Togs and Tea

LUXE City Guides - Beijing - - Nanluogu Xiang / 南鑼鼓巷 -

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 / plas­teredt­ / 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!

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