Christmas Eve at Marriott Chakan (Best Christmas Ever!)

After organizing the first one-of-its-kind meet-up of Pune food bloggers and twitter influencers, our group gained a lot of recognition in the food industry, and started receiving a lot of invites. I personally met up a few restaurant owners and planned for the future meet-ups.

Our next event : The Christmas Dinner at Courtyard Marriott, Chakan . 

Raghav contacted me through twitter and we together organised this bloggers meet at CY Marriott, Chakan.
After all the hard-work, we finalised a list of food-bloggers to invite for the event. 

Being a Christmas eve, Marriott had allowed a +1 with each of us, and I chose my best friend Kshitija to accompany me for the event.

A lot of excitement was building up for the event among each one of us....and finally, the day arrived!

Marriott offered us a pick-up service, but being a working day on 24th Dec,2013 many of the bloggers chose to travel by their own vehicle. I was picked up from outside my office by Kshitija Kadam in the Marriott vehicle. We picked up my friend Kshitija on the way and headed towards the hotel.

We were greeted warmly by the Marriott staff, and offered a few welcome drinks. Our luggage was taken to our respective rooms and we checked-in our rooms to relax for a while. While we enjoyed the mesmerizing sunset from our rooms,  the staff got us some chocolates and cakes in our rooms.

After the arrival of all the bloggers, the CY general manager took us around the hotel, and showed us the beautiful surroundings. While discussing about food and the lovely hotel, we parked ourselves near the beautiful poolside at the hotel. Being a little away from the city, the area is free of pollution. We were offered Grover Zampa fine wines along with some starters. We chatted around a little while and then headed for the lovely Christmas dinner (special menu was decided being a Christmas eve).

The Christmas dinner buffet looked exquisite and mouth-watering. Being the food bloggers we are, seeing the lovely spread, we all got busy taking food pictures. 

Marriott had also done some special decorations for Christmas which included a ginger bread house...It looked just fab! 

About fOOd :
First, we checked out the live counters (on one side of the huge dining area). The live counters served roasted Turkey stuffed with leek, bread and celery with cranberry sauce, Baked king fish with caper burre blance, maple Syrup glazed Roast Chicken with honey mustard sauce, Peking duck with pancake, Peking Pork chops, Antipasti (Turkey roulade, ham and cheese terrene, Chicken liver pate, Southwestern Christmas salad, Red wine poached pears, Marinated roasted bell pepper with feta) and what not! We were amazed by the variety of food they had prepared! And yes, of course, the food was delectable to the core!

SOUPS : In soups, we had an option between Chicken consommรฉ and Pumpkin and almond soup with sesame crackers.

STARTERS : For starters, we had Wild mushroom crepes with leek sauce, Potato gratin with clarified butter, Sweet potato and marshmallow bake, Bacon wrapped tenderloin steaks. My personal favorite was potato gratin and wild mushroom crepes. The crepes were made perfectly, and tasted exquisite!

SALADS : Among the salads, we had options between Pickled mushroom and arugula salad with a fennel dressing, Grilled vegetable and roast tomato salad with  chili and olive oil drizzle, Italian tomato salad (blanched tomato skin off, julienne onion basil olives) salsa verde, Green beans with red pepper and hazelnut, Egg salad with beetroot carrot and tomato coriander and lime vinaigrette, Chorizo and mango salad, Asian style beef salad, Fish terrine salad with cherry tomatoes green beans and red onion garlic comfit dressing, Smoked chicken salad with vinaigrette. Being a mushroom fan, I loved the pickled mushroom and arugula salad the most. The egg salad and italian tomato salad were delightful!

MAIN COURSE : For the main course, we were served Caramelized Brussels sprouts with pistachios, Caramelized Brussels sprouts with pistachios, Rosemary mashed potatoes with yam cubes garlic and parmesan, Parmigiana di melanzane, Pesto grilled vegetables, Grilled chicken breast with caramel cloves and anise jus, Red wine braised beef tenderloin with roast pepper and rosemary, Cajun pork chops with beer barbeque sauce, Winter vegetable stir fry, wok tossed duck with sprouts, vietnamese fried rice among the western and oriental cuisine. 

INDIAN MAIN COURSE : Indian main-course consisted of Paneer amir khusrooKhumbh mutter hara pyaz, Subz kofta currySabout dum ki BhindiDal MakhaniHyderabadi Subz BriyaniKacche gosht ki BiryaniSteamed Rice, Gosht Hundi Lazeez, Goan Fish Curry, Chicken Kolhapuri, Muttai Varuval. The food was perfectly cooked and was maintained at the right temperature (neither too hot nor too cold, just perfect!).

We all tasted as many dishes as we could, but given the variety of food, we were full too soon! But nevertheless, the food that I tried was yummm yummm yummm....Hats-off to the chef for his efforts!

After completing our dinner, we moved to the most amazing course of the meal, the desserts. 

DESSERTS : Among the desserts there was Christmas pudding (Hot), Date pudding (Hot), Yule log, Mince pie, Panettone, Stolen, Croquembouche, Dundee cake, Strawberry Pavlova, Baba au hrum, Key lime pie, Fresh fruit tart, Mango Saffron cheese cake, Strawberry mousse, Opera pastry and Sacher tort. I loved the mango-saffron cheese-cake the most...Just the right amount of softness is what I loved! The strawberry mousse, key lime pie and fresh fruit tart were also delish!

CONDIMENTS : Sauces & Compote (Chocolates / Caramel / Mango / Vanilla / Figs / Apricot / Pineapple), Marshmallows, Jujubes, Christmas cookies & Bars, Biscotti, Sugar twist & Chocolate Stick, Toy Bread.

We continued our lovely night at the Marriott, by chatting and relaxing on the outside area of the Momo Cafe. We were served their best cocktails and the bloggers stayed till 2 in the morning before retiring for the night. We discussed food, events, life, philosophies and what not! We all had a wonderful time, and all thanks to Raghav and the Marriott team!

Next day, we woke up to a wonderful surprise. We discovered a stocking full of goodies outside our door. For most of us, it was the first Christmas stocking, and we all had the happiness of a 10-year-old after we found the stockings outside our door!

We were treated to a sumptuous breakfast. I tried the hot waffles with my favorite toppings of fresh fruits, chocolate sauce, cream and gems. They were mouth-watering! I loved the pancakes too!! They were delicious!!  

What more, we were served freshly made cup-cakes and they were exquistely delicious...Hot and freshly made!! 

We had an array of other options to choose from which included fresh juices, fresh fruits, crepes and various toppings, tea, coffee, danish, etc.

Overall, we had a lovely breakfast!

We all left for the Gowardhan Cheese Factory visit, organised by Raghav and the Marriott Team. After coming back to the hotel, after the cheese factory visit, we checked-out from the hotel. We were all gifted special packages by the Marriott Team (Cherry on the Cake !) and were dropped back by the Marriott vehicles.

It was one of the most special Christmas evening for me! Kudos to the hospitality team for their efforts! Kudos to the Chef for the exquisite spread of food he prepared for us! Kudos to Raghav for the efforts he took for organising this event for all of us!

We all had a lovely time. I would definitely recommend each one of you to check out the hotel. If you are a localite from Pune, you must check out the spread of food they have, because its worth it! You can check -out their barbecue nights which they hold on Wednesdays, A good place for professionals to fine dine, and a lovely place for all of us to relax and unwind..!

You can follow them on twitter at : @CourtyardChakan
Like them on facebook : Courtyard Marriott, Chakan

You can read more about this meet on the posts by other bloggers :
Lifestylerr, Farzana and AliLemon In Ginger HuseinUTes At Home, Recipe Follows, Husein, and last Amarnath's Blog which is still pending (hope it will come someday!).

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