Old China Hands lunch 1 December

Nice crowd
Our Old China Hands lunch 1 December saw a nice turnout of 34 despite the last minute cancellation of some busy members.
Nothing special to report except that all were having a great time to chat and enjoy the food of Morel’s Restaurant. Renaat always prepares a special menu for our group.

It is the last lunch of 2023 and the next one is planned for 5 January 2024.
We wish all of our members great and happy Holiday season, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!
Looking forward to see all of you in the next year.

Old China Hands 3 November

Our members are busy!

Our Old China Hands 3 November lunch had a moderate attendance of 26 people, we had many last-minute cancellations with many stuck in meetings, trips or simply too busy. Or with the flu…
With COVID restrictions gone our members are more back on the road and catching up with business.

Anyway, all had a good time as always, chatting and enjoying the food. The tongue in madeira sauce reminds me of my Mum’s great cooking.
Next lunch: Friday 1 December.

Bonne Maman

Our friend Quentin had a surprise for all, giving away the home-made jam he makes from fruit he collects from his garden near the Great Wall. See some of his samples. Very professional and really good – I have been the lucky guy enjoying his jam since quite some time. Thank you, and now I can continue to call you “Monsieur Confiture”!

As you can see, his jam reminds us all of the famous Confiture Bonne Maman, see here the background and more pictures.

Old China Hands 6 October

Last day of holidays

We had our Old China Hands 6 October 2023 lunch in Morel’s Restaurant with a more modest attendance of 24. Reasons: holiday travel, some COVID cases, some with injuries, unplanned other meeting and yes Matthew who forgot to set his alarm (again). But he was kind enough to leave a big tip to the staff as compensation. Thank you!

Renaat finally put the frame up of our Anniversary event!

Again all loved the food and the lively chat. One of the dishes is from my hometown, “Waterzooi of fish, Ghent’s way”. See more about waterzooi here.

Our stars of the month

Kevin is a part of the “Brian & Kevin DUO”, along with following of bears. They have been performing in several locations in Beijing.
I personally love their songs, most I (try to) sing in the KTV.

Brian is a US citizen, currently self employed as a communications consultant with a primary focus on enhancing public speaking skills, international communications, and brand recognition; married to a Chinese lady.
Brian has been entertaining crowds with his music in the USA for more than 20 years. He continues his musical journey here in China and loves connecting with many musicians from around the world. Playing as a duo with Kevin has been one of those great connections and pleasures. Styles of music include – Rock, Country, Jazz, Blues, R & B, and much more.

Kevin Paul is also US citizen with a Chinese wife. He is a German-trained Master Piano maker (Klavierbaumeister) by profession, and has been working as a consultant in this field the past several years. Previously, he lived and worked for many years in both Germany and Denmark, and is fluent in both languages. He can also speak and read Chinese on a basic level.
Kevin studied music composition and guitar in his younger years, and played in numerous bands in America , Germany, and Denmark. He came to Beijing in 2014, working as a master piano maker. He has been working together with Brian, complimenting Brian’s stage presence with solid musical underpinnings.

Old China Hands 1 September

Good numbers

Yes, we are back to good attendance with the lunch of Old China Hands 1 September. We were 30! I wonder when we could have again around 40…
I was happy to welcome old friends from Australia visiting China, William from Xian, and of course the usual regular members.
Greg organized a surprise cake with a speech and a song for his Chinese friend who is leaving for London to study. She was really impressed and emotional. And we all had two deserts this time!

For once I am in the pictures! Food was great as usual, thanks Renaat Morel and his team.
Next lunch planned for Friday 6 October.

Our “famous OCH of the month”

Dr. David Feng or as we known him “Mr. Railways”.
David is Chinese by birth, Swiss by passport, and has spent many years in London, as well as in many other cities, notably those with developed public transport.
With over 530,000 kilometers by rail, metro, tram, monorail, and other forms rail transport across Europe, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas, he is, we can say, “well-travelled”. He is particularly knowledgeable about the rail systems in China, Switzerland, and the UK.
He has been to over 2,500 rail, metro, and tram stations, including every single station on the world’s busiest and (by route) longest metro network (the Beijing Subway), and the oldest such network, the London Underground.
He acts like the journalist-on-the train, taking notes, pictures, shooting video clips and talking on his podcasts and other media.
His travels made him a detail-oriented specialist in concepts of railway station design, operations, and usability. He is a famous rail media personality, through many years of social media postings about the railways of China.
He helped the rail network in the UK translate signs from English to Chinese. He firmly remains in this field, as through his published book, the “Everyday Rail English” series by the China Railway Publishing House. Many signs were improved with his active participation. He has also trained thousands of Beijing Subway staff with similar bilingual publications and talks.

He is regularly featured on Chinese and worldwide media. I collected some of the latest articles, see here:


Old China Hands 4 August

Good turnout

Our previous lunch had only 15 people, so I feared our Old China Hands 4 August lunch would be similar. Well. happy to say we were 24, a great turnout as many are still travelling.
Food of Morel’s Restaurant was great as you can see in the pictures, Renaat was still in Belgium but he does keep a VERY close eye on what’s going on! He sent me two pics he took from the restaurant CCTV cameras, he can watch it in his mobile.

So this time I am in two pics for once.

Next lunch

Next lunch planned for Friday 1 September. Let’s cross fingers for a bigger crowd!
For our lunch Susan was already back from her Europe trip. Renaat is back on 6 August.