Eight Hours in Jaipur- A panorama of sensory delights
Jaipur, the pink city and one of the most iconic cities in India is a definite “no miss” if you are just visiting the Western part of India. My travel to Rajasthan was a spontaneous decision and so was my experience as most of my adventures were delightful suggestions of fellow travelers, and new global friends, the best kind of recommendations you can get when travelling solo to a new city.
Here is a round up of my day which I recommend to anyone visiting this town:
10am- Anokhi Café in the C Scheme part of town is a true gem selling mouthwatering pastries mixed in with healthy vegan savory and sweet options including bagels, mini oats honey cakes muffins and freshly baked breads. The best bonus of this chic, centrally located café s which many café’s lack, is a truly eclectic international menu of fresh salads with the greens painstakingly grown on a vegetable farm owned by Anokhi outside of Jaipur. Anokhi, the adjoining store, needs little introduction as the boutique mecca of Jaipur block print aesthetic with trendy, well tailored Indian garments, kurtis and short tunics which would make any pair of jeans or khakis pop, along with playful yet elegant dresses, short tops, scarves, vests and Indian style blazers. I settled for an Assam Tea and coffee cake which was vegan and decadent, with the frosting creamy yet not too sweet, conveying “delish” in every bite. The warm and talented owner of Anokhi Café, Melissa is also an enthusiastic of Jaipuri block print in all of its nuances and many uses and generously set me up for a day of adventuring in the world of Jaipur block print, and much more.
Rattan Textiles- Classy Indian and Western wear, lovely blends of cotton and silk tasseled stole delights, and a curated selection of rugs both woolen, cotton and blends. My personal favorite was the darling elephant and bird hanging mobiles for babies and superior collection of creative paper products including block print covered notebooks, paperMache boxes and costume metal jewelry.
Teatro Dora was my next stop, an eclectic lifestyle store bordering on the hipster with lovely product arrangement and whimsical displays.Interesting offers such as beautifully woven beach bags and jute placemats, trendy brass jewelry, and an eclectic book and magazine corner achievea hip yet totally Jaipuri feel.
Jaipur Modern was no less disappointing with its sprinkling of talented clothing designers of indigo Indian and Western wear, lovely linen offerings and equally captivating product design offering such as its vibrant gem color collection of women’s wallets, and colorful tablet covers with rajasthani motifs. Their black and white checkered café serves up a globally diverse menu including fresh bruschetta, Lebanese offerings and gourmet pizzas. Food presentation was simple and sophisticated and a definite destination for a light lunch or trendy dinner.
Nayika, is situated in the lovely Tholia building, a nice blend of the old Rajasthani sensibility and boutique destination feel with water fountains and lovely greenery outside the store. The home furnishings in this store caught my eye including the lovely pastel block printed napkin sets which would give a lovely touch to any serious dinner party and are sensibly priced. This store had an interesting mix match of accessories including different sized textile bags, modest cotton print pillow covers and lovely cotton printed hats which were a god send to the beating sun.
Rasa, last but definitely not least, was a lovely combination of sophisticated packaging and presentation and an elegant array of block print sheets and duvet covers, funky footwear for the hipster and millennial adventurer and truly designer level Indian and Western wear. The friendliness of the store staff was notable making the shopping experience feel more like an afternoon with a girlfriend than discovering a new boutique for the first time.
The grand finale for the day was a visit to RawatMisthanBhandhar- a sweet shop with mouthwatering concoctions of coconut, saffron, pomegranate, walnut with the lovely silver edible foil you see on many sweet delicacies from Calcutta and Punjab. I ventured my palette on a fantastic pomegranate cream sweet flavored with saffron and fresh pistachio pieces, fit for a king and rich enough to demand a “soup only” dinner!