Destinations | Perfect Weekend

Tara Bernerd’s Hong Kong

Tara Bernerd is chairman of interior design consultancy Target Living. She is currently launching Tara Bernerd & Partners, a high-end residential and hotel brand, in Hong Kong.

October 24 2010
Nicola Copping

“Call me a workaholic, but the thing I love about being in Hong Kong is that you can still work on Saturdays if you want to. It is the sort of place where work, and what you can achieve from it, is infectious. The excitement around it and the possibilities for me are really electric. So on the perfect Saturday morning I go over to my office in Central. But before that I’ll head up to the rooftop pool of the Four Seasons Hotel (pictured). I’m currently doing up my new apartment, so I spend a lot of time at the Four Seasons. I’ll go for a big swim and then have breakfast on the terrace, which has incredible views over the harbour, into Central and beyond.

On my absolutely perfect weekend, I’ll meet some friends and we’ll go out on a boat. There is so much happening in Hong Kong that it may seem strange to start the weekend by heading out of town, but there is a lot to do on the islands. My dear friend David [Tang] has a beautiful home in Sai Kung. The journey there is enchanting; it’s like Gulliver’s Travels, discovering magical lands steeped in history. We’ll sit under parasols on the lawn, looking at the water.

After a morning at work, though, I let myself indulge in a little shopping. The shopping in Hong Kong is out of this world – I would actually call it dangerous. The store that has really captured me is Lane Crawford. I might go to look for CDs, funky sunglasses or make-up; you can easily get lost in there, and afternoon suddenly becomes early evening.

On Saturday evening, I’ll go first to The Upper House. It is an incredible new hotel, built by [interior designer] Andre Fu and very modern in design. I’ll meet friends there for a drink. For anyone who is in Hong Kong, it’s really worth seeing. [Illumination expert] Arnold Chan did the lighting and there is a real warmth that comes through.

Then it’s on to dinner at a restaurant called Sevva. It has a huge roof terrace decked out with very cool furniture and fantastic music. The food is excellent because you can eat from the Asian-infused menu and there is a European menu too. I love the seafood, and they also make good cocktails.

The Hong Kong nightlife is as dangerous as the shopping; it can go on and on and on. We’ll visit the Dragon-I nightclub, owned by my friend Gilbert. I like that it’s half indoors and half outdoors; you can sit right in the centre of great music or out on the open-air terrace, which is more informal and conducive to chatting. After that, we’ll probably go on to the Halo lounge bar.

There are some interesting art fairs and exhibitions in the autumn. I always enjoy Fine Art Asia. Art is my passion and is so integral to my work – there can’t be good design without thinking about art, and I’m really embracing Asian art.

I’ve always loved The China Club, so I’ll go there for lunch on Sundays with some friends, and then I might do something as simple as go for a walk with my friend Nick and his chocolate-brown labrador on the beach in one of the bays. Afterwards, I’ll go back to the Four Seasons, to the gym and spa. It’s probably one of the best spas I have been to. I might have a massage with some aromatherapy oil, something energising.

On Sunday evening I’ll either go to a restaurant called The Pawn, which is located in an old pawn shop, or to an amazing restaurant called Inagiku [in the Four Seasons Hotel] because I love eating Japanese food. You can be adventurous; I like to try the different seaweed salads and tofu with very simple sashimi.

The look of Inagiku is also incredible. The interior is in dark stone and wood, on quite a large scale, but with real attention to detail. One wall is floor-to-ceiling glass that looks over the harbour – it’s simply exquisite.”

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