Speaker Series Recordings from 45RMB to 280RMB
Recordings for First Speaker Series
RMB 280
- +

Recordings for Second Speaker Series
RMB 280
- +

Recording for Individual Talk
RMB 45
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Discounted First Two Speaker Series' Recordings: Purchase a whole Series for 280 or individual talks at the discounted price of 45RMB each, just let us know which you select when you pay. (NB: Video links available until November 30th).


Bespoke Speaker Series 1 (7 Talks)


1. Sojourning in Peking 

In the 1930s, a motley crew of foreigners that became known as the ‘Peking Aesthetes’ resided in the city’s ancient hutong neighborhoods where they wrote novels, studied the language, learnt Chinese painting and even, in some cases, explored what was a surprisingly vibrant gay scene. Our speakers have chosen their favorite ‘original hutong hipsters’ to discuss during this talk, and will spill the beans on the likes of Wallis Simpson and Anna May Wong to boot – giving us a unique glimpse into the lives of the famous foreign residents you didn’t even know had spent time in China.

Speakers: Paul French & Jeremiah Jenne 


2. All the Tea in China 

OK so we’ve all tried green tea but after this you’ll never drink your cup of cha in the same way again. Our session is designed to provide cultural and historical context on the plant that changed the world (an adventure which takes us from China to the UK by way of devious international espionage) plus a demonstration of loose leaf tea prep, including the accessories required to make a good cuppa the proper way. In China, tea appreciation is an art every bit as complex and sophisticated as wine culture is in Europe and Tracy will offer some tasting notes to ensure you enjoy your brew in a new light.

Speaker: Tracy Lesh


3. Shanghai, Sassoon and the Cathay 

1930s Shanghai was the Far East’s most cosmopolitan city, a city that exuded luxury, style and excitement attracting businessmen, thrill-seekers and refugees from across the globe. Nowhere represented this more than Sir Victor Sassoon’s Cathay Hotel (now the Peace Hotel), an Art Deco masterpiece that towers above Shanghai’s Bund and was the heart of the city’s wild social scene. The fortunes of the hotel have since mirrored those of the city, weathering war, revolution and social upheaval. Join Peter as he shares the fascinating stories and personalities behind the city’s most iconic landmark.

Speaker: Peter Hibbard MBE


4. 8 Golden Treasures 

Think you’re coordinated? Let’s see what you got. This 10-minute set of Daoist exercises changed our lives so we hope they’ll do the same for you! While it may be easy to dismiss some aspects of Chinese traditional medicine (ahem), you can’t argue with a set of movements that have been keeping Chinese warriors healthy for a couple of thousand years, and this qigong routine is a winner. Not only is the sequence amazing for flexibility and strength, but each movement is designed to benefit (even massage) your internal organs to keep them functioning well. Our resident martial arts master will teach you how to regulate your breathing, stretch those muscles and, most importantly, align yourself with the Universe. You know, before you kill that family member for not doing the washing up properly.

Speaker: Eric Liu 


5. The Life of Empress Dowager Cixi 

Like a phoenix, she rose from the ashes of a palace demolished by foreign troops to become one of the most powerful women in the world. China’s Empress Dowager Cixi (pronounced “suh-shee”) ruled from 1861 to 1908 and is one of the most notorious figures in Modern Chinese history. For nearly half a century, she used her cunning and connections to rule China from behind the throne, but she’s also been accused of being heartless, presiding over the country’s downfall, and for amassing a huge fortune which she proceeded to spend on fripperies such as marble boats.

Speaker: Jeremiah Jenne


6. Hand Pulled Noodle Making Class 

In the most appropriate way possible, we’re going to send you some noods over Zoom. That’s right, we’re going to show you how to make those amazing hand pulled noodles you see in Asian food shows. You know the ones – a chef takes each end of a chunk of dough and slowly pulls it apart with a bouncing motion until it becomes a perfect, springy long noodle. Looks complicated, but happily, it really isn’t – especially when you have an expert showing you how. With just some flour, water, oil, eggs and tomatoes, Bespoke’s favorite chef will teach you how to whip up a tasty and authentic Chinese dish in less than 45 minutes, and have fun doing it! A perfect class for the whole family to join.

Speaker: Sue Zhou  


7. Murders of Old China 

Revenge, passion, greed, racism, corruption…this talk has it all. Following his triumph in retrospectively ‘solving’ the 1937 Pamela Werner murder in bestseller Midnight in Peking, Paul French has returned to true crime in his latest work for Audible Originals to reinvestigate a dozen controversial murder cases in old China, uncovering startling new evidence over a century later. Why did a remote police station, built to combat pirates, find itself at the centre of a murder-suicide after a constable went on the rampage? Who was trafficking vulnerable women from Europe to Shanghai in the early 1900s? How did Chinese gangsters avoid conviction after serving a deadly dinner to Shanghai’s elite? And why is Britain’s Foreign Office still withholding a key document crucial to solving a murder that took place in the Gobi desert in 1935?

Speaker: Paul French


Bespoke Speaker Series 2 (6 Talks)


1. The Great Wall in 6 Objects 

Explore the Great Wall of China from the comfort of your sofa with a man who’s not only walked its entire 2000km length, but actually ‘discovered’ new sections of it. Geographer, author, conservationist and historian William Lindesay has hand-picked 6 objects from the Great Wall to illustrate exactly why it is still deemed one of the World’s great Wonders.

Speaker: William Lindesay


2. From Red Guard to CEO 

Few get the chance to hear incredible individual stories like Ping’s. Born in 1955, she came of age at the height of Mao’s tumultuous Cultural Revolution. Sacrificing her own dreams for those of the Party, she was sent to work in a phosphate mine aged just 15. By the late 70s Mao was dead, and China’s reform gave her the opportunity she needed to eventually become one of the country’s top female CEOs. A unique insight into the mind-boggling changes of China’s last 60 years, told through beautiful photographs.

Speaker: Liu Ping


3. Shanghai Style: How China's Most Cosmopolitan City Nurtured its Distinctive Look

In Shanghai, the undisputed star of the show is its unmistakable Art Deco aesthetic, which found its way into every corner of the city, from the iconic 1920s Peace Hotel to the elegant apartment blocks of the former French Concession. Our Deco experts explore how, far more than simply an architectural form, this so-called ‘complete style’ infused not only Shanghai’s buildings but also its fashion, graphic design, furniture and, dare we say, even its soul!

Speakers: Patrick Cranley and Tina Kanagaratnam


4. Everything You Wanted to Know About the Chinese Communist Party But Were Afraid to Ask 

Is China still a Communist country? Spoiler alert: yes, it is. Just how has the Chinese Communist Party adopted a 19th century ideology and an early 20th century organizational structure to create a modern economy that has not only achieved the longest period of sustained rapid growth in human history, but may actually grow in 2020? China-expert Chad Futrell, of Tsinghua University’s prestigious Schwartzman Scholars programme, will throw new light on a subject you almost certainly don’t know well enough.

Speaker: Chad Futrell


5. Chinese Dumpling Making Class with Sue Zhou 

After the success of her hand-pulled noodle-making class in the first Speaker Series, we’re bringing back the brilliant Sue Zhou to teach you how to make Chinese dumplings (also known as pot stickers!) We’re slowly turning you all into expert chefs, aren’t we? Soon you’ll be able to open a Chinese restaurant in your hometown. 

Speaker: Sue Zhou


6. Shanghai’s Old City Secrets

Before the Bund and French Concession, Shanghai was already a thriving walled city that contained elaborate classical gardens and opulent private homes but, long forgotten by most, they are now facing large scale demolition. Expert Katya Knyazeva spent years photographing the city’s old lanes as they vanished, uncovering forgotten temples, a fine villa where Einstein and his wife once dined and even the ‘Secluded Library’ ­– a crumbling estate said to be the city’s oldest remaining residence and home to a lone resident determined to stay. 

Speaker: Katya Knyazeva


Terms & Conditions

Non refundable but transferable with prior permission by emailing info@bespoketravelcompany.com



Bespoke Travel Company, Ltd. 

About Bespoke Travel Company

Bespoke aims to help people effortlessly launch into new cultures and understand them on a deeper level and in a more authentic way, in order not just to remove prejudice and misunderstanding, but to excite and inspire changes in their own lives. 

When it comes to traveling, we make it easier than ever before to customize immersive and authentic trips in a country you’re unfamiliar with. With teams based in the countries you’re visiting, you’ll collaborate directly with insiders to create a trip that’s everything you want it to be, avoiding the tourist traps and maximizing your time to boot. 

What’s more, those same in-city teams source inspiring experts, historians and local personalities to lead cultural experiences and off-the-beaten-track tours you won’t find anywhere else. 


We can't wait to show you around again when things get back to normal!