The intern who snuck into the hottest dining event in Beijing.

Disclaimer: Okay, you caught me, I was invited (but I totally would have tried to sneak in.)

Monday afternoon I attended the Eleventh Readers Restaurant Awards, hosted by the Beijinger aka the place where I have been interning for the past two-three months on a weekly basis.

They were held at the Conrad Beijing hotel, owned by Hilton, in one of the third floor meeting rooms. According to the well printed invitations (seriously there were probably three trees used per invite what with the amount they weighed) it was a formal function, so I donned a dress shirt and black pants (not jeans, Mum) and made my way into the city for it after my morning classes.

Arriving to a largely empty room I sat and waited for my boss. In recent news I am sad to say that she has handed her resignation in and will be leaving at the end of April. She has stated that my internship shouldn’t be affected, however we are yet to discuss in person this forthcoming issue. I wish I could say that this is a prime career opportunity for me (not to cash in on her resignation so quickly), but China law states that foreigners who wish to work at a foreign-owned company based in China must be at least 25 years of age.

Well, stink.

Attendees suddenly flooded the area, which ironically also meant the floodgates to the array of beverage products provided by sponsors opened as well. The great thing about big cities is the big names are guaranteed to want in on sponsoring major events, especially those of the beverage or dining nature. Since the Beijinger is widely known for its dining coverage, we were treated to some very odd Christmas bauble styled cocktails from Grand Marnier, and hor d’oeuvres that can only be described as a combination of latex covered radishes and grass jelly. However it was free and fanciful so I carried on my merry way and chatted to a few co-workers, including one who had his friend from Chicago in attendance for most of the night.

The event itself was pleasant enough. There were a few technical difficulties in syncing the iPad to the projector, and the crowd were a little rambunctious (well you would be as well with only a liquid diet on hand (where was the pizza?!?)), but I am definitely glad for this internship perk. If you want to see what people are eating in Beijing (or at least the fancy restaurant names) you can click here.

Now to patiently wait for the Bar Awards coming later. Apparently that’s where you can really shake things up. Yeah I said that.


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