What some may not realize is that the festival is also involved in a variety of additional projects, including bringing festival authors to Beijing migrant schools and hosting this Wednesday’s Pathlight Night of Literary Exchange.
The event will bring together Chinese and international writers and publishers for a night of cross-cultural communication and will be held at The Temple Hotel’s Main Hall, with food and beverages provided by TRB, Temple Restaurant Beijing.
The Temple Hotel’s Erica De Stales and TRB, Temple Restaurant Beijing’s Lynne Teng dishes about one of Beijing’s most anticipated new restaurants.
Bookworm: How did TRB, Temple Restaurant Beijing come out?
Lynne Teng: Our general manager Ignace Lecleir knows some people from The Temple Hotel team. He was considering opening his own restaurant while The Temple Hotel had a space available at the time. After going through some discussion, he started building TRB, Temple Restaurant Beijing in this space, which has been designed in a contemporary western style and showcases the beauty of China at the same time.
BW: What was the most challenging part of restoring a 600-year old Temple?
Erica De Stales: The most challenging part for The Temple Hotel team was that of preserving all layers of history. It was not simply a question of protecting the ancient architecture but one of allowing the site to tell its story. Today when one enters The Temple Hotel, some examples of industrial architecture built after 1949 still survive – for example the building where TRB is located – next to the ancient buildings. Inside the Main Hall of the Temple, one can still view a giant slogan painted red on the Northern wall during the 1960s to imbue revolutionary fervor into the Chinese people. Less prominent slogans painted during the same period still adorn the outdoor stone and wooden pillars in our yard. Many wooden doors and window frames are left untouched, and one can count the layers of paint applied on them through the years as well as the scratches and imperfections wrought by the passing of time. At night, delicate luminous brushstrokes accentuate such details. Our visitors are bound to be awestruck by the historical intensity of the place.
BW: What can diners expect?
LT: TRB, Temple Restaurant Beijing is a contemporary European restaurant with a strong focus on hospitality. Our main focus goes to cuisine, hospitality and our wine list. We have a wide range wine list with around 550 labels.
BW: What are your personal favourites from the menu?
LT: The dishes we would like to recommend are as following:
Foie Gras, Lobster and Sea Lettuce au Torchon, Foie Gras Fondant and Lobster Salad
Roasted Young Pigeon with Ceps, Smoked Duck, Parsnips and Truffle Jus
BW: Any recommendations on the drinks side?
LT: As TRB has been open for only three and a half months, we are still in process of creating an interesting bar programme, which will be ready very soon. So far we already have an interesting wine list with around 550 labels from all over the world.
BW: What is in store for The Temple Hotel over the next year?
EDS: We have a lot of exciting events in store at The Temple Hotel during 2012. We are putting together a rich cultural program, through which we want to pay homage to the role our site played at its origins. i.e. that of a printing workshop. We are planning exhibitions inspired by literature as well as events promoting literary creation. We start with The Pathlight Night of Literary Exchange organized by The Bookworm, which will take place in the Temple’s Main Hall on 15 March and is catered for by TRB. We will continue our involvement as a venue during Beijing Design Week. A unique, and unprecedented for China, site-specific light installation by a world famous artist will be unveiled during Fall 2012. And of course, the hotel itself will open soon!