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Springtime dining in the ‘garden of France’

La Tour d’Argent at The Hotel New Otani Tokyo has created a selection of food specialties inspired by the regional cuisine of France’s Loire Valley. Two dinner courses, priced at ¥18,000 and ¥25,000 (excluding drinks, tax and service charge), are available until April 25 (closed Mondays).

The Loire Valley, or the “garden of France” as many call it, is home to many rare and delicious vegetables, thanks to its mild climate. The delicious one-of-a-kind white asparagus, harvested in the very first days of spring, is one of the most famous vegetables of the region.

Executive chef Renaud Augier and patissier Loic Pivot created the new menu, combining the best that the Loire Valley has to offer with innovative cooking techniques.

Included on the menu is roast duck with red wine sauce, accompanied by sauteed white asparagus and turnip ravioli.

The restaurant is also introducing a new wine selected by chief sommelier Akihiko Nosaka. It is an exquisite cherry-colored rose wine with a charming floral bouquet.

The Hotel New Otani Tokyo is three minutes from Nagatacho or Akasaka-Mitsuke stations. For more details or reservations, call 03-3239-3111 (La Tour d’Argent) or visit www.newotani.co.jp/tokyo.

Enjoying a buffet ‘cruise’ on Sagami Bay

After the fallen cherry blossoms have covered the streets, the coming season promises colors and abundant natural blessings. The Beauty Cruise Dessert Buffet, offered at the Lobby Lounge of the Hilton Odawara Resort and Spa nestled between the scenic Hakone mountains and Sagami Bay, was created under the theme of a scenic cruise.

The buffet includes a “mirror cake,” which is mousse covered with a colorful glossy glaze, a newly introduced dessert that changes weekly. Walnuts high in antioxidants are incorporated in a dacquoise, while orange flower essence soaked into brioche stimulates collagen production. Vitamins and calcium are richly incorporated in the sesame blancmange. The brulee is made of jasmine flower essence in fresh cream. Jasmine has a relaxing effect and improves hormonal balance. On top of the selection of sweets, the buffet features soup, salad, curry and pasta dishes using superfoods such as quinoa and broccoli sprouts, as well as fresh fruit and drinks.

The dessert buffet can be enjoyed on weekends and national holidays from April 29 to June 25, either from 2:30 p.m. to 3:50 p.m., or from 4 p.m. to 5:20 p.m. It is priced at ¥2,800 for adults and ¥1,400 for children under 12. Prices exclude tax and service charge.

The Hilton Odawara Resort and Spa is 15 minutes by car from Odawara Station. For more information, call 0465-29-1000 or visit www.hiltonodawara.jp.

Premium Friday health and relaxation

The Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima is offering a restaurant and accommodation plan aimed at those who want to relax in a beautiful and healthy environment on Premium Friday, the last Friday of each month.

The hotel not only provides breathtaking evening scenery, but also offers excellent food and drink value. For example, guests who enter the Dining Bar Rihga Top before 5 p.m. can enjoy three hours of free-flowing (two hours after 5 p.m.) drinks along with an appetizer, fruit and dessert on an afternoon tea stand, for ¥3,800.

Furthermore, among other amenities, guests can enjoy using the facility’s health club, or swimming in the spacious indoor pool if they choose the premium twilight pool plan.

Guests can also book an accommodation plan to enjoy the benefits of the pool, gym, spa, sauna and whirlpool bath. A one-night accommodation with breakfast is priced from ¥18,000 for two people (tax and service charge included), and is limited to 10 rooms a day.

The Rihga Royal Hotel Hiroshima is accessible by bus from Hiroshima Airport, or a short walk from Kamiyacho-higashi or Kamiyacho-nishi stations. For more information, call 082-502-1121 or visit www.rihga.co.jp/hiroshima.