Fabric of Life: Dressing the table in crisp fine linen is the first step to refined dining

The table is the heart of the home, the place where families share the day-to-day, where big decisions and announcements are made, and where those most important to us gather for meals and celebrations. The tablecloth is vital in creating an elegant and welcoming atmosphere for dining together.

Whether in homes, hotels or smart restaurants, a tablecloth is the basis for a beautifully laid spread. While protecting the tabletop from spills, this extra layer of tactile pleasure also significantly reduces the clink of cutlery. At home, bespoke tablecloths are a great addition to any interior, enhancing the decorative theme of the dining space.

Celebrated in British dining culture, a crisp white linen tablecloth is also a part of the Hong Kong fine-dining and entertaining tradition due to our shared past. Today’s luxury table-linen purveyors offer countless choices of colour, pattern and material to suit any table and its surroundings.

Rivolta Carmignani

Historic brand Rivolta Carmignani (rivoltacarmignani.com), coveted for its bed linens and tablecloths for 150 years, employs a fully integrated, all-Italian manufacturing process that begins with the selection of precious yarns. The production combines ancient crafts like cutting, hemming and hand embroidery with the latest generation looms, ensuring durable, high-quality tablecloths. The skilled artisans of the atelier also offer a customisation service to make one’s choice of table dressing unique.

Rivolta Carmignani’s collections encompass a variety of weaves. Refined jacquard technology achieves the patterns of the Giardino Italiano line, as well as Boboli, a line of two contrasting solid colours in jacquard linen. Decoro embraces pure linen with clever three-dimensional effects, while Victorian delves into the family company’s archives for its decorative damask motif.

Precious pure cotton yarns (600 threads per square inch) create sophisticated sateen with a soft and silky hand. The Sateen Gold collection offers golden piping on crisp, sheen- like white cotton. Prices for linen tablecloths start at about HK$3,000.

La DoubleJ

The Italian-made fashion and tableware of former US journalist J.J. Martin brings vibrant joie de vivre to the tabletop. Launched in 2015, La DoubleJ (ladoublej.com) crafts linen tablecloths rooted in maximalist prints and the mood- boosting powers of chakra-conscious colours. An inspiring authority on energy elevation and the ebullient Italian way of life, the brand’s linens are made on the shores of Lake Como by local artisans, thus limiting their carbon footprint and boosting their feel-good vibe.

The Palms motif – in which bundles of palms in varying shades of green come together against a pale blue background – plays out across 100% Italian linen for a readymade centrepiece. Due to the handmade nature of the fabric, this medium-sized tablecloth features some small but charming irregularities, such as knots in the yarn.

White Turning Tulip and Wildbird Blu prints bring flora and fauna to the table respectively, while it would be hard to find a more intense colour-popping pattern than Colombo Grande. Mix and match La DoubleJ’s brilliant prints through napkins, runners and crockery for a veritable garden of delight. Tablecloths range from HK$2,500 to $4,000 in price.

Maison Margaux

Sourcing the world for unusual designs and pieces, Maison Margaux (maisonmargauxltd. com) is a luxury British homeware store selling everything for home entertaining – beautiful tablecloths, cutlery, crockery, glassware and bespoke accessories. Travelling from Portugal to Provence, and Italy to Istanbul, with inspirational visits to the English countryside and the Scottish Highlands, their collections conjure varying moods and expressions of nature. Everything is hand-selected by the team in a true labour of love.

Top of the line is the stunning hand- embroidered Noël Suzani tablecloth. Each intricate stitch is a testament to the craftsmanship behind this extraordinary collection, whose rich hues and tactile presence are a standout on every special occasion, not just Christmas.

From the pastel Turquoise Amelia in cotton, which perfectly captures the blush of spring, to the linen Burgundy Stripe in a Port- coloured pattern that nods to autumn warmth, there is a Maison Margaux tablecloth for every season. They also have collections suitable for weddings and formal events that may be rented rather than purchased. Prices (to buy) start from HK$1,300.

Summerill & Bishop

Founded in 1994 by June Summerill and Bernadette Bishop, two friends who shared an effortless sense of style, the Summerill & Bishop (summerillbishop.com) tablescape has a warm and slightly rustic vibe, but with a distinctly modern sensibility. Flowers and leaves feature on table linens that work both in the dining room and on the terrace, while abstract geometric patterns or stripes will complement any interior. Pieces are priced from HK$3,000 to HK$7,000.

Now operating two shops in London, S&B believes that if people take the time to lay the table and beautifully present a meal, they will enjoy it all the more and create a lasting memory for those who share it with them. To this end, the store offers a personalisation service on their Word, Cornice and Full Field table linens as well as some of their handmade porcelain bowls. Ideal as a gift or a personal keepsake of a memorable occasion, the Word collection enables a bold word, name or initials to be emblazoned on top-quality white linen.

In addition, a line of fine Italian linen tablecloths in a choice of classic and contemporary designs is hand-painted and printed by hand in a traditional stamperia. The most discerning customers, meanwhile, can dip into S&B’s limited-edition and made- to-order Couture collection which comprises the ivory-coloured Lyon lace tablecloth priced at HK$20,000 or three exquisite sequined designs at HK$53,000 each.

Healing Hands: The tick-tock masters who can repair all parts of your beloved watch

A watch is a very personal item and the journey to owning it can take several months. If it falters, however, modifications or repairs can be difficult, as only a handful of shops offer bespoke servicing. Watch restoration is an opportunity to bring a beloved model back to life and onto your wrist. We make the job of finding a master watchmaker to repair your wrist reward easier by curating a list of premium service centres in the city.

Classic Watch Repair

Based in Central, Classic Watch Repair is a one-stop service centre with more than 20 years of experience. The team is adept at repairing and restoring any timepiece, both mechanically and aesthetically. Besides standard watch repairs, they specialise in reviving exterior parts that are not generally covered by a brand service.

Michael Young, founder of Classic Watch Repair, is a vintage watch restoring legend. A mechanical engineer by training, he began his watch ‘fixation’ as a collector of Rolex models 40 years ago. Frustrated that Rolex wouldn’t repair or restore the cases, bracelets, dials or hands of his treasured timepieces, Young learned to do it himself. His meticulous restoration work and vintage-watch servicing have earned him a solid reputation around the world and the nickname ‘the Rolex bracelet magician’. classicwatchrepair.com

MisterChrono

Over the past 10 years, MisterChrono has made its mark through in-depth knowledge of the watchmaking industry and partnerships with watch repair and service specialists in Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore. These masters of high-quality workmanship have the necessary tools to carry out both routine maintenance and minor repairs as well as a complete overhaul of your watch. Moreover, if you are looking for specific advice, they will be able to answer your questions and guide you.

Giving an initial analysis and repair quotation as soon as you enter the shop in Central, the team offers a wide range of services from changing a battery and replacing the crown to fixing the hands or polishing the case. They recommend mechanical watches receive a full service every five years. This begins with the dismantling of the watch and the movement, followed by a thorough ultrasonic cleaning and inspection of all components and the replacement of any damaged or worn parts. The movement is then reassembled using the manufacturer’s specified oils and lubricants with a full calibration of the regulating mechanism. The watch case and bracelet are cleaned, and if requested, can be polished and refurbished. The service concludes with rigorous quality control and testing for 72 hours – including for pressure- and water resistance – and a final visual inspection of the watch. misterchrono.hk

Oriental Watch Company

As well as being a leading watch retailer, Oriental Watch Company offers a professional watch service experience. Designed and run by accordance with Swiss and German watchmaking standards, its in-house repair workshop in Sheung Wan is equipped with cutting-edge instruments including a water-resistance testing machine, a watch-movement analyser, the Chronoscope S1 high-quality watch-testing instrument and the Cyclomotion watch winder.

This abundance of outstanding hardware is utilised by staff with an average of 20 years of experience in watch repairing, with the majority having previously worked for haute horlogerie brands. Their most experienced master watchmaker has served in the industry for more than four decades. All potential restoration projects will be fully evaluated and discussed with the client before work commences. orientalwatch.com

Hong Kong Ruigang Watch Group

At the Tsim Sha Tsui flagship store of Hong Kong Ruigang Watch Group, trained watchmakers set about the task of lovingly restoring vintage timepieces. A thorough inspection of the watch movement identifies any damaged or worn parts, and should a new or replacement part not be available, they will refurbish the old part or machine a new part from scratch. Their dedicated dial department offers varying degrees of dial restoration, from adding luminosity to hour indexes and hands to repainting the entire watch face.

Hong Kong Ruigang also specialises in professional polishing and finishing to a watch’s original factory specifications. Going beyond normal polishing on a buffing machine, their technical polishing service using specialised tools results in a crisp edge that, in essence, is a reshaping of the case. For owners of popular models like Rolex or Omega, replacing scratched or damaged sapphire crystal isn’t usually a problem, but for vintage, bespoke and small- production watches, precious new glass can be custom-made to fit. They also undertake steel- and gold-band restorations by carefully removing each link and rebuilding it before re-assembling the bracelet. mbwxzx.hk

Prices for the services described here vary according to the intricacy of the restoration and the bespoke technicalities required by individual timepieces. Consultations can be booked online, although walk-in clients are also entertained. These watch-repair companies are, in short, trusted doctors for your cherished chronometers.

Hot Cakes: Customised creations bring aesthetic delight and originality to every celebration

Cakes and celebrations go hand in hand, and a beautiful bespoke confection is the cherry on top of a joyful occasion. A creative cake not only satisfies the sweet of tooth, it makes any event complete. Whether a birthday, wedding, baby shower, graduation or even a breakup, people want to celebrate – or commiserate – with a cake that is a gustatory as well as a visual treat.

A cake can be anything you want it to be, and when ordering bespoke, no two cakes are obviously ever the same. Deluxe cakeries offer a wide choice of shapes and sizes, styles and designs, not to mention flavours and toppings, so it is entirely possible to choose the perfect cake for all tastes and themes. Here, we gorge our eyes on the scintillating customised collections of some of Hong Kong’s most creative bakers. In a city known for its culinary prowess, bespoke cake shops in Hong Kong have carved a niche for themselves by creating standout pieces for every occasion. With their remarkable craftsmanship, attention to detail and dedication to customer satisfaction, they have elevated the art of cake making to new heights.These edible works of art not only delight the taste buds but also serve as a centrepiece that adds a touch of magic to any celebration. So the next time you’re planning a special event, consider indulging in the exquisite creations of a bespoke cake shop in Hong Kong for an unforgettable experience.

Cake of Stardust

A universe of delectable cakes is available at Cakes of Stardust, quite literally, as the collections are named after celestial wonders. Working from her Tai Hang cake shop, founder Nicky Chow makes everything from scratch using the freshest seasonal ingredients. The passionate self-taught baker launched her venture in 2018 and you can taste the dedication and loving care she puts into each personalised cake.

Among the array of bold flavours in the signature range, Sun mango lava cake is a fluffy sponge sandwiched together with layers of fresh fruit and cream. Other popular choices are a banana caramel chiffon cake called the Asteroid, and the Black Hole blueberry chocolate-drip chiffon cake. Prices range from HK$1,000 to HK$4,000 for bespoke creations. cakeofstardusthk.com

Sugar Me Kissery

Telling a story through each piece of edible art, Sugar Me Kissery is another great option for those seeking a unique and aesthetic celebration confectionery. The founder of this Tai Kok Tsui- based cakery, Shirley, was formally an architect who discovered baking was her true calling. She travelled to France, the UK, Australia, Taiwan and Korea to learn the delicate, deft art of cake decorating from master bakers.

The designs are not only Instagram- worthy, but the flavours are incredible too, with Guinness dark beer, lemon, vanilla and red velvet among Sugar Me’s popular picks. While there is a huge collection online to select from, bespoke cakes are where the baker’s skills are truly demonstrated. Customers can choose the level of sweetness and the amount of fondant they prefer. Prices start at HK$2,500 and rise to HK$5,000 for elaborate tiered creations. sugarmehk.com

The Cakery

For the fitness freaks out there, The Cakery is the perfect place. It offers nutrient-rich, health- conscious contemporary creations to satisfy guilt- free sugar cravings of plant-based, keto, gluten-, sugar- or dairy-free cake lovers. Each temptation can be adapted to cater to a range of different dietary needs, and ingredients are listed on the website so customers can consume mindfully.

The brainchild of banker-turned-baker Shirley Kwok, The Cakery has grown from a pop-up at The Landmark to five shopping mall outlets in the city. As well as using the healthiest ingredients, the bakers here have replaced refined sugar with natural sugars and increased the amount of good fats and proteins to boost the overall nutritional profile of their creations. Prices of bespoke cakes scale up from HK$3,000, reaching HK$8,000 for the grandest. thecakery.com

Baking Maniac

Run by Renuka Kripalani Gidwani and her son, Ankrish Gidwani, Baking Maniac is a family passion turned business. Cake-making has been a hobby of the mother for more than 25 years, while Ankrish has baked ever since he could hold a mixer. Every Friday after school, he would spend hours preparing cakes for the family to enjoy; he would also showcase this edible art on his blog, attracting a following. By the time he was 16, he was getting orders and mother and son set up their cakery, producing celebration cakes, cupcakes and cake pops.

The Gidwanis practise quality and attention to detail throughout the baking process, from
design and preparation to delivery. Everything is freshly baked in their kitchen in Wong Chuk Hang using fine organic ingredients sourced from all over the world. Their joint experimentation has led to an exciting variety of flavours. There are common choices like chocolate, strawberry and red velvet and unique picks like green tea, chilli bomb and bubble tea. Cake categories are also diverse, from funky child-centric creations for parties to elegant concoctions for corporate celebrations. Prices range from HK$1,000 to HK$5,000. bakingmaniachk.com

Bespoke cake shops are renowned for their ability to turn dreams into reality. Whether it’s a birthday, wedding, anniversary or any other special event, these artists work closely with their clients to understand their vision.

Umbrella Effect: A bespoke brolly remains a handy barometer of one’s standing in fashionable society

If an umbrella is the last thing you grab as you head outdoors in grey or blazing hot weather, then think again. It can be a treasured possession that not only shelters you from the elements but also defines your style – a fashion accessory of the highest order. There are a handful of artisanal brands offering deluxe or custom-made umbrellas, so why not invest in a rainy day? In the bustling streets of Hong Kong, where rain showers and scorching sunbeams dance in a delicate tango, a unique artistry unfolds within the realm of bespoke umbrellas. Like skilled maestros, the master craftsmen and women weave together threads of tradition, innovation and personalisation, creating a symphony of shelter that transcends merely functionality.

Carl Dagg

Sheltering from the rain is a breeze, Stockholm style, at Carl Dagg. Co-founders Carl Cyrén and Carl Samuelsson happened upon the last remaining Nordic umbrella factory, in Dalarna, northern Sweden, and began their line driven by the principles of classic design and Scandinavian aesthetics – simplicity and minimalism. The high- quality craftsmanship and sleek, straightforward design of their umbrellas means they are made to last and will always look sophisticated and timeless.

The shaft and handle are crafted from solid walnut, a material known for its strength and durability. The canopy, on the other hand, is made from an exclusive cotton-linen blend that provides excellent protection from the elements while maintaining the heights of sophistication. Whether you are walking to work from the MTR in the rain or strolling in the park in the summer, a Carl Dagg umbrella is the perfect accessory. Collections range from HK$1,400 to HK$1,600 with a higher estimate for bespoke items. carldagg.com

Pasotti

Another fine maker for a rainy day, Pasotti is renowned for bringing flair to handmade umbrellas. The iconic Italian brand has been synonymous with premium quality and exquisite designs since 1956. Their umbrellas stand out due to their creativity and continuous research in materials: think enamelled brass, Swarovski crystals and precious wood handles.

The company is headed by Eva Giacomini and was founded by her mother, Ernesta Pasotti, who had worked in an umbrella factory in Milan before returning to Castellucchio, 150 kilometres to the east, and opening her business in a country house. Aiming for exclusivity, it produces no more than 40,000 umbrellas a year, all of them beautiful, which are supplied directly to leading boutiques in 75 countries around the world. These luxury artisan umbrellas range from HK$1,500 to HK$5,500. pasottiombrelli.com

Il Marchesato

For a beautiful blend of functionality and design, Il Marchesato turns umbrellas into elegant essentials of daily life. The brand was born in 1978 in Saluzzo, a tiny town near Turin in northwest Italy but its seeds go back to a humble umbrella mender of the 1930s – the inspirational grandfather of founder Claudio Chiappero. Like its handmade wares, the company name nods to the noble marquises who ruled the land in ancient times.

The Marchesato umbrellas have taken the world by storm for their sophistication and originality, using precious Italian materials. The men’s Premium collection is crafted from top- quality jacquard fabrics or double fine satin and exclusive hand-painted 24-carat gold-plated or 925 silver-plated handles, while the prime women’s umbrellas feature double satin polyester fabric and 24-carat gold-plated brass handles embellished with crystals. They range from HK$1,500 to HK$3,900, though for those seeking the ultimate in exclusivity, designs can be customised and personalised by request. ilmarchesato.com

Brigg

If you want to feel like royalty during a rainy afternoon stroll, Brigg – which has been supplying the British monarchy with bespoke umbrellas since 1836 – will help you live out the fantasy. Established by Thomas Brigg in 1817, Brigg & Co. merged with Swaine Adeney in 1943 and continues to provide umbrellas handcrafted from the finest wood and fabrics at its Cambridge workshops. One-of-a-kind pieces are made for clients all around the globe.

Their women’s umbrellas are lightweight and streamlined, with the handle formed from a solid piece of precious wood that is infused with steam to soften it for bending into a smooth curve. It is finished with a signature gold-plated or sterling silver collar. A full-sized Brigg walking umbrella – so-called as it doubled as a walking stick – was once the preserve of the English gentleman. They remain part of the contemporary wardrobe, on hand to provide years of reliable service. Prices range from HK$2,800 to HK$9,100. swaine.london

Whether you spend most of your days in Hong Kong or travel frequently, you are going to have to face some gloomy skies, damp days or the glaring sun. From blazing heat to drizzling dreariness to torrential downpours, it’s time to regard the umbrella as the elegant design statement it can really be.

So let’s raise our bespoke umbrellas high, embracing the fusion of tradition and innovation, and honouring the artisans who breathe life into these functional works of art. In a world that can be unpredictable, these marvels offer a glimpse of timeless elegance, reminding us that even amidst the storms, we can find shelter, grace and beauty.

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Fan Flair: Yesteryear’s handheld fashion accessories are being handmade by modern artisans

Hand fans have a long-standing history in Chinese culture, dating back more than 2,000 years. Originally used purely as a functional tool to provide respite from the scorching summer heat, they soon evolved into works of art. Embraced by the literati and nobility, fans became symbols of sophistication, elegance and social status.

Today, beautifully made folding fans have become treasured collectibles, popular souvenirs and cherished gifts. They are meticulously handcrafted by skilled artisans, who pay attention to every detail. After selecting the finest materials such as silk, paper and bamboo, they carefully paint or embroider intricate designs on the surface that often depict scenes from mythology, nature and folklore, or represent cultural symbols such as dragons, peonies and lotus flowers. Traditional hand fans are now an art celebrated around the world, from cultures as diverse as Japan, China, Spain and France.

Rockcoco Fine Fans

Billed as the first bespoke fan makers in London for a century, Rockcoco Fine Fans is the brainchild of sisters Denise Frankel and Janis Sher whose passion for antique and vintage hand fans evolved into a business. After receiving regular compliments for the pieces in their personal collection, they began to make their own and take orders from around the world. Their vision was to fill the shoes of dedicated luxury fan boutiques that inhabited London’s main shopping streets in the 1920s.

Rockcoco’s striking ready-to-wear collection starts from £55 (about HK$525), but it is the quality of the custom designs that is truly remarkable. Materials are obtained from British royal warrant-holders and precious stones are ethically sourced. From the engraver of the mother-of-pearl, the goldsmith that creates the gem setting and the rivet which holds the fan together, the gilder that finely applies gold leaf into the engraving and the bespoke tassel makers, skilled British artisans work in harmony to bring each fan to life. rockcocofans.com

VLC Hand Fans

Another all-in-the-family venture, VLC Hand Fans is based in the United Kingdom but has its roots in Valencia, where fan-making developed in the early 1800s and became part of Spanish culture. A secret hand-held language sprung up as lovers flirted through alluring gestures and provocative swishes of their fans.

The duo behind VLC, Pilar Taberner Quiles and daughter Isabel, hail from a family long involved in the artisanal craft. The fans they sell are made in the traditional way – hand-crafted, hand-painted and hand-assembled in Spain – so each one is unique. Top-of-the-range wood such as sipo, palo santo and ebony is paired with exquisite fabrics including lace, chiffon and feathers to create luxurious and distinctive designs.

Their fans are striking fashion accessories or serve as decorative art to showcase at home. For bespoke orders, their team of craftspeople carefully select the finest materials, vibrant colours and different wood carvings and textures to meet the requirements of clients. Non- bespoke prices range upwards to £170 (about HK$1,700) and vary widely according to the level of detail and material selection. vlchandfans.com

House of Duvelleroy

One of the oldest and most luxurious hand-fan boutiques, Duvelleroy was founded in Paris in 1827 by Jean-Pierre Duvelleroy, whose royal clients included Queen Victoria and the Empress of Austria. A venture born of one man’s dream to bring fans back into the hands of elegant women has remained faithful to the traditions of French fan-making.

Engravers, pleaters and embroiderers are involved in the manufacturing of these precious objects. A fan-maker, one of the last in France, assembles every piece by hand and each is embellished by a golden daisy, the emblem of the house. Raw materials of horn, ebony and mother of pearl are cut into layers of only 9-10mm thick, which are then trimmed again and shaped, in the French style, into supremely light frames of 14 sticks. Polishing and engraving are the final touches before the sticks and their outer guards are fastened together by a rivet. Prices rise from US$69 to US$2,250 (about HK$540 to HK$17,600) for the most elaborate designs. laperfectionlouis.com

Sukhari Designs

A Taiwanese artist and global traveller, Sukhari Yang expresses beauty and refinement through handmade crafts, which include gorgeous silk fans. The product of rich, artistic influences from Italy to Indonesia and a celebration of the universality of cultures and traditions, her collections are theme-based and handmade by Balinese artisans. Among the most popular are the Lotus Born Master and Flower of Life collections.

Each Sukhari silk fan takes about three weeks to produce with their carved and polished wooden spokes and handles providing quality and effortless movement. They embrace unique embellishments such as an ornate brass ring that can be used to hang the fan from one’s attire and tassels featuring semi-precious stones, and each comes in a black silk slip case. A leather belt with a fan holster is another novelty for fashionable clients.

Varying in size, colour and design, the fans draw on sacred geometry for their perfect form, proportion, harmony and value. The most affordable options start at US$69 (about HK$540) with no compromise in beauty or intricacy. sukharidesigns.com

Fur Ever Diamond: A memorial gemstone created after a beloved pet’s passing keeps their memory alive

Pets hold a special place in our hearts, and their unconditional love brings immense joy to our lives. When they pass away, we are inconsolable. There is a way, however, for owners to treasure their pets beyond the grave – through a pet memorial diamond. Set in jewellery, these exquisite sparkling mementos not only celebrate the bond shared with a furry friend but also serve as a tangible reminder of their cherished presence even after they are gone.

A memorial diamond is a diamond created from carbon extracted from cremated ashes, hair or a combination of ashes and hair. Since it serves to immortalise the memory of a loved one, Hong Kong pet owners have wholeheartedly embraced this trend, recognising the value of preserving the emotional connection with their companions in a refined and tangible manner.

As cremation diamonds have become a burgeoning industry around the world including Hong Kong, numerous retailers have sprung up to cater to the demand for these precious jewellery keepsakes. Local jewellery shops are also offering specialised collections and bespoke services to meet the diverse needs of pet owners.

Algordanza

Established in Switzerland in 2004, Algordanza has steadily become a global enterprise. Its name, which stems from the Rhaeto-Romanic word for ‘remembrance’, is a fitting title for a company that is dedicated to preserving the special memories of a lost loved one in a unique way. They need 300 to 400 grams of your pet’s ashes or 11 grams of their fur, which is sent to their Swiss labs where experts begin the process of extracting pure carbon to create a diamond.

Algordanza’s Swiss-made cremation diamonds are 100% crafted from a pet’s ashes or hair – no extra carbon is sourced or artificial colouring added. Delivery takes from four to nine months depending on the complexity of the design.

Heart In Diamond

Natural diamonds must grow for more than one billion years deep under the Earth’s crust, but fortunately, you don’t need to wait for this long to receive your unique memorial gemstone. At Heart In Diamond, it takes only from 75 to 120 days on average to produce a customised cremation diamond. This production time is one of the fastest in the market, and their prices are relatively affordable, too.

Founded in 2005 in the UK, Heart In Diamond’s vision is to help people all around the world by producing a true and lasting reminder of a loved one. The expert team extracts carbon from an original sample (whether it’s hair, ashes or an alternative organic material) and adds it to the diamond core foundation. Shortly after, the foundation is placed in an HPHT (High Pressure, High Temperature) machine that recreates, in the lab, the process of natural diamond creation with the help of extreme temperatures of 2,000°C and pressure levels of 60,000 atmospheres.

Prices start from HK$8,000 for 0.03 carats and rise to HK$156,000 for a two-carat stone. en.heart-in-diamond.hk

Petmento

Hong Kong-based pet memorial diamond venture Petmento emphasises simplicity when communicating with clients. Each item is then crafted accordingly with skilful devotion to the finest detail and the highest possible standard, creating gemstones or other mementos such as ornaments that keep alive the memory of a pet. The animal’s image or silhouette can be incorporated into some designs.

Specialists in their Hong Kong workshop first use a unique technology to purify the ashes by removing unwanted substances. At least 10 grams of ashes are required, and these are homogenised with biogenic ingredients and fused at a temperature of more than 800°C into ash gems. Natural stone colours include white, grey and green, while occasionally the fusion produces a darker hue. Petmento’s Rainbow collection provides a spectrum of colours to choose from.

Prices start from HK$6,500. / Prices for gemstones start from HK$7,800 or $11,800 for a pendant. petmento.hk

Lonité

For pet owners who want to go the extra mile to preserve memories of their furry friends, Lonité could be the answer. Their memorial journey started in a small town near the Swiss Alps, a 25-minute train ride south of Zürich, where the company founders harnessed advancements in lab-grown diamond techniques to turn ashes into diamonds.

The name ‘Lonité’ originates from ‘longévité’ in Swiss French and nods to the precious timelessness of their lab-grown creations. Today, they offer 10 options of diamond cut and five colour choices. The most popular colour is amber, which is also the most basic. Their Naturally Amber shade is achieved from ashes with no added micro-elements or special technical treatments, hence the production costs and creation time are lower. Owners generally request that the ash diamond is set in a ring, or perhaps a pendant or a pair of earrings, so they can keep their pet who has passed close to them at all times.

Prices start from about HK$13,000 for .25 carats and increase to $180,000 for a three-carat diamond. lonite.com.hk

In a world where pets hold such significant places in our lives, pet diamond mementos have become more than just jewellery – they embody love, companionship and the enduring bond between humans and their most faithful companions.

Sole Creators: The shoe fits perfectly when it’s painstakingly custom-made by dedicated artisans

Owning a pair of bespoke shoes can be a transformative experience. They are markers of superior craftsmanship, unmatched comfort and individual style. Unlike mass-produced shoes, bespoke footwear is crafted to your precise measurements, ensuring an impeccable fit that enhances your posture and provides unparalleled comfort. To add to this feeling of pleasure, greater artistry and attention to detail go into making bespoke shoes, resulting in a product that stands out from the crowd while also reflecting your unique personality and taste.

With their exceptional quality and durability, bespoke shoes also offer an investment that will last for years to come. For those who want to put their best foot forward in the future, there are shoemakers in Hong Kong who will meticulously craft a pair to your exact specifications.

Shoe Artistry

Photo by Shoe Artistry

Backed by science and elevated by style, Shoe Artistry’s mission is to make personalised shoes that perfectly fit your feet. For this, it takes multiple measurements of both feet to ensure that even microscopic differences between the left and the right are not overlooked. To further increase the accuracy, the shoemakers employ a special foot-scanning technology called Phits which uses sensors to determine your gait pattern, thus collecting an analysis of the different pressure points formed while you walk. This is then 3D printed into insoles that are unique to your feet. Such avant-garde techniques and painstaking precision to detail not only ensure the finest fit for your bespoke beauties, they also eliminate any orthopaedic pain, regardless of how long you walk.

Photo by Shoe Artistry

After determining all the necessary measurements, the shoemaker assists you in finding the right material. Options are presented within two classifications – either vegetable-tanned leather, which is made by processing animal hide with plant proteins, or vegan leather, which uses plant-based or synthetic materials instead of animal skin.

Photo by Shoe Artistry

Next comes deciding between a Goodyear welt or Blake stitch, the two techniques used to connect the upper leather to the outsoles. In the Goodyear construction, a welt is sewn onto the edges of the upper leather under which the outsole is added, thus allowing for the outsole to be replaced without deconstructing the entire shoe. Inversely, Blake stitching is when the outsole is stitched directly to the midsole. Since the latter option does not have a welt, Blake-stitched shoes are more flexible and have a sleek appearance.

Photo by Shoe Artistry

Once the material and construction of the shoe have been established, the artisan focuses on design choices, funnelling down the preferred colour, texture and other details. Once all the specifications are set, shoes will be made in six to eight weeks. Men’s shoes are priced upwards of HK$11,300, while women’s start at HK$5,300.

To order, call +852 2796 6018, WhatsApp +852 6159 4670 or email hi@shoeartistry.com.

Kow Hoo Shoe Company

A pioneer in local shoemaking, Kow Hoo Shoe Company has its origins in 1920s Shanghai and moved to Hong Kong in 1946, so it might be your first resort for a custom-made pair if you are inclined to support local craftsmen. It is also where famous names like architect I.M. Pei and business magnate Li Ka-shing go for their bespoke shoes.

Owning your very first pair begins with a meeting at their shop in Prince’s Building where the in-house shoemaker gains a better understanding of your foot morphology through fastidious measurements and noting your preferences for design, colour, texture and construction. Once all the required information is gathered, crafting begins at their Quarry Bay workshop where your ideas will come into form.

Devoted to producing shoes that fit your feet like a glove, the shoemakers will first make a trial pair using wooden lasts they have carved from your measurements – Kow Hoo claims to be the only shop in Hong Kong still making wooden lasts for each individual customer. Only after you are 100 per cent satisfied with the trial pair will they start making the actual pair that will become yours. Until then, as many adjustments as you want in terms of fitting and design will be accommodated. Expert cobblers then hand-sew each pair with immense dedication.

As a result of their priority in producing shoes that are exemplary and cherished, the entire process can take up to six months. Pricing starts at HK$18,000, but it is certainly worth the wait and cost. Moreover, after you buy your first pair, your lasts will be stored for at least seven years, thus significantly reducing the length of craftsmanship for subsequent pairs.

To order, visit Kow Hoo Shoe Company, Shop 341, 3/F, Prince’s Building, 10 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong. Call ahead on +852 2523 0489 for an appointment or email kowhoo@hotmail.

Berluti

Photo by Shoe Berluti

For those looking beyond Hong Kong for custom-made indulgence, Berluti boasts a history spanning more than 120 years, and its bespoke footwear has become a significant part of the brand identity. The French Maison is renowned for its dedication and finesse; its cobblers spend at least 50 hours and perform more than 250 procedures to create one pair of bespoke shoes.

Your personal shoemaking journey begins at a meeting when measurements are taken and much more – they also want to know about you, so they can craft a pair to match your feet, your lifestyle and your personality. You will also discuss the material, design and other features you would like reflected in your shoes.

Photo by Shoe Berluti

Given that Berluti encourages an innovative mindset, you can broach unique ideas and choose from a wide range of materials, from classic Venezia leather to rarities like bullfrog skin. But if you are oblivious to what might look good, or what is fashionable, the artisan will guide you through the selection process. They will then create hornbeam wood lasts, which at the end of the process are delivered to you in a wooden box along with your personalised pair of shoe trees.

With Berluti crafting all their shoes in Paris, travelling shoemakers will meet clients in different parts of the world, including Hong Kong, so the first step is to request an appointment through the brand’s website. Since there is a high demand for bespoke shoes, the entire detail-oriented process can take about six months. The price tag for a bespoke pair starts at HK$67,000 and can go as high as HK$300,000.

To order, book an appointment on berluti.com.

Floor Show: The pull of a customised rug or three at home cannot be overestimated

Rugs are a neat way to lay down extra colour, texture and glamour in your home, effortlessly elevating the interior decoration while protecting the floor. If you welcome their uplifting warmth – both to your feet and your spirits – why not get one or more bespoke creations that will perfectly complement the size and palette of your empty spaces? Customised rugs offer endless design options, and as you step across them every day, they serve as continuous reminders that you have been part of making something beautiful and unique.

Also Read: Creative ways to transform your walls with bespoke wallpapers

Rug Your Life

Taking pride in converting any artwork into an alluring floor covering, Rug Your Life works from your own drawing or a painting you saw at a museum or gallery and absolutely loved. In fact, the company is best known for its rugs based on the works of 20th-century modern artists like Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, Sophie Taeuber-Arp and more.

Customised rugs
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Rug Your Life 

Once the starting image has been chosen and sent to Rug Your Life, measurements, shape and cost are discussed. At this point, you will finalise the material from a range of options including wool, linen, silk and mohair. The company will also advise on the appropriate weaving technique based on your design choice and budget.

If your artwork has intricate details, Rug Your Life founder Nayla Ventura recommends going for a Tibetan knot rug as this technique allows the weaver to replicate any design down to every minute detail. This hand-knotting technique results in the softest, densest and most durable rugs. On the other hand, hand-tufted rugs are great for simple designs, take less time to be made, and are easy to maintain. The latter is also more budget-friendly:10 square feet of hand-tufted rug costs about HK$95,000 compared to HK$142,000 for hand-knotting.

Customised rugs
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Rug Your Life 

No matter the design or type of weaving, Rug Your Life creations are sustainably handmade using the finest materials. Each rug takes between six and 14 weeks to be finished, depending on the size and technique, but to add to the anticipation of its delivery to your home, you will be sent pictures twice a week of it being made.

To order, email inquire@rugyourlife.com

J&P Carpets

If you aspire to highlight your room with a luxury rug that would be right at home in a five-star hotel, then why not get customised rugs from a company that actually makes them for top hospitality groups like the Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Rosewood and Shangri-La. Established in 1993 by John Yu, J&P Carpets crafts high-quality rugs using hand-tufting and the Axminster technique. The latter, a mechanical method based on traditional Oriental carpet weaving, suits large-scale projects, while hand-tufted rugs are a better fit for residences.

persian vs turkish rugs
J&P Carpets at Shangri-La Paris

J&P can custom-make rugs in any size, shape, design or colour using this technique whereby a weaver handcrafts the rug with the help of an electrical tufting gun for a faster and more affordable process. A 25-square-metre rug fashioned from 100% New Zealand wool – the most commonly chosen material – will cost about HK$23,500 and takes less than five weeks to complete.

Customised rugs made from the wool of New Zealand sheep have a smooth, warm texture, and are less prone to tearing, indenting by heavy furniture and other damage. You can also ask for your wool rug to be combined with other materials such as bamboo, bamboo silk, viscose and nylon for extra strength and durability. With good care, such rugs can last for up to 15 years; they are also easy to clean. Pure silk is another highly sought-after raw material since it delivers a supremely soft and exquisite rug that can go up to HK$300,000 for a 25-square-metre piece.

handwoven rugs

Once you have pinned down the perfect physical attributes for your rug, the design team at J&P Carpets will send you pictures of how it would look, followed by a sample so that you can get a feel of it. After you are completely satisfied with its visual and tactile features, the rug will be made and delivered to your home in just over a month.

To order, email glen_wai@jpcarpets.com.hk or call or WhatsApp (852) 9139 8010

Custom Rugs

One of the go-to rug makers for interior designers and architects, Custom Rugs is also ideal for individuals who need extra assistance in getting customised rugs for their homes. Choosing the right design from the myriad of options available can be overwhelming and exhausting, so the company goes the extra mile to make decisions less burdensome. They will advise on the style, size and colour scheme that is right for your tastes and décor, and help you choose the perfect material from options including, but not limited to, silk, bamboo silk, merino wool and viscose. Browsing through their wide selection of rug designs which can be personalised serves to focus undecided minds.

handknotted rugs

Once the appearance and feel of the rug are set, Custom Rugs gives customers the option of three weaving techniques – hand-knotted, hand-tufted or hand-loomed. One advantage of hand-loomed rugs is their sleekness – there is less of a risk of tripping over a slim edge than a thick one. They are also reversible and absorb sound. For the premium weaving technique of hand-knotting, the company usually opts for the Persian method. Compared to Turkish double-loop knots, Persian single-loop knots gives a more refined weave and a higher knot count; a weaver can pack anywhere between 85 and 500-plus knots per square inch, allowing for the simplest of designs as well as the most intricate. Depending on the design and the size of the rug, it takes from six to 12 weeks to be made. A 12’ X 10’ fine Merino wool rug with an intricate design that will require 400 Persian knots per square inch can even cost HK$108,000.

To order, email customrugshk9@gmail.com or WhatsApp (852) 9822 0006

Read more: Bespoke Chandeliers To Light Up Your Space

From Elegant to Extravagant: Hong Kong’s Best Cake Shops for Bespoke Cakes

Whenever there is a special occasion to be celebrated, we are always on the lookout for an extraordinary cake that will most probably be the centre of attraction, and we don’t even have to mention the number of photos that will be taken, so, of course, the cake should be aesthetically appealing and impress the crowd.

To match such visual requirements and the sort of deliciousness you would expect to enjoy on any special day, Gafencu has curated a list of the best cake shops in the city, renowned for their exquisite craftsmanship and ability to create bespoke cakes that are sure to impress. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or any other milestone, these cake shops are guaranteed to offer you a delightful and delectable experience.

Vive Cake Boutique

When it comes to deciding on the right celebratory cake, the best options are the ones the main person of the event would love – both looking at it and eating it. Vive Cake Boutique specialises in making such bespoke cake that matches whatever theme you want. Whether you want a cake that depicts your close ones’ favourite cartoon character or any other interest of theirs, this cake shop can make hyperrealistic cakes. To date, Vivien Lau and her team have designed novelty cakes and buttercream cakes of various themes including Kaws, unicorns, afternoon teas, golfing and many more. If you wish to get a custom cake for an upcoming event, the high-end bakery shop based in Central recommends that you order yours at least two to three weeks in advance.

For orders, email info@vive.hk or call and pick up at 12 Gough Street, Central.

The Cakery

The Cakery’s custom range of baked goods doesn’t just stop with large-sized birthday or other celebratory cakes, they also make cupcakes with personalised toppers and other sweet treats like macaroons. The best thing about shopping for bespoke cakes here is the pre-available range of cake designs, that fall under different themes such as florals, cartoons, fashion and more, which can be customised to match your taste. They are best suited for people who can easily get overwhelmed with coming up with ideas for their cakes. But, if you want something completely unique, then, you can opt for that too.

For orders, call (852) 2816 1838

Baking Maniac

Baking Maniac is certainly a fitting name for this cake shop run by a mother and son duo, who are both baking aficionados with a combined experience of nearly 40 years in the industry. All you have to do is let them know your ideal cake design and they will deliver you a dessert that is visually appealing and very delectable, thanks to their use of the finest organic ingredients and a variety of flavour options that range from common ones like chocolate, strawberry and red velvet to rare picks like green tea, chilli bomb and bubble tea. To top that off, Baking Maniac donates 10 per cent of the price of your cake to local charities, making your celebrations even more memorable.

For orders, email bakers@bakingmaniachk.com or Whatsapp (852) 6699 8093.

Illibakes

Like all the aforementioned cake stops, this establishment also makes Instagrammable cakes but what makes them stand out is the range of custom-made alcohol-infused cupcakes and cakes they have to offer. Some of the many flavours they have made so far include whisky chocolate, gin and tonic, marsala wine and coffee, and Bailey’s chocolate. Of course, there are non-alcoholic options too.

For orders, email illianafbh@gmail.com or Whatsapp (852) 6200 1093.

Ms B’s Cakery

Think luxury but in the cake world, that would be the exact way to describe Ms B’s Cakery which was founded by Bonnae Gokson with the determination to rise the bars when it comes to decorative cakes, and she was certainly successful with her goals as the cakery is now described as Asia’s finest. All the cakes from Ms B’s Cakery look so photogenic due to the choice of vibrant colours for the fondants. As impressive as their appearances, these sugar arts also taste fantastic with the cake shop making desserts using mouther-watering flavour combinations like Carrot Cake With Walnuts, Cream Cheese & Pineapple; Vanilla Butter Cake & Blueberry Marble Cake With Blue & Blackberry Jam; Signature Beetroot Red Velvet Cake With Cafe Au Lait Buttercream, Chocolate Chips & Pecan, and other pairings.

For orders, email info@msbscakery.hk or call (852) 2815 8303

Advanced Retreats: Luxury and exclusivity exceed all expectations at these singular properties

When most people describe their dream holiday, they are picturing a secluded island or exclusive resort that provides royal comforts and an escape from the bustling outside world. These blissful bespoke stays come with rejuvenating spa treatments, decadent meals and fun activities. With services that go above and beyond. it is their prime location and other amenities not seen at most hotels that set them apart.

Chalet Zermatt Peak

Overlooking the magnificent snow-capped Matterhorn is a lavish luxury chalet with spectacular architecture, resplendent interiors and top-notch hospitality that conjure a lifetime of wonderful memories. A stay at Chalet Zermatt Peak commences with staff ushering you through a candle-lit tunnel into 820 square metres of space spanning five deluxe double bedrooms for 10 people with balconies and bathrooms with walk-in showers, living area, a fully equipped kitchen, wine cellar and indoor swimming pool. Floor-to-ceiling windows gift vacationers panoramic views of Zermatt, and there’s a terrace that stargazers will adore.

Beyond this, the chalet boasts a wellness space with a sauna room offering wet Finnish and dry Swedish experiences, a hammam featuring bio steam, and indoor and outdoor jacuzzis.

Professional masseuses are on hand to provide a range of refreshing and aromatic spa treatments.

As for gastronomy, the quality of food is credited as one reason why guests choose the chalet time and again. Meals are prepared and tailored to your party’s whims by an in-house gourmet chef, and connoisseurs will find wines for perfect pairings. Afternoon tea is also served every day with Champagne if desired.

The temptation would be never to leave this oasis of consummate comfort, though Zermatt boasts year-round skiing – three ski lifts are conveniently located less than a kilometre from the chalet. Also, within walking distance for the outdoorsy are paragliding, heliskiing, sledging, ice skating and more. Short strolls will take you to the Matterhorn Museum and Gorner Ridge, and if you want to venture further, just hop into a private limousine or helicopter.

Location: Zermatt, Switzerland
Price: 120,000 CHF (HK$1 million) for seven nights in peak season
Reservations: chaletzermattpeak.com

Hilltop Estate, Laucala

Only the elite can dream of occupying this exclusive and extremely difficult-to-reserve villa perched at the top of Laucala, a private Fijian island of crystal-clear waters and lush green forests. Home to the COMO Laucala Island resort, this idyllic isle offers a superlative range of activities including an 18-hole golf course designed by David McLay Kidd, stables for horse-riding and a sustainable farm providing wagyu beef for guests – all this besides a full complement of watersports. It is certainly a fantasy holiday destination, with just 25 villas affording privacy and a sense of escape from the outside world.

The Hilltop Estate, which can hold 8 guests, sprawls over 12,000 square metres, affording enchanting views of the island greenery edged by rugged coastline and dreamy beaches. It comprises three buildings, with the biggest, Delena, encompassing the master suite, living room, library, a stone bathtub and personal swimming pool with waterfalls. Family and friends can occupy Rua, which also has a swimming pool, and Dua. The interior architecture has an earthy vibe and furnishings favour natural materials like sago palms and coconut husks. Your own chef, chauffeur and nanny if required mean you don’t need to lift a finger to care for your guests.

A traditional Fijian Bobo massage, in which experts use their hands and feet to knead tired deep tissue, is the top billing on a menu of calming, rejuvenating treatments that can be enjoyed in the residence or at Shambhala Retreat, Laucala’s wellness space. All massages and facials use locally sourced and natural ingredients.

In addition to the private chef who will prepare the meals of your choice, there are four restaurants on this large private island. A particular favourite for lovers of Asian cuisine is the Seagrass Lounge and Restaurant, a treetop retreat serving pan-Asian delicacies. All food is prepared with fresh produce farmed or grown on the island.

The most fantastic feature of a Laucala sojourn, though, is the charter flight arranged for you on demand. Departing from Fiji international airport, the plane dips down to a private runway surrounded by azure waters, ensuring zero hassle upon arrival.

Location: Laucala Island, Fiji
Price: Starting at US$455,000 (HK$3.5 million) per night
Reservations: reservations@laucala.com

Echo Camp White Desert, Antarctica

If you crave an out-of-this-world vacation, then these unique space-station-like pods located in the Queen Maud mountains of Antarctica should top your bucket list.

Accessed from Cape Town by private plane, there are six accommodation pods, with each allowing 2 guests, at the recently opened Echo camp, two of them being standalone with a kingsized bedroom and ensuite bathroom and the other four interconnected with four bedrooms, lounge area and dining room. Built with sustainable materials, each heated pod has floor-to-ceiling windows and white carpeting, thus blurring the lines between cosy indoors and icy outside.

While you contemplate the pristine vistas all around, a group of well-trained staff, including hosts, guides and personal chefs who cook gourmet meals to your order, assures that your stay is nothing less than memorable. If you book the Early Emperor package, you can partake in thrilling activities like fat biking, abseiling, ice climbing and skiing right outside your pod. Above all, you should not miss an excursion to the colony of Emperor penguins that usually dwells a few kilometres away.

Given that Echo is a polar camp within the coldest place on Earth – temperatures can plunge below -60oC – guests require a thorough medical checkup and doctor’s all-clear before venturing south. The team at White Desert, Antarctica’s only hotel, also conduct safety lessons prior to the trip of a lifetime.

Location: Antarctica
Price: Starting at US$780,000 (HK$6.1 million) per person for seven days
Reservations: info@whitedesert.com Season dates: 24th November 2023 – 31st January 2024

ANI

Drawing its name from the Swahili word andjani which means ‘journey ahead’, ÀNI is the world’s first private resort collection. Founded in 2010, ÀNI offers exclusive retreats in the most beautiful and far-flung corners of the earth, from the Caribbean to Southeast Asia. Each ÀNI destination is designed exclusively for a single group of guests, accommodating up to 20 or 30 guests across 10 to 15 suites. Currently offering four resorts worldwide, ÀNI’s destinations include Thailand, Sri Lanka, the Dominican Republic, and Anguilla, each claiming panoramic ocean views in a pristine natural setting. Consummately private, each resort operates as an all-inclusive experience except ÀNI Anguilla which is on a half-board basis. They support their local ÀNI Art Academy and offer every facility and space a group of guests could possibly desire during their stay. A full complement of staff (between 20 and 30 per resort) tailors every detail – from dining and spa treatments to kids’ activities and exploration of the region – to ensure a bespoke experience that defies expectations.

Locations: Thailand, Sri Lanka, Dominican Republican and Anguilla

Price: Starting at US$75000 (HK$580,000) per person

Click here to make your reservations.