Magical History Tour
In the Old City, there's the Old Shanghai Teahouse (385 Fangbangzhong Rd; 86-21/5382-1202; tea for two $6), which is part museum, part teahouse, and part salon. "I came here first because of the owner's huge cheongsam collection, but now I love the whole ambience he has created." For a taste of Shanghai fox-trot glamour, Tam visits the circa 1933 Paramount (218 Yuyuan Rd.; 86-21/6249-8866; admission for two $10). Tonight the lead singer is crooning Chinese torch songs. Tam sings along, sounding just like Doris Day.
Fifty Moganshan Road is a series of warehouses along Suzhou Creek that have been converted into artists' studios and antiques shops. Tam wanders from the Western-owned Art Scene Warehouse in Building 4 (86-21/6277-4940) to Buildings 16 and 18, where ShanghART (86-21/6359-3923) represents some of China's best-known contemporary artists. On the way out, she heads up a rusty fire escape, which overlooks a field of red and yellow calla lilies and empty buildings waiting to be renovated. "Can you imagine how great it would be to have a workshop here?" she asks. "Now that's my fantasy."
• Always carry the Chinese address of your destination—the hotel concierge can write it out for you. "Even I do this in Shanghai, because the dialect is so different," says Tam.
• After a long day of shopping, look for a foot massage stand, often located across from hotels. The cost is about $15 an hour. "It's the best thing for jet lag."
• Pick up the monthly English-language magazine That's Shanghai, available at hotels. Great for the latest hot spots.
From funky markets to lush parks, Alice Temperley offers a peek at her boho-chic London
Alice Temperley is a country girl at heart, brought up on a cider farm in bucolic Somerset, 130 miles outside London. "When I moved to the city, I thought it was grim," says the designer, who came here 12 years ago. But as she built her bohemian fashion line—silk dresses, tailored velvet pantsuits, black lace blouses, and, coming this fall, luggage—the urban life grew on her. Temperley's London is an outdoor place, a city of rooftop restaurants and parks, quaint neighborhoods and open-air markets that she explores by bike ("I have a basket on the front for my little dog, Monkey") and in her classic Citroën 2CV.
On Golborne Road, Portuguese patisseries and Moroccan restaurants sit next to electrical repair stores and antiques shops, while wealthy bankers in stucco houses live side by side with working-class traders in council blocks. "Being so close to such a diverse street culture feeds the mind with constant sources of inspiration," says Temperley. After a stop at Les Couilles du Chien (65 Golborne Rd., North Kensington; 44-20/8968-0099), a trove of quirky treasures ("You never know what you're going to see—I've bought beautiful lights made from a ship's figurehead with antlers coming out of the back"), Temperley wanders a few doors down to Ollie's (69 Golborne Rd., North Kensington; no phone), another antiques-packed magnet for her magpie eye.
Many of Temperley's designs have a vintage feel, so it's hardly surprising that she has a taste for London's flea markets. She searches for hidden gems in unexpected places, such as Church Street Market, held on Fridays just off downtrodden Edgware Road. "It's completely rough and awful," she says. "But there are some amazing French-vintage-furniture shops." Temperley also frequents nearby Alfies Antique Market (13-25 Church St., Marylebone; 44-20/7723-6066), where "there's just so much to look at." Her insider shopping source for vintage clothes is the London Vintage Fashion, Textiles & Accessories Fair (Hammersmith Town Hall, King St.; 44-20/8543-5075), which takes place once every five or six weeks. Also on her retail trail: the Façade (99 Lisson Grove, Marylebone; 44-20/7258-2017), filled with lamps and chandeliers from around the globe, and Coco Ribbon (21 Kensington Park Rd., Notting Hill; 44-20/7229-4904), where she goes for lacy underthings. Temperley's favorite gem shop, for "gold jewelry by a range of current designers," EC One (184 Westbourne Grove, Notting Hill; 44-20/7243- 8811), is right near her own store, Temperley London (6-10 Colville Mews, Notting Hill; 44-20/7229-7957).