New Delhi, Northern India
New Delhi, Northern India
New Delhi / Jaipur / Agra / Lucknow
November 4 - 16, 2017
Epicurean Exchange and Kipling India Travels welcome you to a journey of gastronomical delights in a country where food is an inherent part of its cultural fabric. The sheer diversity of cuisines has transformed this magnificent country into a sensory haven for food lovers. In India, the variety of cuisines is quite inexhaustible, as every region proudly flaunts its distinctive cuisines and delicacies. It is nothing short of a miracle that using the same ingredients and spices how every region manages to prepare different foods with amazing flavors. What is special about Indian cuisines, which cannot be found anywhere else in the world, is the joy of painstakingly preparing the food and then savoring the moment of watching someone relish every morsel of that dish. So, let’s embark on this wonderful culinary journey, where we discover not only the history and culture of a particular cuisine but also the essence of what makes it so special. For connoisseurs of food, a culinary tour of India is truly an unforgettable feast of a lifetime!
Tour limited to ten guests. Reservations are secured by deposit on a first come, first-served basis.
DAY 1: Saturday, November 4: DEPARTURE / TRAVEL DAY: US - Delhi. Select your preferred flight and class from SFO. Flights and times will be coordinated to ensure a common arrival window.
DAY 2: Sunday, November 5: DELHI. Upon arrival in Delhi, Kipling India Travel representatives will meet us at the airport and assist with transfers to the Le Meridien Hotel; time to rest and settle in. Welcome dinner at local restaurant, including a presentation by a local Chef with an introduction to Indian spices and the basics of Indian cuisine.
DAY 3: Monday, November 6: DELHI. After breakfast, we will take part in an Old Delhi Heritage food walk through the local bazaars; including rickshaw rides, discovering hidden treasures, enjoying street food tastings and lunch served during a visit to an old, private mansion. After lunch, we return to our hotel for some rest. In the later afternoon, we will enjoy high tea at The Atrium at The Imperial Hotel, offering a divine afternoon interlude. Tea time is a ritual at The Atrium which includes an array of cakes and patisseries. In the evening, we proceed to the well-known Restaurant Bukhara for dinner. Bukhara is known for its food cooked in clay ovens and the traditional tandoor-style of the North-West Indian Frontier region. Learn about this unique style of cooking which requires a great level of expertise, training, and dedication to master the cooking techniques and the art of making the bread that are a vital part of the cuisine
DAY 4: Tuesday, November 7: DELHI. After breakfast, we will take part in a fascinating sightseeing tour of New Delhi. Visits to Qutab Minar, India Gate, Presidential Palace, Parliament House, and a community kitchen at a Sikh Temple. We will lunch at the popular Saravana Bhawan Restaurant for authentic Southern India Thali. After lunch, we meet our guide from the Saffron Palate; a family-run cooking school in a typical Indian home. Our guide will take us to the authentic and popular INA market to select spices and fresh foods and produce. Back at the Saffron Palate, we gather for our first hands-on cooking class and learn to prepare the choicest of dishes, including scented rices and traditional breads. We will enjoy the delicacies we prepared for our dinner, and then back to the hotel for the evening.
DAY 5: Wednesday, November 8: DELHI – JAIPUR. After breakfast, we drive to our next destination, JAIPUR. Upon arrival, will be met and assisted and then transfer to our 5-Star hotel, the ITC Rajputana, Jaipur. In the late afternoon, we will take part in a food tour of this ancient, walled city. We will visit Rawat Misthan Bhandar to taste the famous snack is the Khasta Urad Dal Kachori. Eating the Kachori accompanied with a glass hot chai tea will give you a perfect taste of Jaipur street food. We end our day trip at Lakshmi Misthan Bhandar, the oldest sweet shop in Jaipur, since 1954. We return to the hotel for the evening; food, if any, is available on your own at the hotel.
DAY 6: Thursday, November 9: JAIPUR. After breakfast, we start our day with a visit to the ancient, white-marbled citadel, Amber Fort; including a memorable elephant ride. Later in the day, we will participate in our next cooking class at Sujan in the Raj Mahal Palace. Working with our Chef on the lush green lawns of the palace, we will create a collection of authentic dishes and enjoy a meal together. Evening free at leisure.
DAY 7: Friday, November 10: JAIPUR – AGRA. After breakfast, we drive to Agra. Enroute we will visit Fatehpur Sikri, an ancient city in Agra district in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Upon arrival in Agra, we will check into our 5-star hotel, ITC Mughal, Agra. Evening free for shopping, a visit to the hotel’s spa or exploring the 35 acres of luxurious gardens. Dinner is on your own at the hotel restaurant, Peshwari, for authentic Northwest Frontier cuisine.
DAY 8: Saturday, November 11: AGRA / TAJ MAJAL. Early morning, sunrise visit, to the Taj Mahal; later back to the hotel for breakfast, and then a visit to Agra Fort. In the afternoon we will take part in a food walk of Agra. We will be indulging in some of Agra’s best local food and sweets, including Indian ice cream while exploring the busy streets of Agra on foot and the markets that are favorites of the locals.
DAY 9: Sunday, November 12: AGRA – LUCKNOW. After breakfast, we transfer to Tuldla station to board the Shatabdi train to Lucknow. Upon arrival, we check into our 5-star hotel, Vivanta By Taj. Later we assemble in the lobby for a short orientation talk to be delivered by our guide. Later we venture out to visit a Chaat Shop to savor the tangy, evening snacks that are very popular in Lucknow. The tasting could be quite filling. Dinner, if any, on your own.
DAY 10: Monday, November 13: LUCKNOW. After breakfast at the hotel and a leisurely morning, we will meet our guide who will introduce the popular cuisine of Lucknow, Rastogi meals. We will visit local markets for shopping and enjoy the popular street foods. Later in the day, we visit with Nawab Sahib, who will deliver a short talk on Awadhi Cuisine over a casual tea at his home, admire his collection of antiques and benefit from the knowledge of the noble, wise Nawab. In the evening, we will enjoy a culinary walk near the Akbari Gate; observing chefs at work in small shops, tasting a variety of original kebabs and other specialties, while our culinary tour guide explains the history and the recipes. We return to the hotel for the evening.
DAY 11: Tuesday, November 14: LUCKNOW. After breakfast, we visit Babylon of the East, The Husainabad Imambara, known for its beauty and décor. Built in 1840 by Mohammad Ali Shah, it is still considered to be a sacred address by the natives. Next, we visit the UNICEF-sponsored, SEWA (Self-Employed Women’s Association), an autonomous organization of Chikan artisans. Our lunch is at a popular, local restaurant, The Royal Café, famous for its fusion cuisine. This eatery that once served the American and British soldiers during war time and is extremely popular with the locals and tourists alike. After lunch, we drive through the Kaiserbagh Complex that once was Nawab Wajid-Ali Shah’s Palace complex and the most beautiful of the palaces built in the Awadh region. We visit the Baradari and the Kaiserbagh Gates. We will return to the hotel to rest. Our evening includes an exclusive cooking class at The Khajuragaon Palace and a private Kathak (Indian classical dance) performance.
DAY 12: Wednesday, November 15: LUCKNOW - DELHI. After breakfast, transfer to airport to board our flight back to Delhi. Upon arrival, representatives will meet us at the airport and assist with transfers to our hotel, The Pride. Rest of the day free at leisure to rest and pack for departure.
DAY 13: Thursday, November 16: DEPARTURE / TRAVEL DAY. After breakfast, transfer to airport to board flights home or to wherever your travels may take you!
Airfare / Travel Insurance:
Guests to purchase own round-trip airfare using miles and preferred class and upgrades from the United States to New Dehli, India (Indira Gandhi International Airport – DEL).
Travel insurance is HIGHLY recommended. Guests are free to arrive earlier or stay longer than the published itinerary, but are responsible to meet the group at stated times.
Ground Costs Included:
• 5 – star hotel accomodations, as described, including breakfasts
• Meet and assist from professional support team
• Arrival and departure transfers
• All tours with local English-speaking guides as per the itinerary
• Applicable entrance fees
• Train fare from Agra (Tundal station) to Lucknow
• Private, AC vehicles with driver throughout
• Elephant ride on the way to Amber Fort, Jaipur
• All applicable taxes
• Epicurean Exchange Apron for cooking
Costs NOT Included:
• Round-rip Airfare from US to Delhi
• Additional one-way flight from Lucknow to Delhi
• Travel / Medical Insurance
• Personal Expenses: Tips, Laundry, Telephone, Porterage
Total Ground Cost: $4,995 per person, double occupancy. Single room supplement, if available, $2,250
Deposit Due: 50% ($2,500) due per person to secure reservation
Balance Due: $2,495 (plus single supplement $2,250) due on or before Friday, August 4, 2017
Cancellation Policy: We are willing to work with all our guests should situations arise that require guests to cancel plans with us. Please understand we have guidelines to ensure that both the operator and our guests are treated fairly. With that, travel insurance is highly recommended, to reimburse you should cancellation be necessary. Epicurean Exchange reserves the right to cancel a tour due to low enrollment or other circumstances which would make the trip non-viable. Deposits and balances paid will be refunded if the trip is canceled by the operator. Travelers can cancel up to 90 days prior to departure and receive a full refund of their deposit. Understand that as a small, boutique operator, even one last-minute cancellation can be an issue for the operator and other travelers. Therefore, after deposits and tour balances are received (all 90 days or less prior to departure) they are non-refundable. Travelers have the option to recruit another traveler to take their place or file with their insurance carrier to recover costs of the trip.
Payments: Cash or checks, payable to Epicurean Exchange, accepted; Secure electronic invoices available for credit / debit card payments.
Tour is limited 10 guests. Reservations are secured by deposit on a first-come, first-served basis.
Chef Charlie Recommends:
Watch one of my favorite films, The Hundred-Foot Journey