Ampersand's Travels...

Little Black Book: Discover the Pink City – Jaipur

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By Cosmo Brockway

The fabled city of Jaipur, rose-pink capital of Rajasthan, has been busy captivating travellers to the subcontinent for centuries, not least for its unrivalled collection of shopping and dining destinations. The bazaars and many boutique palace hotels hum with both established names and exciting new openings to suit every taste and budget. Well known as a hub of creativity and the arts, Jaipur has a loyal coterie of famous visitors, including designer Matthew Williamson and author Tina Brown, who come to experience the unique atmosphere and inspiration the city offers. The world renowned ZEE Jaipur Literary Festival held each January attracts an international following setting the city alight with events and buzz. Join us on a magic carpet ride through some of our insider places to discover Jaipur’s thriving design scene.


SHOP

Tokree Shop
A joyous bounty of lifestyle accessories and fashion, Tokree (meaning ‘life path’) is at the charming boutique hotel Alsisar Haveli and owned by its young chatelaine, Sanyukta Singh. Singh, who worked under legendary fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, is passionate about both supporting local artisans and collecting vintage pieces for the store on her travels.  The whimsical collections include jewel-like handicrafts, antique paintings and delicious textiles. Stock up on lassi cups hand-painted by Singh herself for a true flavour of the Pink City.

Hotel Alsisar Haveli, SC Road, Pink City, Jaipur 302001 (+91 97722 01320)

Idli
Diana Vreeland would have adored this diminutive temple of style, owned by ebullient French designer Thierry Journo. Located in the grounds of Narain Niwas Palace, Idli is the place to find one of a kind pieces, embroidered, block printed and displayed in ravishing rainbow hues. The shirts in chinoiserie prints are a must as are the elegant shawls, perfect for al fresco dining.

Narain Niwas Palace, Kanota Bagh, Narain Singh Road, Jaipur 302004 (+91 141 257 0400; idlidesign.com)

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Photo credit: idlidesign.com

Hot Pink
Hidden in the same Narain Niwas enclave as Idli, follow the pink elephant sign to this contemporary fashion and textiles store. Opened in 2005 by Munnu Kasliwal of the Gem Palace family (see below) and French jewellery designer Marie-Helene de Taillac, Hot Pink is well curated and effortlessly styled. We love the linen jerkins in jaunty colours, floating chiffon gowns and the delectable jewellery. Alongside eponymous collections, this is a great place to discover garments from renowned Indian fashion designers.

Ajmer Road, Ganpati Nagar, Jaipur 302006 (+91 141 510 8932; hotpinkindia.com)

Trunks Company
Clients of this bespoke trunk company include the Qatari royal family and Bollywood stars. Owned by the Mehta brothers and offering hand-crafted leather pieces, elegantly detailed and customised/monogrammed to order, Trunks Company is the place to step back into a more timeless age and commission a unique design, from bar to jewellery trunks, made to last a lifetime. 

44, Lane Number 4, Kartapura Industrial Area, Bais Godam, Jaipur 302006 (+91 141 406 4999; trunkscompany.com)

Aandrab
Kashmir’s finest embroidery comes to Jaipur at this boutique, styled like an old haveli (Indian townhouse). Overseen by the suave Mubashir, one of three co-owning brothers from Srinagar, Aandrab is home to shawls, jackets, bedcovers and other covetables, woven from the finest Himalayan pashmina wool and silks and decorated with motifs in gold and silver thread amongst others. Fans include actresses Cameron Diaz and Helen Hunt as well as Indian fashionistas. A new flagship store will be opening soon in the C-Scheme area.

Narain Niwas Palace Hotel Kanota Bagh, Narain Singh Rd, Jaipur (+91 141 257 0110; aandrab.com)

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Photo credit: aandrab.com

Aaksha
Equestrian themed leather goods, carved jade objets, floral muslin stoles… this lifestyle store owned by the elegant Princess Bhargavi Kumari Mewar of Udaipur has an impeccable selection of treasures. The pristine white interior with its arched doors decorated with miniature paintings is a suitably regal setting – this is Rajasthan at its most beguiling. Look out for its signature wooden panels with beaten silver decoration, the perfect way to add some Rajput dazzle to a home.

Narain Niwas Palace Hotel Kanota Bagh, Narain Singh Rd, Jaipur (+91 141 256 9853)

The Gem Palace
An icon – The Gem Palace has been standing stately on Jaipur’s M.G road since 1852, purveyors of some of the most exquisite jewels in the world. From the coffers of princes to modern creations, The Gem Palace is an Aladdin’s cave of precious baubles. Eight-generations of the Kasliwal family, who have the romantic distinction of being former court jewellers to the Mughal emperors, have created both a unique archive and a treasure trove to rival the great royal collections of old.

The Gem Palace, M. I. Road, Jaipur, 302001 (+91 141 2374175; gempalacejaipur.com)

Camera by Tikam Chand
Solemn ancestral photographs are recreated in a delightfully eccentric fashion here by the esteemed Mr Tikam Chand. Armed with a bicycle and a camera dating from 1860, reputedly the last of its kind in the world, Mr Chand, grandson of the official photographer to the late Maharaja, is to be found outside the Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds). Visitors are offered the chance to be immortalised in sepia and take away a truly unique memento of this fairy-tale city.

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Photo credit: Divya Dugar

Teatro Dhora
Teatro Dhora, Jaipur’s first concept store is owned by designer duo Aavriti Jain and Siddharth Daspan, owners of clothing and lifestyle label Dhore. Come here to find an eclectic range of ceramics, furniture and dhurries, sourced from independent artisans or designed by the owners. Seek out fashion forward garments from Goan ethical label Mogachea and the softly supple own label leather bags.

9, Yashwant palace, Ajmer road, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302006 (+91 141 402 7979)


DINE

Baradari at The City Palace
A sophisticated recent opening in the ancient city palace, Baradari is the watering hole of the city’s social scene (and hot spot during the Lit Fest). Glamorous interiors with fountains, inlaid floors and intricate mirrorwork complement the menus – go for the blue cheese and bacon stuffed naans served with cucumber wasabi raita. 

Gangori Bazaar, J.D.A. Market, Kanwar Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302003

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Photo credit: Baradari at the City Palace

Wolf
Love child of artsy Rajput couple Surya and Ritu Singh, owners of ‘The Farm’ boutique hotel outside Jaipur,Wolf, a café and exhibition space, waits to be discovered down an art-lined path in the grounds of Clarks Hotel. This bohemian pavilion serves high tea and cocktails and offers a special tasting menu by reservation.

Hotel Clarks Amer, Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg, Near Jawahar Circle, Opp. Fortis Hospital, Jaipur 302017 (+91 141 255 0616)

Bar Palladio
Inspired by the legendary Caffé Florian and Harry’s Bar in Venice and owned by Italian Barbara Miolini, Bar Palladio is a Mughal fantasy come to life with frescos, fan-tailed peacocks, mango trees and a tented garden. Come here for a sun-dappled lunch of homemade ricotta ravioli and crisp white wine or while the night away with negronis and anecdotes in the exotic party atmosphere of the nights here. We are excited to report the recent opening of Sicilian-inspired sister property, Caffé Palladio, nearby.

Kanota Bagh, Bhag Singh Road, Adarsh Nagar, Jaipur 302004 (+91 141 256 5556; bar-palladio.com)

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Photo credi: bar-palladio.com

Surya Mahal
Trot to super smart Oberoi Rajvilas for the scrumptious menu at Surya Mahal. Loved by celebrated foodies such as chef Vivek Singh, Surya Mahal is seriously good and showcases Rajasthani cuisine such as rich lamb curry Laal Maas as well as black dal, all accompanied by tribal music and dancing.

Babaji Ka Modh, Goner Road, Jaipur 302031 (+91 141 268 0101; oberoihotels.com)

For more information or to start planning your tailor-made holiday to India, please contact us:

info@ampersandtravel.com // +44 (0) 207 819 9770