During a weekend visit to Bhopal, I had the pleasure to stay at Noor-Us-Sabah Palace, a luxurious heritage hotel, that was once the residence of Sultana Begum Sajida, mother of Mansoor (Tiger Pataudi) Ali Khan. It’s in this palace, Saif Ali Khan spent his childhood, but more than that it’s the city’s oldest royal residence, making it a favoured staycation of many tourists and celebs. Built by Kings and Nizams, Noor-Us-Sabah Palace is a prevailing personification of the lifestyle led by royals, with each corner ornamented with small memoirs of former sovereign India. The best part – Noor-Us-Sabah Palace even, as a heritage hotel, continues to serve its guests as it would to the royal family.
One fascinating aspect of the private homes of the royals is that it has many beautiful courtyards and gardens. The spacious estate of Noor-Us-Sabah Palace is also laid, with several well-appointed green terraces, one of which is occupied by Marble Arch, a restaurant granting matchless impressions of the palatial era and the cultural slants of the regal life. While the lavish interiors of this sophisticated restaurant are masked, in royal red and gold, the exteriors display a panorama painted by nature. On the inside, Marble Arch has some of the finest antiques on display, including 18th-century Mughal guns and ceramic vases embellished with gold. The poolside garden on the outside features natural surroundings curated by nature.
For three consecutive days, I enjoyed a delicious breakfast at MP’s best garden dining enveloped by distant views of gigantic mountains and Bhopal Lake. I couldn’t have asked for more perfect mornings! Waking up to chirping birds and getting sun-kissed at Marble Arch while relishing a delightful early morning breakfast was blissful. Every single day, nature staged a theatrical through birds in transit, flocking and clowning a dance of joy. It’s quite an experience! Lucky for me, I was here during Ramadan. So as far as the breakfast was concerned, I was spoilt, for choices ranging from an extensive selection of freshly prepared Mughlai, Indian to continental delicacies.
The menu featured Mutton Nalli Nihari, fish fingers, potato smileys, sausages, variety of eggs, kebabs, South Indian cuisine and other interesting foods. From the dessert section, I swooned over deliciously soft doughnuts. Usually, I’m a black coffee person, but while I was here, I kept myself hydrated by drinking a lot of fresh juices. Bhopal, rather MP has typical dry weather, more so during summers. Thus fresh juices come handy to secure ‘nutritional’ hydration.
Overall had a great experience dining at Marble Arch, where food is well-complemented with fantastic panoramas and antiquated arched architecture. Marble Arch can be reached by walking past the carved wooden door behind the reception. A colourful stained glass marks the entrance to this Nawabi Diner.