The Beijing Bunny Trail

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Tania McCartney hunts Beijing for the elusive Easter egg, and comes up with some chocolate-coated Easter ideas for kids all over the capital

Chocolate eggs, rabbits and the true cross may mean little to Beijingren, however just like Christmas and Halloween, it’s only a matter of time before the Christian festival of Easter really hits it off in China’s retail sector. The Chinese know how to celebrate, after all, and with chocolate addiction and a Sino-obsession with fluffy characters already a given, things are looking good for the Easter Bunny in Beijing.

For now, there is an echoing drought of Easter-related events around the capital, yet that shouldn’t stop the kids from hopping on the bunny trail – it just takes a little bit of savvy Easter-know-how. Hop to it!


Easter Friday would not be complete without the ubiquitous, warm and spicy hot cross bun. Heat in a slow oven and serve with fat dollops of butter and milky tea or coffee. Kempi Deli (8RMB), Mrs Shanen’s Bagels (10RMB) and Helen Sun Bakery (10RMB) will be selling the genuine article, along with the Bread of Life bakery (81RMB/dozen).


Easter Sunday is D-day for The Bunny, and the lynchpin for kids is without question the chocolate egg. These can be a challenge to find, but Carrefour promises a hefty load in March, as do your friendly expat suppliers – Jenny Lou’s (chocolate egg in ceramic bunny cup – 52RMB, pack of five small hunting eggs – 18RMB), the Friendship Store and April Gourmet. Supermarket chain Olé sell chocolate eggs, with real Cadbury hunting eggs going for around 40RMB a box. Just be sure to check pop in frequently, as eggs sell out quickly. Expect to pay over 100RMB for a large Galaxy egg.

With chocolate addiction and a Sino-obsession with fluffy characters already a given, things are looking good for the Easter Bunny in Beijing

Kempi Deli sells chocolate bunnies in varying sizes (45-130RMB) and 100-gram eggs (85RMB), all made with French Varhona chocolate. The Delicatessen has good quality 100-gram eggs for 45RMB, and Helen Sun Bakery do varying sizes from smaller hunting eggs (3RMB) to whopper 30cm eggs (150RMB). Schindler’s German Food Center offer good quality 12cm eggs for around 20RMB and small hunting eggs at around 5RMB. Your wallet may groan, but La Place chocolates, Comptoirs de France and many major hotels have illustrious cocoa creations – eggs, rabbits et al, in European chocolate. Expensive but worth every jiao.

If, despite every effort, your choc-egg coffers still remain bare, do not fret. Head to Liangma Flower Market (second floor) and snaffle a bag of plastic egg shells (10-20RMB per pack of ten); these pop open to hide all manner of sweets treats. And your absolute last resort is to actually make your own eggs. Melt chocolate and pour into moulds in varying sizes from Exquisite Bakery (100-200RMB).


What is Easter Sunday without a traditional egg hunt? Whether indoors or out, all you need is lots of sneaky spots to hide your chocolatey treasures. Liangma Flower Market has great hunting supplies like small baskets (2-8RMB), hand-painted hollow eggs (3RMB), fluffy bunnies (5-30RMB), traditional yellow chicks (3-5RMB) and other pascal creatures like straw rabbits (3-8RMB). All can be nestled in trees and the nooks of fences, where brittle chocolate eggs fear to tread. For decorating bushes (or lamps), pick up swirls of ribbons in pastel colours, too.


Many large hotels host Easter brunches complete with Easter egg hunts, egg-painting and other egg-citing activities. Etonkids often host a fab Easter event at every campus, to benefit the Magic Hospital; kids can enjoy an egg hunt, clowns, a petting zoo, egg-and-spoon races and much more - check with the school about this year's events. The Children’s Learning Centre of Beijing also holds Easter activities including a hunt, egg painting and Easter crafts. La Place chocolates has luscious sessions of chocolate egg decorating, so kids can get really festive (read: sticky).


Bread of Life Bakery This dedicated bakery, located in Lang Fang south of Beijing, creates jobs for orphans and offers an impressive array of baked goodies including delicious hot cross buns for Easter. They will deliver to Beijing for orders over 800RMB. Contact Cheryl at or visit

China World Hotel Gourmet Corner A luscious collection of chocolate eggs, bunnies and chicks as well as hot cross buns and traditional Easter breads and cakes. Usually on sale for the week before Easter only. China World Hotel (tel 6505 2266 ext 43), see event listings for address details.

Comptoirs de France Stunning pascal chocolates of every kind including white chocolate, as well as hot cross buns and other Eastery goods. East Lake Club, 35 Dongzhimenwai Dajie, Dongcheng District (tel 6461 1525). 东城区东直门外大街35号东湖俱乐部1层. Open 7am-9pm daily.; Room 102, First floor, Bldg 15, China Central Place, 89 Jianguo Lu, Chaoyang District (tel 6530 5480). 朝阳区建国路89号华贸中心15号楼102. Open 7am-9pm daily.

The Delicatessen, Holiday Inn Lido This delectable range of Easter confections includes chocolate eggs and rabbits. Holiday Inn Lido, Jichang Lu, Jiang Tai Lu (6437 6688 ext 1542).

Exquisite Bakery For Easter-inspired chocolate moulds, cookie cutters (126RMB for 12 mini cutters), sugary cupcake toppers (36RMB per pack) and more. Shop 7, Riverville Square, Tianzhu, Shunyi District (tel 6450 9838). 顺义区天竺温榆广场07店. Open 9am-7pm daily.

Helen Sun Bakery Hot cross buns and chocolate eggs including those a-made-for-hunting. 806 Pinnacle Plaza, Tianzhu Real Estate Development Zone, Shunyi District (tel 8046 1190).顺义区天竺开发区日祥广场806号. Open 7am-9pm daily.

Kempi Deli Delicious Easter treats, including chocolates and buns. First floor, Kempinski Hotel, Chaoyang District (tel 6465 3388 ext 5741).朝阳区凯宾斯基饭店1层. Open 7am-11pm daily.

La Place Collection Divine chocolate Easter eggs, mini rabbits and flower pots. La Place, No 3, Building 41, Xin Yuan Jie, Chaoyang District (tel 6466 8090). Open 9am-6pm Mon-Fri.

Liangma Flower Market All manner of inedible Eastery supplies. South bank of Liangma River, Dongsanhuan Beilu, Chaoyang District (tel 6504 2446). 朝阳区东三环北路, 燕莎商城南, 亮马河南岸. Open 8.30am-6.30pm daily.

Mrs Shanen’s Bagels Fragrant hot cross buns. 5 Kaifa Jie, Xi Baixinzhuang (next to Capital Paradise), Shunyi district (tel 8046 4301). 顺义区西白辛庄开发街5号 (紧邻名都园). Open 7.30am-8pm Mon-Fri, 7.30am-8.30pm Sat-Sun.

Schindler’s German Food Center A cacophony of divine nibbles. 15 Zaoying Beili, Maizidian (800m east of Nongzhanguan Beilu), Chaoyang District (tel 6591-9370). 朝阳区麦子店枣营北里15号(农展馆北路往东800米). Open 10am-7pm daily.

First published, in part, in Time Out Beijing magazine, 2008.

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