Chesa restaurant review – Swiss bliss at The Peninsula Hong Kong

chesa hong kong swiss chalet

Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful…

There’s just something about Chesa in The Peninsula Hong Kong that makes me want to sing Christmas carols whatever time of year it is. (Luckily, we’ve now hit the festive season full-swing, so I sound somewhat less of a loon.)

chesa hong kong

One of the only Swiss restaurants in Hong Kong, Chesa has been going strong for over 40 years – and once you’ve stepped into its cosy chalet surroundings, you’ll understand why. It feels like a secret Alpine escape, not just from bustling Tsim Sha Tsui, but the whole of Hong Kong itself. With its dark wood panelling, rustic furniture and cute mountain chalet details (think cross-stitch cushions and cuckoo clocks), it’s a gorgeous little grotto that just begs for curling by the fire with a cup of cocoa and comedy Christmas jumper.

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Winter Want List 2014: Beauty

Christmas Cosmetics 2014 1

It’s a shame there are officially only Twelve Days of Christmas – as there’s definitely way more than twelve things I’d like my true love to give to me! And yes, they’re all cosmetics – #beautybloggerproblems yo’.

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Winter Want List 2014: Style

grana hong kongFeel that tiny drop in temperature in Hong Kong over the past few weeks? Well that, my friend, is what us shopaholics know as a trigger… a trigger to buy new things because it’s a whole new season! Right?! RIGHT. It’s called Becky Bloomwood logic, y’all.

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Vasco restaurant review – everyday I’m truffling…

vasco hong kong chocolate

How do you make a fancy restaurant even fancier? With liberal sprinklings of truffle, of course!

Vasco in PMQ is the even more sophisticated upstairs sister of Isono Eatery & Bar, essentially taking many of that restaurant’s key elements and polishing them up into pure Michelin-bait refinement.

vasco hong kong

So we have the same interior designer Joyce Wang, except this time the exposed metals and marble surfaces are just that bit more luxe – a long dining room with plush banquette sofas and a striking circular dining room at its centre, with something of a train carriage vibe about it (we’re obviously talking first-class train carriages a la 2046 or Snowpiercer rather than the First Great Western to Slough).

Likewise, it’s the same head chef as Isono – Paolo Cassagrande from Michelin-starred restaurant Lasarte – but rather than a menu of rustic Mediterranean favourites, Vasco’s dishes are all about creative culinary flair with knowing nods towards Basque cooking. At high-end eateries like this, I always think you should try the degustation, a menu specifically designed to take you on a journey that showcases the restaurant’s raison d’etre… so that’s exactly what we did with their seasonal three-course white truffle menu.

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Shu Uemura Eye-Need-Shu Liner in Midnight Black review – the most purr-fect holiday cosmetics collection

shu uemura shupette collection

Calling it! The cutest holiday cosmetics collection this festive season has to be the Shu Uemura x Karl Lagerfeld collaboration, Shupette; themed around Uncle Karl’s princess pussycat, Choupette, it’s a pun made in make-up heaven!

The second of Lagerfeld’s collaborations with Shu Uemura (you may remember his similarly adorable Mon Shu 2012 Holiday Collection), Shupette amps up the Christmas cute factor with a range of products encased in highly covetable packaging featuring sweet sketches of Karl’s famous fluffy white kitty, bearer of the most famous baby blues this side of Sinatra.

shu uemura eye need shu liner midnight black

However, one of my favourite products from the Shupette 2014 Holiday Collection is actually one of the more understated items – the Eye-Need-Shu Liner in Midnight Black.

Rather than featuring a drawing of the old fluffball herself, this pencil eyeliner instead has teeny-tiny silver paw-prints dancing their way around the black casing – subtle but sooooo cute!

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Gaucho restaurant review – don’t cry for me Argentina!

gaucho hong kong dulce de leche fondant

There’s something of a Brit invasion going on in Hong Kong’s restaurant scene right now – Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen, Jason Atherton’s Aberdeen Street Social, Tom Aitkens at The Pawn, even Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian. Well, here’s another one, except it’s not a famous chef but a famous restaurant – London’s award-winning Argentinian steakhouse, Gaucho.

Brought over to Hong Kong by Dining Concepts (yep, them again – importers of Ramsay, Laurent Tourondel, Michael White et al), Gaucho takes over the space of another of the group’s steakhouses, Mario Batalli’s Carnevino, at a super convenient location in LHT Tower next to Central MTR.

gaucho hong kong

The space is unashamedly masculine, but in an almost metrosexual way – think sleek black surfaces, shiny mirrored accents and aeons of cow hide everywhere (I dare you to resist stroking it).

In case you’re wondering what makes an Argentinian steakhouse Argentinian, it’s that the cows are from Argentina… simple as that (and sadly not that they’re doing Argentine Tangos amidst the pampas; don’t worry, they’re free-range and fed on 17 types of pesticide-free grass in the most luscious grasslands in the world, so they’re probably not too bothered about missing their chance for Strictly Come Dancing fame). Elsewhere, the menu features further Argentine accents in the form of cooking techniques (hola open-fire asado grills), ingredients (hola chorizo and dulce de leche) and dishes (hola ceviche and empanadas).

gaucho hong kong chimichurri

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The Loft by The Nail Library – taking mani-pedis in Hong Kong to lofty new heights!

the loft hong kong

Stuff I like: nail polish, mani-pedis, being pampered.

Stuff I don’t like: walking, walking uphill, getting really sweaty when walking uphill.

You may remember my discovery of The Nail Library being life-changing for my love of nail polish, mani-pedis and being pampered in Hong Kong. However, in order for The Nail Library to be something of a hidden gem, it has to be… well, a bit hidden. Hence its perfectly charming location off the beaten track in Po Hing Fong, which is a reasonably lengthy and very uphill walk from Sheung Wan MTR station.

the loft by the nail library hong kong

So I bring good news to those of you who share my aversion for most forms of physical activity. You can now get all of The Nail Library’s amazing range of nail polish brands, its superstar nail therapists, its unparalleled nail art expertise, and its laidback urban-luxe vibe at an even more convenient location just by Central’s escalators at The Loft by The Nail Library. Huzzah.

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