Bloody Saturday Walking Tour: September 17th

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A Limited Edition Public Tour based on the book by Paul French and led by historian Peter Hibbard

Once in a while we get to produce something really special – and this is one of those times! We’re excited to be teaming up once more with bestselling author Paul French (Midnight in Peking) for an exclusive, one-off tour based on his new book, Bloody Saturday. And since we don’t do things by halves, we’ve asked legendary ‘Old Shanghai Hand’ Peter Hibbard – eminent  historian and author of classic books on the Bund and Cathay Hotel – to lead the walk.

Author Paul French & Historian Peter Hibbard.

Author Paul French & Historian Peter Hibbard.

In August 1937, a number of bombs rained down on Shanghai, causing utter devastation to its buildings and residents. But instead of being dropped by the Japanese, the explosives came from Chinese planes. This is your chance to learn about this shocking, oft-forgotten episode in Shanghai’s history from a world class guide, and to rediscover the Shanghai of the 1930s.


Limited Edition Walking Tour Preview: Bloody Saturday

Bestselling author Paul French (Midnight In Peking) has just released his latest book, Bloody Saturday, and Bespoke is proud to be partnering with him and Penguin Books on a one-off September walking tour recounting this dark day in Shanghai’s history. Just to make it even more exciting, the tour will be led by leading Shanghai history expert Peter Hibbard.

Image from The Age, August 16th, 1937.

Image from The Age, August 16th, 1937. (Photo courtesy Paul French)

Published this week as a ‘Penguin Special’, Bloody Saturday makes use of rich source material to retell the tragic events of August 14th, 1937. It was on this day that Chinese fighter planes accidentally dropped bombs on their own city. One fell on the busy intersection of Nanking Road and the Bund, while two more landed just outside the crowded Great World building in the French Concession, leaving thousands dead or injured in what was, at the time, the worst aerial bombardment the world had ever seen.

Entrance of the bombed Cathay Hotel

Entrance of the bombed Cathay Hotel (Photo courtesy Paul French)


Guanfu Museum at the Shanghai Tower

Guanfu Museum

It’s no secret that Shanghai has upped its museum game in recent years. And while we’ll always have a soft spot for the good old Shanghai Museum on People’s Square, its epic wait times and packed galleries don’t always result in the slickest experience. Instead a raft of privately-owned spots – think Aurora, The Long Museum and Yuz – have recently been giving the behemoth a run for its money. However we reckon the brand new Guanfu Museum is up there with the best of ‘em.

Guanfu Silk

Founded by collector Ma Weidu and with a branch already in Beijing, Shanghai’s version boasts a rather special location on the 37th floor of the Shanghai Tower – a.k.a. China’s tallest building. Whilst it’s some way below the towering observation deck, that’s enough to earn it the title of highest museum in the land (and therefore museum with the best views too).


W Hotel Shanghai

W Hotel Pool

Confession time, folks. Bespoke rocked up at Shanghai’s newly opened W Hotel with every intention of a thorough investigation of the hotel’s particulars: its room sizes, its conference facilities, its dining venues and so on. And then we saw the swimming pool.

Sure, there is every chance that this summer’s crazy temperatures have messed with our minds, but we’re pretty darn certain that it’s this little stretch of water by which the W will be defined.

W Hotel Pool night

Photo credit: Instagram @JDBcam


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