Here’s why curated events are all the rage in Hyderabad
Curated menus with choice crafts and hands-on workshops — this is how post-pandemic Hyderabad is socialising and partying in 2021
Post pandemic, private get-togethers in Hyderabad are all about exclusivity and curated menus.
After many months of lockdowns, these are designed to bring like-minded people together over common interests. So apart from the food, there is a focus on planning an activity for the group from cook-offs to photography classes. The trend started during the pandemic when friends and families met in small groups in keeping with mandatory safety protocol.
Suryaveer Singh, founder of Hyderabad Wine Society was pleasantly surprised when a wine dinner he announced was sold out in a night. He adds that, as lockdowns eased, he was approached by an increasing number of people who wanted help with hosting wine dinners for private get-togethers. “This wasn’t the case before the pandemic. Hosting curated events for like-minded groups of people is a totally different experience because it has to be tailor-made.”
While curated private dining experiences are not new; Suryaveer says the pandemic and excessive time spent on OTT platforms watching cook-offs and reality shows like Bling Empire and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills have made them more popular, and hence accessible.
Curated events are not exactly classes. These sessions, which precede or run alongside the meal, are all about unwinding and engaging activity so participants can bond. Deepa Reddy — chocolatier and owner of Foncé— was in two minds about launching the High Tea by Foncé. The response was unexpected. “We get bookings not just for the high tea experience at the cafe, but also for the outdoor experience. Guests usually prefer smaller-scale gatherings of eight to 10 people in the comfort of their homes, usually set up in their gardens or farm houses.”
She adds that they are receiving requests for bridal showers, as well as bookings for regular get-togethers with friends. “We curated an exclusive high tea set for a gentleman who used the experience to propose to his girlfriend. The concept of celebrating occasions has changed for good in this city,” she says.
Keep it simple
Such curated events do not always come with a fancy price tag. The key is to gather like-minded people, who could also just be the family, and pick a theme. Syed Hasnain, a medical student and a coffee lover did a coffee brew meet for his cousins, and says that everyone loved it. Syed explained roasting, grinding and different brewing techniques, then showed them four methods of making coffee — French press, pour-over, Aeropress and a mocha pot. He says, “All the coffee talk and the fragrance also attracted the curiosity of the elders at home.”
Not all events are about food and drink. Some get-togethers involve picking up new skills, like photography for instance. Aditi Talwar, a professional photographer says she was surprised when an event planner approached her for a high tea that involved learning to take good photos with the phone.
Aditi says, “After online classes during the pandemic, I gladly accepted the offer because it was also a new experience for me. I kept the session easy and only spoke about light, composition and angles.” She adds, “We followed the class with a series of portrait and selfie sessions which kept everyone engaged.”