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Elegant, laid-back shopping

The faint fragrance of Mandarin Essential oil fills your senses as you enter the first store, near the GK1 N block market, writes Chinmai Gupta.

india Updated: Dec 07, 2006 11:29 IST

The faint fragrance of Mandarin Essential oil fills your senses as you enter the first store that greets you,near the GK1 N block market.

One of the four stores in Delhi, Forest Essentials is an indigenous establishment on the lines of the globally renowned Body Shop. With their factory based in the midst of wilderness in Rishikesh, everything you see here is essentially made of natural products.

You can stock up your supply of all possible body and bath products here, ranging from sugar and butter soaps to highly aromatic body oils and lotions. Away from the ever-swarming GK1 M block, this is a peaceful market to shop in.

Most of the stores are large, tranquil, and well spaced. If you are thinking of giving your house a face-lift, this market has a range of contemporary furniture and home furnishing stores.

The Next Shop is one such shop that has quirky products ranging from Sweet Strawberry Green Tea soap to an extensive assortment of home accessories like lamp shades, bed linen, and rugs in a riot of colours.

The fruit bowls, photo frames, vases, and other paraphernalia are aesthetically arranged colourwise, in racks of green touched with yellow, blue merged with green, deep reds and rich pinks.

A section of the three-storey shop is dedicated to steel furnishing as well. When one talks of GK1 N block, usually one ends up explaining the location as "the one with the Fab India outlets".

Such is the fame of the store that started off as an outlet of ethnic Indian wear. It now envelopes everything from kurtas to western outfits, sarees, shoes, home trimmings, jams and jellies.

Right alongside is another well-known brand, Cottons, that spoils you for choice with its range of comfortable, elegant, Indian wear. If your stomach starts growling with all that shopping, there are quite a few places where you can stop by for a bite.

With Miles Davis and Bob Marley posters adorning the walls, comfortable seating, youthful ambience and great food, Café Turtle, right above Full Circle, the bookstore, is the perfect place to warm yourself on a chilly winter day.

The greatest treat of course, are the jazz nights every Sunday, where you can sit back and enjoy a live band perform. Once you come a full circle, you reach Kasbah, that boasts of five eating places — a coffee shop on the ground floor, an Italian, French and Indian restaurant each and a lounge-bar, that put together are good enough to satisfy the fussiest of all eaters.

BreadnMore is one place that can convince you to junk your diet, with their scrumptious array of pastries, munchies and salads.

If you're out partying, then check out Urban Pind, or Shalom, recognised for its Lebanese and Spanish food, apart from the exotic cocktails.

It is expensive, but worth every penny you spend there. So the next time you head for the M block market, stop by here, for a laid back shopping experience.

First Published: Dec 07, 2006 11:29 IST