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Sakura: Cherry Blossom Season at Hush Mayfair

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To celebrate the spring months, Sakurao Gin and Franklin & Sons have taken over one of London’s favourite restaurants, transforming the historic courtyard at Hush into a canopy of florals. Katherine Brook discovers more.

Already known for more than 15 years of award-winning cocktails and adventurous dining menus, Mayfair's Hush restaurant is paying tribute to the enchanting cherry blossom orchards of Japan this spring, with a little help from Sakurao Gin and Franklin & Sons.

Tucked away just off Regent’s Street, Hush’s beautiful townhouse courtyard has been transformed into a vibrant Japanese-style garden, complete with a pink blossom archway and an array of blooming cherry trees. The pop-up has been fittingly named Sakura, which means cherry blossoms in Japanese.

I settle down under a blush canopy of blooms to enjoy a selection of spring-themed Sakurao Gin and Franklin & Sons cocktails. I start with a 'Spring It On', which features Italicus (a bergamot liqueur), lemon peel, honey, Sakurao Gin and the Franklin & Sons pink grapefruit tonic water with a twist of bergamot – it's utterly delicious. The exemplary Japanese gin has been infused with home grown botanicals including sweet orange, green tea, and citrus fruits, navel and dai dai, resulting in a delicate yet flavoursome spirit. 

Next, I try the 'In Full Bloom', a blend that boasts Sakurao gin, La Copa vermouth, Luc Belair gold, orangle peel and a spring of rosemary. When mixed with the Franklin & Sons pomegranate and hibiscus infused soda, it packs a seriously delightful punch.

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While sipping these extremely drinkable concoctions, I find it tough to resist sampling the restaurant’s delicious à la carte menu, which aims to capture flavours from all around the world. For example, you could enjoy a spot of quintessentially British Dorset crab and lobster salad to start, before jetting your taste buds over to Italy for a serving of rich tortellini, or to India for a spicy Kerala chicken curry. There really is something for everyone at Hush and the expert team executes each dish with great prowess. 

I opt for a number of small plates, including an indulgent steak tartare with crispy shallots and thinly sliced garlic, a fresh black fig and burrata salad with sesame candy, and a sumptuous torched salmon sashimi with avocado cream. For something a little more filling, try the Tagliatelle Cacio e Pepe, with fresh black summer truffles – I can assure you, it's decadent yet light.

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 The pretty-in-pink Sakura pop-up will be running until May 12 at Hush and even if the sun isn’t shining, the vast umbrellas and array of heaters and blossoms means it’s always springtime in the courtyard.

 Hush Mayfair, No.8 Lancashire Court, Brook Street, W1S 1EY, 020 7659 1500, hush.co.uk

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