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Downtown Life with the Fishers

Simon Fisher, Year 6 Team Leader and his wife Megan, Year 2 teacher share the pleasures and unpredictability of living downtown in the French Concession.

What brought you to Shanghai?

I was lucky enough to have two friends who already worked at the school and told me how fantastic it was. I knew I wanted to spend some years exploring Asia but wanted to make sure I worked in a school that was outstanding. Hence BISS!


What do you like about living here?

I love how unpredictable it is. It is the opposite of living in the UK where you know exactly what you are going to see each time you go out the door. Here you never know what you’re going to see! I love just wondering around the French Concession, finding new streets and seeing new things.


Which area of the city do you live in and how long is your commute?

I live in the middle of the French Concession. The commute is long – about an hour – but it’s definitely worth it to live in the most exciting and culturally rich area of the city.


Where do you like to shop?

I really like Green and Safe on Dongping Lu. It has lots of top quality vegetables and meat and the cheese is pretty good too. I also shop in City Super in IAPM mall which is excellent for English comfort foods. Wine is much trickier! You can get some good Spanish wine from the big producers like Torres or the big Rioja bodegas in all the foreign supermarkets but it is very expensive. There is a good little wine shop on Yonkang Lu which isn’t bad if you’re after New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or some Prosecco but you’re out of luck if you want anything unusual or from a small producer! I tend to bring a few bottles in my suitcase each time we fly in…


What do you like to do on your weekends?

I like to explore Shanghai as much as possible, wondering around on foot without a map and seeing where I end up. There are also lots of great exhibitions, I recently saw ‘Rain Room’ which was fantastic. I also like to meet up with my friends and enjoy some tasty food and maybe a beer or two!


Which is your favourite restaurant near where you live and  in the city? 

I love La Vite on Wulumuqi Lu near Wuyuan Lu. It is tiny – about 16 covers – and has the feel of real Tuscan Trattoria. The food is simple, there are only six different pasta dishes but they are authentic, delicious and quite reasonable. The owner also has a massive wine list of really interesting Italian wines. It’s well worth a look if you want the opposite of Bund style glamour!


What has been your favourite holiday destination while you have been living in Shanghai?

This is really tough. I loved touring around Japan as it’s such a beautiful country and the cities are so much fun. I also love exploring the Chinese countryside: the roundhouses near Xiamen are fantastic and the countryside near Yangshuo is incredible. However, my favourite would probably be Bali and Lombok for the stunning reefs and wonderful people.