“Corner Tower Coffee” is a cafe opened near the Forbidden City, renovated from a guards' house from the Qing Dynasty, with grey brickwork with red-painted doors.
The interior of the cafe is inspired by one of the ten most famous Chinese traditional paintings, “A Thousand Miles of Rivers and Mountains”, which is a dark-green-colored scenery painting currently housed in the Palace Museum. Elements from the painting can be seen in the coffee shop from the wallpaper to the silks hanging on the beams of the room.
All the drinks and desserts in the shop are named after the Forbidden City, and many have a unique historical story behind them. Called 'Guangxu's Black Wine', the most popular drink turns out to be the Chinese Emperor Guangxu’s favorite coffee, which at the time was called 'black wine' in China. Even the takeaway cups in the cafe carry a stylish name - the Forbidden Cup, named after the cup design reflecting the red wall of the Forbidden City and the nine bulges on its doors.
Every year, this coffee shop launches a series of creative products on the theme of the Forbidden City. This summer’s exhibition is called the Forbidden City Selection, and the selected artifacts are illustrated on the creative products.
Visitors who have just finished touring the Palace Museum can take a short break here and have a drink. While catering to the needs of tourists, the place also integrates the culture of the Forbidden City into the modern lifestyle, hence becoming one of the most popular hotspots for young people these days.