Are you ready for Rajasthan?

You wouldn't usually hear from me twice in a month but I have BIG news!  You know how I've told you travel not only broadens the mind, it makes the mind? I am here to keep you healthy, happy and adventurous in 2018.  To that end my wonderful Rajput tour manager Diggi and I have put together a brand new RAJASTHAN tour from 8-18 November 2018. Rajasthan is staunch, seeringly colourful, a mecca for decor and art and has the most luxurious, classy food in India.

We poured over maps, scribbled possible schedules on restaurant menus, drove all over the desert, ate lots of heart-warming food, talked to other tour hosts, did art and craft workshops and drank quite a bit of whiskey in the interests of research. As usual when I recce a new tour, I have slept in the beds of all the hotels, eaten all the food, stitched all the fabric, painted the canvases, sat on the floor drinking masala chai in the village houses and sung all the songs. This is completely different from my North India tour as it is exclusively in Rajasthan.

We start in Jaipur but only spend one night there as it is the easiest place to meet and I already do Jaipur on the North India tour. The next day we drive down to Bundi, the deep secret heart of traditional Rajasthan culture, to stay in the heritage hotel owned by my friends, the Maharaj Singh family. Together we visit their ancestral village where we see gold and silver weaving, eat with our fingers and drink chai. The ladies will teach a cooking class and we will find out how on earth they manage to grow rice in the desert.

Then we drive to Nirvana, otherwise known as Udaipur, the sparkling lake city and throw ourselves into floating around the lake, cooking, wandering around the mad streets and learning how to paint temple art (this is a fantastic new class Diggi introduced me to) and of course cook. Our fabulous hotel is all white with art covered walls, practically in the lake and has some of the best food in Udaipur.

We jump in the Luxury Tempo Travellers again and roar off into the desert to the tiny town of Narlai, half way between Udaipur and Jodhpur. On the way we stop off at Ranakpur, home to one of the most the famous and important Jain temple complexes in India, and enjoy a vegetarian pilgrim's lunch. This gives us the strength to ride horses, dine in the desert and find out about traditional desert life from the safety of our gorgeous hotel.

The tour ends in the blue city of Jodhpur – shopping heaven, fort heaven, antiques heaven, food heaven. We are having a tie-dying workshop and staying at the chic, modern Raas Hotel right smack in the middle of the old town. The last night is so stunning that I am loathe to tell you about it for fear you think dancing by candlelight in Mehrangarh Fort might be boring.

Bookings are officially open! Visit the website for full details or get in touch for more info and to see the tour schedule. I've just sorted your Christmas shopping for you. You're welcome.