BEST FOR DESIGN
PIA PAURO – Pia trained at the London School of Fashion and her boutique is a gem, with rails placed under the canopy of a maharani’s tent; the beaded, jewel-bright mini-dresses and languorous kaftans pair local tailoring with a European cut, and are great for sloping around St Tropez and Ibiza.
EN INDE – The showroom for this innovative jeweller is a cool loft space with painted brickwork and floor-to-ceiling windows – an aesthetic that matches the label s chunky, industrial steel collars and tribal beads, as well as curated homewares including rustic woven baskets and wooden butcher boards.
NAPPA DORI – Leather-goods-maker Gautam Sinha combines modern and traditional design for his own label, making delicious ikat-fabric satchels, canvas overnighters printed with vintage photographs, and lacquered steamer trunks, hat boxes and desk trays.
MANAN DESIGN – Kurtas, loose-fit bed jackets and ankle-sweeping skirts of Indian traditional dress are reconceived in a muted palette of navy, white, black and cream, and given a sleek silhouette.
BEST FOR INTERIORS
ARTISAN LUXE – An airy, elegant store that showcases a mix of Indian decorative talents, with beaten-tin lamps, engraved glass. Jaipur dhurries and applique-embellished table linen.
COTTONS AND SATINS – Just down from Artisan Luxe, this stocks heavenly fabrics in paisley and Suzani patterns and a rainbow of colourways, available by the metre, plus matching ready-made cushions.
NAVYA – The sign makes the boast ‘Everything beautiful’ – which indeed it is. Walk past the twee reproduction French furniture (there’s a lot) to find printed, quilted, appliqued fabrics stacked up to the ceiling, glass coasters painted with hummingbirds and Aubusson cushions embroidered with the directive ‘Kiss’ (and an eighth of the price of something similar at The Rug Company).
SOMA and FABINDIA – Both are stalwarts of India’s shopping scene and their Delhi stores have much to recommend them, including block-printed cotton on everything from tablecloths to duvet covers and. at Fabindia, pretty lacquered dishes in sorbet colours.
NIVASA – Designer Rohit Kapoor’s eye for style has given a high-end update to Indian handicraft, with marquetry coffee tables, mirrored sideboards and carved wood chairs. (Staff can arrange delivery for larger items.)
BEST FOR VINTAGE
LOVEBIRDS – As sweet as its name, with jewellery by young Delhi artisans alongside owner Amrita Khanna’s covetable shirt-dresses and the designer cast-offs of Delhi’s fashionable locals. There’s even a tiny cafe on a balcony at the back for mint tea and walnut cake.
BEST FOR CULTURE
CMYK – This concept bookstore has an impressive selection of photography editions, cookbooks, novels, design catalogues and works of Indian history. It also hosts documentary screenings, photography workshops, calligraphy lessons and readings.
BEST FOR STAYING OVER
THE LODHI – The hotel’s shop has a well-edited mix of textiles, silverwork, carvings, kaftans, jewellery, cashmere shawls – even paintings. The suites have daybeds for watching the sun melt over Lodhi Gardens.
SCARLETTE – For a Paris-meets-India vibe, this four-room chambres d’hote is furnished with framed Rajasthani textiles, rattan rugs and wicker chairs; it’s run by 26-year-old Pauline Bijvoet, who moved here to work in the fashion industry.