Kate Whitehead

Award-winning Hong Kong-based journalist

The bear that started it all

Missing mum: My dad was a British Royal Air Force squadron leader and I was born in an RAF camp in Newark, Nottingham, in 1958. My youngster sister, Anne, was born a year later. When she was just a couple of months old, our mother died of septicaemia. My dad was heartbroken. He said two things…

Continue Reading ...
  • Discover your backyard

    I miss travelling. It has been 13 weeks and three days since my last trip and I’m in withdrawal. I don’t miss hanging around the airport or negotiating elbow space in Economy, but I do miss the thrill of discovering somewhere new. And I know I’m not alone. The sense of adventure that comes with…

    Continue Reading ...
  • Goodbye, Jimmy’s Kitchen

    When Jimmy’s Kitchen closes its doors at the end of this month many will mourn the loss of one of Hong Kong’s oldest and most stories. Indeed, the 92-year-old Central eatery was set to close in April but was given a month’s reprieve following a surge of interest from patrons who wanted to dine at…

    Continue Reading ...
  • Prisoners at sea

    They man the merchant ships that keep global trade flowing, but coronavirus restrictions mean thousands of seafarers are unable to return home. After months at sea, stress, fatigue and time away from loved ones is taking its toll. When Captain Bejoy Kannan boarded the oil tanker China Dawn on December 1, 2019, he expected the…

    Continue Reading ...
  • How Contagion Works

    How Contagion Works by Paolo Giordano Weidenfeld & Nicolson 5/5 stars The coronavirus pandemic has left many of us reeling, struggling to adjust to a “new normal” of school closures, working from home and travel restrictions. Looking beyond the personal impact to the seismic implications for the world as a whole is daunting, but the…

    Continue Reading ...
  • Be the hero

    Sitting on a beach over the Christmas holiday, Matt Friedman excitedly discussed the upcoming launch of his latest book with his wife, Sylvia Yu. Little did they know that the coronavirus, about to quickly spread around the world, would railroad their plans.Bad timing? Not at all. The physical launch may have shifted to an online…

    Continue Reading ...
  • Bean to bar

    At the quiet end of Gough Street, in Hong Kong’s Central district, stands a pocket-sized shop easily overlooked. A wooden bench outside tempts passers-by to pause, and if you peek through the picture window, you’ll likely catch a glimpse of two chocolatiers perfecting their craft. Hakawa Chocolate is one of just five bean-to-bar makers in Hong…

    Continue Reading ...
  • The mask crusader

    Gilly Strauss has been in the diamond business for more than 20 years. He was a founding member of luxury brand Hearts on Fire, which was acquired by Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook in 2014, and is now CEO of high-end jewellers Forms Jewellery. When we meet last week, he’s closing a tense deal. “The…

    Continue Reading ...
  • Almost a shore thing

    Paul Zimmerman had planned to spend his Easter holiday kicking back at the Blues Festival in Australia’s Byron Bay, but – like many people – his plans were squashed by the coronavirus. Grounded in Hong Kong, he decided it was the perfect time to take up a challenge that has long been on his bucket…

    Continue Reading ...
  • How to survive lockdown with an abusive partner

    Hotlines around the world have seen a surge in the number of domestic abuse calls as countries have gone into lockdown to prevent coronavirus spread, and Hong Kong is no different. Harmony House, Hong Kong’s first shelter for abused women, saw a 25 per cent increase in calls to its hotline between January and March.“The…

    Continue Reading ...
  • Coronavirus in the Congo

    As the coronavirus spreads around the world, sending billions of people into lockdown, communities have reacted by panic buying, stripping supermarket shelves of essential goods. That has not happened in the Republic of the Congo. When people in the central African country were ordered to enter a 30-day lockdown this week, most did not have…

    Continue Reading ...