Yongfoo Elite

Address: 200 Yongfu Lu/Yongfu Road (near Hunan Lu/Hunan Road), French Concession, Shanghai, China
Tel: +86 21 5466 2727
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Sun 11.30am-midnight
Style: Restaurant bar
Recommended for: Fun/atmosphere
Price guide: High-end

Review last reviewed on 2011-11-23

Yongfoo Elite was Shanghai's first members club and, while it is rather less elite than it used to be (notwithstanding the signs insisting "No Photos"), the sheer splendour of its design and stunning gardens makes it a must-visit.

Stepping off Yongfu Lu into the driveway of this French Concession mansion feels a little like stepping back in time, and as you enter the garden, the time warp increases.

Waterfalls trickle between shallow pools with flickering koi carp and goldfish, creepers scale brick walls, while pine trees, maples, magnolias and a carved Buddha make a contemplative space that feels miles away from the hubbub of Shanghai.

Inside it's packed with stunning antiques. With art deco lampshades, heavy jade ashtrays, porcelain Buddhas, dramatic crystal columns and lovely Chinese paintings, it feels rather like entering the home of an ultra-rich, Jazz Age collector - your own private Shanghai museum, just complete with booze.

The cocktails on the Chinglish menu are, unfortunately, indifferent. On the plus side, the wine list is good for mainland China, there is an impressive selection of teas and a few well-chosen cigars, plus some decent spirits to sip as you take in the view.

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