The teahouse, located on the southwest of Tiananmen Square, is named after Lao She, a renowned writer known as 'people's artist'. It was created in 1988 bysome zhiqings('educated young people' sent to rural areas for 'reeducatio' during the Cultural Revolution) who had returned to Beijing led by Yin Shenxi, a pioneer reformer of commerce in Beijing. Today the teahouse has become a comprehensive cultural enterprise which blends Chinese opera, food, tea, and Beijing culture, and which features various forms of teahouses found in old Beijing, such as the plain teahouse, the teahouse-restaurant, the roadside tea stall, and the teahouse with story tellers.
Every day, in the theater on the third floor you may watch performances of traditional folk arts, such as Peking opera, folk shows, acrobatic, magic, and face switching. The shows are accompanied by such refreshments as famous kinds of tea, court and local snacks, and Beijing-style delicacies. In the east of the third floor is the 'Big-bowl Tea' Restaurant, which offers old-Beijing cuisine, specially fashioned tea-accompanying dishes, and 'tea banquet.'
Since its open, Lao She Teahouse has received 47 foreign leaders and a number of celebrities.
Address: Qianmen Xi Dajie 3 (West of Qianmen on south side of the street)
Tickets: 180, 280, 350, 380 yuan
Nightly shows at 19:50, until 21:20
(China.org.cn May 15, 2008)