For this #BirthdayBucketList of the week, In Bed With's Rhiannon Taylor takes us on a photo journal adventure of her recent trip to Udaipur, India where she gives us the inside scoop about what to see as well as where to stay, dine and shop at.
It’s known to be one of the most romantic places in India and referred to as the City of Lakes for good reason; Udaipur is a white-washed city centered around a glimmering lake full of history and grandeur. With hidden narrow by-lanes and havelis and palaces at every turn, it’s hard not to be totally captivated and swept up by the romance of this sleepy city.
Words & Photography by Rhiannon Taylor of In Bed With
Royal Repast is a gorgeous restaurant that serves traditional Mewar style cooking which was, until recently, only available to the public by appointment. Serving up the most mind-blowing Indian food we’ve ever dined on in an open-air white and blue space, Royal Repast is known for it’s secret sauce containing up to a rumoured 32 ingredients. Garlic and yoghurt chicken curry was subtly sweet, tangy and fragrant, whilst grilled lamb with Bedla sauce was spicy and sweet-sour served alongside crispy, buttery naan. Quite simply, the best meal in all of our India travels.
While The Sunset Terrace's cuisine isn’t groundbreaking, the views are. Overlooking the lake, this restaurant is part of the City Palace complex and is the perfect spot to watch the sun go down with a glass of wine.
If you’re after an elegant meal, the Oberoi Udaivilas has a standout afternoon tea, lunch cruise and sunset dinner. You can opt for western or authentic Indian cuisine, with flawless service and gorgeous views.
City Palace is one of the smaller City Palaces of India but one of the most beautiful. Set up like a winding maze, tourists take a tour through what seems like never-ending narrow passageways to eclectically furnished rooms serving unique purposes. Some come embellished with jewels, others overlook the lake and there’s the mysterious blue room that is so rich in colour no filter is needed. Take the time to stroll the lush, green palace gardens, a rare sight in India and unique to Udaipur’s City Palace.
Aashka is an airy and beautiful boutique owned and curated by Bhargavi Kumari, a member of Udaipur’s royal family. It stocks artisan-made local fabrics, home furnishings, clothes, jewels and organic beauty products. You could quite happily peruse for hours.
Exploring the central lake of Udaipur goes without saying, but it’s quite spectacular to take the hour-long boat ride from city palace to see the havelis and lush green hills that surround the city at Lake Pichola.
Bagore Ki Haveli, located on the banks of Lake Pichola, is an 18th-century haveli that was once the residence of the Prime Minister of Udaipur. By day you can visit a gallery full of costumes, puppets, fashion and art. By night you can watch a traditional dance performance.
A Royal Stay
Formerly the maharajah’s pleasure palace, this white palace seemingly floats on Lake Pichola in Udaipur and is now the luxury hotel, Taj Lake Palace. Accessible only by boat (running every 3-5 minutes), the hotel faces City Palace and is run by the Taj Hotel group, known for their impeccable attention to detail and service. Rooms are all unique, decadently adorned with swings, jewels and lake views. There’s an aqua blue pool surrounded by bougainvillea that sways in the breeze and a central courtyard to take breakfast in filled with lush greenery. Evenings are spent watching a local dance show, or taking the historic barge boat out for a cruise (used in the opening scene of James Bond’s Octopussy).