Warnings in March 2010

It’s March, and what better time of the year than now. It’s still cool enough to have covers on the bed, yet it’s warm enough that you don’t have to put slippers on to go to the bathroom. And unlike fall, there are no mosquitoes. Yes, we do get the occasional showers, but more of those come in April than in March, and in March you’ve got the new tea. In what other city can one be smack in the city center and into the tea fields within fifteen minutes? Anyone who can appreciate anything has to go out to the tea fields at least once during the picking season. And that cool breeze that flows over the hilltops as the sun sits overhead. It makes you want to call in sick for a while and have a month long picnic now doesn’t it? Springtime in Hangzhou. Does it get any better than this? Now we’ve got a few great places reviewed this month for you to go an explore, but what we’re really looking forward to are the three new places opening up in March. Matchbox is reopening to be renamed Angelo’s just off of Baochu road, and there’s going to be a new place doing Thai cuisine opening in what used to be Dragonfly next to Provence. Not only that, but there’s going to be a new café serving authentic Austrian pancakes and waffles on Yan’an road. And all to visit in between your sips of new tea. Don’t you get sick of spitting out the leaves a friend once asked me? No, you just have to be patient and wait till they all fall down. After all what’s the rush anyway? Isn’t half the fun of drinking the tea simply watching the leaves fall down? That’s why it’s served in transparent glasses, so you can watch the tea leaves.

So you can appreciate the time it takes to individually hand pick the first leaves that pop out of the bush with the arriving warm weather. So you can admire the effort made to hand roast the tea so that the leaves aren’t broken apart. So you can see the bright greenness that comes with the freshest leaves. That’s what it is to drink a cup of tea in springtime in Hangzhou. Now all you have to do is to open to our Coffee & Tea section to find yourself the perfect spot to sit down and enjoy a cup of Zhou. And here you thought that all we did was eat and drink our way through the days. There’s got to be a better way to spend that time between four and seven o’clock when there are no taxis available. That is of course unless it’s St. Patrick’s Day, and on that day we’ll give you a break for not drinking the good green stuff and going instead for some of the black stuff. Look for events on that day in our Nightlife section or just go to any bar and demand a discount for the green of it.

By Tim Hoerle