Gabrielle Jaffe is a PTC award-winning writer and editor who is currently based in London. She covers culture, food, travel and current affairs.

Culture
White gold and the birth of a nation

White gold and the birth of a nation

It’s Saturday morning and the town’s creatives are packed into a large courtyard. At row after row of tented stalls, young designers sell their creations, from elegant tea sets to hand-painted ceramic earrings. I could be in east London, that is, until regimented tones of
Four perfect days in Paris

Four perfect days in Paris

Follow our insider itineraries and explore four very different Parisian neighbourhoods on foot, by bike and by boat, taking in gourmet markets and secret bars, little-known galleries and knockout views DAY 1: HISTORIC CENTRE Entering Sainte-Chapelle feels like climbing into a kaleidoscope. From all directions,
Paint by nature

Paint by nature

Out by Penmon Point, the exposed eastern tip of Anglesey Island, the sky is an almost perfect blue – almost. Near the horizon faint wisps of grey are rising from the sea. Ten minutes later a surprise hailstorm materialises. As pea-sized chunks of ice and
In search of the Manchus

In search of the Manchus

Palms pressed flat together above his forehead, knees bent over a yellow silk-covered block, Hong Haibo offers an inaudible prayer to his forebears. This genuflecting gesture of ancestor worship is reproduced daily throughout East Asia, but Hong’s are no ordinary ancestors. They are the Manchu
Beijing's Green Army

Beijing’s Green Army

This is Premier League soccer, just not quite as I know it. Nike. Carlsberg. Samsung. Familiar sponsors flash past on electronic billboards. At the same time, red-letter propaganda banners line the pitch, proclaiming: “The Chinese Dream. You, I, Gather Together. You, I, Advance Together.” Apart
China's graffiti artists

China’s graffiti artists

Some thirty years have passed since the award-winning film “Style Wars” was released, bringing to the world’s attention the little-understood graffiti culture of 1980s New York. Now a new documentary hopes to shed light on the even lesser-known world of China’s graffiti artists. “Spray Paint
Diamante Porsches? Lime Lamborghinis? China's crazy customized cars

Diamante Porsches? Lime Lamborghinis? China’s crazy customized cars

Beijing might be famous for being the city of nine million bicycles, but in the Chinese capital, cars are now king. A world-record breaking 20 million automobiles were sold across the country last year, making China the world’s largest car market. With 200 new models
In China, novel ways to fake ancient goods

In China, novel ways to fake ancient goods

  Strolling through Beijing’s Panjiayuan Market, it’s easy to imagine you’ve entered an antique treasure trove. Hawkers here sell blue and white porcelain, jade trinkets and Cultural Revolution-era memorabilia. If the prices seem too good to be true, that’s because they are. In the past, it
China re-embraces Confucius

China re-embraces Confucius

QUFU, CHINA—Confucius is quoted as saying, “How delightful it is to have friends come from afar.” But what would the sage have made of the hordes of tourists now descending on his hometown? Visitors to Qufu—the Shandong town where Confucius grew up over 2,500 years
Beijing Independent Film Festival derailed by authorities

Beijing Independent Film Festival derailed by authorities

The Beijing Independent Film Festival has a long history of absurd run-ins with the Chinese authorities, but this year’s edition opened in such a Kafka-esque manner it could have been penned by an indie scriptwriter. It began in mid-August with festival director Wang Hongwei announcing
Bringing art to the middle class in China

Bringing art to the middle class in China

As the world’s top collectors, gallerists and dealers converged in Hong Kong a week ago for Art Basel, the city’s inaugural edition of one of the world’s premier art shows, a very different kind of art venture was launching in the mainland: an online platform for buying affordable
Mongolia’s hip-hop beat

Mongolia’s hip-hop beat

Mongolia’s hip-hop scene caught Benj Binks off guard. The young Australian expected the descendants of Genghis Khan to be mostly nomads and herders, cantering over wild, bleak plains. Instead, when he arrived in the capital of Ulaanbaatar in 2004 he found nightclubs, graffiti and guys