It’s the green convertible that gets us. Walking around it at the newly opened Mini Cooper showroom – Delhi’s first! - we imagine driving down empty roads, a scarf wrapped around our hair, Hugh Grant riding shotgun (think Bridget Jones). “Such a cliché,” our male companion comments, “plus, this is Delhi, think of all the dust you’ll swallow.” True, but a girl can dream.
The showroom, which opened last week in Vasant Kunj, features four cars, including the abovementioned green Mini Cooper Convertible, a red Mini Cooper Hatch with white roof and the larger (and rather ugly) black Countryman.
If you can’t afford to go shopping for a ride at Mini Cooper (us neither!) you can also pick from a shelf of fashion accessories, including a handbag stamped with psychedelic Minis, a black patent leather tote and weirdly, a warren of stuffed rabbits.
But we suggest you pay attention instead to the showroom itself: designed by ultra confidentiel, a cool French design studio based out of Hauz Khas Village (they’ve worked on the gorgeous Hermes store in Mumbai and Delhi’s upcoming Bloom hotels), it is super fun, playing up and providing a perfect foil for the car’s quirky charm.
To begin with, it doesn’t have the regular fortified glass show window with a car in it, but rather, a red Mini zooming down the outside wall of the building. The interiors reflect an industrial aesthetic, featuring exposed pipes, metal staircases, and a glass overhang printed with words like ‘unstoppable’ and ‘be a star’.
Amaury Watine, designer at ultra confidentiel, says that the space is unfussy in order to maximize the abundant natural light it gets and to best spotlight the car. Highlighting the models’ signature primary colours are light fixtures that are either low hanging or black (bpb tip: you can source similar fixtures from ultra confidentiel, as well as other cool interior products). Pops of colour add to the general cheeriness and optimism inherent in owning a Mini.
Cooper de Grace
As we walk out we have a new daydream, which morphs from a dusty Delhi road to a sleek studio apartment, all black floored and high ceilinged, minimalist save for a warren of stuffed rabbits. And, of course, a Mini zooming down a wall.
Getting there: Mini Cooper Showroom, plot no 8 & 9 LSC, Sector C 6 & 7, Vasant Kunj, call 30975555, start Rs 25 lakh; ultra confidentiel, T-49 Hauz Khas Village, call 26513949.