Hope & Ivy’s Indian Adventure

India is a destination that is embedded in the soul of Hope & Ivy – we visited the grand sights of Jaipur and were left in awe of India’s beauty once again. 
As well as being the source of 90% of our production, India continues to offer us enriching experiences and infinite amounts of creative inspiration. India’s colourful nature always entices us and inspiration from here has had prevalence in many of our past designs. With a new Spring/Summer collection to start thinking about, we definitely wanted to take a dip back into all things India.
We decided to make the trip to Jaipur. Also known as the Pink City, Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan in north western India. Jaipur has an intense history that is intrinsically linked to the ancient royal families that have ruled there. Illustrious architecture, pink painted walk ways and grand palaces all tell Jaipur’s multitude of magical stories. After a slightly delayed flight, we were ready to further feed our soul with all Jaipur has to offer!

Our very own palace

When we said Jaipur had palaces, did we mention we stayed in one? The Sujan Rajmahal Palace became our digs for this Hope & Ivy Jaipur adventure and it was absolutely phenomenal to say the least. Owned by Jaipur’s royal family, the hotel goes way beyond a place to stay. It boasts a number of restaurants including a totally pink one in homage to Jaipur’s pink prestige, unreal grounds, a spa and a number of suites that are decked wall to ceiling in luxurious Indian décor. The hotel isn’t just for Indian royalty, Princess Diana has previously stayed there - as well, as Jackie Kennedy! We were feeling pretty regal by this point but, to top things off, the wonderful staff treated us just like royalty too. Just take a little look at the grandeur of this truly magical place.
 
Our room and the grounds

 

 Although we could have just stayed in our hotel for the entirety of the trip, Jaipur has so much to see so, it was time for us to explore. Our first point of call was the ancient stepwell- Chand Baori. This grand design consists of over 3,500 steps over 30 stories originally built to preserve water in the hot Indian climate. When the heat intensified, the steps became a place of gathering for local communities. It’s almost hard to believe that something of such magnificent beauty provided so much purpose for many people!

Our next stop was Jaipur’s iconic Amber Fort. The home of the ancient Rajput royal family, this place is beyond amazing. The four-level fort is constructed from red sandstone and marble and offers some incredible views over the city of Jaipur while Indian Elephants roam the grounds. This grand design truly took our breath away as we took in the intricate details of the opulent palace. Packed with history, atmosphere and beauty: our pictures hardly do it justice!

We then made our way to the Jawahar Circle to see Patrika Gate. The amazing rainbow coloured architecture features beautiful hand painted drawings boldly emblazoned on to every inch of the spectacular gate. This structure is dedicated to Rajasthan’s history and each column is meant to represent a state with carefully painted illustrations and carvings. The gate stands as true representation of the vibrant Indian culture and amazing craftmanship that exists in Jaipur. It is an ode to the state, the people, the culture and the beauty of Jaipur. Just take a look at how truly remarkable it is:

 

Patrika Gate

 

Our next visit was a very special one – The City Palace.  As we were staying in the Sujan Rajmahal, we were granted special access and an exclusive tour that is not open to all members of the public. This magnificent royal home articulates the true majesty of Indian architecture. Each corner offers a new visual experience as the lavish decorations adorn the high ceilings and curved arches. We were almost rendered speechless as we absorbed the enormity of the palace’s beauty. Our brains are now stuffed full of beautiful patterns, unique shapes and gorgeous detailing - ready to fling into future Hope & Ivy collections!

A spot of shopping

 

As well as all the marvellous palaces, Jaipur has historically been one of the hottest spots in the world to get your hands on excellently crafted goods. The textile industry in Jaipur is internationally renowned for using age old craftmanship to produce vibrant fabrics with excellent hand embroidered designs. Our love for embroidery led us straight to the gorgeous, heritage textile outlets and we could not wait to explore. We found ourselves immersed in rich tapestries, intricate embroideries and an abundance of colourful prints. The city’s shopping sector is also famed for their beautifully cut gemstones and jewels offering us a little bit of sparkle to the adventure. Take a look at some of our favourite things we saw along the way:

Some fabulous Indian textiles

 

This girl looks beautiful in traditional textiles and jewellery 

A colourful lunch

 

Sometimes in the midst of exploring you need to take a bit of time to unwind. Caffé Palladio was top of our list and we decided to make a lunchtime trip. It is quite clear, Caffé Palladio isn’t your average lunch time spot – we were transported to a magical dreamland where Eastern influence meets Western taste – it was as if we’d been thrown into this world of fantastical frivolity and pure extravagance. The beautiful eatery sits in an Indian pavilion surrounded by lovely grounds where peacocks run free and a number of mango trees decorate the landscape. Caffe Palladio takes inspiration from luxury Italian interior and the richness of renaissance Italy while incorporating the bright and bold colours of its Indian home.  The delicious menu is made up of exquisite Mediterranean delights derived from Sicilian cuisine. Caffé Palladio was a complete treat and provided us the ideal down time in-between exploring the hustle and bustle of Jaipur.

Factory Visit

 

After delving into Jaipur’s royal grandness and being totally awestruck by its beauty, we made a detour towards Delhi to visit our factory. As much as we love exploring, visiting the factory is like coming home to part of the Hope & Ivy family. We have such a strong relationship that has grown into a beautiful partnership in the last four years of Hope & Ivy. We regularly visit the factory up to four times a year with each visit being more of a joy than the last. Seeing our designs come to life is one of the most exciting processes and the team here do it so very well. Our love for India began with the people we met and the warm and welcoming culture that we are shown when we visit the factory.

 

 

The lovely team working on finishing some of our new season dresses

 

India continues to be a go-to place for Hope & Ivy as we are utterly obsessed with what the country has to offer. Our Indian adventure to beautiful Jaipur is over and we are now heading back to London with a wealth of inspiration (and some pretty packed suitcases from our shopping trips) feeling completely enriched by India’s enchanting culture. The magic of India continues to have a special place in the heart of Hope & Ivy and we can’t wait for you to see the creativity it brings out in our up and coming collections!

 

For the meantime, you can shop the new looks that we wore for our India trip. Gorgeous prints, bold embroidery and light, flowing silhouettes can see you through daytime explorations, sunshine soaked lunches and late Indian nights. The collection is available at Hope&Ivy.com

 

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