Home on Hongmei Lu

The closest thing you can get to a suburban Main Street in Puxi is Hongmei Lu. Filled with kid-friendly playgrounds and restaurants – not to mention mother-friendly shops and spas – Hongmei Lu is a little touch of home, conveniently located all on one convivial thoroughfare. Jolie van Beek (pictured right), owner of Dutch Items Shanghai and mother of two young girls, shows us some family favourites along Hongmei Lu, and also lets us in on the best places for busy working mums to relax on this suburban street.

Dutch Items Shanghai

When van Beek first moved to Shanghai in 2005, she was disappointed by the lack of high-quality clothing in her size and style. A graduate of the prestigious Academy of Fine Arts in Rotterdam with extensive experience working as head designer for several European companies, she did what only someone with a design background like hers could do: launched a label offering European-styled and sized clothing and shoes for herself and her friends. Now with three branches around the city, D.I.S. Shanghai’s Hongmei Lu store also doubles as the head office for the company, and most days you can find van Beek on the floor of the boutique or sketching in her second floor office.

Room B, 1F, Building 201, Saint Laurent Building, 3215 Hongmei Lu, near Hongsong Dong Lu. Tel: 6406 3661

Green Apple

The owner of Green Apple had the community’s children in mind when he designed this restaurant. Boasting an outdoor playground, non-smoking policy and a menu that appeals to both the young and the young at heart, Green Apple is about as family friendly as an eatery can get. Just next door to D.I.S. Shanghai, van Beek and her toddling daughters are regulars here. “Green Apple is great – the owner is always here and my girls love jumping on the trampoline,” van Beek says, before stopping to chat with some neighbours grabbing an al fresco lunch.

Building 201, Lane 3215 Hongmei Lu, near Hongsong Dong Lu. Tel: 6406 6567  

Label 88

Another Dutch design brand just a short walk from van Beek’s own store, Label 88’s story mirrors D.I.S. Shanghai's. When founders Michelle Jonkman and Karin Ellenberger couldn’t find a nice, simple leather bag in Shanghai, they tracked down a cordwainer and started designing their own. Leather basics, from wristlets to bags, are the specialty at Label 88, and the brand’s clean, Dutch style is a welcome relief from the faux leather bags that are befeathered and sequined to death at the Hongqiao Pearl Market around the corner.

Flat P, 3213 Hongmei Lu, near Chengjiaqiao Lu. Email: [email protected]