What does a hotel do when it organises a special lunch in honour of the‘Bird in a Biplane’, the legendry aviatrix such as Tracey Curtis-Taylor, who is flying halfway across the globe from UK to Australia in a biplane in the ‘foot steps’ of Amy Johnson? It plays out the biplane theme. Obviously! And this is just what the Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi did, starting with the invitation with the picture of a napkin innovatively folded in the shape of a plane, a green biplane cake, a lunch buffet with English, Arab, Indian, Australian cuisine, giving guests a culinary treat from the countries that she has traversed, and indeed it was a ‘high flying’ lunch. Demurely dressed in a beautiful Banarsi Sari, Tracey Curtis-Taylor looked almost fragile and not at all like the dare devil creating history by flying 13,000 miles across 23 countries in her 1942 Boeing Stearman open-cockpit biplane.
Eighty-five years on, Tracey is recreating Amy Johnson’s route where there are some striking similarities to the original flight path but also notable differences. When Johnson took off from Great Britain on her way to be the first woman to fly the route to Australia, she was able to draw an as-the-crow-flies line. On her route, Tracey is adding in a few extra stopovers to take in the experiences on offer in the UAE and Oman before heading to India. She hopes to recreate the essence of Johnson’s era of flying, with an open cockpit, stick and rudder flying with basic period instruments and a short range between landing points.
To mark her historic pit stop, The Taj Mahal Hotel went all out to give Tracey a taste of Indian hospitality at its best.Taj Khazana which has been the patron of traditional craftsmen, weavers, and world-renowned artists presented a special Benaras Saree to Tracey for her afternoon with eminent women achievers in the city. In honor of the milestone that Tracey is out to set in the history of aviation, the expert chefs at the hotel, headed by Executive Chef Arun Sundararaj crafted an elaborate lunch menu for the guests at the legendary Machan.
The evening was an interactive session where Tracey shared her inspirational story and some of her life altering experiences with the special guests. To keep up with the festive season, Tracey partook in the traditional cake mixing session. The Taj Mahal Hotel also hosted an exclusive cocktail evening in her honor.
Tracey shared her excitement on her stay at The Taj Mahal, Delhi, stating “I am delighted and grateful that Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is supporting my flight from Great Britain to Australia. The support from India has been phenomenal which means a lot to me as India represents not only the spiritual heart of the flight but my stay at The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi is the pivotal geographical halfway mark to Australia. Flying the Spirit of Artemis 13,000 miles across 23 countries is very physical and you are exposed to the elements, so I was looking forward to the unrivalled warmth of Indian hospitality”.