The Tinney family may only have arrived from Australia a year ago, but they’re already making a lot of noise on the Beijing scene. Graeme, who works at the Australian Embassy, and Linda, a music teacher, moonlight as the guitar and piano players for super smooth jazz trio Blue in Red, soon to be playing around Beijing. Their kids Sid (12), Harry (10) and Ella (7) are also talented musicians who love to get in on the act at home: Sid rocks the trumpet, Harry plays the bass, and little Ella mans the drums. Pity their neighbors!
Beijing Snack Food
Baozi, of course. Our baozi fix is a hole in the wall on the corner of Dongzhimenwai and Xindong Lu.
Way to Screen Friends
The Great Wall at Mutianyu. The toboggan ride down is a great personality test: How much you scream, how you respond to the slowpoke in front of you, and how much notice you take of the toboggan officials says a lot about you.
Indoor Play Space
Merry Water World in Shunyi: so many water slides, so little time. The hot pools are great in winter.
Grandma’s Kitchen. The decor is a little cutesy but their milkshakes eclipse all that.
Good Report Card Award
Hot chocolate and sumptuous cakes at the Kempinski Deli.
We love to buy croissants and pastries for breakfast at Comptoirs de France at the East Lake complex on Dongzhimenwai.
Playing ping-pong at Ritan Park. If you want to leave with your self-esteem intact, never play the locals – Olympic fever strikes every time!