WITH A HISTORY spanning more than 100 years, the Taj Group is one of India's top hotel operators. The group has more than 50 hotel properties in 34 locations, among them Britain, Nepal, Dubai and the Maldives. The architecture and interior of the Taj Mahal Hotel in New Delhi show attention to detail. The six ceiling domes feature intricate motifs taken from Mughal architecture with exquisite gold inlay work and form the key focal points in the white marbled lobby. The waterfall, also marble, looks out to the pristine pool and manicured garden. In addition to the many fine luxury suites the Taj has an outstanding reputation for innovative cuisine. Six Taj eateries are included in a list of 20 best restaurants in the country, while Orient Express also earned the honour of 'one of the top 50 fine-dining continental restaurants of the world'. A lunch stopover at Haveli in the Taj Mahal in New Delhi, the restaurant for the country's traditional cuisine, shows how the recipes for some of India's age-old royal fare have been handed down through the generations. Resident chef Irshad Ahmed Qureshi presents recipes from the royal Mughal kitchens, enhancing them for today's diners. Dishes include galouti lamb kebab, Lucknowi gosht biryani, a basmati rice dish flavoured with saffron and mace, and samudri taka tin, featuring seafood coated in a tomato puree, then cooked in a brass pan. The elegant and laidback restaurant commissioned famed Indian painter Anjolie Ela Menon to provide an intricate, multi-panelled work that covers an entire wall. The India visit later continues on to monsoon-drenched Mumbai, where the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower offers a relaxing buffet lunch at Shamiana Coffee Shop.