Afternoon tea at the home of the richest man in the world

Frequent Flier Christine Cunanan Travelife Magazine Publisher

So there we were in one of the most beautiful palaces in the world, in incredible India, living a Travelife. It’s called the Taj Falaknuma Palace, and we visited just a few months after it had opened. Every day was full of interesting things to do. After visiting the atelier of the most famous designer in Hyderabad on one day, the concierge was waiting for us in the lobby upon our return.

“May I suggest having the Taj Falaknuma Palace afternoon tea?” He said. “We usually have this in the Jade Room. But since it’s such a fine afternoon, we can set it up in the terrace. You will have the place all to yourselves.”

Afternoon tea at the Taj Falaknuma Palace, home to the richest man in the world at one time

Home of the richest man in the world

That sounded like a wonderful idea. The Taj Falaknuma Palace, situated 2000 feet above the city of Hyderabad, is one of the most understated but luxurious palace hotels in the world. At one point in history, it was the home of the richest man in the world. This was the Nizam of Hyderabad, and his wealth was the stuff that legends are made of.

The hotel was acquired by the Taj Hotels from the descendants of the Nizam himself. The company then undertook a painstaking renovation of the palace, with inputs from a relative of the Nizam himself. The renovation work reportedly took ten years.

The elegant life in Hyderabad

Of course we had to have afternoon tea with champagne and everything possible. I definitely wanted to savour the genteel life from the terrace of the former home of the richest man in the world — scones, finger sandwiches, India delicacies, tiny cakes and all.

Afternoon tea at the Taj Falaknuma Palace, home to the richest man in the world at one time

The Jade Room of the Taj Falaknuma Palace

Meanwhile, the Jade Room is one of the fabled rooms of the palace. Decorated mainly in a pale emerald green and full of antiques and jade objets d’art, it is simply beautiful. It’s my favorite room in the hotel, with its Belgian-cut chandeliers. So afternoon tea here is one of the highlights of a stay at the Taj Falaknuma Palace in Hyderabad. In fact, it’s the most famous place to have tea in Hyderabad.

However, we decided to follow the suggestion of the concierge and have our afternoon tea on the terrace. So we never did get to have our afternoon tea in the Jade Room.

Nevertheless it was wonderful just the same. The afternoon passed very pleasantly, enjoying champagne and a tray of sweet and savoury treats, with a view of the greenery and the city below. I certainly felt like a guest in the home of someone once called the richest man in the world.

Read more stories about traveling around India in Travelife Magazine.