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July 30, 2009

The Big Ap Lei

Start spreading the news. . . Hong Kong’s newest hotspot is none other than fishing village, furniture haven and industrial epicenter, Ap Lei Chau. We know the streets of SoHo are well trodden with your footsteps, you could navigate the above ground walkways from Landmark to IFC blindfolded and you spend so much time in Pacific Place that the barista at Starbucks is fully aware of your daily -cino of choice (not to mention your life story). But if you wanna wake up and make a brand new start of it, head over to Ap Lei Chau where the alfresco Mediterranean dining is unrivaled, the couture clothing is priced at next to nothing and the locally made wines are flowing straight from the barrel…you’ll want to be a part of it!

The 8th Estate Winery
These little town blues are melting away. . . Hong Kong’s first and only urban boutique winery has arrived, complete with two stunningly rustic barrel rooms, two production rooms, a tasting bar and a candelabra-filled entertaining terrace that will take your breath away. Director Lysanne Tusar has personally presided over every detail of the old-world style space and master vintner, Gianni Seminari travels the world to source and select the best grapes from each region, which then undergo the full traditional winemaking and barrel aging process right here in Hong Kong. The result is a venue unlike anything else we’ve seen in Asia and wines that will tempt even the most discerning taste buds. Sip on complex whites like Gewurtztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay, an oak-aged Shiraz, a Heritage blend of reds comprised of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, or one of three sinfully delicious dessert wines Prelude, Passion and Affair. Informal wine tastings are held every Saturday and the space can be hired out for anything from an intimate celebratory dinner in one of the barrel rooms to a chic cocktail party on the waterside terrace. Looking to take your party to the next level? You can work with the wine master to produce a unique and personal wine in your own private barrel, which can be further customized into bottles with your own designer label. (Room 306, 3/F, Harbour Industrial Center, No. 10 Lee Hing Street, Ap Lei Chau, 2518 0922,

El Greco
Right through the very heart of it. . .The hearty Greek cuisine and rustic Mediterranean ambience at Ap Lei Chau’s El Greco brings back memories of Grandma’s home cooking and then some! Weave your way through this tiny village town to a bright Mediterranean-style space adorned with white and blue accents and mosaic tiles. Sit alfresco overlooking the park and munch on mezze like hoummos, grapeleaves and dips accompanied by thick crusty breads and salads filled with the freshest feta and olives. Still hungry? Dig into hearty mains like spiced lamb chops, flame grilled whole fish and succulent piri piri chicken served with tsaziki and crispy homemade chips. Sip on specially selected Greek wines as you prepare for the grand finale of the meal, a mouthwateringly delicious Baklava made from walnuts, honey and rose-water syrup, baked in phyllo dough. With the light streaming in and the ocean air wafting past your table, suddenly it feels like your private villa in Mykonos is just around the corner! (5 Wai Fung Street, Ap Lei Chau, 2328 2138,

LCJG Warehouse
These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray. . . Put one foot in front of the other and make your way over to the long awaited LCJG Warehouse. This brand new 1500-square foot space is brimming with straight from the store collections of Club Monaco and Juicy Couture at up to 70% off. Never got your hands on last season’s high-waisted skirts and statement belts from Club Monaco or fun, breezy linen dresses and terry rompers from Juicy? Now’s your chance! Sail past the furniture stores and head straight to the top of Horizon Plaza to pick up the newest hot little additions to your wardrobe. (Shop 2719, 27/F, Horizon Plaza, 2 Lee Wing Street, Ap Lei Chau, 2118 2986)

And if you can make it there, you’re gonna make it anywhere. It’s up to you. . . The Big Ap Lei awaits!

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