Monday, 15 February 2016

Travels In India, 2016 - Dirty Laundry, Gandhi's Bedroom and Mumbai's V&A Museum

We've only been back in the UK for two weeks but we've already got three Judy's Affordable Vintage fairs under our belts. This weekend was a back-to-back extravaganza with Bristol on Saturday and Cardiff on Sunday and I got to hang out with three fantastic female bloggers (and a lovely Mum). Freya's entrance caused a sensation, fellow traders told me I was going to love the incredible girl with the mermaid hair's style and I was thrilled to tell them that she was already one of my (virtual) friends. I've been following Amie for years and although we've only met each other once I feel like we've been mates forever. I've lost count of the number of times I've met Em (& her Mum) but I still squeal with excitement when we meet. 

Despite being back for a fortnight I haven't finished with the travelogue yet (sorry!). While I've still got a decent sun tan and unseen photos, I'm going to milk our trip for all it's worth.

Spicy potato cakes served with sambar (a soupy, spicy sauce) and coconut chutney
On day four, after batata wadas and masala chai, we hailed a taxi and went and ogled Mumbai's dirty laundry.

The Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat is the world's largest outdoor laundry with around 8,000 - 10,000 dhobis (laundrymen) dealing with Mumbai's dirty washing every single day. 

After a mesmerising half-an-hour, listening to the thwack-thwack of clothes being bashed against the Victorian laundry stalls whilst fending off gangs of hopeful hawkers we jumped back in the taxi and headed to the Dr Bhav Daji Lad Museum.

During British Rule it was known as the Victoria & Albert Museum (sister to the London one). It was established in 1855 and moved to these premises in 1872 and since been spectacularly restored.

Even if you've no interest in the artefacts on display you'd have to be one of those weird minimalist types not to be impressed by the wonderful Victorian interior.

I was thrilled to discover an exhibition called Golden Age of Hindi Cinema. Judging by the comments in the visitors book, the photos of screen goddess Nargis (bottom right) were worth the admission price alone.

In the gardens we found the remnants of British rule, removed from their city centre plinths following Independence and left to slowly fade away.

There was a zoo but we (and the Lonely Planet) thought it was best avoided so, on Raj's (our taxi wallah) recommendation, we visited Mani Bhavan, Mahatma Gandhi's Mumbai headquarters from 1917 until 1934.

It was very moving to see the bedroom where he was arrested in 1932 perfectly preserved.

Our five hour tour cost us £13 -  Raj & his taxi were £7, admission to the V&A was £2 each and the Gandhi museum was free (but we left a donation of £2 to charity).

After a siesta and showers we had dinner (and beers) in legendary Mumbai vegetarian eaterie, Chetana. We ordered Undhiya, a Gujarati dish containing 17 vegetables including green bananas. It was so good that we bought their cookbook.

(Yet more photos HERE)

We don't do Valentine's Day which is just as well as we spent it in a Days Inn on the M4. Dinner (a surprisingly tasty spicy Thai veg curry) was eaten under the strip lights of a motorway service station alongside a coach load of rugby fans and the entertainment was provided by a bottle of Lidl white rum & value cola I'd packed in our overnight bag and BBC's The Voice. Oh, the glamour!

See you soon!

Linking with Patti & the gang for Visible Monday.


  1. Love The museum ! And the food looks delish!

  2. The museum looked interesting, I would like to go there - I love the colours and décor - Ghandi's room looks like a timeless designer colour scheme! Your food is so colourful, I haven't tried the soup/sauce but would love to dip some naan into it and tuck in! I must be drawn to pale greens at the moment! Your mermaid friend is a pretty lady! Betty x p.s. thanks for admiring my tulip pic.

  3. The taxi tour was wonderful value, must be such a treat for the taxi driver to have work for all that time. Will you be sharing one or two of the recipes from the book?

  4. First, it's always delightful to see you rocking your stall! and all those fabulous ladies!!
    And second, I'm loving every detail about your travel, particularly that museum and M.Ghandi's home, such amazing places!, and The Food!! yummm!!

  5. Love your blog. Great phrase "weird minimalist types"
    Always read your older posts when you're away!
    You are a wordsmith, a vegetarian,high street clone avoider,vw owner.....
    Love the India pics-went in the 70's' lived in Iran with a family on the way home! Totally unplanned.
    Anyway,thanks for the blog,jayne

  6. Oh, more lovely photos!

    The laundry is amazing - how on earth do they know whose laundry is whose? I'll be be puzzling about that all evening now!

    The museum interior is out of this world; the scroll work on the banisters and the amazing floor tiles. As for the statues - I like the one without a head!

    What lovely bloggers - and a mum!



  7. What a wonderful trip and great memories! :)

  8. Lovely to see you both and it was a proper tonic for mum I can tell you. The halterneck of beauty fits like a dream and I can't wait to be wafting through the Menorcan streets in it!
    That ironwork on the banisters is fantastic. I'd have a bit of that her if I could. Love to have had a wander around the Hindi cinema exhibition too-bloody fab!
    Loves ya!

  9. All that wonderful veg food makes me hungry, and longing to travel to India. Gandhi's room was very moving as well. Thanks for linking up, you are a star! xo


  10. Ahhh Vix it was sooo lovely to see you. I've been wearing my coat constantly since I got it, it's such a great investment as it's been freezing here and I've not even noticed! Lovely to see you again; lets organise a meet up soon!

    Amie xxxx

  11. The dirty laundry pics are awesome. I can feel the atmosphere of it from here. I'm going to be sad when your travel tales come to an end, they have been fantastic.
    Lynn X X X

  12. When did Days Inns cross the Atlantic?

    The museum and Ghandi's HQ look absolutely fascinating. Btw Indian Summers is returning soon. x

  13. You should write a book about your travels. I don't want your Indian tales to end! x

  14. More great photos!

    All that laundry.

    Freya's hair is incredible.


  15. My eyes are boggling once more at all the visual treats you cram into each blog post, from your outfits, to your travel snaps, and the outfits of fellow bloggers. How amazing are those old Bollywood photos? Some serious glamour there! xx

  16. Love those Gandhi "We are all one" posters. They need to reprint those & post them everywhere.
    Oh those Victorians, I love the "over the top" lack of editing in their style but immortalizing one's self in marble like a Greek god was really a bit much.
    Nargis is my glamour icon!
    - Bibi xox

  17. Live your India pix-keep milking it! The white dress is tan perfect.

  18. I had a giggle at you going to visit a laundry when you spend so much time washing and fixing up beautiful vintage to sell all year. Can't resist the laundry, even on holiday? More interesting when someone else is doing it, I imagine.

    I lived with one of those weird minimalist types-there was much ranting about, "clutter." She would have had a serious melt-down in that museum.

    I'm enjoying your photos and stories from India (I know I won't be getting there)and it is always nice to learn something.

  19. Now you can cook tasty Undhiyu yourself, yay!! I must look it up. Lovely to see those museum photos, Gandhi's residence, and imagine what it felt like to travel in India. Thank you for sharing! You look wonderful in this crocheted dress, and all your visitors together make me believe that all England wears colorful vintage! :)

  20. Looks like you and your other half is enjoying them self. Sure a lot of towels.
    Coffee is on

  21. Great to know you had a lovely India trip! The Bhau Daaji Laad museum is mesmerizing indeed!! I love that place! And you also got to catch an interesting ongoing exhibition! #win :)

  22. Oh my, the interior of the museum is beautiful! xxx

  23. that last photo is adorable...and you look breathtaking in that first maxi dress.

    Some day I hope I get to visit Gandhi's museum as well...until then thank you for your virtual tour.

  24. That Victorian building is amazing, and the restoration is beautifully done, though I'm guessing the Gandhi museum was the more moving.

    That food looks so tasty!

  25. Soz Gandhi...(really should not comment after 12 hr shifts!)

  26. I love the laundry pics!
    There is an underground train station in Singapore called Dhoby Ghaut which is the area where all the washing was done over a hundred years ago (and dried in the park!)

  27. Dear Vix: I have spent the morning, being transported by reading these last few posts of yours. Thank you thank you thank you! Now I don't want to go back to reality (it's snowing here today!)

  28. Maximalist that I am, I'll stash that phrase "weird minimalist" in my arsenal for debates. The glorious bannister on the grand staircase leading up to the magnificent rug hanging -- ah, how could one replicate this effect of intertwined designs in a modest home. (Excuse me whilst I view my foyer...)

    Your Valentine's Day veg curry with alchoholic beverages and high-class entertainment alongside gritty company does, in fact, sound fun. Trust you and Jon to make the most of rude reality: you've had lots of practice in Goa.

  29. I'm mesmerized by your photos of India, as always. You and Jon create a sense of wonder as well. Beautiful post!

  30. Wow the photo of the washing area has left me rather speechlessit depicts so much about life and how the world has evolved past this kind of area for so many other countries. Great to see Em and her mum. We don't do valentines day either I want to be loved and shown every day of the year by simple things not just one mass marketed day. dee xx

  31. Laundry, high art and Bollywood, spectacular interiors, headless imperialists, and Indian politics - your trip had it all, Vix! Not to mention the food...
    Good to see you with some of your fabulous customers at the weekend. All that, and some Lidl rum at a service station - it's all about the high life with you, darling! Love you! xxxx

  32. Wow, love that ornate Museum. I love all the food shots too - your meals have looked very tasty.

  33. The museum is so stunning - that staircase is an absolute jaw-dropper and the patterned fabric awning in the garden is a joy too. Mind you, all that ornate grandeur is in stark contrast to Gandhi's very simple bedroom. Keep on with those India photos - I love 'em! xxx

  34. Thank you for your Mumbai photo's. My brother lived there for 17 years. He died in hospital there and was cremated on an open fire, as is the tradition. Seeing the pictures of where he lived makes me quite emotional. He loved India.

  35. Yet another set of awesome sleeves that you're sporting here. And more delicious armchair traveling in Mumbai for we fortunate readers.

  36. you should definitely write a travel guide to India-I would buy it!

  37. You don't waste a minute, do you? Just back from gallivanting in Goa and right back into the Vintage Fair circuit! I tell you, just reading about your life makes me tired ;)

    I have to wonder, as another commenter mentioned, how they know whose laundry is whose? It all looks quite similar from the photos. That staircase is spectacular! To Hell with Minimalism!

  38. i already dream of mumbai!
    this laundry facilities looks very interesting to my textile nerds eye! and the museums - impressive!
    the indian dishes make my mouth very watery!
    the crochet dress you´r wearing for work is a dream!
    love the portrait of you and jon! xxxxx

  39. man, the laundry even look fab! Thanks for the tour!

  40. I love the move from Mumbai to the M4!! Only you two, eh?
    That food all looks and sounds yummy, and you know I am not adventurous on the food front.
    The V&A reminds of the Brum museum...much lighter and brighter than the London one. What luck to catch that exhibition. Perfect for you!

  41. It was so lovely to meet you at the fair!
    The colours of that museum are incredible! Your food pictures always make me so hungry.

  42. So lovely to have you back Vix!Sounds like you're right back into work - good for you, I love the style of the girl with the mermaid hair!! I always enjoy your photos of India and the "Victoria & Albert" Museum looks stunning. I always draw out my posts about my travels as long as possible, feels like it makes the trip last longer xo

  43. I love both your outfits in the first picture - such a stylish couple! Your dress is gorgeous.

    I always enjoy hearing about your travels around India, that museum looks incredible xx

  44. What a pleasant surprise to see that I'd missed seeing one of your fantastic posts about India! And what a wonderful post it is. That museum is spectacular. I love the colours the chose to paint it.

    It must have been so interesting being in the very room in which Ghandi lived and was arrested.

    I adore your crocheted dress and am envious of the folks who had the pleasure of seeing you two in person at the sale. xo

  45. 'Weird minimalist types'. Funny! Not guilty, thankfully. Those potato cakes look rather delicious. I like the sound of the cinema exhibition. My best friend from school is a Nargis, it's a beautiful name. Very poignant, visiting Ghandi's room. I'm always in awe of places where something so historic has taken place. We visited the cell where the man with the iron mask was held prisoner and came across the very room where the gunpowder plot was hatched during a walk once. These places instantly connect you to history I think. I'm surprised at you love birds! I hope you're not working too hard! Xxxx

  46. Oh my word. I am in love with that museum. When I row up I want to have a house that looks like that. Your journey through India looked so interesting and that curry has made me hungry now. :) Xx


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