Have had a dreamy Sunday morning…whoever invented Sunday Brunch gets my vote, my undying devotion…you know what I’m saying 🙂
This morning my cousins and I made our way to the Alila Diwa Resort in South Goa, for Sunday brunch, which came recommended by K’s friend. He wanted us to try it instead of our standard Marriott brunch, which frankly, I’m pretty much tired of. We were happy to oblige. I researched the Resort online and the pictures were stunning! They described it as a boutique hotel, with heritage architecture, nestled in the middle of paddy fields! This last is pretty unusual for resorts in Goa, which are eager to build on the beach itself, flaunting every building regulation in the book. Many do 😦
We left Ishaan at home, coz I needed a relaxed adult outing. It took us less than an hour to get there and I knew as soon we arrived that this was my kind of place! The Resort was styled after a large rambling traditional Goan home, with high ceilings, simple white-washed walls, a red-tiled roof, and several courtyards. The passages between sections were tiled with cool sandstone and dotted with pillars & archways of traditional Goan laterite stone, which shone ochre-red against the white walls. No gaudy decor here, just a harmonious synchrony with Nature, enhanced by green gardens and the judicious use of water features, including an infinity pool, which overlooked the lush green paddy fields surrounding the hotel.
The brunch included use of the pool and snacks were served poolside. We made our way to it past a droll grey-marble statue of my favorite deity, Lord Ganesha, with a single blood-red hibiscus tucked at his feet. The poolside was full of ‘firangs’ (as we like to call them in local lingo), busy with the business of acquiring that perfect tan! We of course chose a spot in the shade and got down to the serious business of drinking beer 🙂 Not to forget eating the snacks that were really very good. Worthy of special mention – the moist, luscious ‘sheekh kebabs’ & the crisply scrumptious ‘tandoori baby potatoes’. I wandered around taking pictures, although I regret not taking any of the food! Was too busy eating to click 😛
After an hour, we moved to the restaurant area for the brunch buffet. It was indeed a great spread – a blend of Indian & Continental – everything from cold cuts to Sufi lamb curry and a great dessert selection. However, although I liked what I ate, I must confess that for the most part, the desserts looked better than they tasted! Let me take the precaution of stating here that I am NOT a dessert person. I do not like chocolate unless it’s very dark and very bitter and cakes and their ilk hold no attraction for me. I have noticed however that most stuff that looks exotic rarely tastes good or maybe that’s just me and my simple non-gourmet tastes! There was a chocolate fruit tart though that looked and tasted delish! K even stuffed two whole ones into his mouth, just to show me he could! I took a picture to prove he did too 😉
A word about the loos…the quality of which definitely catapults a resort from good to excellent in my book! These were excellent. Simple, clean, with actual hand towels (no paper rolls or wall mounted noisy dryers here!) and a pleasant attendant who flashed me a bright smile 🙂 And then it was time to leave, having gorged ourselves, we were all ready for a long Sunday siesta…just the tiny matter of settling the cheque and we would be on our way. K called for the cheque and this is where the entire experience transformed from a great brunch to a fabulous once in a lifetime experience – we discovered that K’s friend had arranged for the entire meal for all of us, on the house!! I nearly fell off my chair in excitement (yes well, I’m only human!), and it took us all a while to wrap our brains around this happy surprise 🙂 K even tried to get in touch with his friend and confirm, but couldn’t get through. However the restaurant manager confirmed it for us and we walked out very, very happy and thankful 😀
So you see…with a morning like that…Funk has nothing on me! Back home, Ishaan was napping and so did we. In the evening we lit some of the remaining firecrackers from Diwali on Ishaan’s request 🙂
All in all, an excellent weekend! Hope you had one too 🙂
And if you’re ever in my neck of the woods, be sure to visit Alila Diwa. You won’t be disappointed!
p.s. On our way back we had to wait at a railway crossing. The goods train that chugged by was pretty long…G counted 60 carriages!! I was pretty impressed with K’s knowledge of goods’ trains. He told us there would be a minimum of 54 carriages or a maximum of 58 – 60! He’s in the mining business, where one gets to know these interesting tidbits of information. Each carriage can take up to 21 tons in weight…and most engines can haul up to 3800 tons!! That’s some weighty stuff, that!!