Things to do in Hong Kong

I developed a love-hate relationship with Hong Kong after spending four action-packed days there last winter. The city is chaotic and crowded and the weather is humid and muggy, but the wealth of restaurants, bars and activities make it a great stopover for travellers with a few days to spare.

Peninsula Hong Kong

To Stay

The Peninsula – Known as the “Grande Dame of the Far East”, The Peninsula Hong Kong is much more than just a luxury hotel. This iconic establishment is one of the city’s main landmarks, and even those who aren’t staying hope to visit for a photograph or to sample the famous afternoon tea.

The Langham – Centrally located on the Kowloon side of town, this hotel feels particularly grand and luxurious, thanks to the recent 30 million dollar transformation by London firm GA Design. Marvel at the lavish lobby before heading up to your stylish suite. Renowned restaurant, T’ang Court has recently been awarded a third Michelin star.

Caprice Hong Kong

To Eat

Caprice – Caprice was opened in the Four Seasons Hong Kong by a team from the prestigious Le Cinq in Paris and quickly received two stars from the Michelin guide. The outstanding service and immaculate French cooking wows and the tables offer panoramic views overlooking the city skyline.

Lung King Heen – With a reputation as the best Chinese cook in the world, Chef Chan Yan Tak has a lot of customers who visit with high expectations. When the Michelin guide arrived in Hong Kong 8 years ago, his restaurant Lung King Heen at the Four Seasons received the ultimate recognition of three stars, an accolade it has retained ever since. Despite the grandeur of its reputation this restaurant has a friendly feel. Chef Tak’s passion for traditional but creative cooking is very much evident throughout the menus, and his dim sum is unbeatable.

Little Bao – The Taiwanese steamed buns known as ‘bao’ seem to be a worldwide craze. Little Bao in Hong Kong is fun eatery run by chef owner May Chow. Save space for the salt ice-cream with caramel sauce dessert bao.

Din Tai Fung – This dumpling institution originated in Taiwan, specialising in xiao long bao (steamed dumplings). There are branches all over Hong Kong satisfying the crowds with comfort food that tastes seriously good.

Po’s Atelier – A pastry mecca found in the Sheung Wan district, Po’s Atelier is a minimalist bakery selling delicious breads and cakes. Pick up a bag of madeleines at the shop, or head to Deadend cafe around the back to relax with a coffee.

22 Ships – Jason Atherton’s Hong Kong outpost is always busy, serving tasty tapas inspired by the flavours and ingredients of China. Don’t miss the roasted suckling pig with pineapple and piquillo peppers.

Yardbird – Yardbird is a modern izakaya that specialises in yakitori dishes of skewered grilled chicken. This neighborhood restaurant has a food menu created by Chef Matt Abergel who aims to use the entire chicken, grilling the different cuts over traditional Binchotan charcoal. My favourites were the Chicken oyster yakitori and the Korean fried cauliflower.

Tim Ho Wan – This no-fuss diner is known as the ‘cheapest Michelin star restaurant in the world’. Get cosy amongst the locals and tick off the items on the menu you want to try. We particularly enjoyed the Baked bun with bbq pork and the Steamed shrimp dumplings. There are several branches but only one has a Michelin star.

Lab Made – This ice-cream parlour serves super smooth gelato, made with the freshest ingredients and frozen with liquid nitrogen. Flavours change constantly, I tried sea salt milk with caramel popcorn.

cocktails Hong Kong

To Drink

Cupping Room – There are now three branches of this speciality coffee shop in town. The stylish interiors encourage guests to relax and the coffee is flavoursome and delicious.

Coffee Academics – This company is known for sourcing top quality coffee beans from around the world, and consequently is always full with tourists and locals needing their caffeine fix. They also run coffee classes.

Quinary – Often listed as one of the world’s top 50 cocktail bars, the Quinary is a well established bar in Hong Kong’s central district. The mixologists create drinks which seek to engage all five senses, try the thrilling ‘Earl Grey Caviar Martini’.

The Woods – This concept bar specialises in artisan liquors and innovative drinks. The bar is magically decorated with woodland themed objects. We tried a ‘Peach Old Fashioned’ and a ‘Chamomile Bees Knees’ with hints of tea, vanilla, honey and lemon.

view of Hong Kong

To See & Do

Peak Tram – For the best views of Hong Kong join the queue of tourists for a trip up in the Peak Tram. This funicular railway has been running since 1888 and attracts more and more people every year. A return ticket will cost around £9 including a pass to go to the Sky Terrace 428, the highest 360 viewing platform in Hong Kong.

Stanley Market – This enormous market in the quaint village of Stanley, on Hong Kong Island’s south coast, is a huge hit with locals, expats and tourists. Wander the stalls and pick up bargain Chinese souvenirs.

Nail Library – The most stylish nail bar in town,  Nail Library is designed to look like a New York loft-style bookshop. There is a huge array of shades and brands to choose from, including Chanel, Christian Louboutin and Dior and the therapists are attentive but friendly while pampering your nails.

Man Mo Temple – Hong Kong’s only Man Mo temple, built in 1847, pays tribute to the God of Literature (Man) and God of War (Mo). It is a magical place, with spiral incense sticks burning on the ceiling and golden urns on the ground. I found the scent is overpowering, but inside it is too beautiful to miss.

tang tang

To Shop

Tang Tang Tang Tang – This is the flagship store of Sir David Tang’s newest lifestyle label. If designer items from Shanghai Tang are out of your price-range this is the perfect place to invest in a similar style of luxe Chinese homeware or accessories. I bought a lovely delicate cashmere scarf, with a striking and intricate blue and white pattern.

PMQ – Located in the hip SoHo area, the PMQ (formerly Police Married Quarters) is a creative hub for local designers. Check our fun shops like Haus Collective and Goods of Desire.

GRANA Fitting Room – This store is a wardrobe of essential garments in every colour and material you could ever dream of. GRANA select the world’s best fabrics and then design simple tailored clothing, which you can try on in this ‘fitting room’ before ordering online.

Visual Culture – A super cool optical boutique for glasses addicts. The store was established in 2008 and stocks unique and special frames from designers all over the world.

Lantau Island

To Escape

Lantau Island – From Hong Kong city centre it is easy to reach both beaches and rainforests for a day trip. We spent a day at Lantau island, one of the largest islands in Hong Kong and home to a range of interesting sites. Be brave and take a journey on the ‘Ngong Ping 360’, one of the world’s longest cable car journeys, before visiting the Big Buddha and stunning monastery. If you have time, Tai O is a lovely village to explore, and you may even get a glimpse of the Chinese pink dolphins!

Cornwall by Weekend Journals – BLACKFRIDAY20 Discount Code

Cornwall by Weekend Journals is a new, inspirational, travel book for design-conscious travellers, featuring a curated selection of places across the county.


Following extensive research and time spent travelling round Cornwall, the Weekend Journals team have uncovered unique and special venues: from verdant gardens to visionary galleries, independent shops and exceptional restaurants. The book is written by Milly Kenny-Ryder and produced by Simon Lovell. They both have strong family links to Cornwall and have been visiting since they were young. Using these connections they have gone off the beaten track to discover the venues that the locals love, while also showcasing some of Cornwall’s most iconic sites and stories.

Coombeshead Farm Feature

The book features 40 venues including: Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Gardens, Chapel House, Leach Pottery, No. 56, Coombeshead Farm, Plumbline, Paul Ainsworth at No. 6, Hotel Tresanton, Fifteen Cornwall and Jubilee Pool, as well as many other hotels, restaurants, cafes, shops, galleries and places to visit all over Cornwall. It includes exclusive interviews with 2-michelin starred chef, Nathan Outlaw, prestigious hotelier, Olga Polizzi, up-and-coming designer, Tom Raffield, and Cornwall’s only hotel concierge, Sid Williams of The Idle Rocks.

Photography is by Gabriel Kenny-Ryder and is exclusive to Weekend Journals. All venues have been visited personally by the Weekend Journals team.

Lay-flat photo

The book is available to order through the Weekend Journals website here. For this Friday and Saturday only WJ are offering 20% of all orders with the code BLACKFRIDAY20. Limited Edition gift packs also include a signed, large-format, fine art print of a photo from the book, or you can order a set of 10 postcards featuring images from the book.

Giftpack Print (Logan Rock)

Book Specification:

165 x 215 mm
Threadsewn, 128 pages
Printed full-colour on FSC certified uncoated paper
Debossed and foiled cover
RRP: £15.00
Published in the United Kingdom in 2016 by Weekend Journals Ltd
ISBN: 9781527200869

© Weekend Journals Ltd. All rights reserved. All text and images are exclusive to Weekend Journals Ltd and may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, in part or in whole for any use without prior written permission.

The book is a high-quality physical product – contemporary and minimal in style with a focus on the pictorial element. It has been designed to appeal as a collectible memento that people will want to keep and display, rather than as a functional, throw-away guidebook. It is a limited edition of 2,000 copies. There is no advertising or paid promotion within the book.


You can also follow @weekendjournals on Instagram.

Things to do in Seattle

Seattle is a bit of a trendsetter, most notably the home of Starbucks and the creative birthplace of many musical successes. It was the first stop of my USA West Coast road trip. I arrived to a roar of applause and an explosion of cannons from Century Link Field stadium as a home touchdown was scored. The rest of my time here was equally exciting, checking out the culinary delights, cultural highlights and even venturing out of town to admire the nearby natural beauties.

To stay

Ace Hotel Seattle – Many associate the hip Ace brand with New York but the hotel chain actually started in Seattle in 1999 at this boutique accommodation in Belltown. As far as affordable hotels go this place sets the standard, with simple design-conscious bedrooms and free continental breakfast (make your own waffles and Stumptown Roasters coffee).

To eat

Delancey – setup by blogger Molly Wizenburg and her husband, this little neighbourhood eatery offers the finest wood-fired pizzas in Seattle. I highly recommend the pepperoni pizza, and salted chocolate cookie for desert. While you’re there, pop next door to Essex for an expertly mixed whisky cocktail.

Poquitos – this Mexican restaurant is an institution. Found amongst the popular shops and cafes of East Pike Street, the atmosphere is lively and the staff are lovely. Don’t miss the grilled corn with crema and lime, and the incredible homemade guacamole. Wash it all down with a ‘Son of a Ditch’ fragrant tequila cocktail, and finish with a refreshing strawberry-lime-margarita ice lolly.

The London Plane – this design-conscious dining room is part of the same group as Sitka and Spruce and the Corson Building. With a café, deli, bakery and flower shop, it can be a morning multi-purpose stop in downtown. My favourite on the menu was the healthy curried avocado, shaved radish, carrot, red cabbage & cilantro.

Bastille – this French-inspired bistro serves Parisian classics with an American twist. They are often awarded for the ‘best fries in Seattle’ but we enjoyed far more than just their chips. My highlight was the Crispy Pork Belly with fresh corn polenta, curry, peach and Walla Walla onion, a beautiful balance of flavours and textures. I also loved the homemade honey ice-cream from the chef’s rooftop bee hives.

Molly Moon’s – is Seattle’s favourite ice cream parlour, now with several outlets in town. We went to the retro café in Capitol Hill to try the innovative flavours like Scout Mint (made from crushed girl scout cookies) and Balsamic Strawberry.

Another ice-cream shop really worth visiting is the hidden-away Kurt Farm Shop where you should try the delicate Rose flavour.

Skillet Diner – starting life as a food truck, they have now opened up three restaurants as they grew in popularity. The design is typical of an American diner, but the food is so much more. Visit for a decadent lunch, and order a Colonel Parker boozy shake (bourbon, peanut butter, syrup and vanilla ice-cream) and the burger with their famous bacon jam.

Chopshop – a brilliant option for breakfast, lunch or dinner, Chopshop only opened in July 2015 and is already wowing guests with their delicious and stylish plates of food. I highly recommend the mascarpone-stuffed French toast with peaches, almonds and maple syrup.

Oddfellows – this ever-evolving eatery serves American fare to locals and tourists in the know. Open from breakfast through to late-night cocktails, there is always something delicious to try. I loved the rugged décor in the open-plan main space.

To drink

Milstead & Co – there are numerous independent coffee shops in Seattle and everyone has their favourite. While exploring the Fremont district I stumbled across this fashionable coffee bar that uses beans from a number of the best North American roasters.

Tavern Law – ask anyone in Seattle where they go to get the best cocktail, and most will put Tavern Law at the top of their list. This laid-back has a host of expert mixologists. We were served by the talented Andrew Larson and tried two of his speciality inventions – Industry Punch and Five Plant Punch. The vast menu features a range from classics to innovation Tavern Law creations. For a more intimate experience, find the vintage phone and call upstairs to see if you can get a seat in the secret prohibition bar, Needle and Thread, where the barman will conjure up a drink to suit your tastes (there is no menu).

Fremont Brewing – craft beers are of the highest quality in Seattle and you can find local breweries around every corner. This family owned brewery, setup in 2007, has an Urban Beer Garden where hipsters hangout and order a five glass taster.

Elm Coffee Roasters – a newbie on the coffee scene but already with quite a reputation thanks to its deliciously smooth coffee and the chic, minimalist space at which they are served. Elm’s pastries come direct from nearby bakery, The London Plane.

To do

Pike Place Market – this iconic public farmers’ market has been continuously open since 1907, making it one of the oldest in the USA. Looking out over Elliot Bay waterfront, it is a lovely place to walk around while tasting a snack from one of the many vendors, from homemade crumpets to clam chowder.

Seattle Art Museum – Seattle’s favourite art museum is often remembered for its striking car installation hanging in the entrance lobby. Explore the extensive permanent collection of modern and ethnic art, and checkout the temporary exhibition of the moment. Pay-what-you-can is available but not advertised.

Pure Barre – barre fitness seems to be a trend that’s growing all over the globe. In America, Pure Barre have over 325 studios and provide high-intensity classes with maximum impact. Started by former dancer, Carrie Rezabek Dorr, the hour-long sessions are varied and aim to strengthen and tone the core. I enjoyed a class in the Capitol Hill branch, the results of which I could feel days later.

To shop

Totokaelo – more of a showroom than a shop, Totokaelo beautifully displays designer clothes, accessories and homeware. Found in the cool Capitol Hill neighbourhood, it perfectly fits into this creative and stylish part of town. Here you can find brands including Issey Miyake and Maison Margiela, as well as lesser known niche designers.

Glasswing – a wonder emporium of Pacific Northwest products to make your home and wardrobe look beautiful. I couldn’t resist buying one of their seasonal scented candles. They also sell a selection of some of my favourite boutique brands such as Aesop and Herbivore Botanicals.

To escape

Evergreen Escapes – this sustainable and innovative company offer a range of amazing day trips and longer excursions. We had a thrilling day exploring Mount Rainier, a spectacular natural phenomenon two hours drive from Seattle. Our group (of seven) was driven in a modern black Mercedes minibus by our friendly and knowledgeable guide, Jeff. After hiking through the magnificent National Park we stopped for a delicious picnic lunch of quinoa salad, grilled chicken and marinated tofu, served with local red wine. We were lucky to be visiting Rainier on an unusually clear today and the views were truly mesmerizing. Other highlights of the day included spotting wild critters (chipmunks, marmots, grouse and eagles) and seeing Reflections Lake and local waterfalls.