It was the most extraordinary gala dinner I have ever attended.  Twenty-six of us, dressed in gold silk jackets hand-tailored for the Golden Birthday event, relished a 6 course meal on the Great Wall of China.  We were attended to by an army of waiters who fanned around the massive table to synchronously serve each course.

The day started with breakfast with Namu – a funky Chinese pop idol who opened her home to us.  This is the lady who posed in a bikini sporting the American flag in front of Chairman Mao’s portrait in Tiananmen Square and who hosted the local version of Pop Idol, until she was banned from TV. 

After lunch, we headed to not just any Ming Tomb – this one is not open to the public.  We had a champagne cocktail and climbed up the monument to admire the views.

After a brief change at the Commune, we arrived at the Great Wall.  Again cocktails and an open bar.  The banquet table was beautifully laid out with a silk runner to match out gold silk jackets.  The flower centerpieces were the most magnificent I have seen.  An elegant trio, wearing elegant red silk outfits, played classical Chinese music as the sun set.

During the dinner, the wall was lit up for as far as the eye could see in all directions.  The food, catered by the St Regis hotel in Beijing and brought up to the venue, was fabulous.  And the group was enchanted. 

Great Wall Dinner Menu
May 8, 2008

Organic Greens Topped with Black Pepper Chicken Paillard
Served with Bamboo Shoots and Aged Balsamico Dressing
* * *
Shrimp and Crab Wonton Soup
With Sliced Chicken, Pak Choi and Black Fungus
* * *
Sichuan Pepper Seared Blue Fin Tuna Loin
Set on Yam and Banana Mash
Served with Chai Sim and XO Sauce
* * *
Roasted Peking Duck
* * *
Sweet Potato and Cinnamon Tart
With Mango Sauce, Papaya and Vanilla Ice Cream
* * *
Coffee and Finest Tea Service
Homemade Cookies and Chocolates
* * *
Chocolate Birthday Cake with Champagne

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