Delhi gets lifestyle reckoner for ‘luxury vagabonds’

April 11th, 2008 - 5:24 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 11 (IANS) “All Delhiites have their own favourite chaiwallah, the tea vendor who appears on every street. Some have their own tea stall and others will be carrying a kettle with a wire cage of tumblers … Choosing the best in the city can be fraught with controversy,” writes Fiona Caulfield in her new book “Love Delhi”. It targets the “cash-rich, time-starved and yet the footloose luxury vagabond”, the new segment of well-heeled travellers, who want to fuse luxury with the adventure of exploring hidden delights of a city.

The book, released by Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit at a niche gathering at the Olive Beach restaurant here Thursday evening, is the third in the series of travel and lifestyle handbooks by Caulfield. She has earlier authored “Love Mumbai” and “Love Bangalore”.

“I think it is a very delightful and handy book. The cover makes you want read it and get excited about the city. I think Delhi should have more such guides, which will be as unique as this one,” Dikshit said while unveiling the book.

The 152-page book, priced at Rs.1,200, is being billed as a highly-curated guide to Delhi for the discerning traveller looking for authenticity.

It has eight sections, including an overview of the city with “must knows, must dos and a list of the best places to eat, drink, shop and visit”. “Love Delhi” is full of quaint titbits about Delhi in the sidebars.

Caulfield partnered lifestyle consultants Neeta Raheja and Pariena Thapar of Very Truly Yours, a leading lifestyle firm, for content.

The book begins with an essay by Trevor Fishlock, former staff correspondent of The Times in India, who remembers his days in Delhi. It is printed on handmade paper and handcrafted by Indian craftsmen with a hand-woven raw silk cover.

The ‘must know’ section is a bird’s eye view of the city’s evolution under heads like ‘Very Old Delhi’, ‘Old Delhi’, ‘Politics and Power’, ‘Pomp & Circumstance’, and ‘Crime Capital’. The ‘must-do’ lists the sights and sounds of the capital. It also provides a planning map to help tourists plan their Delhi experience.

“I believe falling in love with a city is just as exciting as falling in love with a man. Your senses become more engaged and you simply feel more alive. It becomes everything in your life. Delhi is highly emotive, one can either loathe it or love it or sometimes both at the same time.

“The city is a destination in itself, rivalling Athens in history, matching Washington for political power and now gives Paris and New York a run in terms of great shopping and eating. You could say it is my love story with the city,” Caulfield, an Australian brand consultant, futurist and luxury traveller told IANS.

For the author, an Indophile, “Delhi stands for power, Mumbai has the most overt energy while Bangalore is all about creativity”. Caulfield has lived in Britain, the US and Canada.

“We wanted to bring to people the hidden delights of the city - things that have always been there but very few people know about. For instance, herbal therapist Suparna Trikha’s spalon (combination of spa and salon) in East Nizamuddin, which offers an amazing banana treatment for hair and jam facials.

“Does anyone know about the barber who sits under a tree opposite the Delhi Press Club? He gives ‘Shah Rukh Khan haircuts’ to everyone - from affluent motorists to the man on the motorbike. His father, also a barber, migrated to India in 1947,” content partner Neeta Raheja told IANS.

“For that matter, how many of us know that white tea has replaced herbal green tea among the Delhi youth? And the Aap Ki Pasand tea gallery in the capital offers wonderful white tea, which is rich in anti-oxidantS,” Raheja said.

Said A.D. Singh, owner of Olive Beach restaurant and also known for his innovative parties: “One of the problems Delhi and other cities in India face is that pubic places don’t always offer a comfortable experience”.

Asked what he would like Delhi to have as a luxury vagabond, he said: “There should be better marriage of public space with private enterprise. Heritage sites in Delhi should have more carefully planned caf

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