Monthly Archives: October 2013

Race day attraction

With Melbourne Cup around the corner, we thought it’s time to talk pretty hats. Melever, G/F 1-2 Nam Cheong Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon. Tel: +852 2708 8899 has a winning way with fascinators and cocktail hats, and if time permits and personal accessorizing is your thing they really step up with colourful feathers, hand-sewn silk flowers and other dazzling bits and pieces crafted from leather and netting. For specific designs you may have in mind, Louie is the man to talk to – he works in costume for film but will bring your dream hat to life. His shop is P3 Fashion Accessories, Shop 10 Yan Nam Mansion, 97 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon. Tel: +852 2360 2600. If you want to create your own hat from scratch try Kwong Yiu Fashion Accessories, G/F Shop 7, 97 Nam Cheong Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon. Tel: +852 2304 3988 or Trademark East, G/F 94 A-B Pei Ho Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon. Tel: +852 2398 9293. 

Exquisite high-end designs can be found at Hat Woman in Central. They stock the genius Philip Treacy and the beautiful Ward & Wylie hats. 

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With Halloween just a few days away we thought we should post a shoot we recently worked on for Playtimes magazine. We found some great suppliers and ideas that might help get you in the mood for some spooky fun. The cupcakes and cakepops are from Party Mate Cakes and we commissioned mini pumpkin pies from RJ at Tai Tai Pie Pies. Ghost meringues, jelly cups and vanilla monster milkshakes kept us busy in the kitchen. And for party craft we painted a wall with blackboard paint from Tin Kwan Paint Pigment Company, G/F 157 Tai Nam Road, Kowloon.Tel: +852 2555 8866, which has blackboard paint in any colour. For blackboard paint on Central side visit Yuen Fat Ho, G/F 77 Hollywood Road, Central.Tel: +852 2546 8931. For tutus in Halloween shades go to Pottinger Street, Central or P3 Fashion Accessories Company, 97 Nam Cheong Street, Kowloon. Tel: +852 2196 6805. Black and white butterflies sewn on white and black singlets were found at 1/F Wong Chuk Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon. White paper bags are in plentiful supply at 274 Yu Chau Street, Sham Shui Po. Kowloon.Tel: +852 2396 1675.  

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Hatton Studios

Wanting to learn the craft of jewellery making? Head down to Hatton Studios. Jeweller Nathalie Melville, a graduate from Central Saint Martins, London, helps clients to create handmade pieces – she has worked for Tiffany, Follie Follie and Shanghai Tang, and has worked extensively on bespoke pieces for private clients, too. Her knowledge of precious metals and gems and attention to detail is amazing. Tables and tools are available to rent for those who spend more time and fall in love with honing their technique of the art form. The courses start at beginner’s level and also include private tuition. Some students have carried on further and gone on to develop their own collections. 




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Essence of Vanilla

Recently my sister ‘taught’ me a new appreciation for home-made vanilla essence – it’s without sugars or preservatives. And I have to say the end product looks so great it should be valued as a work of art plus it makes a wonderful gift, too. I don’t know where she found the recipe but she told me her process:

Grab a glass jar with a good lid – great vintage ones are available here in Hong Kong, Central from Cat Street curios shops – or copy my sister and use a small bottle of vodka. Pour 200ml vodka into a clean glass jar and split three to four vanilla beans without cutting to the end and put into the jar. Store in a cool, dark place – give it a shake now and then so you keep infusing the vodka with the vanilla pods. In three- four months you will have perfect vanilla essence.

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Vanilla Syrup Cake

Vanilla Syrup Cake
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  1. 180g butter, softened
  2. 1 cup castor sugar
  3. 4 eggs
  4. 200g almond meal
  5. 1/4 cup self raising flour
  6. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla essence
  7. 1/4 cup milk
Vanilla Syrup
  1. 3/4 cup raw sugar
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Place the softened butter and the sugar in a bowl and beat with electric beaters until light and creamy.
  3. Add eggs one at a time and beat well.
  4. Add the almond meal, flour and vanilla essence and mix until combined.
  5. Fold through the milk.
  6. Pour the mixture into a greased cake tin and bake for 50 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool.
  8. For the syrup, place the sugar, water and Vanilla beans in a saucepan and stir until sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and allow to boil for 8 minutes until slightly thickened.
  9. Allow to cool.
  10. Pour 3/4 of the syrup over the cake and allow to soak in.
  11. Use the rest of the syrup when serving.
  1. Serve with thick cream or mascapone.

A cutting kind of story…

Scissors on-duty: doing ‘craft’ makes us appreciate a great pair of scissors and I find the look of vintage ones really appealing, but nothing beats a new pair. They cut, change and shape so much the perfect pair is always sharp and ready to work. Pinking shears are handy, too for going around paper, felt and seams if you don’t want to overlock or zig-zag. Distinct looking ones can be found at a little hole-in-the-wall store at 1/F Wong Chuk Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon. If you think of it take along some old ones – the owner is very obliging and will sharpen them while you wait. If you’re on the lookout for haberdashery items head to Hop Shing Hong, G/F 260, Tai Nan Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon. Tel: +852 2729 1035. It’s great for beautiful scissors and much, much more.

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