I'm a beginning writer with a Brisbane Bucket-list and a desire to see it all and report back.
Published August 4th 2014
Eating gold at The Atrium
After three days in Dehli I'd had enough. I was done with the dust, the dirt and the fights with various Tuk Tuk drivers over incorrect fares or places that they swore didn't exist. Luckily a tour mate came to my rescue saying she had found the perfect place to cure the looming homesickness; High Tea at the Imperial hotel. We took off straight away, fighting our way through the dust and the crowds until we found the grand Imperial Hotel nestled beside a slow moving construction site.
When we first entered the property we were met with a number of perfectly polished luxury cars. My partner was entranced with these beautiful vehicles and I was worried we weren't ever going to make it past the driveway and into the impressive hotel. Thank goodness his stomach rules his actions and soon we were headed inside for our reservation.
A man dressed in fantastical traditional garb, paid to treat all guests as royalty opened the door and gestured for us to enter the intimidating building. Whilst his English was minimal, the suited men and elegant women surrounding the entrance were more than obliging to direct us towards The Atrium.
We slowly shuffled down the hall, taking in every intricate detail of our surroundings and stopped almost short of breath when we entered the stunning open space where we were to eat. The room was grand, and filled with natural light cascading in from the skylights atop of the high ceiling.
And what was I wearing? Three dollar pants I bought in Thailand, a sweaty T-shirt and my scuffed joggers.
So, I quickly snuck off to the bathroom to pinch my cheeks, undo my hair and put on my new pearl earrings. I thought in the bathroom I'd be safe to look a bit disheveled but even it was more magnificent that any hotel room I'd stayed in that trip. There was even an attendant permanently stationed in the bathroom checking toilets for cleanliness after each use and operating the soap dispenser so guests didn't have to do any work. She even handed us individual towels to dry off.
I returned to the table feeling like I had managed to upgrade my appearance from "dirty camper" to the sightly more attractive "back-packer" who had wandered in from a camel safari. However our unkemptness did not bother the staff, and in fact we received the exact same kindness and service as the perfectly dressed girls at the sweet sixteen party occurring across the room.
After my attempt to looking presentable failed, we were given a list of delicious teas and together we chose an assortment of fruity and floral flavors to share. The bright pink sweet smelling tea came quickly and was topped up often by our friendly server. Soon we each received our tiered stand covered in a range of scrumptious pastries and scones, paired with a number of delicious jams. The icing on the cake (literally) was the delectable éclair drizzled with chocolate and decorated with a flake of real gold!
High Tea at the Imperial Hotel in Delhi
You would think this decedent day out would break the bank, I mean after all we did eat real gold, but if I recall it cost a little under $30, a price significantly cheaper than a basic High Tea back home.
After spending weeks traipsing through Nepal and India, this little moment of luxury was definitely the highlight of our time in Delhi.