Mon­key Busi­ness

Hong Kong Tatler - - To Our Readers -

ith both the start of the Year of the Mon­key and Valen­tine’s Day hap­pen­ing this month, it’s fit­ting that this is­sue in­cludes my re­port on a per­fect lit­tle get­away spot for fam­i­lies or cou­ples. Fur­ther­more, the re­sort I vis­ited—the In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal Danang Sun Penin­sula Re­sort, si­t­u­ated on Viet­nam’s balmy east coast—used mon­keys as its main an­i­mal mo­tif. Play­ful pri­mates in­habit the tract of land that hosts the re­sort, which in­spired the ho­tel’s de­signer, the inim­itable Bill Bens­ley, to per­me­ate the prop­erty with mon­key or­na­ments and ref­er­ences. Is there a more ideal place to visit this year?

The In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal Danang Sun Penin­sula Re­sort, which was named the World’s Lead­ing Lux­ury Re­sort at the World Travel Awards for the se­cond year, re­cently added a spec­tac­u­lar feather in its culi­nary cap. Renowned French chef Pierre Gag­naire has taken over the re­sort’s high-end restau­rant, La Mai­son 1888, and I was lucky enough to be among the first to try his menu. Pierre is lauded the world over for his bold, icon­o­clas­tic ap­proach to flavours and in­gre­di­ents, and has in­spired gen­er­a­tions of younger chefs to ex­plore un­usual com­bi­na­tions and con­trasts. But what im­pressed me most about him, as we sat chat­ting in the af­ter­noon be­fore his big de­but, was how hum­ble he is and how en­gaged he was with the food he was about to serve. De­spite his lim­ited English, he spoke with such pas­sion about a Viet­namese av­o­cado and some shrimp that came from a place near Danang. Read more in Indo Sheen on page 194.

We meet an­other charis­matic French­man for our cover story this month—raphael le Masne de Cher­mont, ex­ec­u­tive chair­man of Hong Kong’s first home-grown lux­ury brand, Shang­hai Tang (p.136). As well as his pen­chant for man­darin col­lars and his Gal­lic charm, Raphael is known for his horse­man­ship and polo skills. He ex­cit­edly re­vealed that the Hong Kong Polo As­so­ci­a­tion, of which he is a mem­ber, is bring­ing the sport back to Hong Kong af­ter a 30-year hia­tus. Matches will be staged dur­ing the Longines Hong Kong Masters, the an­nual eques­trian thrill-fest, which takes place from Fe­bru­ary 19 to 21. I hope to see you there for some hors­ing around—or should that be mon­key busi­ness?

— Sean Fitz­patrick Chief Cre­ative Of­fi­cer

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