Veeraswamy, Regent’s Street

A few months ago Veeraswamy was known predominantly as London oldest Indian restaurant, celebrating its 90th birthday in 2016. Tucked away at a first floor Regent’s Street address, this eatery was only frequented by those in the know. But when the renowned Michelin Guide 2017 was released with Veeraswamy as a new 1 star entry, foodies flocked to try this established restaurant.


The entrance is small and unsuspecting and you will be greeted before heading up in the lift to the dining room. With old fashioned portraits in the lift and traditional music playing in the background, I left like I was travelling back in time. The illusion continued as I stepped out into an opulent restaurant, the alluring smell of spices flavouring the room.

To start we ordered the Tandoori Green Prawns, delicate and juicy wild prawns, grilled to perfection and served with coriander, mint and chilli. I tried the Raj Kachori, a typical street food from Delhi which has become a signature dish at Veeraswamy. Colourful and unique in shape, I was very excited to taste it. The familiar flavours of Rajasthan came flooding back to me, but here the textures were refined and elevated to produce a fine dish of delicious food.


There was a range of elaborate main courses to choose from on the menu, which included a few 90th birthday celebratory additions. We couldn’t resist the Patiala Shahi Raan which our waiter strongly recommended. It was a dramatic dish, a juicy lamb shank encased in thin, crunchy pastry and cooked for a long time. The meat was tender whilst the exterior remained crisp, a brilliantly innovative and tasty dish. A keen lover of Makhani chicken curry we ordered it to trial the Veerswarmy version. The curry was creamy, rich and moreish, paired with garlic naan, lemon rice and saag.

Each component was carefully made and presented prettily, but without being over-stylised and pretentious. There are so many contemporary, ‘trendy’ new Indian restaurants in the city, it feels like Veeraswamy have avoided modernising too much to keep the experience authentic.

Full from our feast of indulgent Indian dishes we only opted for one portion of rose kulfi to share. It was the ideal light dessert after a meal of rich and indulgent curries. Paired with a cup of comforting homemade Masala tea, it was a lovely end to a beautifully refined Indian meal.

More information and book a table at Veeraswamy here.

All photos supplied by the restaurant.

RAAS Devigarh

An hour away from Udaipur, nestled amongst the Aravalli hills, sits the historic Devi Garh fort. The site has recently been taken over by the Raas hotel group and is the second heritage property in their lovely collection. From the outside the walls are worn down with a faded charm, but inside this palatial property has been immaculately restored with relics and reminders of its glory days.

Guests are showered with rose petals as they enter the majestic fort and within moments of stepping inside I felt like royalty. We were handed glasses of homemade rose lemonade as beautifully dressed staff escorted us round the huge property, pointing out stunning viewpoints, original building features and artistic design quirks. Each flight of stone steps revealed a new intimate courtyard or picturesque veranda, I quickly realised how special this place was.

There are 39 rooms in the all-suite luxury hotel. Each is decorated in a different style with unique silk cushions and works of art to complement the room. Top of the range is the decadent presidential Devi Garh suite, which comes complete with private pool, terrace and Jacuzzi. Eventually we arrived at our Palace Suite number 36, a beautiful room in the Lotus Courtyard. Inside the spacious suite there was a pristine marble bed and tables, and a rainbow display of miniature Krishna paintings adorning the main bedroom wall. The bathroom was also made almost entirely from white marble, with windows offering views over the hills and nearby villages. Toiletries are from luxury Indian brand Forest Essentials and we relished the opportunity to wear the traditional patterned robes, a very elegant loungewear option.

There is only one restaurant, a pleasant indoor dining room with a deck outdoors and terrace upstairs. On the exterior walls of the restaurant, 255-year-old painted frescoes depict local scenes; inside the restaurant is minimalist and stylish. Choose from the menu of vibrant Rajasthani dishes, freshly made breads, creamy spicy curries and unusual vegetarian snacks. Breakfast is also served here; exotic fruit plates and a range of cooked recipes from omelettes to more traditional Indian delicacies.

The hotel is rightly proud of its magnificent Holy bath style swimming pool, sunken into the building with sun loungers lining the edge. If I had stayed at the hotel longer I could have enjoyed day after day relaxing here, soaking up the sun and enjoying the epic panoramic views. When you do wish to travel off-site Devi Garh offer complimentary horse and camel rides every day from 4-6pm, giving guests the chance to see some of the surrounding land from a different viewpoint. The hotel staff are also happy to arrange excursions and day trips, and can offer advice on itineraries depending on your preferences. I highly recommend booking a vintage car tour of Udaipur. We loved riding in a 1947 Chevrolet Fleetmaster whilst admiring the lakes of the city, although it is quite expensive… A 45-minute journey will cost you 7000 INR (£70).

This rare and magnificent 255-year-old fort is an awe-inspiring place to stay. Those seeking culture will enjoy trips to the idyllic nearby town of Udaipur, but it will thrill travellers most who hope for an extraordinary secluded haven to admire Rajasthan at its finest.

More information and book a stay at RAAS Devigarh here.

Things to do in Bruges

One day in Bruges is enough to see the main sights and soak up the picturesque setting. Talking to friends about my weekend trip, it quickly became clear that Bruges is the most popular Belgian destination. This Unesco recognised area is known for its historic city centre and the idyllic canal-side beauty, the abundance of chocolate and beer and featured recently on film: ‘In Bruges’, a homage to the destination.

To stay

Hotel De Tuilerieën – this is the luxurious abode where the film star cast of In Bruges stayed. The building is an elegant patrician house from the 15th century that has been transformed into a contemporary hotel. Hotel De Tuilerieën counts 45 unique rooms and overlooks the canals of Bruges.

To eat

A’Qi – There are plenty of places in town to have the speciality moules frites, but if you want something more special I recommend A’Qi. A few miles out of town this charming little eatery serves immaculate Michelin starred food. Karen Keygnaert is the leading lady in the kitchen producing pretty dishes with an Asian twist. We loved the Sunday set lunch menu, highlights included langoustine with Yuzu sauce, duck with Japanese citrus fruit and the most delightful dessert of blood orange, cheesecake and peach.

To drink

De Halve Maan Brewery – it would be easy to lose track of time in this authentic beer house. Take a guided tour round the brewery and learn about the old-brewing process in the museum before trying the delicious brew.

De Proeverie – when you are weary of sightseeing pop in to De Proeverie for hot chocolate. They get their chocolate from the shop across the road, Chocolatier Sukerbuyc and make a delectable drink served with freshly whipped cream for extra comfort.

To see

Basilica of the Holy Blood – This tiny little church has amazing artwork and memorable stained glass windows but is most famous for housing a phial claimed to contain a cloth stained with Jesus’ blood.

Michelangelo’s Madonna – this unique beautiful sculpture is on show inside the Church of our Lady. After wandering around the decorative church head for the cordoned off museum where the masterful marble figures are found.

To do

Climb the belfry on the Grote Markt – you will have to queue for this tourist attraction but it is worth the wait. The impressive 12th century medieval bell tower has become a symbol for the city of Bruges. After climbing the 366 narrow steps to the top you will be rewarded with a stunning view of the city while listening to the bells played by carillon (hand keyboard).

Float along the Gronerei (green canal) – a walk down the canals in Bruges is one of the most romantic strolls you could have, but if you fancy a float head for one of the boat tours which cost 7 euros for a 30 minute ride. Take in the scenery whilst relaxing on the rippling water.

Thoroughly Modern Milly travelled with Eurostar.

·         Eurostar operates up to 9 daily services from London St Pancras International to Brussels with return fares from £69.

·         Tickets to any Belgium station start from £79.

·         Fastest London-Brussels journey time is 2 hours.

·         Tickets are available from or 03432 186 186.