Food Event | Tom Alter & Anandini Himalaya Tea … when poetry & tea created magic in Lutyens Delhi

ime for you and time for me, and time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions, before the taking of a toast and tea.”
T.S. Eliot

Tom Alter & AnandiniIt was when ‘Tea & Poetry’ created magic. In the heart of Lutyens Delhi with Tom Alter and Anamika Singhs Anindini Himalaya Tea, monsoon winds, the 20th floor at Le Meridien, good folk, music too, life was good! So many shades of the uber talented actor, poet, writer Tom Alter and tea, so many!! The event ‘Reflections’ is part of the New Perspective event series, an initiative by the Le Meridien, New Delhi.

DelhiTea was the call and the day couldn’t have begun any better. With Delhi now blessed with the monsoon winds and thundershowers at the blink of an eye, Anandini added deeply to the romance.

Anindini Himalaya TeaThe romance that spells Delhi in the rains …  the smell of wet earth, dark skies, pregnant clouds that threaten to burst,  sudden downpours that catch you unaware, birds taking shelter on ledges … and of course that hot cup of tea! Traditionally chai, but TEA at Anindini created by the effervescent Anamika, tea taster and sommelier.Anamika Singh Tom Alter AnindiniIf you thought it couldn’t get any better, hang on! It certainly did. Thespian actor and poet, Tom Alter, a name we grew up with, who played many a ‘sahib’ in Indian films and Indian freedom fighter Maulana Azad too, blended some evocative poetry with Anindini Himalaya Tea. His deep rich timeless voice made for perfect pairing, the man himself a charmer to boot!

Tom Alter & AnandiniBorn and brought up in India, this son of American missionaries can easily pass off as a local. A brilliant command over urdu and english, the charming Tom held us in rapt attention. Such a beautiful evening. From TS Elliot to Ghalib, from the Beatles and Frank Sinatra to old Rajesh Khanna numbers, the man had us captivated. Absolute pleasure! And to add to the charm, there was Anindini in many different avatars.

Anandini Himlayan Tea“Tea for two or two for tea, me for you or you for me … ” the narrative engaged us as the tea delighted. Tom divided the day into seven sessionss with a special tea blend for each.  From the luxurious morning cup that gently awakens you to the second that relieves you of your sorrows, to the most needed post lunch afternoon digestive, tea came in many flavours …  Rosehip & Chamomile, Rhododendron & Himalayan Tulsi, Rose Petals and Mint, Fire Flame Blush and Mint, Pomegranate Flowers and Himalayan Tulsi.Anandini Himlayan Tea All natural, Anindini presents the finest tea delicately paired with herbs and flowers from the Himalayas. Romantic, intriguing and refreshing. I loved the first serving of tea in tall flutes of cold mint and rose tea. Such a pretty sight to greet you, perfect for the early monsoon evening that we walked in on.

Anandini Himlayan TeaTiny shots of brewed tea followed. You could pick out the slight undertones. We gleefully matched them with the fine print on the pretty containers, all colour coded! Tom Alters deep voice teased, mesmerised, cajoled, questioned the crowd. He held our rapt attention. Every now and then an applause would loudly break out, the gathering so appreciative of his immense talent, an encore heard every now and then!

He ended with tales of his childhood. His eyes gleamed with delight while recalling the memories of  his mum’s fresh cinnamon buns on cold winter days when he returned from school. Those warm buns served with tea were the best thing ever. I knew just what he was talking about. These quick Cinnamon Buns are a favourite in our home too …

Anandini Himlayan Tea & Anamika SinghCouldn’t have asked for a better celebration for this not so humble anymore cuppa. Anindini attempts to redefine the humble chai. Tea that adorns a new garb. Tea, herb & flower blends tease the palette, surprise you with the pairing. Behind the venture, a passionate lady. Anindini Himalaya Tea reflects the depth and beauty that Anamika personifies. She is warm, affectionate, passionate, humble and dedicated. Her passion is what Anindini is about. Try a cuppa and you will see what I mean!

Anandini Himlayan Tea

Thank you Le Meridien for hosting this beautiful evening and for taking the wonderful initiative. ‘Reflections‘, a perfect blend of tea and poetry, made for a great beginning! Thank you Anamika for having us over. And of course, thank you Tom for making the evening magical!

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The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


  • Oh, what a wonderful day you’ve had. The description of Delhi and the session with Tom is all well captured and interpreted, felt like I was right there. Beautiful post and the cinnammon buns are to die for.

  • 3 years ago

    Hi Deeba, the moment I saw your post in my inbox with the term , “Himalayan” i rushed to read it. I read and re-read. I am from Himalayan region too. In Uttarakhand also, there is a variety of flavourful teas grown in upper climes like Kausani and Berinag Himalayas have been the source of the rarest herbs, luscious fruits and aromatic teas. Rhododendron, tulsi, Rosehip, Chamomile, Rose Petals and Mint are generally added for flavours and also for their health benefits. You have given such a wonderful description of the teas. I admire your pictures always. How well you’ve captured monsoon. And also the curious pigeon perched in a balcony!

  • 3 years ago

    Great post Deeba! Tea is a weakness here too! Himalayan tea is both rare and wonderful. My last batch is enjoy with care until my next visit to the region!

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