When I first heard of Old China Hand”, I had no idea what it was, I have since discovered that a China Hand, originally refered to the 19th century European traders dealing in the ports of China, who had a thorough knowledge of the Chinese language, culture and people. The Old China Hand Reading Room in Shanghai was opened in 1996 in the French concession. It is styled on the tastes of the literary expats of years gone by, who were strongly connected to China for over 100 years. As if time has stood still the place is furnished with old paintings, Chinese antiques, sofas and armchairs. The main attraction is however the spectrum of books, new and old, local and foreign, rare and popular, which you can page through while nursing your refreshments. It is after all a book store, so you may buy the books, but just their variety and the welcoming atmosphere will make you want to cuddle up with a book. There are beverages on sale – green tea, coffee, and also a limited menu. And the added advantage of Anglo-Saxon company. There are also art and photographic exhibitions and musical performances every few weeks. So give Starbucks a miss and indulge in a quiet unique cuppa’ on your next trip to Shanghai.
27 Shao Xing Road
Between Ruijin Er Lu and Shanxi Nan Lu
Nearest Train: Shanxi Nán Lu
+86 21 6473 2526
10am – midnight
11am-1am Mon-Fri; 4pm-1am Sat & Sun.- Sorry conflicting info on the net.
NOTE: Don’t get confused with the Old China Hand Pub in Hong Kong and another in London.