Hong Kong Weekend

By Maria Giertta 

Cocktail aficionado Maria Giertta, shares her local tips for a fabulously boozy, brilliant weekend that gives you a true taste of Hong Kong...  

 On Friday evening, hang out with the after work crowd at Stauntons Wine Bar and Café.  Sitting outside on the steps is a great place to people watch. If you want to soak in a nice view go to Seva, a lovely cocktail bar with a view of the harbour. My hot tip is Le Tambour, a French wine bar on Peel Street. As well as fine wine,  they serve a good charcuterie platter and decent pizza.

Peel Street has an abundance of good restaurants; Tangerine for Thai tapas and La Vache for a good steak, fries and béarnaise sauce (it’s the only thing on the menu, so it’s a good job they do it very well) There’s also fairly newish restaurant Fridge for French food and more fine wine.  Afterwards go down to LKF, (Lan Kwai Fong) a small square of streets lined with bars and restaurants.   

On the way, stop by at La Budoir, a lavish basement bar  hidden away below French restaurant Pastis on Wyndham Street. Go down the red velvet lined stairs into the bar. The decadent decor takes its inspiration from 18th century France. The cocktails are suitably decadent too.  Enjoy La Budoir’s signature cocktail, the Pornstar Martini - vanilla vodka, honey syrup, fresh lime juice, passion-fruit puree and champagne - very tasty booze!

After La Budoir, I love a couple of margaritas at Brickhouse on D'Aguilar Street. Brickhouse also does amazing Mexican food (the best in Hong Kong)

At this point of the evening, my favourite thing is to observe the grandeur of drunkeness that is LKF on a Friday night. Grab a drink from any of the bars, stand on the street and be entertained by those people that clearly cannot handle their alcohol as well as you!  

 End the night by dancing to the kitschy live band playing at Insomnia, a fun bar on D'Aguilar Street. If you prefer something more sophisticated, hang out with the beautiful people at Salon 10. This bar has an interior that make you feel like you’re in an episode of Mad Men. Both Insomnia and Salon 10 are within walking distance of each other, so you can do both – even in heels.

 If you're a hardcore party animal then get a cab to Lockhart Road in Wan Chai - where there are good late night/early morning bar hangouts.  But avoid Neptunes and Amazonia,  where people will think you are 'working' that night.

If you’ve survived Friday, start your Saturday with a cleansing hike. Although the city centre is heavily concreted, the rest of Hong Kong is surprisingly green.  The easiest hike to do is The Morning Trail, a steep paved road all the way up to Victoria Peak. Once you get there, you can pick up trinkity tourist gifts and grab lunch in one of two shopping centres - the Peak Tower and the Peak Galleria.   A second hike option is the Dragons Back on the south side of the island. This is a beautiful hike, well marked with great views.

 Afterwards,  take the bus down to Shek O for some well deserved beach time. There are some good authentic (although quite unattractive) Thai places around Shek O for lunch. 

For Saturday night dinner, make reservations at either Vietnamese/French fusion restaurant, La Cantouche on Hollywood Road or Bistecca Italian Steak House in LKF. For vegetarians, Life Café on Shelley Street is fantastic.

 

 On Sunday, go over to the Dark Side, otherwise know as Kowloon (formerly Kowloon Walled City) This urban, unpretty area of Hong Kong is good for market shopping. But even if you’re not in the mood to hunt for a dubious quality fake designer handbag, just seeing and smelling the difference between the mainland and the island makes the trip worth it. Mong Kok market is a good place to start your Kowloon tour - although it can be rather overwhelming.  If you need a break,  Kimberly Street is dotted with cafes.  

                  

 Take the star ferry back to the island and have dinner at the current hottest place to eat - Michelin starred chef Jason Altherton’s new restaurant, Aberdeen Street Social. Or if you fancy enjoying some contemporary art while you dine, book a table at Bibo, a French restaurant on Hollywood Road. It's full of street art including a few Banksys.  Bibo is so cool it has a man in a tuxedo standing outside and they do very good cocktails, particularly vodka martinis. 

 Without a doubt, Hong Kong looks best at night, so toast your Sunday night at Wollowmollo Steakhouse rooftop bar in Wan Chai and enjoy this city at its most beautiful.   

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