Senator Saloon Dry-era doppelgänger

Speakeasy cocktail bars are all the rage these days. It’s not often though, especially in the Far East, that you find one that manages to capture the spirit of prohibition-era America authentically—the girls, the gangsters and, above all else, the whiskey. The Senator Saloon, though, does so with aplomb.

From the dark wood paneling and the thick velvet curtains blotting out the windows to the pressed tin roof imported straight from Texas, this place recreates the dimly-lit glamor of the 1920s US underground down to a tee. Appropriately, it’s whiskey and bourbon that are the bar staff’s main weapons of choice—either served straight up, sans pretense, or mixed into both classic and newly-created cocktails using the Saloon’s impressive selection of bitters.

Nike X158 Nature, amplified

When Nike spread the word that they were opening a concept store to act as ground zero for their new #NatureAmplified design ethos, people were expecting something special. They weren’t disappointed as X158 opened its doors to reveal this stark, minimal, bunker-style store-space that oozes stripped-down urban cool.

It’s the sneakers not the surrounds, though, that are placed firmly front and center here. The exposed breeze block walls, industrial lighting installations and surgical display apparati play the ultimate austere supporting act for Nike’s brand-spanking new line of colorful kicks—many incorporating the latest advances in Flyknit technology.

If you think the buck stops at forward-thinking footwear, though, think again. X158 also plays host to a number of creative mixed-media installations that complement the innovative apparel on show.

Mercato at Three on the Bund Italian: Re-designed and redefined

Making your mark as a new restaurant at Three on the Bund isn’t easy. Firstly, because the place is already packing some of the finest eateries in Shanghai; and secondly, because those eateries are some of the most beautifully designed in the city to boot. So what’s a newbie nosh spot in one of the city’s most iconic architectural landmarks to do? Well, if you’re coastal Italian restaurant Mercato, you raise the stakes and blaze a trail, that’s what.

Conceived by architectural studio and interior design wizards Neri&Hu, Mercato’s interior is an industrio-rustic masterpiece—three high-ceilinged private dining areas are sequestered from one another by a dynamic mix of metal meshing, recycled wood and vast glass panes. The menu and atmosphere, meanwhile, are altogether less pretentious than the other places that Mercato shares its digs with.

That’s not to say there’s a deficit in quality, though. Hell no. The family-size portions of seafood, homemade pastas and wood-fired pizzas that come out of the kitchen under the watchful eye of Chef de Cuisine Sandy Yoon are the epitome of understated excellence.

New World Hotel Redefining the rooftop

A plush springboard to launch you headlong into the heart of Shanghai, the New World Hotel brings a little 21st century oriental hospitality to the city’s centre. Accessible through a monumental square marble-pillared and sleek pagoda-roofed entryway, the hotel is a 605-room behemoth where function, comfort and class combine. The communal spaces are high-ceilinged and spacious, with polished marble floors, art-splattered walls and sleek modern furniture all screaming sleek austerity. The warmly-lit suites, meanwhile, provide the perfect counterpoint—kitted out with cloud-like beds, stylish minimalist furniture and fittings awash with soft wooden hues. And if you’re on the hunt for a spot to stave off the summer heat with a swim, New World boasts one of the city’s best—their swish rooftop pool is guaranteed to add some ‘oohs’ to the relaxed ‘aahs’ with its epic views across the sprawling cityscape.

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