Category: Hong Kong


Every now and then in a city like Hong Kong you come across a place that makes you want to shout about it from the rooftops, or hide it away and make it top secret because its just that great you don’t want to share it. AMMO is one of those places.  I was lucky enough to be invited to a launch party of sorts last night.  Having just moved house and office space the day before (more on that later), I almost didn’t go.  I’m so glad I did.  
First off, AMMO is named after its location amongst the heritage ammunition storage buildings in Admiralty, now run by the Asia Society. The setting is incredible.  Lush tropical mountain side, and yet so central. The heritage buildings have been restored and preserved beautifully. Old magazines have been turned into art galleries, mini theatres, and private function rooms.  Its so nice to see heritage restoration done well in Hong Kong for a change.  
But back to AMMO. The interior, which is absolutely stunning, was designed by ridiculously young, and ridiculously nice local but international designer, Joyce Wang. Having just completed the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, she certainly is one to watch. Well, not if you want to be feeling like an under achiever, as I was after meeting her…  The interior was inspired by French Sci-Fi movie ‘Alphaville’ by Jean-Luc Godard which portrays what a dystopian future looked like in the 50’s. Think industrial luxe with a bit of 50’s futurism thrown in.  Everything was custom made for the space, and the furniture is beautiful, not to mention those fantastic chandeliers in the centre (yes, those are actually lights!)

And now, for the best and most important part….the food!  My husband and I are big fans of the sister restaurant, The Drawing Room, so if you have eaten there and liked it, you will love AMMO.  Local celebrity chef and restaurateur Tony Cheng, together with his mentor, Chef Roland Schuller from The Drawing Room had a vision to serve simple, elegant and affordable cuisine with unpretentious service. They want guests to enjoy the salubrious surroundings without the fussiness and stuffiness associated with other fine dining establishments. I think they have succeeded!  

We were served a selection from the Tapas menu and everything was amazing.  We went back for 2nds, 3rds, and after that it just got embarrassing but we went back for more anyway. I’m not normally a fan of Foie Gras, but even than was delicious. 

All I can say is, I’m glad my birthday is coming up soon so I don’t have to wait too long for an occasion to go back. Its just that good.

The Shoe Library

I’m very excited to be able to share these images with you (especially with those of you outside of HK!) of the recently completed ‘Shoe Library’ in the new Lane Crawford flagship store in Tsim Sha Tsui. For those of you who don’t know, Lane Crawford is to Hong Kong as Barney’s or Bergdorf’s would be to New York, or Harrods & Harvey Nichols to London. Simply put, its a shoppers paradise. And I’ve considered moving in there on several occasions. Known for their stylish modern interiors, which had previously been done by the super retail duo Yabu – Pushelberg, this time around Lane Crawford has asked local design wunderkind Andre Fu (the designer behind the uber chic Upper House Hotel) to design some of the spaces.

Stepping through the Canton Road entrance of the store you find yourself in the ‘Great Room’, the mainstay of the entire space, featuring a soaring 5m high ceiling, library armoires in bronze and abstract French panels. Floors are finished in Romano marble and covered with elaborate rugs from the Andre Fu Collection for Tai Ping Carpets. There are also eighty-something bespoke pieces of furniture dotted around the entire Library, among them The Salon’s 5m long table with Alberto Giacometti inspired legs, and hand-embroidered silk wall panels echoing the work of French fashion illustrator Christian Berard, in warm shades of solferino and lilac.

The entire experience is somewhat surreal considering the quietude and sophistication of the space (not to mention all those shoes!) in contrast to the chaotic streetscape just outside. I would make the Shoe library my home, if only I didn’t have to leave the island to get there 😉

All images care of AFSO

A Bespoke Journey

I’m very excited to announce the recent launch of the very first book by Hong Kong’s hottest designer, Andre Fu.

Entitled “A Bespoke Journey”, the coffee table book features some of Fu’s work with his firm, AFSO, over the last ten years. Including internationally acclaimed projects such as The Upper House hotel in Hong Kong, the Fullerton Bay Hotel in Singapore, his work with agnès b, and the countless stylish restaurants he’s done around the world, its sure to be a winner.

If you are a fan, like I am, the book can be purchased in Hong Kong at Lane Crawford Lifestyle stores, leading book shops in the Asia Pacific region, or online through Amazon

Andre Fu for Tai Ping

I was very excited when I heard that luxury carpet maker Tai Ping had teamed up with local HK designer, Andre Fu (designer of much lauded The Upper House) to create an extensive new hand-made rug collection.

Fu’s carpets for Tai Ping display a sensitivity that remains true to his trademark design language. He describes the sumptuous new collection as ‘A re-invention of the long-established artisanship of Tai Ping’s heritage — a modern collection that is calming and sophisticated, yet highly emotional and sensuous.” Fu took inspirations from an in-depth visit he took to Tai Ping’s mill – an experience that journeyed Fu to understand Tai Ping Carpets’ intricate craftsmanship and established history. Fu amalgamates such an array of complex techniques with his design sensitivity to create his collection of surprising textures. Rooted in this deep appreciation for Tai Ping artisanship, heritage and fashion, and imbued with subtle references to traditional tweed, the resulting Andre Fu Collection bridges modern Asian luxury in a sophisticated line of “textiles for the floor.”

Using only the most luxurious fibres — wool, silk, cashmere — with accent threads such as cotton, lurex and flax, the collection combines pile heights, and yarn thicknesses with highly complex hand-tufting techniques to create a collection that is the rug equivalent to haute couture: lush, timeless, and evocative.

The seven designs developed by Fu for Tai Ping come in twenty-eight colour variations executed in soft hues and subtle colour tones that evoke the sensitivities of modern China. To complement the collection’s tweeds, dense silk pile rugs were conceived with original brush-stroke motifs inspired by Chinese calligraphy. This sensuous and poetic second line in the collection is even more velvety soft and composed of wool, cashmere, and delicate silk in subtle graduated tones of dusty plum, green teas, mustard yellow, mauve grey and mineral blue.

I don’t know about you, but I think I’m in love…

Weft IV



Aerial III
Aerial III


All photos care of Tai Ping carpets

Lily + Bloom

I had the pleasure just last week of dining with a good friend and my hubby at the fairly new restaurant / bar Lily + Bloom. The designers, New York based firm AvroKO, have filled the space with lots of quirky details, including a private humidor behind a secret door, and a private smoking room (the “Blind Pig” room, see last image) that’s also hidden, behind not just one, but two hidden doors! A short guided tour by the Manager of the establishment revealed many other details, and little surprises (including the bathrooms, but you need to go see them yourself!)…so if you’re in the neighbourhood and haven’t already, go check it out!

Oh, and the food, service and cocktails aren’t bad either…

on Hollywood Road

I think I’m as excited about the new residential development by Blake’s in Hong Kong as I am about the new year!

226 Hollywood Road in the old neighbourhood Sheung Wan (just west of Central) was designed by British designer Ilse Crawford and is a refreshing change from the usual character-less high rise apartments this city usually has to offer. This development is unique in many ways – not only are the apartments of reasonable size, the entire project has been designed in a way that retains some sense of the local neighbourhoods original character. And what a neighbourhood! The building is just down the road from the fabulous Press Room (a favorite brunch spot of mine) and the new kid on the block – Duecentotto. No wonder the apartments have sold already!

Oh, and I love the bathrooms too. Grey marble and gold taps. Brilliant.

Happy 2011 to you all!

Just a little something I’ve been working on….

Scenes from Brat...

Scenes from Brat...

Scenes from Brat...

Scenes from Brat...

Scenes from Brat...

Scenes from Brat...

Scenes from Brat...

Seriously Awesome Sausages
7 Elgin Street
Soho, Hong Kong
All photos by seriously awesome friend and photographer, Haf Saba

Tom Dixon at Lane Crawford

Brit designer Tom Dixon made an appearance at Hong Kong’s Lane Crawford on Thursday night to celebrate the launch of his new Industry collection and a book by the same name.

New products in the collection include ‘Peg’ a funky little solid wood, stackable café-style chair (seen below) and some wonderful new lighting designs using the Dixon signature metal- copper. I’ve always been such a fan of copper so its nice to see someone using it in a new way.

‘Industry’ the book is the first of a new series of self-published books by Tom Dixon. The series will highlight and discuss a particular topic, the first being a subject at the forefront of Dixon’s mind – challenging society’s accepted means of design and production. The paperback outlines a critique of various design production formulas followed by Tom’s own proposal for a Future Industry, and includes previously unpublished conversations between Dixon and design critic Laura Houseley. In the same spirit of his philosophies, this publishing venture cuts out the middle man by employing Print On Demand technology. The book doesn’t appear to be available online yet, but I’m hoping the Tom Dixon website or Amazon will make it available to non British residents…it sounds like an interesting read!

Meeting Kelly Hoppen

I had the pleasure of attending the world premiere of the Kelly Hoppen Home collection in Hong Kong last week where a group of designers were able to get a sneak preview of the furniture and home wares (which will be sold in Hong Kong by Indigo Living) and meet the lady herself. Often dubbed the “Queen of Taupe”, Kelly Hoppen has had a prolific career, and she shows no signs of slowing down with this new collection and the release of another book. The entire collection is hand made in China, and despite what your preconceptions may be about the origins, the quality is surprisingly good – as the designer herself can attest having travelled to Hong Kong via the factory.

The collection is broad and varied, some pieces bare the trademark Hoppen style – mixed textures, Asian influences – and others show new sources of inspiration. The collection was designed, Hoppen explained to us, to work in a variety of interiors and work with a large range of styles. Pieces are versatile and can be used almost anywhere. I think my favorite would have to be the dining chairs (seen above) which to me have a whiff of Prouvé about them.

The collection will be in the Indigo Living stores in Hong Kong from mid-October, and available internationally in the near future.


John McLennon CEO of Indigo Living with Kelly Hoppen MBE at the product launch in Hong Kong last week
I’m off to London in a few days, so this might be my last post until I get back at the end of the month. But stay tuned for exiting news and reports from Decorex, 100% Design and other exiting events.

an eye on Hong Kong

Monocle – one of my favorite magazines – finally opened their permanent store and Asian news bureau last week in the cool Star Street district of Wan Chai. Stocking back issues of the magazines as well as a curated range of product collaborations including books, posters and CDs, its just another excuse to spend some time in one of my favorite neighbourhoods. If you’re in Hong Kong and want to check it out the address is Shop 1 Bo Fung Mansion, 1 – 4 St. Francis Yard, Wanchai. The shop is open from 11am to 7pm daily.
And while you’re at it, check out my friends store directly across the road – “Blouse-ripped”. A range of stylish creations for women by a local designer – its at 15 St Francis Yard. Shop til you drop!

Sharing the pain…

I wanted to share a little something with you all…this article was published in the South China Morning Post last week – and I finally got around to scanning and posting. Voila!

* Thanks to those of you who let me know that the image will not enlarge…don’t know how to fix it, but I do have a link to the article online if you’re interested – click here.


I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Lane Crawford home store in Pacific Place so crowded as it was on Thursday night. Thursday night was of course the launch of the seasonal Monocle store, the first of the magazine’s retail outlets in Asia. Being a fan of Tyler Brûlé from way back when he launched Wallpaper, it was hard to resist the invite. Sipping Veuve and listening to the tunes of the Japanese ‘Immigrants Bossa Band’, and a chance to meet the man himself, the evening was definitely one that will be tough to beat, in terms of store openings. The Lane Crawford pop-up store will stock Monocle’s range of lifestyle goods from their own CD compilations, posters, notebooks, candles and other accessories. So if you’re in Hong Kong, go check it out! More photos of the new store can be found on the Lane Crawford website. Above photo of Mr Brûlé taken by me (I already mentioned I was a groupie…).

Ben Brown Fine Arts

Venerable UK fine arts dealer Ben Brown has opened a Hong Kong gallery, which is good news to me, and to anyone else in here who is tiring of the Chinese contemporary art scene. They have a space above Shanghai Tang in Central, which I’m yet to check out. However, I saw the temporary space they have in IFC over the weekend with an exhibition of Ron Arad’s pieces that will be there until the end of this month. These were a few of my favorite pieces….

Box in Four Movements, 1994-98
Patinated and stainless steel, Edition of 20
Ping Pong Table, 2008
Mirror-polished stainless steel and polished bronze, Edition of 6

Two Legs and a Table, 1989
Patinated and Stainless Steel, Edition of 20

This piece in particular is quite stunning up close. I might have to put this one on my wish list for my new office!


…biennale that is!

The very first Hong Kong / Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism & Architecture, the theme of which is “City Mobilization: BYOB” (Bring Your Own Biennale), started at the beginning of this month and runs until the end of Feb next year (which is not that far away now, yikes!). The Biennale will be the first international event to be held on the site of the new West Kowloon Cultural Precint – over 46000 m2 of exhibitions and installations with some pretty exciting events and performances planned. Amongst others, Rem Koolhaas is in town for a few events as well as (I presume) the opening of the new Hong Kong office for his architectural practise – Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA).

So make sure you get down to Kowloon or up to Shenzhen for some great art installations in between all the festivities and merry-making!