How many of you have heard of the Yu Garden Tea House in Shanghai?
I can’t remember where I first saw the tea house but for a long time I’ve had this dream of having tea at the Yu Garden Tea House. You know when you just get obsessed with something and have this vision in your head about how it will pan out? Well never did I think I would actually get to go to Shanghai.. let alone the gardens! Shanghai just seemed like one of those places you dream of but would never be lucky enough to experience. But Aaron and I went for it, and here we are. At the tea gardens living out a dream.
I always thought the Yu Garden Tea House was going to be crazy expensive and only for fancy people, so I kind of let that wish die. I mean it was probably out of my league right? But when we finally passed through Old Shanghai and I saw the big yellow sign that said “Tea House” I said screw it. It’s kind of a once in a lifetime experience so I went for it. I mean how expensive could tea be?
Turns out pretty expensive haha. Well, it wasn’t that bad. It was actually super reasonable and was such a perfect experience that I had zero complaints.
We were seated upstairs in a tiny little slot that had 3 stools and a view of the Yu Garden! The waiter kind of lingered by our table waiting for me to pick a tea which, come on, I can’t decide on anything let alone under pressure. Finally after a bunch of awkward minutes and trying to get the waiter to leave, I decided (panicked) on a Japanese blooming tea. It was 68 Yuan which was one of the least expensive of the teas. For those of you who don’t know 68 Yuan is about $13 Canadian.
Our tea came out in these cute little tea pots and a snack is included. You get some salty tofu, quail eggs, 2 mochi candies and 2 sugary date things. The tea house was surprisingly less busy than I thought so there was no pressure to drink our tea and rush out! Instead we spent over an hour enjoying ourselves and the view. I even witnessed a lady tossing fish into the pond water which was weird so you never know what you’re going to see!
Aaron and I started reminiscing about out recent departure from Beijing and our hike on The Great Wall of China, which was another thing I never thought I would be able to do. Shanghai was grey and dreary as we drank our tea, but it was also so vibrant and warm and full of life. We could hear the clamour of people below us, and I could smell the rain and the sweet blossom of our teas. I even tried the salty tofu and it was actually really good! Aaron tried the quail eggs, and while I would never ever try one, he actually seemed to enjoy them.
All in all the tea house was such a nice experience and was soooo pretty and cool to be in. You don’t get many opportunities to do things like this so if you are ever in Shanghai and wondering if you should visit the Yu Garden Tea House then do! It was actually quiet peaceful and fun being above all the noise and chaos of Old Town Shanghai. I mean Aaron and I are only 24, but we like to be relaxed and enjoy the moments instead of letting the moments rush by.