “People have had the time to focus inwards or feel so uncomfortable with their anxiety that they’ve been more willing to ask for emotional support,” says Samtani. Over the next year Samtani hopes to normalise the idea of therapy, take away the stigma and help society accept that anyone who is feeling taken-over by emotions of fear, anger, anxiety or depression can benefit from receiving support for mental health. allaboutyoucentre.com
Boanne Cheung Founder of Boppee Shop and former Miss Hong Kong
Boanne Cheung wasn’t interested in health. That was until the threat of diabetes crept up on her and she decided to seek help. That was 10 years ago. Since then she has maintained a strict personal diet plan and shares her experience and challenges with family and friends. “I always encourage them to try different products, as they may not find the right product straight away.” Cheung’s life changed dramatically when she was crowned Miss Friendship at the Miss Hong Kong contest in 2017. Following this she made a decision to share her health knowledge and created an online store Boppee, which supplies health supplements and skincare products from around the world.
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“Although Hong Kong has many shops that sell health products, I feel there is a lack of information. I wanted to create a platform where people can learn about the ingredients and what they do,” says Cheung. Since 2019, Boppee has provided Hongkongers with supplements, detox drinks and a range of beauty products to kickstart a healthy lifestyle. While 2020 was tough on business, Cheung was relieved to be exclusively online and maintained a steady stream of business while keeping costs to a minimum. Ultimately, high quality products and brands were the secret to success, plus a supportive network of family and friends. boppee.shop
Founder Escapade Sports
Having called Hong Kong home for more than 22 years, Stefanie Hemshall loves the outdoors and can frequently be found walking her Jack Russell. She founded local sports retailer Escapade Sports after taking over her father-in-law’s shop at the Hong Kong Cricket Club. “My father-in-law was looking for something to keep him occupied in retirement and as an honorary member of the club, he enjoyed spending his days there, drinking lots of coffee, looking after the shop and connecting with old friends,” says Hemshall. Little did she know that the Cricket Club’s humble shop would turn into the premium sports platform that it is today. “Our clients range from top athletes to everyday active people and we are very grateful to have so many loyal customers who showed their support during these testing times.” Like many businesses last year, Escapade Sports had to make cuts to ride out the pandemic. “We downsized our office space, renegotiated contracts and managed to cut a lot of cost. We also had to analyse the new
shopping behaviours and what products are in demand.” But with more people than ever heading to the hills and exercising outside, Hemshall says demand for running gear and watersport equipment has continued to grow. Being forced to slow down in 2020 allowed Hemshall to discover new interests, including Chi Gong and Tai Chi, along with volunteering at RUN, a local charity which rehabilitates refugees through sports and education. “I strongly believe in the mental health benefits of volunteering, but also in doing work with your hands and spending time among the community,” she says. “Women have sat together to do handicraft for centuries and it provided them with a community, a network and a support system which many people in this modern world are lacking.” With a new year starting down at us, Hemshall has a few words of wisdom: “We don’t have to be the best in what we do, but have to enjoy what we do.” escapade.com.hk
Damien Mouellic Founder of Central and Stanley Wellness
Studying medicine in France, Damien Mouellic went on an exchange programme to Melbourne where he discovered Osteopathy. “I decided to leave medicine and enroll in the osteopathic faculty as the philosophy and different approach to health resonated better with me personally,” says Mouellic. Since then he has opened two clinics in Hong Kong, Central Wellness and Stanley Wellness. They offer a range of treatments from osteopathy and physiotherapy to hypnotherapy and counselling for children and adults. “Hong Kong is a fast growing city for health and wellness engagement. People understand the importance of diet, exercise and a balanced lifestyle. The younger generations here seem to be incorporating wellness in their day to day life, with meditation and yoga becoming more mainstream.” Despite the pandemic and needing to
close for a month last year, Mouellic was able to keep the team together and became a father to a new born baby. “I am extremely grateful that we have been able to maintain an adequate level of business and have not had to let staff go. The key is to use the quieter times to work on public relations and digital marketing.” Despite the positive outcome for Mouellic, he understands that it hasn’t been smooth sailing for all. “We will be increasing our mental health team and trying to tighten up our functional medicine model by making sure health is not just focused on physiology but also on our environment and community,” he says. While the future remains uncertain, Mouellic and his team believe that by addressing the root cause of an issue and maintaining an efficient immune system we can best prevent illness and reduce the severity of potential infections. stanleywellnesscentre.com
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Frankie Law Founder of Gentle Bro CBD
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Frankie Law has always been on the lookout for new trends to introduce to the local market. Having suffered from anxiety from a young age, Law found it difficult to work in a fast-paced city like Hong Kong. “At some point in my real estate career, the workload and stress became too much and affected my health, both mentally and physically. I tried to relax and did things that I enjoy doing whenever I could, but that just wasn’t enough,” he says. After being introduced to CBD, Law was amazed by the results and found it helped him to restore balance back to his mental and physical health. “It relieved my stress and anxiety, calmed my mind and helped me sleep.” Wanting to share his new found knowledge with other Hongkongers, Law decided to bring his own brand
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of cannabidiol to the market and founded Gentle Bro CBD. Gentle Bro CBD offers a range of cannabidiol including oils, body balms and even products for your pet. He opened his first store on Pottinger Street last month (Room 102 Lap Fai Building, 8 Pottinger Street). While the quality of his products speak for themselves, Law found it hard to shake the stigma around the oil. “For the local market the stigma of ‘weed’ means it took more time for them to learn and understand the difference of compounds in cannabis,” he says. While Hong Kong’s CBD industry continues to grow, Law believes that more education about the oil and its benefits is needed for it to become accepted in Hong Kong’s culture. gentlebro.com.hk
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Need a break? Nicole Slater relaxes into the new year with these CBD cafes Known for its anxiety reducing and sleep inducing benefits, CBD has quickly become a trend in the city since it was legalised early last year. With cafes, restaurants and even beauty products containing the cannabidiol popping up across the city. Whether you’re dabbling into the world of CBD or fully versed on its health benefits, here’s where to get a fix of the good stuff.
Bejuiced Inspired by the methodology and health benefits of a pressed juice diet, BE-JUICED believes in natural body detoxification and restoration. Since June, the juice bar has been
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serving up a range of organic CBD-infused cold-pressed juices, smoothies and even acai bowls. Customise your order by adding in 10 or 20mg of the compound supplied by Life CBD. bejuiced-hk.com
Elephant Grounds The popular coffee shop chain is giving customers the option to add Life CBD to their brews at four of its selected locations, including its new flagship store in Sheung Wan with a full range of CBD offerings. Unlike many CBD oils, Life CBD is formulated to be water-soluble, so you don’t have to worry about sipping on greasy droplets in your drink. elephantgrounds.com
based cafe Matchali, offers a range of matcha based hot and cold beverages along with speciality coffees including the pink and blue latte. Matchali also has a range of CBDinfused matcha drinks in the form of Reset Bioscience cannabidiol. matchali.com
Winstons Coffee Founded by three men from England, Winstons Coffee ticks all the boxes, killer coffee, a friendly environment and people who care. After months of researching and formulating the perfect recipe, Winstons Coffee launched its own CBD cold brew last year and has since branched out to lattes and hot coffees. winstonscoffee.com
Elixir Trendy neighbourhood café Elixir hopped on the CBD trend early last year. With a mission to cure modern ailments through coffee therapy, the shop gives customers the option to stir in CBD oil supplied by Cubed CBD at no additional cost. Elixir also offers cold brew coffee bags with 300mg CBD drops, for a refreshing boost.
Found As Hong Kong’s first CBD dedicated café, Found offers customers CBD-infused beverages, food and products including chocolate bars, powers and oils. The cafe recently collaborated with Lane Crawford on a pop-up store so look out for them around town again this year. found.hk
Matchali If you don’t fancy a coffee, the pacific place
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Dining news Pazta opens in Tai Kwun Tai Kwun welcomed a new Italian restaurant Pazta, last month. The restaurant offers over ten pastas and main courses, ranging from the regions of Tuscany, Bologna, Rome and more. With the iconic Italian piazzas in mind, Pazta wanted to create an open environment for guests to meet, drink and unwind after a busy day. taikwun.hk
Bread to beer
The House of Aperitivo As it prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary, Italian restaurant 208 Duecento Otto has unveiled a new and improved menu, featuring fresh Italian ingredients and signature drinks including a Duecentotto Spritz and the Negroni-
like Balsiamo. Upstairs, the revamped menu includes homemade pastas, miniature meatballs made from Australian Wagyu beef and raw Italian red prawns paired with a lusciously creamy burrata cheese imported from Andria. 208.com.hk
Dang Wen Li by Dominique Ansel pops up in IFC Mall
Four students from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology have been brewing something special amid the pandemic, Breer. In Hong Kong, 3,600 tonnes of food is wasted every day, Noticing the huge amount of surplus bread around local bakeries, the team partnered up with local beer-maker BlackKite Brewery to transform leftover bread into craft lagers and pale ales. Along with the brews, the students have also created the Breer App. At its current stage, the app connects collection points and dispatch to make logistics more transparent. In the future, it will be used to manage bakeries, breweries and distribution partners. breer.org
Classified Rises through the pandemic
Following its huge success internationally, Dang Wen Li by Dominique Ansel opened a pop-up store in IFC. You can purchase one of its signature viennoiserie, croissants and secret new creations to be released weekly. If that isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enough for you, the first 10 customers each day will receive free goodies. dangwenli.com
Popular Hong Kong-based restaurant group Classified has opened a new bakery, Rise by Classified. Wanting to provide customers with a more casual option, the artisanal bakery offers lighter choices for a quick but delicious breakfast or a sugar rush in the afternoon. risebyclassified.com
Baked opens second shop on Elgin Street After the success of Baked this year, executive chef Zahir Mohamed has opened a second restaurant on Elgin Street. Called Acme, the new offering will serve up Middle Eastern-inspired breakfast and lunch. With an open plan kitchen and bar, the restaurant uses coal to cook authentic Arabic cuisine. acmeplease.com
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HEALTH & WELLNESS
Salons and the city Nicole Slater cuts to the chase on where to get a new look this year Along with an empty calendar and resolutions you have no intention of accomplishing, a new hairstyle is an essential part of the New Year package. From giving it the chop to a slightly less dramatic colour change, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be in safe hands at these professional and friendly hair salons.
W52 A stylish and sophisticated salon located above the hustle and bustle of Wyndham Street, W52 offers a friendly and welcoming atmosphere with top of the range equipment and products. With a large team of professional stylists youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re guaranteed the best cut in town. w52hair-nails.com
Essensuals by TONI&GUY
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Trained in both cut and colour treatments from the internationally recognised TONI&GUY education system, Essensuals is the perfect place for a relaxed and fuss-free treatment. The salon also
offers express services including cutting and dry styling for those extra busy days. essensuals.hk
NEW HAIR, NEW YOU
Gerrard also owns Selvedge Barbers, located directly across the road, the barber offers highquality cuts and wet shaves accompanied by a great selection of single malt whiskeys and Japanese beers. paulgerrard.com
Glow Spa and Salon Located above the busy streets of Central, Glow Spa and Salon is a sanctuary away from the hustle and bustle. Catering to both men and women, the salon offers a variety of treatments and carefully listens to each client’s requirements to produce the perfect style. glowspa.hk
Blonde Boudoir It’s no secret that quality highlights are hard to find in Asia, Blonde Boudoir has built up a reputation for delivering high-quality, professional and precise colours and cuts. Originally from Singapore the salon expanded to Hong Kong and is now headed up by creative director Felix Beck, a master stylist and colourist with 20 years experience. blondeboudoir.sg
Love Hair Making a conscious effort to minimise its carbon footprint, the Love Hair team place an emphasis on long-term care for your hair as well as the environment. With natural, eco-friendly products
and along with eco-friendly decor including to help you feel your zen from the moment you step inside. lovehairhk.com
Paul Gerrard Paul Gerrard and his international team are a firm favourite for their high-quality hair treatments, including semi and permanent colouring, straightening and conditioning. For men, Paul
If you’re looking for a special VIP treatment, this exclusive by-appointment-only salon will set the standard for your styling needs. The talented team have worked with commercial productions, celebrities and members of royal families to build an impressive portfolio. The salon promises personable services, carefully curated products and signature treatments that will restore and maintain stronger, healthier hair. shhh94.com
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MUST HAVES Men's trainer earth red $750 from Lane-Eight laneeight.hk
Macrame Bra $450 from Sparks Asia sparks-asia.com
Studio-to-street highrise $450 from Sparks Asia sparks-asia.com
A walk wild
Xxxxxxxxx Explore the great outd Impala rollerskates $891 from Smallable smallable.com
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T5 True wireless earphones $1999 from Klipsch klipschaudio.hk
WIP old stamp deck $600 from 8FIVE2 8five2.com
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Chinoiserie Jade yoga mat $580 from The White Labelling thewhitelabelling.com
doors in style. By Nicole Slater TILT 120 folding bike $1299 from Decathlon decathlon.com.hk
Camping tent Arpenaz $399 from Decathlon decathlon.com.hk
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Ask a vet... Dr Pauline Taylor on helping pets adjust to a new home What tips do you have for moving house with pets? Moving home is as stressful for pets as it is for you. I suggest well in advance of the moving day, pets are introduced to their travel bags or crates and whenever possible it’s best to transport them yourself, if it’s a local move. Before movers come, be sure to secure your pets to one area of the house or take them to a neighbours. Once you arrive at the new house, it is equally important to keep pets curtailed to one area or room. Make this area as comfortable as possible with feeding dishes, toys, bed and litter box. Depending on your pet’s behavior, you can let them explore a little more of the new home. We are planning to move into a smaller house with two dogs, will they be okay? When you move I suggest you try and keep to your normal routine, they do best with a set day. If they normally get a one hour walk
at 8am and 4pm try and give them that on the moving day, and thereafter. If you watch your dog when it’s sleeping, they actually don’t need much space. If they have a bed or basket, the dogs will probably jump in and snuggle up. You may find they sleep even more due to new and exciting smells and experiences. Do cats run back to the old house when they move? I’ve talked to clients who have told me about some miraculous journeys cats have made involving many kilometers and even over highways. Cats travelling like this have mystified scientists for a long time. Theories put forward liken these journeys by cats to ancient human travelers using the stars as a compass or being influenced by the Earth’s magnetic forces. At this time to my knowledge we really don’t understand how a cat can travel great distances by itself.
Dr Pauline, Pets Central veterinarian My cat has been hiding in our new place for a few days, is this normal? This is very normal behavior for cats after a move. Your cat is exhibiting signs of anxiety and is afraid and you’ve probably been busy with less time to comfort her. If the behavior continues or if your cat isn’t eating or drinking, beware. During stressful times cats can create medical emergencies for themselves, including difficulty or the inability to urinate or even heart attacks. Please make time for your cat and create a safe spot for her to feel secure and find her daily needs nearby. Be patient but monitor her carefully. If you are soon to move your cat, make sure you tell her in advance what is going to happen, talk to her.
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Written in the stars
Professional astrologist and founder of the Healing Kingdom Letao Wang, shares his insights on what 2021 will bring
Stay creative and youthful enough to discover the good in all situations this year. Your capabilities and talents will begin to receive praise now like never before. Banking upon your intuition would help you identify phenomenal opportunities that will accelerate your growth and development.
Your understanding of numerous subjects, belief structures and thirst for adventure Will continue to prosper this year. By maintaining calmness and peace, you will be able to adopt a spiritual healing practice and receive life-changing opportunities from multiple directions to make money and significant hops in life.
You will be getting a boost of forward-moving fuel that will make you chase after your dreams and accomplish them with determination and utmost dedication. Game-changing moments will help positively transform your life and your hard work will be rewarded with an abundance of fruitful outcomes.
You will receive a boost in determination and the enthusiasm this year, to shine bright amid the existing competition. But prepare yourself for the different challenges coming your way. By bringing more sincerity and honesty to your responsibilities and job, you will reap better outcomes.
This year is all about maintaining your confidence level in order to receive fresh and golden opportunities. Getting a plentitude of accomplishment will motivate you to increase your efforts. Faith in your own abilities will set you on a favourable path of vigor, euphoria and excitement.
You will be walking ahead with a can-do attitude and constructive frame of intellect this 2021. By opting for the path that will bring significant possibilities for you, you will be swift on your feet and opportunities will come knocking at your door.
Prepare for your whole perspective to be transformed this year as you submerge yourself in a varied culture. You will rocket to a respectable position on the work front and see your self-worth expand. By solving the issues at hand you will pace yourself and prepare for all challenges.
Stride out of your comfort zone Leo’s, it’s time to accelerate your efforts in different areas this year. Life will thrust you onto a unique plan and will enhance your potential to bounce back from problems this year. By re-evaluating yourself, you will strive to attain the state of perfection in every realm of life.
SCORPIO You are straightforward and dedicated to attain what you want in life. The wheel of fortune will favour you this year for your never-ending determination. By conducting your energy into efficient channels, your spirit and passion might unnerve people working in your environment and elevate your sense of serenity.
SAGITTARIUS Discovering new resources and plans as per the requirements of today’s testing time will work in favour for you this year. Positive energy will keep flowing and recharge your mind and soul. Progress in all domains of life will push you beyond your limits.
ARIES You will be feeling empowered and on top of your life this year Aries. By Enriching your knowledge and exploring various realms, you will be able to claspe precious opportunities in one shot. Redefining the idea of perfection will help you acknowledge your efforts and perform the impossible.
CAPRICORN As your steered by determination and confidence to succeed, there’s nothing that can slow your ambitious ride. This year you will be passing through the stages of transformational processes until you find the right track. Your efforts will bring lots of rewards and accomplishments.
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34 | hongkongliving.com To advertise, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 2776 2772
Beating the New Year blues Valentina Tudose puts a positive spin on a tough start to 2021 yourself at the top of your list. Not just by buying yourself that bag but also by making sure you eat better, sleep better, meditate, spend time in nature, make new friends and even deal with some of your old emotional wounds. To give yourself a fresh start, spend some time setting goals, letting go of old attachments (yeah, stop stalking your ex on Instagram) and clearing up any baggage that’s holding you stuck in the past.
3. Express gratitude for everything and everyone in your life Gratitude is like a magic wand that erases pain and struggles.There is nothing more powerful than feeling love and acceptance for yourself and others and showing that appreciation to everyone around you. If you do it constantly – say thank you to people you love for being in your life, you will notice your relationships will become stronger and deeper and you will always have people by your side. A great gratitude practice is to write down three things you are grateful for at the end of each day as well as three things you like about yourself. You may struggle in the beginning, but it will soon become second nature and you will notice a transformation in your view of the world. These mental shifts will guarantee your New Year will be full of self-love, friends and laughter.
After a quiet festive season where many of us couldn’t return home for the holidays, the New Year might not be looking so bright. Being single during the winter months may make you feel a little sorry for yourself, wishing you had already found that special someone to cuddle up with. Here are three ways to ensure you have a fabulous start to the new year, regardless of your relationship status.
1. Wake up and go to bed reminding yourself you HAVE everything The truth about our pre-covid world is that it has turned many people into spoiled, entitled brats who had to have everything RIGHT NOW. Instant deliveries, instant dates, instant relationships – the expectation of instant gratification was the number one rule and if anything didn’t go our way, it was easier to drop it and move on to the next adventure. The mentality of always ‘wanting’ something is a sign we feel that we don’t ‘have’ anything, so we keep chasing the next high of a new purchase or a new Tinder match. Start
and end your day with a five-minute meditation repeating the following affirmations to yourself: • • • •
I am exactly where I need to be in my life Everything is working to my advantage I am beautiful, powerful and independent I am in the right place at the right time
To help these affirmations take root in your mind, repeat every day for 21 days and pay attention to all the little signs everything IS really working to your advantage.
2. Make lots of time for self-care In our constant chase for external validation, we often end up prioritising other people’s needs over our own, as a way of getting them to like us. This people-pleasing behavior, whether it is doing extra work to impress your boss (it won’t, he doesn’t care) or going out of your way to make things happen with a new guy, only results in us investing a lot less in ‘me time’. This month do yourself a favor and put
Valentina Tudose is a relationship coach and founder of Happy Ever After. For more information visit happyeverafter.asia
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Nury Vittachi ventures to the mysterious world down down the back of the sofa Hong Kong electronics manufacturer Karuna Menon once told me he was in a friend’s living room when he got the urge to stick his hands into the depths of the sofa on which he sat. (I’m never inviting him to my house). He felt something odd down there. He reached in and yanked it out. It turned out to be a piece of jewellery—a serious one, made of gold with real diamonds. His host came back with the tea tray from the kitchen and was astonished at the discovery. Sofa cracks are amazing places. I once found a fossilised French fry which appeared to be from the early Cretaceous period down the back of mine. The weird thing is that the sofa itself was less old, from the more recent Jurassic period. Explain that, Neil Degrasse Tyson. And do you remember that news item about a nine-year-old cat pulled out of a sofa in Spokane, Washington, by an astonished woman who had been wondering why her couch had been making rather strange squeaking sounds? Then there was the boa constrictor found in a couch in Brooklyn, New York. The snake was taken to an animal shelter where she was named Sofie to commemorate the fact she had emerged from that most mysterious source of marvels: the sofa crack. Your humble narrator was talking about this with some readers and Angela, based in Singapore, said she reckoned sofas were portals to “a parallel universe”. This is the most believable explanation of the spate of sofa-crack discovery new reports circulating just now. Children are more aware of the magic than adults, frequently taking lucky dips. Some sofas seem to be angled to empty coins and other objects from people’s pockets. “My sister and I had a lucrative way of raising funds beyond our allowance,” reader Thomas Seifert said. “We called it The Sofa Harvest.” Serious treasures are regularly found, too. An unpublished 1836 manuscript from Hans Christian Anderson was found in a sofa. Photographs from famous snapper John Bellocq were found in a couch. Had it
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not been for nosy people like Karuna who stick their hands into people’s settees, these masterpieces could have been lost forever. A few years ago, UK teenager Rebecca Wells found a chocolate bar down the back of her sofa. She was tempted to put it straight into her mouth, but then changed her mind. Good thing too. It turned out to be a Cadbury’s Wispa, a discontinued line of chocolate bar that had been wildly popular in the 1980s. She ended up selling it on e-Bay for 1,000 pounds, equivalent to $10,000. Then there was the case in Nigeria where a killer dropped his knife down the back of a sofa, expecting it to disappear for good. Detectives reached into the dark vortex, extracted it and used it as evidence against him. What is the biggest thing that has disappeared down the back of the sofa? I’m not sure, but I had a weird great-uncle who vanished mysteriously from a sitting room without anyone seeing him leave. He was last seen 20 years ago on a black leatherette three-seater in a small flat in Yau Ma Tei. He is now probably in a parallel universe. If you reach down the back of your sofa and pull him out, get straight on to the phone. Call anyone but me.
Nury Vittachi is an award-winning author and journalist based in Hong Kong. He is best known for his comedy-crime novel series, The Feng Shui Detective. Contact him via email@example.com or through his public Facebook page.
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