THE HOUSE OF CELESTE IN GURUGRAM RETURNS WITH ITS OLD CHARM AND NEW FLAIR - The Daily Guardian
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THE HOUSE OF CELESTE IN GURUGRAM RETURNS WITH ITS OLD CHARM AND NEW FLAIR

Noor Anand Chawla

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With the vaccine being rolled out—and despite Covid-19 cases on the rise of late—the return to a semblance of normalcy has lifted everyone’s spirits. Certain industries that were drastically hit by the pandemic, are rejoicing at the opening of doors and return of regular patrons. The House of Celeste in 32nd Milestone Gurugram, a well-known progressive Indian restaurant serving borderless cuisine infused with Indian elements, has used the last few difficult months wisely to put its best foot forward.

Launched in 2019 by Hitesh Rao of RR Consulting with Michelin-Star Chef Suvir Saran at the helm, the House of Celeste was poised for success. Saran had made a name for himself in New York City running the uber-chic Indian restaurant ‘Devi’, before returning home to Delhi for health reasons. At the House of Celeste, instead of focusing on reinventing classic Indian fare, he sought to create something unique. The restaurant quickly developed a reputation for serving food that was delightfully delicious and artfully presented.

Unfortunately, the best laid plans of men often go awry, and so was the case for House of Celeste, when the pandemic hit early last year. The forced restrictions compelled several businesses in the hospitality industry, big and small, to take drastic steps to survive. Operations and marketing had to be re-worked and new stratagems decided.

The food and beverage industry has always faced challenges due to excessive overheads and the high risks involved. Unfortunately, these difficulties were exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic—eateries had to deal with several safety issues, ever-increasing costs, a significant decline in customers and myriad other problems. Restaurants in general, and the House of Celeste in particular, had to make sweeping changes in the way it functioned and operated, owing to the restrictions placed on dine-in occupancy and hours they were allowed to operate.

The House of Celeste, however, took this as an opportunity to revamp itself in a brand-new avatar. The original menu designed by Chef Saran was overhauled about a month ago. When asked if this decision had anything to do with the pandemic, the team behind House of Celeste was emphatic in its response—the menu change was simply overdue and had nothing to do with the lockdown.

Further, the team at House of Celeste began zealously enforcing hygiene and safety protocols for their workers. With an eagle eye, they ensured the work could continue effectively and efficiently. Everything from sanitisation of surfaces, changing gloves at designated times, deep-cleaning tables with fresh towels, correctly using safety equipment and inculcating the habit of wearing masks at all times, became a matter of routine. The manager’s position, difficult at the best of times, became more so, as he was tasked with this responsibility.

With the multitude of transformations, staff cuts seemed a foregone conclusion. However, the team at the House of Celeste preferred to keep their staff members on their rolls, despite the difficulties. Instead, the team optimised the existing staff structure, and pooled in team efforts to create a positive work atmosphere.

The new menu at the House of Celeste reflects a modern and innovative style, offering street foods, regional fare, grill and wood fired oven dishes, a wide selection of meats and the season’s best ingredients. Each dish centres around a core ingredient and is created to highlight contrasting textures, colours and flavours. Crafted with precision, certain dishes on the menu such as the Gunpowder prawns, Mutton ghee roast, Vindaloo pork melt, pay homage to traditional Indian ingredients enhanced with modern techniques to bring forth their nuanced subtleties. This luscious food menu is ably complemented by the many delicious cocktails on offer.

Apart from relaunching the House of Celeste with a brand-new menu, a month ago, the team behind it also began home deliveries. With consumer behaviours changing since the pandemic, e-commerce has been the mainstay of every industry, and food deliveries were a sound step to have taken.

These large-scale changes have brought in a note of positivity and things are looking up for the first time in months for the House of Celeste. However, there is still a long way to go for the footfall to recover to pre-pandemic levels. The team remains hopeful that six months from now, things will stabilise on many fronts. Let’s hope their predictions ring true.

The writer is a lawyer who pens lifestyle articles for various publications and on her successful blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be found on Instagram @nooranandchawla.

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PARIS HILTON REVEALS SEX TAPE EXPERIENCE GAVE HER PTSD

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WASHINGTON: American media personality Paris Hilton opened up about her infamous sex tape in a chat shot and revealed that the aftermath of the video has left her with ‘PTSD’ (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).

According to Page Six, the former reality star said during a Vanity Fair Cocktail Hour, Live! chat on Thursday, “That will always be something that will hurt me for the rest of my life.” “When it happened, people were so mean about it to me. The way that I was spoken about on nightly talk shows, to see things with my family was just heartbreaking. I would be in tears every single day, I felt like my life was over.” Page Six reported that the tape was released by Hilton’s ex-boyfriend, poker player Rick Salomon in 2004. Titled ‘1 Night in Paris,’ it showed footage of the pair having sex in 2001 . The socialite said, “It was a private experience between two people. You love someone, you trust someone and to have your trust betrayed like that and for the whole world to be watching and laughing . It was even more hurtful to me to have these people think that I did this on purpose. It still gives me post-traumatic stress disorder to talk about it.” 

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KHER PAYS TRIBUTE TO ‘HARRY POTTER’ ACTOR HELEN MCCRORY

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MUMBAI: Veteran actor Anupam Kher on Sunday paid tribute to ‘Harry Potter’ actor Helen McCrory and penned down an emotional note stating that her demise is a ‘deep sense of loss’ even when he did not know her. In a tweet, the ‘Hotel Mumbai’ star posted two pictures of the late actor and expressed sorrow over her demise. He wrote, “All deaths are saddening & tragic. But there are times when you feel a deep sense of loss with someone leaving this world even when you don’t know the person.”

“#HelenMcRory was one such actress. Great in #HarryPotter films & electrifying in #PeakyBlinders. RIP. @lewis_damian,” added Kher. Earlier Bollywood stars Vicky Kaushal and Anushka Sharma paid tribute to the ‘Harry Potter’ star.

Anushka shared a picture of the late actor on her Instagram story. The ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ star wrote a heartfelt message that read as, “Helen McCrory, may you always rest in peace gleaming in your brilliance.”

Vicky shared a tribute post for Helen from the official social media handle of the show ‘Peaky Blinders’. He put up a heart-breaking emoji while sharing it.

Actor Helen McCrory, who was widely known for playing the role of Narcissa Malfoy in the popular ‘Harry Potter’ franchise, had passed away, on Friday (local time) after suffering from a long time battle with cancer. She was 52 when she breathed her last. McCrory’s husband, Damian Lewis announced the news on his Twitter handle and wrote, “I’m heartbroken to announce that after a heroic battle with cancer, the beautiful and mighty woman that is Helen McCrory has died peacefully at home, surrounded by a wave of love from friends and family.”

Bidding his final goodbye, he added, “She died as she lived. Fearlessly. God, we love her and know how lucky we are to have had her in our lives. She blazed so brightly. Go now, Little One, into the air, and thank you.”

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VARUN DHAWAN SHARES HILARIOUS VIDEO AMID ‘BHEDIYA’ SHOOT

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ITANAGAR:Bollywood star Varun Dhawan who is currently shooting for his upcoming film ‘Bhediya’ in Arunachal Pradesh on Sunday treated fans to a hilarious video that featured him celebrating a little baby’s birthday.

The ‘Student of The Year’ actor took to Instagram and posted a video in which Dhawan unknowingly misses out on feeding a piece of cake to a little baby who was hoping to have a taste of the same.

In the video, Varun is seen holding a piece of cake as he celebrated the birthday of a tiny tot, and as soon as he moves his hand closer to feed the cake, he unknowingly misses out on the adorable baby and feeds it to the little baby’s father who is seen holding the baby in his lap.

The video captures a zoom shot in which the baby is smilingly seen opening her mouth wide open as she hopes to get a bite of the piece of cake, to her dismay, her father gets a bite of the cake.

Adding another humorous twist to the clip, Dhawan posted the video with the song ‘Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya Bewafa Tere Pyar Me’ from Dev Anand starrer 1965 romantic drama ‘Guide’. Dhawan captioned the video as, “Beti ka bday banaya baap ne. I’m sorry” and added a teary-eyed emoticon.

Celebrity followers including Vaani Kapoor and more than 4.9 lakh fans liked the post. Farhan Akhtar left 3 heart emoticons, while Anushka Sharma fell in love with the little munchkin and wrote, “ Ooooooo cutie” (and added laughing with teary eyes and red heart emoticons). Scores of fans left smiling with teary eyes emojis as they loved the rib-tickling video.

‘Bhediya’ will bring together the dynamic duo of producer Dinesh Vijan and director Amar Kaushik, who also helmed the 2018 blockbuster movie ‘Stree’. Starring Kriti Sanon, Varun Dhawan, Abhishek Banerjee, and Deepak Dobriyal, the story is written by National Award Winner, Niren Bhatt who also wrote intriguing scripts for ‘Bala’, ‘Made In China’, ‘Wrong Side Raju’.

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ISHAAN SHARES HILARIOUS LOCKDOWN EDITION VIDEO

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MUMBAI: Keeping it light for people amid Covid-19 induced lockdown, actor Ishaan Khatter on Sunday treated fans to a rib-tickling ‘Instagram Vs Reality’ video.

The star took to Instagram and posted a video featuring his mother Neelima Azeem. The video starts from a frame capturing a cute little ladybird climbing up to rock as Ishaan slides a flower with it, the next frame shows the actor playing with his cat followed by Neelima smilingly speaking about their house as she posed gleefully for the camera.

The scene then changes to the second half, the ‘Vs Reality’ part where Ishaan is seen taking the camera to a room where his mom is seen shouting ‘why have you kept my chocolates out? Who asked you to do it? I want my chocolates now?”Ishaan then responds, “You have been eating one whole bar of chocolate, if not more a day, and I have found this out after a week, and now you are getting angry.” 

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ARJUN KAPOOR COMMEMORATES 7TH ANNIVERSARY OF ‘2 STATES’

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NEW DELHI: As the multi-starrer romantic drama ‘2 States’ clocked 7 years of its release on Sunday, the film’s lead actor Arjun Kapoor marked the day by sharing some of the scenes from the movie.

To commemorate the 7th anniversary of the film, the ‘Ishaqzaade’ actor shared a collage video featuring some of the memorable scenes from the movie. In the video, the first clip shows Arjun arguing with his on-screen Punjabi mother Amrita Singh and asking her to talk with his on-screen South-Indian girlfriend- Alia Bhatt’s family to resolve the matter. To which, Amrita replied, “In which language? I don’t know how to speak in Madarasi” While, the second clip shows both the mothers of Arjun and Alia in a heated argument, proving whose community is better.

The video concludes with the garland ceremony from the on-screen marriage of Alia and Arjun in the movie with Alia’s one of the iconic dialogues in the backgrounds that hears, “Baat communities ki nahi..baat ye hai ki kis tarah ki insaan ke sath ..apni jindagi bitana chahte hain”. The ‘Gunday’ actor captioned the post as, “All you need is love … especially today. #7yearsof2states #2States”.

The 2014 delightful romantic drama ‘2 states’ is based on Chetan Bhagat’s 2009 novel ‘2 States: The Story of My Marriage’. Helmed by Abhishek Varman as his directorial debut, the film was jointly produced by Karan Johar and Sajid Nadiadwala under their respective banners Dharma Productions and Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment. Featuring Arjun Kapoor and Alia Bhatt in lead roles, 2 States co-stars Ronit Roy, Revathi, Amrita Singh and Shiv Kumar Subramaniam as supporting cast.

The story deals with the terrific chemistry of Krish Malhotra (Arjun Kapoor), a Punjabi boy and Ananya Swaminathan (Alia Bhatt), a Tamilian brahmin girl who met at a premium MBA institute of India, IIM Ahmedabad and how their friendship turned into a love affair. Coming from two very different cultural backgrounds, Krish and Ananya try to convince their parents to bless their relationship before they get married.

Distributed by UTV Motion Pictures, ‘2 States’ was praised for its music, cast performances, story direction, thus emerging as a critical and commercial success. 

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BRITNEY SAYS SHE’S ‘EXTREMELY HAPPY’ IN ‘Q AND A’ FANS SESSION

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WASHINGTON : American singer-songwriter Britney Spears recently got indulged in a Question-and-Answer session and said to her concerned fans that she’s “totally fine.”

According to Page Six, the 39-year-old singer took to Instagram Friday night to post a Q&A session for fans, where she acknowledged that the most frequently asked question lately has been, “Are you okay?” “Yes, I’m totally fine. I’m extremely happy, I have a beautiful home, beautiful children,” said Spears, who shares sons, 14-year-old Jayden, James 15-year-old Sean Preston with ex-husband Kevin Federline.

“I’m taking a break right now because I’m enjoying myself,” she added.

The ‘Criminal’ songstress also said fans have been curious to know why she randomly posted a red refrigerator on Instagram three weeks ago.

She shared, “Honestly I just thought it was cool,” revealing that it had no deeper meaning. “I thought it was vintage, it was red and just really cool.”

As reported by Page Six, the performer also responded to fans who asked her about potential dizzy spells from “spinning in my living room.”

“Yes, I get extremely dizzy,” she answered, “but I’m a dancer so as long as I have a focus point for my head, as I turn as long as I keep finding that spot, usually in the end it’s not as bad.”

Within the caption, Spears reveals that she recorded the video Thursday before making her way to Malibu in her boyfriend’s blazer, only to be spotted by paparazzi.

Page Six reported that the video echos another she posted Monday where she said she’s “flattered” that fans are concerned for her well-being.

In recent months, the Grammy winner’s fans have been vocal supporters of the #FreeBritney movement, which aims to shine a light on alleged injustices in the conservatorship that she has been under since 2008. Spears’ fan base has also questioned whether she runs her social media, prompting her camp to maintain that she does. 

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