La Station Coffee Shop

In terms of size, this western styled coffee shop in Wan Chai is probably the smallest of them all. However, what they lack in size, they make up with style, service and better pastries.

Small person is a huge fan of chocolate croissants and we simply have to try any cafe or bakery that sells them. 

So her top vote for this year’s best chocolate croissant in Wan Chai and Hong Kong goes to La Station. She has eaten at least 10 of these from La Station since they opened a few months ago and would be happy to have more except that mummy tries to vary her diet. (Resulting in me having to eat an equal number of toasted cream cheese raisin bagels.)

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Matthew (owner) pops them in the oven for a minute and serves them on a nice wooden platter with proper silverware. The proper way. None of those disposable black plastic forks thank you. 

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The pastry selection includes sandwiches, cakes and cookies but they recently added salads and parfaits to the menu. Apart from coffee, they also have a refreshing home-made lemon juice and the winter essential hot chocolate. Take your pick.

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Interior design makes a huge difference to small spaces and in this cafe, there’s  something interesting to see wherever you cast your eyes. The matte gold pipe MTR map with lit stations makes a great conversation piece and I wonder if it reflects the owner’s ambitions.

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There is seating for around 14 people, most don’t stay too long so turnover is quick. The bar like seating doesn’t encourage it either. If you get there and it’s full inside, check the bench outside, there’s space out there for one more (or two, if intimate).

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The entrance is wide and the door is pram / wheelchair access friendly. There’s some space to park your pram, as long as you’re not wheeling in a twin version. The only kid unfriendly aspect is the high chair seating… But for chocolate croissant, I have her rapt attention for as long as it takes to consume it (small bite sized portions …make it last).
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The staff are super friendly unless they’re making coffee (full concentration) and will happily top up your glass of water and let your kid play with their toy train on request.

Read more about their story and mission here

Pak Tai Temple 北帝古廟

This is the most impressive temple in Wan Chai. Set back and away from the main thoroughfare of Queen’s Road East, it seems that not many tourists (or locals for that matter) make it over to this temple to visit or pray. 

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On Sunday, it was a quiet and calm. We were the only visitors mid-afternoon and the only people in there besides the staff.

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It’s free to enter and look around as long as your kids don’t touch or destroy anything. The statues and prayer alters are rich in color and there’s a stillness in the air that only thick stone and incense can create. 

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many altars, a drum
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pray, write your name

There are so many different altars for prayer, I will attempt to find out if they are for different reasons.

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And then the impressive incense room. If you have a sensitive nose you might want to avoid this room.

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Finally, if you’d like to know your luck for the year ahead (year of the monkey), the temple masters have it on display already.. So you know what to pray for.

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Hososcope predictions

Please take note of the signs in the temple.

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If you’d like to visit, get yourself to Wan Chai market and walk up Stone Nullah Street past the Blue House. You will only see it when you get to the end of the road.

Map to Pak Tai Temple

For families, grab a bite at Stone Nullah Tavern (western food) or drink at the 7Eleven on the way to the Temple. There’s a small sitting area next to the temple that you can sit and rest a while. Just check that the temple furnace isn’t going at full tilt… It exhausts out into the sitting area. 

Note: there are about 8 steps up to the temple so you’ll have to carry your stroller up. Best to leave it outside as there are steps and exposed traditionally wooden door frames which you’ll need to step over. These perform the all important function of keeping the hopping ghosts and vampires out.