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Friday 26 December 2014

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There are shopping hubs, and then there are shopping destinations. Galleria at The Leela Palace, Bangalore is the latter, and clearly without parallel. Couture, kitsch and exotica sit gracefully along the hotel’s gilded halls, subtly casting their spell in Signature style on the well-heeled, the elegantly coiffeured, the aspiring and the have-arrived.

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Galleria at the Leela Palace Bangalore

 

 

Gallerial at The Leela Palace

Redefining Retail

The piano player at the axis of the Galleria’s three floors reverentially runs his fingers over the ebony and ivory keys. Under the midnight blue dome in the hallway, with flickering star-like lights, the tune he plays is almost celestial. A waterfall cascades past two floors to end in a soothing pool of rose petals.

 

And thus the tone is set, as you weave your way into the labyrinthine halls of Bangalore’s definitive shopping experience. Each corner springs a happy surprise, each endless hallway redefines the parameters of retail therapy.

 

Stroll past the gold leaf lined hallway that overlooks the hotel’s sprawling garden, and silver sculptures of gods contoured by a master craftsman and pear-shaped topaz earrings catch your eye. Justifiably hooked, you snap them up, and journey on to the myriad stores spilling over with trinkets, silk carpets, jamavar and pashmina shawls and jewellery boxes designed in the Kashmiri tradition, or head to the designer stores scattered across Galleria.

 

If your taste is for garments with urbane handloom chic, Anokhi produces hand block printed men and women’s wear at an organic farm on the outskirts of Jaipur; its collections are at once both wholesomely earthy and modestly priced.

 

 

 

 

If your wallet is bulging with mega bucks, make haste here. Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla, India’s pioneering design duo, retail their collections with rich textiles and traditional Indian craftsmanship at Kalika; Manoviraj Khosla adds a modern, funky twist to the Indian design aesthetic while Sanchita Ajjampur, who creates clothing and accessories for Roberto Cavalli, Alexander McQueen and Etro, displays her work at her signature store. Lokkesh Ahuja’s minimalist design philosophy is woven into the classic tailored suits in premium Indian and imported fabrics that have become synonymous with his brand of designer wear.

 

Fancy jewellery worthy of Queen Victoria and Cherie Blair? Frazer and Haws have been Bond Street mainstays since 1869, creating stellar pieces using sterling silver and Hennel diamonds for Britain’s brightest stars. Galleria houses some of the world’s premier brands in keeping with its theme of sophisticated luxury. Trussardi is among them, with its stock of Italian accessories; Helvetica, which houses 22 Swiss watch brands under its roof, has just the timepiece to go with that new suit.

Sensualising Shopping

 After canvassing the width of Galleria, chalk up some downtime at Cha Bar, and while you wait for an Assam tea or Earl Grey to be brewed just so, browse through the attached Oxford bookstore for your favourite classic, or leaf through its collection of coffee table books on topics that range from the tribes of the Himalayas to the jewels of the maharajas. If coffee is your brew, Barista has everything from an espresso and latte to a frappe laced with chocolate sauce and a range of short eats to go with it.

 

Post lunch or dinner, continue with the theme of indulgence at the gorgeous Nandini Alva’s Mirrors and Within, the unisex beauty salon that will have you feeling like a million dollars. Knick-knacks for the home, jewellery that is one-of-a-kind and embellished kurtis can be found at the warm hued Amber Artefacts.

 

 

 

 

Galleria is home to stores that you could wander into on a whim and be mesmerised by. Subtle aromas from scented candles lure you into Illuminations, where you can pick up a variety of candle accessories. Offering a feast for the senses are Ohana, the flower shop with perhaps the most exotic flora in the city, and Parcos, the perfume store.

 

If do you have energy left over after the shopping experience, what better place to expend it but at the sports bar Amoeba, with a spell of bowling?