Growing up in the UK, Easter was always my favourite holiday. Even more so than Christmas with its sleep-depriving excitement of being showered with presents. For me, Easter was the festive feast and school break I looked forward to most.
Sometimes we went away for Easter. Somewhere in the UK, usually by the sea. I loved the idea of my parents packing up the car and me sitting in the middle back seat with my siblings either side. If spent at home my mum would roast a lamb joint. But there was always chocolate.
So my first Easter in Hong Kong, which came about just weeks after we moved here, posed a bit of a problem. Still in our expat daze (does that ever leave? Yes but more of that in a future post) and with our belongings not yet delivered by cargo ship, we hadn’t made any plans.
What to do? The answer was the five star hotel brunch. If I couldn’t have a Sunday lunch then by God I’d have bubbles.
Incidentally, this was also my first experience of the “free flow” Champagne brunch. I thought it was heaven. I’ve since slightly revised my opinion but that’s also for another post. There are lots of them on offer in hotels and restaurants across Hong Kong so some research was needed.
We chose the Intercontinental for its combination of stunning harbour side view and good food reviews and it didn’t disappoint. Apart from the fact that the Easter Bunnies (adults dressed in bunny outfits) ran out of chocolate goodies by the time they reached our table. Not totally their fault since some (grown up!) Hong Kongers had shamelessly hogged more than one Easter egg each. You can see I’m still bitter.
As for chocolate in the rest of Hong Kong, I shouldn’t have worried. To be my utter joy I found that Hong Kong has the best chocolate outside of Paris and Brussels. My favourites being The Cake Shop at The Mandarin Oriental (it’s worth popping in just to marvel at the chocolate displays which are an art form), Joel Robuchon (natch) and the Ritz Carlton. I was also amazed at the roll call of French chocolatiers who have set up shop here.
If you’re not looking for Easter eggs in particular you also can’t go wrong with homegrown Sift chocolate cup cakes. I used to visit the Singaporean Awfully Chocolate store for brownies and ice cream. I was intrigued by their little shop on Caine Road when I first arrived – stark and jail like and seemingly selling just one thing. Alas it is no longer there.
So if it’s your first Easter in Hong Kong and you haven’t made plans yet, book that brunch A-Sap. Me? As an old timer, I’ll be having dim sum. But probably still with free flow champagne.