Mary Gostelow dines in, in Hong Kong

Girlahead visits The Peninsula Hong Kong

Since some flights from Sydney, in particular, arrive in Hong Kong the next day around breakfast time, or even before, thank goodness for The Peninsula’s company-wide welcome. Any time in, and any time out.

All right, Hong Kong has been a bit like a hidden city for the immediate past. Masochists who relish confinement tolerated quarantine on arrival. Now, slowly but surely, it is opening up. Business bosses can fly in for meetings, and leisure travellers can go visit their favourite jeweller or tailor – although until last Wednesday, 14th December, there was no dining in public, even in hotels.

The Peninsula Hong Kong

But let’s praise the half-full glass. Admittedly, some chefs, servers and food suppliers might be caught unawares (it’s to be hoped the Krug is long since chilled). Next, if you happen to be in town over New Year, there’s a surprise in store. Real-time televised and live-streamed, wunderkind experimental pianist Niu Niu will jam with taiko drummers and Hong Kong Rope Skipping Club athletes, and The Hong Kong Tourism Board is organising a rooftop-mounted pyrotechnic display along Victoria Harbour.

Lobby, The Peninsula Hong Kong

The Peninsula is only five years’ short of its first century. Book an arrival experience, with airport pick up in one of the hotel’s extended-wheelbase Rolls Royce Silver Spurs, in dark Peninsula green. With 870 detail-obsessed employees dressed by Barbara Battaglini the effect is rather akin to taking part in an haute couture ballet (part of their training must be how to move without a sound). Of the 300 rooms, favourites include any number -15 in the 28-floor tower block, the higher the floor the better the view across Victoria Harbour to Hong Kong Island. Check-in and front desk will already have programmed the electric signage in the room to your chosen language, and, for repeaters, your favourite newspapers and magazines will be waiting.

Gaddi's, The Peninsula Hong Kong

What a festive welcome you will get. The hotel’s first floor is temporarily transformed, over the festive season, into a rail terminus, ‘Grand Salisbury Station’, complete with a Peninsula Express ‘train carriage’. Head out to the locale, to check local decorations and boutiques in the immediate vicinity, Tsim Sha Tsui. Take a Star Ferry to the Island, and hike up The Peak.

When you’re hungry, if you prefer to eat out of the public eye, the hotel’s private dining can rustle up a feast. Dine off a Peninsula Signature club sandwich, with bacon, on-the-bone ham, GruyeĚre, onion relish, boiled egg, toasted white bread, or go for Chinese wonton with braised black mushrooms, and end it all with dark chocolate tart with caramelised hazelnuts. Start with Tsing Tao beer or Tio Pepe Extra Dry, finish with Chivas Royal Salute 21 Year, or a glass or two of The Peninsula’s own wines.

Chesa, The Peninsula Hong Kong

And greet the morning with The Wake Up, a smoothie of beetroot, apple, carrot, ginger, skimmed milk. Try a dim sum selection with shrimp dumpling, pork dumpling and vegetable dumpling. Sip The Peninsula’s Ti Guan Yin, Jasmine or Pu Er – and, thinking of that half-full glass, breakfast from your upper-floor room will give an even better panoramic Victoria Harbour view. You might even say Hong Kong never tasted so good.

Spring Moon, The Peninsula Hong Kong

Lead image: Felix restaurant, The Peninsula Hong Kong

Mary Gostelow publishes the daily, a weekly newswire Mary Gostelow’s Inner Circle, and a unique weekly 15-minute industry Mary Gostelow Girlahead Podcast, all part of Almont Global.

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