A family-run restaurant in Ringwood is inviting diners to join a Holi celebration with a difference. India Cottage will be donating 50% of the profits from meals during the Festival of Colours (17th and 18th March) to supporting victims of the war in Ukraine. The money raised will be given to Help from Bournemouth to Ukraine, a local volunteer group transporting vital supplies to refugees in need in the Ukraine and surrounding countries.
India Cottage, run by owner Sadeq Mannan, known as Shad, is a much-loved historic restaurant in the New Forest, which recently celebrated its 40th birthday. The eatery has taken on some fresh faces to compliment its rich heritage and help guide the next 40 years, such as Sarah Choudhury, a multi-award-winning chef and Indian Food expert hailed as the ‘Curry Queen’.
Sarah comments: “India Cottage has been run by the same family for over 40 years. It is steeped in culture and history and we think it is so important to embrace that. I’m so proud to be part of such an authentic, Indian restaurant and I’m really excited to invite guests to join us when we celebrate things like Holi and enjoy a true taste of India.”
This year’s celebration is about joining people together in more ways than one, as the India Cottage team are donating half of the profits made on the two days Holi takes place over to those in need in the Ukraine. The organisers are also encouraging guests at the restaurants on those days to embrace the bright colours associated with Holi and dress in blue and yellow, the colours of the Ukrainian flag, as a special tribute.
Sarah continues: “To us, Holi is a celebration of new life, welcoming the warmth of spring replacing the cold of winter and celebrating the triumph of good over evil. So, it only felt right as we celebrate, we’re also part of that triumph and support those in dire need of our help right now. We’ve all been so impacted by the devastating scenes we’re seeing in the Ukraine and at the same time, we’ve been really inspired by all the stories of people doing such incredible good where they can, like the wonderful team behind Help From Bournemouth to Ukraine who have collected so many donations, they’ve taken over a whole warehouse in Castlepoint! We want to do what we can to make a difference too.”