A Christmas away from home and family was always going to be… challenging. And not that I want to be totally predictable and make it all about the food… but… missing out on my Mum’s amazing Christmas dinner is… well you can imagine how I feel about that 😩. Christmas time is truly my favourite time of the year, it’s magical. I associate it with happy childhood memories, it’s family time. A time for all my favourite people to get together and be silly and eat and drink far too much.
This Christmas was a great one. Hong Kong kind of nailed Christmas. And seriously, when will I get to spend another Christmas in this amazing City? I had to embrace it. I saw it as a total adventure, I felt like Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (If you have not seen this film, we cannot be friends.)
Hong Kong was full of so much Christmas cheer. Lights, trees, impromptu carol concerts (I saw three when I was out Christmas shopping.) In Time Square there were mini Santa’s dancing to “Last Christmas” and when I visited Victoria Peak (amazing view, more on that later!) there were a group of school children singing Christmas songs while we waited for the tram. Delightful.
Deck The Halls…
It’s easy to find a Christmas Tree in Hong Kong, from high end stores to cheap and cheerful markets. The best one I found (and good value for money) was at Japan Home on Sharp Street, Causeway Bay. Blink and you’ll miss it, it’s up a little staircase with a yellow sign. I spent roughly about £20, and £20 well spent as my hotel room looked bloomin’ lovely!🎄
Walking In The Air
On Christmas Eve we decided to take the tram ride up to Victoria Peak, the highest mountain on Hong Kong island with an elevation of 552 m.
There are several ways to get to the top of the peak, walking, car or taxi. I thought the tram would be the most authentic route and since we had a bit of time on our hands we didn’t at all mind queuing, (especially since the school children were kindly entertaining us with their best Christmas medley.)
A return tram ride ticket was approximately £8 each and we did queue for an hour. Like Tian Tan Buddha, queues will always be expected as The Peak is one of the top sight seeing spots in Hong Kong, so if you want to avoid queuing I would recommend an early start or perhaps a taxi up and the tram back down. Needless to say that the view was absolutely worth it…
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
Oh and we did…’merry’ being the operative word.
Now then. I did slightly push the ‘slay’ out on Christmas Day and book Christmas Dinner at Tom Aitken’s two (fancy) Michelins star restaurant, The Pawn in Wan Chai. I have never dined at a Michelin Star restaurant before, a Michelin star food hawker in Singapore yes, but not a restaurant. I was literally beside myself with excitement.
First things first, we had a bottle of bubbly. Wine and sparkling efforts were pretty pricey but this was a treat and if you can’t treat at Christmas… (Well that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!)
There was a special set 4 course menu for Christmas Day. The first being ricotta and pesto on sour dough bread, which was yum.
For the starter I selected the duck and shaved celeriac salad, which was very light yet flavoursome.
For my main course I chose the classic Christmas Roast Turkey dinner with all the trimmings (pictured, bottom left.) When you can’t have Tracy Shaw’s Christmas dinner then this was definitely the next best thing (which is high praise!) The turkey was cooked to perfection and not dry at all. The accompanying roast pots and veg were delicious too- and generous with the gravy.
Normally I would have gone for the chocolate pudding with honeycomb ice cream 😋 but since it was Christmas I just couldn’t turn down the Christmas Pud and custard… Divine. (Both dishes pictured above… enjoy!)
I thought this restaurant was fantastic, from the food to the service. I’m so glad I booked here for my Christmas Dinner, it is a little pricey but worth every penny. This place gets a thumbs up from me 👍 (and not just because of the bubbles! 🍾)
- The Pawn: 62 Johnston Road
- Lunch: Mon to Fri, 12pm- 2:30pm, Sat to Sun, 11:30 am – 2:30 pm
- Dinner: Mon to Fri, 6pm – 10pm Sat to Sun, 6pm – 10pm
- Nearest MRT: Wan Chai
On Boxing Day usually you’d find me curled up on the sofa sporting a Christmas jumper with a turkey roll (and a side of quality streets.)
The last time I spent a Christmas on a beach I was in Mexico, I remember it felt strange to feel the warmth on my skin in December. It certainly isn’t a Christmas I’ll forget. Like this one, it’s one to remember. So, as it was our day off, and such a gorgeous one, I decided to spend this years Boxing day (or beaching day, as I like to call it) on the beach in Stanley.
From Wanchai we took the 260 bus (from outside the Immigration centre) to Stanley and it took approximate thirty minutes.
Stanley is a great day out. I really enjoyed wandering around and exploring. Stanley Market is great, definitely worth a good look around. I think I enjoyed it as much as Temple Market. There is of course the beach but also a beautiful park leading to a Temple and the Kwun Yum Buddhist Monastery.
Frosty The Snowman
The amount of Ice Cream I demolished over Christmas certainly made up for the lack of frosty weather this year…
Namely at Emack and Bolio’s … this Ice cream parlour was literally the place of dreams!
Emack & Bolio’s – An American company since 1975, have been widely recognised for their outrageous ice creams, funky cones and delicious smoothies and shakes. I had never experienced a place like it before (we don’t have this brand in the UK) I had never had an ice cream like this either! I went for the rice-crispie cone, cake mix ice cream (with bits of actual cake batter 😋) topped off with toasted marshmallow- which made it taste like a heavenly baked Alaska, an ice cream that dreams are made of. (Pictured.)
- Emack & Bolios: 26 Cochrane Street,
- Mon– Sun 11am – 11pm
- Nearest MTR: Central, Exit D2
Auld Lang Syne
Safe to say I have had one of the most memorable Christmas’ here in Hong kong. I feel so grateful to have spent the holiday season in such a welcoming city, and the fireworks at New year… class. Hong kong, you totally rocked Christmas!
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my blogs over 2016, it’s been an adventure for me and I really do enjoy sharing my experiences with you all, as well as documenting them for myself. I hope some of you manage to pick up some useful info on some of the exciting places I have visited. As usual, any questions or suggestions then please feel free to comment below.
I want to wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year. Here’s to 2017… let it be a bright one!
Love Emily xxx
Keep the change ya filthy animal…. and a happy new year!