Holi Holi Holi……the Indian festival of colour
Having just returned from a trip to India and arriving back to London in the big freeze has been a bit of a shock to the system. So I was delighted to be invited to spend an evening in Vikek Singh’s fabulous contemporary Indian restaurant Cinnamon Kitchen set in the urban environs of the Square Mile in London’s financial district to celebrate the Holi Festival in true Indian spirit.
There’s nothing like a few cocktails, some mouth-watering Indian snacks and shed loads of colour to bring some warmth back into my life.
Holi is an annual Hindu tradition observed predominantly in India, Nepal and South Asia but adopted across the world, including the UK. Holi Festival is also known as the festival of love, announcing the arrival of spring and passing of winter (sadly we’re not quite there yet!). It is celebrated each year around the vernal equinox, the date varies but is always marked on the full moon, starting with a Holika bonfire with singing and dancing. The next day, the streets explode with colour as people turn out armed with water balloons, water guns and dry coloured powder.
Holi is traditionally a time where families and friends gather together to laugh and play and cover each other with coloured paint. I went along with my eldest son Milo to join in the fun.
We arrived in a snow blast, so my delicious Neela Heera cocktail made with Bombay Saphire, fresh lemon juice, pear puree and apple juice went down a treat. Milo opted for a warming Holika Fire – a devilish combination of Bacardi, raspberry puree, lime and cranberry juice.
We were served a feast of delectable bite-sized snacks including tender spiced pieces of chicken tikka, Panipuri made with tangy potato in a semolina shell, juicy chunks of Indo Chinese Hakka chilli paneer and my sons favourite lightly spiced mini lamb rolls.
With our cockles warmed it was time to don our protective white suits, ready for the Holi to begin. There was a great excitement in the air as we all headed to the purpose-built party pod and collected some bags of beautifully vibrant coloured powered paints. Before we knew it we were letting our hair down and paint pelting in a frenzied haze of colour and laughter.
We went home in high spirits and fetching shade of orange. Be sure not to wear your best clothes although the paints all wash out!
I would highly recommend heading to House of Holi with friends, family or colleagues for a wonderfully vivacious and celebratory experience. We’ve been going for a few years now – and are big fans of the food at Cinnamon Kitchen too. Why not read more reviews of Cinnamon Kitchen and Holi
House of Holi returns to Cinnamon Kitchen in Devonshire Square for is for its fourth year and is running from Monday 26th February – Saturday 10th March 2018
Tickets are priced at £12 per person, or there are packages you can purchase that include authentic Holi bites and either a signature Holi cocktail or a mocktail.
The whole pod can be hired for groups of up to 30 for £400, which will include arrival drinks and nibbles. Tickets can be purchased via Design My Night
Holi Sessions – 30 minutes
First Night (Monday, 26th February) 2 – 2.30pm then every hour until 7 – 7.30pm Monday – Friday
Daytime – 2pm – 2.30pm, 3pm – 3.30pm, 4pm – 4.30pm
Evening – 5pm – 5.30pm, 6pm – 6.30pm, 7pm – 7.30pm
12pm – 12.30pm, then every hour until 7pm – 7.30pm
9 Devonshire Square, London, EC2M 4YL
T: 020 7626 5000