The next time you are at Hyderabad, try doing something different. Try some High Tea at the Taj Falaknuma Palace.
We had different plans for that day in December as it was my mom’s birthday. We were 6 adults as a family. Also, this wasn’t our first visit to Hyderabad! We had traveled to Hyderabad from Bangalore for a long drive and had planned to spend 3 nights doing something different. That said, we thought one of the days we should see the Falaknuma palace and do the High-tea there!
Falaknuma Palace is at an altitude and you will get great views of the city from here.
After Taj Hotels took over the restoration and management of Falaknuma Palace, we knew that the only way to take a tour inside was either to stay there or to have a meal there. Staying there was exorbitant and wasn’t something we could have done. The only other way to tour around the palace was to have a meal.
For several reasons, lunch was never a possibility because since we were on a holiday we woke up late! It was 11:00AM almost every day when we were done with an elaborate breakfast at The Park (where we stayed). Hence, lunch was ruled out! We did consider dinner but then realized that our hotel was pretty far away from Falaknuma! With our late dinner habits (Past 8:30PM), a travel that far wasn’t convenient for any of us.
That is why the High-Tea worked perfect in our favor! It was more pocket friendly considering their heavy fancy meal rates. Additionally, when you go there for High tea, you get to see the day view as well as the twilight view of the city!
How did we book the High-Tea?
So evidently, you cannot just walk in here! You need to reserve your table and that can be done upto 30 days before hand! I would personally suggest to do it as soon as you can so that if it is a busy day or a holiday you will still get a table for yourself.
When you do book your slot (the number is on Taj’s website), they would want to know the number of guests and the preference for high-tea. You will have choice of either Indian or English and if you are a group you could probably ask for a mix of both!
Don’t try to walk in here as the security at the first entrance will not let you in. They often have a list with names of guests for every evening and if your name is not on it you may not be let in. So please get your reservations in place to have a beautiful afternoon/evening.
Note – You need to wear formals or smart casuals only. No shorts, slippers or anything too ‘touristy’ will be allowed.
A guided palatial tour takes place before/after the high tea. Since we were late we chose to have the palatial tour after the high tea.
The palace is beautiful and it gives a fair idea of how rich the Nizam of Hyderabad was!
My Personal Opinion about the Palace and the High Tea
From the main entrance, after they verify your booking, you will be let inside to travel uphill towards the palace. At the second gate, you have the provision to park your vehicle. From here, the buggy will take you further to an altitude where the actual palace is located. It is a beautiful experience. From the second gate, you also have an option to take a Royal Horse carriage towards the palace at a fee!
Once you are right in-front of the main facade, you will be shown your way towards the high-tea arrangement.
Coming to the high-tea, it is a pre-set menu in a stunning balcony set-up! The evening will be like royalty enjoying an outstanding view!
For the Indian High Tea selection, there were some Indian snacks like samosas, tikkis, Indian sweets and the like. For the English option, there were sandwiches, cakes, tarts, scones etc. They also had an extensive tea collection, coffee choices and other beverages to choose from.
High Tea at the Taj Falaknuma Palace
Palace Tour wise, I was happy to see and know about the interesting outlook from the Nizam’s point of view. The palace itself is very impressive and the sight of the city from here is even better. For a moment, it does take you back to the bygone era!
What did it Cost us?
We paid about Rs.15000 for 6 of us!
It does seem high for the food but I would suggest considering Rs.2500 (inc. taxes per person) as an entrance charge to see the palace rather than look at it as a rate tag for the High-Tea!
PS – The Lunch/Dinner per person spend should be more than Rs.4000 per person!