Brio Art House: Voice for local artisans, craftsmen

Located at Ramada Plaza Lucknow, Brio Art Cafe is the brainchild of Ankita Jaiswal who feels that Indians are obsessed with global art and culture but are not familiar with their own art and craft.

It was conceptualised as a café around organic artistic expressions in various media to bring together two basic 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 Uttar Pradesh’s local artforms and aims to promote the ‘unique signature products of local artisans.

Located at Ramada Plaza Lucknow, Brio Art Cafe is the brainchild of Ankita Jaiswal who feels that Indians are obsessed with global art and culture but are not familiar with their own art and craft. A voice for local artisans and craftsmen, Jaiswal has worked diligently with artisans to showcase products highlighting local state art and craft such as zardozi, chikankari with khadi, ceramic, cane furniture and local art using neem wood among others. 

Brio Art Cafe is presently working closely with about 200 artisans who create environment-friendly and sustainable products and offers a wide range of products from seeded pencils, planters, and wall hangings to unique furniture and décor. “We focus on using recycled and sustainable materials,” puts in Jaiswal. 

Apart from showcasing local art and craft, Brio Art Cafe boasts of a selection of endless delicacies immersed in natural flavours. A firm believer of ‘health is wealth’, Jaiswal has adapted this mantra to run the café kitchen. “Our in-house chef uses organically grown vegetables and herbs from our kitchen garden and creates seasonal and local food that is bursts with flavour and is healthy as well,” explains Jaiswal. 

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

Using only handcrafted ecofriendly ceramic crockery instead of bone-china dishes, the café is a no plastic zone, and the décor incorporates healthy living green plants. The door handles are made of recycled wooden brushes and the servers endorse clothing upholstery made of organic, hand spun khadi. “We recycle all the kitchen waste back to the kitchen garden. We have tailored our portions so that guests can enjoy their meals and at the same time minimise wastage of food. We encourage leftover doggy bags to be taken home,” Jaiswal puts in.

Hailing from an illustrious hospitality background, Ankita Jaiswal is also the Director of Ramada Plaza Lucknow Hotel & Convention Centre. Shedding light on the unique guest experience at the property, she says, “Since we believe in the concept of farm to fork, guests can pick their own vegetables and herbs for their own meals. They can tour the Brio Art Café and enjoy freshly brewed cup of kulhad chai while enjoying the majestic views of fountains outside. Local artistes perform at the café on the weekends and guests can enjoy live music and karaoke sessions.”

Jaiswal also serves as the chairman of Arts & Crafts Committee Hotel & Restaurant Association and has been generating employment for artisans across the state. “With my work, I not only support the art of this beautiful state but also get to support all the artisans and their unique handwork that they do by providing them with a bigger platform to showcase their talent,” she shares.

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

At Ramada Lucknow, initiatives have been taken to ensure that 70 per cent of the hotel area is covered with greenery and they have started open office concept. To encourage physical fitness, the hotel has outdoor gaming activities and weekend yoga sessions for guests.  for example- cricket, badminton and bicycle ride. Jaiswal further says, “We have also introduced two family entertainment options at Ramada while dinning. One is Funday brunch where guest can enjoy family brunch indoor or outdoor and menu for the brunch is tailor made to include our little guest as well. The other option is Saturday stories where we celebrate cuisine from different region of India. We have a live size chess set made from recycled wood for guest to enjoy. We also provide battery operated gold cart for tour of the hotel premises.”

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