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Monday 30 November 2015

Getting Our Festive On!

With 1 December looming, it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas... 

Well actually no. 

Here in Hong Kong it's really not feeling anything even remotely like Christmas. It's still warm and sunny, the skies are blue and snuggling up in cashmere is only possible if you whack the aircon up to max. The shops may have started playing tinny versions of carols on repeat, the Christmas decorations may have gone up but I for one am not feeling even the teeniest bit festive.

So, I've decided it's time to take action. Project Get Christmassy is well and truly under way. Yesterday saw a jaunt up to the Flower Market in Prince Edward where I bagged a wreath then it was back to Central to grab a Christmas tree and armfuls of red berries and eucalyptus. Back at Mouse Towers HK, I dug out the fairy lights and decorations and got to work.

Although that all definitely helped, one thing was still missing, Christmas Credit Card flexing... After all, it's really not Christmas unless you've indulged in a massive bout of Christmas shopping is it?! 

Well, luckily our American cousins have given us all an early Christmas gift by sharing the frankly genius post-Thanksgiving sales with us. If you didn't already get yourself a piece of the Black Friday action at the end of last week, panic not, there's still time to bag yourself a few Christmassy bargains today in the Cyber Monday sales.

Whether you it as an opportunity to buy yourself a few festive treats, or a chance to give yourself a head start on the Christmas shopping, Cyber Monday is guaranteed to get your week off to a flying start. Here's our pick of the best bargains out there...

The White Company
Use code: AH770 to get 20% off site-wide 
(ends midnight GMT Monday 30th November)

We suggest shopping anything and everything from the Winter fragrance range but especially a candle or six...

Marks & Spencer
Up to 50% off 
(ends 11:59pm GMT Monday 30th November)

Don't miss, 30% off Rosie for Autograph

Use Code: CYBER 20% off site-wide
(ends 8:00am GMT Tuesday 1 December)

Snap up a Christmas jumper for a snip

20% off site-wide
(ends 11:59pm GMT Monday 30th November)

The perfect place to stock up on the most giftable homeware bits and bobs, from monogrammed mugs to these gorgeous calligraphy canapĂ© plates

Also worth a browse:

30% off select lines
(ends midnight GMT Monday 30th November)

Use Code: GOBIG15 to get 15% off orders of US$250+, 20% off orders of US$500+ and 25% off orders of US$1,000+
(ends 11:59pm PT Monday 30th November)

Up to 50% off

Happy Shopping!

Friday 27 November 2015

This Week The Mice Have Mostly Been...

Current mood...

We may be back at our desks after a few weeks of holidaying and total relaxation but hey, it's Friday and that means the weekend's within sipping distance... So, to help hurry along the last couple of office-bound hours, we'll whizz you through the week's goings on and then we'll set you on your merry way in search of your very own Champagne-soaked Johnny Depp... Until then, this week, the Mice have mostly been...

Getting into the festive spirit by snuggling up with a kindleful of Christmassy short stories in the form of Rachel Joyce's A Snow Garden.

This collection of seven interconnected short stories are each set at Christmas spanning from a Boxing Day Ball in the sixties through to a modern day nativity scene on Christmas Day at the airport. Each story gives a bittersweet snapshot into complicated family relationships and manages to be heartwarming without cloying cliche. Perfect pre-Christmas cheer. 

Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving - an excuse to eat roast turkey, heaps of potatoes and calorific sweet treats a whole month early. We figure that in the name of multiculturalism, we should give the American holidays just as much calendarspace as our own, so last night saw feasting in epic proportions.     

Because Brussel Sprouts have momentarily replaced avocados as our current food obsession, we thought a Thanksgiving banquet was the perfect opportunity to concoct a new dish of sprout-tactic deliciousness. 

Say hello to Brussel Sprouts  with crispy prosciutto, sage and brown butter...

You will need:

  • a couple of handfuls of sprouts (bottoms cut off, outer leaves removed and sliced in half) 
  • a couple of shallots (peeled and quartered)
  • a small bunch of fresh sage
  • a good glug of olive oil
  • a couple of slices of prosciutto (snipped into slithers)
  • a generous knob of butter
  • salt & pepper
Preheat your oven to 180 C while you prep your sprouts and chop your shallots. Whack the sprouts and shallots in a roasting tin, drizzle with the olive oil and add a generous few grinds of salt and pepper. Pop in the oven to roast for 12-15 minutes (we did ours a little too long but they were still scrumptious!). While your sprouty-shalloty mixture browns away pull a dozen or so leaves from your sage bunch and snip up the prosciutto. Add a chunk of butter to a frying pan and fry the sage leafs and prosciutto slithers in the pan until the butter turns pale biscuit coloured and starts to smell nutty. Pull the Brussels out of the oven, spoon onto your plates, sprinkle over the crispy sage and ham and finish off with a drizzle of buttery goodness.

And ta-dah - the best damn bowl of sprouts you've ever eaten...

Digging out our best boho festival looks and gearing up for a weekend of Clockenflap. Yup, Hong Kong's ridiculously named arts and music festival has rolled around again and we plan on spending the whole weekend chain-drinking cider while listening to set after awesome set. If you're headed over to West Kowloon Cultural District this weekend too, here's what's topping our line-up: 

Clean Bandit - Rather Be (feat. Jess Glynne)

Broods - Bridges

Rocky A$AP - Everyday (ft. Rod Stewart, Miguel, Mark Ronson)

And, that's that for another week! Have a great one!

The Mice
Wednesday 25 November 2015

Wedding of the Century : HK Mouse Gets Hitched...

We're a Robbo down! Yes, HK Mouse is now officially married! She remains a Mouse through and through though so don't fret...

A few weeks ago Mini Mouse, Daddy Robbo and I all met at the airport ready for our Hong Kong wedding adventure to begin. Mini and I were probably a smidgen more excited because our naughty and ever so generous Dad had surprised us with Upper Class Virgin Atlantic tickets! Screammmmm! You'll be happy to hear we took full advantage of the lounge, running around like excitable children trying to experience everything at once from the super cute delicatessen and the complimentary magazine table of dreams to the open bar offering Champagne on tap and the Cowshed on-site spa.

We never wanted to leave but the thought of what was to come encouraged us to shift ourselves and make it onboard. The fun continued in the air with a 3-course feast complete with table cloths, real salt and pepper shakers and a sommelier on hand offering up a cellar's worth of fine wine! 

Once the novelty had started to wear off, we asked for our fold down beds to be made up, so that we could get some zzzzzz's in before landing. The most amazing experience and one which I think I'm going to remember and regret in equal measures for the rest of my life as I now only ever want to turn left!

We arrived to a smiling happy HK mouse who had lovingly written a welcome banner, arranged a chauffeur and even mini bottles of Moet to sip en route to our apartment for the week. She's a good Mouse!

The wedding of the year was taking place a week later so we had seven whole days ahead for fun, frolics and a helping or six of wedmin based tasks!

We filled our days with lazy beach sessions...

Fancy cocktails...

Break of dawn workouts that will haunt me for ever more...

Countless scrummy brunches to keep grumbling tummies happy and energies up...

Family foot rub outings...

A trip to the spectacular Carbone to celebrate Daddy Robbo's 70th birthday #bestmealofmylife...

Sister pamper time...

And lashings of arts and crafts in a bid to finish off the last bits of wedmin before the big day arrived...

Like a flash, the wedding day had arrived! Cue lots of champagne, hours of dancing, heartfelt speeches and one beautiful bride!

Mini and I were invited to a sleep over at the bride's the night before whilst Jasper (the groom) was banished to the Mandarin Oriental for the evening - what punishment! The next day we woke up early and all scampered off to meet Daddy Robbo for a pre-wedding brunch. Nerves and excitement started to set in as we devoured our egg brekkies.

Next it was back to the HK Mousehold to start getting ready for the big day ahead. Zoe and Laura, the two other bridesmaids and Mimi, the little flower fairy, all arrived and we spent the next few hours being beautified to the max sipping Laurent Perrier as we went.

The next thing we knew there was a knock at the door ... our one and only Father of the Bride had arrived and we knew it was wedding showtime!

This was us en route to the top of The Peak where the afternoon blessing was taking place...

We arrived to the sounds of Mr Gramophone Man playing 20's, 30's and 40's music from his very own wind up gramophone - one way to set a killer ambience! We patiently stood in our hiding positions and awaited the go ahead from the wedding planner to start walking towards the wedding party and Jasper. Nerves really setting in now, everyone turned to their own thoughts. Moments later we received the 'go, go, go' signal and we were away!

The ceremony was beautiful - special mention must got to the simply gorgeous Oli Rigg who was the celebrant for the occasion and delivered a heartfelt, funny and oddly professional (!) blessing.

After vows were exchanged, we posed to within an inch of our lives for the wedding photographer, mostly mucking around with our new brother's Tolly and Ran, grabbing some snaps with our big sister and of course the happy pair together...

Next up, onto the reception venue for the fun to really begin!

This was the breathtaking view we were met with when we arrived...

A beautiful white canopy covered the starlit sky with fresh flowers and flickering candles everywhere you looked. The colour theme of the wedding was classic - blue and white - and so each table was adorned with blue and white china vases and decorative bowls with stunning menus tied up with brown twine and fragrant sprigs of rosemary...

Everywhere you looked there was something new and equally creative to be delighted by from a photo booth with a dressing-up box that would put Harper Beckham's to shame, a table plan made up of individual hand carved name plaques to a tassel wall that provided a backdrop for the band. For everyone who knows HK Mouse, artistic flair comes naturally to her, but on this occasion she really went to the moon and back. Is was utter perfection.

Once the speeches has drawn to a close, the food and drink flowed. We started with a delightful eggplant parmigiana which was followed by perfectly cooked steaks, cheddar & bacon stuffed baked potatoes and mascarpone creamed spinach - yum! 

In true HK Mouse style, pudding didn't follow in the traditional sense. Guests were invited to help themselves to various sweet treats at three separate sugary stations. The first offered up waffle sundaes, the second build your own s'mores and the third boasted chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. The wedding cake - a flamingo-topped victoria sponge - was also sliced and diced for all to enjoy...

Spectacular sugar work all round!

The rest of the evening starts to get a bit hazy from here on out but what I do know, is the photo booth sprung into life in kind of a big way...

What a wedding! I'd like to raise a 3BadMice toast to Natalie & Jasper - here's to many more years of celebrating and happy memories to come!