Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou at West Lake offers unique scented journey during the short blossom period of the sweet osmanthus
Hangzhou at West Lake, China, 2013-10-02 — /travelprnews.com/ — Crowned the city flower of Hangzhou, sweet osmanthus has a rather short blossom period during late summer and early autumn, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the most beloved flowers for the locals. Tucked away on the city’s west side by the Lingyin area, there is a small hill standing at an altitude of mere 150 metres (500 feet) known as the Osmanthus Peak. According to local folklore, during the Tang Dynasty, one night of Mid-Autumn Festival osmanthus flowers fell down from the moon into the hill, and later grew into osmanthus trees whose blossoms perfumed the whole town with an intoxicating scent. It was from then that Hangzhou people started growing osmanthus of numerous varieties. This beautiful legend became the inspiration for a string of ancient poems, and the local tradition of osmanthus planting was passed down for generations since.
A visit to the Manjuelong Village, famous for its “sweet osmanthus rain” in October, is at the top of the list of Hangzhou’s autumn must-dos. But for those imagining how wonderful it would be if the fragrance and beauty of osmanthus flowers can also be found right by West Lake, Four Seasons Hotel Hangzhou will make the dream come true. In early autumn, clusters of petite blossoms decorate osmanthus trees in golden colour, and it’s the best time to take a stroll along the Hotel’s garden corridor, where an enchanting encounter with the divine osmanthus aroma awaits. Subtle, distinctive and immensely delightful, the sweet smell quietly spreads through the air and into the soul, creating a romantic and relaxing ambience.
Apart from its high ornamental value, osmanthus is also a great ingredient for food and tea. Pick a breezy, sunny day and get together with a few friends to enjoy the Golden Osmanthus Afternoon Tea at the Lobby Lounge’s outdoor terrace. Guests will be treated with an array of pastries and snacks with a special osmanthus twist, such as the osmanthus macaroons. This perfect match of quintessential French dessert and fresh osmanthus blossoms guarantees to bring a sweet craze between the lips. In addition, Jin Sha Chinese restaurant is serving up two dishes with osmanthus flowers as a key ingredient: slow-cooked lotus root filled with glutinous rice and rock sugar, and sweet rice bead in fermented rice soup. Delicately sprinkled upon these traditional dishes, osmanthus petals will tantalize the eyes and taste buds, sending guests on a scented journey this autumn.