After a long week in the city you sometimes just need to get away from it all. The good news is that you don’t always need to travel too far to lose yourself in a tranquil restaurant retreat.
The suburban districts of Beijing are filled with hidden gems, serene enough to feel like you’re out of the capital but with plenty of outdoors space and activities for kids. So the editors of our sister publication jingkids, have put together some out-of-town restaurants for those looking for a lunchtime getaway.
Fishtail Garden Family Farm
Type of cuisine: Organic buffet, Shanxi, Indian
Recommendations: Mutton, vegetable salad, fish pot
With weekend parties that seem to be largely attended by the owners’ families and friends, the Fishtail Garden Family Farm can feel like a private club at times. But everything needed to relax body and mind can be found in its tranquil grounds, from tiny stones carved with thousands of strangers’ names to the shapes etched into the signposting. What’s more, Fishtail is a fully-functioning farm so there’s plenty for kids to see and do. As well as a fish pond, rabbits, geese and chickens, they can also see the how the kitchen’s fruits and vegetables are grown in soil or the farm’s own greenhouse.
The farm is open on weekends 10am-5pm and can cater for up to 50 people. Buffet costs RMB 200 per person and reservations are required a day in advance by telephone 400 018 0096 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The farm is hidden away behind a maze of trees and fences but you can get to the area easily enough via the Subway Line 15 (Maquanying, Exit A). For detailed directions please see our previous blog post, Fish at the Farm: Fishtail Garden Weekend Lunch, or call in advance to have someone collect you from the station.
Jianyi Jingyuan – Huafu Chinese Restaurant
Type of cuisine: Palace cuisine
Recommendations: Elegant seafood mixture, South Putuo fish fin, Zhizi roasted meat
This fancy Chinese restaurant is not far from the city, but distant enough to feel as if you’ve escaped from the traffic and pollution. The flavorsome dishes are matched by the building’s décor and the greenery that surrounds. Mid-afternoon is the best time to visit if you want to eat outside and, as you chat over tea, the kids can play in their fabulous play area, complete with slides, swings and see-saw.
Open 11am-10pm. There is a BBQ from 6pm at weekends which costs RMB 298/person and RMB 149 for kids.
18 Waguoyuan Xi, Wan’an Donglu, Yuquan Mountain, Haidian District (8259 6669) 海淀区玉泉山万安东路西洼果园18号
Agrilandia Italian Farm
Type of cuisine: Italian
Recommendations: Caesar salad, sirloin steak
Located past the airport to the north east of the city you can escape the Beijing bustle in Agrilanda’s spacious grounds. When we visited, we ran into some international schoolchildren enjoying the bouncy castle, petting zoo and fruit orchard. And if your kids really take to the place, you can also rent land on the site and grow your own vegetables.
Average price of RMB 260-320. You can also 10rmb/pound for picking vegetables (RMB 10/lb), cherries (RMB 60/lb) or buy imported fruits (RMB20/lb)
For reservations call 6940 7280 or for groups call 6940 7700.
Recommendations: Orchard Salad, special self made ice cream
Through word of mouth and personal recommendations has enabled this establishment to survive more than 10 years. This farm takes up to 80 acres with three greenhouses that grow lettuce, celery, parsley, rosemary and vanilla. In the month of August till early September you can eat apples and pears from the trees surrounding the restaurant. Booking a reservation is advisable as companies and international schools tend to host parties at the venue.
It is opened from 12-3pm for brunch buffet on the weekends. It is RMB 255 per person, free for kids aged 0-4 and RMB 100 for children aged 4-12. Every Thursday night, kids below 12 are free.
Add: Sunhe Lu, Chaoyang District. (Close to SciTech Outlets around the Maquanying Subway stop). It is easier to get to if you have your own car or taxi as it is a bit confusing.
Photos courtesy of jingkids