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24 hours in Hong Kong


One of the most exciting and vibrant cities in Asia, Hong Kong is a cosmopolitan jungle, with a show-stopping skyline, a legendary kitchen, a wild coastline and beautiful countryside. High finance and high fashion collide amidst the soaring skyscrapers of this culture capital, and charming colonial sights and exotic nightlife alike are dotted throughout the city. Heres how to make the most of a 24-hour visit, leaving you wanting more and more

Places to stay

Ritz Carlton Situated on the 103rdfloor, in one of the Worlds tallest buildings, on Hong Kongs Kowloon side with spectacular views over the city and Victoria Harbour the Ritz Carlton certainly has the wow factor. Facilities on site are spectacular, including the Worlds highest swimming pool and seriously sexy spa with Harbour View treatment rooms. Dining options include Michelin-starred Chinese and Italian restaurants and the rooftop bar, Ozone, is one of the citys most popular due to its location on the 118thfloor.

Upper House The Upper House is a slick, sexy property with some of the best views from the Hong Kong Island side. Interiors are the work of Chinese designed Andre Fu and the overall effect has a distinctly boutique minimalist feel, but with a homely warmth and charm. The exquisite rooms and suites are decorated in the best quality materials, and the clever design maximises space. Such luxuries as complimentary mini bars, cosy seating areas and a library enforce the companys house philosophy.

Landmark - Located in the heart of Hong Kongs business and fashion districts, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental is one of the most luxurious hotels in the world. This sleek urban hotel, set above the Landmark Mall exudes style, sophistication and serenity, and is famed for its impeccable customer service. Dazzling dining options are on offer at the contemporary French restaurant, Amber, and trendy Mo Bar, one of Hong Kongs hottest dining and drinking spots.

Where to eat

Mott 32 - Located in the basement of the Standard Chartered Building, you are transported into an unexpectedly chic and refined space. The menu consists of delicious and unique dim sum combinations, and some of the crispiest and best suckling pork youve will have tasted. And for those who didnt sample enough in Beijing, they also serve the best Peking duck in the city.

Otto E Mezzo - Located inside the fashionable Landmark shopping arcade, Otto E Mezzo serves some of the best Italian food in the city. The atmosphere is sophisticated, and it is a place where both businessmen and Hong Kong socialites alike gather for a late evening meal or drink at the bar.

Lung King Heen - Executive Chef, Chan Yan Tak was the first Chinese chef to receive 3 Michelin stars. Located inside the Four Seasons Hotel, the restaurant is elegant but still has the energetic buzz of a Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong.

Peninsula Hotel - Any first time visitor to Hong Kong will want to indulge in the afternoon tea at this Hong Kong landmark. Although this means that the queues are long, and the lobby is full of well-healed tourists wanting to partake in this tradition, it is a magnificent experience and one not to be missed!

Shopping

The centre of town boasts some of the best shopping in the world, or there is spectacular antique shopping on Hollywood Road. On the far side of the harbour in Tsim Sha Tsui are a further range of boutiques, department stores and other retail outlets, all handily grouped under a single roof in Harbour City. After dark, the rowdy Temple Street Night Market in Kowloon comes alive with ample stalls selling weird and wonderful foodstuffs, counterfeit goods and obscure potions. Have your fortune told, listen to opera singers busking and watch games of Chinese chess played out with intense concentration.

Culture

Hong Kong has a dynamic cultural scene as well, which is traced back to its Chinese roots, colonial connections and the contributions of its home-grown talent, and the intertwining of all three elements. From Asias top film festival to Tai Chi at dawn, or reading the couplets of a local poet to the drumbeat of a dragon boat. Soak up indie music by the harbour or Chinese opera in a bamboo theatre, or watch one of the thousands of shows staged year-round at the citys many museums and concert halls.

The best time to visit is during October or November when it isnt too hot, and there is less chance of rain.Once youve spent 24 hours in Hong Kong, youll definitely want to come back!

James Jayasundera is Founder and Managing Director of Ampersand Travel.

If you would like to be a guest blogger onA Luxury Travel Blogin order to raise your profile, pleasecontact us.

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Drink your way around Provence 6 of the best Provenal wines


Making wine, particularly ros, has been Provence's specialty for a long time. The grapes and soil throughout the region vary a lot, but the hot, sunny and dry climate is ideal for the local wines. The red grape varieties are used because they cope well with strong sun exposure and poor soils: Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvdre, Syrah, Tibouren and Calitor. The rossare made out of the same varieties but the musts only macerate for a few hours so the fruits skins dont darken the juice or release too many tannins.

Ctes de Provence covers the vast area between Marseilles and Nice and their dry and fruity wines conjure up visions of a delightful ros accompanying a long lazy sunlit lunch it never tastes quite the same under a grey British sky!

There are also plenty of flavoursome reds and light whites that go especially well with the local seafood.

Here is a brief description of the winesyou can enjoy whilst exploring beautiful and breathtaking Provence:

Ctes du Lubron

Some whites and ross but mainly delicate, well balanced reds, with red and blackberry notes and silky tannins that are best drunk young.

Gigondas

Another well balanced, full flavoured powerful red, one of the best of the southern Ctes du Rhne. It has an intense ripe blackberry bouquet with liquorice and toasted coffee notes. It is best to wait at least five years before drinking it so the tannins can melt properly. 2009, 2010 and 2015 are reputed to be good vintages.

Vacqueyras

Excellent full-bodied Cru Ctes du Rhne. It has an expressive blackcurrant and raspberry bouquet to which the Syrah brings peppery and violet notes. The powerful texture and flavour will pair well with lamb or grilled meat. It should be stored for three years before being drunk. 2015 and 2016 were the latest great vintage years.

Rasteau

The village is noted for its rich, vigorous red wine with blackcurrant, cherry and toasted cocoa aromas. It has a dense and luscious texture in the mouth with a wide aromatic range. It can be stored for at least 10 years and goes well with chocolate desserts. However, Rasteau is also famous for its diverse sweet wines with crystallised and dry fruit aromas with spicy notes. The 2011 vintage was given a score of 90 by Wine Spectator.

Beaumes-de-Venise

Internationally renowned for its fragrant, sweet white Muscat, the ros and the red Muscat could be original alternatives. They respectively develop fine flowery and fruity eau de vie flavours. Beaumes-de-Venise also produces a fruity, spicy, mellow red with robust but fine tannins, which is best drunk young.

Chteauneuf-du-Pape

One of the best Ctes du Rhne appellations that takes its name from the former Popes secondary property in this vineyard because of the quality of its wines. The reds are fleshy, rich, robust but very fine wines with pronounced spicy and musky aromas. They can be stored for 20 or more years depending on the quality of the vintage.

Picked up a bottle or two during your travels? Headwaters Wine Service means you wont have to worry about carrying them around in your bag or panniers.

Tina James is the Managing Director at Headwater Holidays.

If you would like to be a guest blogger onA Luxury Travel Blogin order to raise your profile, pleasecontact us.

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