For a nice change-of-pace to visiting Beijing¡¯s main tourist attractions, you can find it quite enjoyable to sit inside a Beijing's tea house, especially one residing in the old residential courtyards - "Hutongs" - scattered throughout the former Inner Beijing.
The Terrace Tea House situates in a typical Beijing Hutong, just outside the east gate of the Forbidden City. This parlor provides a resting and refreshing place for travelers coming afar to experience local Chinese lives and traditions.
Despite its moderate size, the Terrace Tea House is neat both in configuration and interior decoration. They serve a large variety of your favorite teas, along with local delicacies and deserts. Order a tin of their oolong teas (RMB110 and up), and the server will treat to a Chinese tea ceremony. Each ¡°tin¡± of tea makes about four pots, each serving 3-4 people. If you cannot finish it, you can keep it in the restaurant for the next visit, or bring the rest home.
I sat on the 2nd floor terrace, in a peaceful environment, listening to relaxing music, enjoying a nice view, and had my tea served in traditional Chinese style. Refills are always free of charge as long as the cup is left open. And the assistants speak basic English, so you can enjoy your stay without any communication problem.
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