Arcane restaurant review – can you keep a secret?

arcane hong kong suckling pig

Arcane /ɑːˈkeɪn/ adjective
Understood by few; mysterious or secret

Despite the dictionary definition, I promise that you won’t need a degree from Hogwarts to understand the food at Shane Osborn’s new restaurant, Arcane. It’s simple – it’s stunning.

Having fallen head over taste buds in love with Osborn’s cooking, I was absolutely gutted to hear that he had left St Betty, the restaurant that brought him to Hong Kong following his award-winning stint at London’s Pied a Terre. But that sadness quickly turned into elation when I discovered that Osbourn was in fact opening his own restaurant in Central.

Arcane Hong Kong

Located on the 18th floor of a brand new building on On Lan Street, the interior of Arcane is pretty unassuming – the décor is nothing exciting (although there is a lovely terrace garden where Shane grows fruit, veggies and herbs for the kitchen) – but frankly, you don’t need design tricks and kicks when your food is this good.

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Benefit Roller Lash mascara review – curl power

benefit roller lash

Beauty confessions: I hate mascara.

I know, I know… mascara is like, everyone else’s desert island essential. But with crazy-sensitive eyes that tear up at the merest suggestion of the music from Up (the other day I even cried about how cute a dog on Instagram was), I very rarely wear the stuff. In general, I find mascara heavy, that it irritates my eyes, that it’s a pain to remove… and for all that, it doesn’t even make that much of a difference to how my face looks. [Note: I opt for lashings of eyeliner instead.]

benefit roller lash mascara brush

BUT if I did wear mascara often, then Benefit’s Roller Lash mascara would probably be high on my list.

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Rose Bakery café review – every rose has its thorn…

rose bakery hong kong marbled chocolate loaf

Not much beats curling up with a good book and a piece of cake… so I think it’s pretty clever for Hong Kong bookshop Page One to have stuck a café in their recently renovated Harbour City store – the Parisian import Rose Bakery, to be exact.

rose bakery hong kong

That said, I don’t think Rose Bakery’s décor is the most welcoming. It’s the same signature look in every city (London, New York, Tokyo and counting) but I found its stark industrial design rather chilly, and somewhat at odds with the traditional dark wood bookshelves lining the walls at Page One. With a bare cement floor, cold glass tables and stainless steel surfaces, it feels like a cross between a disused aircraft hangar and the Industrial Zone on The Crystal Maze (and yes, I know I seem to reference The Crystal Maze way more than the average person!).

Come 4pm and my mind immediately turns to cake… hell, who am I fooling, my mind is usually fixated on cake at all times of the day! So on our visit, afternoon tea partner-in-crime Mirander and I decided to bypass Rose Bakery’s savoury offerings of salads and quiches for cake, cake and more cake; a balanced diet means that not all the cakes we chose are chocolate ones, right?

rose bakery hk carrot cake

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Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration moisturiser review – he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother

kiehls ultra facial cream intense hydration

If you thought that living in Hong Kong meant you got to avoid the vagaries of winter weather, think again. The only difference? Unlike the UK, we’re just vastly unprepared for it!

Nevertheless, there are a couple of things you can buy to lessen the pain. Millions of Uniqlo Heattech tops. A mini convection heater to tote around wherever you go. And a really really good winter moisturiser. Which is exactly where Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration comes in.

Add dry weather to drying conditions (hello that beloved convection heater!) and you end up with pretty parched skin. Given that Hong Kong’s usual climate of heat and humidity is the exact opposite of this and you can see why a change in your skincare routine is most definitely called for! So it’s out with light, gel-based moisturisers and in with heavy-duty hydrating creams. However, what’s amazing about Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Intense Hydration Cream is that whilst it’s heavy-duty, it does so without actually being heavy. Which has to be some sort of make-up miracle.

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Afternoon tea at The Intercontinental Hong Kong review – a view to a kill

the intercontinental hong kong le chocolat alain ducasse tea set

In a city swarming with afternoon teas, there are a couple of stone cold (or rather, scone cold hehe) classics that rarely disappoint – The Mandarin Oriental, The Four Seasons, The Peninsula… and I think it’s about time that I added The Intercontinental Hong Kong to the list.

Whilst many hotel teas here boast pretty sweet views of the city thanks to their lofty heights (à la The Ritz-Carlton or The Upper House’s Café Gray Deluxe), The Intercontinental’s might just be my new favourite based on sheer spectacle alone. The laidback surrounds of the Lobby Lounge essentially give you front row seats to the best show Hong Kong has to offer – our magnificent harbour skyline, laid out for all to see via a giant wall of floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s like you’re sitting on the ocean. As far as tea settings go, you can’t get much better… oh, until the sun sets and then you get to see Hong Kong’s glittering skyline by night instead.

the intercontinental hong kong lobby lounge

With that view, The Intercon could serve me tap water and gruel and I’d probably still be making a return booking. Thankfully, they do a whole lot better than that – and their afternoon tea set is definitely up there with Hong Kong’s stronger offerings. Continue reading

Zoya Aurora nail polish review

zoya aurora

Hail to the Princess Aurora! All of her subjects adore her! Hail to the King, hail to the Queen, hail to the Princess Aurora!

Given that Sleeping Beauty was always my favourite Disney princess, it was always likely I’d feel the urge to buy Zoya’s Aurora nail polish – and yes, I totally buy cosmetics based on the product names. Thankfully, the colour turned out to be pretty stellar.

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Clinique Chubby Sticks in Heftiest Hibiscus, Chunky Cherry and Jumbo Jasmine review

clinique chubby sticks

“Hello, my name is Rachel and I am a Chubb-aholic.”

Yes, ever since Clinique’s Chubby Sticks arrived on the beauty scene in 2011, I have found myself addicted to all crayon-shaped lip products that cross my path – be they the Chubby Sticks themselves, or bandwagon-jumping Chubb-alikes like Sisley’s Phyto-Lip Twists and Revlon’s Colorburst Balms. So it was only a matter of time before the itch hit and yet more Chubby Sticks found their way into my collection; if I plead innocence as to how they got there, will the make-up gods (and my bank balance) believe me?

clinique chubby sticks heftiest hibiscus chunky cherry jumbo jasmine swatchLeft to right: Heftiest Hibiscus, Chunky Cherry, Jumbo Jasmine

The latest additions to my Chubby Stick family are Heftiest Hibiscus, Chunky Cherry and Jumbo Jasmine. And of course, they are all pretty awesome. In case you need a recap as to why Clinique Chubby Sticks in general are awesome, may I point you to my previous reviews here and here… but if you are too lazy to click (tut tut), here are the basics:

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