China showcased its brilliant hospitality at the G20 summit that just concluded on September 5. The international level event was hosted by China at the famous picturesque Hangzhou province, which is mostly known for its West Lake and beautiful hills that are a treat to the eyes.
This time, it was a royal affair at the welcoming dinner hosted by China for the world leaders. From royal menu that were served to kings and queens to royal decoration, the dinner had it all.
At the G20 Summit welcoming banquet, Chinese President Xi Jinping hosted dinner at the Xizi Hotel, where even Chairman Mao Zedong had once stayed and dined. The Hangzhou province has a royal lineage and it is said that princes have played in the gardens of the province.
The welcome dinner showcased the best of Hangzhou cuisine and astute tableware. And it was the exquisite dinner set that caught everyone’s attention. Specifically designed for the event, the crockery was made of the finest bone china, painting with designs inspired from the serene waters and beautiful natural landscape of West Lake, according to a report by China Daily. The soft traditional Chinese brushwork was set against an emerald green undertone.
The handles on many of the tableware pieces were shaped to look like bridges, reflecting the theme of the summit－bridges connecting an innovative, invigorated and inclusive world. Appetisers were presented on a dish covered with a dome-like cover, inspired by Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon, an attraction at West Lake. Tea was served in lotus-like ceramic cups. The soup bowl was inspired by treasure ships on the Maritime Silk Road. The double-layer design was also practical, preventing heat loss, and, thus preserving the full aroma and taste of the dish.
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According to reports, a total of 16 design sets were created, and it took four months for the creators to come up with the final illustrations and motifs. It took 10 months more to manufacture the tableware.
Known for its magnificent silks, the menus and programme schedules during the banquet were all made of silk. Even the place cards for attending world leaders and official invitations were made from the royal silk fabric.
The summit’s dinner menu was pork-free and included various authentic dishes from the Hangzhou province.
According to the news report, the dinner fare included fish and river produce that Hangzhou is known for. From tantalising appetisers to delicious main course, the spread had all authentic delicacies. It is said that no dinner is complete if Hangzhou’s famous tea-infused prawns are not included, so that was a highlight as well. “Longjing or dragon’s well is the green tea that grows exclusively in the Hangzhou hills. The tea grows best with water from a well which the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) emperor Qianlong had once drunk from, hence its name,” reports China Daily.