Saturday, January 09, 2010


zodiac pool

And played overweight hippo in the art deco indoor pool


and basked a while in the spa's jacuzi


tough day at the office

There have been moments today when I wondered whether I had been killed on the road to Jodhpur and wafted direct to Paradise - though a quick perusal of my past puts paid to the possibility. In love with a building? Why not? And not to love the Umaid Bhawan is impossible. The same is true of the staff. Whether senior management or gardener, all are both charming and considerate. Obsessive myself, I am stunned here by meticulous detail after detail both in the architecture and in the service. In late afternoon I strolled down the garden to the heated outdoor pool. Beyond stood the great fortress of Jodhpur, massive on its rock plateau. Behind lay the palace, sandstone glowing in the evening sun.

Friday, January 08, 2010


Back home in Herefordshire Roger Gill from Cradley and I take turns cooking a weekly lunch of those dishes we relish and which our loved ones won't eat. Offal is most frequently on the menu. So this Blog is for Roger Gill. Dinner at the Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur. The Palace boasts three restaurants. I chose the Indian. Spiced lamb liver and kidneys lightly grilled to begin followed by a curry of minced sheep's brains together with breast of chicken curried in a cream and cashew nut sauce. Good? Outstanding!!!!


The art deco Umaid Bhawan in Johdpur and the Persian Itmad-Ud-Daulah in Agra do it for me. Those two alone make as visit to India worthwhile. To create a palace as vast as Umaid Bhawan demanded extraordinary courage from the architect and an obsessive attention not only to detail but to a continuity of decorative vision. The result is breath taking. Check out the web site.


Bronchitis and dysentery combined with the pollution and insane traffic of India's heartland left me exhausted. I fled to the deserts of Rajasthan, four days of crystal air in Pushka, pilgrimage town both for devout Hindus and Western Dreadlocks in search of enlightenment through Bhang lassies. I worked! An article for The Lady and an article for MCN - very different in tone and content!
Today I sped westward on an almost empty road to Jodhpur where I have been invited to stay at the Umaid Bhawan Palace, most glorious of Royal residencies. I arrived at 6 p.m. and had a blissfully hot shower before basking in a vast hot tub. A second shower after the tub and I am ready for dinner.