July Giveaway: Win a 2 Night Stay and Spa Treatment at Kata Rocks!

A Phuket paradise

 

Looking to escape the steamy HK streets for a quick getaway? If you’ve been dreaming of an idyllic break, then listen up, as this month we’re giving away an incredible two-night stay for two at Kata Rocks, Phuket. Along with daily breakfast, the stay also includes a 60-minute Sense of Thai Aroma massage for two people at the Infinite Luxury Spa! Want to know more? Read on to find out what else the gorgeous Kata Rocks is offering up…

july giveaway kata rocks bedroom

Kata Rocks is a 5-star luxury oceanfront resort and private residence, located on Phuket’s popular west coast. This award-winning resort combines cutting-edge design and unique location, nestled on a headland between two of Phuket’s best beaches. Featuring 34 Pool Villas (which the lucky winner will have all to themselves!), each with its very own private infinity pool, expansive living and dining area, along with the latest interactive iPad technology and mobile guest connectivity.

july giveaway kata rocks spa

If (like us!), you travel to get your hands on delicious food, Kata Rocks won’t let you down. Complete with its very own wine cellar and oceanfront restaurant, serving up seasonally inspired Mediterranean fare, you can soak in killer views and stunning sunsets, whilst getting your fill of gastronomic delights. And if that’s all not enough for you, enjoy some serious R&R at the hotels award-winning Infinite Luxury Spa and fitness suite. Promising to give you a well-deserved break, the Sense of Thai Aroma massage will ensure you leave Kata Rocks with your mind calmed and centred, and your body rested and recharged.

So, if you want to jet off to Phuket and experience this luxury for yourself, enter our giveaway below for your chance to win!

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Get Outta Town: 9 {Road Meals} You Need for Your Weekend Getaway

1. Get a Good Base Layer: Napoli’s

napolis

For the Friday travelers who step out of their vehicle and directly into the bar–what you need is a solid layer of carbs and cheese in your stomach. Get your favorite pie (chicken, bacon, ranch–obviously) in a TRAVEL SIZE (also known as a personal pie). Not for nothing–a mini pizza box is the perfect car plate.

 

2. Stay Beach-Ready: Simply Juiced

simplyjuiced

Had one too many late-night chicken wings? Banish the subsequent bloat and get beach-ready with the Anti-Inflammatory from Simply Juiced (Pineapple, Banana, Turmeric, Black Pepper, Aloe Water, Lemon Juice, Raw Honey, Cinnamon, Coconut Oil, Coconut Water).

 

3. Make It Last: Lisa’s

lisas

If you’re trying to nibble now and save some for later (whether it’s at 3am when you get home from Leggetts or a no-brainer breakfast tomorrow), then you’ll need a sandwich from Lisa’s–where their amazing brick oven bread can stand the test of time.

 

4. Impress the Hosts: Fiore’s

fiores

Nothing says “classy as hell” like rolling into your hosts’ home with a baguette and some fresh mozzarella from Fiore’s, which they make in-house. Pro-tip: there’s always an epic Saturday Special line, so leave yourself enough time.

 

5. Beat the Beach At Its Own Game: Makai Poké

makai

No need to wait until you’re at the beach for your seafood fix–Makai Poké is a healthy, filling option that comes in a bowl or burrito, making it super easy to eat in the car. Maybe skip the chopsticks, though.

 

6. Hack the Hangover: Fran’s

frans

Image: @hashtagfoodpic

We’ve all been there–vacation is the only thing on the agenda in the morning, so who cares if you’re hungover? Um–YOU DO, when your alarm is rattling your skull at 7 a.m…head to Fran’s RIGHT NOW for a breakfast sandwich with hash browns to calm the booze storm inside you.

 

7. Get Handsy: Pure Pita

purepita

Everyone goes for the wrap–but what about the pita? It’s the perfect handheld vessel for your favorite fillings and pleases both vegetarians and carnivores alike. Bonus–their California Hummus is incredible and easy to eat on-the-go.

 

8. Feed the Crew: O’Bagel

obagel3

So you woke up feeling fresh and ready for your trip to the beach this morning–but your friends, who have packed 20 people into a 2-bedroom home, will not be so lucky. Show up with a bag full of O’Bagel, and your pal who slept on the kitchen floor won’t even hear you bragging about your 10 uninterrupted hours of shuteye.

 

9. Jolt Your System: Bean Vault

beanvault

Can this list even exist without caffeine? The first answer is no, and the second answer is Bean Vault. Their large iced latte has four shots of espresso in it–just the right caffeine kick to the face–and their Honey Lavender is the light flavor you need this summer.


Written by Brittany Temple

Brittany is a bona fide Jersey girl (sans stereotypical sky-high hair) with an obnoxious laugh and a super fast-paced walk. You can hear her work on SiriusXM where she produces the political talk show “Make It Plain with Mark Thompson.” In her free time she can often be found using the reliable combo of blind faith and beer to cheer on the Devils, Jets and Yankees. Oh, and, she’s not yelling at you–that’s just her natural volume.

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The Best Swimming Pools in Hong Kong

Cool off this summer

 

What’s the best cure for this scorching Hong Kong heat? A dip in some of our favourite pools of course! We’ve done the hard work for you and compiled a list of some of our personal favourites to cool off in. From swanky hotel pools, where you can grab a day pass, to the best public and natural ‘outdoor’ pools, we’ve found something to suit everyone’s preference and budget. Grab your swimsuit, sunscreen and towel, it’s time to take a dip with our guide to the best swimming pools in HK!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally  published on 8 June 2016, and was updated on 30 June 2017.

The Hotels:

Grand Hyatt, Wan Chai

With unbeatable harbourside views, the Grand Hyatt’s 50-metre heated swimming pool is housed within a tropical patio oasis famed for its outdoor appeal. The lush garden comes complete with outdoor dining and bar options, a 400-metre jogging path and even its own waterfall! Their gym, spa and sauna make sure you have the perfect time! 

Cost: $550 for a day pass (includes access to pool, sauna, and gym) / $6,000 for a 30-day pass / $60,000 yearly pass / $39,000 discounted lifetime entry pass
Hours: Monday to Sunday, sunrise to sunset

Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong, 2588 1234, www.hongkong.grand.hyatt.com

best swimming pools hong kong w hotel

The W Hotel, Kowloon

The W’s rooftop infinity pool is all about seeing and being seen, so wear your cutest swimwear and coolest shades! Facilities include the stunning pool, blissful jacuzzi and a refreshing cocktail bar – think trendy relaxation with cosmos and daiquiris!

Cost: $988 for a day pass (includes two glasses of Veuve Clicquot champagne, as well as access to their Bliss spa and FIT gym) – only open on weekends
Hours: Saturday to Sunday, 12pm to 10pm

W Hong Kong, 1 Austin Road West, Kowloon Station, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 3717 2222, www.w-hongkong.com

Read more: W Hong Kong’s KITCHEN Bubbly Sunday Brunch

The Conrad Hotel, Admiralty

Whether you want to swim laps or simply enjoy a refreshing poolside drink whilst topping up your tan, The Conrad’s outdoor heated swimming pool has you covered! Unwind in the sauna, steam room or whirlpool, or take advantage of the hotel’s lush massage service to relax after a hard day at work.

Cost: $400 on weekdays, and $550 on weekends and public holidays
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 6am to 10pm

The Conrad Hotel, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong, 2521 3838, www.conradhotels3.hilton.com

best swimming pools hong kong le meridien

Le Meridien, Cyberport

The truly relaxing atmosphere at Le Meridien, Cyberport features an outdoor swimming pool and an outdoor whirlpool to ease off your muscles after a swim. The area near the changing rooms also has a sauna and steam room to make sure you get the VIP spa treatment each time!

Cost: $300 on weekends, and $350 on weekends and public holidays
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 6am to 10pm

Le Meridien, Cyberport, 100 Cyberport Road, Hong Kong, 2980 7788, www.starwoodhotels.com/lemeridien

The Island Shangri La, Central

For a luxurious pool experience, try the pool at The Shangri-La in Central! It only accepts a limited number of guests, so have no fear of an overcrowded pool. The pool is open all year (with heating in the winter), although, it has currently closed off the pool to non-hotel guests on weekends to prevent congestion. Even on weekdays, make sure you call a couple of hours before to reserve your space to make sure you get that beautiful summer tan! Grab a club sandwich and a cold cocktail at the outdoor cafe by the pool for the best summer experience!

Cost: $650 for a weekday pass, and $52,000 per individual for a yearly membership (with access to other facilities)
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 6am to 10pm

Island Shangri-La, Pacific Place, Supreme Court Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2877 3838, www.shangri-la.com/hongkong/islandshangrila

Read more: A Summer Staycation at the Island Shangri La, Hong Kong

best swimming pools hong kong ritz carlton

Ritz-Carlton

Swim with a stunning view of the Hong Kong skyline at Ritz-Carlton’s indoor infinity swimming pool with a ceiling mounted LED screen and an outdoor whirlpool. With waitstaff working tirelessly to satisfy your every whim and a luxurious spa providing soothing massage and facial treatments, you will surely have the time of your life!

Cost: $700 for a day pass
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 6am to 10pm

Ritz Carlton, 1 Austin Road West, Hong Kong, 2263 2263, www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/china/hong-kong

Cordis Hotel, Mong Kok

Cordis’ heated rooftop swimming pool is a great place to be on a sunny day! Enjoy amazing views of Hong Kong’s skyline as you float around the luxurious pool on the 42nd floor. It’s a popular weekend hangout for many in Hong Kong, so call a day ahead to reserve your spot.

Cost: $400 per day pass on weekdays and weekends
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 6:30am to 11pm

Cordis Hotel, 555 Shanghai Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 3552 3388, www.cordishotels.com

best swimming pools hong kong the mira

The Mira, Kowloon

Indulge in a rejuvenating experience at The Mira, with its complete spa packaging including a fitness centre, massage, beauty and hair services, along with a top-notch infinity pool. One of the unique features is its floatation lounges, with heated waterbeds, which provide the perfect atmosphere for rest and relaxation.

Cost: $400 for a MiraSpa day pass
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 6am to 11pm (kids are welcome until 8pm)

The Mira, 118 Nathan Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, Hong kong 2368 1111, www.themirahotel.com

Public Swimming Pools:

If you want to splash around on a bit more of a budget, head to one of Hong Kong’s 43 public swimming pools instead (check out the full list here). We’ve still not managed to check them all out, but have heard great things – just remember to double check the opening schedules of each pool as they are all different, and make sure you don’t go on a pool’s cleaning day, when it will be closed.

YMCA

Keep it more casual at the YMCA’s pool on Bridges Street. This is actually Hong Kong’s first indoor pool, and is definitely one to check out if you’re looking for a bit of history (the first YMCA swimming team was formed here!). Best of all, this is a fab budget option in a convenient, centrally located space with a single ticket clocking in at only $30!

Cost: $30 per ticket, for adults aged 18 to 59, and $540 for a booklet of 20 tickets
Hours: From 1 July  to 31 August, 7:15am to 9pm on Mondays, 7:15am to 12pm from Tuesday to Friday, and 10am to 1pm on public holidays.

YMCA, 51 Bridges Street, Sheung Wan, 2540 0526, www.ymca.org.hk, for membership inquiries emails bscentre@ymca.org.hk

Chai Wan Swimming Pool

Set way high up on a rooftop, you can choose between two large pools to cool off. Go at dusk to take in the sunset

Cost: $17 per person on weekdays, $19 per person on weekends and public holidays. Click here for more information on prices.
Hours: Closed for cleaning on Tuesdays, Click here for Opening Hours and Schedule.

Chai Wan Swimming Pool, 345 San Ha St, Chai Wan, Hong Kong, 2558 3538

best swimming pools hong kong kwun tong,

Kwun Tong Swimming Pool

The indoor main pool is perfect when you need an escape from the sun, heat and humidity, whereas the outside secondary pool, two teaching pools and a sun bathing area is a perfect place to sit back with a good book. But stay sun-smart girls and don’t forget the hats, sunnies and sunscreen!

Cost: $17 per person on weekdays, $19 per person on weekends and public holidays. Click here for more information on prices.
Hours: Closed Wednesdays for cleaning. Click here for opening hours and schedules. 

Kwun Tong Swimming Pool, 2 Tsui Ping Road, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2717 9022

Pao Yue Kong Swimming pool, Aberdeen

Spend your summer in this humongous pool in Aberdeen, complete with tunnel slides for the more active guests and sun loungers for the more those who want to chill out. The pool’s large size means it is almost never overcrowded, so you can swim in peace. 

Cost: $17 per person on weekdays, $19 per person on weekends and public holidays. Click here for more information on prices.
Hours: Closed on Tuesdays for cleaning. Click here for opening hours and schedules.

Pao Yue Kong Swimming Pool, 2 Shum Wan Road, Wong Chuk Hang, Hong Kong

best swimming pools hong kong sai kung

Sai Kung Swimming Pool

Do laps in the main pool or lay back in the leisure pool, whatever you’re after, Sai Kung Swimming Pool has got you covered.

Cost: $17 per person on weekdays, $19 per person on weekends and public holidays. Click here for more information on prices.
Hours: Closed Wednesdays for cleaning. Click here for opening hours and schedules.

Sai Kung Swimming Pool, Wai Man Road, Sai Kung, Kowloon, Hong Kong 2792 7285

Kennedy Town Swimming Pool

Conveniently located and easy to get to from Central, the indoor swimming facility here has newly installed indoor heating systems and a jacuzzi so you don’t have to worry about cooler temps. What’s more, the outdoor swimming pool comes with a great view of the Victoria Harbor!

Cost: $17 per person on weekdays, $19 per person on weekends and public holidays. Click here for more information on prices.
Hours: Closed on Wednesdays for cleaning. Click here for opening hours and schedules.

Kennedy Town Swimming Pool, 2 Sai Cheung Street North, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong

best swimming pools hong kong tai po

Tai po Swimming Pool

Okay, okay. This is a bit of a hike, we’ll admit. But we think three-story high twisty water-slides are worth the trek. The lines are long, but what would you expect for the longest water slides in Hong Kong?

Cost: $17 per person on weekdays, $19 per person on weekends and public holidays. Click here for more information on prices.
Hours: Closed on Mondays for cleaning. Click here for opening hours and schedules.

Tai Po Swimming Pool, 11 Ting Tai Road, Tai Po, Hong Kong, 2661 2244 

Morse Park Swimming Pool

Located in one of the biggest parks in Hong Kong, this swimming pool is surrounded by green lawns, running trails and fountains. Take a break from the busy Hong Kong life and spend your day in a tranquil oasis!

Cost: $17 per person on weekdays, $19 per person on weekends and public holidays. Click here for more information on prices.
Hours: Closed on Fridays for cleaning. Click here for opening hours and schedules.

Morse Park Swimming Pool, 80 Fung Mo Street, Wong Tai Sin, Kowloon

Natural Pools:

Discovery Bay Rock Pools

Get out and enjoy the great outdoors by heading over to the Discovery Bay Rock Pools. Ok, so this might not be a ‘pool,’ but we think a rock pool sort of counts?! Anyway, it’s a beautiful place to come for a day out and you won’t regret taking a dip in the sweltering HK heat.

How to get there: Walk 10 minutes from the Discovery Bay ferry pier (towards Discovery Bay golf club) and when you hit the main road, turn right onto the hill. The pool should be halfway up the hill.

Read more: Top 5 Waterfall Hikes in Hong Kong

best swimming pools hong kong silvermine bay

Silvermine Bay Rock Pools

If you’re looking for more sizeable rock pools to swim in, then the Silvermine Bay Rock Pools are the perfect alternative. Boasting a larger pool for swimming and epic waterfalls, this is worth the trip to Mui Wo. The advantage of wading in these pools is that they’re really easy to get to – simply get the ferry to Mui Wo and then take a leisurely stroll past the beach and through the fields until you arrive at the tranquil setting.

How to get there: For detailed directions to the Silvermine Bay Rock Pools, click here.

Read more: Top 5 Beaches in Hong Kong, Top 10 Ultimate Outdoor Sports in Hong Kong, Top 5 Hikes in Hong Kong

Grab your towel, cozzie and don’t forget the sunscreen – it’s time to cool down!

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10 Events For Your Diary this July

The best concerts, shows and parties happening in Hong Kong

 

July is here, and with it we’re hoping for some much-needed sun after the stormy weather of June. But blue skies or not, there’s plenty to get out and get excited for this month, with comedy shows, block parties, yoga and, of course, drinks a plenty. So, check out our picks for what’s in store this month…

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WEEKENDER: Aerial Yoga Workshop, Brick Lane Craft Beer Festival and more

What’s on this weekend…

 

Beer lover? Get yourselves to Brick Lane this weekend and kick off July with some of the best craft beers and brews from around the world! Or, if yoga’s more your thing, make the most of HK’s stunning beaches and take part in a full-day Aerial Yoga workshop on the shores of Tai Long Wan. Whatever you get up to this weekend, we’re sure it’ll be a good one!

brick lane craft beer festival

BRICK LANE 7.1 Craft Beer Festival

Beer enthusiasts, we have found the event for you this weekend, with Brick Lane bringing some of the best craft beers and brews from around the world. Opt for a standing ticket and enjoy a relaxed evening of free-flow beer tasting and canapés, or go for the sit-down affair, with a two-course meal and free-flow beer.

When:
Saturday 1 July, 6pm to 10pm
Where: Brick Lane, Shop 404, CITIC Tower, 1 Tim Mei Avenue Admiralty, Hong Kong
How much: $338 per person for sit-down ticket with free flow beer and dinner / $238 per person for stand-up ticket with free flow beer and canapés. Book your ticket here!

chôm chôm fourth birthday

Chôm Chôm’s Fourth Birthday

Help Chôm Chôm celebrate four years in SoHo this Saturday, whilst helping to raise money for at-risk Vietnamese youths. Head over in your best athleisure wear at 4pm, and challenge Chôm Chôm’s Chef (and Muay Thai fighter!), Denham Pereirato, to a hill sprint up Peel Street. If you win, Chôm Chôm will donate $100 to KOTO, and you’ll win a pitcher of beer (or a mocktail if you’d rather!), but if Chef Denham beats you, you will have to donate $100 to KOTO, (and you’ll get a glass of beer for your efforts). Sound like too much hard work for a Saturday? Take in the action whilst enjoying Chôm Chôm’s Hanoi Happy Hour, from 4pm to 7pm, and enjoy buckets of crispy and juicy Vietnamese Fried Chicken for $88 per bucket, and pitchers of Vietnamese craft beer for $188!

When: Saturday, 1 July, 4pm to 7pm
Where: Chôm Chôm, 58 Peel Street, Central, Hong Kong
How much: $100 donations to KOTO / Vietnamese Fried Chicken for $88 per bucket and pitchers of Vietnamese craft beer for $188

HKSAR establishment day

HKSAR Establishment Day

With the city set to commemorate the 20th anniversary of HKSAR’s establishment this Saturday, make sure you’re in the right place to watch the annual firework display! With events happening all over, get the hottest seats in town, and enjoy the best views, along with plenty of drinks at the likes of Cé La Vi, aqua, Seafood Room and Armani/Privé.

When:
Saturday, 1 July
Where: Various locations
How much: Prices vary

Guerlain x Langham Honey Afternoon Tea

Guerlain x Langham Honey Afternoon Tea

This summer, Guerlain is introducing the latest addition to its Abeille Royale Collection in the most fabulous way – by teaming up with The Langham Hotel and presenting an exclusive Honey Afternoon Tea! Taking inspiration from Guerlain’s new self-repairing bee-powered products, Executive Pastry Chef Matthieu Godard will be infusing the extraordinary properties of honey into the afternoon tea set. His confectionary creations will pay homage to the honey produced by an organic bee farm here in Hong Kong, and with the likes of a chocolate, salty caramel and honey ganache tartlet on the menu, we can’t wait to try it! The tea set will be available from this Saturday, 1 July, and afternoon tea guests will also receive an exclusive Guerlain Abeille Royale gift set during the promotional period.

When: Saturday, 1, July to Saturday, 30, 2017. Weekdays from 3pm to 5:30pm and weekends and public holidays from 2:15pm to 4:15pm, and 4:30pm to 6:30pm
Where: Palm Court Lobby Lounge, The Langham, 8 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
How much: $348 for one person / $598 for two people

american independence day

American Independence Day

It’s time to celebrate the US of A this weekend, with events happening all over town in celebration for the 4th of July! Full of food, drinks and red, white and blue Americana spirit, check out the likes of Lily & Bloom this Saturday, or head over to Stone Nullah, or The Butchers Club on Tuesday for more festivities.

When: Saturday, 1 July & Tuesday, 4 July
Where: Various locations
How much: Prices vary

aerial yoga workshop

Aerial Yoga Full Day Workshop

Want to try out a new activity and visit one of HK’s most beautiful beaches? This two-part, all-day workshop will combine an invigorating yoga class at Yoga Bam Bam in Central, before moving to the beaches of Sai Kung, for your chance to fly in bamboo tripods over the ocean! If you miss it this weekend, the full day workshop is also set to be held on Saturday, 9 July and Saturday, 16 July.

When: Sunday, 2 July, 9:30am to 5:30pm
Where: Yoga BamBam, 10 Shin Hing Street, Central, Hong Kong and then Tai Long Wan beach, Sai Kung
How much: $680 early bird / $720 standard. Get your tickets here!

Read more: Sassy’s Guide To The Best Beaches In Hong Kong

flamingo bloom opening

Flamingo Bloom Opening

Opening on Stanley Street this Sunday, Flamingo Bloom will be serving up handcrafted floral loose-leaf teas, made with fresh ingredients, all-natural flavours and contemporary style. Cool off with a tasty iced tea (made with your choice of base, fruit, temperature and extras!), from Monday, 3 July to Wednesday, 5 July, and get a free flamingo drink floaty free! Just the thing to keep your brew safe in the sea during those upcoming summer junks.

When: Monday, 3 July to Wednesday 5 July, 11am to 8pm
Where: Flamingo Bloom, G/F, Shop B, 50 Stanley Street, Central, Hong Kong
How much: Buy one drink and get a free floaty!

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Picada: A Taste of South American Culture in Lan Kwai Fong

Bursting with Latin flavour, on and off the menu

Meet me in the middle price sticker

District: Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong
Cuisine: Pan Latin (fusion)
How Much: Dishes range from $78 – $378
Best for: A fun and lively dinner with friends
Must order: Bandeja Paisa and Beef Rib Arepas

It’s always exciting when a new restaurant opens in Hong Kong, but it’s even better when it features a brand new cuisine! Overlooking Lan Kwai Fong’s buzzing streets, Picada is Hong Kong’s first pan-Latin restaurant and bar and I am ‘all aboard’ for this culinary journey through Latin America!

picada lkf interior

When I picture a Latino gathering, I imagine bright colours, a lively mood and a supersized selection of homely meals (I may have watched one too many movies!) – and that’s exactly what I discovered upon entering Picada. Alongside the tastefully festive lighting and gold trimmings, it’s clear that the interior has been carefully designed with the different regions of Latin America in mind. The “made to share” mentality of this lively restaurant encompasses its fun and vibrant atmosphere (complete with live music!), not just it’s food. With a menu that’s chock full of rich hearty dishes and a bar stocked with a diverse selection of themed cocktails and specialist spirits – including an exclusive unfiltered sugar cane gin – it’s definitely the place for a fiesta!

I was intrigued to discover what iconic Latin flavours Picada had to offer and how chef Abel Ortiz would infuse them with an Asian flair. I decided to start with something light and the Peruvian Ceviche ($148), with its mild sweet pea puree and creamy ‘leche de tiger’ was the perfect choice. Continuing with the seafood theme, I also had a taste of the Hot Scallop ($98 for two), with a delicate edamame puree and purple sweet potato shavings, which added a wonderfully crunchy element to the overall texture.

picada flat lay food

The time had come to sink my teeth into something meatier and I couldn’t resist the tender beef sirloin skewers of Carne Anticuchos ($128), dipped in a spicy Chimichurri and Aji Amarillo sauce. I followed this with a trio of crisp handmade Columbian Empanadas ($108 for three), in chicken, beef and mushroom and also devoured a Slow Cooked Beef Rib Arepas ($78), which I am told can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner – I’d happily eat one for all three (and they’re gluten free!).

From the mains, I chose not one, but two dishes to taste (in my defence they all sounded amazing!), starting with the Bandeja Paisa ($248), or ‘people’s plate,’ a dish native to northwest Columbia which looked (and tasted!) like a deconstructed taco surrounding a succulent pork belly – great for gym bunnies in need of a protein fix! I finished with the Peruvian specialty, Three Duck “Arroz con Pato” ($238), which literally does consist of three duck elements, leg, breast and egg, all served on a bed of delicious green cilantro rice with a light onion chalaquita.

picada churros

No pan-Latin meal would be complete without Churros for dessert, these sugary treats drizzled in chocolate sauce are the perfect way to end the evening, unless of course your night is just beginning (we are in LKF after all!), in which case perhaps opt for a tequila!

South American culture is known to alway make time for the important things in life; family, food and dancing – and you can get your fill of all three at Picada! Whether you’re booked in for dinner or just stopping by for a quick drink, this vibrant dining spot is sure to give you a warm family-style welcome.

Watch out for the resident Mariachi on Taco Tuesdays – his Tabasco shot challenge is as hot and spicy as the Latin dance classes available on the restaurant’s private terrace!

Picada, 2/F, LKF29, 29 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, www.picada-hk.com

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R3wind: Our 3rd Birthday Extravaganza on Pier 13 {Video}

What. A. Night. We’re still recovering from last Wednesday’s fun at Pier 13! We truly want to thank all of you that were able to make it such an awesome night, as well as a major thank you for all of your support over 3 incredible years! We can’t wait for many more years of fun in The Mile Square! Can you spot yourself in our video recap below?

 

 

Don’t forget to RSVP for our July Happy Hour at Wicked Wolf on Thursday, July 27th!

 

A HUGE Thank You to:

Our AMAZING Team

hhh bday squad

We can’t say it enough, but we’d be nowhere without this awesome group (some are sadly not pictured) of badasses! THANK YOU ALL!

Pier 13

pier 13 crowd birthday_wm

Pier 13 sure knows how to host a party, and boy were those 1/2 price drinks flowin’ all night! Shout out to Darren & DeWitt for all of the help making this event such a huge success!

Jarets Stuffed Cupcakes

hhh 3 cake

The cake and cupcakes were DELICIOUS! If you’ve never had a cupcake from Jarets, you’re doing it wrong! Take a peek at all of their awesome creations @jaretsstuffedcupcakes!

Bro-Ritos

bro-ritos truck

Big thanks to the guys from Bro-Ritos for slinging awesome burritos all night long! Check them out @broritosft!

Cubano X-Press

cubano x-press

Did you get your hands on one of these beauties? Cubano X-Press definitely knows how to whip up an awesome Cuban sandwich!

Amanda Bananas

amanda bananas hhh

Amanda Bananas was super refreshing on what was a hot evening! Check them out at Pier 13 throughout the summer and follow along @amandabananas!

Pizza Vita

pizza vita hhh bday_400

Is there anything better than pizza? If there is, it’s definitely pizza from Pizza Vita with the incredible backdrop on Pier 13!


Written by John Connell

John has lived in Hoboken for almost 4 years now.  His talents include napping, eating sunflower seeds, growing a neckbeard, Ja Rule karaoke, and napping.  Recovering from a knee injury, John is currently limited to bar games like shuffleboard, pool, and darts, and accepts all challengers.  An avid sports fan, the only thing he enjoys more than attending a game, is the beach.  Don’t let the knee injury fool you though, he can still get down on the dance floor!

The post R3wind: Our 3rd Birthday Extravaganza on Pier 13 {Video} appeared first on Hoboken Happy Hours.

Source: R3wind: Our 3rd Birthday Extravaganza on Pier 13 {Video}

Hoboken LONG Weekend {Drinking} Guide: 6/29/17 – 7/4/17

Thursday 6/29/17

2-for-1 Appetizers @ Green Rock

greenrock

From 5pm-close all apps are 2-for-1! Also starting at 5pm is $1 Domestic Mugs until 8pm.

21 Kings @ Maxwell’s

maxwell's ext december

Come enjoy the live music starting at 7pm. 21 Kings will also be playing along with Orange Blossom Special.

 

Friday 6/30/17

JRZ Wine Knowledge Happy Hour @ Bin 14

bin 14 friday

You’ll taste Syrah, Pinot Noir and the like. Don’t miss out, and start the long weekend at 5pm!

June Birthday Bash @ Wicked Wolf

wicked wolf

All June Birthdays RSVP for $1 drinks from 10pm-1am. Friends also get discounted drinks!

 

Saturday 7/1/17

All Day Happy Hour @ Urban Coalhouse

kts3_urban corner

Kick off the long weekend with some day drinking! All day, come in and enjoy

  • $3 Domestic Drafts
  • $5 Craft/Import Drafts
  • $5 House Wines
  • $5 Well Drinks

Saturday Party @ Texas Arizona

bth 11 texas arizona

Party starts at 11am! Enjoy all day until 8pm:

  • $3 Corona Light, Coors Light, and Yuengling Drafts
  • $4 Blue Moon, Sam Adams, and Sam Seasonal Drafts
  • $5 Mimosas, Bloody Marys, Jameson & Gingers, and Absolut Drinks
  • $15 Sangria Pitchers
  • $25 Corona Buckets
  • $30 Loaded Buckets

Sunday 7/2/17

Craig Graham Acoustical Performance @ Pilsener Haus

craig graham

Enjoy a Sunday Austro-Hungarian Brunch at the Pilsener Haus Biergarten. From 1-4pm, come for the acoustical sounds of Craig Graham.

Food Eating Contest @ Pier 13

pier 13

Celebrate Pier 13’s 5 Year Anniversary this weekend with the Food Eating Contest. You can sign up by e-mailing info@pier13hoboken.com

  • Grand Prize: 2 Tickets to Florida Georgia Line
  • 2nd Place: $125 Gift Card for Pier 13
  • 3rd Place: $100 Gift Card to our new Restaurant Gringo’s Jersey City

 

Monday 7/3/17

$3 Mondays @ Leo’s

leos grandevous hoboken

Happy Hour is from 3-9pm: $3 Bud & Bud Light Bottles and Blue Point Drafts. Also bring your appetite for the $3 Plain Pizza (Limit 2 per person).

All-You-Can-Eat Wings @ McSwiggans

Boneless Bites McSwiggans

Image: Yelp

For only $5, see how many of the all-you-can-eat wings you can put away! Wash them down with $4 Miller Lite Drafts and $7 Miller Lite Pitchers.

 

Tuesday 7/4/17

Brunch @ Northern Soul

Northern Soul

Celebrate your day off with brunch on a weekday in Hoboken! Brunch starts @ 11am.

$3 Each:

  • Narragansett Draft
  • Miller High Life Bottle
  • PBR Can
  • Coors Original Can

Taco Tuesday @ City Bistro

kts3_city bistro rooftop

From 5pm-close: $5 Kettle One Vodka Drinks, $5 Margaritas, and $10 Tacos. Head up to the rooftop and keep an eye out for fireworks!


Written by Rachel Willson

When she’s not throwing elbows to get a seat on the PATH first (but failing 9 out of 10 times), Rachel can be found at brunch with a pitcher of mimosas in front of her. Originally from Upstate New York, Rachel moved to Hoboken a little over a year ago when she started working for an ad agency in Manhattan. Being still somewhat new to the area, Rachel makes it her goal to try every restaurant and bar at least once. In her free time, when Scandal isn’t being binged watched, Rachel is typically finding joy in things out of her budget, speaking fluently in sarcasm, and crawling her way down Washington St. because yesterday was leg day.

The post Hoboken LONG Weekend {Drinking} Guide: 6/29/17 – 7/4/17 appeared first on Hoboken Happy Hours.

Source: Hoboken LONG Weekend {Drinking} Guide: 6/29/17 – 7/4/17

A Local’s Guide to Cape Town

Your Ultimate Guide to The Mother City

Fly to: Cape Town International Airport
Flight Time: There are no direct flights to Cape Town from Hong Kong, so you’ll need to stop over somewhere like Dubai or Kenya (depending on your airline!).

There’s a reason Cape Town is called The Mother City, and for me it’s because I love my home as much as I love my own mother! If you ask me even the simplest question, I’ll go on about it for as long as you’ll let me. Fresh off the boat in the 852, I’ve already noticed how Hong Kong is similar; a plethora of international restaurants, inspiring street style, an interesting and exciting variety of locally-produced designs, rad artisanal food and drinks, and of course, you can go from inner city to beach, hiking or cycling in less than an hour.

Like Hong Kong, the landscape and vibe in Cape Town is vastly different from one area to another, and that’s part of what it makes the city an absolute must-visit.  I’m proud to say that my hometown is currently the second trending travel destination on Forbes so this handy guide is the perfect place to start your planning!

Read more: Top Travel Destinations: Sassy’s Picks for 2017

Jump to:

Where to Stay
Cultural Attractions
Shopping
Adventurous Activities
Markets
Restaurants & Dining
Bars & Hangouts

A Local's Guide to Cape Town, South Africa

Where to stay

Cape Town’s public transport system doesn’t really cater to tourists, so when you’re deciding where to stay I’d suggest picking accommodation as close to the action as possible. There are options to suit every budget, and you can find some really cool, well-located and spacious accommodation options on Airbnb.

In the city itself, you’ll want to be within walking distance (or a short taxi ride away) from bars, restaurants, shopping and cultural sights, so look for accommodation anywhere near Kloof Street (Long street turns into Kloof Street), Kloof Nek Road or Bree Street. Vredehoek, Oranjezicht and Gardens are all central neighbourhoods near the city centre, bars & restaurants and shops. If you’re looking for peace and quiet, I’d say avoid Long Street and opt to stay higher up near these areas instead.

On the Atlantic Seaboard side (about ten minutes by car from Kloof Street), Sea Point is a top choice. With the promenade and public park stretching for kilometers, gorgeous views of the ocean, and heaps of great restaurants and shops, it’s a little quieter and definitely family-friendly. The V&A Waterfront is in this are, and Camps Bay, Llandudno and Hout Bay aren’t too far from here either. On most days Sea Point offers a rare respite from the infamous Cape Doctor (the crazy South Easter wind) so when the wind starts to howl, head in this direction.

Cape Town also offers some of the world’s best kite surfing, so if it’s water sports you’re after, look for accommodation up the West Coast (the Blouberg and Big Bay area is a kite surfers’ paradise) or towards the warmer waters of Muizenberg and Simon’s Town. Both of these areas are about a 30-minute drive out of the city. If you have a few days to spare, head here for beautiful beaches and local seaside towns (Paternoster and Church Haven are firm favourites). Drive through the lush wineland region and cultural haven of Franschoek and Stellenbosch to Elgin for Old Mac Daddy’s luxury caravan experience, or to Babylonstoren (more on this incredible place later) for a night or two of absolute farm-style luxury!
Bo-Kaap Cape Town South Africa

Cultural Attractions:

Take a Cape Town Walking Tour

Like many cities, Cape Town’s inner city and surrounding areas are best explored on foot. These (free!) guided walking tours offer you the opportunity to explore the city and learn more about its cultural and historical landmarks. You can pick between the Historic City Tour, the colourful Bo-Kaap Tour, the Apartheid to Freedom Tour, or the V&A Waterfront Tour. Exploring the Bo-Kaap is a must, so I’d suggest putting this one at the top of your list.

Visit The Company’s Garden, Iziko National Art Gallery and History Museum, Iziko Slave Lodge and District Six Museum

Immerse yourself in South Africa’s rich history by spending the day gallery and museum. Start with a walk through the Company’s Gardens, where you can visit the Iziko National Art Gallery and the National History Museum, The Slave Lodge (located at the bottom of the Company’s Gardens) and then take a walk through the East City to visit the District Six Museum and learn more about the history of Apartheid in Cape Town.

Museum Night Cape Town

On the last Wednesday of each month, museums in a specific area of the city stay open from 5pm until 10pm, with free entrance. It’s definitely more of a social and cultural experience than gallery hopping during the day, but if that’s your vibe then Museum Night is a fun way to explore the city and visit a curated selection of some of the city’s best museums (including most of the sites mentioned above!)

Explore the City’s Arts and Culture Scene on First Thursdays 

Taking place throughout the buzzing streets of the city centre and centred on uber-cool, Bree Street, First Thursdays offers a snapshot of the city’s art and culture scene. On the first Thursday of every month, art galleries and cultural attractions in Cape Town stay open until late with exhibition openings, food and vintage markets, live performances and so much more. While it’s definitely not the night for leisurely browsing or a quiet dinner, this part of the city really comes alive.

Art Galleries

You have to experience the burgeoning art scene! Of course, we have Goodman Gallery and Stevenson, but there is a number of smaller independent galleries that have popped up over the last few years, all with exciting, contemporary artists in their stable.

Some of my favourite galleries (try to visit at least two or three) include:

If you’re into art and happen to be in Cape Town in February, don’t miss the Cape Town Art Fair, where you can visit all local and international galleries under one roof. 

Muizenberg, Kalk Bay and Simon’s Town

Muizenberg, Kalk Bay and Simon’s Town are beautiful little seaside towns which offer a bohemian, artsy and laid-back environment. The streets are lined with surf shops, antique and vintage stores, quirky restaurants and bars, and boast some of the most beautiful views. If you spend the day exploring Kalk Bay and the surrounding neighbourhoods, skip the restaurant lunch and instead grab delicious fish & chips from Kalkies (in the harbour) and have picnic on the pier instead. Afterwards, go to Sotano, Cape to Cuba, or Tiger’s Milk (in Muizenberg) to wash it all down with a few drinks.

Watch an Art Circuit Film at The Labia on Orange

Treat yourself to a movie at the country’s oldest, independent Art-Repertory Cinema in South Africa. The Labia is something of an institution in Cape Town, and with new films on circuit every week, an awesome bar and snack counter (we would often use a movie as an excuse to indulge in a glass or two of their delicious ‘Gluwhein ‘– which they make hot or cold!) and vintage appeal it’s not hard to see why. You can even take your drink into the movie and sip on your tipple of choice while watching! 

Neighbourgoods Design Market Cape Town

Shopping:

South Africa and Cape Town has a world-class artisanal creative scene – there are so many independent brands making clothing, jewellery, accessories, décor items and even beauty products that there is absolutely no need to hit the mainstream international shops or malls.

Conveniently, Cape Town has a number of collectives where you can find many of the city’s top local designers and brands in one spot. Here are some of my go-to stores and shopping spots for all things local, ‘lekker’, and very good looking:

The Neighbourgoods Design Market (you can find almost all of my favourite local designers here every Saturday):

There are a few local brands that truly make my heart flutter:

Something More Adventurous:

Table Mountain

You can’t visit Cape Town without doing the real tourist thing and taking a trip up Table Mountain (and for the Insta snap – duh). Take the cable car on a clear day or lace up those hiking boots and take an exhilarating guided hike to the top. If you’re lucky enough to be in Cape Town for your birthday, you can ride up in a cable car for free!

Paraglide off of Signal Hill

Signal Hill is just behind Lion’s Head and offers incredible views of the city on one side and the big blue ocean on the other. It’s not the highest launch spot, so it’s ideal for beginners (or, like me, terrified of heights). If you’re bold enough to jump off a (small) mountain, go for the sunset paraglide followed by celebration drinks in Sea Point (where you’ll land) or Camps Bay. 

Cape Town South Africa

Take a Hike 

Much like Hong Kong, Cape Town is famed for its natural beauty and diverse scenery, and hiking is a favourite pastime of many Capetonians. You can take your pick of rugged mountains, dense forests and seaside walks. When I lived in Cape Town, my friends and I would meet after work at least once a week to walk the Pipe Track, and we’d often hike up to the Woodstock Cave before Sunday brunch. You can read a pretty comprehensive (and categorised) list of the best hikes in Cape Town here.

Cycle the City

Rent a bicycle from Up Cycles (next to Sea Point Pavillion) and cycle along Sea Point Promenade to Camps Bay and back. Bring your swimsuit and towel and pop into the pools for a refreshing swim and a granadilla ice-lolly. Lounge in the sun, people-watch and jump off of the highest diving board (if you dare!)

If you’d prefer to do some city sightseeing on two wheels, Up Cycles alsohas a stall in the Mandela Rhodes building where you can hire bikes within the city. Save this activity for mid afternoon on Sunday, when the roads are far quieter. Make sure you cycle the length of the Company’s Gardens too!

A Local's Guide to Cape Town

Kirstenbosch Gardens

Set against the backdrop of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Gardens is one of the “great botanic gardens of the world.” Bring a picnic and some vino (the restaurants here aren’t the greatest) and spend the day exploring and getting lost in the hundreds of little nooks and paths. Don’t leave Kirstenbosch without taking a walk on The Boomslang (‘tree snake’) tree canopy walkway, a truly breathtaking experience. 

Franschhoek Wine Tram Cape Town

Franschoek Wine Tram

Nestled in the heart of Cape Town’s lush winelands, Franschoek really is a special place. Surrounded by wine farms this charming town offers fabulous food and markets. If you have a day or two to spare you should definitely consider treating yourself to a stay in this area. If a daytrip is all you have time for, you can book a shuttle from Cape Town and then spend the day hopping on and off the Franschoek Wine Tram as it carries you from one fabulous wine farm to the next (think wine tastings and pairings galore).

Spend the Day in Tropical Kraalbaai

Rent a car (or hire a shuttle) and head out to the West Coast National Park (about 1.5 hours out of Cape Town) to spend the day at Kraalbaai. An idyllic lagoon beach, Kraalbaai offers a tranquil, tropical paradise that isn’t unlike any beach in Greece. The water is still, crystal clear and warm (which is rare on the West Coast!), and if you go on a weekday you’ll be one of only a handful of people there! There are some barbecue spots on the road to Kraalbaai, but take your own picnic and beach gear as there aren’t any shops or restaurants nearby.

Pancakes and Treasure Hunting at the Milnerton Market

About 15 minutes outside of Cape Town, the Milnerton Market is so much more than a typical roadside, weekend flea market. Satisfy your caffeine cravings before you arrive (the coffee in general is pretty bad), but save your breakfast appetite for pancakes and toasted sandwiches from the local food caravans. Once you’ve got a pancake in each hand, wander up and down the stalls that offer everything from plants and car parts to vintage jewelry and furniture.

Markets in Cape Town, South Africa

Markets:

The Oranjezicht City Farm (OZCF) Market

Held every Saturday just outside of the V&A Waterfront, the OZCF Market is a bustling, community farmers market where you can find locally-grown farm produce and a variety of artisanal foods from cakes and biltong to curries and dolmades. Overlooking the ocean, the OCZF is the perfect spot to stock up on food supplies if you’re staying in an Airbnb, or buy some local goodies to keep stashed for late night munchies. Do some shopping, grab a coffee, brunch and enjoy being a part of Cape Town’s sustainable community.

The Neighbourgoods Market

Spending a few hours at the Neighbourgoods Markets (sometimes called The Biscuit Mill because it’s held inside the Old Biscuit Mill grounds) is another favourite weekend activity among locals and tourists alike. The first to pop up in Cape Town’s community market scene, this market has become something of a social institution. Here, among the hundreds of stalls, you can spend hours browsing and trying fares and wares from Cape Town’s “finest micro-merchants, designer-makers, specialty-producers and food-alchemists.

Aside from the abundant food and drink options, Neighbourgoods also has a dedicated local design market in a separate area, and here you can shop some of the city’s coolest fashion and accessories. Once you’ve finally settled on something to eat, indulge in a delicious cocktail or two from the market’s own Copper Bar and enjoy live music. It’s vibrant, busy, and very quintessentially Capetonian. In typical Cape Town style, it can get pretty crowded so I’d suggest you go around 10am to avoid the queues and potential hanger. 

A Local's Guide to Cape Town

Food, Glorious Food

By Hong Kong standards, Cape Town is ridiculously affordable. To give you an idea of just how cheap: most of the bars and restaurants mentioned (and these are some of the best in Cape Town) below serve a glass of wine for $25 and a full meal between $40 – $70 (this obviously doesn’t apply to the fancier options, but even then you’re at no risk of breaking the bank). I’ve categorised my top Cape Town restaurants by cuisine – so all you have to do is decide between burgers or Indian.

Caption: Me, trying to choose a restaurant in Cape Town

Health & Vegan/Vegetarian:

A chain of healthy restaurants, Nü makes amazing salads and delicious breakfast bowls.

Raw and Roxy“There is no need to say goodbye to burgers and chocolate ganache in your quest to eat healthy food.” Rax and vegan, need I say more?

The Hungry HerbivoreAnother vegan favourite, The Hungry Herbivore makes a mean vegan burger and a pretty good raw pizza.

Scheckter’s RawScheckter’s is one my ultimate breakfast spots after a cycle in Sea Point. It serves up delicious vegan and vegetarian food, and its sweet selection is to die for. Raw, vegan Snickers bar, anyone?

Burgers:

IYO Burgers – Inside & You’re OutMade with all of the ‘toppings’ inside the patty (get it?), IYO offers up some crazy combinations that are all delicious. Opt for the bunless burger, which comes in a bowl of salad and get the sweet potato fries instead. So.damn.good.

Royale EateryRoyale is legendary for making the ‘best burgers in Cape Town,’ and with a menu that is at least 12 pages long, you can mix and match and create whatever your heart desires. Royale’s boozy milkshakes are the stuff of dreams, so if you go, make sure you wear your stretchy pants ‘cos you need to fit one of these decadent babies in.

The Dog’s BollocksMassive burgers and delicious beer is served up in this industrial converted garage. The space has a really fun vibe, and you can spend hours sitting outside sipping on their specially-brewed beer watching the world go by.

Lefty’sLefty’s is a proper ‘dive bar’ offering burgers, pizzas, ribs and their famous fried chicken waffles. I usually go for the falafels, which are some of the best in Cape Town.

Indian:


SundooA South Indian tapas-style restaurant on Sea Point’s main road, Sundoo serves some of the best Indian food you’ll find in Cape Town.

Vintage IndiaVintage India has all the charm of an old-school Indian diner, complete with plastic table covers and mismatched chairs. The food is amazing, and the portions are great value for money.

Sweet Treats:

UnframedServing vegan ice cream with delicious toppings, Unframed is constantly experimenting and offering new flavours – from Turmeric latter to Peanut Butter and so much more. Grab a scoop or three for a walk down Kloof Street and into Long Street, or treat yourself to late-night dessert post-dinner.

Honest Chocolate CaféHonest Chocolate Café will change your life, and that’s the damn truth. It’s almost impossible to choose from the chocolate bunny chow and nachos to raw truffles and sweet potato brownies, so order a few things to sample or to take home. Honest make incredible chocolate creations and, since everything’s made with raw, organic and vegan ingredients, there’s zero guilt factor!

Mexican:

El Burro and El Burro TaqueriaEl Burro and the smaller El Burro Taqueria (on Kloofnek Road) are in my top 5 restaurants in the whole city. The food is fresh, authentic and too delicious to put into words. You’ve got to try the chilli & pineapple margarita, the fried fish taco and the wild mushroom burrito. You’re welcome.

San JulianNestled in Bo-Kaap, San Julian is the only Mexican restaurant in South Africa run by a Mexican family. ‘Nuff said!

Breakfast / Brunch:

Giulio’sDelicious Italian fare, generous portions and a beautifully decorated dining room make Giulio’s a favourite brunch spot.

Clarkes Bar and Dining RoomClarke’s is the go-to brunch spot in Cape Town, it’s where all the cool kids go and because there’s very little a Clarke’s Bloody Mary can’t fix. I still dream of the chickpea salad, but I’ve heard the Hash Eggs are pretty delicious too.

The Raptor Room: The Raptor Room has a drink named after Beyonce, tropical wallpaper, and serves something called ‘F*ckbread.’ Try the Big Mama Brunch burger, Ouma (Granny) Jean’s flapjacks, or their unique take on the local ‘gatsby.’

Greek:

Love Thy NeighbourLove Thy Neighbour offers authentic Greek food (both owners are Greek), barbecued meat, the most delicious bean dip you will ever taste, and a very, very impressive souvlaki. All this comes with a great selection of local wine and beer to be enjoyed in the outside beer garden area – perfect for long summer lunches.

Asian:

Three Wise MonkeysHands down the best ramen in Cape Town, Three Wise Monkeys also serve sushi, kushiyaki and poké bowls.

HallelujahSeriously delicious and inventive Asian tapas, local bubbly and flamingo wallpaper – three things that make Hallelujah a true gem!

South China Dim SumThis tiny little dim sum restaurant at the top of Long Street holds its own against the dim sum we eat here in Hong Kong. The cold sesame noodle salad is a must, and so is the green tea mojito. They also have a small selection of Asian beers, so if you find yourself craving a Tsing Tao and dumplings… this is the place to go.

SawadeeIf it’s Thai food you want, Sawadee delivers the best. This restaurant makes the best veggie green curry and Mongolian beef noodles in the city, in my humble opinion.

Make a Day Of It

BabylonstorenA day at Babylonstoren is as memorable as it is delicious! The farm itself dates back to 1692 and has been reopened with two restaurants, a hotel and spa, a farm shop, bakery and wine tasting room. The sprawling garden is divided into 15 sections including fruit, vegetables, berries, a prickly pear maze, cactus gardens and so much more. You can spend hours wandering around the gardens, and eat an incredible farm-to-table lunch at either Babel (you’ll need to book at least a month or two in advance) or at the more casual Greenhouse. Babylonstoren have a selection of their own wines that are to die for, so after lunch head to the tasting room and try them all!

Die StrandloperUp the West Coast of Cape Town you’ll find this breezy, outdoor barbecue restaurant on the beach. At Strandloper you pay a set price and then eat all the fresh seafood fresh off the grill and as much freshly-baked farm bread and homemade jam as you want/can!

Babylonstoren Cape Town

Treat Yo’self

The Test Kitchen recently ranked in the ‘World’s 100 best restaurants’ list for 2017. You’ll need to book months in advance to get a table but if you’re going all the way to Cape Town then this is an experience in fine dining that you absolutely cannot miss. Chef, Luke Dale-Roberts is a culinary genius, and his two other restaurants are incredible in their own right. If you can’t get a spot at The Test Kitchen, then a night at The Potluck Club or The Short Market Club make for an equally special experience (you’ll need to book these too).

Comprising a ‘Dark Room’ and a ‘Light Room’, The Test Kitchen is open only for dinners with a maximum of 40 guests per evening. It’s a magical experience worth every single cent. Expect 21 courses, each plated to perfection, with exceptional attention to detail and interesting and delightful flavour combinations. Girls, this is as fancy as it gets.

Outrage and Modesty Cape Town

Bars and Hangouts

Luckily for us, choosing a spot to have a drink (or three) is a little easier than choosing where to eat in Cape Town. So, without further ado, here are some of my most dearly beloved bars in the Mother City:

The Power and The Glory: P&G (as it’s affectionately called) is a very cool neighbourhood bar known for its hotdogs, pickleback, oyster shots, and late night playlists. By day, P&G is a charming café serving delicious food and excellent coffee and by night, well… let’s just say it’s hands down my favourite bar in Cape Town.

Hanks: A moody whiskey bar just next to Love Thy Neighbour, Hanks holds weekly music nights and is known to turn into a bit of a dance party.

Outrage of Modesty: A fabulous and quirky cocktail bar, drinks at OOM is a delight for the senses.

Yours Truly: With two locations in the city (Kloof Street and Loop Street), Yours Truly is another go-to spot for many Capetonians. The Kloof Street bar has more of a party atmosphere than the Loop Street bar (unless it’s First Thursdays), so during the day you can enjoy drinks under the canopy of lush plants, and at night you can head upstairs (Up Yours) where there’s another bar and, on weekends, a DJ. It’s usually the number one option for Sunday drinks, when most of the other bars are closed.

The ‘Secret’ Gin Bar: Tucked away in the courtyard behind Honest Chocolate, The Gin Bar is an oasis in the city. For gin-lovers, they have a wide selection of local and international gins to choose from, and they make a killer gin cocktail. In summer they often host vinyl DJ sessions. Gin and vinyls, two of our favourite things.

Roxy Late NightRoxy’s is another bar with an outside seating section, making it perfect for balmy summer evenings, and the cozy upstairs lounge area is perfect for cold, wintery red wine sessions. The ZAR10 (about $5) beer special draws the afternoon crowds, and I’ve heard some obscene words used to describe the Mac ‘n’ Cheese Balls.

After writing all of this, I’m equal parts hungry and homesick! Compiling a guide to Cape Town is no easy feat, not least because I want to do it justice and make sure that anyone who travels to the Mother City sees the very best that the city has to offer. Having said that, this guide is pretty personal; it’s filled with the places, activities and characteristics that made my life in Cape Town so sweet. 

If I’ve forgotten anything (Shock! Horror!) or you’d like to suggest something I haven’t included (because in Cape Town a ‘cool new spot’ opens up just about every week), please let me know, I’d be happy to include them. 

The post A Local’s Guide to Cape Town appeared first on Sassy Hong Kong.

Source: A Local’s Guide to Cape Town

Hair Trends: Braids for Every Occasion

Hair inspo to keep you looking fresh all day long

 

Now that humidity has hit the 852, ditch the topknot and stay on trend with our favourite (effortless) braided styles.

I don’t know about you, but summer turns me into a complete the-less-effort-the-better kinda girl, which is great when I can pull off an easy, cool look, but not so great when I don’t have time or energy to put the ‘effort’ into effortless. Even though there’s nothing new about the braid – it’s been a practical staple hairstyle for hundreds of years – when you’re in a routine of throwing your hair into a bun or ponytail, you may need a little inspiration. Don’t be intimidated, these styles take all of 10 minutes to perfect and will give your look that extra something for the whole day (or night)!

The talented and lovely geniuses at Love Hair (in Central) had us over for a morning of braiding, and we created short and simple tutorials so you can recreate these fun summer styles yourself. From the simple temple braid, to interesting variations on the boxer braid and the glorious crown braid, I’m going to be wearing these styles on rotation from now until December. The ladies at Love Hair let us in on a top tip: the key to beautiful braids is creating some volume before you start braiding, so invest in some Sea Salt Spray like the one we used from Kevin Murphy, or use a curling wand to pump up those strands.

Read more: Love Hair: Our Favourite Eco-Hair Salon in Central

The temple braid

If you wear your hair down often, these simple braids will add a fun touch to your go-to style. They take literally two minutes to braid, and if (like me) you’re constantly pushing your hair out of your face, they’re a good substitute for hair slides or tucking your hair behind your ears every 10 seconds. Incorporate temple braids into a low bun or ponytail for a sophisticated and simple addition.

The classic Double Dutch (Boxer) Braid and variations

I’m in the painful process of growing out my fringe, so this style is perfect for me. You can choose to leave some hair out and down to frame your face, or braid it all up on days where the heat is too much to bear.  I love the double Dutch braid for its versatility, for the way it makes me look way more put together than I actually am, and for the way you can wear this hairstyle straight from the gym to the bar. As shown, the messier the braids the better the look, so there’s no need to fuss with your hair all day. Here, we show you how to do the basic double Dutch braid, the backwards crown, and in small knots and ponytails on the nape of your neck. If you’re outdoors and in the sun, this style works beautifully with a wide brimmed hat or peak cap thrown on top.

The Crown Braid

Once you’ve mastered the double Dutch braid, try your hand at the crown braid. While a little more challenging than the other two styles, this one is definitely statement hairstyle that’s worth the extra time and effort it takes to perfect. After Grace at Love Hair did my crown braid, I went straight to lunch and then to a gym class with my ‘do still perfectly intact, and let me tell you – it turned more than a few heads (in the good way)! The crown braid isn’t just a hairstyle, it’s an accessory – it makes boyfriend jeans and a t-shirt, or a simple summer dress, look amazing. The crown braid also elevates any formal look, so if you’re planning on dressing up for a girls brunch or special event, make your hair your true crowning glory and add some extra sparkle to your outfit. It takes 15 minutes, and you’ll be getting compliments for days.

Read more: Hairdressers in Hong Kong: Tame your Tresses with our Top 10 Picks

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Source: Hair Trends: Braids for Every Occasion