LumDimSum | Filed under: Food For Thought, Hot Tips, Upcoming Events | Tags: Beijing Postcards, Beijing Railway Station, Bespoke Beijing, brothels, Capital M, Gothic Church, Historic Maps, hutong streets, Lars Ulrik Thom, Midnight in Peking, Old Peking, opium dens, Paul French, Sarah Keenlyside, The Badlands | 1 Comment »
LumDimSum | Filed under: Hot Tips, Travel, Upcoming Events | Tags: Bespoke Beijing, Bespoke Travel Company, Wild Wall, Wild Wall Weekend, William Lindesay | 2 Comments »
Join Bespoke’s Wild Wall Weekend with William Lindesay (OBE)
One of the most majestic and mind-blowingly awesome sights in China is hands-down the Great Wall. It’s amazing how often people ask me if I get tired of going to the Great Wall and my answer is never.
It may be a little bit (or a lot) of effort to get to, sometimes you have to hike through some pretty rugged terrain to reach the Wall, but once I’m on it, I never regret it and have gained more appreciation and admiration for The Great Wall the more I visit and the more I learn about it.
So when I heard that Bespoke Travel Company is organizing a Wild Wall Weekend with William Lindesay, known as the world’s leading Great Wall historian, I couldn’t help but jump with joy.
LumDimSum | Filed under: Foodies & Dining Scene, Special Events | Tags: Benjamin Manthey, Bespoke Beijing, Black Sesame Ice Cream, Black Sesame Kitchen, Five Flavored Eggplant, Jen Lin Liu, Joanna Crain, Kungpao Shrimp, Michael Crain, Pan-Fried Dumplings, Red Braised Pork Belly, Sarah Keenlyside, Sue Zhou, The Courtyard Institute, The Orchid | 3 Comments »
Black Sesame Kitchen’s New Courtyard Flagship Location
One of my favorite hidden gem places to bring out of town guests, it was heartbreaking to say the least when Black Sesame Kitchen had to close down their Black Sesame Hutong location to all public cooking classes and events about two years ago. Though they had a short-lived stint hosting weekly dinners at The Orchid Boutique Hotel, they have now moved into their new flagship location at The Courtyard Institute.
A place where I always felt at home, where I met so many fellow foodies and Beijing friends, Black Sesame Kitchen (BSK) was all about quality home-cooked Chinese staples done exceptionally well with minimal use of oil and salt, no MSG and just the cutest chefs imaginable.
Though I haven’t hosted a dinner at Black Sesame since they closed their original location, I used to be a regular and I know their staple dishes quite well. Just last weekend, I was invited as a guest to a small dinner party for 7 at Black Sesame’s new location and was delighted to be seated among some of Black Sesame’s biggest fans including the dinner party hosts Michael and Joanna Crain (founders of the legendary Chi Fan for Charity annual charity event in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong), Benjamin Manthey (fellow foodie and CrossFit Slasher who used to work at Black Sesame as a host once upon a time), the lovely Sarah Keenlyside (founder of Bespoke Beijing Travel Co.) and Superwoman Sue Zhou of SueZhouDoesFood (go to her Summer BBQ this weekend!). Needless to say, I was sitting among some of Beijing’s most knowledgeable foodies!
LumDimSum | Filed under: Food For Thought, LDS Interviews, Travel, Upcoming Events | Tags: Beijing Postcards, Bespoke Beijing, Lars Ulrik Thom, Layers of Beijing, Rosie Levine, Simon Gjeroe | 2 Comments »
Bespoke Beijing Travel & Events Co. teams up with the passionate historians of Beijing Postcards for the launch of their next limited edition public walking tour: Layers of Beijing. A tour that winds you through the hidden hutongs behind Zhangzizhong Lu, the Beijing Postcards team re-traces life in Beijing from the founding of the People’s Republic to the present day revealing the layers that have shaped Beijing into the capital that you see today.
Step-by-step, as you wind deeper into the narrow hutongs, historian extraordinaires Lars Ulrik Thom (Founder of Beijing Postcards) and Rosie Levine (Co-Researcher and Collaborator for Beijing Postcards) explain the incredible changes experienced from the 1950′s social campaigns that set the foundations of Beiping society that brilliantly pulled everyone together to the chaos of the 1960′s when everything fell apart as people were pushed to return to the countryside.
LumDimSum | Filed under: Hot Tips, Travel, Upcoming Events | Tags: Bespoke Beijing, BJ Postcards, Emperor Puyi, Lars Ulrik Thom, Limited Edition, Peter O'Toole, Public Walking Tour, Reginald Johnston | 2 Comments »
Re-Live the Final Years of Dynastic China with Bespoke Beijing & BJ Postcard’s NEW! Limited Edition Walking Tour
Bespoke Beijing Travel & Events Co. teams up with the passionate historians of BJ Postcards for the launch of their third limited edition public walking tour: From Dynasty to Republic, a tour through the Forbidden City with BJ Postcards Founder Lars Ulrik Thom, who brings to life the the final years of Imperial China.
LumDimSum | Filed under: A Day In My Life, Hot Tips, Travel | Tags: Bespoke Beijing, Drum & Bell Tower, Great Wall of China, Gubei Watertown, Jinshanling, Sarah Keenlyside, Simatai, The Great Wall | 2 Comments »
Rejoice! 10 of Simatai’s watchtowers are re-open to hikers once again!
As city experts, Bespoke Beijing is on top of their game. Not only are they whizzes on Beijing’s history and culture (here are 5 things I bet you didn’t know about the Drum & Bell Tower), they make a big effort to always be among the first to know whenever a new restaurant opens, they knew as soon as the Forbidden City decided to close every Monday, and they are pretty much clued into all the city’s hidden gems and most guarded secrets. I owe a lot of my Beijing knowledge to Bespoke’s founder Sarah Keenlyside.
For the past 4 years (since June 2010), Simatai has been saying they would re-open “next year”. We were beginning to lose hope until late March this year, they finally re-opened to the public.
Thanks to Bespoke, I got to tag along with them on their most recent team field trip to explore the recently reopened Simatai Section of the Great Wall!
LumDimSum | Filed under: Foodies & Dining Scene | Tags: Andy's Craft Sausage, Bespoke Beijing, Brand Nu, Brian McKenna @ The Courtyard, Chef Rob Cunningham, Chi restaurant, FEAST (Food by East), Garden Salad, Li Yang, Nathan Zhang, rotating menu, Saffron, set dinner menu, set lunch menu, Stuff'd, Vineyard Cafe, Wudaoying, Yao Yang | 15 Comments »
Chi Restaurant is all about local, organic and artisanal dishes.
Opened by a wonderfully creative and forward-thinking team – husband and wife duo behind Saffron Spanish restaurant Yao Yang and Li Yang and managed by Nathan Zhang, the hip and awesome founder of upcycling charity concept Brand Nu. Already among the most respected business owners of Wudaoying Hutong, these guys are classy-ing up this mega-popular strip of trendy cat cafes, hipster bars, fixie bike shops, and comfort dining joints (like Vineyard Cafe and Stuff’d just around the corner) with one of cutest, quaintest little gems of all.
Beautifully designed with Japanese accents, the space feels warm and cozy rather than squished and tight and the welcoming atmosphere is enhanced by the happy diners and smiling chefs from the open kitchen that literally bares all with not one cluttered corner abled to be hidden from plain view.
Serving breakfast, set lunches and dinners, foodies come to Chi for organic food that promotes sustainable eating by locally sourcing as many of their ingredients as possible. Catering to a loyal following of regular customers, they are also rotating their menu on a weekly basis so you can always count on something different each time you come.
LumDimSum | Filed under: Food For Thought, Hot Tips, Travel, Upcoming Events | Tags: Bespoke Beijing, BJ Postcards, Lars Ulrik Thom, Limited Edition Walking Tour, The Banner Watchmen, The Nightwatch, Tom O'Malley | 5 Comments »