UK-Inspired Sippers & Stunning Views at The Upper Room

By Sophie Steiner, July 11, 2023

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The Place 

Near the Bund, on the top floor of Shamei Mansion, The Upper Room has kicked off seasonal drinks designed by Mark Lloyd and backed by the Shanghai Oud Group (J. Boroski, Bistro 11, Most Izakaya, and No Filter).

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

A two-for-one concept, The Living Room offers diners a Western brunch, lunch and dinner menu on the first floor, while the seventh floor is all about the designer indoor bar and KOL-obsessed patio known as The Upper Room.

Image courtesy of The Upper Room

The outdoor bar centers on rum drinks, while the indoor bar sees travel-inspired sippers, a rotating selection of seasonal inventiveness.

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The Drinks

Every season will see a new region as the inspiration behind the menu for both drinks and snacks. While last winter was all about Yunnan – a thank you to the space's flagship restaurant, Dian Fu, that pulled the Shanghai Oud Group into the building – this summer draws on Lloyd’s home country – the UK.   

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Sippable key lime pie takes form as the Strawberry and Lime Milk Punch (RMB120) – a (love and) labor-intensive drink that involves baking actual pie crust, blending it, reducing it, and filtering it into a syrup.

Said syrup is shaken with black tea-infused, citrus-heavy OFBT spirit, crafted right here in Shanghai, that lends the citrus notes to our liquified key lime pie. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Finally, a milk-washed raspberry and tartaric acid – the same acid found in grapes – is siphoned as a foam cap, one that slowly dissipates into the drink, adding a ruby hue and fruit-forward tartness. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Speaking of tart, the Bakewell Sour (RMB120) is an homage to Mark’s go-to dessert from home: a Bakewell tart, hailing from Derbyshire.

This English confection of shortcrust pastry shell beneath layers of raspberry jam, frangipane, and a topping of flaked almonds, is reimagined in guzzle-able form. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Shaking together Botanist gin with raspberry purée, almond-scented Amaretto, lip-puckering homemade raspberry apple cider, and egg white (for a fuller, cake-ier mouthfeel), this drink culminates in a treacly gulp.

Seriously, can we order this drink by the liter?

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The Blackcurrant and Licorice Gimlet (RMB120) is a dusky purple ode to the retro British sweet of the same name (minus the "gimlet" part, of course) found in glass candy jars in nana’s living rooms around the UK.

The original crystalized sugar hard candy is sweetened with blackcurrant and filled with an herbal black licorice center – a flavor profile that has been recreated with Botanist gin, Crème de Cassis blackcurrant liqueur, anise-forward Pernod Ricard, and lime – plus a cheeky lolly topper. 

While Lloyd is recognized in the industry for his mad scientist levels of tinkering (due in part to his previous career working as a chemist) there’s no witchcraft in this one – just high-quality ingredients used to make a classic sour that embrace the candy’s essence. 

Lavender Field (RMB120), Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Unmistakably British, the Rum & Tea (RMB120) is a play on milky English breakfast tea and a biscuit.

Mount Gay Black Barrel is stirred with oolong tea-infused soda and a splash of coconut milk (both being a nod to Asia), while the British shortbread cookie is swapped out for a Macanese pineapple cake. 

The drink takes on a convincing pina colada façade – coconut milk, a gasp of lime – and, just like the proof is in the pudding, the pineapple is in the tart. 

DSC09886-2.jpgGoing Bananas (RMB120), Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

The menu also offers assorted Delamotte champagne Bellinis (RMB158) in flavors like peach and cracked black pepper, lychee, and (our personal favorite) oyster and passion fruit – made from a reduced down oyster sauce simple syrup and fresh passion fruit. 

Image by Sophie Steiner/That's

Finally, when you’re peckish after a few drinks, there’s also a UK centric food menu – think fish and chips, fried chicken with gravy, and a British cheese plate.

The Vibe 

A hangout for cocktail connoisseurs and TikTok power users alike, The Upper Room boasts – not so surprising – some pretty impressive drinks (they are Mark Lloyd creations after all).

DSC09781-2.jpgImage by Sophie Steiner/That's

And all in an gorgeously renovated and designed space with a stunning view across Shanghai’s skyline.

Image courtesy of The Upper Room


Image courtesy of The Upper Room

The place does fill up with the after-work crowd, so play hooky and go early or pop over for a cheeky nightcap to avoid longer wait times.

Price: RMB120/drink, RMB48-108 snacks
Who's Going: Cocktail connoisseurs, TikTok power users, the Bund working contingency
Good For: After work drinks, global cocktail exploration, sunny rooftop sipping

The Upper Room, 7/F, 190 Beijing Dong Lu, near Sichuan Zhong Lu, 北京东路190号7楼, 四川中路.

Read more Shanghai Bar Reviews.

[Cover image by Sophie Steiner/That's]

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