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    Beijing Scrapbook

    I had always wanted to visit mainland China, so when I was invited to Beijing to perform at an event, I jumped at the very generous invitation. It was a brief but memorable trip and I’ve gathered the highlights here.

    Love,
    gp

    4:30 pm in London

    Board flight to Beijing and land at BCIA the next day at 10:30 am.

    11 am

    Head to the venue for a quick sound check for the next day's event.

    1 pm

    We check out Tiananmen Square followed by the Forbidden City. I'm in one of the carts they pick you up with from the parking lot to take you on the tour.

    Here's my shot of the Qianmen Gate at Tiananmen Square.

    Entrance to the Forbidden City.

    Inside.

    Some of the amazing stonework you see along the staircases there.

    Some crazy looking street food.

    A great gift for art lovers, Abe's Penny sends out 4 postcards a month that feature an image and text collaboration between an artist and a writer. Artists of note from past editions include Gus Powell, Massimo Vitali and Jason Fulford. Subscribe here. And don't miss Abe's Peanut—same idea but for kids!

    Photograph by Gus Powell

    Text by Rachel Levitsky

    3 pm

    Finally get to the hotel to freshen up after the flight. I stay at the Park Hyatt which is truly fantastic … The food there is great as is my room and the massage I have as a pre-performance treat.

    Here's the view from my room. You can see the Rem Koolhaas designed CCTV building. Truly a masterpiece.

    4 pm

    After a traditional Chinese massage at the hotel, I get my hair and makeup done for the evening’s press interviews. Seven Wu from Tony Hair does my hair for this event and he’s great—a true local find.

    5:15 - 7:15 pm

    2 hours of round table interviews with the international press including publications like The Bund, Modern Weekly, Sing Tao Daily, Ming Pao Weekly, Apple Daily, Her World, and Female.

    8 pm

    We have a cocktail at the China Grill at the hotel.

    9 pm

    We then have some awesome Peking Duck at a local chain called Da Dong. The duck and the crab I order are pretty delicious.

    Peking Duck

    The "Hairy Crab" has this yellow meat inside—something I've never seen before—and it is absolutely delicious.

    My mom got me hooked on Kind bars, which are great to have on hand for those times when I'm on the go and need a quick snack to hold me over.

    11 pm

    Bedtime.

    2 - 4 pm the next day

    Press interviews.

    4:45 pm

    At the hotel, I get a great recommendation for an amazing service called Tongrentong from the Vista Medical Center. I have an in-depth treatment with an old Chinese lady who comes with a translator. She sends me home with a bunch of herbal teas and supplements. They’ve had a great effect thus far. Check out our newsletters on Chinese Medicine by Adele Reising here and here for more information on home remedies and treatments of this kind.

    5:30 pm

    More hair and makeup for the evening's event.

    6:30 pm

    Red Carpet and then drinks at Coach’s 70th Anniversary celebration. Coach asked seven photographers to shoot the same handbag in New York City. There is some fantastic artwork by Reed Krakoff, Chen Man, Philip-Lorca DiCorcia, Sheila Metzner, Mika Ninagawa, Steven Sebring, and Wing Shya to check out.

    Mika Ninagawa and her work.

    Reed Krakoff standing next to his photographs. Loved his The Red Balloon theme.

    Steven Sebring in front of his work.

    7 pm

    Dinner.

    I sit next to Jason Weisenfeld from Coach. We had a great time together on the trip.

    8 pm

    I then get up on stage and sing a few songs. They are featured in this week’s music strip, so check them out below and on our YouTube page

    I absolutely love the dress I borrowed. Here it is on the Stella McCartney catwalk for Summer 2012.

    Here are the songs I sang at the Coach 70th Anniversary Celebration in Beijing:

    Cruisin'
    by D'Angelo

    F**k You
    by Cee Lo Green

    Wishing Well
    by Terrence Trent D'Arby

    11 pm

    We go back to the hotel and check out the bar, Xiu. The house band, Xpress, is playing and they ask me to join in for a few songs, so I hop back on stage for an impromptu performance.

    12:10 pm the next day

    BCIA to LHR.

    The goop collection

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