Brio Art House: Voices of local artisans, artisans

Located at Ramada Plaza Lucknow, Brio Art Cafe is the brainchild of Ankita Jaiswal who believes that Indians are obsessed with world art and culture but are unfamiliar with their own art and crafts.

It was conceptualized as a café around organic artistic expressions in various media to bring together two fundamental pillars of existential sustenance – art and food. A perfect blend of modern functionality and unique design, it represents exclusive handcrafted art installations that have been inspired by local Uttar Pradesh art forms and aims to promote ‘unique signature products from local artisans’.

Located at Ramada Plaza Lucknow, Brio Art Cafe is the brainchild of Ankita Jaiswal who thinks Indians are obsessed with world art and culture but are unfamiliar with their own art and crafts. A spokesperson for local artisans and craftspeople, Jaiswal has worked diligently with artisans to showcase products showcasing local art and crafts such as zardozi, chikankari with khadi, ceramics, rattan furniture and local art using neem wood, among others.

Brio Art Cafe currently works closely with around 200 artisans who create eco-friendly and sustainable products and offers a wide range of products from pencils to seeds, planters and wall hangings to unique furniture and decorations. “We focus on the use of recycled and sustainable materials” puts Jaiswal.

In addition to showcasing local arts and crafts, Brio Art Cafe offers an endless selection of delicacies immersed in natural flavors. A strong proponent of “health is wealth,” Jaiswal has adapted this mantra to manage café cooking. “Our chef uses organic vegetables and herbs from our vegetable garden and creates seasonal and local foods that are bursting with flavor and are also healthy” Jaiswal explains.

Brio Art Café does not use a microwave and serves drinks like water and tea in sustainable earthen shikores or kulhads made by local artisans. “Our café also offers several vegetable options”, Jaiswal adds.

Using only handmade eco-friendly ceramic tableware instead of soft porcelain dishes, the cafe is a plastic-free zone and the decor incorporates healthy, living green plants. The doorknobs are made from recycled wood brushes and the waiters endorse the upholstery of the hand-spun organic khadi clothing. “We recycle all kitchen waste in the vegetable garden. We have adapted our portions so that customers can enjoy their meals while minimizing food waste. We encourage leftover doggy bags to take home ”, Jaiswal intervenes.

Ankita Jaiswal comes from illustrious hotel experience and is also director of the Ramada Plaza Lucknow Hotel & Convention Center. Shedding light on the unique guest experience at the property, she says, “As we believe in the farm-to-fork concept, customers can pick their own vegetables and herbs for their own meals. They can visit the Brio Art Café and enjoy a cup of freshly brewed kulhad chai while taking in the majestic view of the fountains outside. Local artists perform at the café on weekends, and guests can enjoy live music and karaoke sessions.

Jaiswal is also president of the Arts & Crafts Committee Hotel & Restaurant Association and has created jobs for artisans statewide. “With my work, I not only support the art of this beautiful state, but I also support all the artisans and their unique handwork by providing them with a greater platform to showcase their talent.” she shares.

Being an artist and sculptor herself, Jaiswal sees herself creating more beautiful and sustainable art by providing jobs for more women and local artisans in the future. “I encourage them to be part of my journey to revive the dying art of the state and bring it to the world”, she concludes.

At Ramada Lucknow, initiatives have been taken to ensure that 70% of the hotel’s surface is covered in greenery and they have launched an open office concept. To encourage physical fitness, the hotel offers outdoor play activities and weekend yoga sessions for guests. for example, cricket, badminton and bike rides. Jaiswal further says, “We have also introduced two family entertainment options at the Ramada during dinner. One is Funday Brunch where guests can enjoy a family brunch indoors or outdoors and the brunch menu is tailor-made to include our little guest as well. The other option is the Saturday Stories where we celebrate cuisine from different parts of India. We have a full size chess set made from recycled wood for guest enjoyment. We also provide a battery operated gold cart for touring the hotel premises.

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