31 Gongyi Xiang / Fangjia Hutong / Dongcheng / +86 136 5108 9792 / 1-11pm daily
XNOR Art Jam & Café
A set of traditional red double doors along the perimeter of Fangjia Hutong open to reveal a small pathway dissecting a room into two areas: a café on one side, and an art studio on the other, the latter with walls coated in a dizzying rainbow of paints. You’d never imagine this creative art studio-cum-café would be named after a term for an electrical circuit part, but XNOR mirrors the function of its technical counterpart: to merge together elements, while keeping them separate. The space, outfitted with artwork by previous guests, allows visitors to either bring their own materials or help themselves to the art supplies including easels, oil paints, bases like wooden bookmarks and keyrings, and of course canvas.
To get the creative juices flowing, skip the espresso and opt for one of the café’s cocktails, which include sangria, screwdrivers and mojitos, or opt for the alcohol-free selection of German fruit teas and freshly squeezed juices. Drink in hand, dive straight into creating your masterpiece, culling inspiration from the cozy surrounds of white and bright wicker furnishings, feathery stools and footrests. Once your magnum opus is complete, have the café stamp their melted wax insignia before you go, or perhaps leave it behind as the space’s newest piece of decor. Who knows? Maybe one day it’ll be a priceless collector’s item, you budding artist!