There’s no doubt about it – we love a bit of flower power when spring arrives. Be it beautifully blossoming instillations, fanciful floral cocktails, or pop-ups that pack a punch of petal prettiness, it’s all about harnessing the splendour of nature!
And it seems bars and restaurants are taking inspiration from blooms all over the world – from the quintessential English country garden aesthetic, Mediterranean mixes, or even opting for something a little Far Eastern. Sakura is in full swing in Japan – the highly celebrated cherry blossom season that draws thousands of viewers a year. Read on to discover our six favourite spots to indulge your love of flowers while sipping on a cocktail or two.
Celebrate Sakura with these Asian-inspired instillations
Shochu at ROKA Charlotte Street
Have you heard about the art of Hanami? It’s the enjoyment and viewing of the transient beauty of flowers, and is essentially what the sakura cherry blossom season in Japan is based around. Well, you can pay homage to this practice, cocktail in hand, by heading to sexy subterranean bar Shochu. The bar team have created three bespoke cocktails that play on the sweet flavours of spring, perfect when enjoyed underneath the stunning canopy of cherry blossom that covers the entire ceiling of the basement bar.
One favourite is set to be the Sakura Sour, where Akashi-tai plum sake will be shaken with Arbikie vodka, passion fruit and sakura paste to create the ultimate sakura serve, while we can’t wait to try the Morello Fizz (above), a mix of Roku gin with morello cherry, red vermouth and a soda top. The instillation, created by Veevers Carter, also includes pale pink neon lighting throughout the display to highlight the delicate blooms and enhance the ambience of the bar, making it the perfect spot for some sultry sakura sipping.
Shochu Lounge | 37 Charlotte St, Fitzrovia, W1T 1RR | Until 20th June
Cherry Blossom Bar at Zuma, Knightsbridge
Contemporary Japanese restaurant Zuma have teamed up with Ciroc Vodka to create a gorgeous cherry blossom-inspired instillation that showcases the beauty of this iconic Japanese season to their guests. Sip one of six specially crafted Ciroc cocktails while marvelling at the real tree trunk and branches, surrounded by a waterfall of delicate pale pink flowers that cover the walls and ceiling.
The Sakura Ciroc Menu selection features six exclusive cocktails created by Bar Manager, Pawel Rolka and his team, which combine compelling seasonal tastes from Japan with some floral scents and classic Ciroc vodka. Highlights include the Sakura Martini – a perfect pre- or post-dinner tipple made with Ciroc Vodka, sakura infused vermouth and pickled sakura, and the Hanami Sour (above), which sees Ciroc Vodka, aloe vera, jasmine and rose yoghurt, almond syrup with yuzu and lemon juice is an unusual mix and stays true to the plant based flavours.
zumarestaurant.com | 5 Raphael St, Knightsbridge, SW7 1DL | Until 17th June
Quintessentially British – all the charm of an English Country Garden
Beautiful Bumblebees at Dalloway Terrace
One of London’s most adored al fresco drinking and dining venues, Dalloway Terrace, has once more been transformed to celebrate the current season. This spring it’s embraced a bee-inspired interior, highlighting their importance within the ecosystem and encapsulating the arrival of the warmer climes.
The terrace is adorned with an abundance of wild English flowers creating a kaleidoscope of colour, with oversized bees laced within the meadow-styled blossom. As well as featuring a new seasonal menu and a ‘Honey Bee Afternoon Tea’, the restaurant has also added a classic cocktail to the menu aptly named ‘Bee’s Knees’, consisting of Hayman’s Gin, fresh pressed lemon and London honey – with £2 being donated to the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust charity for every drink purchased.
dallowayterrace.com | 16-22 Great Russell St, Fitzrovia, London WC1B 3NN
London in Blossom at Hush Mayfair
Soft pastel florals, vintage ornaments and terrariums filled with fairy lights and flowers, a secluded courtyard… it sounds like all the essentials for a romantic summer evening. Welcome to Hush Mayfair’s London in Blossom instillation, created in partnership with London No.1 Gin.
To toast the season, a brand new cocktail menu has been created by in-house mixologist William Solorzano, consisting of four bespoke cocktails made using London Gin No.1. Start the evening with a No.1 Negroni, before moving on to their version of a gin & tonic, the Cool as a Cucumber (London No1 Gin, lime, elderflower cordial, mint, cucumber and tonic water). Then there’s a classic Clover Club, and finally the Orange Sunshine, made using Tio Pepe Fino Sherry, La Copa Vermouth, and orange bitters. Let the sun shine indeed!
hush.co.uk | 8 Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1S 1EY
Around the world in blooming gorgeous style
The Perception at W London
Spring has undoubtably sprung at W London in Leicester Square, where a bold and interactive floral masterpiece welcomes the arrival of a new refreshing cocktail menu at The Perception at W London. Pass by an innovative living wall with a pick-your-own herb and spice garden, in preparation for garnishing your cocktail of choice!
The floral installations are inspired by Chef Ravinder Bhogal’s East-African Indian heritage, and guests can pick coriander, tamarind, basil, chilli and rosemary ready to stir, finish, garnish and enhance the innovative cocktail creations. The new menu will serve vibrant and visual combinations such as the Purple Rain (Bombay Sapphire, lychee and violette liqueur, violette pearls, elderflower, cranberry and lemon), and the Unforgettable (above), a mix of hibiscus-infused Bacardi Rum, goji liqueur, watermelon, pomegranate, lemon and simple syrup.
theperceptionbar.com | 10 Wardour St, London W1D 6QF
The launch of Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla
What could be a better ingredient to harness the joys of a sun-drenched, Mediterranean coast than Seville oranges? This must be the thinking behind the new Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla, which offers a tangy sweet profile, tangerine notes and hints of juniper and coriander, and is inspired by founder Charles Tanqueray and the use of this world famous fruit in his original recipes.
And to launch the delectable new gin Tanqueray have partnered with ingenious chef José Pizarro, known as the godfather of Spanish cooking. As part of the collaboration Pizarro has specially created a new flavourful dish using Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla – these citrus prawn fritters. What’s more a stunning orangery is popping up at Pizarro Restaurant, where guests can be transported to the orange groves of Seville as they enjoy the new, smooth gin that bursts with flavours of bittersweet zesty Seville oranges and orange blossom, all perfectly balanced by the four botanicals of Tanqueray London Dry Gin.
Enjoy a Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla G&T (£12) at José Pizarro and receive a complimentary mini Citrus Prawn Fritter. Available at all José Pizarro restaurants in London until 30th May.