Bei­jing

Qantas - - QNEWS. -

When my friends are in town, I take them for a drink at… In­fu­sion Room, up­stairs at D Lounge (Court­yard 4, Gongti Bei Lu, Chaoyang). It’s a re­laxed speakeasy-style bar with a great cock­tail list. An­other is Scan­dal, next door (Court­yard 4, Gongti Bei Lu, Chaoyang), which spe­cialises in cock­tails, in­clud­ing some in­fused with cof­fee beans, co­rian­der and rose­mary. The restau­rant that best shows off Bei­jing is… Jing Yaa Tang, here at The Op­po­site House (ho­tel.qan­tas.com.au/theop­po­site­house), which is fa­mous for Pek­ing duck; the meat is ten­der and the skin is so crisp. The eclec­tic menu is pulled from var­i­ous re­gions around China, un­like many in the city that fo­cus on a spe­cific area.

For a busi­ness meet­ing, I book a ta­ble at… Opera Bom­bana (op­er­abom­bana.com), a fab­u­lous Ital­ian restau­rant with ex­cel­lent food, wine and ser­vice. The ta­bles are well po­si­tioned for pri­vacy.

For my caffeine fix, I go to… Soloist Cof­fee Co. (39 Yang­meizhu Xiejie, Xicheng), a great al­ter­na­tive in Bei­jing where the cof­fee scene is dom­i­nated by chains. Soloist is aimed at con­nois­seurs who want a more re­fined cof­fee ex­pe­ri­ence.

Pick up the per­fect sou­venir at… an amaz­ing place called Plas­tered T-Shirts (plas­tered tshirts.com). They have a hu­mor­ous ap­proach to gifts, with ev­ery­thing from neon chop­sticks and canned Bei­jing air to great Chi­nese logo T-shirts.

For a ro­man­tic ex­pe­ri­ence, go to… Jing­shan Park at sun­set. You can walk up to an old pav­il­ion [built in the early 16th cen­tury], which is the high­est point in Bei­jing and over­looks the For­bid­den City.

When it’s rain­ing, stop by… Mr. X Es­cape Room (Shi­mao Guangchang, 13 Gongti Bie Lu, San­l­i­tun, Chaoyang). You’re locked in a room and have an hour to find your way out by solv­ing clues and puz­zles. The room starts mov­ing while you’re in there and laser lights come on – it’s re­ally fun. Bei­jing’s best kept se­cret is… Bei­jing Side­ways (bei­jingside­ways.com), a city-sights tour by a lo­cal guide on a mo­tor­bike with a side­car, which you travel in. With Bei­jing’s heavy traf­fic, you need to have strong nerves but our guests rave about it.

The Im­pe­rial Palace (For­bid­den City), Bei­jing

Paul Stan­ton

The Op­po­site House

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