Photo: Andrew Williamson
Lisa Bate spent nearly four years at the helm of the Shanghai outpost of B+H Architects, a firm with over 226 million square feet of built space in China. Though she moved home to her native Toronto this year (Bate is now regional managing principal for North America), she’s back in Shanghai often, visiting her husband and her son, who is finishing high school. “We love to hop on the subway, pick a location and explore.”
1. Daning Lingshi Park
This 68-hectare park has ponds, gardens, an amusement park and restaurant. It’s great for people-watching, which is how B+H came up with the idea for the wooden Butterfly Pavilion — named for its unravelling cocoon shape — to commemorate our 20th anniversary in the city. Now, it’s a spot where people take wedding photos, kids play and security guards have tea.
1068 Yichuan Rd., Zhabei
Photo: Planetpix / Alamy Stock Photo
2. Taikang Lu
You can get everything from prints to pottery to custom bobble heads — or a suit made at the fabric market in about 24 hours — on this commercial street. My favourite spot is a bar called Rambler, which feels like being in someone’s living room. We eat dumplings and fries and play foosball.
Tianzifang, Lane 210, Taikang Lu
Photo: Charlie Xia
3. Hai by Goga
My guests always wonder where I’m taking them when we come here. You go into the Shanghai Education Hotel and take a tiny elevator to the seventh floor, but then you step onto a covered rooftop terrace with just 36 seats and a view of the Xuhui district. The pork belly was rated one of the top three in Shanghai, and I love the seared scallops with crushed cashews.
1 Yueyang Rd., Xuhui, 86-21-3461-7893
4. Helen Nail Spa
I love this place in a shikumen house for its small scale, with rooms that seat four to six for manicures and pedicures. I usually get a facial with an amazing woman called Fei Fei. Helen herself is from Henan and came to Shanghai as a migrant worker. She built up her own business and now hires women from her home province.
6 Lane 819, Julu Lu, Jing’An, 86-21-5403-7802