When it comes to Christmas festivities, one place in Zimbabwe that has been consistently running festive season activities is Harare’s five-star Meikles Hotel.
The first Meikles festive season was in 1915, just a month after the hotel opened its doors, and each year since then the hotel’s management and staff have laid out the red carpet for guests to enjoy a wide range of enjoyable and relaxing activities in the hotel.
“This year will be no different, as plans have been set for a bumper series of lunches and dinners at which the focus will be on quality cuisine, first-rate service and memorable entertainment,” said the Meikles general manager, Tinashe Munjoma.
He said the Meikles style was not only to offer five-star festive fun but to offer this at rates that are in themselves something of a “Christmas bonus” for guests.
Munjoma said Christmas and New Year are for people to relax, forget their worries and have a good time, especially with family and friends, thus he encouraged this with a selection of offers that will enhance their guests’ enjoyment during the festive season.
“Executive chef Chris Gonzo, executive sous-chef Shane Ellis and their team in the kitchens have devised a unique Christmas menu, which is on offer throughout the season and which will be a taste treat for all palates,” he said.
He said on Christmas Eve, Christmas dinner would be served in La Fontaine, where Summer Breeze band will be in attendance for dinner and dance music, while Father and Mother Christmas would visit with gifts for diners.
Munjoma said on Christmas Day, lunch will be on offer in three venues, La Fontaine, where Summer Breeze will again be on hand; the Stewart Rooms, where music and children’s entertainment comes from MIB disco and the Pavilion Restaurant, where music with a Zimbabwean and African flavour will be played to entertain diners.
“Children can enjoy a jumping castle and face painting on the hotel’s roof garden while Father and Mother Christmas will visit all venues and music and song of varying kinds will be presented in different styles to guests.”
New Year ’s Eve would also be a special night with continuation of the festive offering in the same three venues as on Christmas Day and this time bagpipers would be added to the entertainment, which would consist of Summer Breeze in La Fontaine, Kevin Whaley’s disco in the Stewart Rooms and the local music flavour again offered in the Pavilion.
Munjoma said there would be a cabaret featuring popular singer Josh Ansley and all guests would gather around the roof garden just before midnight, which will, as always, be marked by a colourful fireworks display, which thousands of other people come to watch from the streets below the hotel.
“We have worked long and hard to put together a series of events that will entertain and create enjoyment and a memorable experience, whether for couples, families, groups or even corporate gatherings,” said Munjoma, adding that lucky ticket prize draws will be undertaken at each of the festive lunches and dinners.
During December, businesses and individuals can make Christmas bookings for functions in the hotel, using banqueting rooms or in La Fontaine Grillroom, the hotel’s world-famous flagship dining facility which this month marks its 52nd anniversary.
Munjoma said the hotel welcomed all guests, people coming for one or more meals, others staying overnight or longer, or even people coming in to the Lounge simply to have high tea with the famous Meikles mince pies during the month of December.