A late Mughal-style haveli, from sometime in 1887, Haveli Dharampura has been restored to its former modern grandeur by Vijay Goel in Chandni Chowk.

We obviously had to check it out because of the sheer effort made, and delicate handling that has taken seven years.

Heritage homes and {now} hotels

DSC_0141Originally designed for both residential and commercial purposes, Vijay Goel’s haveli was stripped down and each part reattached, re-plastered and re-painted for what is now a stunning display of heritage and homeliness. The grand entrance welcomes you into an aangan with a small fountain {and a welcome drink of kanji}, fenced off by an art gallery on the left and the restaurant straight ahead.

IMG_8129We looked upwards and were every intimidated by what we weren’t prepared for. The jharokas and windows had stained glass art, decorated balconies had dancers practising for the evening and the atmosphere was full of thumris and ghazals.

There was even a cordoned-off treasure chest that was found when they were excavating a part of the site.

Lakhori – lacking nothing

DSC_0311We went on to their old-world restaurant, Lakhori, which currently isn’t serving alcohol, but will when it opens. The menu is the right balance of modern and traditional, though food isn’t the reason you’ll be making this trip. The cocktails and smoothies have a mix of berries, fruits and the inimitable paan mixed with soda. We loved the Jahan Ara {khus-based drink with chilli chunks}, Paan Banarasi and the Chai Biscuit {A thick chai latte-esque drink with a layer of biscuit on top}.

DSC_0160We moved on to the appetisers with Cucumber Canapés and a tomato Shorba, which was a burst of flavours. That was one of the top picks of the afternoon. We would probably skip the Palak Patta Chaat purely because we couldn’t taste the spinach too much.

DSC_0186The Kadak Roomali Masala was a stunner to look at and a good pick if you want something to snack on while you watch the evening kathak performances on the balconies. The Dahi Puri came with shot glasses of saunth and jaljeera paani. The non-veg galoutis were soft and just rightly spiced, but we were slightly disappointed with the Murg ke Parchhe.

DSC_0226The main course will leave you full and fat, with a deconstructed Aloo Gobhi Mutter and Kofta Dogala {spinach wrapped cottage-cheese with a tomato and malai gravy}. There is Mutton Korma and Kadhai Chicken {which comes in a roti bowl} for meat lovers.

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DSC_0248The dessert was a stunning Kheer Trio, and we are pretty partial to the paan and date flavours. We went on with the tour after we finished on a high note with the Rose Kulfi in a white and dark chocolate cone.

Stay inn and stay stately

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IMG_8167The three floors host 60 rooms, which have now been repurposed into 13 grand rooms. Each door is named after a gate: Kashmiri, Turkmani, Ajmeri and more, which lead to the next level of rooms, balconies and little alcoves for sitting and chatting. The rooftop looks into the courtyard and outward to the Jama Masjid, Red Fort, Gurudwara Sisganj, churches, temples and more.

prphoto1Image courtesy: Bharat Aggarwal

This is a wonderful spot to sit and look out at Delhi. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to this gorgeous haveli, which is going to be the roadmap for rebuilding and restoring other havelis in the area. Is Chandni Chowk up to the challenge? We will soon find out.

Haveli Dharampura opened to the public on March 4. We hope you go visit soon!

Where: 2293, Gali Guliyan, Dharampura, Delhi-6

Nearest Metro Station: Chawri Bazaar

Price: INR 3,500 for two for a meal {approx.}; on request for stay

Timings: 11am – 10pm

Contact: 011 23261000, 011 23263000

Check out their website here. 

Featured image courtesy: Bharat Aggarwal

LBB Photographer: Radhika Agarwal