There’s no substitute for joining in live of course: Getting your questions answered on the spot by some of the world’s top China experts; toasting friends around the world as they join you in the same cooking class; laughing at Team Bespoke as they fluff their intros…
The windows are being boarded up and the roads blocked. The cricket market has closed and the booksellers that once set up shop in the Confucius Temple have been moved elsewhere. If you want to see some of the very oldest living parts of Shanghai before they’re either gone for good or ‘Yu Garden-ified’ then we have but one suggestion: go rightnow! Many parts of the former walled city that pre-date the Bund and former French Concession by centuries are about to change forever.
We started our tours of this slightly chaotic but incredibly charismatic area a few years back, inspired (and often led) by expert Katya Knyazeva who has written two excellent books on the old city. On Tuesday, August 11th, Katya will host an online talk on the area’s history as part of the Bespoke Speaker Series. In the meantime, here are a few of our favorite little corners in which you can still get a real feel – and a taste! – of the area’s heritage.
If you enjoy luxuriating in your own home with a meal or glass of bubbly and listening to exclusive talks by the world’s top experts, then we’ve got another treat for you!
Following on from our first Speaker Series, we’ve lined up 6 more fantastic personalities to listen to in July and August. From the first-hand account of a former Red Guard-turned female CEO, to the World’s foremost Great Wall historian (see below).
Bespoke’s debut series of online expert-led talks kicked off in serious style last week with a raucous opening session from Paul French and Jeremiah Jenne that introduced ‘Peking Aesthetes’, a group of hutong-dwelling foreigners that were some of 1930s Beijing’s most colorful characters. A couple of days later Tracy Lesh ran her masterclass All the Tea in China, teaching us to properly appreciate our longjings and oolongs, as well as schooling us in the dramatic history of the international tea trade.
If, like us here at Team Bespoke, you’ve found the global lockdown has only added to your thirst for knowledge and adventure then our expert-led online talk on Chinese tea appreciation could be just the ticket, transporting you to the tea terraces of the middle kingdom without having to leave your sofa.