9 excellent at-home experiences because staying in is the new going out

Put your feet up and let the good stuff come to you with our guide to the city's top outcall services

Photograph: Shutterstock
As the cold months settle in, convenience is king and (fortunately) you don’t need to face the elements to make the most of Shanghai’s abundant delights. From wine tasting to mani-pedis, these excellent home-call experiences are there to make sure you can ride out winter from the comfort of your home in style – after all, staying in is the new going out.
Photograph: courtesy Desi Dhaba


Try chef-made home cooking kits

Who doesn’t want to cook like a pro? CooKit delivers you the bits you need to easily make dishes from some of the city’s well-loved restaurants at home, including the likes of The Commune Social, Colca, Area 501 and Together. They’ll deliver the dishes par-cooked, so all you need to do is follow the recipe and add the finishing touches. Prep times are about 20 minutes and are totally oven and microwave free. 
Add ‘cookit-official’ on WeChat. Prices vary depending on the restaurant and the number of diners. 

Tuck into a family-style Indian feast

Gather your friends at yours for some home-style Punjabi cooking from Desi Dhaba – a private kitchen helmed by part-time cook Anu Aggarwal. Catering to groups of ten more, Aggarwal serves up dishes like samosas, karahi gosht (lamb curry) and her signature gulab jamun cheesecake that might be reason alone to book. Plus, she only cooks for private dinner parties (alongside the occasional pop-up) which means you won’t taste her curries anywhere else.
Add ‘anu_aggs’ on WeChat. From 350RMB per person.

Hire a private chef

Channel the lifestyle of the rich and the famous with your own private chef for a night through Take a Chef – a service that pairs you up with your own kitchen wizard and everything they need to cook up a storm. The chefs can cook a range of cuisines from around the world and will cater for everything from romantic dinners for two to big feasts. The service and clearing up is all taken care of, so you really don’t have to lift a finger.  
Visit takeachef.com/en-cn. From 240RMB per person.

Photograph: courtesy LAIBA


Sip bar-quality cocktails from the comfort of your couch

Pre-bottled cocktail platform LAIBA doesn’t mess around when it comes to mixing a mean drink. The menu, curated by co-founder Michael Chen (bar director at The Nest and co), includes Negronis, old fashioneds, whisky sours and bloody Marys all of which arrive premixed with cups, ice and garnish – your job is to shake, pour and go. LAIBA also collaborates with local bars like E.P.I.C, Shake, UP and Union for specials.
Follow ‘LAIBA_Beverages’ on WeChat. From 50RMB per drink. 

Become a wine connoisseur

Swirl, sniff and sip your way through some top-shelf wines with French native Morgan Lotterie’s (also behind Popot) high-end private tasting class, The One Who Knows Wines. Lotterie runs you through the essentials of understanding and discerning what’s in your glass with both traditional and natural wines and the winner of the final scent test gets a bottle as a prize. 
Follow ‘yingrantic’ on WeChat. From 10,000RMB per event.

Photograph: Shutterstock


Have an at-home spa day

Pamper and beautify without leaving the house using WeChat mini program Helijia. From lashes, mani-pedis and facials to massages and physiotherapy there are more beauticians and therapists on here offering at-home services than you could shake a lipstick at. The mini program is all in Chinese, but plenty of pictures make it pretty easy to navigate even if you don’t read characters. 
Search ‘河狸家’ (helijia) on WeChat for the mini program. Prices vary.

Treat your pooch to some pampering

A relaxing day at home doesn’t have to be all about you. Bark Shanghai has at-home dog grooming services that would make any human jealous. The full treatment includes a bath, haircut, nail trimming and ear cleaning. 
Add ‘BarkShanghai’ on WeChat. 270-380RMB (full grooming); 120-160RMB (bath). 

Get a massage

Need to relieve some of the stress of megacity living? Yu Massage does house-call tuina or oil massages that’ll bust all that built-up tension – and you don’t even have to face the busy city to get it.
Visit yumassage.cn. From 450RMB for a 90-minute massage, plus taxi fares if you live more than a ten-minute walk away from the spa. 

Find zen in your living room

Well-established yoga studio and healing space Drishti Vinyasa Yoga Shala offers private yoga lessons and meditation sessions with an option to send instructors to your house to help you de-stress, build up core strength and maintain a healthy lifestyle. 
Add ‘drishtiyogashanghai’ on WeChat. 800-1,000RMB per hour.

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By: Rupert Hohwieler