News - Hong Kong with Genavieve
As our charming Mira Moon Hotel opens to the public in Hong Kong, PR powerhouse Genavieve Alexander, takes us on a private tour of the bustling city she adores. Genavieve is founder of Genavieve.Co, a boutique PR brand she launched only six months after moving to Hong Kong.
Where are we?
Hong Kong, Sun Street. Studio G is here and it’s my favourite neighbourhood of Hong Kong - “St Francis pocket” Wan Chai. Where Sun Street meets Moon and Star Street.
We have 24 hours here, what should we do?
Begin at Ted’s Lookout with a Bloody Mary or, for a more healthy start, a raw juice at Maya on Moon Street. Loop back round the corner for a shop on Sun Street, starting at Kapok, pop into Chen Miji (for furniture and collectables) and Sonju (fashion & home treasures) and if you have time WDSG Art & Craft Department, St Francis Street.
Image from Genavieve.Co
Stop for a feed at the Da Pai Dong on St Francis Yard, cross the road for nostalgic and eclectic vintage pieces at LostnFound. Pass the Monocle store and admire the much loved collection of Polaroid cameras at Polab.
Climb the steep steps to visit ‘Incredibles’. Enter the shop and inhale the scent of the space, great for menswear pieces too and an affordable cabinet of accessories. Lose yourself in an international adventure through the homeware and collectable pieces from the 20’s-70’s at Architectz’ Factory.
Images from Architectz’ Factory
Pass by friend and inspiration Joyce Wang’s at her Studio. She is the designer of some of Hong Kong’s most striking spaces, namely Ammo – a must see bar within the Asia Archive Building, just up form Upper House (another must stop drinking spot!) If it's a Wednesday evening and in season then experience the Happy Valley Races. Be sure to stand and bet beside the locals to truly experience the charm of this famed past time of the HongKongese.
Share a favourite memory from this place.
Of the area of Sun Street, Joyce Wang holds outdoor screenings seasonally; she masterfully converts her studio shelving into seating. I recently spent a fun, hot night sipping red wine and relishing in the food presented innovatively by my favourite foodie concept, Tate Dining.
I’m new here, any insider tips?
Walking around the streets is a sure way to truly see the juxtaposition between the old city and the new. Explore the old Hong Kong; Wan Chai and Sheung Wan, now coined POHO as the new district of Soho. Get off the island and head to Cheung Chau (30minutes by ferry) for seafood and quaint street scenes of locals playing mah-jong (Chinese game) Take a trip to Mui Wo by ferry from central pier and dine at the relaxed beach side restaurant China Beach Club and hire a tricycle!
Image from Red Truck Designs
Where should we have breakfast?
Depends on your morning mood. Some of my favourites include Dim Sum at Jade Garden, Causeway Bay Plaza, Lockhart Road; Brunch at Hyatt Poolside, Saturdays & Sunday; Beach breakfast at Cococabana, Shek O, South side of the island (30 minutes taxi from central Hong Kong).
How should we get around?
By bike! Motorbike or cycling bike, or taxi; after all it’s the Hong Kong way - cab to curb!Watch out the doors open automatically when you approach, many a time I have been a victim to this misfortune! Trams are also a wonderful allbeit it slow way to experience central HK and “local commuting life” and see the city up close.
A lovely place to stroll?
Hong Kong Park is a delight in the morning - watch the Tai Chi, around 8am and see the turtles and fish, it's a welcome oasis as you stare out onto the impressive architecture, a thrilling start to your day.
You can also simply walk around the back streets of Sai Ying Pun. Real and rustic this is the Hong Kong we love. Stop on Po Yan Street & Tai Ping Shan Street two of my HK favourites for flavour and style. Ellermann Design, bespoke florist favourite introduced by friend Mandy D'Abo who has my favourite Galleries, Cat Street. Space and Annex.
I don’t drink coffee. My coffee replacement is ginger, something in abundance in Hong Kong. I stop off every morning at Chit Street, Wan Chai on my walk to the studio from Happy Valley for carrot, apple and ginger juice.
Tell me something surprising
You can get a a blow dry for as little as £7!
Image from Genavieve.Co
What helps you focus?
A weekly foot massage and hiking the 1,000 steps of an early morning. I often start my day with a swim at Deep Water Bay, a young coconut, 10 a penny on the island also is a saint for rehydration.
Is there a new exhibition?
Plenty. Those that say Hong Kong is starved of cultural “go to’s” simply don’t know where to look. Galleries, pop ups and back street studios are alive all over the city. I am most excited by the West Kowloon Cultural District project mastermind by Aric Chen and Magnus Redfrew set to boost cultural and entertainment establishments in Hong Kong. Plus the Central Police Station project that is underway on Hollywood Road. One building will be dedicated to contemporary art the other to design.
Show me a building you love.
Wander around the wet markets off Lyndhurst Terrace and look up to 99 Wellington Street, Sense 99 great for live music. I’m also inspired by the famous Blue House in Wan Chai, St Johns Cathedral perched above the financial district on Garden Road and the Rose Gold of the Far Eastern Building. It is this majestic glow and its powerful colour that inspired me to inject the hue into the “G” of my Genavieve.Co logo.
A market place to get lost in?
Go to Western market just off Lyndhurst terrace. You will be both surprised and shocked. Markets (mainly food) can be found all over the island there is even a little farmers' market at the weekend stationed at Central Pier. For clothes, hats and locally made items pop to Causeway Bay.
A great place for cocktails?
Sevva, Princes Building for the view and the Veuve Clicquot. Boudoir for some unexpected Parisian Chic.
Somewhere to avoid like the plague…
Lan Kwai Fong; Queens Road Central in summer. Malls! I prefer to find my shopping stimulation outdoors on the streets, discovered and undiscovered...