SAKURA AT SAKE NO HANA
This spring has seen the Story team working closely with Japanese restaurant Sake no Hana, part of the Hakkasan group, to transform their Mayfair restaurant into a blossom filled venue to celebrate Sakura, the season of blossoming blossom trees in Japan.
Story received the brief at the beginning of the year to design a space that celebrated this magical time of year and would serve to draw diners to the bar to experience the limited edition menu. The seasonal spectacle is celebrated by feasting and drinking sake under the boughs of the blooming Sakura trees, a practice originated thousands of years ago when Emperor Saga of the Heian Period would host parties underneath the branches.
The result is a restaurant space that allows diners to feel as if they are sitting underneath the blossom trees – overhead the ceiling is filled with blossom and around the space tall trees are heavy with the delicate petals. Underfoot, the bar has been grassed giving the ultimate feeling that you are sat in a park without a worry in the world. As the day draws
on blossom petals flutter down from the ceiling and rest on the grass, building up as time continues whilst a constant fluttering of blossom falls from the digital projection across the bamboo walls.
Yozakura, literally translated as “night sakura”, is the custom of viewing the cherry blossom during the evening, when parks are decorated with paper or electric lanterns that hang from the trees illuminating the blossom. Indeed as the night falls the blossom trees at Sake no Hana light up with hundreds of fairy lights mimicking the nights’ sky.
In line with the Sakura season, Sake no Hana have devised a special menu which includes limited edition dishes, Haiku’s with every meal and interactive cocktails that involve spraying an atomizer over your drink in order to change the experience with every sip.