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A weekly compendium of beautiful and bizarre objects of desire

Aloo Bori by Gunjan Gupta
Aloo Bori by Gunjan Gupta

Aloo Bori by Gunjan Gupta

No wholesale godown looks like a lounge, and no jute sack stuffed with raw potatoes seems comfortable. Industrial designer Gunjan Gupta, however, subverts these notions with this sofa. On display at the ongoing Kochi Biennale, this jute-sack sofa, stuffed with foam, was first shown at Design Miami in Basel.

Studio Wrap, Delhi (; Rs1.5 lakh per two-seater unit

Neal’s Yard Remedies

Neal’s Yard Remedies

One of UK’s top organic and ethical beauty brands is now in India. The first store, launched in Delhi, has a range of essential oils, skin and body products, and a men’s grooming range. The frankincense range—specifically the facial wash—has our attention.

Zehen, The Manor, Delhi; Rs2,300

Lego Chunks by Kassa

Lego Chunks, by Kassa

Wear your love for Lego on your sleeve, with the Lego armlet, or on your fingers, with the rings. Heads up, there will soon be DIY build-your-jewellery kits for a full reliving of the Lego experience.; Rs2,000

Red: The History Of A Color by Michel Pastoureau

Red: The History Of A Color, by Michel Pastoureau

In this beautifully produced tome, Michel Pastoureau, an expert in medieval history and Western symbolism, delves into the story of red—how it has come to be associated with emotions as varied as anger and love, or with the blood of Christ on the one hand and of radical left-wing politics on the other.; £32.95 (around Rs2,760)

Canter sling bag by October Jaipur

Canter sling bag, by October Jaipur

Saturday chores? You must have the perfect bag to run your errands at a canter. We love the buckle and box-like mouth of the bag—you won’t need to search a million zips and pockets for your cards and keys.; Rs4,200

Dehradun Guitar Company

Dehradun Guitar Company

At this store in the Himalayan foothills, guitars are bespoke and handcrafted by rehabilitated addicts and refugees, trained by company founder J. David Murray. Susmit Sen, a former member of Indian Ocean, has one of these too.; starting from Rs2 lakh

Compiled by Vangmayi Parakala

By Invitation


An ode to things you don’t need but must have

This week: Smith & Sinclair Cocktail Pastilles by Swapan Seth , CEO, Equus.

This week: Smith & Sinclair Cocktail Pastilles by Swapan Seth , CEO, Equus.

There is no disputing the fact that England has been the cradle of civility (it disappears during the football world cup but that is forgivable). The most graceful things are British: Marmite, scones, shaving brushes, Pimm’s, umbrellas, roast, Czech & Speake No.88.

This belief in their terrifyingly good taste was bolstered last year when I decided to bob around in Knightsbridge and ended up on the Fifth Floor Café of the venerable Harvey Nichols. It is the stadium of the select. Just the right place for me to stumble upon the Smith & Sinclair Cocktail Pastilles.

The nightcap is so very 1990s. Modern times require an innovative full stop before carriages. These pastilles are just that. They marry the nightcap with the dessert. But they are not infused with plain alcohol. The Russians would do that. Not the British. They have what we would call nazaakat in Urdu.

There are three base variants: whisky, vodka and gin. Within the world of whisky, you have Whisky Sour: a whisky pastille coated with a tart grapefruit-infused sugar. And Cake Icing, which is a whisky and amaretto pastille coated with sugar. The gin ones are Gin and Tonic: violet-infused gin pastille coated with a tart lemon sugar. And Elderflower Spritz: an elderflower and gin pastille coated with thyme-infused sugar. Such grace. For the vodka-swinging set, there is the Long Island High Tea—a vodka, black tea and rum pastille coated in a raspberry-infused sugar. And Rhuby Mule—a vodka, rhubarb and ginger pastille coated in sour lime sugar. Finally, just in case even pirates decide to be posh, there is ample refinement in the rum department as well. There’s a Berry Daiquiri: a dark rum, strawberry and grenadine pastille coated with pink peppercorn-infused sugar. And Spiced Rum: a dark rum and bitters pastille coated with clove spice sugar.

Philistines tend to compare these lovelies to Jell-O shots. That is cannibal thinking in my book.

These are best savoured with a few spare moments. The chewy top gives way to a fountain of fruit which then unveils the alcohol. It’s a posh way to bracket off a good evening.

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