"Once upon a time, there were two young Chinese farmers, Mr. Song and Miss Fang, who were living in a remote village of the Fujian province. They had just discovered the secret of tea and they decided to share it with the rest of the world." -- Song Fang's website.
Song Fang is a teahouse and the brainchild of Harvard Business School graduate Florence Sampson. A Shanghai resident of over 10 years, Florence has also adopted Song Fang as her Chinese name. Song means the Song dynasty. Fang means fragrant and of good reputation.
Florence is clearly an elegant lady of great taste. I am absolutely in awe with the interior. Red peony fabric brings a touch of old Chinese. As well as a great wooden birdcage light installation that I wish I could replicate at home.
And then there's her collection of old biscuit tins dated from the 1920s. To me, the tins are like story books. Each tin conveys a chapter of the Chinese history. A piece of nostalgia that without a doubt has mellowed by time and rampant economic development.
But most of all, it's about the tea. From Chinese tieguanyin to French blended tea, Song Fang offers more than 70 types of tea. Either served at the teahouse or for one's enjoyment at home. Florence (dressed in black) also conducts tea appreciation classes.
If you happen to be in Shanghai, I would recommend a teabreak at Song Fang. I wish I didn't have to leave. Or take some of the biscuit tins and birdcages home!
227, Yongjia Lu (close Shaanxi Lu)
Shanghai 200031 China
10am - 8pm
Closed on Mondays