A well-known fixture of Hong Kong’s social scene, serial entrepreneur Bonnae Gokson has built a reputation around her unwavering eye for decadence, which is showcased perennially at her Central restaurant SEVVA and patisseries C’est La B and Ms. B’s CAKERY.
In the run-up to the festive season, Bonnae introduced her Christmas menu at SEVVA along with a seasonal transformation of its interior. Bedecked with crystal chandeliers, towering candles and garlands of holly and mistletoe to create an ambience that was grand and opulent, Bonnae also added more personalised touches, such as handwritten name cards and golden candied apples to add a dose of intimacy.
We talked to her about the process of planning this year’s theme, and how she – and you – can find inspiration for welcoming Christmas at home.
Your Christmas decorations at SEVVA are very lavish. How did you settle on a theme and how far in advance did you start planning?
I have been collecting a lot of tabletop decorations since SEVVA opened. Some are more fun and some are beautifully plush. Details are very important to me – for example, I thought of these matte gold candelabras which would add to the magnificence of SEVVA’s Bankside room, with its many chandeliers and huge artworks by Candida Hofer.
Ideas often come naturally to me. Sometimes, one needs to edit and balance with the scale of the room. Christmas fresh greens and different tones of berries adds to the holiday spirit. I love personalised touches and therefore, I requested that our workshop create gold-dipped apples with floral sugar art for each guest.
All name cards and place mats were crafted from paper and handwritten. I probably took a week to plan this concept, but it was crafting all the candied apples that took many days and hours.
Tell me about how you’re planning to decorate your home.
This year, I will not be spending Christmas in Hong Kong. But if I’m here, I love an abundant look with platters of fresh fruits, Christmas blooms, and if I can get it, plenty of mistletoe. Christmas trees of fresh noble pine is a must for me at home. I usually deck out my front door as well. Christmas is very special to me.
Are there any concessions that you have to make in terms of Christmas decorations, since we’re located in Hong Kong?
Concessions? Haha, if you could see our warehouse, you’d be amazed to see the number of decorations I’ve collected over the years. I also add something new each year when I attend trade fair shows abroad. Items may be from Holland, France, USA or the Philippines.
Decorating for the holidays is fun. A lot of times, it doesn’t need to be lavish. Even using tons of books to stack up like a Christmas tree can be great. You can make your own garland or wreath with leaves, fruits and twigs. Set a theme and start imagining… it’s all about being creative!
SEVVA is currently serving a Christmas Celebration Set Lunch ($620 per head) until Christmas Day. A Christmas Eve Dinner Menu will also served for $2,580 per head. More information here.