Of course, we love our kids, and there’s nothing better than carving out family time together. But there’s also the need to get away every so often – to be an adult, a wife, a husband. Date nights can help couples reconnect. Once the kids are squared away with a caretaker, take the night off as a parent and enjoy an uninterrupted dinner, a relaxing spa treatment, or even an overnight stay away from home.
A DINNER DATE
Agua offers eclectic Mediterranean tastes in small servings to share by renowned chef Jordi Valles. Afterward, take a stroll through Sanlitun Village or browse the goods at Yashow Market.
4/F, Nali Patio, 81 Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District (5208 6188, 5208 6198) 朝阳区三里屯路81号那里花园4层
Enjoy Mediterranean-style European cuisine and an extensive wine list in a beautifully decorated restaurant. From Monday through Friday (6-9pm), enjoy half price drinks for happy hour.
2/F, China World Hotel, 1 Jianguomenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District (6505 2266 ext 6644) 朝阳区建国门外大街1号中国大饭店二层
The Big Smoke Bistro
Not your average barbeque joint, this restaurant boasts delicious barbeque, contemporary music, and a lounge made for casual conversation. Food is presented family style, so that you can taste many different starters and main dishes.
Lee World Building (down the alley from Frost Nails), 57 Xingfucun Zhonglu, Chaoyang District (6416 5195) 朝阳区幸福村中路57号楼利世楼
For one of the most impressive views of the city in an ornate setting, look no further than Capital M. Their European menu and large selection of wine and cocktails is sure to impress for lunch, afternoon tea, or dinner.
3/F, 2 Qianmen Pedestrian Street (southeast of Qianmen), Chongwen District (6702 2727) www.capital-m-beijing.com 崇文区前门步行街2号3层
JW Marriott has a superb reputation for fine dining and service, and CRU Steakhouse is proof of that. Offering steaks, seafood, barbecue and teppanyaki, as well as over 200 bottles of wines to choose from in an intimate ambiance, this steakhouse is the perfect place for a special evening out.
2/F, JW Marriott Hotel, China Central Place, 83 Jianguo Lu, Chaoyang District (5908 8530) 朝阳区建国路83号华贸中心JW万豪酒店2层
Grange Grill 紫云轩茶事
Steaks at Grange Grill are exceptional and the cheese fondue options are amazing. Portions are generous, so be conscious of saving room for dessert. All in all, expect great food, a great view, and great service.
2/F, The Westin Beijing Chaoyang, 7 Dongsanhuan Beilu, Chaoyang District (5922 8880) 朝阳区朝阳区东三环北路7号威斯汀扒房
Green T. House Living
Enjoy delicious dishes, inspired by traditional Chinese fare with a modern twist. An art gallery, retail space, cultural center and modern dining restaurant rolled into one: Green T. House is like no other. If you want even more indulgence, add a Green T. House bath and spa treatment, and overnight stay to the itinerary.
318 Hegezhuang Village, Cuigezhuang, Chaoyang District (8456 4922 ext 8 or 1360 113 7132) www.green-t-house.com 朝阳区崔各庄乡合各庄村318号
Lazzy Cafe 闲散光音
For a chat in a lovely cafe and teahouse in Wudaoying Hutong, try the extensive menu of food and drinks at Lazzy Cafe.
19 Wudaoying Hutong, Dongcheng District (6446 2073) 东城区东城区雍和宫桥南路五道营胡同甲19号
Maison Boulud 布鲁宫法餐厅
For a memorable evening surrounded by glamorous décor, head to celebrity chef Daniel Boulud’s Beijing restaurant. The fine French cuisine and exotic flavors are known by all to be worth the trip.
Ch’ien Men 23, 23 Qianmen Dongdajie, Dongcheng District (6559 9200) 东城区前门东大街23号
Mosto offers exciting contemporary food with a South American touch, an excellent wine list, and friendly service. After dinner, see what bustling Sanlitun has to offer.
3/F, Nali Patio, 81 Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District (5208 6030) www.mostobj.com 朝阳区三里屯路81号那里花园3层
Nuage serves elegant Vietnamese food. The top floor offers an incredible lakeside view. For a bit of culture and shopping, take a walk around Qianhai Lake afterward.
22 Qianhai Dongyan, Xicheng District (6401 9581) www.nuage.com.cn
For a peaceful, romantic setting, an enviable wine list and fine international cuisine, The Orchard never fails to please. Notify them if there is a special occasion and they will make it even more memorable.
From Jingshun Lu, turn left (west) at Shunbai Lu Intersection, (turn at the driveway just west of the Hegezhuang Village Sign), Chaoyang District (6433 6270) 朝阳区崔各庄乡何各庄村(过何各庄村路标往南转)
The award-winning Lido restaurant boasts sleek décor and an outdoor terrace – and of course, great food. Choose from their two- or three-course menu, or come for their set lunch or Sunday brunch. Dishes change frequently; visit their website for the latest ones.
2/F, 9 Jiangtai Xilu (opposite the Japanese School, west of Rosedale Hotel), Chaoyang District (6437 8457) www.saltrestaurantbeijing.com 朝阳区将台西路9号2层（珀丽酒店西边)
Sureño offers contemporary international cuisine in a modern atmosphere for a fine dining experience. Let them know if you are celebrating an anniversary or special occasion for some added touches.
B1/F, The Opposite House, Sanlitun Village, 11 Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District (6410 5240) www.surenorestaurant.com 朝阳区三里屯路11号三里屯Village瑜舍地下1层
Tavola Italian Dining 塔沃拉意大利餐厅
For outstanding Italian food in elegant surroundings, Tavola is the place to go. From casual pizzas to more robust meals, wines, desserts and set dinner menus and lunches, it’s no wonder why diners feel this is the most outstanding Italian restaurant around.
2/F, The Grand Summit, Section B, Liangmaqiao Diplomatic Mansion, 19 Dongfang Donglu, Chaoyang District (8532 5068) www.tavola-bj.com 朝阳区东方东路19号亮马桥外交公寓会所2层
The Veggie Table 吃素的
Vegetarians don’t need to settle for salads and skimpy choices; dishes at The Veggie Table are filling and packed with flavor. Pair the meal with a walk through Lama Temple or Ditan Park.
19 Wudaoying Hutong, Dongcheng District (6446 2073) 东城区五道营胡同19号
A SOCIAL DATE
Black Sesame Kitchen
In a renovated courtyard with an open kitchen and dining room,
attendees can cook, wine and dine. This is a great place to try something different, and is tremendously entertaining with a group of friends.
3 Heizhima Hutong, Dongcheng District (136 9147 4408)
From regional Chinese cuisine to pizzas and curries and more, this courtyard cooking school offers a variety of cooking experiences.
1 Jiudaowan Zhongxiang Hutong (southeast of Beixinqiao subway station), Dongcheng District (6404 3355, 159 0104 6127) www.thehutong.com
Lost Heaven 花马天堂
For delicious Yunnan food in an elegant environment, this restaurant and bar accommodates large groups for an enjoyable evening out. Drinks are prepared by a top mixologist.
23 Qianmen Dongdajie, Dongcheng District (8516 2698)
A SIMPLER DATE
It is easy to find a cafe in Beijing with a multitude of Starbucks and Costa on almost every corner. For more unique locations, consider Central Perk with décor inspired by the TV show Friends, Café Zarah with ever-changing art photographs on display, or Ocean Grounds Coffee with organic coffee and tea.
Choose any portion of the Great Wall (more adventurous parts include Huanghua and Juyongguan) – or head out to Beijing Botanical Garden. Another option is staying close to home: checking out Chaoyang Park, Ritan Park, or Beihai Park.
Beijing Botanical Garden: Daily 9am-5pm. Wofo Si Lu, Xiangshan, Haidian District (6259 1283) en.beijingbg.com 北京植物园和卧佛寺, 海淀区海淀区香山卧佛寺路
Many of the smaller massage and spa locations in your neighborhood have home services available, especially for foot massages. After the kids are in bed, it’s a great time to enjoy a dual foot massage in the privacy and relaxation of your own home.
It’s as easy as taking a spin on your own two wheels. If you’re unsure of where to explore, Bike Beijing (www.bikebeijing.com) provides guided tours – half-day or full-day – with different scenic routes to choose from.
Reminisce with The 80’s Game or The 70’s Game, or find out more about each other with Spouseology. Check www.amazon.com or www.taobao.com for these board games and more – or try easy impromptu games, like Who Am I? or Two Truths and a Lie.
Dinner and a Movie at Home
After the kids are tucked in, open a bottle of wine and enjoy a movie together. Wine (with or without dinner) can be delivered from Sherpas (www.sherpa.com.cn), Gung Ho! (www.gunghopizza.com) and Jinshisong (www.jinshisong.com).
Snuggle up to your partner, get your feet moving, and dance, dance, dance! Learn how the pros do it by taking private or group lessons in ballroom, swing and Latin dance styles at Beijing Ballroom Dancing Club. They have regular parties and events on Saturday nights at the Sino-Chu Wine Bar. Or spice up your life with some flamenco – all levels, no excuses – at Casa Flamenco! In addition to dance lessons, they also offer guitar lessons and Spanish language instruction.
Beijing Ballroom Dancing Club: Sino-Chu Wine Bar 18 Liangmahe Nanlu (behind the Australian Embassy), Chaoyang District (8532 2418, firstname.lastname@example.org) groups.yahoo.com/group/Beijing-Ballroom 朝阳区东直门外大街亮马河南路18号
Casa Flamenco: Tue-Fri 7am-9pm, Sat-Sun 2-7pm. 11-1-14, 9 Jianwai Dajie, Qijiayuan Diplomatic Residence Compound, Chaoyang District (8532 1915, 139 1091 4251, email@example.com) 朝阳区建外大街9号齐家园外交公寓11-1-14
Even with spring in the air, you can enjoy a brisk spin on the ice. Take lessons from professional coaches, watch up-and-comers twirl around the rink, or skate freely with your date! Popular indoor rinks include All Star Champion Skating Club in Solana and China World Shopping Mall’s Le Cool. A bonus for both: you can dine (as well as shop) after you’ve worked up an appetite.
All Star Champion Skating Club: Mon-Thu: RMB 40 (before 6 pm), RMB 50 (after 6pm); Fri: RMB 40 (before 6pm), RMB 60 (after 6pm); Sat-Sun: RMB 60 for admission. Daily 10am-9.40pm. 1/F, Solana Lifestyle Shopping Park, 6 Chaoyang Gongyuan Lu, Chaoyang District (5905 6328) 朝阳区朝阳公园路6号蓝色港湾国际商区首层
Le Cool: Weekdays: RMB 30 for 90 min (10am-6pm), RMB 40 for 90 min (6-10pm). Weekends: RMB 50 for 90 min. Skate rental included. Daily 10am-10pm. B2/F, China World Shopping Mall, 1 Jianguomenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District (6505 5776, firstname.lastname@example.org) www.lecoolicerink.com 朝阳区建国门外大街1号国贸地下2层
A SPA DATE
Bodhi Therapeutic Retreat 菩提会所
Choose from a variety of professional spa treatments: foot and body massages (including a traditional Thai massage), facials, and body wraps – while enjoying food prepared by their Thai chef.
17 Gongti Beilu, Chaoyang District (6417 9595) www.bodhi.com.cn 朝阳区工体北路17号
See Directory for Bodhi Sense.
Dragonfly Therapeutic Retreat 悠庭保健会所
This Shanghai-based chain has a high-end reputation in the spa world. A vast menu of packages offers plenty of options.
1/F, Grand Summit Plaza, 19 Dongfang Donglu (100m north of Lufthansa Center), Chaoyang District (8532 3122) 朝阳区朝阳区燕莎桥东方东路19号外交会所1层（燕莎中心路北100米)
See Directory under Family Health for other locations.
i Spa 泰美好
i Spa offers special packages for couples, and all rooms are private suites, so explore a treatment that works for you and yours. They have six locations throughout Beijing.
5/F, Tower 2, Taiyue Suites, Sanlitun Nanlu, Chaoyang District (6507 1517, 8595 2277 ext 5666) www.ispa.cn/en 朝阳区三里屯南路泰悦豪庭2座5层
Le Spa 水漾会馆
From facials and foot massages, to a variety of massages and body treatments, Le Spa has the ambiance and service to boast as a popular spa treatment business. Drink tea, appreciate soft music, and enjoy some mind and body pampering as a couple.
Le Spa, River Garden, Houshayu, Shunyi District (8046 6558) 顺义区后沙峪镇裕京花园水漾会馆7号
Peninsula Spa by ESPA 半岛水疗中心
Complete luxury in this sophisticated spa includes an Asian Tea Lounge, 12 treatment rooms and private locker facilities.
3/F, The Peninsula, 8 Jinyuhutong, Wangfujing, Dongcheng District (8516 2888 ext 6090) 东城区东城区王府井金鱼胡同8号2王府半岛酒店三层
The Wellness Spa by Hummingbird
Try out a custom-made Ayurvedic massage bed or be treated in the VIP suite at the ever-popular Hummingbird spa.
Bldg 26, Central Park, 6 Chaoyangmenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District (6533 6922) www.hummingbird.net.cn 朝阳区朝阳门外大街6号新城国际26号楼
A CULTURAL DATE
798 Art District
With all of the galleries, cafes and quaint shops in this area, 798 is perfect for a weekend afternoon without kids. Appreciate art and enjoy some non-kid time (although 798 can be family-friendly as well).
4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang District 朝阳区大山子酒仙桥路4号
Catch a Film
Remember when movie dates were the norm? Sanlitun Village’s Mega Box, China World’s Cinema Palace and Solana’s SAGA cinema often host blockbuster films in English. For art house films, stop by Broadway Cinematheque at MOMA. See Directory for details.
Century Theater 世纪剧院
Set within the 21st Century Hotel, this large theater hosts musical concerts, ballets and more on a regular basis. For the latest attractions, check the theater’s website.
21st Century Hotel, 40 Liangmaqiao Lu, Chaoyang District (6466 4805) www.centurytheatre.net 朝阳区亮马桥路40号(21世纪饭店)
National Centre for the Performing Arts 国家大剧院
Anyone living in Beijing should visit the “Egg” at least once. Choose a symphony orchestra performance, ballet or the Peking Opera, to name just a few, and enjoy a sophisticated evening out with unforgettable entertainment.
2 West Chang’an Avenue, Xicheng District (6655 0000) www.chncpa.org/ens 西城区西长安街2号
A WEEKEND GETAWAY
Aman Resort & Spa at Summer Palace
Hidden away 15km from the Forbidden City is an historical dwelling once used by Summer Palace guests awaiting an audience with Empress Dowager Cixi. Now the luxurious Aman Resort & Spa, this location is perfect for a special overnight excursion, and the decadent pampering is more than worth the price.
Summer Palace, 15 Gongmenqian Jie, Summer Palace, Haidian District (5987 9999) www.amanresorts.com 颐和园, 海淀区宫门前街15号颐和园
Beijing Longxi Hotspring Resort
Featuring a spa, dining, accommodations and entertainment, this 8,700sqm hot spring world is indulgence in its truest form. It’s graceful and cozy with extra activities to keep you entertained during your stay.
8 Shunjing Lu, Pangge Town, Daxing District (8928 2222) www.longxiresort.com/en 大兴区庞各庄顺景路8号
Commune by The Great Wall Kempinski 长城脚下的公社
A truly extravagant escape from the city would be staying a night or two at this posh location. Modern art and architecture take the form of 42 villas (11 of which may only be rented in full). An additional 190 rooms and suites are also available. Hike along the Shuiguan Great Wall by day and relax surrounded by mountains and luxury by night.
The Shuiguan Great Wall exit on the Badaling Expressway, Yanqing County (8118 1888 ext 5706) www.communebythegreatwall.com/en 延庆县八达岭高速路水关长城出口
Great Wall Fresh
Just over an hour from Beijing is a restaurant, guest house and Chinese country home all in one. This peaceful Chenjiapu village by the Great Wall allows you to hike undisturbed, returning to a meal prepared with freshly-picked vegetables by your local hosts, the Chen family. Pickup and drop off service is available. Call Mr. Chen directly (313 684 8161, 136 1126 4212, Chinese only) or visit www.greatwallfresh.com.
Jiuhua Spa and Resort 九华山庄
One of the most well-known hot springs in Beijing, Jinhua Spa and Resort was formerly a royal retreat. Surrounded by ancient architecture and clear springs, there is a sense of tranquility and relaxation here. There are courtyard accommodations, private villas, numerous restaurants on site and all kind of spa treatments using naturally sourced springs.
Xiao Tangshan Zhen, Changping District (6178 2288) www.jiuhua.com.cn
Red Capital Club 新红资俱乐部
Beijing’s first courtyard home restaurant and private hotel located in a hutong, Red Capital showcases nostalgia and culture in a modern fashion.
It is one of the most romantic of places to stay within the city.
66 Dongsi Jiutiao, Dongcheng District (6402 7150, 8401 8886) www.redcapitalclub.com.cn东城区东四九条66号
The Schoolhouse at Mutianyu
The ever-popular Schoolhouse area by Mutianyu draws people looking for a delicious meal or for those wanting a weekend retreat away from the city amongst the beautiful surroundings of The Great Wall. Choose from guest rooms to entire private homes.
12 Mutianyu Village, Huairou District (6162 6506) www.theschoolhouseatmutianyu.com 怀柔区慕田峪村12号
The St. Regis Beijing 北京瑞吉酒店
Truly luxurious, the spa and accommodations at the St. Regis are second to none. Guests can summon their personal butler or professional masseur at any time, and spa offerings are heavenly. Enjoy the pool, putting green, restaurants and more.
21 Jianguomenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District (6460 6688) www.stregis.com/beijing 朝阳区建国门外大街21号
A NIGHT OUT
For an amazing overlook of Beijing and a choice of over 300 cocktails, there is Atmosphere – the highest bar in the city. Enjoy live music and incredible scenery via floor-to-ceiling windows.
80/F, China World Summit Wing, 1 Jianguomenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District (6505 2299 ext. 6432/6433) www.shangri-la.com/beijing 朝阳区建国门外大街1号北京国贸大酒店80层
Creative infusions of flavor are impressive in each and every cocktail you order at Twilight. The décor is elegant for a comfortable date night, and jazz music sets the mood. Hungry? There are lunch set menus and dinner options.
3/F, 0102, Bldg 5, Jianwai Soho, 39 Dongsanhuan Zhonglu, Chaoyang District (5900 5376) 朝阳区东三环中路39号建外Soho5号0102单元3层
Some of the best drinks in Beijing can be found at Apothecary, which serves creative modern cocktails mimicking those of the past. They also offer New Orleans-style food.
3/F, Nali Patio, 81 Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang District (5208 6040) 朝阳区三里屯路81号那里花园3层
Step into this upscale bar of semi-private rooms decorated with
Southeast Asian antiques. Expect high-class beverages and service.
26 Dongcaoyuan, Gongti Nanlu, Chaoyang District (6551 6788) www.facebars.com/en/beijing/restaurant 朝阳区工体南路东草园26号
There’s nothing like laughter to keep the mood light. Beijing Improv regularly sells out its bilingual comedy shows, so be sure to reserve tickets in advance.
(132 4077 5936, email@example.com) www.beijingimprov.org
photo by SUI, I SPA and Judy Zhou.