What's the time Mr Wolf?

28 August 2011

...Dinnertime! Well, that's judging from all the photos that are yet to come from HK. It's kind of embarrassing as my friends and family keep asking me what I did other than eat and shop. I really have to think long and hard to tell them what else I got up to because even meeting up with friends involved eating, shopping or BOTH! Well, errr, I think they are perfect partners, don't you agree?
what's the time mr wolf? 2
Dress (HK), Cardi (Oasis) Belt (Vintage) Shoes (Nine West) Watch (c/o Guess)
The dress with it's paintbrush-heart print was a cute little find in the mall at Causeway Place that I keep mentioning (I told you it's my favourite mall!). On the very first day we arrived in HK, we headed straight to my family's apartment, dropped off all our luggage, greeted my family and then swiftly hopped in a taxi for Dim Sum with my grandparents in Causeway Bay. I remember feeling ravenous and my sister and I devoured our favourite dim sum but sure enough, the jet lag was starting to kick in. Much to the amusement of my grandparents, we fought against the sleep and we headed straight to a busy Causeway Bay and we BOTH picked up a dress each. Hardcore! This was within 3 hours of getting off our 12 hr flight but we did feel like zombies at the end of the day.

While I was there, I was lusting over some of the white toy watches that were sold everywhere and featured on too many wrists to mention. So imagine my excitement when upon my arrival back to the UK, H Samuels asked if I would like a new watch from the full range of Guess watches that they now currently stock. Well, what else is there to say other than 'yes please'?!
guess details bag
guess watchwhat's the time mr wolf?
I was so excited to receive this watch as it's something I wanted but don't have the money to treat myself. One thing is for sure, I need to get out of the habit of pulling my phone out to check the time or even worse when people ask me what the time is and I say I don't know, only for them to stare at me and then at the watch on my wrist that is most definitely there and not a figment of their imagination. Sorry!
guess details
I'm impressed too, the only thing I can't do with it is snorkeling and scuba diving. I'll just make sure I do the washing up, walk in the rain, wash my (dad's) car, have a bath and go swimming with it on. It's OK, I'm alright with that.


The Shopping Post!

22 August 2011

So HK is pretty well known for it's luxury shopping malls (and luxury hotels) and if you've ever wandered around Central, along Canton Road then you'd have seen the luxury brands that call Canton Road home. They are also some of the largest stores that I have ever seen! Chanel and Hermès are among the many who actually employ security guards who let people in one by one, as if they're night clubs- red rope and all! I also visited Elements mall in Kowloon which is full to the brim with luxury brands and with it's convenient transportation links to the mainland, it definitely caters towards Chinese tourism. The mall also boasts amazing, hotel like bathrooms (think hand creams and magazines), the largest cinema in HK (complete with vibrating seats and speakers in the headrests) and situated next to the exclusive W hotel. You get the picture! However, HK is also well known for the other extreme, where you can really grab a bargain if you look hard enough.

Since the lovely people over at So Feminine set me a little style challenge to see how much I could get for £50 (which they very kindly sent my way- thank you so much!), I decided to see what goodies I could buy in HK. So armed with HK$640...I hit the shops and this is what I ended up with!
new things hk1
The dress was bought from Causeway Place on George Street in Causeway Bay. The scalloped bag was also from there too. This is one of many 'youth' malls that can be found in Causeway Bay, it's slightly cheaper than the others found in the area and one of my favourites. These malls feature independent designers, stores that stock Japanese/Korean fashion and accessories all housed in tiny little shops seen below. These shops are fun to browse and usually open mid afternoon, so don't be too surprised if you find the shop assistants eating their lunch or applying their make up when you arrive! Sometimes you can bargain with them but often you'll walk in and they'll tell you that there is anything from 10% to 30% off the items.
causeway placecauseway place logo
Another one of these malls is Island Beverly which is located opposite SOGO department store so it's pretty much unmissable. In the photo below it's the building with all the flags. On the same side as Island Beverly and about 6/7 shops down is Laforet Mall which I mentioned in this post.
causeway bay sogo
Of course if you're in Causeway Bay then almost everyone visits Times Square which has some luxury brands but there are some affordable shops too. However, my favourite thing to do there is browse the book store, Page One on the top floor which has the hugest selection of Japanese magazines.
times square
The shacks you can see at the bottom of the photo were part of a Harry Potter/Diagon Alley promotion!
One of the things on my list of things to do was to visit Langham Place in Mong Kok to check out Monki. Surprisingly, I didn't go crazy in there and only bought a t-shirt and a skirt and of course, the obligatory changing room shot. After seeing HK bloggers take shots inside the changing rooms, I was keen to do the same!
monki langham placemonki changing rooms
monki buys
While in Mong Kok I bought the blue blouse from the Argyle Centre on Nathan Road. Here you'll find teens shopping for the latest Japanese fashion while eating noodles from a bag, often you'll find pictures from ViVi pinned next to similar styled products. It's far cheaper than any of the malls in Causeway Bay. It's definitely a little on the chaotic side but it's fun to browse! My sis bought some really cheap false lashes from here.

The Instax film was found at Kwai Chung Plaza in Kwai Chung (Kwai Fong MTR). This shopping mall is a little markety selling everything from phone covers, second hand school books, hair accessories and food. It definitely has quite a local vibe. The film was cheapest here (but only by a few dollars compared to the Computer mall in Mong Kok). You can definitely grab some bargains but it's also a bit hit and miss here and it's further out on the MTR. Still, I was pretty pleased to grab these films as one pack sets me back £10 in the UK.

A few stops before Kwai Chung on the MTR is Lai Chi Kok. Here you'll find Sunny City which is a fashion wholesalers, the kind of fashion you might find in the little youth malls that I spoke about before. On Saturdays it's open to the public and as you can imagine it was crazy busy! However, if you are determined to shop then you might find a few pieces. It's definitely a place where you end up moving with the crowd even if you don't want to. I'd recommend visiting late afternoon when the crowds have dispersed a little.

Granville Road in Tsim Tsa Tsui (TST) is definitely worth a visit and is essentially, a road full of shops. There are a couple of HK stores along here but they are mainly of the outlet variety selling current fashions for cheap! Obviously, with places like these you might compromise on quality but in the past, I've bought things from here that I still wear today!

However, if you want a more peaceful shopping experience then worth a mention is City Plaza in Tai Koo Shing. There are so many other malls in HK but I visited this one a lot because there are some decent restaurants located here. It's a spacious mall and not overly crowded and here you'll find the likes of Uniqlo, Japanese Dept. store Apita and HK dept. Store, Wing On. It also houses one of my favourite stores, Muji which is one of their anchor stores in the mall (it's that big!). It also sells snacks which is one thing I wish that the UK stores would stock! All the Ice Rinks in HK are located in shopping malls and City Plaza has one of them.
city plaza ice rink
I have to admit that one of my favourite things to do is browse supermarkets. Particularly the Japanese ones that are everywhere in HK. My favourite is Jusco (another Japanese dept. store) which is next to City Plaza. Here, I found some crazy grapes which are priced at $329 which is £26! Apparently they are super sweet and graded quite high by Japanese standards.
Above you can see white bitter melon (definitely not my favourite Asian delicacy) and very convenient packs of ingredients for Chinese soups.

I keep ending these posts with pictures of my family but here we are outside Harbour City over at TST. Harbour City is essentially, a luxury mall and I definitely had to look the other way when I walked past the likes of Mulberry only to look into the windows of Y-3 round the corner. Worth a mention is 'Ocean Terminal' part of the mall which to my delight, I found Japanese brands such as Snidel and Hysteric Glamour. Certainly fun to browse but a little pricier than my usual bargain buys so I left empty handed. Since it's such a big mall, there are definitely some affordable shops in there, so it's worth having a browse at least. Shopping aside, I'd recommend the view from here, especially near the Star Ferry as the view of Hong Kong island is amazing.
tst family pic
Shopping post done...now all that's left is the food!


HK: The Summary

16 August 2011

So here is my long awaited post on Hong Kong! A month passed by in the blink of an eye and before long, I flew back to the UK and away from the land of 24hr dim sum, late night shopping and where taxis are as cheap as buses! Hong Kong is a city that feels like home because up until the age of 18 my parents still lived there and where some of my family still reside. My dad has always said that when he retires he will move back there, I guess he'll just have to convince my mum! Maybe I'll live there some day or maybe it will forever be a holiday destination. Who knows?

I took so many photos (mainly consisting of my meals) that I thought I would put together a picture post of what best represents HK for me!

Starting with the epic 12 hour journey from Heathrow to Hong Kong International Airport.
cathay pacific
This is the most awesome feeling when you realise you are about to arrive and the map is hovering over the city. Plus I quite enjoy getting to use my HK ID card with a quick scan of a fingerprint to enter the country, rather than join the long queues at immigration. The long process of getting that organised when I was 18 was a bit of a pain but worth it in the end. However it meant that I didn't get to add any stamps in my passport, oh well!
plane map
Hong Kong is of course famed for it's Dim Sum and even though I have Dim Sum (or 'yum cha' as we call it in Cantonese) every Sunday, it is so much better in HK! The Cantonese love good food (as is obvious from the many food shows that they broadcast there) and in HK there is every single Asian cuisine you can think of. Asian food is my absolute favourite (not that I'm biased or anything haha) so I have several more food posts which I will definitely be sharing!
東海 dim sum
東海/East Ocean Restaurant, Tai koo Shing.
In HK, my sister and I spent about $200 (£16) on Sushi Lunch a couple of times and we could barely move from the amount of sushi we consumed. So coming back home to the UK where Yo Sushi can easily set us back £40, it's kind of ridiculous!
soft shell crab sushi
Soft Shell crab at Mi Ne Sushi, Causeway Bay
It is also the land where table reservations must be made! In HK, while you do have occasional meals at home, it's the norm to eat out so restaurants are always bursting with people. I also love buying such fresh tropical fruit from the local fruit stalls...lychees by the bunch!
利苑 reservations lychees!
It is also the land of Chinese pastries and it was awesome to walk downstairs from my family's apartment to buy freshly baked pineapple buns.
pineapple bun
I also miss the beep-beepbeep of the octopus cards in the MTR and er...spending the colourful HK dollars.
octopus cardshk dollars
I love Instagram and I'm Diamondcanopy on there!
mtr map
Hong Kong has the best public transport. There is the MTR (underground) and below you can see a bus, light bus, taxi and tramlines. All of which are pretty cheap and convenient to use.
I miss hanging out at the apartment where my aunts and grandparents live. They live pretty close to the Sanyo sign on Hong Kong Island.
the view
Hong Kong is pretty built up and commercial buildings can look right into residential buildings which means blinds/curtains are a necessity! Even though it's easy to forget when you're there, the majority of HK is pretty green and you can see the mountains peeking through in the background of the photo below.
apartments and mountains
Speaking of the apartment, one of my favourite things to do is shelter from the insane heat outside (36c and 90% humidity while I was there!) and have traditional Congee (rice porridge) at home. Usually we add a few side dishes bought locally including noodles, rice noodle rolls and the chinese version of croutons (油炸粿).
congee at home
I also love the fact that ice tea is served everywhere and I've been obsessed with recreating it in the UK but it's never quite the same is it?
plenty of lemon ice tea
I love the little cafes that solely serve Chinese desserts, mainly consisting of sweet soups. I am a sucker for anything black sesame flavoured and this black sesame sago Tofu pudding with black sesame ice cream is right up my street.
tofu sesame sago
甜姨姨/Sweet Auntie in Tin Hau
As we live relatively near the shopping mecca that is Causeway Bay, I inevitably spend a lot of time wandering around in the local malls there.
causeway bay mtrcausewaybay sogocauseway bay at night
We ventured over to Mong Kok on several occassions. My dad loves it for the streets that specifically sell model toys but there are also streets that sell soley flowers, trainers, aquarium supplies, pets, lighting and home improvement. It's a fun area to shop (until you get a whiff of the stalls that sell stinky tofu). I bought a fair share of iPhone cases there and spent far too much time browsing stationary at the famous Ladies Market. I also stocked up on cheap Fuji Instax film at the electronics/computer mall which is a must if you own the Instax.
hello kitty phone cover
I wasn't going to visit the Peak this time round as I've been up there so many times. However since I had friends visiting HK for the first time it is definitely the no.1 Tourist attraction. I asked my friend who lives in HK if she ever gets bored of the skyline and she smiled and shook her head. Yeah. it's pretty awesome.
the peak
We always order local favourites in HK including the Red Bean Ice drink. We also love the butter rolls which are known as 豬仔包 or 'piggy rolls' and no wonder because they're rolls which are 'buttered' with condensed milk. I know it sounds strange but it's so good!
red bean ice and butter rolls 豬仔包
I mustn't forget won ton noodle soup either. It feels wrong if I go back to HK and don't sit in a local cafe restaurant and slurp these with my family.
won ton soup
I also love drinking Bubble Milk Tea and eating the HK favourite of 雞蛋仔 aka egg waffles! Wow, Hong Kong really is ALL about food huh?
milk tea time!egg waffles 雞蛋仔
There are soooo many other things I adore about HK but I think the most important to me is my family! Hopefully I'll be back there next Summer...


Lace, Ribbon and THAT skyline

10 August 2011

Isn't it terribly difficult getting back into a routine after you've taken a holiday? A friend of mine said I was suffering from homesickness rather than the holiday blues which I thought was really sweet! While I struggle with the fact that I won't be back in Hong Kong for at least another year, here is an outfit post while I get my blogging-act together.

It features one of my favourite things that I bought while away in HK. The lace collar is such a girly and cute addition to any outfit and I've been hankering after one of these for a long time and was over the moon when I managed to find this in a boutique in Hong Kong.
Grey and pink
Top, Cardi, Skirt, Shoes (Topshop), Collar (Laurustinus, HK), Bag (Laforet, HK)
grey and pink 1
lace collar detail
Situated in one of many, MANY local mini malls that exist in HK, Laurustinus can be found in the Apple Mall in Tin Hau (opposite the MTR) which is only a stop away from Causeway Bay so not too out of the way if you're around that area anyway. Worth mentioning is that malls like these usually open quite late averaging around 2pm/3pm, something I'll mention again when I discuss where else I shopped! Luckily my family live quite near by so I took the opportunity to wander down there after dinner one evening and er...a couple of other trips after that! The shop itself is tiny (as is the norm for these kind of shops) and full of handpicked garments with stock mainly from Korea and Japan. Definitely worth a visit and Peggy the owner is wonderful to chat to too. The bag is also a new find and from Laforet Mall in Causeway Bay.

Given the recent trouble in the UK, I've found myself doing little else but watching the news and checking twitter for riot updates. Something I never, ever would have imagined myself doing and it makes me so angry and sad. I do hope that those from the affected areas stay safe!

Before I disappear to try and reorganise my HK photos (serious lack of touristy shots I'm afraid but plenty of food shots), let's end this post with something that makes me smile! Introducing you guys to my favourite skyline in the world. Swoon!
HK Skyline Day


July: ViVi

05 August 2011

I can't believe I've arrived back in the UK! This month has passed so incredibly quickly but hopefully, I won't leave it so long until I am reunited with Hong Kong again. It is a home away from home. However, being back in Blighty means I am reunited with my computer and I am itching to blog properly and share with you all the things that I have been up to here. I took a crazy amount of photos so I will organise myself and share them with you guys soon!

A little bit late but here are the July scans for ViVi. Enjoy!
VIVI JULY 2011-2
VIVI JULY 2011-1
VIVI JULY 2011-3
VIVI JULY 2011-5

VIVI JULY 2011-8VIVI JULY 2011-9
VIVI JULY 2011-7
VIVI JULY 2011-12
VIVI JULY 2011-14
VIVI JULY 2011-10

As always, there are plenty more scans to be found on my Flickr!

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