NEVER ANY END TO DELHI. . .
My girlfriend and I have been on a whirlwind trip covering three countries; Spain, London, and a hop, skip and jump to New Delhi, India, where my folks live. When you go back to your hometown almost every year as I do, how do you keep the visit fresh and novel? No problem, there. . .Delhi is a vibrant city known for providing visitors exactly what they're looking for.
After partying non-stop in Tenerife and London (think Novikov; Sexy Fish; Annabel’s) we thought we’d hit a road bump when we reached Delhi. Not so. The kick ass nightlife in Delhi actually begins when the streets are empty, and the unadventurous people are snoring away. 10 p.m. - 5 a.m. is the time to explore Delhi’s non-stop party scene. On a Tuesday night, few places are hopping, but there’s always Hauz Kauz village. We hit Social, a café by day; high-energy bar by night. When we visited, it was the amazing range of cocktails, the quirky décor and the foot-tapping music that enthralled us into staying until the wee hours of the morning.
Other hidden party places to check out are:
Shalom, Greater Kailash -1. Different kinds of music events almost every day as in Sufi Night one day and a DJ night the next.
Ghungroo, ITC Sheraton, Chanakyapuri. Delhi’s favorite night club hub since the 90s.
Library, The Leela Palace, Chanakyapuri A cosy, intimate ambience and some mind-blowing cocktails.
The Living Room, Hauz Kauz village. A rooftop cafe with awesome décor and laid-back background music to enjoy your food with.
New Delhi is a foodie’s paradise. . . it is never difficult to find fine dining options here that bring a diner to his knees. But, Indian Accent rated as the #1 restaurant in India, has taken the restaurant scene by storm and is the hottest restaurant in Delhi right now. We sampled the tasting menu, and it was an experience comparable to Benu (three Michelin stars) in San Francisco or French Laundry (three Michelin stars) in Napa. In a nutshell, it is small plates infused with European flavors; but, more importantly, it's the way the food is presented; the way the food is served. Its as if some fine artists are sitting in their kitchen and making it exclusively for you. If Michelin ever makes it to India, I’d be amazed if this restaurant doesn’t get at least one or two full stars.
No visit to Delhi for me is complete without a ‘darshan’ of Gurudwara Bangla Sahib. This Gurudwara has been a source of inspiration, beauty and tranquility for me. A visit any time of the day is worth it. Every time I visit, I’m filled with peace. At Langar, where you see thousands of people beig fed everyday, you feel the presence of God.
In the last 6-8 years, Delhi has evolved into a shopper’s paradise. With the advent of the DLF Emporio Mall, Delhites no longer have to fly to London or Paris for luxury brand shopping. This mall is one of the most luxurious where you can shop all the top-notch brands under one roof, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Chanel, Armani, Chopard, Bottega Veneta, Cartier, to name a few. In total, there are about 65 international brands and about 100 well-known Indian designers. And if you don’t have that kind of expendable cash, you can feel rich just by visiting and window-shopping!
I can’t leave Delhi without my khatta ladoo fix so on my last day I took to the crowded streets of Lajpat Nagar and stopped for my favorite roadside snack. Usually Indian ladoos are associated as being sweet but Ram or khatta (meaning tart) Ladoo is a savory ladoo that is served with sweet and spicy sauces and grated radish. The ladoo is prepared by shaping moong dal (lentil) batter into round balls and deep frying them. Yummmm. Counting calories? Nah, don't believe in that while on vacation!
So, whether its your first time to Delhi, or your second time, or your 21st time, as it was for me, the numerous magical places, you can visit will not only captivate you but leave you wanting more!