by Paul Bacon
Rotherham, United Kingdom
October 7, 2006
The Tree is separated into three or four smallish sections. The bar is long and L-shaped with stools covering its length and width. In one of the adjoining rooms a band plays very chilled out acoustic guitar music with a gentle Latin feel. In the largest room is a giant pizza oven and an array of tables were a relatively mature clientele sit and chat away the evening.
The Tree is a rather sedate venue for a Saturday evening in Beijing; on the occasions I have frequented it I have found myself enjoying one or two quiet drinks before heading to find something a little more lively, and to locate a slightly younger crowd. However, perhaps part of the impression given by the Tree comes from its neighbours. Just around the corner are a cluster of livelier, slightly more raucous establishments, who maybe alter the perspective through which I see the Tree. Closest is Kai just 30m away where there is a small crowded dance floor and where beers are just 10RMB and shots only 5RMB. Beyond that is Poachers where on a weekend the music can be heard for a block either way and the rustic decore gives an anything goes type of atmosphere.
With neighbours like those it is difficult for a bar of the Hidden Tree’s type to compete in terms of livley socialising. It even appears that the management have recognised this and acted accordingly with the creation of Shooters: a sister bar to the Tree aimed at young revellers, selling a whole array of shots and cocktails for 10RMB each.
In summation, for a quiet drink the Tree is an excellent venue. The choice of beer is superb, with drinks from all across the globe available either on tap or bottled. The food is also excellent. The speciality is, as the large oven would suggest, pizzas. For a little more life though, it is probably best to take a short walk around the corner.
From journal Tender is the Beijing Night