Visitors to London’s Chinatown can enjoy a new trail that explores the area’s food heritage highlighting parts of the neighbourhood that show traditional techniques, contemporary tastes, and ways of expressing ourselves through food and flavours.
The free map is available in Chinatown from 1 February. The self-guided trail gives more detail about long-standing businesses including Lo’s Noodle Factory; Chinatown pioneers like SeeWoo, the first company to import pak choi to the UK; where to find foods that are made by hand, and other places to seek out tasty morsels of history.
The project, led by Chinatown charity China Exchange, involved nine volunteers who were trained in documenting, archiving and developing heritage material based on interviews with Chinatown’s talented chefs, entrepreneurs and business owners. The volunteers then developed heritage stories for the printed map that emphasise the human connections between an area we associate with food strongly but do not always see or understand the stories of the people who produce that food. The vibrant hand drawn artwork for the trail was designed by artist and multidisciplinary designer, Penny Ng.
China Exchange, founded in 2015, creates opportunities for people to understand more about China, Chinese culture and Chinatown. The UK registered charity has welcomed 32,000 people to its activities, which include ways to record, archive and celebrate the heritage of London’s Chinatown. www.chinaexchange.uk @ChinaExchangeUK
The map is free and available to collect from pick up points in Chinatown listed on the China Exchange website. www.chinaexchange.uk
This trail was produced as part of Champion Chinatown’s Heritage, a 2021 project funded through generous crowdfund campaign donors and Westminster City Council. The heritage interviews and archive materials will be available at Westminster City Archives from February 2022.