5 local gems worth visiting in Beijing

Spin Ceramics

1. Spin Ceramics

This spot in Beijing’s cosmopolitan Lido district sits at the confluence of old and new China. The store’s sleek and modern handmade tableware is designed by a young international team but formed and fired in China’s ancient ceramics city of Jingdezhen. Expect to find Minimalism and asymmetry galore as you browse the shelves of earth-toned cups, bowls and sake bottles, as well as the odd surprise in the form of a cheeky face winking back at you from an otherwise unassuming vase.

 

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Vue Hotel and Pink Rabbit

2. Vue Hotel and Pink Rabbit

Vue Hotel and its accompanying restaurant, Pink Rabbit, make up what is hands-down the most tasteful venue on the shores of Beijing’s historic Houhai Lake. With the outside comprising a 1950s government building and the inside fashioned by Singapore’s Ministry of Design like a work of contemporary art, this marriage of opposites is one of a kind. Stylish guest rooms are kitted out in bold and colourful furnishings, while the Pink Rabbit menu consists of scrumptious tapas and mains. Fresh ingredients are the stars of the show, with the imported French oysters and Australian steaks well worth splashing out on. The wine and cocktail offerings are also impressive.

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King’s Joy

3. King’s Joy

King’s Joy – located in a beautifully renovated courtyard in the fashionable Wudaoying Hutong – has long reigned as Beijing’s most upscale vegetarian restaurant. Don’t expect to be served rabbit food here, though; the extensive offerings are a riot of flavours and textures, with rich sauces, punchy seasonings and stylish presentations that would make even a card-carrying carnivore salivate. The brainchild of head chef Pan Jianjun – who was tasked with promoting vegetarian food to the world when he was a disciple at a monastery – and owner David Yin, a nutritionist, you can be sure you’ll get your five-a-day and plenty of protein here.

+86 10 8404 9191

 

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Hive Center for Contemporary Art

4. Hive Center for Contemporary Art

It’s not always easy to decide which galleries to visit in Beijing’s vast 798 Art Zone, but if you only choose one, perhaps the Hive Center for Contemporary Art should be it. Originally launched in 2008 as the Iberia Center for Contemporary Art, the name change came in 2013 when the space rebranded as a commercial gallery with a focus on the modern living and collective thinking that characterise Chinese society. Its five international-standard exhibition halls cover a huge area of 4,000m², making it one of the largest art institutions in the country. Established and emerging artists from China and beyond are showcased here, with installations and themes often of a refreshingly avant-garde nature.

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Arch Bar

5. Arch Bar

One of the newest offerings on Beijing’s bar scene is almost infuriatingly hard to find – but that’s part of the charm. Hidden within a large courtyard away from the road near Zhangzizhonglu station, this speakeasy-style drinkers’ retreat only grants you entry if you can find the button by the door. Once inside, you’ll be greeted by a heady haven of cosy vintage furniture, sleek modern touches and a bar stocked like no other. The playfully named signature drinks, such as Paper Plane and Dust in the Wind, are a boon for true cocktail aficionados, but classic mixes and no less than four pages of whiskies will sate those with simpler tastes.

+86 10 6333 6188

Photography by Zhan Min/ImagineChina

SEE ALSO: City Guide: Beijing 

This article was originally published in the December 2018 issue of SilverKris magazine

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