Celebrating hanami, the transient beauty of Japanese cherry blossom

Japanese music at Sake No Hana

When I was visiting Donna in Istanbul over Easter (for which you can see my photodiary here), she told me she’d seen some return tickets from London to Tokyo for a measly £278. I pretty much haven’t stopped checking Skyscanner on the daily ever since. My insatiable wanderlust is second only to my need for a stable career and being nearest to my dearest – my boyfriend, his dog, my hamsters and my flat – and Japan is always top of that list.

Maybe I’ll do a lookback photodiary of Japan from my three-week excursion a few years ago soon…

Traditional Japanese music

Anyway, I get my Nihon fix in various ways while I’m bound to London. One is to eat at delightful restaurants like Sake No Hana (see my recent review of their Umai Saturdays menu here), so I was delighted to welcome in the season of the Japanese cherry blossom last night with those guys.

Downstairs at Sake No Hana

Until 20th June, Sake No Hana will partake in the ancient Japanese custom of hanami, whereby the fleeting beauty of the sakura cherry blossom is celebrated. The entrance and foyer have been taken over by cherry blossom trees (top interior tip from my housemate and date for the evening: live foliage is the next big thing in interior design) and filled with the cherry blossom scent of Mayfair perfumery institution, Floris.

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Fellow Nihon-centrics: even if just for a drink in the cherry blossom-filled downstairs bar, pop in; it’s a beautiful sight to behold.

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Be sure to order the Violet Risshun, a coctail of two parts representing both the beginning and height of Spring. Upstairs in the restaurant you can also indulge in Sakura Gozen with white miso soup, sesame spinach, a bento box of sashimi, migiri and maki, and the signature Sakura cocktail, and finishing with a Cotton Cheesecake and cherry blossom macarons. I can personally vouch for the last one; drool.

Cocktails at Sake No Hana

Macarons at Sake No Hana

The evening’s music was amazing (my tune-savvy date, “I just wish everyone would be quiet, sit on the floor and listen”); minimalist and cleansing. My Nihon evening may well be the reason I’m £278 poorer very soon!

Traditional Japanese music

Traditional music, Sake No Hana


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