Friday, April 3, 2015

A weekend of Michelin three-star restaurants and good friends in Hong Kong coming up soon. And remembering my stays at the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong.



So finally, I'm getting psyched for a weekend in Hong Kong, living a #Travelife.

It's not for another two weeks and I'm still in Tokyo for this Easter weekend; but in my mind I'm already thinking about what to bring and what to wear in Hong Kong.

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FULLY BOOKED FOR A WEEKEND

Until now, I've been too busy to do much except to coordinate the restaurants to go to, as I had exactly two lunches, two dinners, and two breakfasts available before I jumped back onto a plane for somewhere -- and now everything's taken.

It's not a very long visit at all, as I'm on my way to another country for a Pilates bootcamp, so I've just contacted a few friends, kept Friday night for date night at one of Hong Kong's best restaurants, and left all work contacts out entirely for another trip.

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ONE LUNCH WAS FREE.
BUT NOT FOR LONG

I purposely left one lunch free, though, as I thought I'd walk around Central and see what was new before dressing up for dinner.

And I thought I'd also visit my favourite jeweler who I have been going to for ages, ever since he started out with his store in the old Mandarin Oriental, as I need to get a brooch he made for me another lifetime ago mended.

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LUNCH WITH A PRINCESS

But then an Easter message popped up on my phone, from a princess living in Hong Kong.

So on the spur of the moment I decided to message her back to see if she's free for lunch on the very Friday I arrive, since I land mid-morning. And with some luck and a good limo driver waiting at Hong Kong airport, I thought I might just make it to some smart restaurant in Central for a late-ish lunch.

Otherwise everything is finalised. And as all the restaurant choices were left to me, I went on and booked all Michelin three star restaurants for this short trip.

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MY FIRST PROPER WEEKEND IN HONG KONG
IN A LONG TIME

It's really the first time in a long time that I'll actually be spending a proper weekend in Hong Kong.

I'm actually in Hong Kong at least every other month, but it's always just a transit stop to change planes at the airport. And when I do get out of Hong Kong airport, it's usually just for an overnight stay to break a long airplane ride from Europe back home.

And all I've ever done is to take a car straight to the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, check into a room with a view, order my favourite chicken rice via room service -- MOHK has excellent chicken rice via room service -- and then get into bed for a very long sleep.

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JUST LIKE HOME

I wake up the next day just in time for lunch with someone at the Mandarin Grill, Man Wah or at Pierre, and then I'm on the evening flight back home.

Yes, in case you noticed from the above, I never leave the Mandarin on a visit like this and I eat all my meals there, on my usual 24-hour visits to Hong Kong.

There's not much reason for me to head out of MOHK these days, you see.

I've seen every street and corner of Hong Kong island over the years and I don't really consciously shop for brand names as I usually only buy something I happen see and like -- in which case the brand doesn't matter at all; it could be the best brand or a no brand whatsoever. 

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I'm also not a fan of the crowds.

So I usually just head straight for the Mandarin from the airport and I just stay there until it's time to leave back to the airport. And I get my Hong Kong friends to come and see me at MOHK instead since it's so conveniently located anyway.

I've been staying there ever since I can remember, and it really feels just like home. In fact, I feel so at home at MOHK that I never think twice about ordering a Peking duck for myself at Man Wah. Yes, after a couple of conferences, I've found myself along at the hotel just waiting for the departure time for the airport.

It's too short a time to meet up with someone but long enough for a quick lunch by myself. So I head to Man Wah and get a window table, and order a Peking duck for myself. No one ever bats an eyelash.

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In fact, when my car pulls up at the hotel curb, Danny, who is a long-time member of the hotel staff and an institution at MOHK, is usually even waiting right by the door to say "welcome back."

This time, though, I'm staying somewhere else, just for a change of scenery. Call it my other old haunt.

And finally I get a proper 56-hour weekend of fun in Hong Kong, living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful #Travelife.





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