The buzz: The latest boho haunt on the Shanghai café scene. Devotees of Boonna will love these three floors of carefully-chosen kitsch, wood floors, quirky knickknacks (all for sale), tasty cakes and coffees, and free WiFi.
The décor: Carefully-thought haphazardness; distressed wooden furniture, restored ceiling beams, bookshelves. It’s non-smoking apart from in two smoking zones on ground floor and first floor balcony overlooking the garden. We liked the details like hand-rolled cigarettes for ¥2, umbrellas and hand-made bags for sale, and notebooks for customers’ comments and doodlings. The owner, Old Mike, and his cronies hang out on the ground floor, giving the whole affair a local feel.
The food: All in all, none too shabby. A nice range of sandwiches for ¥20-30 (we tried the beef, which tasted like a roast-dinner between two panini wedges), appetizers (including a plate of tasty bruschetta, ¥20) and cakes (¥20). The main meals are nothing special (¥25) but make a good, cheap lunch.
The drinks: The Cottage’s signature bev is Old Mike’s coffee (¥30) which is spiked with Absolut Vodka. The normal coffees are served in big cups, and the tea and soft drink selection is extensive.
Why you’ll be back: This place manages to meld hip and quaint to attractive effect. We’ll definitely be back for some WiFi time among the books.