Diwali is always a time for celebration, and – fittingly – there’s no shortage of fabulous ways to mark it in the UK capital. Whether indulging in the first-class hospitality of London’s Indian eateries and hotels or making the most of it at home with a meal fit for a Maharaja, our selections for how to spend it cover plenty of both – setting you on course for a delightful October 24th.
Learn to cook at Benares
Finesse your culinary skills with a masterclass hosted by Michelin-starred Executive Chef, Sameer Taneja. On 23rd October – the day before Diwali – Taneja will guide guests through some of the restaurant’s signature seasonal dishes in an intimate and informal setting. Starting in the morning, you’ll be welcomed with teas, coffees and homemade cookies, before preparing everything from classic dishes and curries to meat, seafood and vegetarian specialities in the Benares kitchen. Then, head to the stylish dining room to sample your culinary creations – you’ll be a master chef in no time.
Stay at The Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites & Residences
Check into The Taj to enjoy a host of festivities, including Diya decorating and the chance to create Rangoli art. The showstopper will be a fireworks spectacle in the hotel’s courtyard on the night of the 24th, with a special menu of regional thalis – created by Executive Head Chef Sujoy Gupta – to complement the evening. In a nod to the tradition of giving and generosity during Diwali, you’ll also take home a keepsake potli bag and a Diya handmade by the All India Foundation of Deaf Women.
For a particularly decadent stay, live the Bollywood dream by booking the Cinema Suite. Designed by the renowned Sabyasachi Mukherjee, this is an impressive homage to western and Indian cinema and boasts the largest private screen (a huge 85-inches) in a London hotel suite.
Dine at Chutney Mary
Throughout October, this fashionable St James’s restaurant is offering an array of Diwali delicacies, including a revival of some former favourites and a special tasting menu. Returning are the much-missed Andhra lobster chilli fry and the restaurant’s original signature, Parsi roast duck with apricots.
Meanwhile, the exquisite tasting menu showcases the contemporary Indian cuisine the restaurant is so well known for and includes crab balchao gratinée and a newly created Bengali prawn curry known as daab chingri. A well-curated wine flight seals the deal, as does a Diwali platter of mithai (Indian sweets) with enough gulab jamun, kulfi and boondi to savour even the sweetest of tooths.
Enjoy The Cinnamon Club at home
If you’d rather celebrate the festival of light at home, do so by bringing the flavours of celebrity chef Vivek Singh for dinner. The Cinnamon Club’s specially made meal kit – delivered by 23rd October – is enough to feed a family of four and includes favourites from Cinnamon’s London flagship to reheat the following day. Expect to enjoy signatures such as shikampur kebabs and bhel papdi chaat to start, slow-cooked Kentish lamb and tandoori-spiced king prawns for mains, and the ever-popular mango shrikhand for dessert. The kit also comes with all the sundries needed to elevate the flavours – such as mango coconut chutney and Vivek’s famed raita – plus the option to add champagne if you're really looking to toast the occasion.
The Cinnamon Club
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