As sure a sign that spring is upon us as rows of daffodils in London's parks is the popping up of Japanese cherry blossom installations all over town to celebrate Sakura - the cherry blossom season. We've picked out some of the prettiest places putting on Sakura specials this year.
On the terrace at Nobu Shoreditch
Nobu Hotel London - Shoreditch - 10-50 Willow St, London EC2A 4BH
The House of Suntory and Nobu Hotel London Shoreditch have teamed up for an outdoors terrace with a blossom theme, serving up special Sakura cocktails, dishes and an afternoon tea. There are seven special cockails on the menu featuring Japanese spirits Toki and Chita Whisky, Roku Gin and Haku Vodka while the afternoon tea includes a tempting-sounding Sushi Rice Pudding with Pecan Candies.
When? From 5 April to 2 June 2019.
Under a waterfall of blossom at Zuma
Zuma - Knightsbridge - 5 Raphael St, London SW7 1DL
Zuma in Knightsbridge are using Grey Goose and Bombay Sapphire for their cherry blossom installation, so there's a Kyushu Fizz with Grey Goose la poire vodka, chinotto nero, amontillado sherry, walnut bitters and med tonic water.
When? 31 March to 23 June 2019
Trying non-alcoholic sake at Sakagura
Sakagura - Mayfair - 8 Heddon Street, London W1B 4BU
Sakagura have created a bespoke list of cocktails with Gekkeikan – the brewery of the Japanese Imperial Family and The House of Suntory. We're quite tempted by the Beneath the Sakura Tree - Gekkeikan honjozo sake mixed with Cointreau and oolong tea syrup which is served slightly warm. And - to show that you don't have to be boozed up to enjoy the blossom, they'll also be serving up an Innocent Cherry mocktail made with non-alcoholic Gekkeikan sake.
When? 1-28 April 2019
Brunching under blossoms at ROKA
ROKA - Fitzrovia - 37 Charlotte Street, W1T 1RR
For ROKA's 15th anniversary they'll be installing a permanent blossom fixture at their Shochu bar. They'll be celebrating with Suntory Sakura Cocktails and a new Sakura Sunday Brunch offering. Drinks include a sakura sour featuring cherry blossom vermouth.
When? Launches 26 March with first Sakura brunch from 7 April 2019
In a Japanese garden at Hush
Hush - Mayfair - 8 Lancashire Ct, London W1S 1EY
Hush's already pretty courtyard is being transformed into a Japanese garden where they'll be serving up a range of drinks made using Sakurao gin from Hiroshima which uses homegrown botanicals collected from the Hiroshima Prefecture in Japan. There'll be four special gin drinks to choose from.
When? 11 March - 12 May 2019
With a fishy cake at Sexy Fish
Sexy Fish - Mayfair - Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London W1J 6BR
Sexy Fish in Mayfair is putting on a selection of Sakura cocktails plus this rather OTT neon pink fish-shaped cake with bursting cherry blossoms. You can buy one for £30 to eat in or take home.
When? 18 March - 14 April 2019
In a garden bar at Mei Ume
Mei Ume - Tower Hill - 10 Trinity Square, London EC3N 4AJ
This Chinese restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square is topping its bar with a bespoke cherry blossom. Dishes to accompany the installation include Grilled miso seabass with Japanese sake sauce which is apparently a nod to the tradition of drinking sake beneath the cherry trees and there's a Sakura dessert made with jasmine tea mousse, cherry compote and sorbet.
When? 11 March - 22 April
With cherry soft serve at Flesh & Buns
Flesh & Buns - Fitzrovia - 32 Berners St, Fitzrovia, London W1T 3LR
The Fitzrovia branch of Flesh & Buns has two specials on for Sakura - a Cherry Blossom Cocktail made with gin, cherry puree, yuzu and cherry syrup and - this would be our pick - a special Cherry Blossom Soft Serve which you can either get served alongside their Nutella Tai Yai dessert, or on its own.
When? Until 31 March
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