Reports / China / Beijing
The Beijing Report
By Globalista — Last Updated 02/07/2012
Best Night on the Town
Head over to Bed Bar (17 Zhangwang Hutong, Jiu Gulou Dajie, Gulou; +86 10 8400 1554) just north of the Drum Tower for fantastic mojitos on Chinese opium beds while listening to DJ-spun tunes – not too scary, or too loud. For a younger scene, Yu Gong Yi Shan (Gongti Bei Lu 1; +86 10 6415 0687) provides live Chinese heavy rock and alternative acts in a former government warlord’s office, while the Xiu bar in the Park Hyatt hotel (2 Jianguomenwai Street, Chaoyang District; +86 10 8567 1234) has decent live music and a happening crowd. If that sounds too full on, grown-ups can seek out a more upscale scene at Face Bar (26 Dong Cao Yuan, Gong Ti Nan Lu, Chao Yang Qu; +86 10 6551 6788; www.facebars.com), just south of Workers Stadium. It has a beautiful Southeast-Asian style garden and an interior decorated with Buddhas and gongs, and is superbly glamorous. Or head to The Stone Boat (Lakeside, Southwest corner of Ritan Park; +86 10 6501 9986) in Ritan Park, which is popular with diplomatic staff.
Sophisticated partygoers should head to Song (B108 The Place, 9 Guanghua Road, Chaoyang District; +86 10 6587 1311), where they’ll find fantastic dark chocolate martinis and cool tunes, and Yin (33 Qihelou Street, Dong Cheng District; +86 10 6526 5566; www.designhotels.com) at the Emperor hotel for its two-tier rooftop deck with panoramic views of the Forbidden City and a Jacuzzi to boot. The Imperial Granary (22 Dongsishitiao; +86 10 6409 6477; www.imperialgranary.com.cn) – once a Ming wheat storehouse, now an art space, gallery and bar – is a lesson on how to transform the old and aesthetic into the new and cutting-edge.
Best Recovery Plan
Start with a stretch at Yoga Yard (17 Gongti Bei Lu, 6th floor, across from the Workers Stadium north gate; +86 10 6413 0774; www.yogayard.com) followed by a Thai or foot massage at the relaxing Bodhi downstairs (also at 17 Gongti Bei Lu; +86 10 6413 0226; www.bodhi.com.cn), and finish with a late weekend brunch at Boheme (6 Xingfu Yicun, Gongti; +86 10 6413 0086; open Saturday and Sunday 10.30am-3.30pm) located just down the alley.
Also worth trying is the Oriental Taipan Massage and Spa (Jianguomen Spa; 6 Ritan Road; +86 10 6502 5722 or Sanlitun; 1 Xindong Road; +86 10 8532 2177) group which has several branches across town. They do excellent massages, manicures and pedicures, speak good English and have plenty of freshly squeezed juices on offer - perfect after a night out. Or head 45 minutes out of town to the Orchard (Hegezhuang Village, Cuigezhuang Township, Shunyi, right behind the Beijing Riviera and Quanfa Gardens; +86 139 1121 1965) for a Sunday buffet brunch in a country peasant house amid apple trees and a pond – there’s a constant buzz to the place.