Inspired by a Shanghai Madam

The foyer at Salon de Ning, The Peninsula Manila. Image via Circuit Mag

A couple of friends took me for drinks at Salon de Ning, a bar in The Peninsula Manila, and I am still reeling from the place’s heady spell. It was such a visual feast, an immensely delicious one! Everywhere I looked were mosaics and photographs, paintings and sculptures, memorabilia and objets d’art — all set against a backdrop of voluptuous opulence.

Ning is a fictitious madam and socialite of 1930′s Shanghai, nicknamed then as the Paris of the East. She is the muse for the glamor and decadence in this hotel lounge’s interiors, where art deco meets chinoiserie, exotic east meets posh west.

A section of Salon de Ning's ceiling. Photo by Nathalie Mariano.

Detail of one of the lamps. Photo by Nathalie Mariano.

There are a lot of seashells in the decor. The pillars are covered with what looked like scales made of capiz shells. The lamps — oh, the glorious lamps — are made with different kinds of shells that were strung together to create lovely textured disks suspended in the air.

Salon de Ning has four boudoirs that open to the main lounge area, each one cleverly and sexily decorated in one of these themes — boxing, zeppelin, shoes, and Shanghai — all great obsessions of Madam Ning’s.

The Shoes Niche. Image from The Peninsula Manila.

The Boxing Room. Image via Circuit Mag.

The Shanghai Room. Image via Circuit Mag.

The Zeppelin room. Image from Travel and Leisure.

Aside from Manila, Madame Ning also has salons in Hong Kong, Shanghai and New York.

Salon de Ning, New York. Image via The Peninsula.

Salon de Ning, New York. Image via The Peninsula.

Salon de Ning, Hong Kong. Image via The Peninsula.

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