Saturday, February 11, 2012

Phuket Dining ....

First born son's 30th YIKES! A proper adult evening out to celebrate..... another beautiful table setting... bets on the time the sun actually sets ... the perfect tropical evening...dining under the stars and moon... where does the time go?!

Dining at the Nizam's Table in Falaknuma Palace

I first stepped into the banquet hall when no lights were on and nothing was laid on the table.  Quiet and lovely you could let the room slowly seep into your minds eye. The table 33 metres long with 88 chairs surrounding it, or 101, I never counted but have been given both numbers! Five great chandeliers probably from England, the centre one larger than the others. Later the table was set, although there were no flowering center pieces, it still was an amazing sight. Gorgeous sideboards polished to perfection from which to serve the guests while screens with painted and stained glass panels depicting the seasons were intended to conceal the servers. Looking closely at the wood work adorning the walls throughout the hall I realized it was all superbly executed tromp d'oeil!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Still Looking UP in Taj Falaknuma Palace

From Viqar ul Omra's travels he wanted it all, a little British, French, German and Italian. Building a palace such as Falaknuma was a clear statement and a way of achieving social equivalence with the elite of the West. Indeed when the Nizam purchased the palace from Viqar ul Omra, just five years after building was completed, he added to the already illustrious visitor's list additional members of the European and British royal houses, including the Crown Prince of Germany, the Grand Duke of Russia and finally topped it off with the then Prince and Princess of Wales.  ( I cannot resist showing some more ceiling details.) 

The wood carved and stained glass ceiling of the upper main hall  landing leading to the drawing room, ballroom, dining room and men's saloon. 

The billards room ceiling carved and faux wood finishes, then the ballroom in corals, peaches, dark green and mint.

The diningroom ceiling, such a contrast in colours to the room below, seems to match the entry below,
a more Italian ambiance.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Looking Up in the Taj Falaknuma Palace

Ceilings echoed floor designs, ceilings told stories, ceilings copied from European castles with their own unique Indian interpertations. (the maidens have to make you smile). Carved, coffered, inlaid, painted with scenes or strict geometric deco styled designs, in all the public rooms the ceilings were sumptuous....the more private family rooms just had glorious Belgian crystal chandeliers!