Luxe and Stylish- Imperial Hotel, New Delhi

I love nothing more that pure luxury and nothing defines luxury better than the essence and aura of The Imperial, New Delhi. Stroll through the art laden corridors and you will feel history come alive. On arrival, another world opens up filled with Victorian charm and luxury;Intricate details, space and greenery over seven acres of manicured gardens fashion this royal destination-while you revel in the days of the Raj or seek pleasure on your plate at the award-winning restaurants.

The Imperial Facade

Conceptualized in 1934 by Blomfield The Imperial was inaugurated by Lord Willingdon in 1936. Situated on the prestigious Queensway, now Janpath, The Imperial is a fine confluence of a rich historical past with an awe-inspiring heritage and international appeal. It offers an unique experience embracing history delicately cradled in the comfort of modern conveniences. Indeed, it was in Lutyens’ scheme of things to build the most luxurious Hotel in New Delhi with a unique blend of Victorian, old colonial and a playful dosage of informal art deco.

lobby-entrance-hallway, Imperial, New Delhi

The style is decidedly eclectic. The gates and the massive, avuncular bronze lions at the entrance are Victorian. In the high-domed Atrium inside, art deco wall panels and wrought iron balconies recall the early 20th century. Lutyens’ design of the Universe, a masterpiece made with 800 pieces of marble, can be noticed all over the Hotel, including in its rich 24-carat gold leaf form that appears on the rotunda in the heart of the lobby.

Verandah Lounge, The Imperial

The pillared verandahs, dining rooms, tea lounges, Royal Ballroom and cool and spacious gardens have played host to some celebrated encounters between the British and Indian aristocracy and gentry. It was here at The Imperial, where you could click your glasses on the same table as Lord Harding or Gandhi, to the war efforts or to the Quit India Movement. Replete with tableware from London, Italian marble floors, Burma teak and rosewood furniture, fountains from Florence, original Daniells and Frasers on the walls and the best of Indian furniture, The Imperial  – a unique low-rise structure – creates the aura of an early 19th century English manor.

Live kitchen at Daniell's Tavern, The Imperial

Daniell’s Tavern
Daniell’s Tavern at The Imperial comes alive with a brand new look showcasing a Live Kitchen and a menu that revisits India from the eyes of Thomas and William Daniells. This uncle and nephew team came to experience and paint the rich culture and culinary tradition of India’s picturesque locations in 1786, in the midst of colonial era to assist the expanding British Empire. The new menu seeks to define their gastronomic expedition with unique old world specialties from all the cities they visited. With art spread across the restaurant revealing the beautiful journey of Thomas and William Daniell, white hues, dark blue glasses, intricate wood work on the ceiling, together lend an elegant feel.

San Gimignano, The Imperial

San Gimignano
Cradled in the bosom of Tuscany lies a hilltop town, one of the best – preserved medieval towns, called San Gimignano or ‘the city of beautiful towers’. The Imperial’s Italian specialty restaurant of the same name takes inspiration from this lovely city where vineyards and olive grooves flourish. San Gimignano offers a delectable fare blending the delicate flavours of ingredients that are both procured locally and imported from Italy. In an endeavour to present only the best, San Gimignano sources the finest of balsamic vinegar, cheeses, pasta, risotto and olive oils.

1911 Bar, The Imperial

1911
1911 is a landmark year in the history of New   Delhi. It was in this year; on December 12, 1911 that King Emperor George V had declared New Delhi as the Capital of India. Given the historical significance 1911 is a celebration of aesthetics with its rich, choicely done up interiors and cuisine that showcases the ‘melting pot’ culture of Delhi and service that is truly a reflection of Imperial India.The Imperial, has for long, had a ‘relationship’ with period art. In fact, 1911 is an ode to this tradition. It is replete with antiquities dating back to the 1911 Durbar and photographs from the colonial era.

The Spice route, The Imperial

Spice Route
Heralded as one of the top ten restaurants in the world and proclaimed to be the only-one-of-its-kind, The Spice Route is poetry in design.The Spice Route has been designed to reflect the journey of spices from the Malabar Coast in Kerala through Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Indonesia to Thailand and Vietnam.The restaurant is an overwhelming visual depiction of the art and culture that also travelled with the spices through these regions, presented in a folk, religious and cultural fantasy of the Orient. Designed by Rajeev Sethi, the celebrated cultural czar of India, The Spice Route is an architectural marvel that offers a unique dining experience in a distinctively beautiful setting.  The Restaurant is completely hand painted with vegetable and flower dyes by mural painters brought in especially from a temple in Guruvayur in Kerala with a tradition dating back to 3000 years. Food is sacred in Asia. A manuscript of Ramayana in ancient Thai displayed with pride in the Restaurant echoes the sentiment.Besides the stunning décor, The Spice Route boasts a menu that ensnares the taste buds of a seasoned food connoisseur. Do try out their new summer menu you will be satiated with the unique and interesting use of mango blended into Asian cuisine.

Royal Imperial Suite

The Imperial has undergone a major renovation and restoration work in early 2000s under the aegis of Hong Kong based architect Chandu Chhada – an exercise that re-established the splendour of the Hotel as the grandest colonial hotel in Asia. With high ceilings, impeccable décor and equipped with all the facilities and modern conveniences, the 235 rooms and suites, overlooking lush, verdant gardens, bespeak discreet luxury and offer total privacy and serenity. Choicely designed and thoughtfully decorated for the discerning business and leisure guests alike, the distinctive character and charm of the rooms has been achieved by attention to the smallest detail heightened by a warm and personal service by an efficient staff geared to proffer an unparalleled Imperial experience.

Lutyen Suite, The Imperial

A veritable museum with a rare and original collection, The Imperial showcases different forms of art in its rooms, corridors and public areas. Finest 18th and 19th century paintings, lithographs, sculptures and intricately painted murals – all offer a memorable experience to an art aficionado.

Eliza Room- Grand Heritage, The Imperial

Eliza
The Imperial has a special program ELIZA”, for single lady travellers. The lady guest under the program gets enrolled for the uniquely designed privileges coupled with the unmatched Imperial experience, the moment she checks in.The Imperial has taken this value added initiative for our esteemed single lady travellers to provide a distinct “stay experience” associated with comfort, convenience and care, prioritizing their safety.The lady guests are allocated rooms in a “Single Lady Corridor” equipped with CCTV cameras and are provided with special In-room check-in facility. Single Lady Corridor consists of 12 Eliza rooms on the third floor and each room has a separate room door camera installed as an additional security feature.

The Royal Ballroom, The Imperial

Probably the only authentic ballroom remaining in India with a spring floor that reduces noise levels, the Royal Ballroom evokes the splendour of Lords and Ladies bowing and curtseying, before they swirled across the floor to the strains of the waltz. This is where the distinguished guests amused themselves when the Hotel was opened in 1936 and this is the room where the first grand Ball was held. The vast ballroom today, also, serves as a venue for conferences and events of repute, seating up to 400 guests, auditorium style. Conference facilities also include two mid-size conference halls, namely Emily Eden and Hodges, with a seating capacity, theatre style, for 60 and 30 guests respectively and a Boardroom which can accommodate up to six guests.

The Sufi Spa, Imperial

You can rejuvenate at their well-equipped Fitness Centre or use the facilities of the amazing The Imperial Spa An oasis of calmness in the hectic rush of modern living. The Imperial, with a fabled antecedent, is an institution of class: quiet, dignified, serene and elegant. It has played host to business barons, royalty, sports stars and eminent people in the limelight.

Swimming-Pool, The imperial

Called the ‘only’ Garden Hotel of Delhi, The Imperial rests resplendent in beautifully manicured gardens nestled amidst royal palms. The private swimming pool, deep in the shaded grounds of the Hotel, offers a tranquil, rejuvenating experience.The indelible Imperial Experience is geared towards making your visit simply perfect in every possible way. The Imperial is, in itself, a Destination!
For more details check out www.theimperialindia.com

Spring in my steps

My favourite season in the whole year is finally here- Spring! I think it’s the best weather in the year- I hate when it’s too hot or too cold or too mucky, and even though pre-winter i.e autumn has similar weather, there is just something super optimistic about Spring. It could be that you finally see bare trees coming back to life or the chirping of birds, everything about Spring wants to make me sing and dance. Also I think spring indicates going away of the old and beginning of new, ‘a fresh new start’. So here I gathered ways for you to bring Spring indoors, right up to your living room.

Flower arrangementFlora and Fauna– Nothing spells freshness like flowers, so bring them home and lots of them. The best thing about spring there is no shortage of options; bring in big bunches of flowers like Daisies and roses and display them in vintage bottles, or fill up urns with water and float Gerbera’s and Marigolds. Potted plants are also a great way to bring in the outdoors. If you don’t have a garden or balcony, you can bring in small potted plants on your window sills and can even grow your own fresh herbs like coriander, mustard, fennel and even onions. Fresh fruits also add the feeling of natural energy, display them in rustic baskets for the feeling of a country cottage.
DIY– Add aroma oils like lavender and lemon in small drops on towels and pillow cases.

Let there be light– Yes, I am referring to natural light, nothing adds warmth and room to a space more than light. You can get rid of all the heavy and dark upholstery for lighter options i.e Cotton and sheers in place of silk and velvet. I am referring not only to windows but general upholstery like cushions and bed covers all need a make over.
DIY– if you don’t have sufficient windows, add art work that show cases out-door scenes.

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Table setting
http://www.citrusandorange.blogspot.in/

Touch of nature– Natural fibers and materials like Rattan, wicker and jute are all great ways to create a sense of outdoors in your home. Used innovatively they help create a relaxing environment. For flooring go in for natural options like wood, cork and bamboo in rugs go in for Jute, coir and sisal. One of my favorite options is getting in grass walls. Real grass walls if grown need to be taken off in a month unless you bring in the whole irrigation system, else you always have the option of going in for a faux grass wall.
DIY– make napkin ties with flowers and leaves a perfect way to add nature to your dinner party.

Less is more– Here I am referring to furniture and accessories. The heavy, ornate pieces which are anyway a rare find in apartments now days and are better suited to a bungalow or house, definitely don’t find any place in spring decor. For those who like me have a soft-spot for these, go for the unpolished look or get them painted in white or other bright colours. Instead of changing your sofa, slip-covers in natural material and colours are a great option with lots of bright cushions. Mirrors as I mentioned before if placed well can make a space look roomy and are perfect accessories, along with Parisian screens.
DIY– Chains, beads and even broken bangles make great room dividers.

Style At Home Magazine, Samantha Pynn House, March 12, 2008
Style At Home Magazine, Samantha Pynn House, March 12, 2008

Colours me softly– The fact that soft shades like lavender, peach, mellow yellow, mint green and pastel pink are spring shades is a no-brainer, but add to that the right prints and you have the perfect spring room. Though florals are always in vogue during spring, I feel birds are going to be huge this Spring, not just in print but also in texture, with feathers on accessories.
DIY– Spray paint old accessories in bright colours for a new look.

Cshellsoastal tide– Nothing makes me happier than spending time on a beach. And with spring, that is something I feel closer to achieving. So bring home the beach with shells and river rocks. Fill in large glass jars with different river rocks, arrange baskets and shelves with Sea-shells. Place potted fishtail palms in your house.
DIY-create memory jars by filling glass jars with sand,shells and photos of your vacations.

Banish your Summer Blues

Season as we know have a huge impact on our mood. So though it is mostly cold dreary winter nights with no warmth or sunlight which gets us depressed but boiling summer heat can gets us quite cranky and irritable as well. I mean no one living in a warm country like India wants to do anything but sit in a chilled space till these summer months pass. Well I know different things work for different people, but here is a list of things which always get me feeling a little less moody and I hope they make you feel less blue too.

Back to nature– Yes, I know everyone is always telling us to connect with nature, but it really does help. So if you cannot take that much-needed vacation to go on the beach or mountains, try to include nature in your day-to-day activity either by going for a walk or playing an outdoor sport. Else try to incorporate at least two outdoor meals a week in your schedule. Seriously, alfresco dining is a great mood enhancer, so why not make a small setting in your balcony,terrace or garden. Most guys find pasta and soup comforting and women find off the rack food like chips and chocolate soothing. So plan your alfresco meal combining both options with pasta and chocolate cake and serve it with a beautiful bottle of wine.

Use your senses– I mean that literally! Smell has a very strong impact on our mood, so while certain perfumes make us feel warm by reminding us of our parents or grandparents, similarly certain food items, like freshly baked bread or pickle which are associated with happy childhood memories make us feel instantly relaxed. So keeping these associations in mind, light incense that smells like rose, lavender and ylang ylang in your home or work space. Another suggestion is to spray a bit of these smells on your pillow before sleeping, they are supposed to be great stress relievers.Touch therapy is supposed to be another great mood enhancer. So go in for a nice massage, it is supposed to have a great impact on your mood. Check out the ones I tried out here and here.

Ideas to Steal

Colour, Colour, Colour– I cannot emphasize enough on the impact of colour on our moods. Even though I am a bright colour kind of person but too much brightness could be overpowering and can turn out to be a mood dampener, so use colour smartly in your home. For instance red is great for dining rooms as it promotes social and lively feelings but a no-no for children’s bedrooms as it can be too overpowering. It is best instead to use it in moderation, with either doing up one wall or having red accessories. Pink especially fuchsia can be great to induce passion into your lives, but can seem too girly so is best when mixed with charcoal. Orange is again great for living and dining areas, especially as this warm hue adds stability. Green is a very calming and restful colour and adds to the feeling of stability and balance. But one has to be careful that too much of green can make a person very laid back. Blue is another colour which has a calming and soothing effect. It also promotes intellectual thoughts. Sunshine yellow is another colour that is great for kitchens and living rooms as it stimulates energy and intellect. If you cannot go in for a complete change of colour you can always add accessories in these colours depending on what area in your life you want to enhance.

Besides the above constantly challenge your body and mind. We tend to get stuck in a rut and don’t bother with new things, for instance take up a new hobby. Activities that give us an adrenaline rush are supposed to be great mood enhancers. Same can be said for mental exercises in form of crossword puzzles and Sudoku challenges.

Drink for a Cause!

In February 2011, Belvedere the premium Vodka brand announced its partnership with RED and the launch of a special edition to raise proceeds for the Global Fund, the worlds leading financer to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. 50% of profits from the sales of Belvedere (RED) special edition will contribute to the Global Fund.

To add to the summer fun, here is a list of cocktails created by Claire Smith for Summer 2012. So throw your fancy party and add a tinge of RED with these cocktails.

 

Belvedere (RED) Reef Breeze            Belvedere (RED) Cherry Collin

1oz Belvedere RED                               50ml Belvedere Vodka

½oz Belvedere Citrus                            6-7 Fresh Black Cherries

2oz Pineapple Juice                               Dash Simple Syrup

Dash Lime                                            15ml Lime Juice

¼ grenadine syrup                                Dash peychaud Bitters

Shake and pour over into High ball         Muddle,shake and strain in a iced highball

                                                          Pour Soda and garnish with a cherry 

Belvedere (RED) Port                        Belvedere (RED) Tart

1oz Belvedere RED                              1.5oz Belvedere RED

½oz Strawberry Juice                          ¼oz Chambord  Black Raspberry liqueur

½oz Port                                            Dash Ameretto

Dash Simple Syrup                             ½ oz Fresh lime juice

2 dashes rhubarb bitters                   Shake first four ingredients. Top up with sprite

10ml chilled water                            Garnish with red berries

Stir and serve at room temp in spirit glass

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