Ground Floor, Fairmont Peace Hotel, 20 Nanjing Dong Lu/Nanjing East Road (corner with Zhongshan Dong Yi Lu/Zhongshan East Road), Shanghai, 南京东, China
Tel: +86 21 6321 6888
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Sun noon-2am
Style: Hotel bar
Recommended for: Fun/atmosphere
Price guide: High-end
Images By: diffordsguide.com
Once the Cathay Hotel, Shanghai's most modern and luxurious hotel, complete with its own fresh spring water piped in to order, the Peace Hotel on the Bund played host to Charlie Chaplin and Noel Coward among others. Today it is a Shanghai landmark, and its Jazz Bar the place to be for a slice of Shanghai history.
Back in the day, from 1929, the Jazz Bar was known as the Horse and Hound. Musicians were brought over from the US to play initially, before homegrown Shanghai talents took it over.
The impressive space, with its mullioned windows, exposed timber, splendid colonnades, parquet floor and long mahogany bar, has been spared the gilt-heavy refurb that the rest of the hotel recently underwent. A veteran jazz band, with an average age of 75, play every evening from 8pm.
The cocktail menu will not please purists, featuring an Old-Fashioned with soda and a Mai-Tai including Amaretto and multiple juices, but we were pleasantly surprised to receive a well-balanced Sidecar.
The spirits selection is good by Shanghai standards and includes a list of Maotai, the spirit of celebration among Chinese businessmen, at prices running well into the thousands. Or, of course, you could go for a Guinness with your jazz.