A MACAO KIND OF JULY

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This month we’re off to the other SAR: Macao

澳門7月

本月我們前往另一個特別行政區:澳門

THIS MONTH, DEAR reader, we’re sailing 60 kilometres west from Hong Kong. All together now: we’re going to Macao.

Why? The long-awaited bridge is about to open, plus this airline recently inked a codeshare agreement with Cotai Water Jet, so it’s easier than ever to bob over. That’s the elevator pitch; now for the fun stuff.

Macao is the Cain to Hong Kong’s Abel, the Venus to its Serena, the Liam to its Noel. These two SARs have long wrestled over the superlatives – zazziest, tastiest, glitziest – but even Hong Kong has to admit that Macao is pretty hot right now. ( We also mean that literally… Pacha’s Summer Love pool party, anybody?)

There’s the launch of two big-ticket hotels on the Cotai Strip that aren’t speciously themed after European cities. (Oh wait. Macao’s Holiday Inn is to rebrand as The Londoner later this year – expect a replica Big Ben, Tower Bridge and red phoneboxes for ATMs.)

The MGM Cotai (1), opened this spring, is a bejewelled cantilevered heifer wedged between the Venetian and the Wynn. There are Qing dynasty carpets, a coterie of acclaimed chefs and The Spectacle, a four-storey atrium flanked by screens and vertical gardens.

Next: Zaha Hadid’s newly opened Morpheus (2), the wiry skyscraper that’s part of City of Dreams. The 1.6 millionsquare-foot property has sky villas, a VR zone and a rooftop infinity pool.

Talking of extraordinary constructions, try the Bloody Mary at the jazzy and New Yorky St Regis bar (3): we say Instagram cocktail of the month.

Walk 10 minutes away from the Venetian and you’re in Taipa Village (4), a patchwork of quaint streets that have retained much of their traditional pastel-coloured architecture. There’s Rooftop Macau, a boutique selling printed t-shirts and trinkets, plus coffee to drink on the roof; and the Taipa Village Art Space, which, when we visited, was teaching students Chinese calligraphy. Stuff yourself at new La Famiglia (5), an ItalianPortuguese restaurant that serves an excellent tiramisu; and then again at old favourite Antonio (6), the home of the garrulous chef who thinks nothing of sabreing a bottle of champagne at a dinner of bacalhau (salted cod) and tomato rice.

And for dessert? A quick round of baccarat, obviously.

親愛的讀者,本月我們會乘船渡海,前往位於香港西面60 公里外的澳門去。

為什麼要到澳門去?因為萬眾期待的港珠澳大橋即將通車,加上國泰航空最近與金光飛航簽訂海空聯運代碼共享協議,前往澳門比以往更容易。開場白到此為止,現在來看看澳門有什麼有趣好玩的活動。

正如網球界有Venus與Serena Williams姊妹,搖滾樂壇有與Liam Noel Gallagher兄弟,澳門與香港兩地向來是亮之爭。兩個特區多年來鬥得不可開交,只為奪得最璀璨、最吸引、最矚目等美譽;不過香港也不得不承認,今時今日的澳門確是「大熱」……我們的意思是,澳門不但是個旅遊熱點,天氣也很熱,不如一起參加澳門派馳的仲夏池畔派對吧!

首先,金光大道最近有兩家高級酒店開幕,而且竟然沒有以歐洲某個城市作主題。慢著,據說澳門假日酒店會進行品牌重塑,變身為倫敦人酒店,到時必有複製的大笨鐘、塔橋和外形是紅色電話亭的提款機。

美獅美高梅( 1)剛於春季開業,位於威尼斯人和永利之間,外形有如多個堆疊起來的金屬盒子。酒店收藏了括清代古董地毯等多件藝術品,並禮聘多位著名大廚主理餐飲,更有樓高四層的視博廣場,其中一面設 有LED屏幕,還有直立花園。

接下來是全新開幕的摩珀斯酒店( 2),屬於新濠天地的一部分,由Zaha Hadid負責設計。酒店高樓面積共160萬平方呎,建築呈網狀結構,設有空中別墅、VR虛擬實境體驗館,以及位於頂樓的無邊際泳池。

談起非凡傑作,就要到洋溢紐約爵士風的瑞吉酒吧( 3)來一杯Bloody Mary雞尾酒,它肯定是本月最多人在Instagram上載分享的雞尾酒。

從澳門威尼斯人出發走十分鐘,就來到氹仔舊城區( 4),

古色古香的街道兩旁,依然保留了不少髹上傳統粉色油漆的樓房。區內還有精品店Rooftop

Macau,出售印花T恤和精巧小飾物,更可在天台享受一杯香濃咖啡。我們來到氹仔舊城區藝術空間時,剛好碰上書法班正在上課。想大快朵頤,不妨到全新開張的餐廳葡意之家La

Famiglia(5)品嚐混合意、葡兩國風味的美食,這裡做的意大利芝士餅tiramisu味道一流;此外還有葡菜老店安東尼餐廳( 6),

老闆兼大廚不單十分健談,還可以在馬介休配番茄飯的晚餐席上,若無其事地以軍刀開香檳奉客。

至於甜品,不必多問,當然是玩一手百家樂。

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