Last Updated on February 23, 2020 by Fiona Maclean
Holi in the Heart of the City – the Indian festival of colour.
It’s Holi in the City time again – Cinnamon Kitchen’s House of HOLI returns from the 2nd to 15th March 2020. It’s the sixth year in a row that this fab event has taken place – I think we’ve been along most years! It’s your chance to leave the drab and dreary City at the door, don your protective white suit and step into the madness at the House of HOLI for thirty minutes of paint-pelting friends, family and colleagues to mark the Indian festival of colour.
The perfect antidote to a stressful day in the office, escape the concrete jungle, shed your inhibitions and get stuck in for 30 minutes of colourful powdered paint pelting.
Alongside the paint throwing, there’s a feast of delicious dishes. Cinnamon Kitchen will be serving up a #HouseofHOLI menu to enjoy after a round of paint-throwing! A pop-up bar on the terrace will also be serving an array of vivid HOLI cocktails.
Finally, all that play is sure to fuel an appetite, and Cinnamon Kitchen will be serving up a range of delicious Holi-inspired street-food style snacks from the pop-up Chaat Counter. Cold chaats will include Bar Kachumber, spiced peanut and chickpea vermicelli with onion and chilli; and Papdi Chaat, crispy wheat, tangy tamarind, yoghurt and pomegranate. Alternatively, warm up with dishes of Padron Pakora with coriander chutney; pink onion bhajis and Punjabi vegetable samosas with curried white peas and tamarind chutney. Quench your thirst at the end of the session with a cocktail or two at the vibrant pop-up bar, where your favourite tipples will be given a colourful Holi-twist.
Holi itself officially takes place on 9th March this year, announcing the arrival of spring and passing of winter. Infamously known for its free-for-all carnival of colours and iconic paint fights, HOLI brings together family and friends to laugh and play, forgive and forget and to celebrate love and friendship. The only rule about Holi is that there are none, so let your hair down, grab some paint and have fun.
Meanwhile, here’s what it’s really like – it’s a couple of years now since I went, but I still remember it well. I’m second on the left – and still smiling!
There’s nothing like a few cocktails, some mouth-watering Indian snacks and shed loads of colour to bring some warmth back.
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 son’s 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 great excitement in the air as we all headed to the purpose-built party pod and collected some bags of beautifully vibrant coloured powdered 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. There’s always a special menu for Holi too and Vivek Singh, the executive chef at Cinnamon Kitchen really does enjoy getting into the spirit himself. So, on 5th March Vivek will host an exclusive Supper Club & Play session. Join him in the House of Holi to work up an appetite before enjoying a feast of ten traditional Holi dishes in Cinnamon Kitchen’s private dining room. The dinner plus 30-minutes in House of Holi play is limited to 30 guests and is priced at £40 per person.
Play Holi tickets are priced at £12 per person, or alternatively the House of Holi pod can be privately booked for £250 per session, for up to 25 players. Book Here
For large group bookings, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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