House hidden amongst the trees

Supported by the Lady Bamford Foundation as a centre for craft and sustainable design, Nila House occupies a 1940s residence in Jaipur restored by Indian architect Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai. Image by James Houston

Lady Carole Bamford, the founder of Daylesford Organic, beauty brand Bamford and numerous charitable foundations including Nila House gives us a guide to her spiritual home, Jaipur

Woman sitting on steps of building

Lady Carole Bamford

Where I hunt for treasures…

I always look forward to visiting the government khadi shops. I find myself spending hours there, lost in the piles of beautiful hand-spun fabric. Handwoven in villages across the country, the simple white cloth with all its imperfections is my idea of the ultimate luxury item.

Follow LUX on Instagram: luxthemagazine

Cultural immersion…

The riot of colour and sound of the markets is extraordinary, and the old city has some of the best textiles and jewellery. I recently met a family of hand-block carvers who have been creating intricate wooden blocks for generations. Such artisans have a wealth of knowledge that we at Nila House, our new centre for preserving these traditions, believe should be shared with a broader audience so that it can be carried on into the future.

Entranceway to a beautiful whitewashed building

Image by James Houston

My perfect day in the city…

I always start my day with a puja prayer ritual followed by yoga and meditation. Then I will head out with my design team to visit our suppliers. I love visiting the workshops; I always learn so much, watching the dedication and meditativeness of their work. In the afternoon I might explore antique textiles at Rajasthani Arts to see if there is anything for our archives.

Read more: Hôtel Chais Monnet & the beauty of southwest France

Best dining spot…

47 Jobner Bagh is my favourite place to escape the crowds and noise. This charming family-run hotel has the best home-cooked Indian food. My favourite is a bowl of dal makhani, mopped up with a hot naan bread.

Clothes hanging against white wall

Indian craftsman threading fabric

The building features a shop and studio spaces for local artisans. Images by James Houston

Home away from home…

We always stay at the The Oberoi Rajvilas. It is our home in Jaipur and the wonderful staff look after us like family.

Worth a detour…

I love visiting the paper factories in Sanganeer, just outside Jaipur. They have some of the most beautiful paper you can find, all handmade from natural materials – from cotton rag and banana fibre to the beautiful textured seed paper that we use for all of our packaging [at Nila House].

Nila House is a cultural centre dedicated to preserving traditional craft methods and supporting artisans across India; it is part of the Lady Bamford Foundation. Find out more: carolebamford.com

This article was originally published in the Spring 2020 Issue.