When I first went to India, a lot of people asked me why I wanted to go there. “Are you going to India to find yourself?” they say, a little sarcastic edge to their voice. “No,” I’d reply. “I’m going to there to shop and eat”.  And eat I did. India is one of the world’s most amazing gourmet destinations, offering an incredible and varied food culture.



Years ago when I first announced I was heading to India, people were a bit bewildered.


“Are you going there to find yourself?” they’d ask dramatically.


“No” I’d reply with a cheeky grin, “I’m going there to shop and eat”.

“...She was a jolly good shot, was the memsahib,” Colonel Raghuvir ‘call-me-Rags’ Singh had said over afternoon chai. “Never met anyone who was a better companion in a treetop machaan…you’d have long ago dozed off when a jab in the ribs would alert you to the arrival of Mr. Stripes.” Back in the hunting days of the fifties it was not unusual for a shikari (hunter) to spend weeks in the bush without getting a shot at a tiger. Entire platoons, armed courtesy of Messrs Martini Henry and Lee-Enfield, had scoured the country – helping to reduce the population from 40,000 at the turn of the century to 1,800 within 70 years. Mr. Stripes had to learn to maintain an extremely low profile if he was to survive at all.