Treaty of Nanking

Inside story

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 May, 2012, 12:00am


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Best place to stay... For something intimate, check into Quintet (pictured middle), a bed-and-breakfast in a three-storey garden house built in 1939. It's in the French Concession.

Best place for dim sum... Xian Yue Hien off Huashan Lu is exceptional. It's in front of a beautiful garden in a quiet area and this local favourite has a great selection of dim sum. A more conservative choice would be Wei Jing Ge, at the magnificent Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund.

Best place for an urban walk...The Bund or Shanghai's waterfront, separating Puxi from Pudong. The promenade will enable you to absorb the strong contrast that makes Shanghai such a fascinating city; Pudong's 21st century stunning high-rise skyline versus the Bund's 19th-century grandiose architecture. A spectacular sight.

Best kept secret... The Museum of Arts & Urbanity is one of our latest. It is a spectacular museum, about 40 minutes outside of downtown Shanghai, that combines Ming and Qing architecture preservation with Contemporary Chinese Art.

Best place for coffee... Yongfoo Elite! It has a 1930s Shanghai atmosphere, in a magnificent standalone villa in the former French Concession. The villa, formerly the British Consulate, is an architectural jewel and its spacious garden is an oasis in an otherwise bustling city. The private salon in the back with its Gucci leather sofas is the place to be.

Best place to buy art...Through our senior art expert Michelle Blumenthal. Alternatively, grab a copy of the art map designed by Eike's Shanghai Detour and follow its advice on what's new and hot. The map is distributed by several of the five-star hotels in the city, and is updated regularly.

Best place to people watch... Taikang Lu (bottom), a bohemian-like area in the former French Concession. Covering several blocks, it's full of charming restaurants, cafes and designer boutiques.

Best eateries... Franck, an elegant bistro in the French Concession - the pigeon stuffed with spinach, foie gras and shitake mushrooms served with caramelised soya sauce is divine. Spanish restaurant El Willy is also great and Lost Heaven, a restaurant serving Yunnan cuisine mixed with Vietnamese influences is also a must.

Best place to sip cocktails... Flair (previous page) at the Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, has an excellent selection and spectacular views.

Best place to dance till dawn... Hollywood in the former French Concession. It picks up around 2am. To spice it up on weekends, objects are distributed; examples include melon hats, shades, doctor masks (or staff dressed up as nurses and doctors).

Luxury Concierge China is a bespoke travel service, offering personalised itineraries and tours of cultural, dining and shopping experiences in Shanghai.