stay so long as you can

#8 – on my gems list – Afternoon Tea -The Peninsula Hotel, Hong Kong

Afternoon tea at The Lobby – is one of the few traditions in the city from its colonial period. Once the hottest ticket in town for rich, famous, governors, generals and visiting royalty, the Peninsula Hotel remains the height of luxury in Hong Kong and Asia, been served in over 80 years.

Afternoon tea is offered at the Peninsula everyday from 2p.m. – 7p.m and the classical string quartet on the balcony is including in the price. They don’t accept any reservations.

Went to Hotel Ritz in London for a “tea break” and never been so disappointed in my life – it was a circus and the staff didn’t want to be there. After having enjoyed this treat a couple of times during my stay at this hotel – I think it will be difficult to find something that is better, when it’s all about high tea.

The tea set itself was .. like straight out “Alice in Wonderland” .. and what I understand they still use the same today. Not a tea person so I got my nice silver pot of coffee together with a silver jug of warm milk – busting cases, mini English scones with Devonshire clotted cream and finger sandwiches all served on silver stand. Fussed by bow tie waiters that makes you feel very VIP. Stay so long as you can to soak up the elegance and experience.

The experience will be yours for yours for HK$ 268 for 1 person, HK$398 for 2 and be prepared to queue for it, so come so early as possible. Because it’s worth it.

“A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how
strong she is until you put her in hot water.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

Photos provided by: jimmynjapan.blogspot.com – ledelcieux.com – plumvoyage.fr – photobucket.com

a piece of paris made in hong kong

Gaddi’s
The Peninsula
Salisbury Road, Kawloon
Hong Kong, SAR
(852) 1315 3171
EXECUTIVE CHEF: David Goodridge
HK$$$$$ – French Gourmet
http://www.peninsula.com/Hong_Kong/en/Dining/Gaddis

This is something else … the a la carte restaurant of “Grand Dame of the Fare East” . So back I’m at The Peninsula. Maybe my soul never left “her”.

During all my time I got for “free” in Hong Kong between our China cruises in 1978-79 I had a really good chance to eat my way through the city.
Only been at this restaurant once and it was in a company of very charming and elegant Italian man that I met up with every time I came to Hong Kong.

Gaddi’s is an impressive experience. Fine dinning and wine in top class. Service as expected of a restaurant in this class – but not being too stiff about it. Still a legend that open in 1953 – with crystal and silver chandeliers from Paris and Tai Ping carpet , and a Chinese coromandel screen dating from 1670. Of course the ladies copy of the menu doesn’t have any prices.

Had my first meeting with fresh foie gras here and it’s my second most memorable dish. Where told that it’s flown in every morning fresh from Paris. Served lightly grilled with toasted slices of brioche with a fig bacon jam. Food for Gods! It was heavenly.
Know it’s not really the right thing to eat goose liver and the thought about how the poor birds are treated before slaughter makes me feel bad – but when I see foie gras on a menu – I can’t help myself. Please for give me. Don’t happen very often, but it happens.

As main I had veal cutlets, something I never had before neither – even if every Sunday dinner as a child we had veal steak. Still not very often veal cutlets are being served. Wonderful piece of meat – last time was in 2011 at “Grill Royal” in Berlin.

“Gaddi’s” introduced me to something that I still enjoy very much and every time I eat fresh foie gras or veal cutlet – I’m back where it all started.

The afternoon tea in The Lobby I will come to later.

photos provided by; cnngo.com / restaurantdiningcritiques.com / birdiegolfblog.com / magazeta.com / cravemag.com

to be picked up ….

The Peninsula Hong Kong (香港半島酒店)
Salisbury Road,
Kowloon, Hong Kong, SAR
(852)29202888
5-Stars, 246 rooms and 54 suites

Now looking the website and on the net a lot has changed since June-78, when I was one of their important guests. Rooms has been refurbished, in 1994 there was a 30-story tower added to the magnificent old building, there is also buildings in front of the hotel and they have changed color on their Rolls-Royces. In “my days” they where cappuccino colored and they where 7 to the number. The hotel have picked up their guest in that luxury since 1970. In “my days” at The Peninsula every guest where picked up on arrival and dropped off on departure.

Today they have a fleet of 14 limousines, liveried in the hotel’s own green and honey trim, is the largest single order of the legendary masque’s new Phantom super-luxury car and come purpose-built for the hotel’s rich customers and four 1934 Phantom’s are still in service. Plus 2 specially bespoke made Mini Cooper’s share the space.

The hotel opened up 1928 in the corner of Salisbury Road and Nathan Road. Today they call their prestige’s lady – The Grand Dame of Asia – and it’s grand.

When there was only 4 weeks left of my year aboard MS Lindblad Explorer and knowing that I would have all my well deserved tax free US dollar in my hand soon – I sat down in Shanghai and hand wrote my reservation request for a corner room with harbour view. HK$500 per night (no breakfast included) and as a signed off sailor – with “style” – I could stay in Hong Kong for 8 days without visa .. so that was it.

7th of July 1979 I was aboard all packed up after a 358 days aboard waiting on my release – it took time – just after lunch the cruise director came out in the galley and told me that there was a Rolls-Royce by the gangway and the driver was asking for me. Didn’t have clue what that was all about. Didn’t know about the Rolls-Royce thing – had seen them in front of the hotel when I been over there for soaking up the atmosphere, afternoon tea and dinner at Gaddi’s. So I handed over my luggage to the driver and when my release had arrived a  I walked over to the hotel with my last belongings in a plastic bag. About 10 min walk from Ocean Terminal. No LV pieces then neither.

It was heaven to stay in that big room with view over the harbour after being in a small cabin for nearly a year – Hong Kong has the most beautiful harbour view at night. It’s like a massive diamond brooch.  1978 they didn’t have the light displays on buildings on Hong Kong Island side. Still it was breathtaking. Slept with the curtains wide open every night – didn’t need a TV. Then there was no building in front of the hotel and my “butler” told me that it will never happen that anything will be built in front of the Peninsula. Today there is museums. The hotels next door neighbour is YMCA – then a big hostel – today a 4-star hotel.

1979 there was a small exclusive shopping arcade long the lobby – today is has expanded – 2 storage arcade with shops like Tiffany, Prada, Chanel, Harry Winston and LV plus local designers

The world has changed around and inside The Peninsula – but this lady is still one of the most beautiful and bold in the world.
Today “my room” will come to HK$4.380 – $565 – £357 per night, with American Breakfast in The Lobby included. Not really more then a 4-star hotel in London cost without breakfast.

If I win enough money – I will go back – do it all again. I will arrive in a  Peninsula Green Phantom and departure in their white helicopter. Do the whole Peninsula experience and then die with a big smile !!!!

Photos provided by and thanks to: our.hotels.com /rolls-royce.com / luxurytravelmagazine.com / lost-in-hongkong.com / gd.sohu.com / peninsula.com

Hong Kong – a world of it’s own.

                                                                                                                                                                       No.3 – Hong Kong, need to be inhaled and to be seen!

There is something VERY special about HK. It’s smell, it’s pulse – It’s nightlights. It’s the food – you have the whole worlds cuisine in one place.  Ocean Center & City – with it’s fantastic shopping . This shopping-center complex is one of the largest in Asia and boasts more than 700 shops and 50 restaurants.     

Poor Man’s Nightclub Market, Macau Ferry Terminal – the night time market – full of gods and great smells from all the woks. A must!!! Great bargins.
Aberdeen is famous to tourists for its floating village – sampan boats – and the famous Jumbo Floating Restaurant, that serves great seafood and Chinese dishes of course .

The Repulse Bay – where the rich and famous lives – on the backside of Hong Kong Island with sandy beaches. Take the Peak Tram up to Victoria Peak and enjoy the most breathtaking view over Hong Kong! Two big shopping malls up there too now. Take the “Star Ferry” across Victoria Harbour, between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. Great and quick ride. Hong Kong = shop to you drop. Fits all accounts, but some Rolex are made of  paper

Hong Kong is a world of it’s own .. one world during daylight and one world during night. I love them both.

Spent quite a lot of time in Hong Kong during 1977-78 when I worked aboard MV “Lindblad Explorer” – and we started up their China cruises. “Lindblad Explorer” was the first cruse liner ever into China. We did 21 China cruises – picked up passengers in Nagasaki and Hong Kong. Signed off in Hong Kong 14.07.78 after a full year aboard – but that is an other story and we will come to later.

click on this link for video – Welcome to Hong Kong

photos provided by; citypictures.net / trekarth.com / zenstudio.ee / en.wikipedia org / RobertNicholls