Sai Kung December 2021

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F A M I L Y | S C H O O L | G I F TI NG | PETS

C Gi hris ft tm Gu a id s e


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CONTE N T S — 12/ 21



Say hello to Norwegian International School Kindergarten

The really useful magazine


Sai Kungers out and about



Where to go on December 26

What’s going on in your backyard






What’s on this December

Christmas dinners to go

with Seth Wagner, aka Jack of beanstalk fame

Dr Pauline Taylor wishes you a pet friendly Christmas





34 DIRECTORY For all your Sai Kung needs


36 CAROLS, TINSEL & FAKE HOLLY Festive thoughts with Peter Wood

Senior Inspector Ron Yung talks crime

Presents and where to find them

Catherine Man talks shop

Guy Nowell is out and about


Contact us Editorial: 2776 2773 | Advertising: 2776 2772 Whatsapp: 98119526


Printer Apex Print Limited, 11-13 Dai Kwai Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, Tai Po, Hong Kong FAM IL Y | SCHOOL | GIFT ING | PE TS

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Merry Christmas from Norwegian International School Kindergarten 1a SK Cover.indd 1

Photo: Jill Carter Photography

Published by Hong Kong Living Ltd, L1 Kai Wong Commercial Building, 222 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong


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Sai Kung & Clearwater Bay 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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Snaps from Sai Kung


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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, free-flowing 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.

DEC 2-5

DEC 4 & 5

Father Christmas is having an open house in Taikoo Place. Themed Santa’s Whimsical Factory, this year’s charity street fair is all about preparing for the festive season by tailor-making your own gifts with an army of elves. Also enjoy live entertainment, workshops and Christmas shopping; all funds raised will go to Operation Santa Claus. 12-8pm, Dec 2-3; 1-7pm, Dec 4-5. Tong Chong Street and 1/F Office Lobby, Taikoo Place, Quarry Bay.

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. 10am-7pm. Hong Kong Football Club, 3 Sports Road, Happy Valley.

Swire Properties’ White Christmas Street Fair


Stanley Plaza Wild West Adventure Christmas Market 2021 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.


Angels for Children Christmas Cocktail Party 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.

Glam and Glitters Christmas Shopping Fair

DEC 3-12

Jack and the Beanstalk No Christmas is complete without a classic pantomime. This year’s slice of Christmas fun from the Hong Kong Players is Jack and the Beanstalk. The company is marking its 60th consecutive year of annual pantos so expect an extravaganza of singing, dancing, lots of corny jokes and even more fun than ever. It’s also partnering with Feeding Hong Kong and will have a food collection point in the theatre. Bring along some non-perishable food and help someone in need. Think rice, pasta and even some beans. From $295.Times vary. Shouson Theatre, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.


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planner DEC 4

DEC 11

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.

Get yourself some holiday spirit at this outdoor school fair where junior vendors will be selling handmade quality products. Have a chat to Santa and a singalong with the Sai Kung Singers too. 2.30-430pm. 787 Unit SB, Tan Cheung, Sai Kung.

Lantau 50


Prestige Christmas Fair 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.

DEC 11

The Hive Sai Kung Christmas Market Sai Kung’s fave co-working space is hosting its popular Christmas market. Packed with 20+

Sai Kung Montessori Christmas Fair

DEC 11

Wonder Woman Run Support Make-A-Wish Hong Kong by running like the superhero you are in Hong Kong’s first Wonder Woman Run Series. The race is divided into 3km, 5km or 10km routes. From $398. 7am. Hong Kong Science Park, Sha Tin.

DEC 11

Comedy Night at the Sci-Fi Café HK Comedy is hosting its final show of the year, featuring some of Hong Kong’s funniest stand-up comedians. Early bird dinner at 6pm; show starts at 7pm. Tickets $200

characters with Tchaikovsky’s iconic score. Follow Clara on her adventures after her Nutcracker comes to life. From $180. 7.309pm. Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui.

DEC 12

Cinderella The Southern School of Dance is proud to present its Christmas show, choreographed by Bethany Robson and with student Rhiannon Jenkins dancing the lead role. 2.30pm. Tickets from $80-$240 from ticketing. Hong Kong Academy School Theatre, 33 Wai Man Rd, Sai Kung.

DEC 12

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

DEC 17

Welsh Male Voice Choir Carols and rousing classics from the Valleys to get you in a Christmassy mood. Free. Garden Bar, Hebe Haven Yacht Club, Pak Sha Wan.

DEC 18-22 stalls selling all sorts of gifts and goodies, it’s the perfect opportunity to get your seasonal shopping down in one fell swoop. If shopping’s not your thing, head down for drinks, snacks and some live entertainment. Free. 11am-7pm. 5 Tai Mong Tsai Road. The Hive Lai Chi Kok is also opening its doors to Christmas shoppers today. 11am-7pm. 13/F Tai Cheung Factory Building, 3 Wing Ming Street, Cheung Sha Wan.

including one free drink from or Sci Fi Café, 2/F, Centro, 1A Chui Tong Rd, Sai Kung.

DEC 11-26

The Nutcracker A twist on the traditional production, the HK Ballet is performing this world premiere, which is set in early 20th century Hong Kong and fuses local traditions, wildlife and historical

Nordic Christmas Fair at Ocean Park Get your seasonal Scandi fix at the Nordic Christmas Fair, which is being held at Ocean Park and will feature Christmas items from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. These will include assorted Christmas decorations, a kid’s tombola, traditional Christmas food, watches, jewellery and skincare. All products are sourced from the Nordic countries, and will


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have that special Scandi “Hygge” feeling. $20 entry. 2pm-9pm. Ocean Park Rd, Aberdeen.

DEC 18

Children’s Christmas Show Festive singing, dancing and a whole lotta fun for all the family. Garden Bar, Hebe Haven Yacht Club, Pak Sha Wan.

DEC 20 - 24. 28 -31

SKIP Christmas Paint & Play Christmas-themed play sessions with arts and crafts for accompanied children aged one to five years. 9.30-11.30am. Book your slot in advance from

DEC 20 - JAN 7

Babel Film Workshop Have a budding filmmaker at home? The Babel Film Workshop allows students aged 8-15 to create their own holiday-themed film using voice acting and sound effects for animation. The camp includes re-editing a holiday movie trailer, a Mad Libs filmmaking challenge, and creating a New Year’s resolution video.

DEC 23

The Snowman & The Bear

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.

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.

DEC 24

Christmas Eve One more sleep...

DEC 25

Christmas Day Eat, drink and be merry!

DEC 26

Boxing Day Keep going with the festive fun.

Dec 17 -18 & 20 Wreath and Centrepiece Workshops Get your creative hats on and sign up for one of florist Charlotte Lee’s fabulous wreath making and centrepiece workshops. Sessions are two hours long. $800 with materials and a complimentary drink. Wreaths: 8-10pm, Dec 17; 11.301.30pm and 2.30-4.30pm, Dec 18. Centrepieces: 8-10pm, Dec 20. 1/F, 3 Tai Mong Tsai Rd. Alternatively, find her at the Hive Christmas market on Dec 11.

Experience the classic Christmas tale, The


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Editorial Editor Adele Brunner Community Coordinator Rosa Cho Senior Writer Charmaine Ng Writers Nicole Slater, Cheyelene Fontanilla, Gemma Shaw, Paul Zimmerman, Nury Vittachi, Peter Wood, Oliver Corrin, Guy Nowell Bars restaurants, food delivery Jasmine Hung Schools & Education Jasmine Hung Designer Natalie Cheung Director of Content Hilda Chan Partnerships Elaine Li, Janessa Chan

Thanks to Claudia Brunner, Romi Dasgupta, Kiara Malkhani, Sadie Casey, Seth Wagner, Giuli Colarossi, Vicky Lee, Ron Yung, Jill Carter, Lisa Husmann, Nick Banks, Gay Williamson, Moj Kazemi. Jane Steer, Sarah Cook, Ben Hwa, Kit Sinclair, Alex Ng, Catherine Man, Rebecca Gilmour, Charlotte Lee and the children at NIS Kindergarten

Work with us on an event? Events Manager Pranali Gupta

Got a story?

Join Sai Kung’s #1 Community

Local fashion designer collates a collection for breast cancer survivors Clearwater Bay-based fashion designer Fiona Sobek (right) has collated a range of easy-towear dresses specially for ladies who have had a mastectomy, which are part of her wider Westsixx clothing collection. She was prompted to do this after her close friend and breast cancer survivor Emily Walker (left and below) came to her, feeling quite down about herself and the lack of clothes she felt she could wear. After Walker had a dressingup session, trying on various Westsixx pieces under Sobek’s guidance, The “I Can’t Wear That” collection was born. The dresses are made from soft fabrics that are comfortable to wear post reconstruction and are designed to offer instant glamour as well as boost confidence. “So many women post breast cancer say ‘I can’t wear that’ to styles they once loved,” says Sobek. “I want to help them feel confident and beautiful again and remind these incredible women like Emily how incredible they are inside and out.” Former model Sobek, who has always worked in fashion, started her Westsixx brand after moving from London W6 to Hong Kong in the pre-Zara days and finding the selection of clothes here very limited. Her range of stunning maxi dresses and cut-out tops come in silky fabrics that can be dressed up or down and are also perfect for Hong Kong’s heat.

Sobek is also taking part in a Christmas pop-up boutique from 9am-5pm on both December 9 and 10 at St Barts in Mount Pavilia, with 10% of all dress sales going to the HK Breast Cancer Foundation. Get in touch with her at and Emily Walker, who is happy to share her experiences, at Walker’s story is also on the Westsixx Instagram page @westsixx6.


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in your backyard

Wellbeing vouchers for Christmas Sai Kung’s holistic health professional Ally van de Pol has just launched a range of gift vouchers for naturopathic health and nutrition consultations and strength training sessions (or a combo of both). She offers bespoke packages to suit any budget and she will help set your friends and family on their individual path to wellness. Sessions from $850.

WM Hotel offers glamping under the stars

Sai Kung artist gets solo Wan Chai exhibition Popular Sai Kung artist Roberta Boffo, founder of Roberta’s Art House (RAH) Studio Gallery on Man Nin Street, is only going Slightly Mad. This is the title of her solo exhibition, which will be held at the Hong Kong Imaging Gallery from December 2. It will showcase her body of work created from 2019 to present in Boffo’s intricate, abstract and mesmerising style. Think thousands of fine lines, dots and quirky shapes drawn using different sized calligraphy brushes, pens and black ink. Head down to the gallery and show her some good old Sai Kung support. Suite 701, Chinachem Johnston Plaza, 178-186 Johnston Rd, Wan Chai.

Want to take advantage of the cooler weather and go camping but don’t want the hassle of lugging your camping gear to the beach? WM Hotel’s Glamping by the Sea staycation package might be just what you’re after. The package includes a full set of glamping gear for two people - tent, air mattresses, bug zapper and chairs - and will be ready and waiting for you on the private roof of the Premier Seaview Room. Better still, put the kids in the tent and enjoy the comfort of king-sized bed inside. From $4,250.


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five minutes with


Adele Brunner chats to the actor playing the title role in this year’s Hong Kong Players’ pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk. (Ohhhh, yes he is!) I studied performance and music theatre and have always been passionate about acting. I think it’s because I love stories. Through the characters I play, I get to live other lives and have other perspectives without necessarily experiencing these things for myself.

I grew up in Jacksonburg, the smallest town in Ohio, in America’s Midwest. It has 61 people so it was a big adjustment moving first to New York and then coming to Hong Kong earlier this year. I moved here with my partner whose family lives here. Going to New York was the first time I had left small-town life and been around so many different types of people. It was such a great experience and made me realise that the life I had been living wasn’t the only life available to me.

I’m currently studying Mandarin at the Chinese University. Before coming here, I knew absolutely no Chinese so the first semester was very hard. I’m now in my third semester and can hold a conversation, which my family and friends back home think is really cool.

play him. We haven’t got long to go but the production is in a good place and I love being a part of this cast. I have never been in a pantomime before or had any experience of one. I’ve had a crash course in panto traditions so I now know that the cast expects the audience to heckle with set lines and the audience expects to see certain characters and hear cheesy jokes and innuendo. It’s fun to learn a new type of theatre that is so beloved to people and I feel honoured to

I joined the Hong Kong Players to get back into a community of creative performers. I auditioned in early summer and I got the part of Jack. Since then, we’ve been rehearsing three times a week on Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. I now know my character much better and I’m starting to tweak how I

developing confident, self expressed and joyful performers!

Christmas Holiday Programmes

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five minutes with be a part of it. My UK friends are very excited that I’m in the lead role and that the panto is going ahead in Hong Kong despite Covid. I get stage fright for sure but it happened much more when I was younger. When I was in the middle school choir and had my first solo, I stood up to sing and just shut down. I was so scared. As I’ve had more experience, I’ve realised being nervous is a part of performing and that it’s OK to feel this way. I also discovered that all actors get stage fright at some point in their career. I learn my script by starting at the end of a chunk of it and working backwards. That way I always know what’s coming next and it gives me confidence. When I’m not rehearsing or studying, I enjoy hiking. I grew up in the countryside so I love the outdoors. Whenever I’m stressed, I head outside. I’m also trying to make it a

habit to go and check out Hong Kong even if I’m really busy. With the city, mountains and beaches all intertwined, it’s a great place to explore. Want to know what Jack and the Beanstalk has in store for you? Let’s just say there are twists and you should expect the unexpected! The Hong Kong Players’ production of Jack and the Beanstalk is taking place at various times from December 3 to 12 at the Shouson Theatre, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Rd, Wan Chai. Tickets from $295.

Acting Tips from Seth Wagner If you think you want to act, just do it. There are roles and stories for all types of people that need to be heard. Preparation is key when going for an audition. You need to be comfortable and confident enough about what you’re going to perform that you can just get up and do it, almost without thinking. Don’t be scared of the audience you’re auditioning for. They ultimately want you to do well.


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on patrol

Senior inspector Ron Yung reports the latest and greatest Jewel theft CCTV installed in a village house in Mok Tse Che showed that it had been burgled at 6pm on October 28. The homeowner had gone out at 11am that day and on his return at 1am, he found that his kitchen window had been prised open and his house ransacked. A jewellery box containing $128,000 worth of jewellery was missing. Although the CCTV footage showed a man in black clothing, there was not enough evidence to trace the thief. The case is still under investigation.

Money heist A break-in occured in Wong Chuk Wan Village on November 6. The lady of the house had gone out at 6pm after securing all doors and windows and came back at 10pm to find her bedroom window had been prised open and her home in disarray. Designer watches had been stolen as had $25,000 in cash. The case is under investigation.

had to call for help. The GFS located him at 5pm and airlifted him to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern hospital where he was found to have broken both his legs..

Busted Video nasty On November 10, a 17-year-old boy reported that he had been a target of an online chat scam. After meeting a “girl” on Instagram and subsequently chatting to her on WhatsApp, she threatened to spread an incriminating video clip of him unless he paid $80,000. He became very anxious about the situation but he didn’t have the money so couldn’t comply with her demand. He reported it to the police instead and the wanted person has since stopped bothering him.

My left foot Taking advantage of the good weather, a man, 43, and his friend decided to hike from Pak Tam Au to Ko Lau Wan. The man tripped and fell while walking and fractured his left foot. The GFS arrived an hour later and airlifted him to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern hospital. He is doing fine.

Flight risk A 68-year-old paragliding aficionado launched himself from Ng Au Yee Shek Shan plateau at 2pm on November 10. After circling for an hour, he was blown off course by strong winds and had to change his landing route. He landed badly and

While out on patrol at 2pm on November 13, two policemen approached a man acting suspiciously in his car. On searching the vehicle, they found more than 30 packets of ketamine in the passenger side door. He said the drugs were for personal consumption but a large amount of cash also found in his car convinced the policemen otherwise. The man was arrested.

All at sea

News from the marine police Wind power Although the Strong Monsoon signal had been raised on the afternoon of October 17, a mother and her 13-year-old son went kayaking, each in a single-seat kayak. Strong winds separated the pair near Yeung Chau and they lost sight of each other. The mother searched for her son and called 999 when she couldn’t find him. Marine police responded and later successfully contacted and located the boy. He was taken to Tuen Mun Hospital but had no injuries and was soon reunited with his mother. Awareness of sudden changes in sea conditions during strong monsoons and an understanding of physical capabilities remain key to conducting sea activities in a safe and controlled manner.

Take a hike A 29-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman went hiking from Lung Ha Wan to Green Egg Island late in the afternoon of November 6. At around 7pm, the man accidentally slipped on the beach and injured his foot. Their mobile network was poor but luckily they were spotted by a passer-by, who called for help. Marine police and the Fire Services Department responded and the couple was eventually rescued via police launch. Hikers are urged to check and prepare their kit; inform a responsible person of their destination and timings; and be aware of all potential dangers before setting off.

Race information The Hebe Haven Yacht Club held its 24-hour Charity Dinghy Race 2021 from October 30-31, supported by the Guardian Angels (GA) team. They set up a stall in the Race Village to provide a platform for people to understand more about the Marine Police and the GA team as well as promoting overall sea safety and crime prevention messages.

Burglary prevention: • • •

Secure doors and windows Activate anti-burglary measures Call 999 if you encounter a suspicious person


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gift guide

Locally sourced gifts and experiences for the whole family to enjoy

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gift guide


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 the most prestigious hotels around the world and

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.


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.

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. 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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gift guide

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.

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

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gift guide

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.

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.

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gift guide


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. 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.

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

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.

DVS Wrinkle Smoothers $880

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DVS Face X’cercise VISAGER $1,380

The DVS Visager, a patented design, is a unique 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 patches address the physical element of deep lines and fine wrinkles, providing instantly noticeable results overnight. 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. DVS Handie Bottle $280

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gift guide


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 Christmas Tree. Sizing five, six and seven feet in height, the trees are remarkably realistic with options of green and flocked trees.

Walking through Queen’s Road Sheung Wan, Moda Flora’s shop at 235 Queen’s Road Central (Sheung Wan) 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.

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.

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 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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gift guide

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 BeCandle Shop: 18B Sai Kung Tai Street, Sai Kung BeCandle Lab: 8 Wang Street, Sai Kung T: +852 8481 7684

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gift guide

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.


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.

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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Shop Talk

Catherine Man charts the fall and rise of traditional Hong Kong stores

I have been living and working in Sai Kung since I was 24, which was quite a long time ago. The difference between Sai Kung and other areas of Hong Kong is most definitely the strong personal touch; people are so friendly in this part of the world and care about their neighbours. Casual conversations with shop owners and passersby always brighten up my day. I grew up on a public housing estate in Kwun Tong and in those days, there weren’t any supermarkets at all in the area. There were only tiny shops selling essential items for families including drinks, rice, dried goods, toilet paper, pens, newspapers and so on. We called it the “Store士多”. Back then, an accounts book in the store was used to record customer debts. This was the 1960s and most people were blue-collar workers employed in typical industries like construction and manufacturing. It was a wonderful neighbourhood to grow up in as everyone knew each other and it was an era of great human touch. Times have changed. Nowadays, people no longer know their neighbours and with the arrival of supermarket chains, everyone needs to pay immediately for what they have purchased. The Store士多 is an icon of Hong Kong’s remarkable culture. Some have survived and they can be found on many local hiking trails. The little shop is a welcome sight on a hot

and humid day and usually provides drinks like water, Coke and lemon tea. My personal favourite is a Chinese herb tea called Five Flowers Tea 五花茶. It helps to lower your temperature and cool you down; the flavour is delicious too. Located at the junction of Po Lo Che Road and Pak Kong Au Road, “Keung Hei Store 強記士多” in Hung Fa Village is a slightly bigger shop than average. A villager named Keung opened it in the 1960s and he passed the business to his son. When he went to pursue other opportunities, the store subsequently closed down for more than 20 years but was re-opened last year by Connie Ma, the girlfriend of Keung’s son aka Sai Kung Ma Ma. She had returned from the UK and thanks to her enormous efforts, this store was reborn. Although it’s only open at weekends, it is definitely growing in popularity, with more customers from enthusiastic hikers to those who live nearby. There’s also a lovely garden behind it, known locally as the Secret Garden, where Ma occasionally teaches people how to make real Hong Kong rice dumplings. Keung Kee Store Keung Hei Store was originally constructed from a few sheds that were used for livestock, pigs and chickens and I personally wish that the animals were still there so that our younger generations can see what a live chicken looks like.

Want to learn more? Catherine Man is a Cantonese and Mandarin teacher and also runs small-group mahjong lessons at the venue of your choice. Contact her at


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SunIsland_MagazineAd_20211117_SK_EN_ver1_OP.pdf 1 17/11/2021 16:30:15


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big day out

Tai Tam Reservoir

BOXING DAY WALKS Where to stroll with the family to get that festive feel Trio Beach

Best for The perfect place to enjoy picnics your Christmas leftovers, Trio Beach is just a few hours walk away from Che Keng Tuk village in Sai Kung. Make your way along Hong Fu Road and you’ll end up on a trail surrounded by wild flowers and lush greenery. The trail includes some steep inclines but it’s worth it when you see the views over Hebe Haven from above. Once you reach the beach, If you don’t feel like walking back, catch a Sampan to Pak Sha Wan instead.

The Peak Circle walk


st fo There’s no better place views r to be on a crisp morning than on top of The Peak overlooking Hong Kong’s stunning skyline. Not only is The Peak Circle hike one of the easiest hikes in Hong Kong, it is also one of the most popular hikes in Hong Kong due to its accessibility for all levels of hikers including children, elderly and even dogs. It might not be what you’re looking for when it comes to burning those holiday calories but you can continue your festive celebrations at one of the many restaurants in the area.

Mui Wo to Discovery Bay The Lo Fu Tau Country trail is a scenic hike which takes you from Mui Wo to Discovery Bay. We recommend starting

Best for photos

the hike from Mui Wo as you would be hiking down instead of up. The hike will take you past Silvermine Waterfall and once you’re closer to DB, you encounter large boulders called Standing Rock. These boulders are laid out on top of a hill which make for insta-worthy photos; you can even photoshop Santa’s sleigh on top of one of them!


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boxing day hike Dragon’s Back A classic Hong Kong hike for Best fo r locals and visitors, Dragon’s a late Back is the perfect hike for lunch scenic views, a relaxing stroll and lunch at Big Wave Bay. The hike starts just before Shek O and after a 20-minute climb, you’ll find yourself on the Shek O Peninsula Viewing Point overlooking the beach. From here the winding trails are relatively flat with a few uphill and downhill sections inspiring the hike’s iconic name.

Lamma Island Family Trail

Best for strollers

The Lamma Island Family Trail connects the two ferry piers, Yung Shue Wan and Sok Kwu Wan (we recommend starting at Sok Kwu Wan as the trail is quieter and ferries are more frequent from Yung Shue Wan). What’s different about this particular trail is that it is fully pathed with no steep inclines or stairs, making it perfect for strollers. The trail is the perfect Boxing Day out complete with sea views and snacks along the way. Once you arrive at either ferry pier, tuck into a seafood feast before heading back to Central.

Tai Tam Family Walk


st for Perfect for families, dog Southwalkers and those wanting siders a relaxing stroll, Tai Tam Family Walk is easily accessible from Central and offers sweeping natural views. Halfway through your walk, head straight towards Violet Hill, before turning left at a dam where you will find plenty of big fish to feed. The hike will lead you towards Stanley where you can continue the festivities with a slap up lunch.

Pak Tam Chung Nature Trail

Best for history lovers

A popular trail located in Sai Kung Country Park, Pak Tam Chung Nature Trail is the perfect walk to collect your thoughts after celebrating the holidays. The trail is mostly covered providing plenty of shade throughout the day and has a range of geographical features including mudflats and mangrove beds. The trail ends up around the Sheung Yiu Folk Museum where visitors can learn about Sai Kung’s Hakka history.

Parkview to Jardine’s Lookout

Best fo natura r l views

If you’re looking for an easy hike with incredible views, this one’s for you. The hike begins at the intersection of Wilson Trail and Hong Kong Trail. Follow the sign that points towards Jardine’s Lookout and you’ll reach the top in under 30 minutes. From up high, enjoy a bird’s eye view of Victoria Harbour and the surrounding skyscrapers. If you’re up for a challenge, continue the hike to Mount Butler, which involves more stairs and will take you all the way to Quarry Bay.


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cover story

NORWEGIAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL KINDERGARTEN Vice principal of NIS and head of its kindergarten campus Lisa Husmann talks us through what the little school on the hill has to offer. By Adele Brunner With Tai Po’s multi-lane highways and busy streets a stone’s throw away, you can be forgiven for not realising that the hill on which the Norwegian International School’s (NIS) kindergarten campus is located used to overlook the sea. The heritage bungalow, where the school is now housed, was once the magistrate’s residence and he used to sail from Central to what was then Tai Po Island to sort out any pending cases. That said, the friendly kindergarten still feels as though it is on an island of sorts, enabling children to have a nurturing and engaging experience in an environment that seems a world away from all the hustle and bustle going on outside its gates. NIS was established in 1984 to provide education for the children of Norwegian missionaries and the kindergarten was set up in 2008. It follows the International Early Curriculum (IEYC), which supports key areas of learning through holistic enquiry and playbased approaches, and teaches in English and Mandarin. Although the Norwegian language is no longer taught, the school still celebrates Norway’s National Day (May 17) and its Norwegian heritage such as incorporating Viking

themes and stories in its teaching. Set amongst large, shady trees, it is an outdoor kid’s paradise of climbing frames, swings and Wendy houses with plenty of space for running around, playing and exploring. Inside, the airy classrooms are just as chock full of enticing corners devoted to activities such as dressing up, painting and science experiments. “Children are encouraged to get the most out of their environment, and are not limited to a small space within it. They get to access, explore and utilise all of it in their day-to-day learning and play,” says NIS vice principal Lisa Husmann, who also founded and heads up the kindergarten. “The children are engaged in it and are responsible for it. We love our campus and how it enables the children to learn through real, meaningful engagement with the natural world.” Both indoor and outdoor facilities are designed to be flexible and adaptable. An indoor STEM wall, for example, allows little fingers to play safely with cogs, chains and tubes and simultaneously think about how different elements can work together. “Our experience is that families looking

for international schools are looking for an environment where their children can develop independent thought and creative problem solving, where their curiosity is fostered, rather than having to conform,” explains Husmann, who came to Hong Kong as a university lecturer in environmental science and has a PhD in environmental education. “One of the key aspects of NIS that develops these attributes in children is that we’re genuinely child-led. True enquiry-based learning is initiated through the child’s choices, and teachers are there to facilitate what the children want to explore. This is a very hands-on, interactive style of learning.” Husmann has drawn on her experience and knowledge of schools elsewhere in the world, early childhood theory and modern understandings of brain development to put together this programme of learning. Children are encouraged to ask questions and to feel supported to speak up when they don’t understand. Nor do teachers necessarily step in and solve their problems for them. Rather, they try to help the children by giving them space and the time to figure things out on their own. If they are unable to do so, the teachers ask them


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nis to bring in a friend and see if two heads are better than one. This includes issues related to behaviour as well as academics. “It’s important for children to learn in a guided way how to make up between themselves when they are upset with each other, and to develop social skills that help them build healthy relationships,” says Husmann. “This approach takes a lot of time and individual teaching, with every child coming at this from a different place. It’s worth it because it raises children who can work through a challenge whether that’s a personal, academic or social one. Kids in Hong Kong don’t often get those opportunities because somebody usually steps in and does the task for them.” Christianity is an intrinsic part of NIS, which also follows the Biblical Foundations Curriculum. The children learn about stories from the Bible during daily praise time and sing songs based on Bible verses. Whether the children come from a Christian family or not, Husmann believes that the sense of Christian love is a foundation that expands the world of any child and gives them a sense of belonging, purpose and of being loved and accepted. “We believe that these are foundational things that every child should have the chance to experience, and which will support them as they grow on their learning journey in years to come,” she says. “Believing that each child is made unique and special by God, we celebrate our differences and learn from each other’s diverse experiences.” The school’s nurturing environment has been crucial for the children as they rebound from the unusual challenges they have experienced over the past couple of years due to the pandemic. During the school’s closure, the teachers implemented a new online learning platform from New Zealand specifically developed for the engagement of young children and their families. The relationship between NIS and its families had always been strong before

the pandemic but the online platform allowed everyone to interact even more. “During the periods where we couldn’t be on campus together, we made a lot of engaging and fun learning videos and would follow the regular school routines so the children would keep familiar with them,” says Husmann. “The kids would say ‘We love watching NIS TV’.” Husmann and her colleagues have observed that over the course of the pandemic, a lot of Hong Kong children haven’t developed many of the skills they would usually have at their age. However, she is confident that NIS’ learning environment in which the children can socialise, interact and explore, often outdoors in the fresh air, will help them to become resilient and confident. “The kindergarten years are a window of opportunity where important developments in socialisation, critical thinking and love of learning are built. If we can provide a strong positive foundation in those years, then we

set them up for doing well in life beyond,” she says. “We do everything that we know is best to provide that foundation for the rest of their lives.” There is a lot of interaction between NIS’ kindergarten and primary campuses, which work hard to promote a sense of the wider NIS community. All the kindergarten students have priority interviews for admission into NIS’ primary section, well in advance of external applicants, and those with older siblings already attending the primary campus are given additional priority. Says Husmann, “I often run into high school kids I once taught at NIS when they were much younger who come up to me and give me a hug. I love that continuity of being part of a community. At NIS, there’s a strong focus on social-emotional skills, developing wellbalanced, well-rounded children who approach learning with curiosity and joy.”

Norwegian International School Kindergarten, 175 Kwong Fuk Rd, Tai Po, 2638 0269.;


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Talking turkey (and all the trimmings) Think you’ll be too busy opening presents to cook? The following places have your back as far as ready made Christmas fare goes Ali Oli has a range of Christmas feasts fit for a king. It offers three set menus including turkey with apple and walnut stuffing, glazed ham with port sauce, salmon with white wine and dill sauce, an array of roast veggies and pecan pie. Prices range from $2,078 for four people to $4,870 for 12-14 people. Alternatively, go à la carte and choose what you like. All items can be tweaked to accommodate dietary preferences. Orders must be placed at least five days before delivery and the cut off date is December 18. A Christmas feast from Oolaa Tseung Kwan O will be guaranteed to right royally fill you up. Its four-person package ($1,200 + $300 per extra person) includes roast turkey breast, honey roasted ham, pigs in blankets, Brussel sprouts, roasted root veggies (potatoes, pumpkin, carrots and beetroot), sweet potato mash, red wine gravy, cranberry sauce and Christmas crackers. Christmas pudding and custard is $65 per person. The 10-person package ($3,000) includes all of the above but one whole turkey replaces the turkey breast. A minimum of 48 hours’


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x’mas food to go advance notice is required; pick up or delivery available. G/F, Capri Place, 33 Tong Yin St, Tseung Kwan O, 2369 2866. Free-range French turkey, chicken, guinea fowl and guinea fowl capon are all up for grabs at La Rotisserie. These can be purchased à la carte or as packages (from $998-$1,958) for up to 10 people with sautéed French beans and sweet potatoes, truffle parmesan mashed potatoes, sautéed Brussel sprouts with bacon, cranberry sauce and gravy and chocolate cake. Orders needed to be placed online three days in advance. Delivery is free when you spend over $1,500 but there is no delivery service on December 24 and 25. Email catering@larotisserie. or visit

such as gourmet chutneys, jams, chocolate, olives, nuts and Champagne. Choose from the Merry Little Christmas ($888), Jolly Jamboree ($1,488) and Jingle Bell Rock ($2,288) hampers - all packed to order and delivered with care. 1/F, Retail Block, Mount Pavilia, Clearwater Bay and 11 Wan King Path, Sai Kung or email

SIDEBAR Booze by the Box To celebrate the festive season, Booze by the Box is offering a Champagne promotion with Moet et Chandon at $288 per bottle and Veuve Clicquot at $338. Free delivery if six or more bottles are ordered through the website If that’s not your preferred tipple, pop into the shop and choose something that is. 52 See Cheung Street. Winerack To get you in a party mood, Winerack has a range of special offers including Tinto Negro Uco Valley Malbec from Argentina ($128 a bottle), Poggio Le Volpi Roma Rosso from Italy ($138) and French Patriarche Chablis ($178). Free delivery when you order six bottles or more. If you’re not sure what to choose, the wine experts in the shop will be happy to help. 1 Sha Tsui Path, Man Nin St, 9728 5665;

It’s turkey season at Feather & Bone, with hormone-free Australian birds available pre-cooked ($1,400/3kg). Get in early if you can. The order cut-off date is December 20 with pick ups available from December 23-25. If you fancy cooking one yourself, you can choose from frozen or thawed turkeys in 3kg ($658), 5kg ($888) and 7kg ($1,098) sizes. In addition to all the regular wine, Champagne and yummy food, the deli has a fantastic selection of beautifully crafted Christmas hampers. These contain artisanal treats and beverages from around the world

Hong Kong’s best value wine store Orders Tel: 2433 9929 |

Starborough ‘FE’, Sav Blanc

$118 Marlborough N.Z

MDLC Reserva, Rioja

$128 Rioja, Spain

Patriarche Cremant Brut

$138 Burgundy, France

Poggio Le Volpi Roma

$145 Lazio, Italy

Penny’s Hill Specialized

$180 McLaren Vale, Australia Sai Kung Shop



S. Jacopo Chianti Riserva

$180 Tuscany, Italy

Schild Ben RSV Shiraz

$228 Barossa Valley Australia

Tabali Transversal

$258 Maipo/Limari Valley, Chile

Finca La Escuela Malbec

$305 Altamira, Argentina

Free home delivery on any mix of 6 Bottles for online orders | Shop 1, Sha Tsui Path, (Man Nin St), Sai Kung, N.T. SAI KUNG | 31

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Festive fatalities

Dr Pauline shares her tips to avoid a visit to an ER this festive season hypothermia so they need warm shelters or bedding at all times and fresh clean water every day. May I wish everyone with two or four legs, with feathers, beaks and claws a very happy Christmas and a wonderful healthy New Year!

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, bleach them and remove the rancid smell. Then they get cut into shapes, and glue and colorings used to form “cute” Santas or Christmas trees. On testing many have shown traces of arsenic, mercury, chromium and formaldehyde to name a few, certainly not ingredients to feed our pets. 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. Sweet items that contain artificial sweeteners can be toxic, while chocolate leads to seizures and heart problems. 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. My own cat found her gift under my family tree and before my eyes teared off the gift wrap, chewed the package and gorged on the cat treats inside. Decorations Certain flowers and plants are dangerous to our pets. Lilies, all parts of them, are fatal to cats causing renal failure. A very good

friend told me she had received a bouquet of lilies for her birthday and unbeknown to her, one of her cats ingested the lily by-products and despite her vet trying everything he could her lovely cat died one week after her birthday bouquet arrived. If you do have cats I suggest never have lilies at home. 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.

Dr Pauline Taylor, Pets Central veterinarian.

Activities Anxious animals perhaps upset by the “extra activities” around them, may turn to objects to chew to release their stress. This is a form of displacement behavior. Interesting things to chew can include cables and cords belonging to festive lights or lanterns, wrapping paper, candles and even the Christmas tree. I’ve seen several trees demolished by rambunctious dogs and I even found a Christmas glitter ball in a dog’s digestive system. When strangers come around, and in particular if your dog or cat isn’t used to visitors, it is a good idea to shut your pet out of the way in a safe room or cage/basket. They will be much happier and you can relax too. Remember as the weather gets colder our pets feel the difference in temperature too. They can get


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cruising sai kung

Ferries, Islands, and Volcanoes Guy Nowell on the joys of local ferries.

You don’t need your own boat to explore the watery corners of Hong Kong, rather like you don’t need a car to get around the dry bits. Hong Kong’s seagoing public transport is first class, and of course the charter industry has gone nuts in the last 18 months. If you’ve never taken a grumbling ferry boat to the outlying islands on the east side of Hong Kong, you have missed a treat. The 94 bus from Sai Kung goes all the way to Wong Shek Pier in the Sai Kung Country Park, and from there you catch the ferry across to Tap Mun, which is worth the trip for the sake of the island walk and any number of excellent seafood restaurants along Tap Mun Hoi Pong Street. You need to make a little more effort to catch a ferry out of Ma Liu Shui, right in front of Chinese U, but it’s more than worth it. The ferry rides themselves are a treat – never mind the destinations. On weekends only, ferries go to Tung Ping Chau on the far side of Mirs Bay, and to Kat O, Ap Chau, and Lai Chi Wo on the north edge of Double Haven. All of these pleasantly out-ofthe-way places involve a little light walking and of course food. It may not be Michelin-starred or even cordon bleu, but some gentle exercise is a better seasoning than any amount of expensive pink Himalayan rock salt! And the thing that all these places have in common is that they are within the much applauded Geopark, established (we read somewhere) to protect the natural landscape of the

area. (Quite how giving somewhere a name all of a sudden “protects” it, I haven’t figured out, unless it is from rapacious developers. But never mind: Mother Nature has been hurling typhoons across this area for presumably millennia, so how much protection is required remains moot.) The geology within the Geopark area is nothing short of astonishing. Did you know that the whole of Port Shelter is nestled within the crater of a long-dead supervolcano? And that basalt columns mostly evident in the Ninepins and the Ung Kong group of islands (Bluff and Basalt, Town Island, Wang Chau) are some of the very biggest in the world? Or that Tung Ping Chau, Bluff Head and the southern edge of Double Haven are composed of the only sedimentary rocks in Hong Kong? The Geopark Centre near the Sai Kung bus station provides plenty of information – it’s interesting and educational. The Government recently ‘mentioned’ an idea to build a ’Tourist Port’ in Double Haven, which would inevitably destroy the very thing that makes the area so attractive – inaccessibility. Some of us believe that places benefit from being a little off the map. If What has hitherto been the province of enthusiastic hikers and assorted sailors, boaters and kayakers, would overnight become infested with brashness, noise, and litter. Meanwhile, we highly recommend a Sunday morning ferry ride. It’s a real treat, and a cheap day out that you won’t forget in a hurry. Do it now, before the spoilers arrive.

Guy Nowell is founder of Asia Yacht Press and a Sai Kung resident since 1988 (yup, that’s 33 years, Deirdre). A new edition of his fabulous and authoritative coffee table book Cruising Hong Kong is available at


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Alcoholics Anonymous 90736922 |

Ensemble Co-Creating Space 67252321 |

Tala's Hair and Beauty 23351694


The Hive Sai Kung 27805844

Nail House 27198718

Be Candle - Candle Making Workshops 84817684 Composting workshops Cantonese Classes 60366275


Allure 93453545 The Brow Effect 67180635 I IG: the.brow.effect

CORRECTIONS Did we get something wrong on this list? Or want to be listed?


Marbling & Other Arts n Crafts 98342365

Email us at

The Pier 29126777 I

Majong Lessons 64411227


WM Hotel 21966888 I

Cena Latin Cafe - Latin tapas, cocktails 27571020 I FB: cenalatincafe


Coffee Academics - speciality coffee & brunch 28822902 |

Professionals Wills Limited 25619031

Black Smith Coffee 26131010


AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS Anastasias Art House - Russian Art Academy 27195533 Artiste Studio 21142083 I The Arts Factory - language and performing arts 68947555

Starbucks 2792 7725

Biocycle - fighting pests with safe & ecological products 35752575 |


Easy Peasy Services 92870200

Pathfinders 51904886 |

Rentokil 58033055 |

Drew's Workshop - woodworking for kids 63456965


Snake in the house? Call the police 999

En Pointe - jazz & Ballet for kids 61472089 I FB: EnPointe

China Light & Power Emergency 21608585

H&P Taekwondo Kwan 95472655 I FB: HPTaekwondoKwan

Gas Leaks Emergency Hotline 24354511


Sewing Classes for kids 67252321

Sai Kung Police HQ - 24/Hr Report Room 36611630

Haven of Hope Christian Service 27019019

Drum lessons for kids & adults 55085027

Sai Kung Marine Police 36611718

Resurrection Church 23583232 |

Ballroom Bees - dance program for boys & girls 56817673 Beat Street Dance & Fitness - for adults and kids 98586487

Cantonese lessons, Mandarin lessons 64411227 Stage Right! Studio 92258924 I


Sai Kung Pentecostal Holinesss Church 90395039

Sai Kung District Council 37405200 |

Sai Kung Pentecostal Baptist Church 27923918



BAKERIES Ali-Oli Bakery - quality western cakes, delicatessen 27922655 | Chan Fuk Wing Bakery 27922373 Crunch N' Munch Bakery 931688701 I FB: crunchmunch.bakerycafe

Termites? TrulyCare 24588378 |

China Light & Power Information 26782678 Water Fault Reports 28110788 Water Supplies Department 28245000

Club Marina Cove 27196622 Marina South Clubhouse 21484013 Residence Oasis 21410078

Culture Bakery 26131394 I FB: culturebakeryhk

Tung Tai Key Cut - locksmith and key cutter 63235232


Mushroom Bakery - friendly neighbourhood baker 27926826

New Technology Mobile Phone - phone repair 24072377

Santa Fe Relocation 25746204

Sai Kung Bakery - traditional local bakes 27923861

Eco Living - air purification 27927998

Expert-Transport & Relocations 25664799


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directory REALTORS



OKAY Property Agency Limited - expert real estate 21020888 |

Mills International Preschool 27176336 |

Sally G Fitness - pilates, boxing and dance 95290477

The Property Shop 27193977

Malvern College Hong Kong 38984688 |

Hong Kong Golf & Tennis Academy 31878900 I

Homelife Property Shop B 27190606

Australian International School 23046078 |

Rugby Tots

Rich on House Property Agency Ltd. 27910080

Creative Secondary School 23360233 |

Sai Kung Stingrays

A&A Property Consultant Limited 26311988 |

ESF Clearwater Bay School 23583221 |

Sai Kung Bulldogs Football 90851886


Kellett School 31200700 |

Dragon Fitness & Coaching - strength training 95550358 |

Shek Kee Frozen Meat Company 27920503

Hong Kong Academy 26551118 |

Kids Swimming lessons 97419152

Today Speed (Photo Finish) 27925815

Hong Kong Adventist Academy 26230431 / 37270291 |

Equestrian Centre 63986241

Butcher King 27920159

Hong Kong International School 31497246 |

CWB Golf & Country club 23353700

Patsy House Electrical store 27920010

Renaissance College 35563556 |

Hebe Haven Yacht Club 27197931

T.C. Deli 23582332

Sai Kung Montessori 53698587 |

Hong Kong Golf & Tennis Academy 67702726

Park n Shop / Fusion 23355506 / 27912080

SKIP (Sai Kung Pre-school Group) 27917354 |


RESTAURANT & FOOD DELIVERY Dutch Cheese 27926179 | Paisanos 27914445 | Singalings 27923318 | The Picture House 27926991 | Jaspas 27926388 | 2084 64208456 | Thai Dao 27926189 I FB: thaidao.saikung The Conservatory 27921105 I Big Fish 27519177

Shrewsbury International School 24801500 | Sunshine House International Pre-Schools 23583803 | Sun Island Kindergarten 23391145 | Yew Chung International School 23387106 | Woodland Pre-Schools 28130290 | Delia School of Canada Po Leung Kuk Sixth Form College Clearwater Bay School SPEEDBOATS Blue Flag, Miss Ma 94893297

Taxi Lost Property 1872920 | TUTORS Sai Kung Tutors - group lesson for beginners 53214400 Maths Club - maths programs for Y5-Y11 56446410 Easy English For Kids 61144219 VETS & PETS Pets Central - Sai Kung's number one, 24 hr vet 27920833 | Hong Kong Dog Rescue Lost dog? Sai Kung Stray Friends 91992340 | Homevet 98605522 |


Ferndale Kennels & Cattery - pet hotel, pet relocation 27924642

Sai Kung Serviced Apartments 24076161 |

Sai Kung Animal Hospital 27922206 |

Horizon Suites 31578888

Creature Comforts Veterinary Clinic 97730372 |

Takka Fusion 27922202 / 27922223



Sawasdee Thai 27910522

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for Kids 95748523

Winerack 22536929 |

Burger Deli 36899052

Capoeira Beach Acrobatics 68460787

The Bottleshop 27911600

Padstow 23355515 |

Pilates with Nocky 96692710

Le Magasin 27910292

Piccolos 27919233 | Chip In Fish & Chips 97615091 | Pepperoni's 27911738 |


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Carols, tinsel and fake holly

Peter Wood talks Christmas

sai kung

The smells of Christmas are the smells of childhood. – Richard Paul Evans

It’s Christmas time again. Hurrah! The mercury has dropped, and the malls are bursting with seasonal cheer. Lord have mercy on us. Carols, tinsel, and fake holly saturate every corner of the territory. Once again, this dastardly pandemic has ensured we stay oceans apart from our friends and family. For many of us, this is the third festive season away from loved ones. Fortunately Hong Kong does Christmas well. This city of exiles can rest assured that, money permitted, you will get your full dose of yuletide cheer. It’s easy to hark back to our childhoods. When I was growing up on our farm in Zimbabwe, the Christmas holidays were pure joy. At the start of every school hols, we would bounce around in the back of the Land Rover, shedding our uniforms in wild abandonment. First to go would be the shoes, then the shirts. Our uniform for the next three weeks would be a simple pair of shorts and little else. Driving onto the farm was always a thrill - the heat, the smell of wood smoke and cow dung and the unbridled joy of our dogs. Christmas day was normally spent with our cousins on their farm, Sable Peak. They lived in a beautiful part of Mashonaland. Occasionally we hosted, but our farm was deep in the bush on rutted dirt roads. A civil war raging on our doorstep didn’t help. Like so many Christmases around the world, distant relatives popped out of the woodwork. Often there were over 30 of us all seated at a large, overly-adorned trestle table on the Sable Peak lawn. The table groaned with ripe deciduous fruits, homemade cakes, a turkey and of course a ham. Our cousins went to different schools. We rarely saw them, so Christmas day was a delightful riot of laughter, food and old homemade cine films of relatives, past and present, followed by a slow 100km drive home with an irascible, sozzled old man. Here in Hong Kong, I always buy a cooked ham from the FCC, but recently I found an old hand-written recipe for John Nick’s ham. John and Gemma Nicholson were legendary farmers in our district. They lived in a remote, but magical place, surrounded by huge imposing granite hills. The Nicholsons always threw a lunch do on New Year’s day. Every year, come war, come peace. You were encouraged to go – despite the distance on bumpy dirt roads, praying we didn’t hit a land mine. Mum would ride shotgun— she always opted for the Uzi because the automatic shotgun gave her bruises. Dad drove, cursing every time the axel hit a rock. The

Nicholsons home was quite lovely, with a bar—this was the 70s—and rolling lawns down to an aquamarine pool with its own waterfall. Gemma loved putting on a show. Before she met John, she was a dancer on the West End stage. Think “jazz hands”. And her food was often a first for many of us plebs. She always had a “Balinese” dish of beef and pineapple, Chinese special fried rice, sweet and sour pork and a quintessentially British club curry with all the trimmings from the Raj. But the piece de resistance was John Nick’s ham. John Nick’s ham recipe was clearly created before slow cookers. It required a massive cast-iron pot, filled with ginger beer, spices, brown sugar and aromatics. Once boiling, chuck in a large gammon ham and (in the words of the recipe), boil like buggery for a few minutes, quickly whip it off the fire, seal the lid and wrap the whole bloody pot in a sleeping bag! (Remove children from sleeping bag first.) Hopefully, the next day you will have a perfectly slow-cooked ham. At worst, you will have a sleeping bag that smells of Christmas! I tried this once in Hong Kong. I didn’t have a sleeping bag. Why would I? So I wrapped the pot in a duvet, which I then covered in tin foil. The end result looked like a Sputnik had landed in my sitting room. The next day I gingerly fished out my ham – a small, dried little nugget of pig that was, quite frankly, inedible. Thanks John Nick – I shall go back to the FCC this year. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Writer, podcaster and Sai Kung resident, Peter Wood

Wood landed in Hong Kong in 1993. He worked as a photographer for the Eastern Express newspaper and for AFP. His first book, a memoir, Mud Between Your Toes, is available. Listen here:


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Season‘s Greetings from our valued suppliers

Causeway Bay Central t: 2891 1855 t: 2851 0769

Repulse Bay t: 2395 2778


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