Sunday, 23 November 2014


oHHhh Hiya from CHILLY Seoul~( Winter finally arrived! Minus 2 some mornings this past think just a couple of months ago it was hitting the horrendous humidity of 38 degrees!!!)
Thought I would share some rainbow photos from a recent adventure~ so last month I took advantage of a long weekend and hotfooted it over to magical Hong Kong for a whistlestop jaunt! This is one of the things I love so much about living in Seoul~ it's perfectly located for hopping around other cities in Asia with it being a mere stones throw away from Japan and only a short flight away from soooo many other glorious dreamlands... so any hint of a long weekend and I'm taking the chance to grab my little suitcase and see more of beautiful East Asia!!!
Hong Kong has long been one of my favourite places on Earth and a place I have found myself a few times over the years for both work and holiday~ it had been a long time since I last had the joy of visiting this rainbow land of dim sum and neon so I felt it was a way overdue trip! And also to visit my dear, old chum Gloria who I hadn't seen since a glitter filled night at 'Circus' during the Soho Revue days when she trotted over to London!!! She was as ever the perfect host as she knows THE BEST places in town so it was veggie gourmet feasts ahoy... you can follow her global adventures as she writes and tracks down the most awesome food all over the world, so  check out her instagram: foodandtravelhk !!!
So I actually landed in HK amidst the peak of the 'Occupy Central' protests in October... I was staying in Causeway Way which was also one of the protests sites so it was really poignant to see the 'Umbrella Revolution' as it unfolded on my doorstep and really incredible to see so many passionate people, peacefully standing up for what they believe. Also somewhat strange because only hours before I'd seen the scenes on the news and then suddenly found myself standing in those very same scenes.
These protests are such a key moment in HK's future so it was really incredible to see people voicing their thoughts and hopes in a way that was so dignified and calm~ There were little gazebos set up offering food and drinks to the all-nighters and and overall nice sense of comradery.
When I first arrived it was straight out for dinner where we went to the most incredible veggie place in Causeway~ AWESOME crispy taro rolls, bean curd stew, lemon and ginger, tofu, dumplings....more and more dishes kept arriving on our table!! I'd been DESPERATE for some Chinese food for months as the last I'd had was a Kung Po extravaganza of a takeaway before I left the UK!! And HK does vegetarian feasts to absolute perfection!!!
250,00000000 dishes and a million gallons of jasmine tea later and it was onto dessert which was dreamy matcha ice cream topped with shiratama rice balls and piles of azuki from a glorious Japanese dessert cafe called 'Via Tokyo' .... this place was amazing...I wanted everything on the menu!!!
So I will save you from the blow by blow account of what I did every minute of every waking day on my trip.... but all in all it was a really lovely break and so lovely to both catch up with friends and see some magical sights.
One of my absolute favourite places in HK is Lantau Island~ it's breathtakingly beautiful and a total contrast to the mayhem of Kowloon with endless green mountains and teeny fishing villages~ so I was straight on the tiny, local bus winding my way up Ngong Ping to take in the giant Tian Tan Buddha and enjoy a deluxe veggie lunch from the cantine at Po Lin Monastery!!!

I LOVE LANTAU SO MUCH~ the monastery and it's temples are incredible and the smell of incense lingers around the whole area... the misty mountains seem to go on forever...  I also saw a horrible spider bigger than my hand hanging around outside the toilets...wahhh NATURE!!!eeep!

During my jaunt I also paid a visit to Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin temple and the nearby fortune teller alley... the ambience was kind of quashed when a TV crew and some random boyband/ actors/ celeb situation showed up ( I've yet to establish who these guys actually are so answers on a postcard please!!!)... the crowds were going wild so I decided to scoot out of there and onto calmer pastures! calm as things can be in raucous Hong Kong!!!

Aside from a spot of sightseeing my trip mainly consisted of...glorious food, riding the Star Ferry, gossip times, shopping, walking for miles, night markets, drinking lots of tea, towers of deluxe neon, dim sum, more shopping.... and believe it or not MARKS & SPENCER!!!!!!! So my trip to Honkers pretty much marked the 6 month point of my foray into Asia....I can't believe how fast time has gone and that I've been living as an official Seoulite for more than half a year!! Needless to say it was getting to the point where one or two cravings were starting to kick in...namely mint sauce, veggie gravy and of course CHUTNEY!!! The first time the chutney craving ever kicked in was back when I was living in Taiwan...until then I didn't really like chutters....but now I'm obsessed.... so 6 months without and I was more that ready for a nice cheddar and chutney sarnie....!!!
So whilst I was in HK I used the opportunity to fill my suitcase to the brim with lots of British products ready to haul back to Seoul.....honestly the absolute joy of going into a M&S and stocking up on jam rings, salt and vinegar crisps, veggie Percy Pigs, spiced chutney, cranberry sauce ready for Christmas, shortbread, fudge.....GLORIOUS!!!!...then imagine my delight when I found another shop selling an abundance of Dairy Milk, Maltesers, MARY BERRY FRUIT CHUTNEY (?!?!?!!? I've never even found this in the UK!!!) Lemsips, Strepsils.....and all number of treats!!! As you can imagine my little Korean kitchen is now full of all number of treasures!!! Don't even get me started on prepacked sandwiches either....I was beyond ecstatic to also stumble across Pret A Manger so was straight in there... I'd actually forgotten about it's existence !!!!!!!!!
Ok... so all in all such a magically wonderful trip of dreams....I won't be leaving it so long next time as there's still soooo much I still want to see in HK and plenty more gossip to be had!!!! So I shall leave you with a few snaps....
I'm off to crochet some Granny Squares and brew up some chai~ weird to think that only last month I was tropically hot in HK and now I'm freezing and wrapped up in Winter coats and scarves in Korea... so nice to finally see some lovely autumnal weather though and have an excuse to crack out some fluffy knitwear?!!!!!!!! Seoul has been looking SUPER exquisite as we now near the end of this short but beautiful next time I'll share some snaps of how pretty this city looks with all it's red maple leaves and twinkling, golden ginkgo trees~ sad that they've mainly all fallen already!!!
Love from Seoul,