Celebrate the Year of the Wood Dragon in five tasty treats

Welcoming the Year of the Wood Dragon with tiny dragon-claw bao buns and a cognac rich with Lunar blends, our entertaining director is in a celebratory mood

Bao buns dragon claw sweet for Year of the Wood Dragon
Dragon claw treats from BAO London, see below
(Image credit: courtesy, Bao London)

We’re all set to welcome the Year of the Wood Dragon (from Lunar New Year on 10 February 2024) in fine style with dragon-themed food and drink – from cute buns and biscuits to spectacular spirits (on which note, also consider a Mothaiba pandan vodka cocktail) – as selected by Wallpaper* entertaining director Melina Keays. May your festivities be a roaring success.

Year of the Wood Dragon treats

The bao buns

Bao buns

Bao London's sweet dragon-claw treats

(Image credit: Courtesy, BAO)

Bao London is known for its particularly delectable Taiwanese Bao buns. How could you not want to take a delicious bite out of one of these little dragon claw buns, oozing with molten and cherry chocolate? And there’s the added delight of co-founder and creative director Erchen Chang’s heartening message: ‘We’re looking forward to spreading prosperity this Lunar New Year by encouraging everyone to eat gua BAO for good luck,’ she reveals. A limited number of buns is offered on 10 and 11 February at BAO eateries – which now include BAO and Dover Street Market pop-up until 11 February, as well as BAO Mary, which opened in Marylebone in 2023 – but be quick, as these little dragons will sell, quite literally, like hot cakes.

£22 for a box of 4, baolondon

The sculpture

red glass dragon bottle

Lalique’s exquisite Tianlong Red Dragon

(Image credit: © Lalique SA)

Lalique puts over a century of exquisite fine glass- and crystal-making into something very special to commemorate this Year of the Wood Dragon. That this mythical creature is created from glass is fitting, as both are associated with heat and fire, and Lalique’s stunning Tianlong Red Dragon Sculpture is born of sand and flame. It is as meticulously crafted as you would expect a Lalique design to be, with a single piece of crystal requiring up to 40 different processes to produce. The result is a jewel-like work of art.

Tianlong Red Dragon Sculpture, £765 at Harrods

The whisky

Artist Raku Inoue has designed the 2024 lunar New Year edition bottle for Glenfiddich

21-year-old Gran Reserva 2024 Chinese New Year limited-edition Scotch whisky

(Image credit: Courtesy, Glenfiddich)

The Wood Dragon appears once every 60 years in the lunar calendar, bringing notions of growth and renewal with it. Glenfiddich’s collaboration with artist Raku Inoue encapsulates the energy of this lunar year in its ‘A Gift for Blossoming Futures’ collection of limited-edition premium whiskies, with the Glenfiddich Reserva Rum Cask 21 as the star turn. An opulently golden offering, the Reserva Rum Cask 21 aroma is intense with vanilla, florals and hints of banana and fig, topped with a touch of leather and oak. Inoue has intertwined Glenfiddich’s traditional stag motif with the magnificent Wood Dragon in a beautiful presentation box, which can be personalised. ‘What better way to encapsulate the spirit of both than to combine aspects of their characters on a journey that harnesses the magnificence of nature, petal by petal, element by natural element,’ says Inoue. 

£195, at Selfridges

The iced biscuits

Iced biscuits

Iced biscuits to bring in the Year of the Wood Dragon at Fortnum & Mason

(Image credit: Courtesy, Fortnum & Mason)

This gorgeous box of buttery, vanilla scented biscuits, artfully iced in a variety of charming designs, makes for a joyful gift to mark the Lunar New Year. Nibble one of these beauties with a cup of fragrant jasmine tea as you contemplate the sweet tate of hope the Year of the Dragon brings with it. 

£19.95, Fortnum & Mason

The Cognac

Martell Year of the Dragon bottle

Martell embraces the energetic spirit of the Year of the Wood Dragon

(Image credit: Courtesy, Martell)

Martell (whose new L’Or de Jean Martell – Réserve du Château de Chanteloup we recently celebrated) is now honouring the Year of the Wood Dragon with the exclusive L’Or de Jean Martell Zodiac Edition. The Assemblage du Dragon (following last year’s Assemblage du Lapin) is as exceptional a cognac as the name Martell suggests but this year, cellar master Christophe Valtaud has carefully chosen a selection of very old eaux-de-vie drawn from previous Dragon lunar years and combined them with the original L’Or de Jean Martell blend. In the hands of a master blender, this celebratory spirit is an elegant balance of floral aromas, exotic fruit, and warm spice notes. All of which is only heightened by its beautiful Baccarat decanter, finely decorated with 19ct gold, and crowned with a dramatic sculpture of a dragon’s head. Available in strictly limited quantities – fewer than 750 pieces, each individually numbered. 

€9,900, Martell.com, available from thewhiskyexchange.com

Melina Keays is the entertaining director of Wallpaper*. She has been part of the brand since the magazine’s launch in 1996, and is responsible for entertaining content across the print and digital platforms, and for Wallpaper’s creative agency Bespoke. A native Londoner, Melina takes inspiration from the whole spectrum of art and design – including film, literature, and fashion. Her work for the brand involves curating content, writing, and creative direction – conceiving luxury interior landscapes with a focus on food, drinks, and entertaining in all its forms