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Empty Chinatown during lockdown in London
Photograph: Andy Parsons

Chinatown’s venues are sharing recipes, tai chi tutorials and Mandarin lessons for free

Alexandra Sims

London’s businesses are having an extremely tough time at the moment, none more so than those in Chinatown. The usually bustling tourist hub has suffered from a slump in trade since February with many restaurants in the area being forced to close weeks before the government’s lockdown was introduced. 

For anyone missing the vibrant, lantern-strewn spot, you’ll be pleased to hear you can now experience it from your living room. Chinatown’s venues have come together to create #BringingChinatownHome, a programme of online mindfulness workshops, language lessons and cook-alongs designed to transport the W1 enclave to you. 

The weekly activities will begin with Mindfulness Mondays, letting you join workshops including beginners’ tai chi with the Deyin Tai Chi Institute, meditation with Just Breathe and Chinese calligraphy. Throughout the week there’ll also be online lessons in basic Mandarin, a virtual tea house from vegan Chinese food champion Celestial Peach and weekend recipe inspiration, featuring home cook-alongs with some of the area’s top chefs.

‘MasterChef’ champion Ping Coombes and Dumplings’ Legend founder Geoff Leong are lined up to share recipes, and a number of Chinatown’s best restaurants will be recreating their signature dishes. If your local deli doesn’t have all the ingredients you need to join in, you can get them delivered to you by Chinatown’s supermarket, See Woo, as long as you live within a five-mile radius. 

Chinatown London said: ‘The aim of this campaign is to celebrate the wider Asian community and show support for Chinatown’s culinary scene in light of the recent downturn in business and unfortunate cases of prejudice. We hope to continue to cultivate the community spirit of Chinatown, whilst retaining positivity and engagement in this culture and cuisine.’

Join in with #BringingChinatownHome by visiting any of the @chinatownlondon social channels. 

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