Happy Valley for Modern Urbanites
Life in the Valley is perfect for those craving a cosmopolitan climate, tempered with the old world charm of a quaint, village atmosphere.
Favoured by many expats (and dog lovers), this upscale, leafy green locality on Hong Kong Island stands serene amid the clamour and chaos of the city.
Sprinkled with cute cafés, restaurants, hip bars and boutique shops, it’s also in close proximity to the ‘shop till you drop’ retail hub of Causeway Bay.
This unique suburb, where trams wind through the middle of the carefree neighbourhood, is also home to one of the oldest and the most famous spots in Hong Kong, Happy Valley Racecourse. Known as Pau Ma Dei (Horse Racing Place) Wednesday nights are an institution in Hong Kong with the enchanting valley coming alive as punters and spectators come from near and far to witness the vibrant scenes under lights, and mingle in the local bars and eateries.
For a coffee and a snack, you need look no further than your favourite global coffee chains.
Maison Eric Kayser -this newish spot on the block is more than just a cheerful French bakery, overflowing with delicious brioche, baguettes and croissants. The added bonus is they also serve up brunch and dinner, including tasty burgers, sandwiches, salads and hot breakfast, all in a relaxing environment with a comfortable vibe that includes a cosy outside dining terrace.
HMV Kafé – a lifestyle concept café, courtesy of renowned music/entertainment store HMV, this is a modern, sophisticated space in Happy Valley. Enjoy a decent specialty coffee or a glass of wine, whilst grooving to the beat of your favourite tunes, with a special music app at each table. There’s also a full menu featuring pastas and salads and a spacious outdoor area.
Classified – as well as serving up top-notch coffee, this neighbourhood café has the potential to be the ideal place to hang out, day and night. Packed with sumptuous artisan cheeses, gourmet coffees, baked goods and boutique wines, Classified’s casual, European style with al fresco dining makes it right at home on the streets of Happy Valley. Whether it’s breakfast, brunch or a late afternoon drink on the way home from work, this is the perfect ‘local.’
These are two separate, well-known bars, right next door to each other and both equally as cute and comfortable as the other. No frills, this pair sits directly opposite the racecourse, with outdoor seating that spills on to the tree-lined sidewalk. A popular corner of the world for Happy Valley locals at the weekend and the perfect location for a quick pre-races pint or watching the world pass by, over a lingering drink on a hot summer’s evening.
Both bars serve up tasty and affordable food.
Saint Germain – for more upscale dining, the decidedly French restaurant is a groovy bar with a definite Parisian buzz. The decor is typical of a French hotspot, with bar stools perched in the open window, for a fabulous spot of people watching and tram spotting, over a glass of champers (French of course). The food includes traditional French staples plus truly mouthwatering steaks and delectable desserts. Saint Germain is also a great location for that pre-dinner drink or a post dinner cheese and wine session.
Yakitoritei – a tiny place that fills up quickly every evening, Yakitoritei serves up some of the best Japanese in HK. Specialising in yakitori, a traditional Japanese satay grilling, you can watch the Japanese chef cooking your sticks of meat, which range from chicken, beef, Foie Gras and all sorts of full-flavoured veges. Healthy, delicious and open until very late!
Amigos is an institution in Happy Valley having been in the village for over 30 years! Instantly recognizable with its Italian name, Spanish style building and gourmet French fare, it’s posh and expensive. It’s all about old world charm with the waiters (many having been there since it opened) decked out in tuxedos and black tie (including gloves)!
The menu hasn’t changed much, but the food is still pretty scrumptious with an Asian twist to some French classics! After dinner, the restaurant’s live band will serenade you in old fashioned, fine dining style.
An addition to Michelin Star Restaurant’s 2013 guide, Pang’s Kitchen is a popular spot in Happy Valley tucked behind the racecourse. It boasts traditional Cantonese fare, that includes specialties such as baked fish intestines in a clay pot and abalone in oyster sauce. Bookings are essential if you want to stop by this famed eatery.
Otherwise just known as ‘Dim Sum,’ there is no other place for your jumbo sized Dim Sum fix.
A long-time Happy Valley establishment, this traditional teahouse has without doubt satisfied many a late night cravings.
Its most recent claim to fame, Hollywood A-lister Gwyneth Paltrow recommended Dim Sum on her globally renowned website, GOOP! Now that’s publicity!
This small, cozy dessert café with a selection of cakes and teas has plenty of delicacies to satisfy your sweet tooth! Delicious crème brulee, cheesecake and puff pastries are the order of the day, when you feel the urge to splurge after a hard day at the office.
Some of the city’s best gourmet grocers and butchers are in Happy Valley, offering the freshest produce, from quality meats to succulent seafood and freshly baked bread. It’s also easy to access a wide range of international products right on your doorstep.
Fusion by Park n’ Shop is the grocers with everything you ever need and more. For slightly more gourmet speciality food, Pacific Gourmet serves up fresh meat and fish from Australia in a charming shop that also sells a substantial cheese selection, good wine and delectable deli food. Il Bel Paese promises to satisfy all of your Italian desires as well as having a fresh deli counter should you need lunch on the go.
Happy Valley also boasts one of Hong Kong’s best Dai Pai Dongs! When it comes to street food stalls indoors, Wong Nai Chung Market Cooked Food Centre offers fantastically fresh Chinese goods in a bustling, local atmosphere that’s clean and not too hectic. Home to several award winning chefs, the place is testament to the quality that can be found in the world of the cooked food centre. The market is open 6am-8pm, the cooked food centre 6am-2am! What’s better than a wet market on your block!
While there’s not an abundance of fashion shops in Happy Valley, there are several boutique-style clothes shops and of course with Hong Kong’s shopping mecca, Causeway Bay, a five minute walk away, you can’t go wrong, when it comes to your daily dose of retail therapy!
For dog lover’s, there’s a plethora of pet shops and pet grooming parlours to pamper your pooch to perfection!
Happy Valley is also the home of heavenly foot massages! Look no further to get your tootsies treated than Happy Foot – one of the more famously frequented foot massage parlours in the area.
There are also a myriad of nail and hair salons scattered across the Valley to keep your tresses and talons in good shape, including the amazing Bodywize Spa. For your little pocket of paradise amongst the city’s chaos, this sanctuary has everything from spa treatments to massage and facial therapies, pedicures and manicures, plus yoga and dance classes. The complete centre for your holistic wellness right here in Happy Valley. Exhale and relax.
Unlike many other parts of Hong Kong, Happy Valley is home to residences of all shapes and sizes. From classic low-rise complexes to larger stand-alone houses and tall, modern apartment buildings, this quiet and green area is reflective of the eclectic mix of people residing here.
Most recently, Tagus Residences has been established as the perfect sanctuary for couples and singles. Nestled in the heart of Happy Valley, these designer apartments provide a peaceful and comfortable retreat for those who don’t want to sacrifice the convenience and buzz of Hong Kong living. This is Tagus Residences.
Flanked by the picturesque St Margaret’s Church, Tagus Residences puts everything at your fingertips, from fine dining and boutique shopping to fitness and fabulous entertainment, with the famous HK Jockey Club just around the corner!
Each apartment features a stylish, modern finish with a fully equipped kitchen, inviting living room, balcony and large bay windows with views across the Valley!
Fitness enthusiasts will love the wealth of opportunities on their doorstep, from The Gym and The Studio in-house, to the racetrack’s outdoor loop and the hiking trails nearby at Tai Tam and Aberdeen. For those competitive souls, there’s also the neighbouring Craigengower Cricket Club (a swimming pool, glass-backed squash courts, driving range and much, much more than cricket is now on offer) and the Hong Kong Football Club. Even better, sports fans will relish in the fact the Hong Kong Stadium, home of the world famous Hong Kong Sevens is just a stone’s throw away.
Located above Happy Valley’s main bus and tram stations, getting around is easy and it’s also just a ten-minute stroll or quick minibus ride to the energetic and electric centre of Causeway Bay.