Madeleine Thompson on the perfect day in Hong Kong

All punchy patterns and bold colours, Madeleine Thompson’s cashmere designs have made her a favourite of the in-the-know fashion set. Having grown up between Hong Kong and London, she is now based in buzzy Kowloon and told us about how to spend the day eating, drinking and shopping in her home city

‘Hong Kong is not just the heaving metropolis you’d expect. It is the vibrant contrast between teeming humanity and wide open green hills; ramshackle local stores alongside glossy high-end brands; decadent restaurants nudged against little hole-in-the-wall noodle shops. There are so many elements crammed into this tiny space which makes it impossible to pin down.  

Since I’ve had children, I’ve become a morning person so I’d start my dream day early at Tai Tam Reservoir for a run or a walk. There is something of the Scottish loch about Tai Tam and you can sometimes not see another soul as you make your way through the stunning hills.  

Tai Tam Reservoir

In Hong Kong it’s not uncommon to have dumplings for breakfast, so after the hike I’d travel back along the coastal road and stop at Deep Water Bay Golf Club for dim sum. The guys there are old-school in their approach and their dim sum is to die for, particularly the Xiao Long Bao and their Shanghai spicy dumplings. 

I’d then pick up a sampan riverboat at Aberdeen Harbour which would take me to the ferry for Cheung Chau, one of HK’s many outlying islands. Every year, Cheung Chau holds the famous Bun Festival which is an amazing showcase of local Chinese culture, and the island is full of character and local delights and it’s just perfect for a stroll. The ferry journey there and back is half the fun as you get to Hong Kong Island from the water.  

I love  seafood so jump on the ferry again to Po Toi Island and my favourite restaurant, Ming Kee, for their incomparable scallops and minced garlic on vermicelli – one is never enough! 

For some shopping, I’d head  to Rue Madame in IFC which is a treasure trove of  eclectic brands and non-crazy prices.  

The ultimate treat would then be a visit to trendy reflexology centre, Ten Feet Tall in Central, for a rejuvenating foot massage, or if I was feeling particularly decadent I’d go to the Four Seasons spa for a full body massage. 

As someone into crafts, I can never resist a quick trip on the local underground (MTR) to Sham Shui Po where the legacy of Hong Kong’s time as a textile manufacturing centre is evident in the lots of wonderful shops selling every type of ribbon and lace imaginable. It’s a good area to see some historic buildings and a more local way of life. 

And then it would be back to Central for a cocktail or two. My go-to favourites are Sevva for the views and China Tang for its decadent glamour. By that point I would be all glammed up so it would be off to La Petite Maison for the buzzy atmosphere and a reliably delicious dinner (and perhaps one of their famous Tomatini cocktails).’  

Discover Madeleine’s knitwear at https://madeleine-thompson.com/

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