JULU Road has so many delights that we couldn't resist checking out this charming neighborhood for a second week. Starting from Changshu Road, a pleasant walk east down the tree-lined street takes you through a vibrant scene of independent, eclectic boutiques carrying some of the most unique designs in Shanghai. The neighborhood's multicultural vibe isn't just present in the wide range of restaurants but also in stores selling jewelry, clothes and fashion accessories in this ever-changing haven for the hip.
There's no denying the coolness of South Korean culture these days, with Gangnam Style turning K-pop into an international sensation. Gangnam style can also be found in the two different jewellery lines that this cute little store carries - Jubily and Vinett. Jubily's edgier rock'n'roll aesthetic has made it a hit in South Korea, while Vinett is a more traditional line of jewelry that appeals to more feminine tastes. While Vinett can be found in seven other Shanghai stores, and a new shop in Tianzifang is set to carry Jubily, this is the only outlet in the city that carries both lines. Opened in September, Jubily stocks a wide variety of necklaces, earrings, rings and other accessories focusing on the funky side. "We're trying to combine a lot of styles," explains store owner Anita Hong. "We want to contrast something elegant with something tough. We're testing to see what appeals to people here." Business has been brisk, with locals and expats picking up accessories ranging from 200 yuna (US$32) to 800 yuan. Stock is updated every fortnight, so keep an eye out for the perfect Christmas present.
Opening hours: 11am-9:30pm
Address: 849 Julu Rd
Since opening last month, this eclectic fashion store has been a creative outlet for owners Kim Jong-gil and He Feng. Dividing their time between Shanghai and Seoul, the couple have filled the store with the latest Korean fashions. New lines arrive every week, ensuring that they stay in-tune with the latest tastes. What makes the store different from the other hip boutiques on Julu Road are its homemade accessories and items that reflect the couple's creativity. Customers will be surprised to discover that the store's cute selection of shoes are designed and handcrafted by Feng. These are available for around 1,300 yuan (US$208). While the store only carries one size, customized orders are taken. Kim, who works in architectural design, also chips in. His funky designs are embroidered onto vintage Levi jackets. There's a fun independent vibe to the store, with the products reflecting the owners' unique tastes. Among accessories stocked are antique British brooches, which the owners say are between 300 and 700 years old; cute and cutting-edge Korean jewelry; and elegant traditional Korean jewelry boxes.
Opening hours: 11am-10pm
Address: 818 Julu Rd
This fashion boutique opened a year ago under somewhat unusual circumstances. Originally, the space held a furniture store, the success of which saw it move to bigger premises. However, the furniture store owner, Jiang Qiong, decided to retain the smaller premises and use the space to promote local fashion designers. The store features clothing ranges that are updated every week. Due to owner Jiang's connections with the local fashion scene, much of the store's space is devoted to classy pieces designed by local designers. Simple sophistication is a theme with a wide range of jackets, dresses, sweaters, tops and other items available for around 700 yuan (US$112). In addition to promoting hometown talent, Jiang has dived into the fashion world with her own line. Her coats and sweaters have earthy tones, while at the same time exuding class. The store is currently stocked up for the winter, with most items using wool for maximum warmth. Essence augments its clothes with accessories, with vintage items such as European gothic candle holders as well as small jewelry pieces.
Opening hours: 10:30am-9pm
Address: 812 Julu Rd
It's hard to miss this Thai restaurant on the corner of Julu Road and Fumin Road, as its bright exterior resembles the colorful Buddhist wats that dot Thailand. Herbs started as a boutique hotel and restaurant in Bangkok, where it is long-established. Last December, its Hong Kong owner decided to open this spot, the first Herbs restaurant outside of Thailand. With an executive chef from Thailand, it can back up its boast of providing authentic Thai cuisine. "All of the ingredients are imported from Thailand," explains assistant general manager Isa Shieh. The spot is popular with the Thai consulate, which frequently holds functions there. With space for 68 people, split into three areas, Herbs offers a comfortable atmosphere amid Thai decor. It boasts a wide menu, and Shieh said the charcoal-grilled pork neck (55 yuan/US$8.8), mixed seafood papaya salad (42 yuan) and salmon salad (55 yuan) are particularly popular. The restaurant will promote its hot pot in the winter menu.