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Instead of the four-day festival originally planned, the event will take place online over several weeks

For the second year running, the Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival is not going as planned. In 2019, the event was cancelled due to ongoing social unrest and, in light of the ongoing pandemic, the 2020 edition (originally scheduled for 29 October to 1 November) will be shifted to an online format. It will be the first time in the festival’s 11 year history that it will take place virtually, rather than in its usual iconic location on the Central Harbourfront.

The move was announced by the Hong Kong Tourism Board on Wednesday (19 August). As to how the festival will take place, an online platform will host all programming. Examples include a virtual market place where wine merchants will be promoting their wares along with special discounts while industry experts—from wine and food critics to chefs and sommeliers—will be hosting a spectrum of virtual workshops and talks. Further details of the festival are still to be announced.

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It’s not the first food festival with goals to go online—the Singapore Food Festival will kick off tomorrow, 21 August, until 30 August and boasts a diverse programme of 18 live masterclasses, virtual food tours and limited edition food bundles for purchase. Chefs including Candlenut’s Malcolm Lee, Odette’s Julien Royer and the legendary Violet Oon will be hosting classes and tastings online, celebrating the flavours of Singapore.

With the limitations of a physical space removed, there are opportunities to take the Hong Kong Wine & Dine Festival to new, unchartered territories. We’ll be watching to see what they’ll be bringing to our tables—virtually, that is.

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