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Join us on this culinary and cultural journey through North India and Hyderabad with celebrated chef and author Christine Manfield in November 2017.


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This Tasting India tour offers a unique perspective of Indian cuisine and cultural heritage, as specially designed by acclaimed chef, author and traveller, Christine Manfield.

Beginning in Delhi, we are introduced to the Indian capital, with its Mughal monuments and colonial architecture, cosmopolitan bars and restaurants, unbeatable shopping and vivid energy. From here, we fly to Uttar Pradesh and the stunning city of Lucknow, a renowned cultural hub and home of the rich and aromatic Awadhi cuisine. A rail journey takes us to Agra, to visit the greatest monument to love, the Taj Mahal. We continue by road through the intoxicating landscapes of Rajasthan and experience its vivid colours, swirling crowds, spectacular deserts and stunning cuisine firsthand.

Travel overland to the famed ‘pink city’ of Jaipur, where we visit the majestic fortress town of Amber and explore the laneways of the city, packed with an immense variety of street food, fruit, vegetables and flowers. Our journey culminates in Hyderabad, staying at Taj Falaknuma Palace, the very best location for
discerning travellers wanting to experience the charm and glory of a decadent royal history.

Christine Manfield

Christine is one of Australia’s most celebrated chefs, a perfectionist inspired by strong flavours and a writer whose successful books have influenced the lives of professional and keen cooks all over the world. Her book Tasting India has become the definitive guide on Indian cuisine, scooping prizes at the 2012 International Association of Culinary Professionals book awards in New York, taking out the Cookbook of the Year Award and The Best Culinary Travel book. In the Australian Book Industry Awards Tasting India won Best Illustrated book.

More recently, Christine has collected some of her top picks for eating and travelling in India into A Personal Guide to India and Bhutan. Christine’s passion for and deep connection with India seeps through every element of this exhilarating journey where we will dine in her favourite restaurants, sleep in majestic palaces and hotels and gain a privileged insight into the culinary secrets that sustain one of the world’s most vivid and alluring cultures.

How itUnfolds

DAY DAY 1: ARRIVE DELHI

On arrival at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport you will be welcomed by an Epicurious Travel representative and driven to The Imperial Hotel for check-in.

Delhi is a heady experience. The capital city of India has two distinct personalities: Old Delhi, with its chaotic, winding alleys, crammed with cycle rickshaws, colourful shops and noisy street traders and New Delhi, built by the British in 1911 for unashamed colonial display.

DAY DAY 2: DELHI

This morning we visit some of the most iconic sites of Old Delhi, which pulses with energy and colour and the hustle and bustle of thronged bazaars full of the sights, sounds and aromas of the Indian sub-continent.
In the afternoon we visit New Delhi - a city of wide boulevards offering ever-changing perspectives of Lutyen’s landscaped city that is renowned for its formal parks, magnificent Parliament Building, the Rashtrapati Bhawan (the official residence of the President of India) and India Gate.

DAY DAY 3: DELHI – LUCKNOW

Our morning flight from Delhi takes us to Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh and birthplace of the distinctive Awadhi cuisine. We check-in to the stunning Vivanta by Taj-Gomti Nagar hotel and begin our exploration of the city.

The late afternoon will be spent on foot, exploring the city and sampling the culinary offerings of Lucknow: kormas, zarda, kofte, and many delicious variations of kebab are just some of the specialties on offer.

DAY DAY 4: LUCKNOW

Following a leisurely breakfast, we meet our guide and delve into the fascinating history of Lucknow by visiting some of the city’s most significant sites and beautiful buildings. Along the way, there will be ample opportunity to continue our exploration of Awadhi cuisine.

DAY DAY 5: LUCKNOW – DELHI

This morning is at leisure before our late morning transfer to the airport – take the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful gardens of Vivanta, have one last foray into the city or even enjoy a sleep-in!

On arrival in Delhi, we are met at the airport and transferred back to our home in Delhi, the iconic Imperial Hotel. This afternoon is at leisure and you are free to enjoy the facilities of the hotel or, alternatively, explore the city independently.

DAY DAY 6: DELHI – AGRA

Today begins early at the New Delhi train station, where we join the Shatabdi Express for our journey to the ancient city of Agra. On arrival we will be met by our expert guide, who will lead a short introductory tour of the city including a visit to the renowned Red Fort of Agra. From here we will continue to the Taj Mahal where we enjoy sunset while admiring the beauty of this fantastic monument.

DAY DAY 7: AGRA – JAIPUR

This morning we drive a short distance to view the magnificent Taj Mahal at sunrise. The Taj Mahal represents the finest and most sophisticated example of Mughal architecture.

From Agra we drive to Jaipur, visiting Fatehpur Sikri en route. Fatehpur Sikri is the political capital of India's Mughal Empire from 1571 - 1585 and regarded as the crowning glory of Akbar’s architectural legacy.

The ‘Pink City’ of Jaipur was built by Maharaja Sawai Man Singh. Here, majestic forts and palaces dominate the skyline and the bazaars of the old city exude Jaipur’s unique energy. The afternoon is free for you to relax before dinner at one of Christine's restaurants of choice.

DAY DAY 8: JAIPUR

Today we will driver north of Jaipur to Amber, the ancient capital of the region. On the way we will visit Hawa Mahal Palace of the Winds and stop at a traditional market. Amber is a visually stunning fortress town, with majestic ramparts rising steeply along the contoured hillsides. We ride up by jeep and explore the maze of passages, corridors, pavilions, ornamental gardens and ramparts. It is an extremely well preserved building – in particular, the Jagmandir or the Hall of Victory’s glittering mirrors and the Jai Mahal and Temple of Kali.

In the afternoon we return to Jaipur for a private tour of the City Palace, which features several courtyards and gardens surrounded by many palatial structures including Mubarak Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Badal Mahal and the Sri Govind Dev temple.

Tonight we enjoy a hands-on cooking demonstration and dinner at a wonderful farm in central Jaipur.

DAY DAY 9: JAIPUR

This morning we head to the centre of Jaipur for a walking tour through the colourful bazaars and wonderful markets of the walled city, learning about how cooking styles have changed over time as well as the importance of the ingredients and spices used. Sample cooling kulfi, rabri and kachoris, and walk down laneways crammed with merchants making and selling everything from parathas to book binding to gold and silver. Rest your feet during lunch at one of Christine’s favourite haunts.

Tonight we travel out of Jaipur to Dera Amer for a special dinner in the wilderness.

DAY DAY 10: JAIPUR - HYDERABAD

Today we fly to Hyderabad and check in to the wonderful Taj Falaknuma Palace. Once home to the 7th Nizam of Hyderabad and lavish accommodation for visiting dignitaries from around the world, it now offers travellers a unique opportunity to experience this luxurious lifestyle.

Hyderabad is the capital of Andhra Pradesh in Southern India, located on the banks of the Musi River on the Deccan Plateau. Hyderabad and Secunderabad are ‘twin cities’ near Hussain Sagar Lake, but both cities have grown so much that they are now one sprawling metropolis. The local specialty dish here is Biryani, which is world famous.

DAY DAY 11: HYDERABAD

Today is spent exploring the sights, sounds and tastes of Hyderabad with local culinary expert and tour guide Jonty Rajgoplan. We explore the Old City, snack on freshly cooked dosas, taste beautifully brewed local teas and exploring the distinctively different cuisines of the Andhra Pradesh region.

Our day is complete with a home visit focussing on Biryani. One of the most popular dishes of Hyderabadi cuisine, Biryani is a simple dish which causes many family debates and discussions, whether it be the origins or the best recipes. Learn how to master this important dish before enjoying a meal together.

DAY DAY 12: HYDERABAD

After breakfast, we explore Hyderabad and pay a visit to the Laad bazaar, a bangle market which displays a kaleidoscopic array of lacquer and glass bangles. From here, the fabulously restored Chowmohalla Palace is a short stroll away, followed by a stop at Charminar, the four minaret monument built by Quli Qutb Shah in 1591. Walk up its narrow stairs and view the warren of the Old City from above. We visit the 12th century Golconda Fort, majestic ruins high on a hill overlooking Hyderabad city and lunch at a one of Christine's favourite restaurants in the city.

Hotel rooms are held for late departure before your onward journey.

Meet your Guide:

Christine Manfield

Christine is one of Australia’s most celebrated chefs, a perfectionist inspired by strong flavours and a writer whose successful books…

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