Envoi for Capital M 別了,前門米氏西餐廳

On Sunday, the 17th of September 2017, Capital M, a restaurant created by Michelle Garnaut in the Chinese capital city closed its doors for the last time at its unsurpassed Beijing venue: at Qianmen, on the southeast edge of Tiananmen Square (see the Capital M Announcement).

A place renowned for its cuisine, its relaxed elegance, the grace of its creator, the geniality of its staff, the excellence of its chefs, as well as for its cultural events and contributions to China in the world, Capital M also boasted unique views.

We farewell this cosmopolitan salon in the heart of the People’s Republic and cherish the riches it offered unstintingly to those who treasure the possibilities of China.


An ‘envoi’ is a concluding stanza of a poem, a ‘farewell’. Our poetic conclusion to the many sumptuous meals, casual snacks, indulgent Pavlovas, heavenly Turkish delights, joyous occasions, celebrations, convivial meetings, discussions, debates and deliberations at Capital M finds voice through the art of Lois Conner, the virtual artist-in-residence of China Heritage, and friend of Michelle Garnaut.

— Geremie R Barmé, Editor, China Heritage
18 September 2017

View from the balcony of Capital M, 2010. Photograph by Lois Conner.

View from Capital M looking west at dusk, 2010. Photograph by Lois Conner.

From the balcony of Capital M looking northeast. Photograph by Lois Conner.

Night scene, Qianmen. Photograph by Lois Conner.

Dashalan’r 大栅欄兒, Qianmen. Photograph by Lois Conner.

Rooftop, Capital M. Photograph by Lois Conner.

Bus stop at Qianmen. Photograph by Lois Conner.

The ruins of old Qianmen, 2008. Photograph by Lois Conner.



Mean hovels and abandoned halls
Where courtiers once paid daily calls:
Bleak haunts where weeds and willows scarcely thrive
Were once with mirth and revelry alive.
While cobwebs shroud the mansion’s gilded beams,
The cottage casement with choice muslin gleams….

In such commotion does the world’s theatre rage:
As each one leaves, another takes the stage.

from The Story of the Stone
trans. David Hawkes