Unearthing some lesser known facts, features and fabulous finds on the Southside.
1. Hong Kong’s best bread comes from Stanley
New artisan bread delivery service www.hkbreadbox.com is the brainchild of Stanley residents Martina Dubs Kaeslin and Bettina Burri. Moving here from Switzerland, they immediately realised that good bread was hard to come by and almost instantly set about bridging that gap in the market. They deliver daily across the Southside.
2. Stanley is home to a tiger
Well, a dead one, at least. The beast in question prowled the area in 1942 and was eventually shot by Mr Rur Sing, an Indian Policeman, outside Stanley Police Station. The animal was skinned by a European butcher named BW Bradbury who was also an inmate at Stanley during the occupation. The skin of the six-foot tiger still hangs in the Tin Hau Temple on the waterfront.
3. Learn to cook Chinese cuisine from the experts in Pokfulam
The Chinese Cuisine Training Institute on Pokfulam Road offers day and evening classes in the art of Chinese cooking. Think a brief intro to the cuisine, chef demos and hands-on preparation of two or three authentic dishes, followed by lunch.
4. They can’t count on Shek O Road
This road down to the sea may be home to some of the island’s most expensive and desirable real estate, but look closely and you will see that the numbering system of the houses is all wrong. They’re numbered not in numerical order but by the date of the year in which they were built.
5. Shouson Hill is a mecca for wine lovers
Twenty metres below Shouson Hill, some of the world’s finest wines are stored in a series of underground cellars and bunkers originally constructed by the ritish military and munitions depots during WWII. The tunnels are now run as the Crown Wine Cellars private club where members can store their wine in world-class facilities as well as enjoying private tastings and intimate dinners.
6. Burnside is a hotbed of creative talent
Burnside Villas may be one the most popular residential complexes in Repulse Bay, but it is also a hive of creative activity. Look out for their regular house sales where resident retailer Zest of Asia sell its wares.
7. Practice Pilates in Stanley
Stanley has its very own Pilates studio tucked away behind the library on Carmel Road. The Allegro Studio offers both mat and allegro Pilates as well as yoga. The first class for every potential new member is free.
8. There’s now no need to shop around for the perfect cheese board
Classified was a welcome addition to Stanley’s dining scene with its bistro-style menu and indoor/outdoor vibe. A highlight has always been its extensive cheese selection that can now be delivered direct to your door.
9. Grab a bargain in South Horizons
Shopping for Prada above a wet market in Ap Lei Chau may seem a far cry from Bond Street but if you want to bag some designer bargains then this is the place to go. This standalone Prada outlet sells bags at 30-percent off usual retail price and shoes at 40- to 60-percent off. Miu Miu and Prada Sport are here, too.
2/F, Marina Square (East Wing),
South Horizons, Ap Lei Chau,
10. Party like you’re in Ibiza in Shek O
Zanzibar may look like a humble beach bar but when the lights go down this new bar on Shek O’s main beach boasts one of the only interactive LED dance floors on the island. The perfect place to sit back, enjoy a cocktail and maybe dance with the sand between your toes.
11. Do a sun salute in Aberdeen
There is no longer any need to combine a trip to yoga with the hustle and bustle of Central. The Flex studio in Wong Chuk Hang is a calm and quiet environment offering everything from yoga and kids’ dance classes to Zumba.
12. You need to walk for your dinner in Tai Tam
In the middle of nowhere, this colonial house is the home of chef Jean Paul Gauci, and with some arm-twisting he may be persuaded to open it up for private dinners and celebrations. If you’re one of the lucky few to dine here, you will be treated to delicious home-cooked food, including ingredients picked from the garden, and a unique setting that will make you feel like you’re in the south of France.
800 Tai Tam Reservoir Road, Tai Tam
(To book, call Coco Thai)
13. Pedal a Pedalo in Parkview
Park your car in Parkview, pick up a picnic in Fusion and wander down the path to the lower Tai Tam Reservoir where you can hire a Pedalo for a fun day on the water. The reservoir ceased operations in 1986 and since then has been used as boating lake. Remember your fish food to feed the turtles and gigantic koi carp.
14. Cyberport has its very own club
Forget hounding your boss for that elusive club debenture, the Meridien at Cyberport offers a very reasonably priced family membership with access to the pool, restaurant and gym. The pool is basked in sunshine, never busy and enjoys cooling sea breezes straight from the East Lamma Channel.
15. Go fishing in Tai Tam Reservoir
All you need is a line, some bait and a licence from the Water Supplies Department. Your catch could include everything from carp to tilapia.
16. There is plenty to see from the water in Stanley
Therefore, book yourself into a kayak tour with Aqua-bound on Stanley’s main beach. The two-, three- and four-hour tours with one of Aqua-bound’s naturalist guides will improve your kayaking skills while introducing you to the beauty of the surrounding region.
17. Aberdeen is home to some design classics
If you’re looking for a classic design piece from the likes of Louis Poulsen or Fritz Hansen then there is only one place to go: the 6,000-square-foot loft space belonging to Manks in Aberdeen. The company was started by husband-and-wife team Paul Fung and Susan Man back in 1996. Both ardent collectors of Scandinavian Modern design for over 25 years, they have shared their passion and knowledge with Hong Kong design-lovers for the past two decades.
18. Adrenaline lovers should head to Shek O
… because the country park is home to the island’s only mountain bike trail. The 6.6km trail starts at Tai Tam Gap and finishes at To Tei Wan, skirting round Mount Collinson and over the Dragon’s Back. Apply for a permit and download a map from www.afcd.gov.hk.
19. Step back in time in Tai Tam
The history of the reservoirs, aqueducts and pump rooms that took over 35 years to construct and have played such a huge part in the development of the city can be explained and seen up close in the Heritage Department’s “Tai Tam Waterworks Heritage Trail”.