Shanghai’s French Concession



I have a few more stories about Shanghai. I figured everyone is on vacation mode now. And since we’re staying home for Easter (we always do), I have time to clean up and catch up on some stories. This is about one of my favourite areas in Shanghai – the French Concession.

Our first few days, we maximized whatever we could see and learn about the French Concession. We thought we had seen all there is to the French Concession when we visited Tianzifang. But my husband was still determined to see more of the tree-lined streets and quaint shops – those of the not too touristy kinds. We met up with my friend Lylah Juinio, who’s been an expat living in Shanghai for many years. She took us around the area she lives in.


We met at this very westernized cafe. Everyone was from somewhere else.


We went for a walk in her neighbourhood. It reminded me of New York.


The French Concession was established on 6 April 1849, when the French Consul to Shanghai, Charles de Montigny, obtained a proclamation from the Governor (Daotai) of Shanghai, which conceded certain territory for a French settlement. (Wikipedia).


While the French Concession began as a settlement for the French, it eventually attracted residents of various nationalities. (I’m skipping a lot of history here.)


This is the Paris of the East.


Click “More…” for the rest of this Shanghai story.


This house in the country



I was going through my archives and found this house that we featured in UZ a few years ago. It was one of my favourites then. And I still love it now. This has actually influenced us to plan for our own (imaginary) country home some day.

This property was huge. It was the family’s weekend home. The owners had some farm animals, a beautiful courtyard, amazing antiques and the most comfortable kitchen. I loved how the structures felt perfect in its locality yet they reflected a mix of styles like  tropical, Filipino, mission-style and Mediterranean architecture. The plants were thriving. The art collection, superb. Charming place.


From that Farm House we featured in UZ
Lush greenery surrounding the house, personally tended by the owner.


From that Farm House we featured in UZ
Entrance to the private quarters.


Wide walkways
The house was set-up with different “pavilions” connected by this wide walkway. It was stunning.


More from that Farm House we featured in UZ
A pop of colour in the dining area.


From that Farm House we featured in UZ
The bedroom of one of the sons.


From that Farm House we featured in UZ
The living room


Master's bathroom
Master bathroom


Who is the artist?
Who is the artist? Is it Santi Bose? Ventura? Anyone…anyone?


I love this painting
I fell in love with this painting, and I still don’t know who the artist is.


There was a mini-courtyard surrounded by the bedrooms.


I want this courtyard.


The upper deck


From that Farm House we featured in UZ
There was a breezy play room on the second floor of the main house, accessible from the upper deck.