Vibrant, like the lights in the Temple Street night market. Sunny like the mornings laying poolside at the Kerry Hotel. Opulent, like oysters and champagne at Petrus. Warm, like the hazy humidity that filled the air and my being. Vertical, like one hundred and eighteen stories up for drinks… Hong Kong is difficult to put into words. The breadth of its skyline could never be captured but by the naked eye. I tried, but it somehow never appeared in photographs as vast as it feels when you’re standing in Victoria Harbour on the Kowloon side, overlooking the iconic view. It’s light magic.
View of Hong Kong from the Kerry Hotel pool
Alex and I had a unique experience of staying on both the Island and Kowloon sides. The first part of our trip was spent at the legendary Island Shangri-La Hotel. Our room, 50 floors up, gave us an incredible view of The Peak and Victoria Harbour – I mean, if you follow me on IG, you probably saw my many stories taken from cocktail hour and breakfast at the Horizon Club.
Typically, we love to venture out for meals, but when you’re staying at the Shangri-La, dining in the hotel is one of the best parts! We had lunch at Restaurant Petrus, where I ate mouth-watering Daniel Sorlut oysters, Hokkaido scallops and lobster while sipping wines from their expansive wine list including a crisp, 2015 Grüner Veltliner from Schloss Gobelsburg in Austria. What an incredibly decadent way to start the trip!
Daniel Sorlut Brittany oysters in a melon, shallot cream.
Later on, we returned to the Island Shangri-La to have their dim sum brunch at the Summer Palace – a famous restaurant boasting two Michelin stars. I mean, we ate soup dumplings served in a young coconut with sumptuous abalone. Talk about next level dim sum! Of course, I had to have a glass of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs champagne to toast. Omg, I am missing the food as I write this. Hong Kong, as everyone told us, is a culinary mecca.
Dim sum at the Summer Palace
Keeping on the Shangri-La theme (you can see we have a special penchant for this particular hotel brand), we had High Tea buffet at the Lobby lounge of the Shangri-La Hotel in Kowloon. Hong Kong is especially known for their buffet dining scene but let me allay your fears, there is nothing paltry about it. The lunch buffet at the Kerry Hotel’s Big Bay Café, which is open to the public, is literally what my food dreams are made of. If you live in Hong Kong or are going there anytime soon, I highly recommend not only staying at the Kerry Hotel (it is an urban oasis unlike anything I’ve ever seen), but also dining there. Allow me to recommend the private dining room at Hung Tong, which feels like a living room set from Wong Kar Wai’s In the Mood for Love, if you ever need to eat in a group of 5 or more; and yes, order the frog legs and steamed, glutinous date and coconut cake – as if you even have to ask!
Waiting for our table at Little Bao
Other places we loved to eat and see: Little Bao, Peking Garden, Ozone bar, Lei Garden, and Duddle’s (although it was super pricey, the char siu is worth trying if you’re in the mood for fine dining). Or you can try your hand at street food, which is also delicious. Hong Kong waffle and fish balls are my go-to! We highly recommend hopping on the tram and riding it west to Kennedy Town (coffee at The Cofftea Shop is a MUST, and drink it along the boardwalk). It’s beautiful to take the Star Ferry across Victoria Bay one afternoon when you’ve got some time to spare – it’s simply iconic. Last but not least, make sure you go up the world’s longest outdoor covered escalator system that will take you from Central to the Mid-levels (on your way to Little Bao!)
Enjoy the rest of my pictures from the trip taken on my trusty (well, almost), Fujifilm disposable camera!!!! Thanks so much to the Shangri-La Hotel for treating us to both our stays at the Island Shangri-La and the Kerry Hotel, as well as our meals at Restaurant Petrus, Hung Tong and Big Bay Café. Thanks to Alex’s cousin Royal and our friends Mitchell and Melissa for playing tour guides to us and for all our amazing meals together. Loved making those memories! A big thank you to Alex for taking me as his “plus one” on our dream trip to Hong Kong, in collaboration with Aeroplan. As I embark on my journey from blogging to music, and increasing my spirituality along the way, I was actually able to enjoy my trip like the loving, human being I am becoming and not the stuck-up, insecure girl I used to be, who cried over her poses (OK, Alex, Day 1 doesn’t count!!!!!) and was “too busy” to look up and see the beauty around her… For this I am most grateful. I will never forget it!