This November, Hong Kong will be celebrating its culinary traditions during Wine and Dine Month, with events and promotions taking place throughout the city's major foodie districts, at popular landmarks and at highly-regarded restaurants.
The Wine and Dine Festival
Kicking things off is the American Express Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival (1-4 Nov) at West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade, where more than 100 gourmet food stalls and 200 wine booths will be showcasing their produce against the stunning backdrop of Hong Kong harbour.
Wine appreciation classes are available, and top wine experts will also be on hand to guide you through the rare vintages and fine wines on offer within the Riedel Grant Tasting Pavilion. Genuine oenophiles will appreciate the first time releases and limited-edition wines, along with new products from lesser known wineries in countries such as Ukraine and Romania.
This year, a new feature of the festival is the Sweet Pavilion which will be serving up delectable patisserie creations alongside sweet 'n sticky Asian desserts, all paired with ice wine, sweet and dessert wine, rosé or champagne.
During November, the city's dining hotspots come to life with superb street cuisine and carnival entertainment. Over on Wan Chai's Queen's Road East, the Discovery Walk (10 Nov) passes by the district's top restaurants, antique furniture stores, art galleries and heritage buildings including the Hung Shing Temple and the Wan Chai Old Post Office. Try out an international range of canapés and fine wines en route and visit the Montmartre-style street at the Open Piazza of the Hopewell Centre.
Lan Kwai Fong Carnival (17-18 November) is the city's largest annual street party. Starting at 1pm and lasting well into the night, the event has an exuberant Mardi Gras atmosphere and is filled with festive decorations, not to mention crowds of people getting on down with the hot Brazilian dancers and musicians. The streets of Lan Kwai Fong will be brimming with booths offering gourmet delicacies and selections of the finest wine, beer and cocktails from around the world, plus interactive stage games, parades, arts and crafts and more.
The World of Food and Music in Stanley is a family-friendly extravaganza (held each weekend in November) which takes place in Stanley Plaza. Budding cooks can get inspiration from the World Junior Master Chef Competition (24-25 November) where little chefs from across the globe will be competing with their local counterparts for the prestigious title. There will also be cooking demonstrations from international chefs, wine tastings and live world music performances.
Festival of Restaurants
The Hong Kong Festival of Restaurants runs from 1-25 November, and offers residents and visitors the chance to sample a set lunch or dinner at some of the city's top fine dining establishments, and at more casual spots too. Participating restaurants this year include Chez Patrick, Madam Sixty Ate, The Newsroom, Shore Steak and Taku.
Cooking classes and other events
During Wine and Dine month there is ample opportunity to discover a bit more about Chinese cooking, or take in a food tour, explore a wine cellar or find out how to cook with wine.
- Learn how to make dim sum - a quintessential Hong Kong dining experience - with a professional chef and then tuck in to a delicious dim sum lunch.
- Join a one-hour guided tour of Crown Wine Cellars, an ex-British military bunker, and stay around afterwards for a three-course meal with sparkling wine. (Every Thurs & Sat in November except 10th and 17th).
- Take a three and a half hour food tasting tour of Central and Sheung Wan and indulge in platefuls of wonton noodles, barbecued pork rice and egg tarts.
- Towngas Avenue offers a personalised cooking class to learn the art of cooking food with elements of red and white wine from a professional chef (14th and 19th November).
Visit the Hong Kong Wine and Dine Month 2012 for more information and tickets.
Virgin Atlantic operates a daily direct flight to Hong Kong from London Heathrow.
Header photo: American Express Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival © 2012 Discover Hong Kong
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About the author: MaxineMaxine Sheppard
Maxine is the editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.