With skyscrapers galore and an ever-growing culinary scene, Shanghai, China is a mega-watt melange of rich history and gleaming cosmopolitan pizzazz.
Soaring above the Huangpu River, the Mandarin Oriental Pudong is as slick as they come. In the lobby, a show-stopping mosaic mural draws the eye upwards while contemporary artworks line the walls of every corridor. The bedrooms, enveloped in varying tones of grey, are satisfyingly spacious, there’s a dazzling subterranean pool bordered with bright white loungers and the michelin starred Yong Yi Ting restaurant - with an enticing Jiang Nan menu - is not to be missed.
Yuan Yuan in the Xuhui District serves mouthwatering xiaolongbao (soup dumplings) with hairy crab, for old-style Shanghainese dining in a thoughtfully restored house, FU 1039 is just the place (the lion head meatballs and smoked fish are both spectacular) and ultra-slick T8 touts excellent Asian fusion dishes, plus there’s a club upstairs that makes after-dinner dancing impossible to resist.
Hidden away on Jiashan Road, Peony Rice creates fanciful, made-to-measure cocktail dresses from exquisite Chinese brocades and silks, while Suzhou Cobblers is home to a rainbow of hand-embroidered traditional slippers. You’ll find high-end contemporary fashion and homewares at Shang Xia (above) and the prettiest souvenirs at Songfang Tea House.
Delight in the painted pavilions, rockeries and Koi-filled ponds at the Yuyuan Garden, meander amid the French Concession’s handsome colonial-era mansions or cruise down the Huangpu River after dark for an alternative view of The Bund and the illuminated sky-puncturing buildings.
WHAT TO WEAR:
Riviera jumpsuit, £85, Hush; visit hush-uk.com
Astre loafers, £425, Robert Clergerie from farfetch.com
Facial glow rejuvenating mask, £42, Su-Man; visit suman.com
Rooms at Mandarin Oriental Pudong begin at CNY 1,900 (approx. GBP 222) per night on a bed and breakfast basis; visit mandarinoriental.com/shanghai or tel +86 (21) 2082 9888. British Airways flies from London to Shanghai from £517 return; visit ba.com