A mere three days in Beijing, China, just isn’t long enough to hit up all the great attractions that the sprawling capital city offers. But when Opening Ceremony – or more accurately, Humberto – is spearheading the agenda for the day, we make the most of what’s dealt to us: the Forbidden City; Tiananmen Square; the Great Wall; temples; at least four outdoor markets (including the massive Sunday market, Pan Jia Yuen); a couple shopping complexes; tucked-away shops, restaurants, and hotels in old hutongs (alleys); three meals a day; several snacking moments; a few underground bars and hot nightspots; and, oh yeah, the launch of our pop-up at Lane Crawford
Seasons Place Beijing.
Turns out our excursion to the cultural center of China was by no means shortchanged by a time constraint. Even with only 72 hours to explore, we discovered some incredible places to recommend to our globetrotting friends. Here’s a taste of Beijing’s OC-approved spots!
WHERE TO SHOP
Located in a siheyuan (a traditional Chinese courtyard) that was formerly the home of Wanrong, the Last Empress, WUHAO
is a visually stunning mixed-concept boutique. As the seasons change, founder and director Isabel Pascal transforms Wuhao’s aesthetic and environment to reflect one of the five elements: fire (summer), metal (autumn), water (winter), wood (spring), and earth (between seasons). Featuring original artworks, installations, and collections by both local and international talent, this secret shop is THE place to find beautiful craftsmanship and creative designs.
No. 35 Mao’er Hutong, Dongcheng District
MEGA MEGA VINTAGE
It’s not easy to find great vintage shopping in China, partly because second-hand clothes aren’t exactly coveted. So, when my new friend at Lane Crawford Seasons Place, Jennifer, suggested I check out Mega Mega Vintage
(or M&M), I was super stoked. Filled with rocker t-shirts, flannel button-downs, denim rompers, adorable brogues, and loads of other one-of-a-kind goodies, this 1950s Hollywood-inspired shop comes highly recommended.
241 Guloudong Dajie, Dongcheng District
RUIFUXIANG SILK SHOP
One of the best souvenirs to bring back from China is silk, and at the time-honored Rufuxiang
silk emporium, not only will you find silk tops, trousers, cheongsams or qi paos (traditional Chinese dress), suits, what have you, but you will also find bolts of gorgeous silk fabric to get something expertly tailored. A few members of the OC for Lane Crawford team found incredible pajamas here!
5 Qianmen Dashilan'r, Xuanwu District
WHERE TO EAT
The OC at Lane Crawford crew had their very first dinner in Beijing at this Sichuan restaurant, which specializes in hot pot-style dinners at the table. The fish, meat, and vegetables are exceptionally fresh, and there’s a station full of make-it-yourself sauces and condiments. BONUS ROUND: If you order hand-pulled noodles, this young guy in a track suit and headset comes to your table to hand-pull the noodles right in front of you, expertly twirling and flinging streams of dough in the air as if he were practicing martial arts. EASTER EGG: Hai Di Lao has a manicure station set up at the entrance so that guests who are waiting for a table can pass time by getting their nails done.
2 Dahuisi Lu, Haidian District
A perfectly hip place for late-night Taiwanese eats, Bellagio is known for two things in particular: its delicious sweet treats (especially the Bellagio Breeze, which is a shaved ice and red bean concoction, and Mango Pancake) and its rule that all female servers must wear their hair super-short. Needless to say, I had a blast. No joke. Must try: stir-fried dragon beans with garlic.
35 Xiaoyun Lu, Chaoyang District
WHERE TO DRINK
For a quiet night with your friends, head to the Drum and Bell towers, wander into the hutongs, find the lone red lantern, and enter Bed
. Nestled into an old siheyuan, this spacious, dimly lit bar is a maze of antique rooms with kang beds with plush pillows where you can kick back, and have an intimate chat while nursing a beer or, better yet, a mojito.
If you dig Bed, you should also check out a couple of its sister venues: (1) a Malaysian restaurant, called Café Sambal
, which has a similarly relaxing atmosphere and (2) 3+1Bedrooms
, a super-cleanly designed boutique hotel that offers exactly 3 rooms and 1 suite (located a few doors down from Bed).
BED AND 3+1BEDROOMS
17 Zhangwang Hutong, Xicheng District
43 Doufuchi Hutong, Jiugulou Dajie,
OC for Lane Crawford
just eat it
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