The view from our lunch table.
It wasn't always easy to mind one's manners at Isola. Even in the middle of the most entertaining conversation one's eyes could inadvertently wander towards the stunning view of the harbor, Kowloon, the ICC building and the mountains behind.
I can't say Isola's food was the very best ever, but it always tasted like it would in Italy. And strangely that is not a given in Hong Kong. Just as Chinese food tastes different in America and Europe, western food can taste oddly unfamiliar here.
On one of my parents' early visits to Hong Kong we drank a magnum of Brunello di Montalcino here, along with some white I am sure, and the cosy merriness of that dinner prompted my dad to request Isola at every visit after that.
My husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary at Isola just two weeks ago. We took our daughter along as we have all craved the closeness of family more acutely since our son has started boarding school six thousand miles away.
A plate of strozzapreti at Isola.
My friend P had her fortieth at Isola. It was a beautiful pink lit extravaganza full of happy and relaxed friends, infectious music, much laughter and even more dancing. The terrace views at night were spectacular.
And then yesterday I went there for an impromptu lunch with two longtime friends, one of whom is leaving Hong Kong. We chose Isola because we craved salads, and the salad buffet never disappoints. When we paid the bill our waitress mentioned this day was Isola's very last here in this room full of happy memories.
For our three Hong Kong lives, the end of a very special era.
From left to right, Fiona, Kate and me.
Isola will reopen in the space previously occupied by Betty's and Ivy, number 2075 on the second floor of IFC.