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Thursday, Dec 23, 2004

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For the festive spirit

SWEET TOUCH: The dessert platter at Taj Banjara beckons you -- Photo: K. Ramesh Babu

CHRISTMAS IS not just about carols or cake, but also about a novel way of ushering in good things in life. Let's see what the city has on offer this year to celebrate the yuletide.

On the shopping front, let's begin with the most important part - clothes and accessories. Besides a plethora of stores with their various offers, there is always the good old Westside with its Christmas Magic festival - on till December 26 - which includes a host of programmes like Christmas carols and live music to trips to Singapore (courtesy Singapore Airlines and Singapore Tourism Board) and more. On every purchase of Rs. 1,000 and above, customers are entitled to a lucky draw. Their party wear (Rs. 499 onwards), gift and decorative items (available for Rs. 125 onwards) are worth a dekko.

To go with the spirit of Christmas, The Home Store unveils a complete range of products - gifts like candles, floating candles in attractive colours, sizes and shapes. A set of three is priced at Rs. 99, while a set of eight glittering floating candles is priced at RS. 199. THS has also introduced an aroma series of different fragrances like vanilla, orange, mist, and lily which comprise candles, sticks, aroma burner, T-light, pillows, sachet, beads, etc - all in the price range of Rs. 39 and Rs. 599.

And, here comes a handicraft delight. Santa Claus Lamps handcrafted in wood which comprise facets of handmade paper block printed with images of Santa, reindeer sledge and a wide range of frames in cheerful hues. A brainchild of Indi-pop artist Piyush Soni and actress Chandana's Swarna Craft, the Santa Claus Lamps are available at Big Bazaar. For details, contact Swarna Craft (98488-53857).

All the shopping has thoroughly exhausted you? Time to grab a bite. Check out the Deccan Pavilion restaurant at ITC Hotel Kakatiya Sheraton and Towers, for their lip-smacking menu on the Christmas eve: Continental, Indian, Chinese, Lebanese, Arabic - you name it and the menu includes some specialty dish of the cuisine - Hummus, chickpeas and sprouts, Tabouleh, Leban Tahina, Chicken Pistachio, Stuffed turkey roll, Duck terrine, Cottage cheese pate, Veg pinwheel, Knotted bread roll, Flavoured butter, Roast turkey with cranberry sauce, Prawn Mexicana, Baked potatoes with sour cream, Kachche gosht ki biryani, Thai chicken in green curry, and Chingru fried rice are just a few things worth trying out. At Dakshin, you can dine in southern-style with dishes like Mangalore bhajji, Masala wada, Gongura mamsam, Pepper chicken, and Ambaton offer. If you prefer pub hopping to food, then go for the Dublin event called "Let's Clown Around" which is a mix of fun, food and music.

In association with News N' Stuff, hotel Taj Residency is holding a Christmas Carnival for children on December 24 from 11 a.m. onwards. Various stalls with snacks, gifts, games and fun will be set up on the lawns for the purpose. The entry fee is Rs. 50 per child and adult. What's more, a generous snack platter of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food for just Rs. 40 each awaits you. Magic shows, fortune-tellers, inflatable slides, pony and camel rides, video games, DJ and dance floor, to food courts, games, lucky dips, and competitions (including one for the Best Dressed Santa Claus)give you enough scope for fun. There are also gifts and prizes for various events and competitions, including free stay at various Taj hotels across the country.

At Hotel Green Park, the `Gala Christmas Week Celebrations' are currently on, offering the best of food and fun. Once Upon A Time multi-cuisine restaurant will play host to the festivities from 7.30 p.m. to 11 p.m., till December 28. Decked up in a symbolic red-and-white theme, the place is an ode to the festival spirit. A classy candlelight Christmas dinner awaits you with a mind-boggling spread including Roast Capon in Cranberry sauce, Grilled Fish, Sliced Pepper Lamb, Plum Cake, Yule Log, Souffle Triffle, besides a range of Indian desserts. Priced at Rs. 269 plus taxes, the lavish buffet dinner - with its attractions like Piped Christmas carols, lucky table prizes, The Burly Santa with his goodies and a number of take-away gifts - is surely an enjoyable affair.

So, have a whale of a festive time.

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