A delightful picnic to welcome spring

There’s nothing quite like a picnic amid fresh verdure to ring in spring. From March 18 to June 30, Cafe & Dining Zelkova on the first floor of The Strings Omotesando invites guests to enjoy a picnic-style lunch on its beautiful terrace, surrounded by fresh, green zelkova trees.

The picnic lunch box (¥3,800), only available at the restaurant’s terrace to groups of two or more people from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends and holidays, contains refreshing delicacies that compliment the season, such as croissant sandwiches with smoked salmon and Camembert cheese; ham and mozzarella cheese paninis; chicken and tomato cream cheese bagels; chili con carne and fresh salad wraps; and fish and chips. The box also contains macarons and marshmallows to satisfy the sweet tooth, all wrapped up in a charming picnic basket.

Rounding out the delightful picnic are fruit ciders available in four flavors — kiwi, strawberry, mango and passion fruit. With winter coming to an end, this picnic lunch box set is the perfect way to welcome spring. But be quick; only 10 lunch box sets will be available per day.

The Strings Omotesando is directly connected to the B5 Exit of Tokyo Metro Omotesando Station. For more information visit www.strings-hotel.jp/omotesando or call 03-5778-4566.

Swiss fare from highly acclaimed head chef

The culinary craftsmanship of Switzerland is coming to Japan. Working in collaboration with famous Swiss hotel Baur au Lac, the Imperial Hotel Tokyo is putting on the Swiss Fair — a celebration of the country’s finest cuisine set to run throughout March.

The fair will be hosted at The Imperial Viking Sal on the hotel’s 17th floor and will feature nearly a dozen authentic Swiss dishes accompanied by sommelier-recommended Swiss wine. Executive chef Laurent Eperon, who heads Baur au Lac’s main dining establishment Pavillon, will oversee the event.

The lunch course is served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and starts at ¥5,800 (varies depending on the day and date; prices reduced for children). Dinner runs from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (from 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays) with prices starting at ¥8,200.

Joining in on the fun is first-floor delicatessen Gargantua — which will offer the fair’s carrot cake dessert as a take-home item — and mezzanine-floor French restaurant Les Saisons, which will host a limited Baur au Lac Fair until March 3 featuring an original menu created by Eperon himself.

The Imperial Hotel Tokyo is three minutes from Hibiya and Uchisaiwaicho subway stations, or five minutes from Ginza and Yurakucho stations. For more information, visit www.imperialhotel.co.jp/e/tokyo or call 03-3504-1111.

Springtime treats with Amaou strawberries

This March, Swissotel Nankai Osaka will bring home the flavors of spring by offering a variety of delicious creations using Fukuoka Prefecture’s famous Amaou strawberries and yame-cha green tea.

From March 2 to April 28, 36th-floor dining establishment Tavola36 will put a Fukuoka-themed spin on the Strawberry Buffet it’s been hosting since January. For ¥4,500 (¥2,250 for children), guests can reserve 90-minute sessions between 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to savor chiffon cake, pudding and other delectables incorporating Amaou and yame-cha.

Meanwhile, The Lounge on the hotel’s 6th floor has come up with two ways to savor the deep, aromatic flavors of Amaou and yame-cha (tea produced in Fukuoka Prefecture) — an afternoon tea assortment and a selection of strawberry-inspired alcoholic beverages.

Priced at ¥3,650, Afternoon Tea will be served from March 1 to April 30 between 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. The assortment features Amaou Mont Blanc, yame-cha roll cake and other delights crafted under the theme of springtime sakura cherry blossoms.

Drinks can be ordered from March 1 to May 31 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Swissotel Nankai Osaka is directly above Namba Station. For more information, visit www.swissotel-osaka.co.jp or call 06-6646-1111.

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