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March 16, 2012

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Wine and clothes and jewelry, oh my!

LEFT behind the clamor of the west side, Fuxing Road M. gets quieter as you walk further east. But let us not be fooled. Even though the area is quiet it hosts some new and interesting places. The slower pace is good for shoppers to take their time to wander into shops that catch their attention. The shops sell harder to find items such as jewelry made in Tibet or clothes directly from Spain. And if you walk along this long road you can also find a new wine shop with a wide variety of vintages. Along the way, there are also several eateries that provide options if you're in the mood for some local delights like crayfish. With the weather showing signs of warming up, wandering along Fuxing Road M. and exploring its treats is a good activity on a lazy spring afternoon.

El Amor De La Vida

This cafe/shop opened just two months ago. The owners are two Shanghainese sisters who have a passion for Europe, particularly for Spain. All the clothes in the shop, in fact, come directly from Spain, where one of the two sisters is based, the other one lives in Canada. Despite of this, they are in Shanghai often, bringing new merchandise to the shop section. The selection is suitable for middle-aged women who like fashionable, yet unpretentious clothing. These clothes are suitable for every-day use and prices range from 200 yuan (US$31.58) to 1,000 yuan. The two owners wanted to create a very intimate space, especially for friends. The cafe offers Spanish and Italian dishes, but it's best to reserve a table because it's usually used only for special events or for friends. So, if you want to go, don't forget to call. The Mediterranean set menu goes from 188 yuan to 500 yuan and a cup of coffee is around 38 yuan to 58 yuan.

Opening hours: 11am-10pm

Address: 1335 Fuxing Rd M.

Tel: 5412-2018


Grassroots is a nice jewelry boutique. It opened last September. The designer is based in Shanghai and the workshop is in Tibet. The designer, Zhu Chuanlin, sources most of the natural stones in China then sends her designs to the Tibet workshop where five artisans create them. This is their second shop in Shanghai after the first shop opened on Wulumuqi Road in 2009. About 70 percent of the pieces are created by the workshop and the rest are sourced from Tibet. They stock earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Everything is made with Chinese stones and silver, mostly antique silver from Tibet. The style is kind of rustic, for a modern city woman who looks for a mixture between East and West. The price range is very wide too, from 90 yuan to 10,000 yuan for an expensive stone such as amber. In the boutique you can see pictures from Tibet and antique Tibetan furniture, which is also for sale. The furniture price range varies from 3,000 yuan to 10,000 yuan. Grassroots also stocks ethnic clothing from Yunnan Province.

Opening hours: 9am-10pm

Address: 1325 Fuxing Rd M.

Tel: 3461-9570

Santa Cecilia Music Cafe

Named after the protection patroness of musicians, Santa Cecilia, this cafe is a nice hang out place for classical music lovers. The two-floor cafe, set in an old lane house, is very much like an old-time European cafe, with old posters on the walls and instruments like piano and drum set on display. The cafe offers coffee, simple dishes, sandwiches as well as home-made sweets. The "Old Shanghai" breakfast, priced at 30 yuan, is inspired by the nostalgic flavors in the 1930s. A set of Russian borscht, white toast, Chinese red sausage and a cup of coffee or black tea is a typical mix of different influences from the 1930s. Home-made cakes and cookies are also popular here such as the chocolate truffle cake (38 yuan) and cheese cake (32 yuan). Only a two-minute walk from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, the cafe often hosts music salons and parties for students.

Opening hours: 8:30am-10pm

Address: No. 2, Lane 64 Fenyang Rd (door facing Fuxing Rd M.)

Tel: 6418-3077

Plus Wine

An increasing interest in wine among locals has led to the opening of wine bars here and there. Plus Wine is a relatively new addition to the city's wine scene. This four-story wine bar is set in an old building with wine bottles lining the shelves on the first floor. The concept is to promote wine culture and introduce a careful selection of good-quality wines from around the world at lower prices. Among the 52 bottles on offer, the price range starts from 148 yuan for a bottle from Sicily to 935 yuan for a Barolo Piemonte wine. If you choose to take the bottle home, a 20 percent discount is offered on each bottle. Every Monday to Friday from 4-8pm Plus Wine has a buy-one-get-one-free on house wines (40 yuan to 55 yuan by the glass). Every Tuesday is lady's night and from 8pm women pay only 25 yuan for a glass. Guests can choose from a variety of tapas and dishes, such as a cheese platter for 158 yuan, roasted beef skewers with potato chips for 42 yuan and beef carpaccio for 78 yuan.

Opening hours: 12am-2am

Address: 579 Fuxing Rd M.

Tel: 6049-9229


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