It’s over a month now since Mercure KCP Hyderabad opened its doors to its guests. When it was finally time for the launch party on June 10, I chickened out. Not the party type, I was dressed in my Hands of India’s hand weaved and block printed kurti and chudidar, and when good friend Swati insisted, I used the ruse – I am under-dressed. Since when have journalists started worrying about being dressed up – she demanded…and before I knew it I was all set to attend the launch of Mercure – a hotel that sprang in the middle of the chaos and rush that Hyderabad is known for – Khairtabad-Somajiguda road, yet somehow the doors open into a tranquil zone of sorts. I like the tastefully done décor using local elements like Pochampally, Cheriyal, and what more? I loved the food that was served at the lone f&b space – Cayenne, the all-day diner, when I had been there on a media visit.
And wasn’t I glad for being there! To begin with we were ushered into ‘IQ’ bar that stands for Impression Quotient – which I think is an ideal name for its impressive interiors, a long bar with high stool seating, a few cozy corners that you could just park yourself casually, lounge area (that according to me should be converted into a dance floor) etc. We tried all the welcome drinks – mild and refreshing Jasmine scented coconut water, sugarcane juice with ginger and lemon and Beal juice – and the wine lover loved the Sangria with fresh cherry.
The formal ceremony at the banquet space with video launch, speeches by Kavitha Dutt Chitturi, Executive Director of KCP Limited, Dinesh Rao, General Manager of the hotel and Jean-Michel Cassé, Senior Vice President, Operations, AccorHotels India, who had an amazing sense of humour was thankfully a small and sweet affair. What made this party different was that it was intimate in its own way – Staff, senior managers from other Novotel Hotels in attendance, a few friends and well wishers. I guess I can claim the tag of a well wisher, though I represent media –I feel Accor Group fosters a certain kind of warmth and hospitality that I have come to like over the years.
The foodie in me looked out for the variety of short eats that were being passed around – Pesto glazed cherry tomato topped with Buratta, Norwegian smoked salmon and citrus cream on multigrain, rosemary chicken mouse on Yam chip (quite interesting), khumb galauti, steamed diimsum – and on an old acquaintance, friend and trusted guide on food and hospitality Srinivas Srirangam’s (who is currently holding fort at Novotel Imagica) advice tried the Vodka infused prawns over the likes of Dutch Connection – a yummy concoction of Chenic Blanc, orange juice, passion fruit and ginger ale. There was so much more on the starter menu – I remember the innovatively served, in coconut shells, jumbo prawns infused with Thai chilli – the chef was busy looking up the arrangements and I almost forgot to congratulate him on the wonderful line up. The live music was pretty amazing, but so much food and catching up was happening that somehow there was no time to catch up with these amazing team of singers.
Dinner followed more like a formality – and I just had the seafood risotto and tiramisu, and some chocolate cake that was cut for the occasion. More conversation followed before we called it a day…