Front and Back Lakes are two artificial lakes near the Forbidden City connected by a tiny canal. This is the view from the quieter Back Lake.
Back in the days, Manchurian royals used to frolick on the lakes, but now they are lined by restaurants...
and lotus leaves...
But our mission there was not to learn history (or to check out Sex and Da City), but to visit one of the best hot pot places in Beijing!
Here people are dining al fresco in the courtyard of the restaurant.
This is the special Mongolian hot pot ... it is heated by charcoal and you can control the fire by opening and closing the top vent.
This is the house specialty: freshly made fish paste, and it is put into the pot using a device typically used for decorating cakes... it is so good though.
The waitress skimming off the impurities, such good service.
So we dined on yummy lamb, beef, seafood, veggies, tofu, with an assortment of side dishes, under a light breeze and the reflection of the Anding Gate, life can't get any better than this.