FooDiva in Beijing
Tuesday, 31st August, Beijing: Nee-how from the Commune by the Great Wall, a Kempinski hotel that blends ultra-contemporary design with Chinese flair on the outskirts of Beijing. Upon check-in yesterday we were upgraded to a three-storey, four bedroom villa (yes unbelievable I know!) that goes by the bizarre name ‘Distorted Courtyard House’ – shame it’s just the two of us and for one night only. Anyhow it was a welcome respite from our disastrous airport taxi journey – I’ll save the details for when I see you, but suffice it to say Chinese taxi drivers are a nightmare. That’s one thing I won’t miss.
With the hotel’s choice of Chinese or Italian for dinner, surprise not, we opted for Chinese – funnily enough I still have an appetite for it. Another extensive menu with the choice of set meals, or a la carte – we opted for the latter. Three dishes to highlight; stir fry chicken with shaved almonds, pineapples and kiwis in a lemon sauce – sounds too fruity but it works somehow! Stir fry diced beef with goose liver and garlic (yum)…and my all-time favourite, deep fried green beans with chillies and pork mince.
Anyway food and beautiful designed hotel aside, we’re here to marvel one of the original Seven Wonders of the World – the Great Wall of course. You can access a private part of the wall right from the hotel via a hidden pathway (magical!), as well as the various public sections of the wall. We opted for the less-touristy Shuiguan which translates into ‘water-way’ – a five-minute drive away. Weather is so much cooler now in China, than Japan’s oppressive humidity, it’s perfect climate for sightseeing. We climbed one part as far as we could go – tough work, but the views and serenity are definitely worth the aches and pains. Enjoy the photos!