Alanna Quin Co-Founder of the AYU takes through India as they source and blend the beautiful oils that make up their brand with local artisans and producers.
NAME: Alanna Quin
SOCIALS: @alannaquin / @the_ayu
WHAT DO YOU DO: PR/Co-Founder of AYU
STAR SIGN: Scorpio/Sagittarius (On the cusp)
LIVING: Manly, Australia
The Imperial, Delhi It’s a beautiful, colonial style mansion that has so much character – think marbled floors, ornate high ceilings and rich, elaborate detailing.
There’s always a vintage Jaguar parked out the front and the smell of Gardenia’s permeates throughout the corridors. It also happens to have an incredible spa that is always worth at least one visit when you go, even if it’s to soak in the marbled spa bath and feel like royalty for a minute.
The food in Lucknow, (called Awadhi cuisine) is heaven for foodies and has a Mughali influence unique to its own area. Rich, creamy cashew nut vegetable curries and Persian inspired spices make their way across so many different dishes. They also cook over a smoked pot which adds another element to the food. It’s indulgent but so fulfilling.
Chai bought from any street vendor is always amazing, as you watch them blend in spices, stir, strain and pour the tea into small, disposable clay cups.
Spa treatments at The Imperial. In particular their Ayurvedic treatments are out of this world! For a more authentic experience, Ayurvedic treatments in Kerala are amazing, as they forage for a multitude of fresh herbs, roots, plant and flower extracts to suit your body and any ailments you might have.
Wandering through the local towns are always an experience and the best way to soak up the local culture and the rich history. Rajasthan is probably a favourite with its hundreds of majestic palaces.
The Shekhawati region also has some pretty breathtaking Haveli’s (mansions) with the most intricately painted murals that adorn them. They sit in stark contrast to an arid, deserted landscape. Sunsets out here are out of this world.
Most towns have local markets that are well worth wandering through. I especially love traipsing through the old souks and stumbling across antiques, beautiful age old perfumers and the hundreds of book shops you find dotted around. It’s a country that loves its literature and I can spend hours in the book shops looking through everything from children’s books through to contemporary Indian literature, I find it all so fascinating.
I love wearing loose, long dresses. The weather can be really humid and hot so natural fibres are always best. It’s also best to wear quite conservative clothing and nothing that shows too much skin, in respect of local culture. I carry a few pairs of leather sandals and of course always have some perfume oil on hand.