Viva Las Vegas: Annabelle Bond And Ken Hitchner Celebrate His Birthday In Style
Annabelle Bond had dreamed of celebrating her husband Ken Hitchner’s 60th birthday in Las Vegas, though with travel bans firmly in place, the mountaineer and charity campaigner decided to bring the Strip to Hong Kong instead. On July 3, the second floor of the old magistracy building in Tai Kwun was transformed with colourful casino decorations in honour of Hitchner, the ex-Goldman Sachs Asia-Pacific CEO whom Bond secretly married in Aspen in February.
“It was my idea to do something different and hip and this space was very cool. Ken is an ex-Navy fighter pilot so I probably should have done a Top Gun theme, but decided that the girls would have much more fun with a Vegas-inspired soirée,” Bond says. And she was right: all her friends went to town with their looks, donning glittering ensembles and over-the-top jewels.
Hong Kong-based event-planning company Heaven Scent Events transformed the space with neon signs, disco balls and gigantic statement balloons, while the crowd danced up a storm until the small hours (Ben Falloon, managing director of Sun Hung Kai, alone clocked 7,000 steps), thanks to the club classics pounding from DJ Gruv’s decks.
“We drank chilli margaritas and I think the cake was chocolate. I don’t remember the food, which is always the sign of a good party,” Bond adds. Top Gun may have lost out to Vegas, but this didn’t stop the revellers from blasting Kenny Loggins’ Danger Zone, the Eighties rock classic made famous by the movie, to signal the start of the evening’s speeches by Bond and Hitchner’s university friend Ji Min. But if you’re here for the juiciest tidbits, like what occasioned Bond’s outfit change, you’ll be sadly disappointed. As Bond put it: “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”
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- Photography Michael Perini for Tatler Hong Kong