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Stripes, bows and a bit of bling!

Posted on: 25 September 2011

My sister, Hailey has become very much a part of this blog now and here she is again, this time firmly back in the UK and not on her travels across SE Asia (Still jealous! See here and here). We're both big fans of Zara and we both have the very same dress, except hers is caramel and mine is red. I know that a lot of other bloggers have the same dress and I've seen this style of dress now in almost all the high street stores.
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hailey and umbrella
Dress (Zara) Jacket (H&M) Belt (Causeway Place, HK), Shoes (H&M) Umbrella (Accessorize)
bow belt
shoes and umbrella detail
I'm loving the elements of pattern in Hailey's outfit. From the spotted bow belt to the stripes in the umbrella. Generally, Hailey has much more of a nude palette to her clothes with hints of colour. It's funny how two people can like similar things but have very different styles. She's also much better at wearing heels than I am!

I have to say a big thank you to Simply Beach who sent me this bikini from Surf brand, Protest. In the weeks leading up to my HK holiday, I was trying to find something for a possible beach trip with my friends (yup, there is actually a beach there!) and that's when Simply Beach came to the rescue, letting me take my pick from the vast range on their website. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to visit the beach in the end. Perhaps, this is a good thing, oweing to the amount of food I consumed while I was there! However, the guys over at Simply Beach were fab and it's definitely worth keeping them in mind for any pre-holiday purchases! I'm just sorry that I didn't get to wear it but I would very much like to escape on a beach holiday right now...
simply beach bikini
iphone hello kitty case
Speaking of HK and spangly new things, this is yet another iPhone case that I bought while I was out there. The above was from the infamous Ladies Market which is full of touristy tack, mobile accessories, counterfeit/copycat goods and lots and lots of Sanrio goodies. I've been prancing around with it and my friends have looked at me quite often in disbelief with that look of "Winnie, are you sure you're 24?". Yes indeedy! Whether you love it or hate it, it's bling-tastic!

Food Glorious Food...

Posted on: 19 September 2011

So while it is the middle of fashion week and from experience, I know that this time of year you spend the majority of your time waiting in queues, rushing around with very little time for any kind of nourishment. So in spite of all that let me launch into my first HK food post! Wahey! So if you're looking for an escape from the constant stream of fashion week posts (as amazing as they are) then you've found it...
lobby shangrila
So let's get stuck in! While I was in HK, we booked ourselves a table at the buffet restaurant in the Island Shangri-La Hotel in Kowloon for one of their epic buffet lunches. Now the thing is, I'm not the hugest fan of buffet food. Specifically, it's Chinese buffet's I dislike most of all since it's just take-out food and especially because my family are in catering too. Therefore, it's not particularly exciting to me. However in HK, buffets are taken seriously. These are all housed in fancy hotels which makes it a whole different kind of experience.
entrance shangri la
Firstly, Shangri-La is pretty fancy, with pretty chandeliers, marble and plenty of gilding everywhere. Even the carpet in the lifts are changed DAILY. Just in case you forget what day it is of course, it's a hard life!
Saturday
hailey and me shangri la
Hailey and I before we tucked into our food...
The sheer amount of food on offer was crazy. Since we're in HK, the food is mainly of the Asian variety with ample supply of Salads, Seafood, Sushi, Noodles and specialty Chinese dishes. There were at least 100 different types of options to choose from, with lots of busy staff constantly preparing the food.
hot food shangri la
seafood shangri laSushi lovers rejoice! You could have your fill of sashimi and sushi and also ask for custom hand-rolls. I was quite happy just filling up my plate here. My hand-roll was soft shell crab with fish roe which came on a stand and everything. Yummers!
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Freshly grated Wasabi
There were lots of little dishes to choose from including a dim sum area, roasted meats, curry section and also a noodle station with lots of fresh ingredients to create your own unique dish.
buffet shots shangri la
first plate! shangri la
At one point during our meal, the kitchen staff announced that the soup of the day was ready by hitting a gong! Almost instantly lots of people started queuing up (noticeably of the middle aged lady category- including my mum!). We had noticed a big clay pot earlier and it seemed there were lots of pots of soup within it and soon, a chef was seen with a big hook, pulling them all out in quick succession. The Chinese soup was a type of Chicken broth, made from Silkie chicken (a breed of chicken whose skin is actually black which originates from China). The clay pots were pretty creepy though with little heads that feature as handles on the lids.soup shangrila
The desserts were incredible. They really were a feast for the eyes in their brightly coloured bowls. I particularly liked how some of them were displayed in these amazing bird cages. Honestly, when food is presented like this, you can't help but feel like a kid in a sweet shop. So much fun!
dessert display shangri ladesserts_shangrila
dessert! shangri la
Looking pretty happy with my desserts!
dessert shangri la
We were pretty well looked after and our glasses of water were constantly topped up, our dishes taken away and hot towels to hand. I have to admit that I didn't eat as much as I would have liked, I think I had 2x rounds of mains and just one solitary plate of desserts. There really is only so much you can eat! However, I rounded off the meal by choosing a complimentary drink in the form of hot lemon tea.
lemon tea shangri la
I've been to a fair few hotel buffets in HK in the past, including one at the Marriot where I remember a magician attempted to entertain my sister Hailey, with his lame card tricks. The Shangri-La was definitely better and thankfully, a distinct lack of magicians (phew). As it's a luxury hotel the buffet was definitely NOT cheap and around HKD$400 which is about £32. Yikes! Seeing as it's all you can eat, high quality food at a 5 star hotel, then you can understand the price tag. However, it's definitely more of a luxurious treat rather than a necessity when it comes to visiting HK. I certainly wouldn't have visited if I wasn't tagging along with my family, I'm quite happy with cheap won ton noodle soup at the local cafe.

However, if we're going to do buffets then this is the way to do it! I heard that the Grand Lisboa in Macau has over 200 varieties on offer. Mind Boggling stuff! One day I will have to make a visit, who's coming with me?

Sweet Little Things...

Posted on: 11 September 2011

My holiday has produced so much content for the blog in one form or another. I can't stop churning out the posts to do with my favourite city! Today I am wearing a little peter pan, polka dotty dress I found in Laforet Mall, Causeway Bay. Owing to it's shape (it's quite fitted), I find that it's quite smart and so it will be perfect for other occasions too. I've paired it with a little leather bag I bought from Laurustinus in Tin Hau and I'm kind of in love with the lime green colour which reminds me of lime starbursts, my favourite!
polkadotty dress
Cardi (Oasis) Dress (Laforet, HK) Belt (Accessorize) Bag (Laurustinus, Apple Mall, Tin Hau) Shoes (Office)
lime green
Other new things that have come my way that are not HK related are some delicious doughnuts from Krispy Kreme x Glamour (in stores now). The courier delightfully handed me the box bright and early and told me that they looked like breakfast. Yeah he was right, I didn't hold back and tucked into one of the strawberry glazed rings asap...as did the rest of my family!
glamour glazes
Glossy goodness
Mmmm so glossy!
Other glossy things that I like are of course nail polish! I hate it when my favourite polishes go all gloopy and for that reason I don't buy the crackle ones anymore. They go gloopy far too quickly and I've only ever got a couple of uses out of them. Everyone has had this problem right? Here are a couple of the normal polishes that I bought recently from trusty Barry M.
new polishes
Indigo, Mint Green, Lemon and Peach Melba
You all know that I am a sucker for kitschy cute things and so to finish off the post let me show you my favourite thing at the moment. My iPhone now resembles the little Japanese bear known as Rilakkuma. It's ears were the deal breaker!
rilakkuma
I bought this Rilakumma case from this seller. Oh it's ears, it's little face, how could I resist, it's so kawaii!

Lastly, it's Mid Autumn Festival tomorrow, so to those who celebrate, 中秋節快樂! Don't eat too many moon cakes!

Daytrippin' to Macau

Posted on: 05 September 2011

While we were in Hong Kong, we hopped on the ferry over to neighbouring Macau which is about an hours ferry ride away. Given the fact that our ferry was named the 'Turbo Jet' you can imagine that the ferry is not your typical slow ferry, we raced across to Macau in no time!

Macau is like Hong Kong (also majority Cantonese speaking), as it is a special administrative region of China, therefore it is responsible for it's own legal system, immigration and policing etc but essentially, China is it's big boss. Generally, it's a little hotter than Hong Kong and that day was no exception and I remember it being a sweltering 39c.
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The Venetian Hotel
Macau is extremely touristy. It's pretty much like the Las Vegas of China and it's famous for it's casinos, luxury hotels but also the Historic attractions that lie in the centre of Macau. Our first stop was a visit to the Venetian Hotel. Yup, the very same as it's Las Vegas counterpart complete with it's mock canal, street lamps, painted ceiling and facades of traditional Venetian buildings. The hotel is well known for it's casino but also it's vast shopping mall. In Macau, it's still legal to smoke indoors so it was very strange (and not very nice) walking around and seeing people smoke their cigarettes as if it was really the outdoors. It's all a bit surreal and somewhat claustrophobic, especially when the gondoliers who ferry excited tourists up and down the fake canal break into Opera which echoes all around the mall. Must be quite an odd job. SDC19241 Untitled-3
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Can you believe the lemon coloured building with the red canopies is a Mcdonalds? far too pretty!
Not long after, we decided to catch the bus into the centre of town to visit the Historic parts of Macau. As you probably know, Hong Kong used to be a British Colony and similarly, Macau used to be a Portuguese Colony which is reflected in the beautiful architecture in some of the old buildings. It felt like I was in the Mediterranean but with a twist, as all the street signs were in Chinese, Portuguese and English!
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Macau is a dream for photographers because of it's vibrant colours and it's clash of cultures (Chinese/Portuguese). Some of the following images are photos taken on my phone so you can imagine how amazing SLR photos would be if you are lucky enough to own one! Above is St. Augustine's Church and it is such a vibrant yellow that it's really hard to miss when you turn a corner into the square it's situated in. However, the main attraction is the ruins of St. Paul's and all that stands today is the front facing facade of the old church which was destroyed by fire in the 1800s.
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SDC19262 View from the top of the ruins
SAM_1859Apart from the thriving neon casino culture, ever growing attractions, delicious traditional Macau foods there is a further reason why HK residents love Macau so much. My dad said it is very much like old Hong Kong, particularly 60s HK before many of the 'old' buildings were torn down and replaced with shiny new skyscrapers. I definitely see the charm as it's in stark contrast to the previous attraction at the Venetian which makes Macau such an odd place to visit. One of my favourite things was simply walking down the backstreets and taking some of the photos below. Definitely some of my favourite photographs that I took during my time in Hong Kong/Macau. SDC19256
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One of the things I adore about HK is visiting Dessert shops for a quick snack. In Macau, it's no different. During our brief visit to Macau we stopped at Yee Shun Milk Company/義順牛奶公/Leitaria I So to sample some traditional desserts. The steamed egg/milk dessert is pretty famous at this Macaunese chain and whose desserts are made from buffalo milk.
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Senado Square
There was so much that we didn't do in Macau and it really does need a few days to explore the other surreal and strange attractions. To me, Macau is one big theme park, worth visiting for Historical value but also a taste of the extreme with it's crazy hotels and other attractions. One such example is the Macau Fisherman's Wharf which is a theme park built to resemble world sea ports and includes a Volcano, Aladdin's Fort, Roman themed shopping centre and the yet to be completed Tang Dynasty Fortress. Odd? Most definitely. Maybe I'll visit it next time...but I much prefer the old buildings.

So when we hopped off the ferry and back on to HK soil we stopped by a local noodle shop in Tin Hau called Tai Lee/大利清湯腩. This particular restaurant has done well with reviews and has had some great press coverage. I chose to have their famed Beef Brisket with Vermicelli noodles in clear broth but the rest of my family opted for wheat noodles which is a little more filling. It may not be the prettiest dish on the menu but it's really good!SDC19277
Untitled-4We also had a side order of deep fried fish skins which was amazing and something I've not had before. I suppose they must seem a little odd to those unused to such foods but they were really morish and pretty much like crisps.

So there goes my day in Macau in one post for you! Hope you enjoyed the journey. I've still got that food post to write but it's so daunting given that I have almost a month's worth of food pictures to choose from, crazy! Hope everyone has a lovely week.

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