The formal banquet is served to guests at the Kalyana Kottagai, as part of the carefully crafted menu for the period of the stay. The cuisine consists of Chettinad delicacies and can be subtly customized to guest’s preferences.
Recreating the vintage dining experience
Chettiars also played host to British visitors from the time of the Raj, and a similar setting is recreated for dining at Chidambara Vilas, through the use of vintage lighting, cutlery and ornate furniture. The pillared columns, ornate lighting, woodwork and the double height ceilings bring back the ambience of British era luxury, creating a perfect setting for savouring the Chettinad cuisine.
The ceremonial hall has been the setting for many formal events over the past century, and used to entertain guests of the powerful Chettiar community who were famous for their legendary hospitality. The large kitchens bear testimony to the feast prepared regularly for visitors. The cuisine was a medium for Chettiars to treat their visitors, along with the lavish settings and extreme attention to detail. The same approach to hospitality is recreated at Chidambara Vilas.
Kalyana Kottagai literally translates to marriage hall and was an opulent interior courtyard used for ceremonies. Chettinad mansions were the only place where personal marriage halls and banquet halls could be found. Even so, these were seen only in the most opulent mansions like the Chidambara Vilas. The size of the houses varied with the reputation of the merchant, and the hall at Chidambara Vilas is testament to its elevated standing among Chettinad homes.