I love that travel is a part of my job. It's always inspiring, a great way to break the daily routine and it opens our eyes to different ways of doing things. Supplier visits are done every 3-4 months to carry out quality checks on future shipments, source new materials, and work on new designs. After so many visits over the last 18 months, here's some of our list of 'must do's' Delhi.
TO STAY : The Imperial Hotel
By far our hotel of choice when staying in Delhi. Exceptional service, a selection of great authentic Indian dining options, daily complimentary yoga, plus an excellent day spa to wind down after busy days with suppliers.
TO EAT : Moti Mahal
Moti Mahal in Daryaganj is one of Delhi’s oldest surviving restaurants. Founded shortly after Indian independence in 1947, it claims to have introduced the recipes for tandoori chicken, butter chicken and Burra kebabs to the restaurant scene. It is a great place to sample these north Indian delicacies, and it has remained in its original premises with an internal courtyard and a pure, authentic atmosphere. Moti Mahal has expanded into a global chain with branches in almost every city in India.
Dum pukht is an important feature of the Awadhi cuisine of Lucknow; meats, herbs, and spices are placed in a pot that is then sealed with dough and slow-cooked over a very low flame. The meat cooks in its juices, taking on the flavors of the seasoning, and resulting in a hearty and aromatic dish that is the specialty of the opulent restaurant that shares its name. Recently named the best restaurant in India in the S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna list of Asia’s fifty best restaurants, Dum Pukht serves its slow-cooked kebabs and biryanis in its extravagant blue-and-silver dining room, complete with crystal chandeliers.
Intricately designed to reflect the eastward journey of spices from the Malabar Coast in Kerala, through Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand to Vietnam, Spice Route in the Imperial Hotel has a menu of corresponding pan-Asian cuisine. Standout options are Thai-style lobster stir-fried with ginger and mushrooms, and vermicelli payasam with cashew nuts and raisins. The interior luxurious, with each of its rooms featuring handpainted murals and artifacts reflecting the many cultures along the route.
TO RELAX : The Lodhi Spa
The Lodhi Spa offers seclusion, tranquility and an extensive range of therapies and rituals ranging from ayurvedic to contemporary international treatments. The eight spacious private rooms include steam, shower, bathtub, day beds and massage tables.
The Salon, with its ten private treatment areas, has a range of hair treatments including cuttings and coloring, massage, manicures and pedicures and hair spas for women and men.
SHOP : Good Earth
This shop is my happy place in Delhi. Three floors of exclusively Indian made product. Locally designed homewares, jewelry, and clothing. I never leave empty-handed and have picked up some stunning gifts for my family and friends. My two homes are now littered with different pieces I've collected from here. I also love their dedication to up and coming Indian Designers, and the fact they stock western sizes. They have stores in all major cities in India.
Block printed goodness! All designed and made in India. Look no further for all of your soft furnishing needs: quilts, cushion covers, sheet sets, tablecloths, napkin sets, and more. They also have an amazing range of scarves and women's and children's clothing. I recently picked up two pairs of gorgeous Indian style pajamas for both my girls and 1 for me.
Close to the Lodi Spa, this is another beautiful locally made homewares and clothing shop. Both Indian and Western designed bed linen and homewares. I have a soft spot for their block printed sleepwear and robes.
This is an outdoor shopping mall with many independent retailers selling fabric and soft furnishings. It's often the first place I visit when arriving in Delhi to look for fabric swatches and see what new offerings they have. My favorite shop here is called HP Singh - they have four floors of every fabric imaginable. They also have a little-hidden corner of vintage handstitched quilts. I've recently been ferrying these home for friends and family. Local prices as this are off the beaten tourist track, but don't let appearances scare you off. It may look a little rough, but there are some hidden gems in here.