The rich history of London’s most iconic cultural district
Chinatown Stories shares the history of London's most iconic cultural precinct alongside the experiences of the people and recipes that have shaped it. Telling the untold stories of London's Chinatown that help us understand the places, people and food that have shaped the capital's iconic cultural precinct, Chinatown Stories offers history, social commentary and recipes all with the aim of sharing the heritage that we can see and that which we cannot see in this special neighbourhood.
The nine streets in south Soho that make up London's Chinatown have a rich heritage that pre-date its Chinese influences. From origins as monastic lands that were sold off after Henry VIII's reformation, the area became a thriving multicultural neighbourhood that developed a reputation for foreign foods in the 1800s. It was a focal point for intellectual circles in Georgian London with coffee houses and salons a plenty. And it has played host to wild times while Ronnie Scott opened his first jazz club and music venues sprang up with acts including the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and Led Zeppelin. It's a neighbourhood that consistently thrived, dived and then adapted to survive.
If you walk through the neighbourhood, you will see allusions to its history through finely preserved architecture and heritage plaques. What visitors do not see is anything that explains what led to the area being designated Chinatown and what it means to the people who live, work and spend time there. Chinatown Stories will share the area's pre-Chinatown past, recent history and the untold experiences of members of the community through interviews.
What role has Chinatown played in their migration stories?
What does the area represent to them?
And what emotions does Chinatown evoke?
How do they feel about the rapid pace of change in this busy part of London?
Food has held a significant role in the neighbourhood’s history. Chinatown Stories will capture heritage dishes and recipes that reflect the stories of the area – creating a trove of tales and recipes that help us understand more about this special place.
Chinatown Stories combines history, personal stories and recipes to give the full flavour of what Chinatown means in London this decade.
All proceeds from Chinatown Stories will be donated to fund community projects that support the neighbourhood.
About the Book
- 288 pages
- Demy format, 216 x 138mm
- 50 images
These people are helping to fund Chinatown Stories.