Sunday 9th November was not an ordinary day at The Stadel, there was Cake Mixing by the pool. For those who are unaware of this particular tradition, you see, a month or so before Christmas, a number of confectioneries and bakeries hold a session of mixing alcohol into dry fruits, which would later go into Christmas cakes which would be baked around Christmas. The concierge kindly pointed me towards the Poolside, and I found a few friends and settled down with a glass of medium bodied light white wine with a slightly dry finish and a mostly vegetal bouquet, I mused while I sipped. A series of hors d' oeuvres were making rounds. I nibbled at the deviled eggs, mildly spicy lamb galauti kebabs, little bowls of chicken tempura served with a light tartar dip, paneer tikka skewered and drizzled with some green chutney right before serving, Vietnamese Spring Rolls, and corn vol au vents. There was also the option of drinking beer or cocktails ? Screw Driver and Mojito seemed to be the poison of choice. A band played Hindi and English popular numbers across the pool, their songs floating gently across the water. The actual cake mixing did not begin until slightly later. By then, a few people I knew and recognized had come over. Among them were Choreographer Sudarshan Chakravorty, designers Abhishek Dutta, Dev R Nil, and Lopamudra Mandal Saha, Fitness Expert Preetom Mukherjee Roy, Ace Photographer Kaustav Saikia, Rapper A-List (a.k.a. Ashwini Mishra), Activist Pranaadhika Sinha Devburman, Lifestyle and Image Consultant Rita Bhimani, DJ Sanjay Dutta and several others. There was a general bout of enthusiasm as bottles of booze started to come out and were neatly arranged around the dry fruits. The dry fruits were covered with a spice mix, where I smelled cinnamon, nutmeg and mace, as well as cardamom. The chefs smiled mysteriously, then handing out bottles of alcohol, stood back as everyone donned Chef?s hat and gloves and got into the fun. No one could miss out the loud roars of laughter and the general vibe of happiness all around the place. Soon enough, a few children joined the adults in the game, and rapidly, bottles of alcohol were emptied along with syrup, until all the spirits were poured into the platter of fruits, and we looked around, satisfied that we had done a good job of mixing everything together. The chefs were, at this point, laughing at our antics. As the cake mixing would down, it was fun to watch the expression of utter happiness on many faces. We moved off for lunch, where there was a lovely spread set out for us, with Indian, Chinese and Continental food to pick from. I naturally migrated towards the cheese platter, found a few wedges of Brie and Cheddar, and settled down with more wine. My main attraction to the lovely spread was probably the light mutton Yakhni Pulao, which was very mild and made with mostly lean meat. It had a very delicate flavor, and the meat was soft and smelled faintly of ghee. I loved the uniqueness of the strawberry soup, which is definitely a risqué item to serve in a buffet, but somehow worked nicely. The bread basket offered a range of baguettes and rolls, and I picked one in random, and then snagged a few dry fruits from the cheese platter nearby. But then I spied the Rajma Chawal, and I got slightly distracted. The dessert platter was tempting enough with a silky coffee mousse and a set of dark fudge brownies. But the star of the show was probably the fruit cake which looked impressive, and was soft and filled with chilled cream. Naturally, second helpings were had. We were sent off in our ways with little goodie bags filled with cakes and chocolates. Stadel had done a wonderful job of hosting a great event and am sure we all are going to come here again. Article & Photos By: Poorna Bannerjee LiveInStyle.com encourages you to Party Responsibly!