If you’re not exactly sure what’s going down in town this week, all those shorts you see people wearing everywhere should be a dead giveaway.
The annual Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens give thousands of visitors (and more than a few locals as well) a chance to let loose – a little too loose for our liking when it comes to their fashion decisions, given the age of most fans and the amount of booze being consumed. But, hey, each to their own. Cast off any inhibitions (and those long pants) and join the party.
The main event takes place at the Hong Kong Stadium from Friday to Sunday, but places are getting in on the act all over town.
Here are seven of the best venues to soak it all up before, during or after the Sevens action.
Sevens VillageThe next best thing if you’ve not secured a ticket – and it’s right across the road from the Hong Kong Stadium. The Sevens Village has taken on a life of its own in recent years, staged in the surrounds of the Indian Recreation Club and featuring live action on a big screen, bean bags to kick back in, and a host of F&B outlets. And entry is free. David Hasselhoff, The Proclaimers and Bjorn Again kick festivities off on Wednesday night.
Indian Recreation Club, 63 Caroline Hill Rd, So Kon Po. Tel: 2576 1673
FritesDecent bars within walking distance of the stadium have become few and far between thanks to Hong Kong’s obsession with tearing things down, but the Belgian beerhouse Frites fills the gap in the market admirably. It’s about a 10-minute stroll away – and it’s offering a free beer to all Sevens ticket stub holders who tuck into a main course.
Shop 1, G/F, Park Haven, No. 38 Haven St, Causeway Bay. Text bookings to 9828 2961
The DoghouseThe demise of Delaney’s and The Old China Hand is bound to have a few repeat Sevens offenders wandering around Wan Chai in a daze come the weekend, but The Doghouse has established itself as Lockhart Road’s leading bar when it comes to all things sporty. Special satellite bars are being positioned inside and out for the masses, it’s putting on a DJ on Friday and Saturday and it’s open for 22 hours a day. The Doghouse has just welcomed a new chef too, and its Sevens menus apparently boast the “best Eggs Benedict in town” (HK$130).
Shop A3, G/F Hay Wah Building, 72-86 Lockhart Rd, Wan Chai. Tel: 2528 0868
Carnegie’sOne for the kids? Maybe. Visiting players from the Rugby 10s set up shop from early in the week and the place simply heaves from Wednesday night onwards. What’s the attraction? All those young things dancing up on the bar is the official line, so what’s not to love? The deals on offer over Sevens weekend are suitably inspired to keep you moving too – included among them is a half-yard of vodka and Red Bull for HK$150.
G/F 53-55 Lockhart Rd, Wan Chai. Tel: 2866 6289
Motorino and Burger CircusA brave move from the people behind these two brands. The smart people always – always – get some ballast on board before or during a heavy post-Sevens session. So don’t forget to eat! The offer here takes care of that. If you show up in either fancy dress or a rugby jersey you’ll be treated to a free jug of beer (from Motorino) or a shot of Basil Hayden’s or Jack Daniel’s when ordering a burger (Burger Circus). Your second shot will only set you back HK$5.
Motorino Wan Chai, 15 Ship St. Tel: 2520 0690; Motorino SoHo, 14 Shelley St, Central. Tel: 2801 6881; Burger Circus, 22 Hollywood Rd, Central. Tel: 2878 7787
StormiesIt’s all about location, location, location. People will of course throng to Lan Kwai Fong both to watch the action during play and to take part in the action after play ends. And perched on top of it all is Stormies where you can – if you’re lucky – find yourself a window-side perch that’s close (enough, thanks) to the revelry, or you can do like most do and make sorties in and out. Upstairs you can sit down and eat – and the Classic Mojito (HK$88) is among the best you’ll find in town.
G/F and 1/F, 46 D’Aguilar Street, Lan Kwai Fong. Tel: 2845 5533.
Tipping Point Brewery Co.Beer is the official drink of rugby and Hong Kong’s first microbrew pub (est 2013) leaves you spoilt for choice with around 20 varieties on tap, including nine brewed by the company. The action will be beamed in live, if you want, and the “Catch of the Day” menu is a cracker, considering it’s slap bang in the middle of the Wyndham Street bustle – offering the choice of a pulled pork or beef brisket burger or a margarita pizza and house brew for HK$158.
G/7 & 1/F 79 Wyndham St, Central. Tel: 2868 2892
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