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April 3, 2008

Extreme Makeover

Some people have that natural beauty that takes them gracefully through old age.  But most of us, after years of wear and tear, putting others before ourselves and doing the bare minimum in terms of beauty maintenance and upkeep, could use a little help from the professionals.  The same goes for our friend Stanley.  After decades of neglect, he’s had a much-needed makeover, a nip here, a tuck there and whaddayaknow, he’s looking so good we barely even recognize him!  Allow us to introduce you to the new and improved Stanley

Surgical Enhancements
Stanley promenade has gotten itself a new face and added a few new enhancements too, hey, if you’re going under the knife you might as well go all the way!  Goodbye cranes and construction, hello beautiful boardwalk with widespread walking areas, full sea views and stunning historical architecture.  On the right is the gorgeous colonial Murray House. Previously located in Central, it was dismantled in 1982 and rebuilt in Stanley in 1999.   The three-story historic building is now home to four modern restaurants.  The ground floor houses Mijas Spanish (2899 0858) and Saigon at Stanley Vietnamese (2899 0999), both of which boast outdoor seating with full water views. The upstairs plays host to King Ludwig Beerhall (2899 0122), and the nicest Wildfire Pizza (2511 5000) we’ve ever seen.  After you’re done eating, skip downstairs and get your sea legs ready to explore the Hong Kong Maritime Museum (link to: (2813 2222). Divided into ancient and modern galleries, more than 500 exhibits portray the maritime and trading history of the region including paintings, ceramics, and models of ancient ships dating back to the Han Dynasty.

Tummy Tuck
Blake Pier is looking sleeker and slimmer than ever and the results look so natural! Originally located in Central, most of the pier was demolished in 1965, however its roof has been salvaged and repaired to its original glory.  Currently a great place for photo ops, the new Blake Pier will soon play host to leisure and touring boats, making Stanley a new hotspot for Hong Kong’s seafaring set.

Chemical Peel
After its recent polish, Stanley Main Street has revealed a new glowing appearance.  Stop off for an ice-cold beer (it’s free if you order a cheeseburger!) at the recently opened outpost of Pickled Pelican (90 Stanley Main Street, 2813 4313).  You can even join in on the restaurant’s quiz night—the last Thursday of every month smarty pants!  For a more serene meal, head directly upstairs to French style brasserie Café de Paris (2/F, 90 Stanley Main Street, 2813 4822) where you can satisfy your cravings for bistro favourites like onion soup and moules frites any time of day with their new weekday lunch specials.  Trot downstairs and past our old favourite The Boathouse (88 Stanley Main Street, 2813 4467) and you will find a convenient outpost of Dymocks Booksellers (80 Stanley Main Street, 2813 8070).  Pick up a magazine and head through the courtyard to Shu Zhai, (80 Stanley Main Street, 2813 0123) an atmospheric Chinese teahouse serving up tasty dim sum and traditional fishing village fare.

With all these great new assets, Stanley is now sure to attract an equally gorgeous crowd…oh the wonders of plastic surgery!

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