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TOURIST IN MY CITY | HKV

— JASMEEN DUGAL

New Delhi, known for being a melting pot of cultures, is no stranger to unique neighbourhoods. Yet, no locale has piqued my interest as much as Hauz Khas Village. A little history of how a peaceful hamlet with heritage monuments transformed into the buzzing HKV — in 1987, designer Bina Ramani turned a cow shed here into a designer boutique; she simply revamped the shed, adorned it with mirrors and tall arches, installed air-conditioning, displayed haute couture on racks and invited the social set to visit. The trend caught on and artists, designers and restaurateurs began to descend here. 

 

At night, this neighbourhood comes alive as short skirts mingle with cologned shirts behind velvet ropes to dance the night away in any of the fifty-odd pubs. By day, its boutiques, art galleries and cafes merit exploration!! Just beyond this frenetic pace is a gateway which leads you to a monument complex built around a lake. Munda Gumbad, a ruined pavilion, stands on the boundary of the water body. As does Firuz Shah's tomb. Across 'the village' is Deer Park with three monuments, the largest being a Lodi period tomb called Bagh-e-Alam-Ka-Gumbad. Personally I love this region for the conjuncture of preservation and modern architecture. A contender for the most glamorous neighbourhood, HKV is celebrated for culinary pleasures, stylish shopping and nightlife, yet it has miraculously held onto its heritage charm…. and It is this interplay between history, culture, fashion, food and nightlife that Hauz Khas Village seems to thrive on.

 

Today everyone has their favourite spots. I have mine. To shop, I zero in on the boutique I love: Anu P.D. where Anuradha Prasad Dhawan retails chic versatile garments, provocative separates and bridal couture while harnessing her position as board member of A4A Group of Companies—a corporate with strong-held verticals in Hospitality | Travel | Concierge | Lifestyle to define brand strategy, market positioning and business plan of her label. It is a boon each collection is accessorised with clutches and footwear! So is it any wonder that I always head there for stylish ensembles? When I'm looking for beachwear, however, there's 'Shivan&Narresh' celebrated for stitch-free swimwear; I make a splash each time I don their maillot with its flattering cut and retro print! And no accessory lover can miss 'Nappa Dori' with its handmade leather accessories—from totes and wallets to laptop bags and i-sleeves that use hand-stitched fabric with bold vintage graphics!!

 

Food lovers have reason to rejoice! When it comes to global gastronomy, I head to 'The Project at The Park Balluchi' with deers grazing within few feet if you choose a table at their alfresco deck and sip chilled beer accompanied by soya tikka or grilled sole — dining in paradise! Prefer cafes? 'SmokeHouse Deli' is packed all hours and renowned for chilli crusted cobbler and roast chicken! Then there's 'Coast Cafe' famed for prawn moilee, 'Fork You' for burgers and steaks, 'Elma's Brasserie' for scones and carrot cake, 'Social', 'Amour', 'Raasta', 'Summer House', 'L'Opera', Bollywood theme bar Lights-Camera-Action', ‘Boheme', 'Cashmere' for Kashmiri cuisine, 'Cafe Zo'… the list goes on as one invariably discovers a new place during each visit while wandering down a maze of lanes, by-lanes and back-lanes! See you there?
 

HAUZ KHAS VILLAGE
Provocative Seperates and Bridal Couture at ANU P.D.
 
HAUZ KHAS VILLAGE
HKV By Night
 
HAUZ KHAS VILLAGE
Sensuous Swimwear at Shivan and Narresh
 
HAUZ KHAS VILLAGE
Nappa Dori for handmade leather bags
 
View from The Project At Pind Baluchi
 
The view from "Social"
 
Yet it retains its historical and heritage character
 
21-OCTOBER-2015
 
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