Winter and Spring mark the best times to pick and eat strawberries in Korea, and the season gets more difficult to miss every year, as Strawberry Festivals have become a big trend in hotels around Seoul in recent years.
With desserts and dishes that range from strawberry milkshakes, cakes, bingsus, and fondues, these festivals run for approximately three months, usually from January to March, and offer a full banquet where everything is strawberry-topped, strawberry-themed, or strawberry-covered.
10 Magazine had the chance to sample the strawberry festivals at the Sheraton Seoul D Cube City Hotel and the Intercontinental Seoul COEX. To compile a total list of five spots, we’ve also included 3 other festivals for you to try out! If you’re planning on attending a strawberry festival for 2018, keep in mind that reservations book weeks in advance.
The All About Strawberries buffet at the Sheraton Seoul D Cube City Hotel offers a strawberry-themed buffet with over 30 different kinds of strawberry desserts. At the Lobby Lounge Bar on the 41st floor of the Sheraton Seoul D Cube City Hotel, you can try strawberry brownies, strawberry bavarois, strawberry meringue and even a strawberry champagne-jelly.
Their main feature is a huge strawberry roll cake that stretches across the buffet table. The buffet also offers a couple savoury options, such as hot dogs, soups and pizzas but don’t come expecting a meal; All About Strawberries is definitely a dessert buffet. For those watching their sweet tooth, the buffet features a variety of fresh fruit that includes watermelon, pineapples, kiwis, and of course strawberries.
This year’s strawberry festival featured a special “Miffy” themed art gallery created by local and international artists who have reinterpreted Miffy’s design and created modern sculptures of the beloved childhood cartoon.
Price: Adults W49,000, children W24,500
When: Now through April 30 (2-hour seatings at 11am, 1:30pm, 4:00pm, and 6:30pm on Sat. & Sun, 2-hour seatings at 1:30pm, 4:00pm, and 6:30pm on Fri.)
While every hotel strawberry festival is going to be full of sweet goodness, the InterContinental has a few things make it stand out from the crowd. When you’re spending upwards of W50,000 on these things, you’re going to want something more substantial than just desserts, so that’s why you’ll always find the ubiquitous strawberry pizza and/or sandwich, which are more savory than sweet.
What makes the InterContinental different is their live Pho station. You pick some vegetables and rice noodles and they load you up.
Our other favorites were their strawberry cotton candy, the mille feuille, and the strawberry bread pudding. These items were absolutely delicious and were a bit unique to the InterCon. Of course you actually can get sick of strawberries, so it was nice that they didn’t put the strawberry in the mille feuille cream filling itself, but instead threw a little strawberry on the side.
One small disappointment was the loss of an ongoing strawberry flambe live station this year. Instead the chef came out and made one round of strawberry flambe that the staff would deliver, and instead of sliced up into small pieces it was whole strawberries, so the crystallization of the sugars just wasn’t there. Still, the InterCon maintained it’s impressive showing overall. Strawberry lovers won’t be disappointed.
When: Now through April 8th (2-hour seatings at Fri. at 12 noon, Sat. & Sun. at 12 noon and 2:30 pm)