Monaco to San Francisco: Come See the Forbidden City! by Emma Krasov

Photography by Emma Krasov

Sweet dreams are made of this… How do you bring together the world’s most coveted travel destinations and attractions all in one place? Monaco Government Tourist Office presented the upcoming summer exhibition, “The Forbidden City in Monaco: Imperial Court Life in China” during its 2017 press preview in San Francisco at the Michelin-starred Hakkasan restaurant.

Present at the event and speaking to the press were Thomas E. Horn, the Honorary Consul of Monaco in San Francisco; Guillaume Rose, Director of Monaco Government Tourist Authority; special guest Mark Braude, author of “Making of Monte-Carlo: A History of Speculation and Spectacle,” and Monaco Government Tourist Office representatives.

2. Cafe de Paris

3. Casino at night

As if traveling to Monaco – the playground of the rich and famous – wouldn’t be enticing enough, the tiny principality on the Mediterranean coast tirelessly expands its tremendously significant cultural programs year after year, with grandiose art shows usually coming every summer to the spacious Grimaldi Forum in the heart of the city-state.


The Forbidden City exhibition, jointly curated by Jean-Paul Desroches, Honorary General Curator, and Wang Yuegong, Director of the Imperial Court Life Department at the Forbidden City in Beijing, focuses on the last imperial Chinese Qing dynasty (1644-1911), its pomp and circumstance, its tastes and grandeur. The Forbidden City, one of the most impressive palace complexes in the world, and the world’s most popular tourist venue, attracts around 10 million visitors annually.

In the exhibition, there will be two models of monumental temples from the China Red Sandalwood Museum in Beijing, archival audiovisual material made public for the first time, and 250 artefacts, including portraits, ceremonial costumes, furniture, precious art pieces, and scientific instruments, some of which are ranked as national treasures. The show will run from July 14 through September 10.

4. Grace cocktail

The press reception started with a glass of rose champagne with a single pink rose petal in the flute – a tender homage to Princess Grace who made America’s connection to Monaco the tie that binds.

Hakkasan restaurant menu, suitable for the occasion, included some of the famed restaurant’s signature dishes.

5. Shanghai

6. Dumplings

An array of traditional dumplings included Shanghai siew long bao, har gau, scallop shumai, and prawn and chive dumpling.

The main courses presented the usual richness and variety of classic Chinese seafood, meat, and vegetable dishes served over egg and scallion fried rice:

7. Shrimp

Spicy prawns with lily bulbs and almonds

8. Claypot

Sanpei chicken clay pot with Thai sweet basil

9. Beef

Stir-fry black pepper beef

10. Lotus

Lotus root and asparagus and lily bulb

11. Desert

A duo of desserts consisted of yuzu-mango lollipops and chocolate blood orange cups.

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