Rain, rain, more rain. In our third month of a tropical summer we are pretty used to you. It really doesn’t phase us too much anymore – we put on our rain jackets and rain boots and get on with it.
Last weekend was the hottest of the year and with barely a cloud in the sky we spent both days outdoors at the pool and beach (one of those with a shocking hangover, as written about here). So we were actually thankful for rainy weather this weekend and spent lots of time at home, cooking, eating and watching the TV we finally caved in and bought.
Today, after an extremely relaxing morning drinking multiple coffees and reading while the kids played (I know! That happened!) we decided to venture out and try a few things we’ve been meaning to do for ages – The Rink in Elements mall* and The Ritz Carlton at the top of ICC.
We chose to cab it there as we were dealing with a very grumpy almost-four year old, and it wasn’t cheap – it cost us $70HK just to get through the tunnel! Still, it’s a small price to pay for maintaining sanity. Once we got to Elements we stumbled upon their cool “Sweet Summer” exhibit right away, which kept the kids happy for a while – giant gummy bears and jelly beans will do that. We also saw a huge Van Gogh replica made entirely from Jelly Beans! Pretty cool.
Eventually we made our way to The Rink, the large-ish ice skating rink on the ground floor of Elements. We were worried that Heike wouldn’t want to skate but she was actually very keen…well, until it came time to put the skates on and she wouldn’t wear them because they had buttons (Yes, buttons! Heinous things).
But we managed to have quite a good time. Walter, 16 MONTHS OLD everyone, got some skates on and had a whirl. I’m totally convinced he is going to be some kind of sporting prodigy but yet to decide if that’s rooted in fact or completely bias motherly adoration! We rented a push along seal thing ($150HK for 2 hours) which was great as he could sit on that and get pushed around. It also allowed Heike to have some fun as she could sit on it without skates *rolling eyes very hard* and she did enjoy herself. She has informed us that she will wear buckle skates but not lace up skates. I think we just won’t attempt it again for some time!
The whole thing was really affordable – it cost us $160HK for the four of us to skate *had the four of us skated, still rolling eyes heavily* which is way less than something like this would cost in Australia. It was also very easy and efficient with no wait times and no need to book prior. You would have to be prepared though as it’s quite cold so long pants and jumpers are a must.
From here we walked to the main ICC area and into the Ritz Carlton, where we took the lift to the 103rd floor (!!) to see what restaurants had availability. We really want to try the Chinese restaurant there but need to be more organised and make a booking. We’ve also yet to go to Ozone, which is even higher and apparently amazing but was serving an expensive champagne brunch when we got there. In the end we went to the cafe area which worked out perfectly as it was very quiet, still boasted an amazing view and was serving up a high tea menu, which was exactly what we felt like!
The High Tea was SO delicious and while of course slightly expensive ($368HK pp for the high tea for two) it was worth it, and we shared with the kids so it really wasn’t too bad. The Ritz Carlton chocolate cake and their signature Earl Grey tea were probably my favourite things. I can’t wait to come back here with my Mum and have a glass of champagne on the side!
We actually managed to get the train home which constantly impresses me (you can tell we’re used to having a car for everything) and on the way home from Wan Chai MTR we stopped in at the sports ground and joined some young kids kicking a ball around – such a simple thing we take for granted at home with all our green space, but really quite special in Hong Kong. It lifted my spirits to see the kids running around in open space (okay it was basically green concrete but I’m claiming it) and talking to strangers and just being kids. Those moments are rare in the highly planned and scheduled big city life that is Hong Kong.
So, all in all, a pretty great Sunday.
*Elements Mall, 1 Austin Rd West, Kowloon
How was your weekend?