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Historic street still at cutting edge of style
By Yang Di

A history of more than 80 years has left the famous Hengshan Road with many examples of outstanding architecture and elegant lifestyle options. However, Shanghai is a fast-changing city and Hengshan Road never stands still. Serene five-star hotel Twelve at Hengshan recently opened its doors, and has quickly gained a reputation as one of the hottest chic urban retreats in the heart of the cosmopolitan city. Meanwhile, Elixir Health Pot offers healthy hot pot fare, and where you might also run into big names such as singer Hebe Tian. And at accessories shop Ann Ann, you can browse among the traditional handcrafted silverware. So what better time could there be to re-explore the famous tree-lined Hengshan Road?

Elixir Health Pot

Healthy living is big business, and Elixir Health Pot taps into this market. And while some health foods are perceived as being bland, that's not a criticism that can be applied to the delicacies on offer at the restaurant. Famous singers like Jolin Tsai, Hebe Tian, Selina Ren and Cui Siwon from popular Kpop group Super Junior are all big fans of Elixir Health Pot, which was founded in Taiwan. The Shanghai restaurant is spacious and modern, with touches of Buddhist decor. The well-trained staff provide top-notch service - for example, the 90-degree bow to show respect for their guests. Three soup bases are available: healthy and nourishing creamy tofu pot; Wulao Elixir spicy aromatic pot; and collagen beauty pot. These are priced at 98 yuan (US$16) for small groups (four-six people) and 168 yuan for larger parties (10-12 diners). House special twin pot can be ordered (serving two soup bases), for an additional 30 yuan add on. Popular dishes for hotpot include the mixed handmade meatball plate (98 yuan), duplex plate of scallop and abalone starch (98 yuan) and duplex plate of shrimp and crab starch (88 yuan). While Elixir Health Pot can seat around 200 diners, customers are advised to make a reservations two to three days in advance. Otherwise, they can expect a long wait before getting to sample its healthy cuisine.

Opening hours: 11am-4am

Tel: 5456-1489

Address: Xiangzhang Garden, 2 Hengshan Rd

Salon by Surrender

Salon by Surrender is a refreshing departure from the typical shopping experience in Shanghai. Hidden inside the newly opened Twelve at Hengshan, the "salon" is a brilliant world of pure decadence where an air of mystery, quirkiness and soul are found in its juxtaposition of history set in modern furnished glass capsule of a store. The select shop features an 18th-century interior wall panel which was flown in from Paris, along with vintage racks carefully hand-picked from Japan. Salon by Surrender represents prestigious brands such as Lone Ones, Richard Mille and Raf Simons. The boutique's mission doesn't stop there. The owners plan to create special capsule collections and seasonal exhibitions focusing on arts, music and culture.

Opening hours: 10am-10pm

Address: 12 Hengshan Rd

Tel: 6433-8672

SenSpa, Fitness and Pool

Part of the facilities of Twelve at Hengshan, SenSpa extends its services to the public too. It is a 712-square-meter underground spa that features 13 double and single treatment rooms, as well as one VIP treatment room. Facilities at SenSpa include a tepidarium, a salt stone BIO sauna room, a herbal steam room, an experience shower room, an ice fountain, and more. The salt stone from the sauna room is from Himalayas and is said to help improve sleep quality and get rid of lethargic. For an extra touch of luxury, customers can use their favorite aroma during a steam room session. Equipment also includes six high-tech massage chairs that only can be found here in Shanghai. For workout enthusiasts, check out the fitness center and pool. The 290-sqm fitness center is open 24 hours and features floor-to-ceiling windows looking across the swimming pool. The large indoor pool itself has three whirlpool baths and is lit by natural light from the garden.

Opening hours: 10:30am–10:30pm Tel: 3338-3888 ext 6333

Address: 12 Hengshan Rd

The Deli - Cheesecake Corner

Located in a corner of the lobby of Twelve at Hengshan, The Deli - Cheesecake Corner offers on-the-go snacks, fresh-baked bread and beverages, plus gourmet gifts and seasonal hampers. A highlight is the selection of around 37 varieties of cheesecake created by the Italian chef. Choices range from classic New York cheesecake to creative seasonal flavors, such as cakes made with black fig goat's cheese; rum and cherry cheesecake; avocado and white sesame cheesecake; carrot cake with cheese icing; red pepper and chilli cheesecake - with a tinge of spiciness - and peanut butter cheesecake. These are available for around 40 yuan (US$6.5). There are also larger cakes available for order, priced at 148 and 288 yuan. A cake and a coffee costs around 150 yuan.

Opening hours: 11am–7pm Tel: 3338-3888 ext 6633

Address: 12 Hengshan Rd

Ann Ann

Sitting along the middle of Hengshan Road, Ann Ann is a shop that stands out from the crowd, due to its distinctive wooden exterior. Established nine years, Ann Ann has a vast collection of silver accessories. Its founder - who gave the brand her own name - was born into a family in southwest China's Guizhou Province that specializes in traditional handcrafted silverware. She furthered her interest by majoring in jewelry design. Her designs are one-of-a-kind, the fruits of years of application and perseverance. Traditional crafts are blended with high-tech nanotechnology to showcase the creativity of the brand's designers and make their products more comfortable to wear. The designs are aimed primarily at 25 to 40-year-olds. Many customers are from professional backgrounds, who pursue unique tastes in their lifestyles. Prices of silver accessories at Ann Ann range from 200 (US$32.5) to 3,000 yuan.

Opening hours: 10am-10pmTel: 6437-4923

Address: 316 Hengshan Rd

Customer Service: (86-21) 52920164