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    From Cointreau ladoos to French brownies, your Diwali hamper this season is designed to surprise
    Just like the New Year weekend, Diwali is when hotels get creative with their hampers. In the past, we’ve had everything from royal sweets, gourmet preserves and cookies teamed with crackers, diyas or a pack of cards to celebrate the festival of lights. This year is no different, with macaroons, organic honey and for the big spenders, spa vouchers, single malts and a Rolex, no less. Read on.

    muffinsMuffins @ Raintree
    Besides fruit cake, home made chocolates, cookies and sweets, this hotel on Anna Salai has chocolate dipped apricots, extra virgin olive oil, pastas, diyas, dry fruits and sparkling white wine. If you are planning on sharing your hamper, hang on to the banana choco chip muffins. Some traditional Indian sweets like the ladoo are added to the mix, together with crackers and diyas. Their deluxe hamper costs Rs3,500. Details: 42252525

    liquersweetLiqueur sweets @ The Park
    The gold and silver theme rules at our favourite boutique hotel. The creative chefs here have used liqueur as the theme, so expect heady offerings like Cointreau ladoos and almond Bailey peda. While you can choose to add bottles of sparkling wine or perhaps a Moet & Chandon, the best sellers, say insiders, are the balsamic and honey-filled bitter chocolate, the red velvet truffles and black pepper and pistachio chocolate bars. For a healthy something, try the the apple and cranberry madhuri (a milk sweet). Also featuring exotic nut brittle and decorative diyas, the Diwali gourmet hamper is priced from Rs4,000 onwards. Details: 42676000

    homemadechocolateHomemade chocolate @ Courtyard by Marriott
    Two choices of hampers, one with sparkling wine. Pack some nuts, an Indian sweet box, a homemade chocolate box, pasta, sun-kissed tomatoes, a bottle of Prosecco wine and sparklers into your hamper. From Rs2,499 onwards. Details: 66764000


    bonnetyscakesBonnety’s cakes @ ITC Grand Chola
    Customise your Diwali hamper at Nutmeg — The Gourmet Shop at ITC Grand Chola. Choose from an assortment of freshly baked pastries and gateaux, French macaroons and gourmet offerings, all from chef Guillaume Bonnety. Their most expensive hamper at `6,500 includes Althaus Sencha supreme tea, Dolce Vita extra virgin oil , Himalayan Honey (litchi honey), premium cake, capirete sherry vinegar, chocolate filled with nuts, Kitchens of India dal bukhara, halwa and wine. Their hampers start at Rs2,500. Details: 22200000

    mangochilliMango chilli macaroons @ Hyatt Regency
    When Hyatt Regency launched in the city a few years ago, macaroons were all the rage. These airy biscuits made from ground almond or pistachio continue to rule, with flavours like mango chilli. Other offerings from their patisserie, Biscotti, added to the basket — dry fruit halwa, white and dark chocolate truffles, dark chocolate bars, ladoos, cookies, kaju rolls and more. There are expandable hampers and boxes with two, four, six, nine and 12 compartments filled with sweets. The hampers start from Rs399 onwards. Details: 61001234, 09962001647

    baklavasBaklavas @ Tuscana
    Fans of the pizzas at Tuscana or the baklavas at Kryptos can now share some of the restaurants’ goodies — choose from baklava, pistachio nuts, raspberry, balsamico vinaigrette, mustard grain preserve, wheat spaghetti, gluten free pasta, gnocchi, pesto sauce, Fabbri (berry preserve for dessert toppings) and different types of cheese like parmesan, pecorino and blue cheese. A hamper costs Rs6,000 onwards, and can be customised. Details: 45000008


    winesWines @ The Leela Palace
    At Amalya, the lifestyle boutique of The Leela Palace, you can pick up luxe offerings like the Champagne Hamper, as well as a Sommelier’s Choice Wine Hamper, Relaxation Tote and the Sweet and Savory Hamper. The Indulgence Hamper has a Swarovski tea light, picture frame and tray. Other goodies include a box of homemade truffles, crystal glasses and a Bollinger La Grande Annee Brut champagne. This hamper is yours for Rs50,000, but other offerings start at Rs2,500. Details: 33661234

    diabeticDiabetic special @ Hilton
    The Hilton appeals to the gourmand with picnic supplies like cheese, fruitcake, green olives, extra virgin olive oil, in-house dark chocolate, Himalayan organic honey, macaroons, a bottle of Prosecco and a designer candle crystal diya stand. For a little more, you get Ballantine’s scotch whisky. Those controlling their sugar intake can celebrate, for another hamper, priced at Rs3,500, comes with black olives, sugar free jam, almond and nuts. Hampers from Rs3,000. Details: 22255555

    rolexRolex and spa vouchers @ Taj hotels
    Designed to suit every budget, the four Taj hotels in the city have food, wine and gift hampers starting from `1,900. The basic hampers are packed with traditional diyas, aroma oil diffusers, incense gift sets, green tea, chocolates, nuts, stuffed olives, an idol of lord Ganesha and so on. Don’t forget to sample the homemade cardamom banana cake. Meanwhile, the JIVA Exquisite Hamper Selections from Taj Club House, priced at Rs3,999 and Rs`6,990, are a good deal, with special oil blends for the face, hair and so on, two JIVA bath robes, a Venezuelan incense holder, two beeswax candles and a 60-minute massage voucher for a couple. Of course, the real deal is what is being offered to the members of The Chambers at Taj Coromandel — from Rs3,500 to Rs5,50,000. Think a bottle of Armand de Brignac Blanc de Blancs Champagne, a single malt Macallan 21 Years Taj Reserve and a Rolex watch. Details: 66313131


    frenchbrowinesFrench brownies @ Park Hyatt
    Choose from exclusive, grand and premium hampers that come with Indian sweets, premium nuts and more. The specially designed silk boxes are in two to eight compartments and if you wish, can include goodies by pastry chef Fabien Berteau like fruit and nut chocolate, truffles and brownies, all made using fine French chocolate. From Rs850 onwards. Details: 71771234

     

    —Team Indulge

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