A neon sign from 'Ben the Neon' in Sham Shui Po - we got our amazing LRP one for the showroom from him last year... it was ready in a week! He speaks perfect English and is very responsive on whatsapp. Feel free to let him know you got his details through The Lion Rock Press!
find him in front of Shop 165, Apliu Street, Sham Shui Po
t: 6226 5151
Who doesn't love some beautiful ceramics? I am hopelessly adddicted to buying them. Here are a couple of suggestions for places I love!
Wah Tung China Arts is a bit of a hidden gem in Sai Wan (dangerously close to LRP HQ) and has an array of predominately hand-crafted ceramics. Both antiques and repros, they can convert vases into lamp bases as well. An amazing selection to choose from - but make sure you make an appointment and request free parking if you're driving! Ask for Alice.
Yuet Tung China Works in Kowloon Bay is the last remaining hand-painted porcelain factory, filled to the brim with fine china. It is jam-packed full of everything from egg cups to stools (and look out for the plate painting workshops as well!). A beautiful leaving gift (or treat for your own family) would be a dinner service with a handwritten message on the bottom of each plate. Ours say our family name and our tenure in Hong Kong!
Wah Tung China Arts
16/F, Cheung Fat Building, 7 - 9 Hill Road
Western District, Hong Kong
Yuet Tung China Works
Unit 1-3, 3/F, 15 Wang Hoi Road Kowloon Bay Industrial Centre, Kowloon Bay
MAHJONG TILES & TABLE
Have you been someone who has learned to play mahjong during covid? Or maybe you're an old hand like me. I know so many people who love this ancient game. A beautiful mahjong set from Wellington Street is a perfect idea and what about a mahjong table too? I buy my mahjong sets and my fold-down tables from Ying Fat Cheung and love to have a chat with him... those tables double as the BEST jigsaw puzzle tables too!
Ying Fat Cheung, 1st Floor Wage Commercial Centre, 99 Wellington Street
t: 2544 3785
Alternatively, have you thought about carving your own mahjong tiles? Jen, from Team LRP, created a set of six beautiful tiles with gold leaf at the end of last year. I was SO jealous and they've gone straight to the top of my bucket list! An amazing memento of time here and something really fun to do as well! She highly recommend the experience, and they had the pleasure of watching Karen's father (the real master of Mahjong tile carving) doing his work as well which was incredible!
Karen Aruba Studio, Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre (JCCAC), L6-15, 30 Pak Tin Street, Shop Kip Mei
Of course I am crazy about blue and white ceramics... and ginger jars in particular. Many a happy trip has been spent in Zhuhai over the years with friends buying up antiques. Although obviously stunning in themselves, I particularly love them as lamps. Kate, from the Ginger Jar Lamp Company, has curated a beautiful array of vintage jars and made complementing shades as well in an array of colours and patterns. I am especially enamoured with my latest purchases- a pair of these 'Hong Kong homage' ginger jars (an original design just for Kate's customers) with her signature hot pink pleated lampshades! Exquisite!
Particularly lovely during the Mid-Autumn festival, but something that is a joy to look at all year round. So colourful and happy making!
I've bought them from the various little shops along Queens Road West towards Sai Ying Pun and I love to support the few remaining shops along there. Years ago there were so many in that area, but now only about three remain.
You can buy these in lots of the porcelain shops but we do love a mooch around Tung Shan Porcelain on Peel Street for bits and pieces (including umbrella stands)! You never quite know what you will find in this little treasure trove! I also bought some ceramic balls from there recently and they look ace in a cool wire bowl as a centrepiece on my dining table. Tons of great things to buy for friends and family overseas which always go down a treat!
Ying Pont Building, 69-71 Peel St, Central
TRIMMINGS AND FABRICS
Stock up on the many, many choices of fabrics, trimmings and haberdashery with a trip over to Sham Shui Po. Some amazing finds as you wander around the streets of this fascinating neighbourhood. I love this t-shirt that Jen made simply by stitching a mahjong sparrow onto a plain white tee. Go crazy in the bead shops too- you'll never find another place like SSP!
Here is a great map of the shops from Shannie Makes
HONG KONG LETTERBOX
Such an iconic item - the love of the Hong Kong letterbox runs deep at LRP. We've made hanging decorations of them and have created numerous cards and gift wrap designs featuring them! There used to be a lovely older couple who hand made these metal letterboxes close to LRP HQ, but they retired recently shutting up their stall for the last time a couple of months ago. You can still buy silver ones from some of the hardware stores along Wellington Street (towards Sheung Wan). However if you are looking for a bit more colour then Mint Hong Kong paints them in a number of contemporary shades!
Of course many places sell these, but here are some personal recommendations:
Yong Chang Furniture- they can customise wooden antique style Chinese furniture according to your specifications. I designed a fabulous round dining table with a 'lazy susan' and they made it to my exact sketch! So fun! Colours, sizes, door fittings etc can all be chosen. I've had quite a few of custom pieces made and will always treasure them. Very reasonable prices, and they deliver to Hong Kong.
Oriental Home (20th Floor of Horizon Plaza in Ap Lei Chau) have some beautiful antique pieces of furniture and a large showroom where you can see their wares.
Alternatively, you could try your luck somewhere like Facebook Marketplace as well. You can often find people selling these kinds of items and I've picked up some real bargains!
I try to get up to Second Chance in Tuen Mun at least once a year. It's HK's largest collection of pre-loved treasures and furnishings and is an Aladdin's cave of amazing antiques and repros... I always find something incredibly special there.
ROOSTER TEA POT & CROCKERY
You can't get more iconic than one of the rooster tea pots - especially with the woven handle! I even made it into a Christmas decoration! I drink gallons of Chinese tea every day, and would not have it made in anything else!! My favourite tea is Yuen Kut Lam's Kam Wo Tea from the oldest shop in Sheung Wan- opened in 1906. Up until the 1970's, "drink a little box of tea" was a common saying in Hong Kong. This 200 year old brand of tea hasn't changed at all since the Qing Dynasty. According to the packet, it cures everything from sunstroke to plague! Major bonus is the to-die-for packaging which has remained the same over all these years.
I've had mine for a long time but have seen them for sale around Shanghai Street in Mong Kok amongst the many other kitchenware shops! Speaking of which, there's a really cool metal shop in Sheung Wan (60-62 Bonham Strand) called Kam Lee which has every different metal kitchen item you can imagine! I've recently bought 2 cool storage jars there with birds embossed on them which everyone comments on. Super cheap too, and extra nice to support a local biz.
I know that Wai Chi Street Playground definitely had some of the rooster plates and bowls when I last visited and may well have tea pots. It's worth popping into this shop anyway as it stocks some very cool nostalgic Hong Kong items in it! In fact, the whole of 618 Shanghai Street is worth a nosey around in general!
Wai Chi Street Playground
G/F, 618 Shanghai St
Failing that, I know for a fact that Perry at the 'household shop' on Possession Street has them... and matching bowls and cups too if you want to get carried away! ;)
Have you seen Alvin's artwork before? I am very lucky to already own one of his pieces (Birdcage Uncle) but could easily have more as they are so evocative of here. So much detail and such great observations of people and places I'm familiar with in Hong Kong. I'm thrilled that he's allowed me to stock his stunning watercolour postcard sets on the site recently- I'm going to frame a set for my Mum.
KNICK KNACKS FOR THE HOUSE!
I love a visit to Sum Ngai Brass Factory in the New Territories. They have lots of lovely homeware items, bronze book ends, ornaments, candle holders, ceramic stools, brass decorations (a friend got herself an amazing dragon for her back garden when she moved back to the US!) and they also have some colourful lacquer furniture as well. On a recent visit there, I picked up some more brass frog bookends for friends 40ths which really reminded me of my childhood as my Mum had some in our living room in Stanley, plus a couple of huge ceramic planters for the balcony which were on sale. Definitely worth a trip - and why don't you add in a meal at the Thai restaurant close by to make a few hours of it?
195-B Kam Sheung Road, Kam Tin,
t: 2477 7202
THE ZODIAC 12 PIECE SET
And, of course, it would be very remiss of me not to mention one of the loveliest gifts that I think you can buy for yourself or someone else before leaving Hong Kong. The Lion Rock Press created this limited edition rather fabulous coloured collectors box set of the 12 zodiac animals (they are also available in gold). They look amazing on a Christmas tree but equally lovely hanging throughout the year - a bit of zodiac cheer and luck all year round is no bad thing! These are my go-to leaving gifts for those departing our shores as I know how much they will be treasured for many years to come. I hope they will think of me - and our dear Hong Kong - every year as they hang them on their Christmas tree.