From al fresco extravaganzas to gastronomic delights and artsy affairs, a myriad of exciting happenings have descended upon the heart of the city to entice culture and gastronomy lovers this summer. The best part? You don’t even have to hop in a taxi to get to them all. Here’s your ECHELON guide to the best places to eat, shop, and play in and around Central.
RISE AND SHINE AT TAI KWUN
The early riser catches the worm – or in this case, handcrafted brews and scrumptious breakfast plates amid the idyllic morning breeze. Just during this summer, heritage and arts destination Tai Kwun is opening its doors extra-early at 8am to welcome morning larks with refreshed summer breakfast menus at Café Claudel and LockCha Tea House. After that, stretch out your muscles on the historic al fresco grounds at a Lululemon-hosted wellness session or escape the midday sun by perusing new exhibitions from Tai Kwun’s summer programme, including Serendipity in the Street, which spotlights urban observations and anecdotal happenings in the Central neighbourhood, and opens July 23.
10 Hollywood Road, Central. Find more details at taikwun.hk
JOIN IN THE ACTION AT MINISTRY OF MUSSELS
Calling all sports fans: no more keeping your chants and cheers down at home, because there’s a new sports bar in town where you can catch all of your favourite games with like-minded friends and fans. Newly opening this July, Ministry of Mussels spreads out across 5,000 square feet and is decked out in giant HD screens and stadium-like surround sound to take viewers straight inside the action – whether that be on the Formula One track, courtside at the NBA Finals, or in the UFC octagon. True to its name, the kitchen serves up an innovative bistro and seafood menu with a spotlight on fresh, succulent mussels, while ice-cold beer, top-quality wine and global spirits are also available at the bar.
3/F, California Tower, 30-32 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central. Find more details at ministryofmussels.com
INDULGE IN FUN AND GAMES AT SUMMERFEST
Round up your entire family – yes, that includes your fur child(ren)! – because SummerFest has made its grand return to the Central Harbourfront until August 6. Leading the smorgasbord of free outdoor daily programmes is the Monet Garden, where guests can immerse in the impressionist world of the great artist while recreating his masterpieces Waterlilies and Sunset. Other activities in July include live street dance performances, workouts with the likes of Les Mills and Balance Bike Group, and a European-style open-air concert. From July 29 to August 6, the Home Sweet Woof! Festival features an expansive obstacle playground and professional dog trainers on hand for an unforgettable day in the sun with your four-legged friends.
9 Lung Wo Road, Central. Find more details at summerfest-centralharbourfront.hk
SET SAIL WITH MANDARIN ORIENTAL HONG KONG
After an adrenaline-filled day, revitalise your senses by checking into the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong for a staycation that whisks you off to a new dimension – quite literally. In partnership with luxury travel members’ club Stay One Degree, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong has just unveiled the City and Sea staycation package that promises a one- or two-night getaway to remember by pairing your decadent night in with an overnight or day-charter out at sea. With a glass of bubbles in hand, cruise along tailored routes including Victoria Harbour, South Hong Kong Island, Lamma Island, and Sai Kung aboard your pick of the hotel’s exclusive collection of luxury vessels (from a 100-feet wooden sailing gulet to an elegant motor yacht or a sleek catamaran) while exploring the city’s hidden coves and tranquil coastlines at sunset hour.
5 Connaught Road Central, Central. Find more details at mandarinoriental.com/hong-kong
HAVE AL FRESCO FUN AT THE LAWN CLUB
A few rounds of classic summer garden games like pétanque, croquet, or giant Jenga, followed by a refreshing Aperol Spritz and wines from Australia’s Barossa Valley (making their Hong Kong debut) perfectly paired with some scrumptious Shake Shack – all the while basking in the city’s electric vibe and dazzling skyline? Yes, please. The Lawn Club, brought to you by the creator of The Grounds, is Hong Kong’s answer to your socially distanced summer garden party, where outdoor fun meets live musical performances and sports simulcasts streamed on gigantic theatre screens to keep the summer fun going into the wee hours.
Hong Kong Observation Wheel & AIA Vitality Park, 33 Man Kwong Street, Central. Find more details at thelawnclubhk.com
STAY MINDFULLY WELL AT BEAUTY BOTANICA
For some retail therapy, make your way up to the third floor of Landmark Atrium, where you’ll find
Beauty Botanica, a one-of-a-kind beauty and wellness concept that just opened its doors last month. The whimsical floral cocoon (interiors are set to be refreshed seasonally) houses 28 carefully curated brands – some established, some exclusive, but all with a dedicated ethos on clean, plant-based, non-toxic, and au naturel beauty. Whether whipping up your personalised fragrance at Pamper DPT’s aromatherapy corner, perusing homegrown label Vree’s all-vegan serums and balms, or testing out the Stockholm-based Melyon’s gender-neutral bar soaps, there’s something for every beauty lover. For the guys, the wittingly coined, leather-clad Boyfriend Dropoff is stocked with rare whiskies from The Whisky Library.
Shop 312-314, 3/F, Landmark Atrium, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central. Find more details at landmark.hk
GET YOUR GROOVE ON AT C45
After dinner, what better way to cap off the night than by hitting the dance floor? Spanning 10,000 square feet on the first and second floors of California Tower, the city’s newest nightlife destination, C45, has been heating up Central’s entertainment scene since its grand opening in June – and a jam-packed roster is set to keep the fun going all summer long. The agenda includes a star-studded guest DJ series happening every weekend that has already seen top names like Lia Mur, Michael Powter, Snstr, and Sidtrus gracing the stage with their house, EDM, and techno tunes; the newly launched monthly Pride Nights turning up the heat for the city’s LGBTQ+ community; and Metro Retro, an ode to party concept Mambo Jambo created by Zouk in Singapore, where synchronised dance moves meet nostalgic ’80s and ’90s tunes served with a side of Singaporean fare.
1/F and 2/F, California Tower, 30-32 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong, Central. Find more details at c45.com.hk