In Graz: Brasserie Santner, nicely French…
Since more than 6 years living in Graz, dining out has too often been a somewhat disappointing experience for me – in this otherwise very charming and pretty city (and the 2nd largest in Austria, after Vienna).
Until this Tuesday, finally (yes, finally), after hearing quite some great reviews from the past year, since the Brasserie Santner opened its door around 2012, I paid my late visit.
It was a great visit!
Maybe partly because after so many frequent unsatisfying dining experiences here, I didn’t expect too much from the Santner. However, I was surprised from the amuse-bouche to the end (and nice wines too).
Tin Heung Lau, the Chinese Bistro in Heaven
Tin Heung Lau, apparently Hong Kong’s top restaurant specializing in Hangzhou cuisine that is unmatched, also one of the oldest known restaurants around, spanning a history of almost 50 years.
Strangely, being a Chinese and grew up there seem to be not enough – the best Hangzhou cuisine I’ve ever had is outside mainland China, in Hong Kong…
When my former colleague, an experience gourmet local HK guy suggested this restaurant, I was like: what? Hangzhou food in HK? Are you kidding?
L’une des adresses préférées de Josephine ? l’ Hotel ICON
What about an affordable hotel with a rooftop pool overlooking Victoria Harbour of Hong Kong? I managed to find one in my last trip!
Hotel ICON is located on the Kowloon side, about 5 minutes work to the Hung Hom station, and very close to the Polytechnic University.
I did enjoy my stay there very much. Luckily I had good weather, so was chilling out by the pool all the time, it was fantastic!
Here about the hotel –A) Location: Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon, a bit off the central touristic spots, but there are shuttle buses every 20 minutes to TST metro station and Harbour city (major shopping centre of HK), so actually very convenient. And the neighbourhood has enough to offer – shops, restaurants, a DFS opposite the hotel etc., and is nicely set away from main tourist flows. B) Facilities: the hotel opened in 2011, and building is designed by the leading local architect and interior designer. The 3 restaurants – a lobby café, a buffet restaurant and a Chinese restaurant are all very popular, and can be difficult to book at times. However I tried their famous breakfast buffet once, was not bad, but I was not that impressed to be honest. On the other hand, I personally don’t like to eat at buffets.
The pool (and pool bar) with harbour view is on the 9th floor, about 25 – 30m long, heated. The size is reasonable for real swimming, which is great. There’s also a well- equipped gym facing the pool and the harbour, and a SPA. Everything is perfect in this area, very nice changing room and shower with sauna too, providing everything you need from hair dryer to swimming suits.
So, highly recommended!
Lin Heung, the real and remote Hong Kong
Yum cha ‐ the southern Chinese style morning or afternoon tea, involves eating Dim Sum (small dishes steamed, fried , or baked sweets) and drinking tea ‐ is one of the most traditional daily activities in Hong Kong, many old people still keep this habit and go to the ‘tea house’ of their neighborhoods, as they’ve been doing for the last decades.
Lin Heung Tea House is one of the oldest in Hong Kong, before changing its previous name to ‘Lin Heung (‘the scent of lotus’ in Chinese)’ in 1889 (Qing dynasty), it was a cake bakery famously known for its Cantonese‐style moon cake filled with lotus seed.