An adult sleepover in an English country hotel | ET REALITY


For Eiesha Bharti Pasricha, artistic director of the London club Maison Estelle, entertainment is sacrosanct. Growing up in an Indian family in New Delhi (her father is businessman Sunil Bharti Mittal), she understood from the beginning that hospitality was not just a nicety but a cultural value that she must uphold. “Hosting is how we express our affection,” says Bharti Pasricha, 39, known among her friends for hosting frequent dinner parties at her home in London’s Notting Hill neighborhood. “My grandmother always used to say, ‘Your guest is God.’”

Bharti Pasricha’s commitment to that spirit is, in part, why her husband, Sharan Pasricha, 42, co-CEO and founder of the Ennismore hotel firm, which is behind hotels such as the Gleneagles in Scotland and the from the Hoxton chain, brought her in as a collaborator on two of her company’s recent projects. As well as co-founding Maison Estelle, a luxurious but simple hideaway in a Georgian house, Bharti Pasricha oversaw every detail in the creation of its rural counterpart, Estelle Manor, a 108-room hotel and four restaurants in Oxfordshire that opened in May. .

Although the property’s main building, a limestone Neo-Jacobean mansion set in 60 acres of parkland and woodland, is undeniably grand, the couple has infused it with warmth. The interiors, conceived in part by design studio Roman and Williams, are colorful and inviting, covered in green tapestries and antique furniture upholstered in unconventional jewel-toned textiles. And while some spaces on the property are reserved for members, you don’t have to be a member to reserve a room.

A similar spirit of welcome was evident on a warm September afternoon when Bharti Pasricha gathered a group of friends for dinner and a night at the hotel, to celebrate the completion of the project, which had been more than five years in the making. . For the special meal, her first time hosting at the estate, she chose a wild card format, asking each of her initial 20 guests to bring a woman who inspired them. The result was an exuberant gathering of more than 40 childhood friends, family, and creative collaborators that felt like an adult slumber party.

After gathering for champagne on the hotel’s south terrace, overlooking the property’s pool, surrounded by Italian Riviera-style striped umbrellas, the group headed to the walled garden, where dinner was served at a table long in the greenhouse, surrounded by aloe, senecio and yucca plants. The atmosphere was jubilant; Singer Lulu, 74, took selfies with her partymates and the women sent cocktails across the table. After midnight, guests were taken by golf cart back to the main house, now dramatically lit against the night sky, where drinks were served at the members-only bar until the gathering finally broke up around 2 A.M. Were they done last night? asked Bharti Pasricha, smiling, over breakfast the next day. “There were connections popping up all over the place.”

The assistants: Bharti Pasricha, whose guest of honor was her mother, Nyna Mittal, 63, invited 20 friends and their companions. Among the group were Serbian-born, London-based fashion designer Roksanda Ilincic, 48, who arrived with her friend, Slovenian designer Lara Bohinc, 51; French designer Julie de Libran, 51, who was joined by her sister and business partner, Fanélie Phillips, 54; Italian hotelier Marie-Louise Sciò, 46, seated next to British photographer Mary McCartney, 54, whose work “Gfully Holding Frog” (1995) hangs in the hotel’s members-only studio; and British musician Anoushka Shankar, 42, who invited British television presenter Anita Rani, 45.

Table: For the decor, Bharti Pasricha took inspiration from the green hues of the surrounding countryside and the event’s orchard-inspired menu, dressing the table in pale pistachio green tablecloths and inviting florist Katie Smyth, 37, from the studio based in East London. Worm, to cover it with vegetables and flowers from the property’s walled garden. She arranged hydrangeas, cosmos, Japanese anemones, sweet peas and dahlias among mounds of artichokes, cabbages, plums and Brussels sprouts to create a centerpiece reminiscent of one of 16th-century Italian artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s food-filled paintings.

Food: Prepared by the hotel’s in-house chef, Ambra Papa, the meal began with seasonal crudités, including purple and white carrots, sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes, served with red pepper hummus. Then came sourdough bread with pickled cucumbers and fennel pollen butter, and giant Orkney scallops cooked in their shells with basil and coriander picked from a nearby shed. For the main course, roast chicken with cauliflower dressed with lemon and tahini was accompanied by a succession of sharing plates, including green beans with olives and tomatoes, roasted hispi cabbage with rose petal harissa and a staple from the restaurant’s Glasshouse. hotel: split potatoes. , made by steaming, mashing and frying potatoes with garlic, chilies, paprika and salt. Dessert was Bharti Pasricha’s favorite: Eton Mess, made with wild strawberries and basil syrup.

Drinks: After sipping Billecart-Salmon Champagne on the terrace, guests enjoyed French wines (Dominique Lafon Bourgogne Blanc 2020, Domaine des Mapliers rosé, and Domaine Ghislaine Barthod Bourgogne Rouge 2020) with dinner. Later, at the members’ bar, margaritas, made at Estelle Manor with Casamigos Blanco tequila, were handed out on silver platters.

Music: Earlier in the evening, two members of Legends, a quintet of Cuban musicians based in London, played an acoustic set with Latin American songs such as “Candela” by Buena Vista Social Club and “Vivir Mi Vida” by Marc Anthony. “I wanted it to be nice and fun,” says Bharti Pasricha.

The conversation: “There were no fake jokes,” Bharti Pasricha says of the table conversation, which ranged from guests’ summer trips to maternity nurses to the international rise of women’s soccer. During the night, de Libran discovered that Shankar was familiar with the same corner of San Diego where she grew up, and that Shankar was a regular customer at her father’s bakery, Champagne French, in Rancho Santa Fe, California.

A tip for organizing the table: When choosing the color palette for a table, Bharti Pasricha always starts with a single shade that suits the food and builds from there. For this meal, she started with a soft green, adding golden tones and blue notes for depth. For hosts looking for very unique shades, she recommends hand-dipped candles from Danish company Ester and Erik, which are available in more than 93 shades.

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