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Tea and tapas

By Xing Yi | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-01 07:44

VUE, a new luxury hotel, offers sophisticated diners a place away from the hustle and bustle of the Houhai area where it is located. [Photo provided to China Daily]

A new cafe in Beijing's Houhai offers diners a chance to experience what happens when foods with different textures and flavors come together. Xing Yi reports.

Beijing's Houhai area is always crowded with tourists, but the new luxury hotel VUE offers sophisticated diners a place away from the hustle and bustle to sip afternoon tea and savor Spanish tapas.

The noise of the crowds and honking horns fade away as I stroll down the hutong (alleyway) in front of the Prince Gong's Mansion.

Hidden among the surrounding gray brick courtyard houses, the hotel's Fab cafe and bakery sits along the alley between the former residence of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) prince and Houhai Park.

It's a peaceful oasis in this tourist hot spot.

Ignasi Prats is the chief baker and chef.

He grew up in a Spanish family that has worked as bakers for three generations. And he has worked in an acclaimed restaurant with three Michelin stars, El Celler de Can Roca, in the city of Girona in northern Spain.

"When my grandfather started the bakery in Barcelona in the 1950s, bread and pastries were grab-and-go food," says Prats.

"Combining a cafe with the bakery came later."

The name Fab stands for flour and beans, the ingredients for pastries and coffee.

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