Weekend Getaway to Grand Mercure, Mysuru.
Mysuru (or Mysore) is a popular honeymoon destination in South India. It is home to the famous Mysuru Palace and also the magnificent 10-day Dussehra festival. The first time I ever heard about Mysuru was when one of my extended-family members gifted me this delicious sweet dish called Mysuru Pak. Did you know that this sweet dish was first prepared in the kitchens of the famous Mysuru palace? Food aside, Mysuru is also known for its cultural aura, buildings with historical significance and is the centre for the production of the famous garment, known as the Mysuru silk saree.
I’ve been to Mysuru a couple of times and the memories that I have are mostly personal. If I tell you, then I’d have to kill you! But, this blogpost is about my recent visit to this beautiful city; specifically this splendid property from AccorHotels. Grand Mercure is one of Accor group’s upscale brands which has properties only in Bangalore and now, in Mysuru. Grand Mercure is located on New Sayyaji Rao Road which plays host to the the famous Dussehra parade.
I was invited to spend a night at Grand Mercure, enjoy dinner at their rooftop restaurant By The Blue and the following day- indulge in a Sunday Brunch at another one of their in-house restaurants, La Uppu. We started at around 3 PM from Bangalore on a Saturday evening and reached Grand Mercure at about 8 PM. The sight of this glittering property in the night is something to behold and I tried desperately to get a good shot of it. I hope the above picture did justice to the view which quite frankly looked way better through my eyes. We checked-in to our rooms after which Sachin Malhotra (General Manager at Accor Hotels) gave us a tour of the property. I must admit, I was the last one to join the property tour as I was happily admiring the deluxe rooms which we were provided.
The ambience at Grand Mercure is synonymous to the culture and heritage of Mysuru. From the large display of silk saree designs behind the reception to the pictures of famous Mysuru monuments behind the travel desk. The banquets and meeting rooms at Grand Mercure are equally remarkable and not to mention- well equipped. The tour eventually concluded with a sumptuous dinner at their specialty roof-top restaurant, “By The Blue”. By The Blue serves some lovely dishes that feature in North Indian cuisine. As part of the Bloggers table event we were invited to, Chef Mukul Jha paired the starters with some interesting cocktails.
Among the starters, I enjoyed the Galouti Kebab which was paired with Dark Fanatic; this was Cuba Libre with an additional ingredient- beer. The Mugewala Kukkad- chicken cooked in a clay oven, coated with egg white was another dish I thoroughly enjoyed. The Dum Gosht Biriyani, Dal Bukhara and Kundan Kaliya were equally delicious. I cannot help but rant about the cocktail “Line Of Control” which was their version of an L.I.T but with a slight deviation from the original recipe. Here, I thought that the quintessential L.I.T is made with 30 ml of rum, gin, vodka and tequila but, it is actually 15 ml. To glorify an already-entertaining evening we were served Kesari Phirnee aur Pan Ki Kulfi with Magahi pan shots.
I had another two rounds of the L.O.C and that pretty much put me to bed. Next day, we were treated to a reasonable breakfast spread at another one of their in-house restaurants- La Uppu. Like other trademark hotel brands that belong to the Accor group, La Uppu placed a lot of focus on bread for breakfast and similar emphasis on pastries for brunch. After breakfast, I went for a quick jog to the gym on the top floor which had an almost panoramic view of Sayyaji Rao Road. Had a quick shower and headed down to La Uppu to be greeted by Chef Mukul Jha. He walked us through the entire spread which ranged from Indian dishes like Rogan Josh, Naadan Kodi curry (a Keralite specialty), Beetroot Poriyal (another Kerala specialty), Makai Tikki, Cajun Peas Pulao to an elaborate range of salads and cold cuts.
There was an outdoor seating section which also doubled as the smoking area. Here, they had a live counter serving Shewarmas and various stir fries as well. If you ask me, the variety of dishes served for brunch were adequate but I cannot think of a specific dish that stood out. I enjoyed the cold cuts but at the same time the use of what tasted like a pickled citrus fruit (assuming it was Citron) in the Shewarma is not for the purist. Not taking any credit away from the culinary team but I feel having more variety in the dessert section would really help elevate the overall experience.
That sums up my experience at La Uppu and sadly it was also time to bid adieu to a short but eventful stay at Grand Mercure. In my opinion, the Grand Mercure property in Mysuru is magnificent and the rooms make you feel like a king. In terms of the food experience, a few things to work upon but nothing uneasy. Lastly, a big shout out to the staff at Grand Mercure for being courteous, responsive from the very warm Mysuru welcome till the moment we checked out. Tourism is a major source of income for Mysuru but over the past few years the IT industry has emerged as a major employer. Hotels like Grand Mercure would significantly contribute to the former causes and talk about putting a place on the map; lavish properties like these do have their way of doing that!!