Diwali is around the corner, and while there are myriad social obligations to attend to, hosting a fun brunch is a good way to get into the swing of things.

Having friends over for brunch offers flexibility in many ways – in terms of the duration of the brunch (do you want to linger over drinks until sunset, or do you want to keep it short and sweet to fit into your busy schedule?), in terms of what to cook (you could make breakfast dishes, or if lunch is your strong suit, more lunch-appropriate food will also work) and even the timing is up to you (an early brunch or a later one).

There is something undeniably charming and laid back about a brunch. Unlike a dinner party, no one is tired from the day yet and energy levels are running high. With a couple of simple tricks, it is possible to turn it into an afternoon of fun and unwinding – yes, even if you are the host!


Because the season tends to be an overdose of sweetmeats and heavy foods, a brunch that features dishes that taste delicious and leave you feeling light and ready to partake in more festivities is ideal. However, there are a couple of rules to keep in mind. For one, nothing says brunch quite like eggs, and luckily there are several easy and foolproof options to choose from whether it is a light and fluffy frittata or a spicyshakshuka. It also helps that these can be cooked on the stove, keeping your oven free for baked treats like a Dark Limon Black Tea Cake, or Koffie Cha Lush Cookies. If you’re feeling especially festive, Jasmine Pearls Madeleines are an excellent idea.

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#Repost ⠀ Koffie Cha Lush Cookies Recipe Below by @passionateaboutbaking ⠀ ・・・⠀ “You know if there's even a hint of coffee, it has my heart! This Koffie-Cha Lush tisane was absolute love at first 'whiff'! That good.⠀ .⠀ With notes of coffee and chocolate, then deeper ones of blackberry, it made the best shortbread ever. Simple, buttery, addictive good. The butter and brown sugar lent butterscotch notes to the bake.⠀ ⠀ Great served with a Koffie-Cha Lush brew with a dash of demerera. ⠀ ⠀ Recipe below ↓⠀ Koffie-Cha Lush Tea Cookies⠀ 115g unsalted butter ⠀ 75g brown sugar⠀ Pinch salt⠀ 75g plain flour ⠀ 50g quinoa flour⠀ 15g cornflour ⠀ 2 tsps Koffie-Cha Lush Tisane⠀ Pinch salt⠀ ⠀ Preheat oven to 160C. Line two cookie sheets with baking parchment.⠀ Heat the butter with the brown sugar and 'tea leaves' until sugar is melted, then cool.⠀ Whisk the butter in a stand mixer until smooth.⠀ Fold in all three flours and bring together gently to form a cookie dough. Don't overwork or the shortbread will be tough. Add a little more flour if required, or a splash of milk in case the dough doesn't come together easily.⠀ Divide into two, wrap in cling wrap and chill for 30 minutes in case the weather is warm.⠀ On a lightly floured surface, roll to a 1/4" thickness. Cut out with cookie cutters.⠀ Bake for 20-25 mins until lightly coloured and firm to touch.⠀ Cool completely. Store in an airtight box.⠀ Makes approx 1 1/2 dozen cookies.⠀ ⠀ #thehillcarttales #koffiechalush #Recipe

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Do not set out to make individual drinks – instead, choose options that can be made in large quantities. A mojito, infused with an interesting flavour such a Blood Orange tisane is an option that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. You’ll be killing two birds with a stone if you make drinks where the alcohol can be subbed out to accommodate the teetotalers in the group. And remember, no matter how full your guests are, a cup of tea or coffee rounds off a meal nicely.

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Blood Orange Mojito Recipe 🍹 ・・・ Deeba Rajpal: “When the flavour notes and packaging have you absolutely mesmerised, it's time to celebrate good things in life. Loved making this video with Blood Orange Tisane. You just HAVE to experience the product and packaging. The attention to detail right from the box, to the individual pouch which opens beautifully to release a muslin tea bag, then magically transforms into a coaster. Yet, that's not all. The coaster holds a beautiful quote, and finally the brew really uplifts the spirits. As I said, it'a like a little journey in itself, one that is pure joy! Easy to make as a cocktail or mocktail {skip the rum}, it's all you want to serve in pretty stem glasses at your next gathering.” . . . . #TheHillcartTales #BloodOrange #Teacocktail #tearecipe #tisane #chai #teatime #party #mumbai #bangalore #newdelhi #kolkata #foodie

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Nothing sets the mood for a party quite like music does. Make a playlist (or find one online) of upbeat music that is non-intrusive. Bossa nova or acoustic renditions of popular numbers are a safe bet. Whatever you do, never have the music so loud that your guests have to raise their voices to be heard.


Table setting

If there are more people than your table can comfortably accommodate, a buffet-style brunch with small clusters of seating around the room makes sense. However, there is something very cosy about having your guests sit around a table, elbow to elbow, however hodge-podge it may be. Using white plates and platters will help the food stand out better, and will also look sophisticated against a colourful table cloth or runner. Flowers on the table are a nice touch, but be sure the vase doesn’t block the view between guests sitting on opposite sides of the table!  To go that extra mile, choose flowers for the table that reflect the flavours of the drink you’re serving. For example citrus flavour will accentuate the sweet strawberry flavour in a pitcher of Strawberry Lime cold brew tisane.

Most importantly, remember to have fun! A brunch is a chance to kick back and relax, basking in the company of your friends. Following the tips above will ensure that your Diwali brunch is a cracker of an afternoon.