More changes like this

By Amy Fabris-Shi (That's Shanghai)
Updated: 2007-07-16 10:06

In Concession-era Shanghai, popular rhetoric held that the British (with their Bund and banks) could teach you how to do business, but the French could teach you how to live. Sitting with a glass of wine in the sunny courtyard of Ferguson Lane, one might venture the opinion that little has changed.

"It's like Xintiandi for locals," says Coffee Tree owner Neil Greer of the new lifestyle hub, set back off leafy Wukang Lu. First-time commercial developers Shanghai Cornes Property Management Co Ltd brought in a trio of international architects to transform the former office block tucked behind a row of red-brick terrace homes. The space has been re-imagined with sheet glass and wooden boardwalks connecting the various heritage outhouses, and neat alfresco areas trimmed with hedges and rose bushes. The funky tenant mix combines offices, three complementary F&B outlets, a Philippine spa (set to open in early July) and several niche boutiques heretofore unseen in Shanghai.

Finish your wine and mosey along to the following:

Pistis-Impeccably chic friends Fristine Cho and Yunee Cho have interior design and consultancy backgrounds and make regular buying trips to Italy. Using the ¡°something I would put in my own home¡± criterion, they have collected some beautiful pieces of premium Italian furniture and accessories for the innovative (and rich) home buyer. The launch collection includes unique woven baskets, an embossed leather desk and giant upright candles with diamante bands (supposedly all the rage in Italy right now). The loft office will also be the headquarters of their interior consultancy services.

Bliss-Blending chinoiserie and shabby chic, Bliss stocks an eclectic array of pretty ceramics, quirky bits of d¨¦cor and jewelry, and pouches made from Asian-inspired textiles. The silk baby booties are particularly adorable.

Dutch Items Shanghai-Dutch designer Jolie Van Beek addresses the need for affordable fashions in "western sizes, design, quality and taste" with her easy-to-wear linen separates and footwear range.

Rosa Gallica-At the entrance to the lane, Rosa Gallica sells beautiful (and very affordable) blooms delivered fresh from the Dutch owner's greenhouse in Kunming, along with potted herbs and other gorgeous greenery.

Ferguson Lane
Location: 376 Wukang Lu


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Editors' Picks  
Beijing Guide  

Eating out: A small quiet Italian restaurant
Bars&Cafes: The communal punchbowl
Weekend&Holiday: To the moon and back
Shopping: Luxurious bath
What's on: Tribeca steps out

Shanghai Guide  
Eating out: Time for the lanes
Bars&Cafes: A town to have fun
Weekend&Holiday: More changes like this
Shopping: For little angels
What's on: Sticking it to the man