Thursday, Jul. 14, 2011

Hong Kong

1 Madam Sixty Ate
Located in the same row of restored colonial shophouses that contain the Pawn gastropub, Madam Sixty Ate is an offbeat bistro styled after the apartment of an imaginary Frenchwoman who delights in guests and, as luck would have it, curiously paired seasonal ingredients. The summer menu features delicate amalgams like scallop tartare with almond gazpacho and peas. Her cocktails and desserts (try the star-anise-and-tequila crème brûlée sandwich with blood-orange jelly and granita) are best enjoyed on the veranda. See

2 Barclays Asia Trophy
The Rugby Sevens is not the only domestic sporting event capable of drawing crowds (though its followers are by far the thirstiest and most inventively costumed). The Barclays Asia Trophy, a biennial, Premier League-sanctioned, preseason football tournament, will for the second time since its 2003 beginnings return to Hong Kong. Chelsea, Aston Villa, Blackburn Rovers and local champions Kitchee are set to compete at the 40,000-seat Hong Kong Stadium over two match days, July 27 and 30. Tickets from $17;

3 Les Copains d'Abord
The oft-overlooked island of Peng Chau, off Lantau, harks back to a sleepier, traditional Hong Kong in its narrow lanes and tiny temples. But globalization has found a foothold here. Les Copains d'Abord, a French-owned wine bar, fronts the island's sunny main square, where it serves up cheese, olives and charcuterie platters and even hosts regular games of pétanque. Closed Mondays; tel: (852) 3483 0692.

4 Summer International Film Festival
Running from Aug. 9 to 28, this mini version of Hong Kong's annual film fest offers over 30 films at venues throughout the city, from popular local productions and classics to highlights from Cannes and Berlin. Here's hoping that the program is as deliciously satisfying as the air-conditioning. See

5 South Bay Beach Club
On summer weekends, the rooftop at the South Bay Beach Club transforms into a headquarters for hipsters, with visiting DJs adding aural enhancement to the area's expanse of jagged mountain, sand and sky. Sessions begin at 3 p.m., but by the time the streams of shirtless European men finish double kissing other members of the fashion set and the get-together comes to a close, the sun has long since gone down. Details at the club's Facebook page, I Heart South Bay.

6 LockCha Teahouse
The wood panels that adorn this classic, Canton-style parlor in Hong Kong Park are outdone in age and intricacy only by the ritual performed at its tables: the steeping of tea leaves, the pouring of fragrant liquid from one stoneware vessel into another. Vegetarian dim sum and traditional Chinese musicians complement a vast tea selection that currently highlights leaves best picked in summer. Visitors are also welcome at triweekly tea-appreciation classes. See

7 Boat Hire
Hong Kong isn't just a city, but an archipelago, and you won't truly appreciate it until you've seen it from the sea. Aqua Luna,, offers 45-minute cruises of Victoria Harbour and various day trips, but you can better explore the islands' craggy coastlines by chartering a private vessel with a group. Pricier companies provide onboard dining and waitstaff, but any rental will drop anchor and allow you time to swim up to deserted beaches. Saffron Cruises,, has a large range of craft for hire.

8 Spa Treatments
With waxes, exfoliants and pedicures, this city's decadent spas promise to have you bathing-suit ready in an afternoon. But if the body is in greater need of post- than prebeach care, then the Rewind, a 60-minute summer special at the Mandarin Spa, claims to soothe sun-beaten skin and even extend the life of a tan. See

9 Red Hot Chili Peppers
The season's hottest concert will undoubtedly be that given by the Red Hot Chili Peppers on Aug. 9 at the 14,000-capacity AsiaWorld Arena. The Los Angeles punk-funk quartet has always had a hard time keeping clothed on stage — making it a natural fit for the sweltering summer weather. Tickets at

10 Windsurfing
Run by the family of Olympic gold medalist Lee Lai-shan, the Windsurfing Centre occupies a headland on the island of Cheung Chau. In the summer, the southwesterly winds are calm and low, a boon to beginners interested in a group or private daylong fundamentals course. The clubhouse also rents out kayaks, best used to flee the humidity in the direction of cooler, more distant coves. Back on land, an open-air bistro throws the occasional BBQ bash. Tel: (852) 2981 2772.