This weekend from the 26th to the 28th , Formula 1 will return to Delhi’s Buddh International Circuit for the second time. As the world’s sporting elite fly in, we suggest you join them for a weekend of fuel filled fun. Below is a thoroughly modern dream itinerary for any avid fan with a long weekend to spare who wishes to live life in the fast lane both on and off the track.
Thursday 25th October – New Delhi
Fly into Delhi on an early morning transfer. After being picked up at the airport, go directly to The Imperial, New Delhi, for check-in.
Top up your tourist points by going to see the Qutb Minar, one of Delhi’s most spectacular sights, your local guide will be ready to meet you at the Hotel. The ruins date back to when India was ruled by Islam, the victory tower built in 1199, standing not only as a monument to Indian detailed craftmanship but as a remnant of India’s historic and religious past.
Next stop should be the Red Fort, a testament to the splendour of the old Mughal city. If you have time, go to see Jama Masjid too , India’s largest mosque which towers over Old Delhi. As sunset approaches, head over to Hazrat Nizam-ud-din Daragh, the vibrant marble shrine devoted to the Sufi saint Hazrat Nizam-ud-din.
Dining Suggestion: Recognised as one of the top ten restaurants in the world by Condé Nast Traveler, The Imperial’s very own restaurant, ‘The Spice Route’, serves the best south Asian food in Delhi. Craving something sweet? Pick up a pastry from La Baguette.
Friday 26th October – New Delhi
Use today to catch up on some well-deserved retail therapy and indulge in some of India’s best shopping spots.
Looking to add a little glamour to race day? Before you even take a step out of your hotel door be sure to make a trip downstairs in order to visit Delhi’s only CHANEL,housed within The Imperial itself for the latest luxury fashion purchases. The Santushti Shopping Complex in Chanakyapuri, open from 10am, is a collection of posh and arty boutiques scattered around a small, quiet garden across from the Ashok Hotel in the Diplomatic Enclave. Prices match those in the West, but this is a relaxing place to stroll and browse.
Looking for something a bit different? In this busy and crowded city, Hauz Khas stands out for its unique and peaceful tranquility. Catering to the needs of everyone from the avid shopper looking for some antique work of art to the people looking just to get away and relax amidst the greenery and famous lake. Providing the perfect fusion of modernity and tradition, this place is a favourite for designers looking to open their latest boutique. You can find an impressive range in fashion ensembles, carpets, old silver antiques, furniture and artefacts.
If you want ethnic Indian products you need Fabindia. From curtains to kurtas and lamps to stationary, everything is traditionally Indian here. Fabindia sources its products from more than 15,000 crafts people and artisans from all over the country and its products include men’s and women’s apparel, personal accessories, bed linen, home furnishings, furniture, floor coverings, organic food products, body care products and stationary. Fabindia now has 12 outlets in Delhi, meaning you are never too far away to check out the range of ethnic wares. The Central Cottage Industries Emporium, popularly known as the Cottage, was established in 1948 with the aim of preserving and showcasing traditional Indian craftsmanship in front of the entire world. Today the Cottage can be described as a breath-taking showcase of handicrafts and hand looms sourced from all over the country from dedicated artisans famed nationally and internationally. Over the last 50 years, the Emporium has attracted several well-known personalities like Queen Elizabeth II of England, Queen Farah of Iran, Jacqueline Kennedy and a host of dignitaries from across the world.
Dining Suggestions: Lunch – Grey Garden, Hauz Khas Village. Bohemian Grey Garden’s shadowbox tables are filled with vintage knickknacks, and stand under rows of billowing white fabric. The five-dish menu changes every week. Evening Meal – Le Cirque at The Leela Palace, New Delhi. A New York-based French restaurant which does a neat line of comfort food for people who don’t mind dropping a lot of money for a memorable meal.Situated on the top floor of the palatial new Leela Palace Hotel, it attracts Delhi’s wealthy. Signature Le Cirque dishes include black cod, foie gras, lobster risotto and chocolate soufflé.
Nightlife Suggestions: Bars –The Blue Bar at Taj Palace, New Delhi. Nightclubs – Shroom, The Crescent Mall, New Delhi. A true evolution of the clubbing experience, Shroom has changed India’s nightscape with edible cocktails, fluid dishes and form-free sound. Awarded The Best Nightclub / Discotheque of 2012 by Times Food & Nightlife, it’s well worth a visit. There’s also Kitty Su at The Lalit, New Delhi, to consider.
Saturday 27th October – New Delhi
Get your daily dose of contemporary culture early on in the day by visiting Vadehra Art Gallery (VAG). Since its inception in 1987, VAG has promoted contemporary Indian art. Over the past 20-some years they have worked closely with some of India’s finest artists from different generations. The gallery views itself as a sort-of artistic interlocutor between the artists and the public, supporting young artists and educational initiatives in the visual arts.
With the qualifying Race at 14:00, head over to the Buddh International circuit for a slice of the action.
Dining Suggestion: Lunch – Indian Accent at The Manor, New Delhi. Awarded the Best Restaurant in All India by Time Out magazine, Indian Accent offers traditional Indian cuisine with an exciting but satisfyingly contemporary twist. Dishes on the menu include foie gras stuffed galawat, masala miso Scottish salmon, masala wild mushrooms and achaari new Zealand lamb shank. Evening meal – Smoke House Room at The Crescent, New Delhi. A stark white restaurant highlighted with pink and purple contours, an entire sepia-tinted glass wall frames a panoramic view of the pillared 12th-century monument Qutab Minar. Perforated walls lead to a 40-seat fine-dining space where the degustation menu is incomprehensibly flavored, experimental and totally fun. An innovative take on modern European cuisine with cocktails to die for.
Nightlife Suggestions: Bars –Red Monkey, Defence Colony, New Delhi. Defence Colony’s ultra-casual and friendly neighborhood bar has barely enough room to swing a cat, but it’s got positive energy every night of the week. Nightclubs –Lap at Samrat Hotel. This members-only club straddles the space between a nightclub and a lounge and as last year’s official afterparty saw an exclusive performance from Lady GaGa during the F1. You can choose to sink into the oversized sofas and golden chairs and hold a private conversation without the inconvenience of a large dinner table whilst the DJ’s spin largely funk/house and electro. A nice plus is not having to wrestle at the bar for drinks; there are plenty of waiters who provide prompt yet unobtrusive service. Lap’s performers this year are due to be announced this week!
28th October – Race Day
Delhi has some of the most amazing salons in the world, so why not head over to one of the Affinity Salons ran by Vishal Sharma in order to prep yourself for a long day of races and partying! After lunch, keep the afternoon arrangement free so that you can be ready for the race at Buddh International Circuit for 15:00.
Dining and Nightlife Suggestions: Concerts – If you enjoy that festival feeling, F1 Rocks in India will be hosting rock legends Santana for a post F1 gig at Galgotius Campus Ground, Campus One, Greater Noida, New Delhi. A unique opportunity to witness one of the greatest living rock bands on the planet perform live in an electric atmosphere. Dining and Nightclubs – There’s only one place to dine post-F1. Amber Lounge at Claridges Surajkund Hotel is the official venue for this years F1 after party with the drivers, film stars, musicians, models and other VIPs in attendance. Fine dining at its best; enjoy a three course meal and unlimited wines in a beautiful unique setting before the real party begins. Typically, Amber Lounge’s Delhi F1 Grand Prix parties include a spacious funky indoor Club Lounge plus stunning outdoor terraces where guests can chill out in a luxury Moroccan zone. Groups should book one of the last remaining VIP tables for unlimited drinks as the night progresses, including Dom Perignon Champagne, premium vodka and whisky. If part of a smaller sized party grab an individual pass to receive ‘access all areas’, seating on the chill out Moroccan terrace, unlimited champagne and all other drinks from the bars. An individual pass for the Sunday is €800 pp, whilst to snap up a remaining VIP table will cost you a cool €8,950. Call +44(0) 208 432 4020 for enquiries.
Monday 29th October – New Delhi
After four nights partying, a well deserved lazy day is called for. Spend the morning by the incredibly grand hotel pool, taking a refreshing dip to wash away the revelry of the night before.Visit the Imperial Spa for a lesson in rejuvenation, indulging in a Swiss massage. You can even discover what the future may hold by consulting The Imperials in-house astronomer. If you’re feeling perky enough, you can catch up on any sights you missed on Thursday.
After whiling away the time, catch an evening flight out of Delhi, and use the plane to catch up on some hard-earned sleep!
Dining SuggestionsNurse that hangover with a leisurely lunch at San Gimignano, The Imperial’s own in-house Italian restaurant. Regale one another with stories of the night before over traditional english afternoon tea at The Atrium in the hotel. Catch an evening flight out of Delhi, and use the time on the plane to catch up on some hard-earned sleep.
The Stats: New Delhi
|Race Date:||28 Oct 2012|
|Circuit Name:||Buddh International Circuit|
|First Grand Prix:||2011|
|Number of Laps:||60|
|Circuit Length:||5.125 km|
|Race Distance:||307.249 km|
|Lap Record:||1:27.249 – S Vettel (2011)|