Step free venue, with great staff in the heart of London's Chinatown offering talks by famous people + other events
This review is especially helpful for those who have or use the following: Walking Aid
China Exchange is a Chinese cultural exchange charity which hosts a variety of events which are open to the general public. They offer a regular programme of talks, music and other events. Their Prudential series features talks + Q+A with famous guests from film stars, musicians, business people, etc. Events are reasonably priced, especially if you manage to book early and get on of their early bird tickets. Past speakers have included Princess Eugenie, Tom Jones, Goldie Hawn, Michael Caine, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Fry, Michael Parkinson, Jude Law and Tracey Emin.
Transport & Parking
Nearest tube stations are Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus neither which are step free. Nearest step free tube is Green Park and then bus no 14, 19 or 38 to Shaftsbury Avenue. China Exchange is on Gerrard Street, the main street in London's Chinatown. It is pedestrianised from 12noon to 6am, with the nearest drop off point is Macclesfield Street.
Step free from street. On the ground floor are reception tables where people check in for the events. The there are lift to all floors. The venue rooms which the events are held are on the upper floors and when I have been visited have been laid out with free standing chairs arranged to face the stage. China Exchange is housed in a converted former telephone exchange, so as a former industrial building it is spacious.
They have accessible toilets on each floor. The toilets are spacious and clean, with grab rails. Sorry I can't remember of they have an emergency cord.
I've been to China Exchange several times. On this occasion I attended the talk by Princess Eugenie and I was about 5 minutes late arriving. The staff were lovely they saw my crutch and they found me an empty chair to sit on. When I was leaving they were trying to keep the lift clear for Princess Eugenie's exit, but they saw my crutch and let me take priority and let me go straight in. The first time I visited after my fall I phoned them before hand to check their disabled accessibility and the person who answered the phone answered all my questions. It was very refreshing to speak with someone who had good disability awareness and not to be put on hold while they asked their manager. This is a venue which I have found all the staff I have come across to be very friendly, extremely welcoming, helpful and very disabled aware.
Anything else you wish to tell us?
China Exchange is still a relatively off most Londoner's radar and so it's a real discovery. I enjoy the diversity of the talks I have attended Princess Eugenie discussing art, Ken Hom talking about Chinese noodles, Tony Kirkham, head of Arboretum at the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens talking about plant hunting in China and mediating with and hearing Goldie Hawn talk about mindfulness. The evening talks last about an hour this includes a time for audience Q+A and afterwards there are lots of Chinese restaurants close by. I'd recommend if you're interested in attending to sign up for their newsletter as popular speaker events will sell out on the same day.