Venue: Laoshe Teahouse
Duration: 2 hours
Summary:The practice of drinking tea has had a long history in China, and tea is deeply woven into the history and culture of China. Have a try of this ancient beverage and enjoy tea-making performance simply for pleasure.
When you’re feeling all “touristed-out” and need to relax with a good cup of tea, an excellent stop would be the elegant Laoshe Teahouse at Qianmen; it’s off the main tourist itinerary. It is named after the drama “Teahouse” by Chinese author Lao She. An attempt to revive the atmosphere of a Beijing tea-house during Lao She’s time, it has instead evolved into a wonderful entertainment house with short shows by comedians, singers, musicians, acrobats and opera performers. In short, one can have a kaleidoscopic view of Beijing culture while sipping tea with light refreshment. Dinner before the show is provided separately in another section of the building and the price of the food is reasonable. An adjacent room displays paintings, art objects like paper-cuts, figurines, antiques, kites and jade carvings.
The teahouse is decorated and furnished in the late Qing Dynasty style, with dozens of old-style tables in the hall seating 50 to 100 and a stage beyond. Palace lanterns hang from the ceiling, and scrolled traditional Chinese paintings and calligraphy works from the walls. An electronic display over the stage subtitles the show in Chinese, English and Japanese. Tea is the major draw and there is a great snack menu including dried plums, pastries and baozi (steamed buns). Customers sip tea from their covered fine porcelain tea cups and taste imperial and local style snacks as they savour folk performances and emulate the leisure moments of old Beijingese.