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Home for the holidays: where to eat, drink, shop and hangout

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Many of us are used to heading overseas during the Christmas break, whether to visit family and friends ‘back home’ or simply to chase some sun (or snow), but this year we’re staying put with an eye to enjoying the festivities right here. The good news is that with Citygate decked out like a Christmas tree and poinsettias brightening up every flower stall, it’s surprisingly easy to enjoy a traditional celebration in Lantau. You can find out exactly how in the following pages.

If carolling is what you’re after, the Lantau Singers has a number of performances planned in South Lantau over the holidays, notably at the Mui Wo Ferry Pier on December 9. And on Christmas Eve, if you book yourself a table at the Regal’s Café Aficionado, students from YMCA of Hong Kong Christian College will be there to serenade you.

In fact, when it comes to making merry, we’re very well catered to in Lantau. Bars and restaurants from Tung Chung to Tai O are pulling out all the stops this year with fancy cocktails to get the party started and festive menus complete with all the trimmings. Turn to pages 18 and 23 for our top picks.

Lantau’s leading hotels also ‘do’ Christmas very well. Whether you want to splash out on a full-blown winter staycation or simply enjoy some of the Xmas-themed fine dining opportunities and activities on offer, there’s no better time to treat yourself – and your family – to a little luxury. We’ve outlined what’s happening at hotels across the island on page 22. And here’s one for your diary: You can enjoy free-flow mulled wine over dinner at the Novotel’s Essence from December 22 to 27.

If entertaining (small groups) at home is more your idea of holiday fun, Lantau’s gourmands have you covered. Find out where to go for delicious cakes – and wine – on page 19. Top tip: Solomon Leeder of Leeder Quay Wines in Mui Wo suggests you pair Boplaas Cape Tawny NV, a South African port-style wine, with any sweet Christmas treats or desserts.

Last but not least, Lantau retailers can help you out with those last-minute stocking fillers and under-the-tree presents. Turn to page 24 for a great selection of gifts from the likes of Lantau Ren, My Island Home and Big Island Bars. You’ll also want to head to a couple of the Xmas markets being held island-wide this month. We look forward to seeing you at the Inter-island Festival, December 4 to 6; the Treasure Island Group Christmas Market, December 12 to 13 and at the Mui Wo Pop-up Fair at Marcy’s Lantau, December 19 to 20. Know too that there’s a Christmas Flea Market at the Regal every weekend throughout December. Happy holidays!

Illustration by Duey Tam

International
A Tavola Bar & Grill, Tung Chung: A complete Mediterranean mezze covering everything from salads and pastas to burgers and mains from the grill. 2321 5500.
Bahçe Turkish Restaurant, Mui Wo: Authentic and delicious Turkish and Eastern Mediterranean cookery big on small plates and dips. Try the shish kebab and felafel wraps. 2984 0222
The Kitchen, Mui Wo: Old-style Italian dining where almost every dish, including the pasta, is homemade. Arguably the best pizza in Lantau. 5991 6292

Al fresco
Bathers, Cheung Sha: Modern
British cuisine with delicious sharing plates and salads. Splurge on the hot seafood platter of squid, whitebait, soft-shell crab, tigerprawns and octopus. 2504 4788.
The Gallery, Tong Fuk: Delicious steaks, salads, burgers and pizzas all made with hand-picked, quality ingredients. Get stuck into the beef and Guinness pie. 2980 2582.
Treasure Island, Pui O: Timeless beachside favourites like burgers and ribs served up alongside an extensive range of tasty vegetarian and vegan dishes. 5236 7013.

Asian
Handi Indian Restaurant, Tung Chung: Authentic and traditional North Indian cuisine with plenty of tempting, expertly made vegetarian options. 2988 8674
Yee Hen Seafood Restaurant, Mui Wo: Delicious seafood dishes that are easy on the wallet. Order the salt and pepper squid followed by crunchy noodles topped with prawns. 2984 1665.

For more holiday events, visit our calendar.

 

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