A Great Leap for Beijing Bars


Beer in China traces its origins to breweries set up by Russian and German settlers at the turn of the 20th century. Tsingtao from Shandong Province is a global trademark – light, low-alcohol, industrially brewed lager for the masses. Then there’s Yanjing, Beijing’s own cheap and cheerful brew of near indistinguishable similarity.


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Bespoke Beijing Nominated for Global Travel Award

Woop! We’ve been nominated for BEST GUEST EXPERIENCE at the inaugural LE Miami Awards! The what? It’s the uber networking event of the travel industry calendar for innovative brands that push the luxury envelope. And it’s in Miami so that means lots of trendy parties full of people in swimwear sipping cocktails. We hope, anyway.

Our plucky Beijing brand is on the roster with the likes of W Hotels, the Soho House Group, Ace, Upper House and The Standard – which is daunting, but we’re keeping our feet on the ground and focusing on those cocktails.

Bespoke’s founder Sarah will be making the trip to the awards in June which gives her a month to perfect her best Oscars-style tears just in case we’re lucky enough to win the award. Here’s a bit more info about the nomination and who we’re up against in our category. Wish us luck!

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Sex, Drugs and Celebrity with Bespoke Beijing’s New History Tour

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A hutong in the Qianmen area, 1900-1910

Beijing a city of vice? Actually yes! When the Communist Party of China came to power in 1949, they re-educated around 35,000 prostitutes, most from Beijing’s former red light district of Dashilan. And — most amazing of all — some of the brothels and opium dens that once littered this centuries-old area still exist (though no longer in business, of course). Want to see them? Of course you do! Well, Bespoke Beijing and Beijing Postcards has the key.

Beijing Postcards’ Simon – not much about these hutongs has changed!

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Hidden City: 798’s Sky Walk


Beijing’s 798 Art District was born from the hollow hulks of decommissioned military factory structures in northeast Beijing. The empty warehouses proved the perfect studio space for China’s up and coming art superstars. Huang Rui, Sui Jianguo and many more set up shop here in the 90s. Today the area’s gentrification is well and truly complete, with streams of visitors browsing world-class galleries like the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, and sipping lattes in dozens of cafes.


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Teeny-Tiny Beijing Dog of the Week

Woof! Say ni hao to this canine cutie (featured on our Facebook page last year) and its doting, hair-style copying owner. Why is it that folks in Beijing like their dogs so bloomin’ diminutive? Since 2008, a city ordinance has prevented residents from keeping dogs taller than 35cm at the shoulder. But we’ve come across mutts so minuscule they would struggle in a scrap against a pair of frisky hamsters. The moral? Be careful where you step. You might squash it.

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It’s Official: We’re the Beijing Experts

Last week we were featured in Conde Nast UK’s “Little Black Book of all the people you need to know in travel”. Thanks Conde Nast, we’re flattered!


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