The Green, Green Grass of Hong Kong: Tamar Park

I am always eager to discover new places here in Hong Kong so when I read about Tamar Park a while ago, I added it to my ‘to-do’ list for the weekend.

This place is super impressive and truly unique from any of the other parks I have come across in HK. Unlike its neighbour Hong Kong Park, Tamar Park is an open space with lush green grass that stretches to the Harbour front and looks utterly stunning intermingled with the array of skyscrapers.

flowers in tamar

This vast space has art, sculptures and even an amphitheater; where I am told you can catch the odd performance when the sun is shining. Tamar Park has an extremely modern design and

tamar park art 1coexists perfectly with its surrounding areas; Admiralty and Central being just a stroll away.

This spot is perfect for an old- fashioned picnic with its gorgeous grass and stunning views. On top of that if you fancy leaving your basket and blanket at home there is an I-Bakery Gallery Café which has a fresh and airy vibe that serves pasta dishes and sandwiches.  If you are working around the area this park is a fabulous escape and is still fairly unknown so would be great spot if you needed a little afternoon siesta in the sun.

 I must admit it had been a tough week for me, having had a dreadful interview and feeling a little homesick. However at Tamar Park I rediscovered the gorgeousness of this city from a new perspective I was reminded of how much I love Hong Kong and then was put in a pretty sprightly mood (as you can see from my pic…)

Having a Twirl
Having a Twirl

If you are wanting an escape or just fancy getting some cool snaps while visiting Hong Kong get Tamar Park on the list of things to do! Hope you enjoy and if you are planning the perfect picnic don’t forget the Prosecco (who doesn’t  love a Prosecco picnic!)

The Extras: 

The Closest MTR: Admiralty take Exit A ( then walk towards the Harbour)

The Weekly Edit No.3 : Art Basel Cocktails, The Woods, Hong Kong

With Art Basel in town and Art Central, everyone in Hong Kong is embracing the artsy ambiance.  When I saw that one of my favourite bars The Woods, was making its very own art inspired cocktails for one week only I just had to get myself down and try!

Art Basel at The Woods
Art Basel at The Woods

The Woods on Hollywood Road has an amazing array of drinks and is proving very popular among the movers and shakers of Hong Kong. Their specialty is utterly sensational cocktails that get all your senses tingling. Their premise is using the freshest ingredients to create unique cocktails that both tantalise the taste buds but are also pieces of art.

The Woods.
The Woods.

The Woods, is beautifully designed and has a laid back elegance. The décor is made up of art work, natural materials has a subtle rustic theme running throughout. I particularly love the glasswork behind the bar, the gothic branches give the bar area an almost mystical feeling.

The Dandy Warhol
The Dandy Warhol

So I know you are all waiting the verdict on the Art Basel specials well, I can honestly say they did not disappoint and are certainly worth an Instagram! Inspired by Andy Warhol  the aptly named “Dandy Warhol,” delivered in a tin can decorated in a classic Campbell’s Soup label this tomato and Tabasco cocktail was deliciously thick, ice cold and had a spicy twist not dissimilar to a bloody mary.  I also tried the Damien Hirst cocktail which is brought to you in a “ Love of God,” inspired skull and poured to perfection with the applewood smoking from the glass( my favourite). 

Cocktail O'Clock, The Dandy Warhol.
Cocktail O’Clock, The Dandy Warhol.

These cocktails are available until 17th Of March so you don’t have a lot of time to get down there.  Don’t despair if you miss out on the Art Basel spectacles, every cocktail on The Woods Menu is fabulous so don’t forget to drop in !

The Extras :

Close MTR: Central MTR( then hop on the Mid-levels to Hollywood Road)

A little bit of Extra Direction: The Woods is fairly hidden from the street giving it a mystical effect so if you head for the Paisaono’s Pizza and walk up look out for the sign!

Price: Cocktails range from $100 HKD- ( I haven’t tried but I hear their nibbles are                                                                       delicious!)

The Weekly Edit No.1 : Burger Circus, Hong Kong.

This week I have been off work and decided to tick a few places off the Hong Kong eateries bucket list so yesterday, I went to the newest burger joint in town, “Burger Circus.”  Having spotted this place on “Hollywood Rd,” a couple of weeks ago I have been dying to give their burgers and shakes a try. Based on a 1950’s American Diner from the outside with its neon lights and open front you are able to see this is not just your average burger bar.  When you walk in you are seated by one of the waiters dressed in their rather retro uniform made up of white apron, pointed hat and black dickie-bow!

Rock and Roll Dinning.
Rock and Roll Dinning.

Upon entering Burger Circus you are transported into the 1950’s with its cute candy jars, striped straws and its old-skool menu board.  The attention to detail is really impressive with its clever layout and retro furnishings such as classic red steel diner stools, wooden benches and its carefully chosen colour scheme. The menus are flawlessly designed with candy stripes and burlesque beauties giving the place “rock and roll,” vintage vibe. Burger Circus even with its tardis-like qualities still manages to remain current and avoid looking too much like a tacky take on a diner.This is done with  great music and by serving the food in stylish branded paper pots. Everything about the design of this place screams instagram and hashtag heaven! #retro #bugers #diner #1950’s ( I could go on but I will leave that to you!)

The Menu
The Menu

Now, with somewhere as quirky as this it would be a huge shame if the food let it down and made this place all about the look rather than a taste. Fortunately, this does not happen (sigh of relief) and the boys in the “Burger Circus,” kitchen do not disappoint! The menu is mainly burger focused but if you aren’t a beef lover they have, “The Shark Rider,” (the fish option) and the “The Flame Swallower,”(the chicken choice) so there is a burger to suit all your needs! I opted for  “The Burger Circus Burger,” which was a deliciously griddled ground beef burger topped with classic cheese, crispy bacon( cooked to perfection) and lettuce finished with drizzle of their own tasty “Circus sauce”. The burger was extremely yummy and served on an utterly adorable tray in a very on trend paper holder. My other half went for “The Magicians May Tag Blue.” which was a blue cheese burger with all the trimmings and I must say it smelt divine( I was envious of his choice) and judging by the speed it was devoured I would say it was ON POINT!

Burger?
Burger?

We also ordered a side of fries which I have to be honest were relatively small and did come a long time after our burgers however they were well seasoned and fantastically fried. If you are debating over the sides I would suggest going all out and getting the “ Circus Fries,” it seemed to be the “done thing” and when I saw them I couldn’t help but have some serious ”food envy,” they looked crazily cheesy and delicious! So anyone who has watched “Mad Men,” or has seen “Grease,” will know the only way to wash down a beefy burger is with a creamy cherry topped MILKSHAKE! These Shakes served in their kitsch glasses complete with stripey straw and rosey red cherry are just DREAMY! We both opted for the traditional “Vanilla shake,” with but I decided to add extra marshmallows for a pure sugar explosion and I LOVED IT! (although there were a few straw blockages marshmallows are not made to be sucked up a straw…)  After all this food sadly we had no room for dessert however I have heard nothing but good things about the”Apple Pie La Mode,” and “ Chocolate Brownie.”

Shake it off!
Shake it off!

“Burger Circus,” is an incredibly hip restaurant the food was top notch and the whole place is worth an instagram( or two)! I would 100% go back here if only for the mouth-watering dessert menu!! So if you are visiting HK or living here get yourself to “Burger Circus” for a truly unique dining experience !

Just having a shake.
Just having a shake.

Happy Hikers “The Dragon’s Back Hike.”

Now I have to be brutally honest I am not one for exercise and I am certainly not someone who you would call the “Outdoorsy-type,” so when a friend visiting Hong Kong, last month suggest we should go on a New Year’s Day hike, it was panic stations!! Considering I had never hiked before the prospect of walking for hours with a groggy head was not filling me with joy!

The Dragons Back trial,” is one of the best Urban hikes around Asia and super easy to navigate and offers beautiful views. You take the MTR to Shau Kei Wan and then get on the bus No.9 which takes you to the start of the trail and it is really well sign posted. The bus that takes you from to the hike’s starting point is an amazing ride and has some lovely views of Hong Kong Island’s Coastline and more scenic areas. (keep a look out for the starting point sign!) Now, a word to the wise this bus takes you ALONG way up on a windy path so if you are thinking of heading up there with a sore head, be warned you may have a few sketchy moments.

The first steep walk up to the main part of the trail was the tough being both unfit and hung-over and I did being to wonder if this was a good idea. However after a struggle and a brief moan, something amazing happened I was hit in the face( literally) by the sea breeze, the fresh air and the VIEW!  Suddenly, I felt less foggy and like one happy hiker. The views along the trial were lovely the blue waters, yellow beaches and beach houses were a sight to behold.

 The hike has no food on route and I have to be honest this was an issue after an hour in we were starving luckily we brought along a trusty TWIX, which was slightly melted and had to be split four ways…Nevertheless, it gave us the sugar rush we needed to last another 2 hours( so don’t forget a snacks)!  The trail is really easy to follow and has toilets on route but be sure to bring some loo roll and alcohol gel, they are not the most pleasant porta-loos.

This hike was a real eye opener for me and I was surprised how good I felt not only that but it was an amazing way to catch up with old friends. With a head filled with fresh air and no distractions from the usual culprits like facebook (apart from getting the odd selfie snap) it meant we all just talked and walked and enjoyed the view and the company! After three hours we opted however you can walk all the way to the beach if you are wanting a longer journey.  “Dragons Back,” is made for novice hikers so don’t be put off by its scary fire breathing connotations.

This trail hasn’t changed me in the sense I won’t be climbing Everest anytime soon, but I have bought a new flatpackbackpack(there is such a thing)  and I plan on doing a hike once a month before the summer months kick-in. The Dragons Back Hike is perfect for a beginner hiker and in actual fact depending on how rough you are a tried and tested HANG OVER CURE!! So what are you waiting for go get on your walking shoes and go and hike along the Dragons back.  (sounds cool doesn’t it!)

The Extras

Closet Mtr –

Shau Kei Wan, Exit A3

Bus-

No.9 to Tei Wan, Shek O’Road.

Essentials – Water, Suncream, a jumper, a backpack and a twix.

For more info Click here.

Get your HIKE on!

                                                       Get your HIKE on!

Welcome to Hong Kong

Having been a tourist and a resident in the wonderful city of Hong Kong, I can honestly say I adore the place; the culture, the shopping and the sights are at times breathtakingly unique. So for anyone doing a whistle stop tour of this small yet perfectly formed city here are my top FIVE:

1. On the Ground Level there is a VIEW.

Hong Kong’s skyline is one of the most recognizable in the world with its vast array of skyscrapers. Luckily for you the skyline is something that is cheap and easy to do, all you need is an MTR ticket and your camera!For anyone wanting the perfect picture( or selfie…) head over to  Tsim Sha Tsui Station and have a walk along the Avenue of Stars . The harbor front gives you an uninterrupted view of the Hong Kong skyline expect lights, tourists and selfiesticks.

The Extras:

  • The best time to get there is around 7:45pm just in time for the “Symphony of Lights,” this shows runs through to 10:30 and is worth a look.
  • Closet MTR: Tsim Sha Tsui
A view for the afternoon.
A view for the afternoon.

 2. Up high there is the PEAK.

Hong Kong is a city with a view so if you are wanting a vantage point with a more vertical feeling get yourself to “The Peak.” The Peak Tram offers iconic views over both sides of the city and is one of the best known tourist spots so expect queues. There are a few ways to reach the dizzy heights my preferred route is to take the Peak Tram. The most popular ticket is “The Tram Sky pass,”($83.00 HKD)with this you get to ride the tram and gain access to the Sky Terrace. However if you are travelling on a strict budget don’t worry you can take the bus to the top or for the more adventurous you can even walk to the top!

The Extras:

  • If you want to go on the tram but don’t fancy paying extra for the sky terrace tickets Tram only tickets are $40 HKD.
  • Take note of the weather and avoid days with a chance of rain you don’t want fog spoiling your view.
  • Closet MTR : Admiralty

   

Above the clouds.
Above the clouds.

3. In there clouds there is a BIG BUDDAH.

Sitting 34 feet tall the “Big Buddah,” is a site to behold and a great place to experience the more scenic parts of Hong Kong. While at the Buddah you can also visit the Po Lin Monastery, home to many practicing monks this colourful Monastery is a lovely place for a rest stop and has an amazing array of vegetarian dishes on offer to tempt those taste-buds ( try the spring rolls!!) There are many ways you can get there the most breathtaking option is to take  the “Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car,” this 20 minute ride gives the best views and is a great choice for families. Alternatively, if you are wanting a cheaper option there is a bus that takes you right to the top and if you have your walking boots on hand there is a hike( not advisable in the hot and humid Summer months).

The Extras:

  • Keep your eye on the weather if there is a storm a brewing the cable cars don’t run.
  • Pick your dates carefully don’t visit on a Chinese public holiday to avoid large crowd levels.
  • For the fast tracking approach to queues you can pre-book .
  • Closet MTR: Tung Chung Station
Spot the Tourist.
Spot the Tourist.

 4. Hidden away there is HONG KONG PARK.

“Hong Kong Park,” is one of my favourite places in the World this quiet park is hidden away between the high rises of Admiralty.  The Park is perfect for escape and relaxation with its windy paths, coloruful bird aviary and waterfall it is easy to forget you are in the heart of one of the busiest financial districts in the World. Hong Kong Park also houses the “Flagstaff House Museum of Teaware,” and the “Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre”. Even when in a state of zen there is still a need to get the camera out! Hong Kong Park, has a wealth of great photo opportunities whether it be of the turtles chilling on the lake or getting some snaps of its larger neighbouring skyscrapers. The

The Extras:

  • There is a nice little restaurant there but my suggestion would be take a snack as you may end up spending a little longer than you expected.
  • Closet MTR – Admiralty

  

A Peaceful Place
A Peaceful Place

5. Up a Hill there is Lan KWAI FONG

Every weekend LKF has thousands of party goers ready to experience the Hong Kong night life. LKF, is not known for its uber edgey bars like other areas of Hong Kong but what it does have is atmosphere ! Travelers on a budget the great news is luckily for you one of the busiest “bars” is 7/11 so let the street drinking commence!  If street drinking isn’t your bag there are some good bars, for cheesy disco vibes you could pay “Stormies,” a visit and for something a bit more snazzy( loving this word atm…) you could treat yourself to a night with Gordon Ramsey sadly he wont be there in person but LKF is home to his new restaurant in “Bread Street Kitchen,”and it is DELICIOUS(I can personally vouch for the ribs)!

The Extras:

  • To get the full atmosphere and LKF experience head there on a Saturday night!
  • Closet MTR: Central then follow the very helpful signs to Lan Kwai Fong.
The Norm.
The Norm.

Now, time to book your ticket and start exploring !

For more info on Hong Kong Click here.