The next morning I discovered jet lag, I woke up at precisely 2am, 3am then 4.30am then couldn’t get back to sleep. Luckily for me, one of Cafe Kool’s fabulous pancake breakfasts was waiting for me. The Gentleman and I jumped into some clothes, had a quick briefing with Charlie the concierge and found our route for the day.
We started with the beautiful Flower Market, streets upon streets filled with the latest blooms, carefully selected and wrapped up individually to ensure they arrival at their final destination is pristine.
During our visit, I was creating some fabulous videos for our soon-to-be-launched YouTube Channel and The Gentleman had the camera… This was the result of the rows upon rows of flower markets…
We won’t talk about it. Just around the corner however, was The Bird Market. Every day locals bring their beloved pets to the market to meet the tourists, or buy more birds, new cages, locusts and grubs.
It’s a sensory overload.
By the time we’d walked to the end and back, both of us were boiling hot and about ready for a drink. On Charlie’s map for us was a big Mall, we figured this was a safe bet for something cooling. Plus, air-con, sold!
We found an awesome little bar/restaurant called Brooklyn in the Mong Kok Mall. Yes very westernised, but to be honest Hong Kong is so multicultural that you can get pretty much any kind of food you want and we weren’t eating just yet! Well, holidays do mean that it’s acceptable to drink before 11am.
After a Cosmo for me and a Moscow Mule for him, we were suitably refreshed to head back out and get swallowed up by the huge buildings’ shadows.
We had one more market to cover for the day and we had saved the best till last. The Goldfish Market. This would always acquire mixed reviews, The Goldfish Market is so-called because they’re considered lucky in local culture. Amongst the goldfish, there are turtles, puppies, lizards, rabbits, hamsters and almost every exotic fish you can imagine.
You have to pick and choose the stores you give your money to if you actually want to consider buying. Some of the stores perhaps don’t consider the goldfish as lucky as others and perhaps don’t care too much for the other animals either. Regardless, the majority have very healthy aquatic life.
That’s ok, I’ll wait for you to scroll back to that last image and meet you back here.
I had to be dragged away from my dream Pomeranian after I realised he probably wouldn’t clear customs.
We jumped in the nearest taxi and zoomed over to Tim Ho Wan, Olympian City, for some Dim Sum.
The pork buns are pretty famous and we asked a few questions on what they suggested, but with a slight language barrier we didn’t really get any recommendations.
We thought we’d be safe and order the meat options. Until I bit into one and discovered a prawn, so be very careful. They don’t include all the ingredients on the menu!
So ensued a very worried few hours while we waited to see if Ben had any allergic reactions. We thought it was safest to head back to the hotel and relax just in case.
I was happy, I finally got my soak in that beautiful tub!
We spent the afternoon wrapped up in giant robes on the sofa watching the boats go by below, before finally rolling into some smarter clothes. We had somewhere to be!
Glass of champagne in hand, the atmosphere was amazing and truly got us into the mood for our next stop – cocktails at Aqua. A ridiculous amount of floors up, we walked out into the newly refurbished bar – identical to the cream and gold of the London branch and were sat at a table right by the balcony, looking over that incredible view.
I, of course, had to check whether the standard of Porn Star Martini was that of it’s London sister (wrong glass, but I liked how the passion fruit and champagne chaser were served).
He went for an Old Fashioned – oh we’re so stuck in our ways!
It was definitely an evening to relax and let loose, so we both had a second cocktail. Espresso Martini for me and a New York Sour for him Rye Whiskey, lemon, sugar, Red Wine and Red Wine Foam – slightly too exotic for his taste buds however.
Admiring the view, we chatted away to the staff, chatting about where they were from and where they recommended to visit in the Philippines, before being led downstairs to our table at Hutong on the floor below when it was ready.
We feasted on the most exquisite dim sum, pork belly and crispy duck until we were the last people in the restaurant. I can still taste the crispy duck pancakes, they made that much of an impression.
Even then, the lovely staff still surprised us with a little ice cream sundae. I say little…
We weren’t too sure on the flavours, I’m still pretty certain they said it was sweet potato and soya on a bed of cornflakes… it didn’t get finished, but it was a really lovely touch. Just before we left, we made sure to tie our wishes onto the wishing tree.
I don’t know about Ben, but mine has already come true, so I say there’s definitely a bit of magic hanging in those branches!