My goodness where to begin? This palace-like oasis in the middle of Delhi was built by the British in 1911 to commemorate Delhi becoming the nation’s capital – New Delhi. And they spared no expense. The regency of the Imperial is overwhelming.

From top to bottom each facet and faucet has been exquisitely crafted.

Take for example this bronze of either David or Hermes, I’m not certain. Nobody asked for a bronze statue in the bathroom but there it was. It is surrounded by fine marble, presumably from Jaipur. I was and remain flabbergasted at the excess in this hotel.

But onto luncheon. After a vigorous wash of my hands, Claudia and I were seated by a gentleman with a moustache and a red uniform. My mind was immediately cast back to The Grand Budapest Hotel’s Zero Mustafa. Our feast arrived before long.

Butter chicken; Gosht Awardhi Korma and cheese naan (a must wherever you travel). Branded butter and crispy poppadoms. No I am not writing a Bollywood rendition of “Food Glorious Food”. I’m still impressed with the subtle variety of notes throughout my dish. The sheer splendour of it all. Eating in the famous veranda where officials of yesteryear would meet and discuss the fate of the country.

Even the napkins; butter covers (butter covers!) and straw containers were detailed. If the quality of the food, drinks and your surroundings are not enough to bring light back to your dead eyes; cast a glance over at the dessert counter.

Heaven is indeed a place on Earth. It is found in deep satisfaction from experiencing what humans have achieved culinarily using the fruits of the Earth. Terrestrial heaven is achievable without the use of a single narcotic. It is in the hands of all of us. We are all capable of producing masterful works of cooking.

Finally, a snapshot of life at the Imperial, captured quite by error but charming nonetheless.