So, all the painting, gardening, cooking, baking and other verbs ending in 'ings' that we did to keep ourselves happy and occupied during this lockdown have run dry. We are just tired of inventing ideas and taking up new hobbies to keep a check on our sanity; at least it holds true for me.
I took long drives, went as far as Zinda Park to see the lotus and water lily in bloom, drove to Singair to buy fresh vegetables from a village market, crossed Bilertek bridge to visit Tanvir Ahmed's exotic nursery and collect a sapling of the ever elusive Agnishikha, my favourite lily. I did a lot of crazy things in order to be joyful and entertained during this lockdown.
Then, I took it a notch up and decided to stay the night at the InterContinental Dhaka to finally make use of that coupon gathering dust in my wallet.
My first brush with a five-star hotel is the brown bread from the Hotel InterContinental of old, of the assorted bakery goodies my father would bring from the hotel while returning from his office conferences held at the venue. And the memory of the soft moist chicken sandwich made with it for my school tiffin the next day is still intact.
The InterContinental Hotel at that time was the set for many important histories associated with our glorious War of Liberation, and has always held a special place in the mind of the people of Dhaka. I still remember passing it on the way to Sakura Market with my mother; I was and am still in awe with the architecture of the grand hotel and its luxurious interiors.
The hotel re-opened with gusto recently, and kept us enthralled with its brilliant services and activities. I, for one, loved their creative buffet dinner spreads of exquisite dishes and desserts, their artsy deli and tea bar called Café Social has the best pizza and fruit tart in town. The London Cheese cake from their bakery is a soft mascarpone delight that melts in your mouth, leaving you grasping for a second spoon. Their gorgeous azure swimming pool is the perfect setting for the restaurant's Aqua Deck. The tangy sips of whatever masterfully crafted drink you ordered are complimented by the crunchy potato wedges dipped in mayonnaise and Dijon mustard; indeed, a luxurious way to spend the breezy mid-August evenings.
The deck's special beef burger is a must-have; the juicy minced patty in the soft bun is a marriage made in heaven, the caprese sandwich in focaccia bread generously smeared in melted mozzarella, with a hint of pesto is a definite winner, and if you complement it with their cream of mushroom soup, you are bound to reach a food coma.
InterContinental Dhaka's food has indeed been excellent, though, due to COVID-19, many of their facilities have been scaled down, yet their services remain top class. My suite had the most spacious bathroom overlooking the Ramna greenery.
Soaking myself in a bubble bath, listening to soft jazz and enjoying the sundown from the wide glass window was indeed a dreamy way to unwind. I made memories at the InterContinental Dhaka and would love to go back when the new normal becomes more regular for us.
I would be doing all sort of activities to keep myself engaged during these trying times, but never compromising with safety measures.
Remember, it is important to keep yourself happy.
This week, in Star Lifestyle, read our piece on disciplined leisure, monsoon evening snacks, and a great piece on Islamic history regarding the events of Karbala.
Photo Courtesy: InterContinetal Dhaka