Want to know where other families go to enjoy all this city has to offer? Welcome to Our Favorite Things, where we spend time with a Shanghai family and find out their go-to places around town.
This month we met the Brown family. Fraser, Siobhan and Kaden have been living in Shanghai for the past eight years, afer moving here for Fraser's employment with Spring Airlines. They initially committed to three years, but afer falling in love with this fabulous city, they decided to stay indefinitely. Kaden was born in 2012 at Shanghai United Family hospital, and he now attends the Western International School Shanghai. They have met many people on their Shanghai adventure and relish every moment.
So, let's hear from Siobhan about their favorite things.
I keep it local when meeting girlfriends
We live in Hongqiao, across from Laowei Jie. There is no end to the restaurants for lunch specials, and it's a great area to meet friends. A little further up Hongmei Lu is an area called Soho. Right across the lane is Hikari, a fantastic Japanese restaurant. The staff are friendly, and the food and presentation are outstanding.
We enjoy Little Huia in Hongqiao for brunch
With their outdoor playground and trampoline, this is a fantastic space for kids. It's a nice spot to sit outdoors and watch the kids play while getting some sunshine. Another great place in Hongqiao is Geneva; it has delicious food and fun activities for kids such as movies, cooking classes or specialty brunches to celebrate the holidays.
Enjoy my under-the-radar tip for breakfast
There is a lady who sells breakfast on Hongmei Lu, just past Foreigner Street and across from the Pearl Market. She makes delicious breakfast sandwiches from 8-10am. For RMB3, she includes vegetables, hot sauce, egg, sausage and crusty bread all condensed into a tasty roll; it will keep you full for hours.
We love the park near Yili Lu Metro station
Yili Park is not huge, but it is free to enter and has a big pond. There are large rocks for kids to jump on, a beautiful stream and thick bamboo scattered throughout. It's a fantastic place to go and feed the ducks, fly kites or fish, while enjoying a picnic lunch. Aferward, you can wander across the road to Takashimaya Department Store. There are lots of fun shops, restaurants, toy stores and a frozen yogurt shop in the basement that sells blue ice cream called 'Sea Salt.'
We enjoy an afternoon at the Pearl Market
You can get anything from jewelry, toys, movies and clothes to a haircut at the Pearl Market. Every Friday afer school we head up to the third floor and visit Tony at Fox Movies (Shop No.332). He has the most up-to-date films, music and television series and his recommendations are never wrong. Our other favorite market is the Hongqiao Flower and Bird Market. I love to buy fresh plants and flowers from here in the fall afer we return from our summer vacation.
For Chinese cuisine, we head to the Takashimaya Department Store
On the seventh floor, there is a dim sum restaurant called Crystal Jade. The food is delightful and you can order almost anything. Another fabulous restaurant is Xibo on Changshu Lu near Jing'an Temple. It's a chic spot with a large outdoor patio. The food is Xinjiang inspired, and their bread, lamb skewers and hand-made cold glass noodles are delicious.
Go to Subconscious Day Spa for relaxation
My favorite location is on Fumin Lu. Bring some girlfriends, a bottle of Champagne and enjoy a mani/pedi or their traditional Swedish oil massage. The space is modern, bright and cheerful, and they even have an outdoor patio where you can relax. There are plenty of restaurants nearby for further indulging.
[All images via Sioban Brown]
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