A barren island with hardly a house upon it
Such was British Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston’s contemptuous description of Hong Kong in 1841. Fast forward 176 years, Hong Kong is anything but deserted these days. With globally unsurpassed ambition, energy and ardour, the city has evolved from a collection of sleepy fishing villages into the definition of East meets West.
THE VIEW: The Mandarin, as it was called on opening back in the early 1960s, was once the tallest building in Hong Kong. While it’s long been overtaken in height, it still manages to look across Victoria Harbour, despite a frenzy of land reclamation. And it continues to be everyone’s favourite address when it comes to rooms, restaurants and especially service, which is flawless.
THE SCENE: Something of an institution, the Clipper Lounge is a long-established favourite with Hong Kong locals and hotel guests alike, and a wonderful place to meet at any time of the day. Taking its name from the golden figurehead that stands at the head of the entrance staircase, the Clipper Lounge has a timelessly elegant feel with mink, taupe and mandarin furnishings, enhanced with subtle Oriental accents. While popular for breakfast and dinner buffets, as well as the Sunday champagne brunch Hong Kong locals love, the Clipper Lounge is best known for afternoon tea. Elegantly presented on silver stands, the spread includes delicacies such as finger sandwiches, sweets, scones and signature rose-petal jam.
WHAT TO PACK FOR HONG KONG?
Acqua Di Parma Peonia Nobile
A refined interpretation of the peony flower unveils its sublime elegance in this fragrance. Peonia Nobile, $180 (100ml)
Available at holtrenfrew.com
V Back Dress
Ted Baker Mid Pink Clarbel Blossom Jacquard V Back Dress
The Medium Buckle Tote in Peony Rose Print Leather, $3,195
Olivia Burton Winter Garden Grey Lilac & Rose Gold Watch
Savei Metallic Bouquet Heels by Ted Baker, $290