Smith has just returned from a trip to India, where we discovered a bevvy of boutique hotels in Delhi, including the elegant Aman New Delhi. This handsome hotel is within striking distance of the city’s most fascinating monuments, so we slipped in a spot of sightseeing in Aman’s customised auto rickshaw.
One of Delhi’s most snap-worthy monuments is serene Humayun’s Tomb (above) a Mughal mausoleum built in 1570 that’s said to have inspired the design of the Taj Mahal. Next, take a peek at Arc de Triomphe-esque India Gate, opposite the Presidential Palace, where locals gather for picnics and ice-cream.
A more left-of-centre sight is Jantar Mantar (left), a sprawling observatory that’s home to 13 jaw-dropping structures, built by Maharaja Jai Singh II in 1724 to chart the movements of the sun and moon. Take up the offer of a guide at the gate to get your head around these bamboozling buildings.
If all of this wandering has worked up an appetite, ask your driver to hightail it to Bengali Pastry Shop & Snack Bar (34–37, Bengali Market, New Delhi; +91 (0)11 2522 3469) for a pao bhaji. This DIY sandwich of spicy potato curry and crunchy coleslaw is not to be missed, but be warned, this freestyle fast food can get a little messy.
Dinner should be at one of Delhi’s best restaurants, so book a table at Indian Accent (Manor Hotel, 77 Friends Colony, New Delhi; +91 (0)98 7111 7968). Chef Manish Mehrotra offers a creative take on pao bhaji, served with a goat’s cheese vada (fried dumpling), and puchkas (right), a tasty street snack of pastry puffs filled with savoury liquids. Finish with the decadent dessert tasting plate, before slinking back to your bed at Aman.
Stay tuned for the launch of more Indian boutique hotels in the Smith collection over the next few months.