Uff Tea Merchants: Swingin’ Shanghai

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Your walking stick taps the cobblestones as your partner’s heels click-clack down a dingy street lined with alcoves supporting elevated rail tracks. The Shard pierces through the fog up ahead as you steer your date toward an inconspicuous wall of tea creates. As you push open the door, the echo of dripping pipes and crunching gravel is cut through by swing music, alto saxophones squealing up and down chromatic runs as you and your dashing date step into Uff Tea Merchants. There are few elements that interrupt Uff’s 1930s Shanghai theme, each red lantern and bit of oriental deco window tracery transporting you and your darling to a noirish world of Prohibition-era cocktails, swing dancing, and candlelit romancing. Approach the bar and procure your cocktails for the evening (yes, many contain tea). You’ll have to queue in the line of elegant women draped in furs, thumbing their pearl strands before snagging an Opium Kiss for yourself and a French Concession for your partner. Take a seat in one of the recessed booths as the big band takes the stage. While the bandleader croons and a few couples inspire a little jealously with their coordinated dance moves, speak in hushed tones to your darling about your next daring escape. After all, if you’ve found your way here, there’s nowhere you can’t go together.

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Uff Tea Merchants

8 Holyrood St London SE1

44 20 7403 8293

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