New Year' Eve happenings people just can't forget
The Christmas decorations are starting to look tired and the kids are already bored with the toys they received as presents. You know what that means: time to refocus on what to do for New Year's Eve. Of course, it doesn't always have to be a big blowout. Sometimes, different is good. Here are some prominent Hongkongers with what they recall as their most memorable seasonal and New Year holidays.
My most memorable New Year's Eve was three years ago, when I was in Rome with my husband. My seafood pasta at lunch was so good that my husband ordered another portion for himself, resulting in us missing our flight to Britain for a party and countdown. Therefore, we ended up having to spend New Year's Eve in Rome, which wasn't half bad - it was full of fun with lots of delicious food.
Caroline Roberts, fashion industry executive
My best holiday memory is often associated with the time spent with my girlfriend (model) Coco Chiang or a group of close friends. However, my favourite New Year's Eve so far has to be the first year I spent with Coco attending the New Year's Eve Ball at the old Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Central.
Dickson Yewn Dik-sum, Life of Circle jeweller
One year, there was one couple who came in relatively early. It was New Year's Eve and the place was soon full. The man then asked if we could turn the volume down. I said, 'Hmm, it's New Year's Eve and I can't really ask people to be quiet.' But he said it was really disturbing him, so I apologised and moved him to a corner table and had to switch other guests around. Then he complained again. At the time, I was well known for my bad temper but I said, 'Look, this isn't going to work. It's New Year's Eve. I can't get anybody to shut up so I suggest you just go home.' He was flabbergasted. I told him, 'There's no bill, please just go. You're ruining it for everyone else.' The whole room rallied behind me. This year, I was torn between being in the new Beijing restaurant or here. But this being our last day at the Fringe, I'm here. We had hundreds on the waiting list but we can only take 70. I'm sure we'll have a lot of people dropping in after midnight. We'll finish the bar and everyone no doubt will steal whatever they can for mementos.
Michelle Garnaut, M at the Fringe (closing tonight)
I had the idea to watch the New Year's fireworks from my roof garden one year and, in the tradition of good party-giving, I had it all planned. Music, lighting, food, champagne, streamers, guests, all checked. We were all ensconced on the roof and getting a little 'lubricated'. Then champagne ran out. No problem, I'd get some more downstairs. I was back up in five minutes. Then the hors d'oeuvres ran out, so I went back downstairs for more. Five minutes later, it was more glasses, then ice, then water. This went on for the better part of an hour and I had done about 10 runs downstairs for more supplies. With drinks, I was getting increasingly woozy. Then, within minutes to midnight, an overseas guest called frantically explaining he 'can't find the apartment' and 'would I please tell the taxi where to go'. Five minutes to go and he called back. They could not find the entrance. So, I had to negotiate a staircase in the dark, go down a long hallway, find them on the street and take them upstairs. I just managed to make it in time with a scraped elbow for the last '3-2-1'. The lesson is never ever do a roof party on New Year's Eve unless you turn your phone off the moment you start drinking.
Phil Oakden, general manager of Hullett House
My most memorable New Year's Eve was actually my first at The Globe. I wasn't sure how to attract people to spend the evening in a small bar as opposed to lavish parties around town. I eventually came up with the idea of a global New Year's Eve, celebrating it as midnight hit every time zone. I thought it was all going to go wrong when at 7pm we only had three eager Kiwi girls to welcome the New Year in New Zealand. Then more people arrived as we moved across Australia and west through Asia. By the time we came to Hong Kong, you could not get through the door. We went on to Thailand, Burma and India. We nearly missed Nepal, as people were still picking confetti out of their drinks at a quarter to the hour. The aim was to reach Europe. We worked our way along the Silk Road, the Gulf states, then just as things flagged, a Europe was in sight. We made Moscow, locked the doors and moved to Wan Chai. It's a shame the old shop will be empty this year, but we'll be celebrating in the new shop on Graham Street.
Toby Cooper, director of The Globe Pub