I had read about Moller Villa before I set foot in Shanghai, and have since had several encounters with it.
The first encounter took me by surprise because ever since my move to Shanghai in 2010, I had been trying to locate this fantasy villa but it had somewhat eluded me. Yet, on one fine afternoon of December 10, 2011 (I remember the date well for a good reason), while my friend Chongbei and I were hunting for yet another gem of this metropolis, a hidden restaurant called The Nest after our visually stimulating early afternoon at a poster exhibition, we walked right into the sprawling gardens of Moller Villa. It took us a split second to realize that lo and behold, this was that fairytale house a doting father had built for his daughter almost a hundred years ago, a weird sight smack in the center of Shanghai’s commercial Jing An district.
“Legend has it that Jewish Eric Moller came to Shanghai in 1919 empty-handed and made his fortune here by winning large sums at the horse races, culminating in the construction of this fantasy home for his daughter. The daughter is said to have had a dream in which she saw a castle like those in the Hans Andersen fairy tales. On awakening, she drew a sketch. The father was so fond of his youngest daughter that he immediately commissioned an architect to build her dream house.”
So when the girls wanted to have afternoon tea, I immediately suggested Moller Villa. On July 13, the day Shanghai was supposed to be hit by super typhoon Soulik, we took off on a gastromic journey, starting with a light lunch at Sproutworks, before adjourning to Moller Villa for afternoon tea. We were joined by Lynnette’s friend, cutely named 77, who happened to be a pastry chef at Greenology.
We ordered 2 sets of these and a couple of pots of tea, raking up a bill of close to RMB1000. Unfortunately, the pastries were not that awesome. That said, the environment was great and we had a wonderful time just chillaxing, and being dorky 🙂 Laura has all the dorky pictures; I’ll be sure to update this post after I get them from her.
And then, we were all set to hit our next gastronomic target – the yet-to-be-opened-invited-VIPs-only new Greenology restaurant on Bund 22, courtesy of 77 of course!