January is here, which means luxury hotels in Korea are duking it out for social media publicity with photogenic strawberry buffets. At first, some may wonder how strawberries - associated with summer in many parts of the world - are so plentiful in the middle of winter. In Korea, strawberries are seen as a winter fruit thanks to the advancement of greenhouse technology, which allows farmers to be able to grow strawberries starting from early November and make the fruit widely available in the winter. Thus, as the weather turns cold, supermarkets, restaurants, and cafes all start offering new promotions centered around strawberries. Hotels also move into strawberry buffet-mode, seizing the opportunity for some winter color by creating eye-catching, mouthwatering desserts.
Lotte Hotel Seoul's "2021 Must Be Strawberry: Wild Future"
Lotte Hotel Seoul has joined hands with luxury vegan beauty brand Chantecaille to launch "2021 Must Be Strawberry: Wild Future." The special culinary offering is available at the hotel's Peninsula Lounge & Bar on the first floor, where customers can enjoy a strawberry-themed dessert buffet and afternoon tea.
The buffet will be offered in two sittings ― the first from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and the second from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. ― every weekend through May 5. Each table will be provided with a "Wild Future Welcome Tray," offering 24 desserts, coffee and tea.
The Wild Future Welcome Tray, specially prepared in collaboration with Chantecaille, comes with unique desserts made by pastry chef Sungjoo Na, an IKA Culinary Olympics gold medalist. The mini desserts include a strawberry mousse, green tea tiramisu and rose raspberry mousse. Fresh strawberries, strawberry tart, strawberry dacquoise and strawberry panna cotta are also offered, as well as savory treats such as bulgogi, chili shrimp and sandwiches.
Afternoon tea will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends through May 5. The tea tray comes with 10 desserts such as pistachio strawberry dacquoise, orange madeleines, and rose lychees. A variety of tea choices are presented, including the Princess Tea ― which the New York-based tea maker Tavalon exclusively made for Lotte Hotel Seoul ― along with scones and sandwiches.
The promotion aims to protect endangered elephants as part of the Philanthropy Project, a social contribution campaign.
Park Hyatt Seoul's Strawberry Afternoon Tea Set
The Lounge, a Korean tea house on the 24th floor at the Park Hyatt Seoul, presents Strawberry Afternoon Tea, a creative celebration of the return of the strawberry season.
Inspired menu highlights include a range of strawberry-themed delights, from chocolate cups to yogurt mousse, while strawberry jewelry in an elegant jewelry case, a favorite item of 2020, returns for another year. The afternoon tea features a selection of teas, coffees and sparkling rose wine.
The tea set is available from noon until 5:30 p.m. daily, until March 14 at 55,000 won per person, with each sitting lasting two hours.
Seoul Dragon City's Strawberry Promotion
Hotelplex Seoul Dragon City in Yongsan, central Seoul, offers a strawberry dessert promotion at its restaurants the 26 and King’s Vacation.
On the 26 at Novotel Suite Ambassador, a strawberry dessert buffet called Strawberry Studio is offered until April 25. Seventeen different strawberry desserts are available along with strawberry drinks, cream cheese salads, and more.
Strawberry Studio is available on weekends and holidays from noon to 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 60,000 won for adults and 40,000 won for children.
Lounge bar King’s Vacation offers a strawberry promotion with unlimited sparkling wine and strawberry buffet. The promotion is available Fridays and Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 69,000 won.