It might be Halloween, but in lieu of tricks, I went for a real treat.
A dear friend is leaving Shanghai, and after the stresses of packing up her house and saying her goodbyes, she decided a staycation was in order at one of the most mellow hotels in the city.
The PuLi hotel markets itself as a hotel "and Spa", so it's no surprise that it is a veritable urban oasis in the midst of busy, downtown Jing'an. From the second you peel off the packed pavement to enter, behind the building's facade, the minimal design, burble of trickling water, and sinuous curves of orchids send tranquility seeping into your skin.
All of this calming energy did little, however, to quell my excitement over a breakfast buffet fit for an army, albeit maybe one of monks.
The dining room itself is a study in stunning East-meets-West interiors - overlooking Jing'an Park, it gives you a rare green view in the city center and makes you feel like you're perched in a tree house. But all we were looking at was the food.
They have everything - a loaded bread board (love the freshly-baked bagels!), a 'Western' table with pastries galore, a cereal bar (with fantastic bircher muesli), fruits, and cold meats, and a 'Chinese' table with dim sum and congee/jook.
And this is all before the a la carte menu.
BYO Marmite. NBD.
We attacked with the discipline of a zen master and left little in our wake.
So next time you're in need, go ahead:
1 Changde Lu. mear Yan'an Zhong Lu