This year V&V is partnering with Talking Philanthropy 2021 ahead of their upcoming philanthropic thought-leadership virtual forum, which is taking place on the 14th of May. Organised by the international fundraising and philanthropy advisory firm, Global Philanthropic, the forum will bring together some of the world’s leading organisations and academic institutions.

This year the conference will focus on the theme of Asia-Pacific: Supporting a Philanthropic Ecosystem. The forum aims to bring leaders from around the world and the region to spotlight the structural issues surrounding philanthropy in APAC and provide a macro perspective on the key issues that need addressing in order for philanthropy within the region to flourish.

The multi-regional event will be co-hosted by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, the National University of Singapore, and the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy, University of Cambridge Judge Business School. Noteworthy partners of the forum include The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, United Nations Foundation, and the conservation charity; BirdLife International. 

Throughout the day, there will be a series of panel discussions, research presentations, and case studies, discussing each of the following sub-themes in the context of Asia-Pacific philanthropy:

According to Ben Morton Wright, Group CEO and Founder of Global Philanthropic, “Philanthropy in Asia is at a critical tipping point. Governments of emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific are crucial to unlocking the philanthropic potential in the region, making them the target focus for world leaders in philanthropy. Talking Philanthropy 2021 will be a game-changer to help us all address the world’s greatest inequalities during these challenging times.”

Talking Philanthropy aims to inspire attendees and speakers to begin conversations with governments and philanthropic practitioners to revisit regulation and ensure a conducive environment for philanthropy and identify areas for further research. The complimentary event is free for all to attend and one can register for the forum through the following link – https://asiapac.globalphilanthropic.com/talking-philanthropy/

As #EarthDay2021 rolls around this week, sustainability is at the forefront of everybody’s minds. Yet, it’s not enough for companies to talk about sustainability just one day out of the entire year, which is why we’ve rounded up a list of top brands that walk the talk year-round. With sustainability at the core of their brand values and offerings, you can rest assured that every penny you spend with them will be guilt-free.

Singita

Every aspect of Singita’s day-to-day operations is centred around its 100-year purpose to preserve and protect large areas of African wilderness for future generations. They’ve highlighted clear sustainability targets for 2025, including using renewable technologies with the goal to become carbon neutral, water saving measures and waste management.

One of their most notable projects is the drive of clean solar energy in the Kruger National Park. 78% of the power required to run Singita Kruger National Park was provided by solar energy, resulting in a remarkable reduction in carbon emissions. In addition, Singita’s ongoing conservation efforts are undertaken alongside its non-profit partner funds and trusts where progress is evident through the transformation of the areas under Singita’s care. This includes the recent birth of the first black rhino calf in Tanzania in decades at Singita Grumeti.

Inge Kotze, Singita’s General Manager of Conservation, strives to form strategic partnerships in conservation and supports projects that promote the preservation of Africa’s biodiversity. She also oversees an all-woman Conservation team who are responsible for Singita’s Biodiversity and Sustainability initiatives, as well as its Community Partnership Programmes.

TiNDLE 

TiNDLE is founded on the belief that doing one’s part for the planet should be easy, enjoyable, and most importantly delicious. Comprising only 9 ingredients, TiNDLE Thy uses 74% less land, 82% less water and produces 88% less greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional chicken. Currently available across a range of cuisines at 11 different restaurants in Singapore, eating green has never been more delicious.

This April, TiNDLE has partnered with homegrown heroes, ecoSPIRITS and Brass Lion Distillery, to bring a sustainable edition of 28 HongKong Street’s Proper Dinner series. The limited time menu will feature Chef Melvyn Tan’s TiNDLE spin on the bar’s iconic Fried Chicken n’ Waffles topped with homemade herb butter. With every component of the dish made from scratch by Chef Mel himself, this version may just be the most sustainable and freshest take on the nostalgic American bar food in Singapore. Complete your meal with a Brass Ring Cocktail, a low-waste, gin-based cocktail by Chris Saw, Singapore’s reigning Sustainable Bartending Competition winner.

VIVANT

The world’s first live streaming wine experience platform, VIVANT is redefining how consumers learn about wine and supporting a more sustainable future for the industry, featuring the world’s best tasting wines from responsible winemakers practicing sustainable, organic, and biodynamic viticulture. VIVANT only works with responsible winemakers who take care of their little piece of the planet and pledge to keep it free of synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fungicides in order to produce better quality wine and improve the environment for future generations.

Patina

Opening in Q2 this year, Patina Maldives, Fari Islands, will advance the establish trend of purposeful travel; from zero-waste kitchens and recycling marine plastic, to offering free dive lessons to local children to nurture next-generation respect for the environment, this resort is driven by its commitment to perpetuality. 

At the 100% solar-powered kids’ club – Footprints – kids will have the opportunity to turn recycled ocean plastic into models using 3D printing and sign up for free diving lessons to nurture next-generation awareness of the local ocean environment. The resort will also be offering free PADI dive certifications for local Maldivian children.

Ambitious in its plans to tackle marine plastic pollution, Patina Maldives will be implementing a comprehensive coral propagation project, as well as leading regular team and guest clean-ups – with 10kg of marine plastic collected for every stay.

With World Health Day fast approaching, there’s no better time to start eating healthier, especially if it has made a regular appearance on your new year resolutions for the nth year now. Hopping on the plant-based diet bandwagon, whether full-time or occasionally, has proven health benefits. As the pandemic rages on in most parts of the world, it makes sense to adopt a more healthy and nutritious diet to support our immune systems.

Research shows that plant proteins are cleaner than animal proteins due to the absence of industrial pollutants from industrially-farmed meat, such as growth hormones, nitrites, heavy metals and saturated fat. Plant proteins are naturally more alkaline-forming compared to animal proteins, which are highly acidic. As such, meat proteins increase the risk of diseases like cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases. According to health professionals, people on vegetarian or vegan diets (which often rely on plant protein) are at a lower risk of certain diseases, including cancers, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and ischemic heart disease.

Animal proteins, such as meat, eggs and milk, may have the advantage of being complete proteins and providing all nine essential amino acids. Still, they also come with higher calories and other health risks. Try switching them out for plant-based complete protein options such as quinoa. It is true that some plant proteins only contain part and not all nine essential amino acids that we need. You can overcome this easily by filling your bowl with various plant proteins, especially since they are lower in calories than their meat counterparts!

Hesitant to make that leap of faith immediately? Go flexitarian instead! While a poorly-researched vegetarian diet could result in various nutritional deficiencies, including iron, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and protein itself, a flexitarian diet allows you to reap the health benefits from eating more plant-based foods while still ensuring that you’re getting all your needed nutrition. It also helps cushion the dietary transition, so your cravings are still satisfied!

If you’re not the biggest fan of salads, we’ve got good news for you. The meat alternatives market is booming, and we’re here for it. Brands like Impossible, OmniFoods and the newest kid on the block TiNDLE, are putting out plant-based “meat” products that taste like the real deal – minus the meat! With the range of plant-based alternatives on the market, easily swap out animal proteins in your favourite dishes with a close vegan replacement and continue tucking in. There’s a chance your veggie-hating friends might not even notice the difference!

If you’re keen to give plant-based meats a try, hop over to our feature on The Soothe, where we have rounded up 20 top restaurants in Singapore that serve delicious meat alternatives on their menus.

March is one of our favourite months, with a special day dedicated to women and women only. This International Women’s Day, we’d like to give a special shout-out to women who are leaders in their field, inspirational icons for young girls everywhere and living, breathing evidence that there is nothing women can’t achieve.  

Piya Thamchariyawat, Creative director of EDG Design

The design world is a male-dominated one, but women designers are making waves of their own and gaining due recognition. Principal and Senior Creative Director at EDG Design, Piya Thamchariyawat is an award-winning designer with an astounding portfolio of concepts and projects around the world. Building on twenty years of experience with EDG, Piya directs design for the firm’s Middle East, Asia and Australasia projects and leads the firm’s global conceptual projects.

Piyanuch pairs innovation with style, operational savvy with design impact to create signature guest experiences. She has a keen understanding of how to take a project from her mind’s eye, to a sketch, to a drawing set and through to opening. Thanks to her strong understanding of the importance of the human experience, the savvy designer has a knack for developing deep-rooted conceptual DNA for each project she works on, ensuring strong, interesting stories are reflected through her expert design.

Alicia Pan, Girlboss and Co-founder of Yoga Movement

Co-founder of Yoga Movement (YM), a yoga teacher with over 500 hours of training under her belt, and a former singer-songwriter, Alicia has carved a multifaceted career and legacy for herself. A go-getting boss lady who can definitely kickass (figuratively AND literally – she’s into Muay Thai and boxing, and dabbles in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu), Alicia’s success is no accident, even if it wasn’t the path she envisioned initially.

When YM opened its doors in 2012, Alicia had small aspirations: to deliver yoga to the people in a small-scale boutique studio. Demand boomed, and quickly exceeded their first studio’s capacity. One thing lead to another and before long, Yoga Movement has grown into an iconic fitness-lifestyle brand with over 100,000 yoga enthusiasts clocking a whopping 25,000 visits a month, and six studio concepts under their belt to date — including their brand new Orchard Flagship Studio.

VIVANT’s Women in Wine Live Experience

To celebrate the occasion this year, VIVANT will be directing the spotlight onto women winemakers who are brewing up their own success in the field. The “Women in Wine” Live Experience invites all wine enthusiasts to hear from female wine leaders, who will be sharing their inspiring journeys that has brought them to where they are today, as well as highlight the multifarious opportunities offered by the wine industry.

Meet established women winemakers from different wine horizons, like Claire Lurton, owner of Château Haut-Bages Libéral (Bordeaux), and Amélie and Cécile Buecher, owners and winemakers at Vignoble des 2 Lunes (Alsace). The experience also features an exclusive conversation with Paz Levinson, star sommelier of Anne-Sophie Pic Group.

Cherie Spriggs, Head Winemaker at Nyetimber

The first ever woman to be named ‘Sparkling Wine Maker of the Year’, Cherie Spriggs is writing new chapters in wine-making history. Her illustrious career in the art of winemaking began in 2007, where she joined the team at Nyetimber, England’s leading producer of sparkling wine. Since then, Cherie has played an instrumental role in the brand’s growth, including their recent expansion to Asia. Her feat is testament to her skills as much as it is to Nyetimber’s dedication to excellence. The team is expecting to produce two million bottles a year by 2030, up from one million today, with the entire industry producing at least 20 million bottles.

Travelling is something we just can’t do at the moment, but there is a way to temporarily quench the wanderlust — through virtual travel. We know, we know, it definitely isn’t the same, but hear us out! Walk Japan is a pioneer of luxury travel walking tours, taking small groups to the undiscovered places of Japan. As a way to continue to explore the beautiful country, they’ve launched a new series of virtual travel tours — Talk Japan. It’s a brilliant way of visiting the gorgeous country without leaving the comfort of your couch.

These captivating talks are a gateway to connect with Japan from the comfort of your home and you can register on their website for free. While we may not be able to physically trek through the rolling hills of Kunisaki or the snowy peaks of Hokkaido, they do insights into Japan’s vast history, culture and traditions.

Whether you’re looking to seek out Walk Japan in the future to travel or are simply interested in the wonders of this incredible country, do join for a virtual experience of a lifetime. Here are some upcoming talks for March and April.

What matters is water: ‘How I grow rice in my village’

Japan isn’t a wealth of natural resources but water is abundant across the nation. The rice paddies are a testament to this as they are flooded in the spring with each field shimmering with reflections of the setting sun and the surrounding countryside. Steaming bowls of white rice are essential to Japanese cuisine and invariably appear at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Rice is also transformed into a range of other treats including senbei crackers, mochi cakes and, of course, sake.

Given its abundance, rice may seem like a straightforward crop to grow. However, in his talk, virtual travel tour leader Takuya Ugajin takes us through the dedicated year-round process of controlling huge volumes of water he needs to grow his rice in Nagano Prefecture. Takuya also enlightens us in the unique role that water played in forming Japanese Shinto beliefs and shrines.

11th March 2021 11am JST 

‘What I think about Ueno when I think about Ueno’

Tokyo’s Ueno Park is a popular spot for ohanami, the Japanese celebratory spring picnics that are held under the full-bloom of sakura cherry trees each year. The tradition of Ohanami is highly anticipated by all and are extremely fun despite sometimes being raucous social occasions. In Ueno, however, before the bloom of the sakura blossoms, it saw a dramatic unfolding of events in the late 19th Century.

Professor Bill Steele reveals in his virtual travel tour how Ueno Park became a battlefield during the Boshin War (1868-69). He describes the unrest and uproar of the age and pays heed to the heroic soldiers, who are fondly remembered to this day in Japan and commemorated with statues in the park.

1st April 2021 11am JST

‘Read before you drink: unlocking the secrets of your sake bottle’

Walk Japan tour leader and head researcher for the Sake Industry News newsletter, Shima san brings her sake expertise to her virtual talk on Japan’s libation to the gods. Shima san delves into the variety of Sake available, introducing us to the different grades and complexity of flavours available. She also provides insights on how to choose a sake to accompany different occasions and tastes, and how to just simply imbibe for the pleasure of Japan’s most unique beverage.

22nd April 2021 11am JST

To join Talk Japan events register on their website, and complete the form. Talks will also be recorded and made available for viewing at a later date.

About Walk Japan 

National Geographic has described Walk Japan as “one of the 200 Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”. The company leads the way in providing the most fulfilling and enjoyable tours available in Japan. Walk Japan has an unrivalled range of regular, scheduled tours for Japan and is researching more for the future. It also creates and runs private, custom tours tailored to customers’ particular interests. These include private tours for families, friends, societies, companies and schools.

The lunar festivities are upon us again. While we could still get our annual fix of CNY goodies, lucky bamboos and (hopefully still thick and hefty) red packets, some things will have to change for the year of the Metal Ox. Having dived straight into social distancing and WFH after last year’s lunar new year celebrations, this year’s reunion dinners and visiting will have to be a little less cozy this year. Nonetheless, a little bit of distance can’t keep us from enjoying ourselves, especially with Valentine’s Day falling on the same weekend! Here’s what we think would jazz up this long weekend whether you’re spending it with family, friends or your other half.

Cheers to love (or not)

Reunion dinners for eight are still on. Impress your nearest and dearest with a bottle of Asakura Premium from Kyushu Spirits’s new koji whisky line, crafted meticulously with the century-old fermentation process from the island of Kyushu in combination with western wood-aging techniques. With scents of honey, vanilla and coconut from the oak cask, a hint of soft white florals and boasting notes of honey work with hints of buttery brown sugar and cinnamon with a touch of yuzu zest on the tongue, this golden bottle is sure to keep everybody huat and happy.

There are few things more romantic than a bouquet of roses, but we’re definitely swooning over the Rosé Multi-Vintage, a sunset pink number from Nyetimber. With vineyards earnestly cared for by husband-wife duo, Cherie Spriggs and Brad Greatrix, you’re sure to feel the love bubbling in every sip.

For the lovebirds who are planning to stay home this Valentine’s weekend, the folks at Vivant will be going live with three master producers of seductions’ favourite beverage. Grab a bottle from their specially curated Experience Kit, cuddle up and delve into The Roots of Champagne with your significant other.

Meanwhile, anti-valentiners can head out and join like-minded souls at Neon Pigeon, where singles are celebrated with tomahawks and cocktails. The design team at EDG have captured the essence of the modern Izakaya, marrying it with an underground vibe, creating a gritty, urban environment to unwind over creative cuisines and beverages. 

Find time for self-care

If all the festive snacking has got your guilt meter through the roof, you can head down to Yoga Movement’s new design-centric Orchard flagship studio to burn off some of those pineapple tarts. The studio offers the seven signature YM class types as well as Pop Up classes, YM’s version of themed classes. There’s no need to fret even if you’re just an aspiring Yogi as all classes are multi-levelled – from Basics for foundational yoga postures, to Power Flow or Hot classes that will get you working up a good sweat. After your sessions, go ahead and grab a cuppa at the Yoga Movement coffee bar, where you can wind down and watch the bustle of Orchard Road rush by.

As most of us look forward to celebrating the festive season at home in Singapore this year, the stunning celebrations and decorations happening around the world still fill us with hope, excitement, and inspiration for our upcoming travels. The V&VPR team have rounded up our favourite places across the globe that are filling us with Christmas cheer!

📍London – The Savoy

The Savoy, the storied hotel on the Strand, is this year partnering with Nyetimber, the leading English Sparkling Wine producer, on some fabulously festive initiatives this December.  Together they have created opportunities to shop, learn and indulge so that guests and visitors can enjoy a Christmas with added fizz this year!

📍Hong Kong – The Upper House 

This festive season, The Upper House is aglow with a Christmas tree inspired by the iconic street signs of Hong Kong in collaboration with architectural studio, COLLECTIVE and Streetsign HK, which will be auctioned off to raise funds for local charity ImpactHK. 

Inspired by Hong Kong’s iconic illuminating street signs and with the guidance of Streetsign HK, a group that advocates street signs as urban cultural heritage, COLLECTIVE reinvigorates the fading art of neon sign making with the creation of the “Doodle Tree”. Breaking with convention of 2D neon signs, the team and Mr. Wu Chi Kai, one of only three remaining local craftsmen, expertly fabricated the neon tubes into 3D form through perpetual experiments and traditional heated glass bending techniques.   

📍Chengdu – The Temple House 

The Temple House has unveiled a seven-meter gold-coloured Christmas tree constructed partly from recycled bamboo.

For the past four years, The Temple House has commissioned a one-of-a-kind tree that incorporates whimsical elements created from recycled materials. This year, the unconventional Christmas tree features bamboo partly recycled from the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding decorated with hundreds of golden ornaments. After the festive season, the bamboo will be reused to house the herb garden in our courtyard during the winter months.

📍Bali – Capella Ubud

Throughout December, Capella Ubud, Bali pledges to donate 5% of room revenue from direct bookings to the English for a Brighter Future initiative, which supports elementary students and youths in the Keliki village with complimentary English language classes. 

 As English is the language of tourism in Bali, Capella Ubud hopes to enrich the lives of the local children and nurture them to become the hospitality leaders of tomorrow. Students are empowered to take charge of their education by collecting plastic waste in the neighbourhood in exchange for a place in the classroom; this, in turn, fosters love and respect for the environment.

As the world works together to recover from the impacts of COVID-19, Capella Hotels and Resorts pledges to support the youths of their community with the launch of their Capella Youth initiative, just ahead of the festive season. 

Focused on empowering younger generations to create a better tomorrow, the Capella Youth initiative Is an ongoing programme, whereby each property within the esteemed portfolio will work with long-term charitable partners to give back to the community. The initiative was born out of the recognition that opportunity arises from education. Now, more than ever, the Capella Hotels and Resorts team wishes to galvanise their local communities and enable them to thrive for years to come. 

Capella Singapore 

Capella Singapore is making this festive season all the more special by working with the Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN) on two unique initiatives, which will allow guests to support a worthy cause while standing a chance to spend the festive season at Capella Singapore with their loved ones. Working synergistically with Association for Persons with Special Needs (ASPN), the property empowers youths to harness their full potential through curated mentorship opportunities. 

Capella Singapore’s first festive initiative will be an online auction to raise funds for APSN, whereby guests will be able to bid online to win an exclusive staycation package over the festive season, which will include seasonal epicurean experiences. Four stays are up for grabs, with two on Christmas Eve and two on New Year’s Eve. In addition to the online auction, Capella Singapore will be inviting long-stay residents and colleagues to play ‘Secret Santa,’ and ensure that the children protected by APSN receive a special gift this year. 

Capella Bangkok 

Having welcomed its first guests in October this year, Capella Bangkok is committed to a longterm partnership with “Wat Wang Pla Cheed” school in Nakhon Nayok district. In December, Capella Bangkok will kickstart the collaboration by supporting the renovation of the school’s canteen, with members of the culinary team curating a healthy menu for the students. 

Guests of Capella Bangkok are invited to support the initiative over the festive season by purchasing star ornaments, which will adorn the hotel’s Christmas tree. 

Capella Ubud  

Throughout December, Capella Ubud, Bali pledges to donate 5% of room revenue from direct bookings to the English for a Brighter Future initiative, which supports elementary students and youths in the Keliki village with complimentary English language classes.

As English is the language of tourism in Bali, Capella Ubud hopes to enrich the lives of the local children and nurture them to become the hospitality leaders of tomorrow. Students are empowered to take charge of their education by collecting plastic waste in the neighbourhood in exchange for a place in the classroom; this, in turn, fosters love and respect for the environment. Proceeds from recycling the discarded plastic bottles are reinvested to purchase school books and further educational tools for the community.

Capella Shanghai   

Capella Shanghai is kickstarting a collaboration with Shanghai Young Bakers, an empowering charitable initiative that provides French bakery training to marginalised Chinese youths who have been forced to drop out of school due to family circumstances and are unable to find stable employment. 

Capella Shanghai is offering two 10-week internships, whereby students will receive one-on-one mentorship from Executive Chef Romain Chapel of one-Michelin-star le Comptoir de Pierre Gagnaire. Over the festive season, a portion of all proceeds from Capella Shanghai’s Boulangerie will also be donated to Shanghai Young Bakers. 

With the long-awaited Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble launching this weekend, we share V&VPR’s favourite places to eat, sleep and play in the Fragrant Harbour to help you create your ideal itinerary.

Our favourite places to stay

The Upper House is an urban wellness destination nestled between Hong Kong’s skyscrapers with a 24-hour gym, yoga and fitness classes on a stunning lawn and in-room treatments using organic Bamford products. The spacious baths overlooking the city skyline is the ultimate cherry on top for a relaxing stay.

The Langham, Hong Kong is renowned for its trademark European Luxury and its great location in the heart of the city. The property features 498 stylishly appointed rooms and suites that exude an undeniable timeless elegance.

L’hotel Island South, Hong Kong’s first Geopark Hotel, brings guests to the quaint Southern District on Hong Kong Island, where the richness of nature serves a stunning backdrop to their contemporary ocean inspired rooms. Inspired by the style of the boutique hotel, the 37-storey modern Hotel offers 432 spacious guestrooms and suites that redefine conventional notions of comfort, service and style.

Soaring over Victoria Harbour, Rosewood Hong Kong is a new centre of gravity on the Kowloon waterfront; the crown jewel of the Victoria Dockside arts and design district. The 413-room vertical estate offers eight restaurants and lounges complemented by recreational facilities including Asaya, a fitness centre and swimming pool and standout meetings and event space.

Our favourite restaurants, bars and cafes

Located in Sino Plaza in Causeway Bay, chef Seth Rogan brings contemporary British cuisine to Hong Kong through his creative menus at Roganic. The restaurant first opened up in London and was recently introduced in Hong Kong in February 2019. Rogan’s classic British dishes are made from local, fresh produce from local farms and suppliers. 

MANA! has been pioneering the sustainable market in Hong Kong. Serving “fast slow food” through inspiring vegetarian menus and operating a strict zero waste policy – MANA! Has saved over 100 tonnes of food waste by composting its vegetable-only scraps. Other eco-friendly iniatitives include sourcing biodegradable takeaway packaging, and hiring full time staff to sort and transport the food waste for composting. 

A Modern European grand café of the 21st century, Café Gray Deluxe is a Hong Kong institution famed for killer views and locally inspired continental cooking. They also do some of the city’s best non-alcoholic cocktails, including Empty Pocket with black tea, lemon, passionfruit, elderflower and red dates.

Ranked 33rd in Asia’s 50 Best Bars, Lobster Bar & Grill offers a creative take on your usual non-alcoholic beverages. The Cranky Crusta is a blend of Lyre’s American Malt, Seedlip spice, fresh lemon juice, orange marmalade and pineapple gum syrup, while Reds Are Roses features Seedlip grove 42, Lyre’s Dry Vermouth, red rose shrub, chamomile tea and cherry syrup.

Nailing both their beans selection and café aesthetic, NOC Coffee Co serves up fragrant coffee and nutritious food at their impeccably-designed outlets in Sai Ying Pun, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay, Tin Hau and Whampoa. 

Our favourite cultural and nature spots

Located on Po Fook Hill at Pai Tau Village sits one of Hong Kong’s most famous Buddhist temples. The temple was founded in 1949 by the Reverend Yuet Kai and completed in 1957, renowned for housing over 12,000 of statues of Buddha, with no two exactly the same.

A crossing of Victoria Harbour on a Star Ferry has been named by the National Geographic of Traveler as one of the “fifty places of a lifetime”. Take the trip at night to soak in the panoramic views of Hong Kong’s glimmering skyline. 

For something relatively easy with stunning views, head to Dragon’s Back. Located in Shek O, in the south-east of Hong Kong Island, the Dragon’s Back meanders through Shek O Country Park, with gorgeous vistas of the beaches below and the South China Sea.

The highest peak in Hong Kong at 957 metres, Tai Mo Shan is renowned for its breath-taking sunrises. Head off before dawn to catch the sun’s slow ascent as its rays light up the city.

Ideal for more seasoned trekkers, this hike will take you along the east coast of Sai Kung Country Park past four stunning beaches: Sai Wan, Ham Tin Wan, Tai Wan and Tung Wan. You’ll be rewarded with uninterrupted views of turquoise clear waters, lush greenery and sparkling white sand.

Our favourite places for a workout

PURE Yoga is dedicated to serving the yoga community in Asia by offering diverse yoga practices – Vinyasa, Hatha, Hot, Wall Rope Yoga, Pre-Natal and more. Try a class with Patrick or Jenny and you can opt for a complimentary trial if you’re only in town for a few days. 

H-Kore’s unique training methods will ensure that all your fitness needs are met. Try the MegaKore classes which are 45 minute Lagree Fitness classes performed on the state of the art Megaformer machine will strengthen and tone your whole body.

Asia’s first articulation of the new wave of indoor cycling, XYZ is the best spinning experience in the city, designed to help you escape the intensity of day-to-day life, reset your compass and engage with your sense of purpose.

Cracking open a bottle of wine after a hard day. Enjoying a relaxing beer on the beach as the sun goes down. Popping the Champagne cork to celebrate some good news. Alcohol is oft associated with some of life’s biggest occasions, however, an increasing focus on health and wellbeing has caused many to re-evaluate their relationship with alcohol.

This growing trend for a no-alcohol or low-alcohol life has inspired the creation of viable non-alcoholic alternatives, which offer those opting out of booze a tasty and healthier alternative. Rather than going all-out with a glass of sparkling water, non-drinkers can now enjoy craft spirits and aperitifs that are just as (if not more) delicious as alcohol. Some of the key players are already available in Singapore. 

With over a decade of experience within the Asia Pacific drinks industry, Lyre’s Regional Asia Manager Rachel Ling is optimistic about Singapore’s growing non-alcoholic drinks movement: “While there is still some level of education to be done both with consumers and in the industry, we’re seeing an increasing number of great bars offering non-alcoholic cocktails that differ significantly from your standard mocktail. Far from a sugary drink that tastes nothing like a cocktail, non-alcoholic Lyre’s cocktails look, taste and sashay around the palate just like the original alcoholic version. Bartenders in Singapore are becoming increasingly comfortable with whipping up non-alcoholic cocktails, especially as you don’t have to change the recipes at all when you use Lyre’s spirits. Through the amazing non-alcoholic drinks that the bars come up with, consumers are then presented with these unforgettable taste experiences which is enough to educate and convince them.”

Melati

Crafted from 26 individually selected Asian botanicals, Singapore-based Melati was designed as a restorative non-alcoholic aperitif. A complex palate-setter, Melati is at once refreshingly fruity, floral, and spicy. With a classic spritz serve, drinkers can build one-part Melati and one-part tonic or soda water in a wine glass over ice, garnishing with an orange slice. Melati can also be combined with alcohol to create a low ABV cocktail.

Lyre’s

Non-alcoholic spirits brand Lyre’s has crafted the world’s most comprehensive range of alcohol-free spirits and liquors, revolutionising the way we drink. Whether it’s a boozy brunch, laidback happy hour or a special celebration, the Australian-based brand places emphasis on the freedom of being able to opt for a low or no ABV tipple, no matter the occasion. With that in mind, Lyre’s has teamed up with some of Singapore’s favourite drinking spots – Manhattan, Ah Sam Cold Drink Stall and DON HO – to create inspiring non-alcoholic cocktails and offer guests an entirely different drinking experience. Indulge in the Vega from Manhattan which showcases the Lyre’s American Malt mixed with clarified apple juice, chamomile ole Saccharum and lapsang souchong tea, the Isn’t Life Grape, which is a mix of Lyre’s Aperitif Rosso, white grapes, red wine vinegar, egg white and soda or the Grapefruit Spritzer with Lyre’s Italian Spritz, grapefruit, grapefruit soda and olives. 

Big Drop

Whether you’re looking to cut down, cut out or just try something new, Big Drop has crafted a great beer for any beer lover. These alcohol-free craft beers are of the highest quality of care, skill and innovation. Known for having bolder, hoppier flavours, it’s all about thinking outside the box to brew what beer drinkers love. Opt for the alcohol-free craft lager, which is vegan-friendly and gluten-free. The libation features light herbal and floral hop aromas, a hint of caramel with peppered spiciness on the palate and a touch of orange at the end.

McGuigan Zero

Responding to global moderation trends and consumers seeking alcohol-free alternatives, McGuigan’s winemakers set out to find a way to make generous fruit-forward and balanced wine, just with the alcohol removed. The result is McGuigan Zero, a range of zero-alcohol wines featuring the same high-quality and varietal characteristics you would expect from full-strength wine, free from alcohol yet full in flavour.