Togs and Tea
Once a dusty, drab hutong, now a hubbub of junky to hip boutiques, cafes and bars. It’s ultra busy and touristy; your best bet is to use the main artery as a guide and nip down adjoining alleyways. Avoid weekends like the plague if you wish to retain your sanity. Ready? Have your taxi drop you off at the gate of Nanluogu Xiang (south entrance) at Ping’an Dadao (Di’anmen Dong Dajie) /平安大道/地安門東大街. Stroll down for flowy, classic Chinese blouses at #110-2 Jian Ping / 6402 4779 / on the right, then spin into cashmere shawl and silk scarf spot Woo at #110-1 / 6400 5395. Exit and hang your third left for Mao’er Hutong /貓兒胡同/ to find Celadon on the cnr at #103 / 6405 9107 / with teapots and a cuppa. Head back to the main drag for Handmade Pottery at #80 / 6403 9747 / feat. ceramic dishes, pots and other knick-knacks. Thirsty? Salud is at #66 / 6402 5086 / and handy dandy for a rum cocktail. Liquid courage! But don’t get tipsy, there’s tons yet. Pass Shajing Hutong for, ahem, Plastered at #61 / 6407 8425 / plasteredtshirts.com / popular for its ironic Communist tees. Totter on to sample some delicious local dairy at #49 Wenyu Yogurt Shop / next to the churros shop /文宇酸奶店/ and top Chinese tea at #43 Zhen Cha Lin / 6403 8610, then NLGX at #33 / 6404 8088 / stocks street-chic hoodies, trackies n’ kicks. Swivel your hips next right into Ju’er Hutong for Korean victuals at #20 Saveurs de Corée / 6401 6083 / should you need stronger sustenance. Back on the main road, Shanghai 1936 is at #21 / 6401 3799 / for trad with a twist m/w wear, and just a hop further along on the right side at #16 is Silver jewellery shop for umm, hello. Shimmy down Xiao Ju’er Hutong, the next tiny lane on the right, to #71 Hu Tong Ren Courtyard Hotel and end in its zen-tastic bamboo tearoom and shop, or if you want more, back to cashmere cutie Philippe Le Bac on the main street at #13 / 8403 2742. Haven’t you done marvellously? Marathon shopper!