High Tea at the Rambagh Palace, Jaipur
Jaipur, also known as the Pink City, is capital to one of India’s most popular tourist destinations, Rajasthan. Doused in old world charm, the city is dotted with monuments, forts and palaces that date back to the year 1727 and play an instrumental role in attracting tourists from all over the world. The city was divided into six quarters and each of these has things to discover, including gems such as the exquisite Hawa Mahal Palace, the Nahargarh Fort and a World Heritage observatory called Jantar Mantar. The palaces of Rajasthan evoke concrete images of splendour and tradition, making the desert state a favourite travel destination for many.
From a hospitality perspective, one of my favourite places to unwind in the city is the Taj Rambagh Palace. With its stunning grounds, beautifully restored rooms and suites, it truly is a jewel of Jaipur.
The palace was residence to the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II who made it his principal home and added several rooms and suites to it in 1931. After independence, the royal family found the upkeep of the palace and its grounds extremely costly, and decided to convert it into a luxury hotel.
Today, the property is managed by the Taj Group of Hotels and Palaces who’ve ensured their guests feel like they’re royalty. The mood is of elegance and indulgence. Peacocks stroll in the gardens, along with decorated elephants and camels. You are welcomed with showers of rose-petals, and escorted under a traditional umbrella to the check in after “aarti” and “tikka”. This masterfully restored heritage hotel offers you 33 suites and 45 rooms to choose from and immerse yourself in the spirit of Rajasthani royalty. Prices vary by season, but rooms usually start at Rs. 25,000 and go up to Rs. 4,00,000 for their two presidential suites Suryavanshi and Sukh Niwas.
With but a little time on hand, I stopped by for high tea on the palace grounds and was hosted at the hotel’s verdant Verandah Café by Chef Satya and his talented team.
Delicious finger food including salmon sandwiches, cucumber buns, paneer rolls as well as caviar on toast, and a range of desserts from traditional gulaab jamun and ras malai to macaroons and ice cream were served on a delicate multi-level, silver platter as an accompaniment to my coffee. You could, of-course, choose tea or champagne instead.
Sipping my cappuccino while watching the sun set beyond the hills that flank the hotel’s rolling gardens, surrounded by distinguished grandeur, delicious food and elegant service, I slide into that space of easy leisure, that always makes visits to Rambagh unforgettable.
I am lost in its beauty and charm, and want to return to this beautiful city again soon, to step back in time to an era that will not be forgotten...