Our series of online people profiles covers a wide range of backgrounds, careers and personalities of individuals in Hong Kong. In this instalment, we meet Aline Davies and hear about her pandemic “pivot” into exciting plant-based cooking projects.
Where are you from originally?
I was born and raised in Hong Kong. My father is British and was a professor in Hong Kong University, and mum is from Hong Kong and worked at City University.
Have you lived anywhere else?
I moved to London when I was 18 to go to university, then I lived in Shanghai for six years before moving back to Hong Kong.
Is Hong Kong “home”?
Yes – well, one of them, at least! My family are here, I grew up here, this place will always be home. But I also consider the other places I used to live to be home as well!
What do you do here? Tell us about your business.
I’ve had an unpredictable few years. I unfortunately lost my job early last year, an effect of the pandemic, and it was a truly a tough time to find new work. I decided to plunge myself into my passion project, Sincerely Aline, which is all about wholesome, fuss-free cooking. What started as a few food posts a month has now turned into something so much more for me. I now teach a range of plant-based cooking classes at Foodcraft in Kennedy Town, and recently launched my vegan Thai Basil Pesto sauce, which has been a very exciting project for me.
My background is marketing and communications, and I also freelance for a global furniture brand, focusing on brand communications and content strategy – I love it!
What have been the surprises and challenges of doing business in HK?
With the effects of the pandemic last year and not having a job, I had to set up a sole proprietorship – Sincerely Aline Creative – in order to freelance. I found the whole process to be very smooth; I just don’t like all the admin that comes with it! The past year has definitely been a big learning curve for me. I love the independence that comes with having a small business but one of the challenges is that things can tend to be very unpredictable. But I’m learning along the way.
What neighbourhood do you live in, and why did you choose it?
Kennedy Town – and I love it here. It has really great energy, with such a lively community, and it’s great that it’s right by the waterfront.
What are three things you like about your neighbourhood?
The fantastic feeling of community; the abundance of cute dogs; and the fact that it’s just far enough away from downtown to escape the hustle and bustle, yet still extremely convenient.
Describe your home to us.
Small and quaint. We love it. We have the smallest kitchen, but I’ve managed to make it work – it’s also where Sincerely Aline was born. We’re also very lucky to have a great view of the ocean and Stonecutters Bridge, and as we are west-facing, we often get great sunsets.
Outside of work, what are your hobbies in Hong Kong?
I love being outdoors, and with the beaches being closed for a while we took up wakesurfing, which I am addicted to. I enjoy painting, and have been picking that back up again; and, of course, cooking is a huge passion of mine. I love to entertain, and to feed my friends and my family! Typically, it will be me on the food, and my partner Chris on the cocktails and other drinks!
Quick questions about Hong Kong: what is your favourite…
Casual restaurant? Samsen. (This is very hard…I have so many favourites!)
Date night restaurant? Brut!
Bar or café? Winstons.
Thing to do with visitors? So many things! I love taking guests on a walk across Lamma Island followed by a meal, or a hike up the Peak from Pok Fu Lam and down the Central Green Trail.
Thing to do with kids? Hong Kong Science Museum, Legoland, stand-up paddle boarding … or cooking classes with me!
Nearby holiday destination? Thailand or Vietnam.
Like this? See more in our Living in Hong Kong section!