March 8 is International Women's Day, and to celebrate this annual event the wonderful women of Time Out Hong Kong have come together to give their personal recommendations on what to do to unwind, relax, and generally treat yourself. From coffee spots with serene views to art galleries and even workouts, here's what our ladies said.
RECOMMENDED: Wondering what to do this Women's Day? Check out our run down of this year's IWD events in Hong Kong.
Spas and massage venues will be an obvious choice for relaxation, but aside from these pampering places, I visit art galleries to recharge and get inspired. I like to treat myself with an eyeful of art in Central district. Specifically, I love visiting the three floor-spread art space Opera Gallery for a fix of contemporary and modern art.
And while other women shop for beauty products, shoes, or clothes, I treat my mixology obsession instead by splurging on liquor bottles to add to my collection or buying new sets of glassware. Check out this list of wine, beer, and spirits shops for the best alcohol delivery services in town. Also, I love trying out the best tipples in the city, because a good drink in hand soothes the troubles away. My favourite spot to get a smoky mezcal drink is at Coa, and I go to The Old Man for my bitter fix of The Sun Also Rises (a mouth-watering concoction of copra fat-washed applejack, curry leaf-infused gin, sweet vermouth sous-vide pandan leaves, and lime kaffir).
Rest Coffee Gin is my favourite place to go and treat myself. It's a speciality coffee shop by day and artesian cocktail bar by night, and the charming surroundings make it great for Instagram – especially when taking in the seaview as day turns to night and the cafe turns into a gin bar! The cafe’s special point is that – quite interestingly for a cafe – it doesn’t have a coffee menu! Instead, customers pick their coffee according to what they ‘feel’. First, choose from ten different coffee beans laid out on cement trays.
After picking your preferred coffee beans, choose the way you want to drink it – plain black, white, hand drip coffee, espresso tonic, or if you want, you can even choose a 1+1 combo, where you choose two coffee flavours. Even though the cafe only uses single origin coffee beans, if you want a latte, there are seven different ways to get the espresso base, all focusing on light to medium roasted beans. Moreover, the cafe turned gin bar also has twenty flavours of cocktails, including their tea cocktails which use only the most premium tea, such as Dan Cong, Golden Daylily, Darjeeling and more.
Head over during the magic golden hour, enjoy a cup of coffee then follow it with a cocktail or two, while enjoying the incredible sunset views.
An ideal way for me to "treat" myself would be going around the city to take photographs of all the wonderful architecture Hong Kong has to offer. I know it doesn't sound exactly like the most relaxing way to spend my day, but it's quite therapeutic. You get to discover parts of town that you never knew existed, spend some quality, peaceful time with yourself, and you end up with a ton of great pictures that you can be proud of (and possibly – or most definitely – show off on Instagram!) If architecture doesn't interest you, just grab your camera and walk around different neighbourhoods. You're bound to come across something interesting.
My definition of treating myself is to get up early and go for an uninterrupted workout session at Coastal Fitness Performance Training to get a sweat on and get my body and mind right for the rest of the day. Following that, I recommend heading over to Life Hub to relax with an IV drip or a lymphatic massage.
I enjoy chilling with my friends, but not necessarily in big groups. Sometimes I prefer taking it easy and just hanging out with a couple of friends. I love going to Plantation by teakha in Sai Ying Pun. The tea house boasts minimalistic Japanese vibes and offers a variety of single-origin and mixed teas. Plantation regularly hosts tea making workshops too. I highly recommend grabbing a few of your girlfriends to pay a visit. It’s the perfect place to just kick back and relax.
As a coffee aficionado, nothing cheers me up quite like a great cup of coffee in a cosy cafe. And while there are plenty of spots that offer great coffee in Hong Kong, lately, I can't get enough of the % Arabica in Kennedy Town. Its two-storey shop is stylishly designed with a clean white interior and offers front-row seats to an incredible harbour view. My personal favourite has to be their Spanish latte – an espresso-based drink with textured normal milk and condensed milk. My friend also recently introduced me to an adorable, cosy cafe in Causeway Bay called Plaunk, that doubles up as a bar at night. They do a mean Espresso Martini and even made a Baileys Espresso Marini for my friend once. It's off the menu but they'll make it for you if you ask!