Dec 15, 2011|
So the press started getting psyched for the Holiday Season last month, after having received all the press releases ages ago. Then the holiday hampers came, and now all the major hotels, restaurants and PR companies have sent out invitations to their Christmas cocktails and parties for this month.
Actually the festive season started with the Langham party, which was rather early for a Christmas event… in November (even before my Bali trip). Now the Langham Hospitality Group is known for putting on epic holiday extravaganzas, rehearsing skits and song and dance numbers months in advance, with staff, their PR and marketing teams all acting as mandatory stars of their show. Quite daunting for those who do not have the desire for the limelight and adoration.
I remember one year’s theme was Hollywood, and we saw the staff dressed as movie stars. Another was… woodland creatures perhaps? I’m not quite sure; I was unfashionably late to that event. A PR came up to me in a full-on squirrel suit and freaked the holy baby Jesus out of me.
This year it was a Winter Carnival Christmas Party at The Backyard of the Langham Place, where we were “invited to an evening of cordial carnival capers,” and they promised a night of stimulating performances. Now alas I did not make it (as I had been whisked off to that handsome hidden speakeasy somewhere near the Central Market that cannot be named—great grilled cheese with gruyère—to celebrate the 100th birthday of the doyen of LUXE City Guides). However, I’ve heard through the grapevine that the Langham party was simply a magical candy land (so magical that Reggie Ho left The Backyard in the morning), with the charming Ainslie on a chair surrounded by a writhing mass of sexily dressed ladies. I hope Ainslie hasn’t spat out his lunch after reading this line—he always seems to spit out his lunch when he reads my column.
The Backyard is indeed the chillest spot for whoever’s regrettably stuck in Mong Kok during the weekends. Hmmm, I must be getting bourgeois and old… I used to love going to MK even during my university years to hunt for vintage fashion, cheap CDs and comic books—it used to be such an adventure. Now I only go there for some godforsaken tour guide duty with a visiting friend. And instead of navigating the mean streets with pep in my step like I did before, I find battling half of Hong Kong’s teenagers and one-third of all tourists from China highly daunting.
After a challenging day with a tourist friend in tow, The Langham’s 6,000-square-foot Backyard on Level L—and their free-flow champagne package called Lazy Daze—is all I care about. It’s truly an urban oasis, with the tranquil murmur of its waterfall and sweet-scented mango trees Overlooking gritty Mong Kok roofs, the view’s pretty kickass with a unique urban beauty to it. It’s very Wong Kar-wai. You can flop on their oversized beanbags and munch on scrummy gourmet pizzas. (BTW, the Lazy Daze package is three hours of free-flow champagne plus unlimited wine, spirits, beer (more than 20 varieties) and moreish pizza any day, any time for $498.
Anyway, with December here and a party EVERY day of the week, I got super into the holiday mood. But then after the third cocktail event last week, the rest of the press and I became well aware that we’re basically just going to see THE SAME DAMN PEOPLE at every party. Not that I’m not enjoying the scintillating conversations and endless industry gossip, mind you. I’ll tell y’all how Clockenflap went next week. TTFFN!