Holland Park, Part 3 – The Unexpected Beautiful Thing

It was just a very short trip to Holland Park and I am writing about it in three separate posts. This third post is particularly the extra one and it is because I saw beautiful things in the park which I did not expect to see.

When I looked up a wall I saw some birds perched on top. Can you see what they are?

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Holland Park, Part 2 – Gardens in Not Yet Spring

After visiting the Kyoto Garden in Holland Park I wandered about the rest of the Park to look for some signs of spring.

The main part of the Park has some formal gardens. Do you know the concept of formal garden means the garden is created in symmetrical patterns? These flowerbeds are placed totally symmetrically so it is a very typical formal garden.

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Visiting Holland Park, Part 1 – the Kyoto Garden

Despite the scares happened last week, London is still a safe and great place to live and visit. One such place I went a few days ago after delivering some Japanese sweet to Wasoukan Cafe (Notting Hill, London) was one of the Royal parks.

Holland Park

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It is Holland Park in the Kensington area of West London and it is not that I traveled to our Neighboring contry, the Netherlands. Although it is located in the middle of rich residential area, the park is wide spread and is composed of several different types of garden.

As soon as you enter from the main gate you unexpectedly face several palm trees. I think it is quite unusual as a Royal park.

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‘Momo-no-Hana’ Mochi

I feel the sky looks brighter these days. The atmosphere is lighter and the air is warmer. I sense that the spring is coming nearer day by day. I even feel birds’ song sounds so much more cheerful. Maybe they are happy that spring is just around the corner.

Peach flowersAbout two weeks ago I posted that the 3rd of March was the Girls’ Day in Japan. The symbol of the Girls’ day is ‘Momo-no-Hana‘ Peach Flower, and this flower is also the sign for the arrival of spring. I made a Japanese sweet inspired by Peach flower for this month.

 

‘Momo-no-Hana’ (Peach Flower) Mochi

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Hina-Doll sweet for the Girl’s Day

It is the Girl’s Day ‘Hina-Matsuri’ today the 3rd of March. For a few weeks until this day in Japan we place a set of dolls called ‘Hina-Ningyo’ in a room and celebrate the healthy growth and happiness of girls.

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from Wikipedia (Hinamatsuri)

There are many different scales in Hina-Ningyo and some gorgeous one is composed of several shelves with a red cloth on top and each shelf is decorated with either some figures or ornaments. The most important part of this is the very top shelf where a male and a female figures are placed. They are the Emperor and the Empress.

There are several sweets that are traditionally only for this occasion. One of them is a diamond shaped sweet in tri-colours of pink, white and green called ‘Hishi-mochi’. Last year I created Hishi-moch with a type of Japanese sweet called ‘Ukishima’ but this year I made the Hina-dolls too.

Hina-Ningyo/Hina-Dolls the Sweet

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Mochi Kaki/Persimmon

It was until the last few years that I did not see any Kaki/Persimmon (Sharon Fruit) sold in any shop anywhere in London. But now this fruit is sold regularly with the names as Kaki, Persimmon or Sharon Fruit. The first name ‘Kaki’ is actually a Japanese word so it is obvious that the fruit is not native in the UK and imported. When I was a child I saw Kaki tree with lots of fruit hanging down during its season in every garden. If you go to the Japanese country side you can still spot bright orange colour in here and there.

I have made a Japanese sweet in this Kaki shape before. That time it was a type of sweet called ‘Nerikiri’ which is made with ‘Shiro-An’ sweet White Bean Paste but I was thinking that it would be very tasty and great texture if I make the outer layer with soft ‘Mochi’ Rice Cake and fill it with soft sweet bean paste.

Mochi Kaki/Persimmon

So this is the outcome of my tasty dream.

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‘Mochi’ Rice Cake shaped into  Kaki/ Persimmon.

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