French expats Marianne Daquet and Gaël Thoreau have been living in Beijing for six and 12 years respectively. Marianne is an artist and Gaël is the general manager of Beijing Sideways, a tourism business that allows visitors to experience Beijing from a motorcycle sidecar. The couple first met at a friend’s wedding in France; ten days later, Marianne was on a plane to join Gaël in Beijing. Now, they have two daughters: Madeleine (21 months) and Ninon (5 months).
Homemade cake and ice cream made with Marianne’s ice cream maker from France
Favorite Place to Play
The family loves Tiantan Park because it’s huge and a bit “wilder” than other parks. Also, Ritan Park has a kids’ playground.
Favorite Day Trip
The Great Wall at Huanghuacheng
For walking, the family likes the Gulou and Dongsi areas. As for living, they love their neighborhood of Xinfucun.
Marianne recommends the brunch at Temple Restaurant. Gaël recently discovered a concept design shop called Wuhao (5号) on Mao’er Hutong.
Date Night Spot
Maison Boulud, because of the cozy atmosphere and great service. They also like Le Little Saigon for Vietnamese food with a French touch, as well as the terrace in summer.
Favorite Weekend Activities
Walking through “old” Beijing, including Houhai, Gulou, the area around the Confucius and Lama Temples, the Forbidden City, and Jingshan Park. Before they moved to their current apartment, Marianne could be found at the CITIC Hotel Beijing Airport’s outdoor swimming pool.