Life Topic LIFESTYLE

Inflorescence: A Japanese Oasis
飛花落院 私享日料秘境

實踐了十年前在台中買一塊地的夢想,座落於台中新社山腰上原本是地主居住的三合院,飛花落院主理人魏幸怡Sandy將其打掉再重蓋,並把它建構成自己心中所想,前陣子更獲得2021 MUSE Design Award 建築設計鉑金獎的殊榮,如果你仔細細品,會發現每個場域都有她獨特的調性與設計思考。

TRANSLATION | Eugenia Yang

After fulfilling the dream of buying a piece of land in Taichung ten years ago, Sandy Wei, the director of Inflorescence, transformed the original three-section compound sitting on the hillside of Xinshe District into her own ideal architectural design and won the Platinum prize for 2021 MUSE Design Award. So take a closer look, and you will find that each corner hides Sandy’s unique style and heartfelt design.

飛花落院主理人魏幸怡Sandy。
Director of Inflorescence, Sandy Wei.

禪意美學 竹林密語
「要做就要做到最好。」講起創立飛花落院一路上遇到的低潮,Sandy說花了那麼多心血,希望每一個地方都能做到盡善盡美,如果不行就多嘗試幾次。身處在千坪日式造景的楓林下吹著涼風,遠望「寵妻茶室」,是先生對她的愛意,細細道起飛花落院的命名,是先生經常在家中看設計圖,有一天他拿著一首唐詩「息燕歸簷靜,飛花落院閒」,兩人同時看了都很喜歡「飛花落院」這四個字,故取名為之。「息燕歸」,代表著此地蓋了七年,當時建造一樓時,有燕子過來築巢而小燕子剛出生,據說燕子築巢代表著「吉祥之意」,Sandy便尋思不如就停工,因為如果封起來燕子會被關在裡面,停工等他們長大,在飛出去前她和燕媽媽説:「如果明年樓上蓋好了,非常歡迎你們再過來築巢。」果真隔一年蓋好,燕子就回來築巢了,每年都會回來。而「飛花落」則是遙想著前面的蘭花楹,當花開後葉子掉光,花會隨著微風飄落於院子裡,地上佈滿整片紫衣,或許整幅景象明年就可以成型,靜靜的站立於水池邊上,凝視著園藝師每日刮出枯山水的紋路,感受著心靜祥和之美,是「靜」與「閒」之間傳達的意念,將這兩句詩詞「活」在庭院間。


舌尖風味 五感體驗
以日料作為主題,其中原因包含著一家人很喜歡日本京都,但在山裡做日料真的很困難,大坪數的場域,用餐時間很長,將海鮮送上山上更是個艱鉅的挑戰,好在一切都克服了。瞥見菜單的一抹橘,Sandy說在夏日黃昏之際,橘黃色彷彿將天空與地面畫出一條分際線,而到冬天則會有一片紫光晚霞,所以兩個菜單的設計以橘黃跟紫色漸層為雛形。伸手摸摸瓷器的溫度,剛沖下來的熱湯,散發出來的香氣,作為無菜單料理,目前以櫻花季作為10道菜品的特色,預計11月份將推出新菜單,值得一提的是主菜選用「日本A5和牛紐約客」以櫻花鹽、鹽昆布、柚子胡椒產生舌尖上不同的口感,「炸蝦天婦羅」的鮮蝦沾附切成絲條的大甲芋頭油炸,香甜酥脆。或許許多食客認為它是懷石料理或是日本料理,之於Sandy而言它更符合華人飲食的方式,先享用熱湯,熱冷食交錯,整個用餐過程有燙涼之分,打開餐盤視覺上也能享有慎重其事的儀式感,是一種另類的五感奢享體驗。

遠望「寵妻茶室」,是先生對她的愛意。
The tearoom is a manifestation of her husband’s love.


主人風雅 款待之道
如果你仔細看飛花落院一進來門口上下面各有一條小道,它象徵著飛花落院整個起點與終點,當時小徑是可以蓋到馬路旁,而Sandy選擇退縮一點,因為山上車子開的快,路人可以走小徑,不至於那麼危險,每一處的細節都蘊含著Sandy的巧思,利他利己的善循環也是她一貫秉持的原則。「感動顧客的心、觸動幸福的味蕾,讓顧客帶著滿意的笑容離開。」這是飛花落院的品牌精神,眼神閃爍著光Sandy說希望明年民宿能夠順利營運,而講起台中都能想起遠處一隅半山腰上的飛花落院,尋覓一場竹林間極致走訪。

走進飛花落院主建建築,必須走過瀑布與水池相佐的木橋棧道,心境亦隨之轉換。
Before arriving at Inflorescence’s main building, you will walk past a wooden bridge set in between a waterfall and pond.

The Aesthetics of Zen
“Always aim for the best.” Speaking of the hardship she encountered along the way of building Inflorescence, Sandy says the reason she decides to put in so much effort is so that every single place is perfect. If anything doesn’t work, simply give it a few more tries. Enjoying the breeze under the maple trees, we look past the vast Japanese scenery and see the tearoom sitting on the other side; it is a loving gift from her husband. The name, Inflorescence, originated from the peaceful scenery described in one of Tang Dynasty poet Su Ting’s poems, which both Sandy and her husband are dearly fond of. Interestingly, when they were still constructing the first floor, a family of swallows came and built a nest. Knowing that this can be a symbol for good fortune, Sandy decided to put all construction on hold, since continuing would also mean trapping the swallows indoors. As she waited for the baby swallows to grow up, she sometimes would speak to the mother swallow. “If we finish the rest of the building next year, you are always welcome to come back.” As if destiny pulled its strings, the swallows returned next year and every year after that, as promised. In the poem, the lines describe the beautiful scene of the jacaranda, which also serves as an inspiration Inflorescence was created. After the blooming season is past, the breeze carries the flower petals to the garden and covers the whole landscape in violet, a breathtaking scene that will perhaps take shape next year. If you stand quietly by the water at Inflorescence and try to take in the gardener’s beautiful work, you will understand that the serenity you are feeling at the moment comes directly from the majestic mother nature.

An All-Around Sensory Experience
One of the reasons Inflorescence serves Japanese cuisine is because Sandy’s whole family is very fond of the city of Kyoto. However, it was a challenge to make proper Japanese food in the mountains, especially trying to deliver fresh seafood straight from the port. Luckily, she was able to overcome all the hardships. Inspired by summer sunsets, the splash of orange on the menu is a portrayal of the perfect moment when the sky and the ground are split in half by the setting sun. On the other hand, the purple version of the menu is a representation of a winter sunset, which is a gradient shade of violet. Focused on the season of sakuras, the current omakase set offers ten different dishes, with a brand new set coming in November. It is worthy to note that the main course comes in two dishes: a Japanese A5 wagyu strip steak garnished with sakura salt, Shio Kombu and yuzu pepper and a shrimp tempura dish that is coated with thin strips of taro to bring out a sweet aftertaste. Perhaps a lot of customers see it as kaiseki or traditional Japanese cuisine. But to Sandy, it is a way to better cater to the oriental way of dining. By starting off with a bowl of warm soup, the set separates food by its temperature and also emphasizes on the visualization of how the food is presented, a perfect manifestation of an all-around sensory experience.

The Elegance of Hospitality
If you pay attention to the entrance of Inflorescence, you will see a small path, which is a symbol of the complete history of the place. Originally, the path was set to be widened so that it’s directly adjacent to the road but Sandy decided against it because of the fast cars in the mountains. By making the path narrower, it will be safer for pedestrians if they decide to take the path. From the interior to the exterior, all these small details are filled with Sandy’s dedication to treat others with the best hospitality she can offer. “Touch the hearts of our guests and inspire happiness with the food we make, a guarantee that they will leave with a satisfied smile.” This is Inflorescence’s brand concept. With her eyes beaming, Sandy hopes that she will be able to stick to her plan and open her B&B next year. She also wishes that whenever Taichung is mentioned, people will immediately think of this majestic oasis hidden in the mountains, where they will be surrounded by serenity and happiness, a place that comes with the name of Inflorescence.

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