It’s been over a year since I last headed to Horizon Plaza on Ap Lei Chau (a small island accessible by land bridge from Aberdeen), but a couple of weeks ago we moved apartments and so needed to take a trip there to search out some furniture. I was so surprised by how many changes have been made there since my last visit – it’s really 100 times better, and I think it’s actually the fashion shopping that is most-improved!
There are a couple of secrets about Horizon Plaza which you need to learn early on in order to enjoy your trip there. Firstly, never ever ever take the customer elevator (lift). If you try, you’ll have an extremely frustrating experience of waiting for at least 10 minutes on each floor, and also be uncomfortably crushed in with other people. The best thing to do is as soon as you arrive, walk up one flight of stairs to the first floor, then take the service elevator to the very top (28th floor), where Tree is located. From here, you can have a bite to eat in the new Tree cafe, before working your way down the building using a combination of the stairs and the service elevator. The stairwells have been painted recently, and new toilets have been fitted. For some reason, the ladies toilet is always locked (while the men’s is always open… um, why?), but you can either get the key from one of the stores you’re browsing in, or use the disabled loos which are on every other floor.
There’s of course a lot to look through with 28 floors of shopping, but for me there are a couple of unmissable standouts which you should always have on your list every time you go. I’ll put the list in descending order assuming you’ll follow my advice to work your way down!
1. Tree (28th Floor). A whole floor of gorgeous wooden furniture, cool colourful chairs and subtle textiles. There’s also a cafe here where you can sit and enjoy a pre-shopping coffee and quiche to fortify yourself for the afternoon of shopping ahead!
2. MaxMara Fashion Group Warehouse (27th Floor). Check your bag at the door and browse the discounted designer goods. Plenty of Juicy Couture and Stella McCartney pieces to be had at bargainous prices.
3. Lane Crawford Fashion Warehouse (25th Floor). Pay particular attention to the shoe section (as if you wouldn’t!)… There are last season’s Louboutins at knock-down prices, plus tons of Sergio Rossis. Do NOT miss.
4. Bluebell Fashion Warehouse (24th Floor). Jimmy Choos on sale. I repeat, Jimmy Choos on sale. There are only a small number of styles per size, but at these prices, who’s going to be picky?
5. Sift Patisserie (22nd Floor). By the 22nd Floor you’ve earned yourself a delicious cupcake. Hurray! We recommend the lemon, or the red velvet. Divine. Wash down with a double-espresso and head back on your way.
6. Inside (12th Floor). If you like a white and bright aesthetic (my favourite), you’ll love Inside. Full of colourful cushions, textiles and fun lamps, you’ll be in heaven in this home store. A great place to pick up a gift for a friend, or for yourself.
7. Pacific Gourmet (12th Floor). Pick yourself up a little something to cook for dinner from this gourmet deli. You’ll find fresh fish, meats and veggies, plus a counter where you can taste their wine. You’ve probably earned yourself a little glass as you’re almost done shopping!
8. Whiskers & Paws (10th Floor). If you happen to be shopping on a Sunday, stop by this super-sized, deluxe pet shop and check out the puppies for adoption from the Hong Kong Dog Rescue.
9. Indigo (6th Floor). A large version of the popular shop in Prince’s Building. This season they’re using lots of natural colours and featuring a lot of wood and white pieces. Great for lamps and other modern Asian-inspired knickknacks.
10. Tequila Kola (1st Floor). If you want to punch up your living space with a real statement piece, check out the rugs, chandeliers and furniture at Tequila Kola. They have lots of unique and distinctive pieces perfect for adding flair to an otherwise Ikea-filled apartment.