In Bed With… Samyukta Nair & Pooja Dhingra
January has us intimate with two powerful entrepreneurs… who happen to be great friends!
Samyukta Nair’s upbringing in hospitality has prepared her well. She forges her own path with sleepwear label, Dandelion, a concept store in Mumbai called Clove, and London restaurants Jamavar and Bombay Bustle.
Pooja Dhingra, Founder and Head Chef of cult patisserie and cafe, Le15, has built a mini empire herself. It started with introducing macarons to Mumbai and now includes a flagship cafe, multiple patisserie stores, a studio workshop and a line of best-selling cookbooks.
Here, they talk sleep, comfort and what’s exciting in 2020:
Key elements for a good night’s rest?
Sam: A hot shower, and a pair of fresh cotton Dandelion pyjamas.
Pooja: A hard day’s work has me knackered enough to get a good night’s rest.
What does comfort mean to you?
Sam: A loving family and incredible friends.
Pooja: It is usually food-related… a cup of warm chocolate or a bowl of soup.
Dessert or Chamomile tea before bedtime?
Pooja: Chamomile in bed, dark chocolate before.
Favourite activity in bed?
Pooja: Watching late night comedy, texting or reading.
“I absolutely love my bed at home; it’s my happy
& safe place.” – Sam
On creating balance…
Sam: I exercise, spend quality time with my friends and family, and travel as much as I can.
Pooja: An hour of yoga, exercise or meditation. I try to get the most from each day.
How did you two meet? What does friendship mean to you?
Sam: We met through a common friend and took to each other quite easily. A good friendship is about being real, honest and kind, and I’m so lucky to have found such a friend in Pooj.
Photo credit: Rema Chaudhary
“Good friendship is having someone loyal and trustworthy to count on through rain and shine.”
What are you looking forward to in 2020?
Sam: Tabling a new project in London, expanding Dandelion and fun collaborations at Clove.
Pooja: New store openings, my fourth book and a line of healthy desserts called Le15 Lite. I am most excited about climbing Mt. Fuji in September!
Sam, as someone who wears many hats, how do you deal with jet lag from so much travel?
Sam: I can’t stress enough the importance of hydration – and WiFi!
Do you think sleepwear plays a role in improving rest and well-being?
Sam: Absolutely. Sleepwear that’s comfortable and breathable is essential, and if it’s aesthetically pleasing then that’s a cherry on the cake!
What aspects of Indian cuisine and hospitality do you emphasise with your restaurants?
Sam: Food is a vehicle of culture and what I love most is that the menu at Jamavar features family recipes from my grandmother Leela – a true gourmand. Bombay Bustle showcases favourites I grew up eating in Bombay.
Pooja, a.k.a ‘Macaron Queen of India,’ is it safe to say that macarons are your favourite dessert? What’s a close second?
Pooja: Yes, followed by cheesecake!
The next evolution of sweets in India?
Pooja: Traditional meets western desserts.