Cotswolds, making the most of it in a day


The Cotswolds is every Jane Austen Village, Bronte Sisters novel, Downton Abbey, episode come to life. While Oxford was the city we were visiting, we were just too close to the Cotswolds and more importantly to a slice of Downton Abbey therefore we decided to make a day of it.  While when we had planned out holiday Highclere Castle was not open for a visit, but a lot of the show has been shot in a lot of villages in the Cotswolds. One such village was Swinbrook.

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If offbeat, and unique things to do is high on your list then do read on. We made our way to Burford which is regarded often as the gateway to the Cotswolds. We took a bus from Oxford to Burford. The medieval village is beautiful, retains a lot of old world charm, the stone houses, the river and the shopping. The little village had some interesting vintage stores, where one could buy wool, books and even cheese.

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My favorite however was Huffkins. Their speciality is the Lardy Cake. I still dream of it, and I have tasted nothing like it. Enjoyed with a hot cup of tea, the lardy cake is is an English Tea Bread, that is generously enriched  with dry fruit, sugar and of course the key ingredient lard. While it sounds like a blob of fat settled on  your hips, this is one of those dishes where the calories are worth it.

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huffkins lardy cake

While this was a pitstop our final destination was to be Swinbrook and more specifically Swan Inn. This was where lady Sybil’s elopement with Branson was shot. Therefore the Downton Abbey connection. Also the gorgeous inn has a world class restaurant which we wanted to visit. Our plan was to take a cab from Burford and back. Well these ambitious cab plans were laughed off, by the tourist office who said that we must Walk down. Yes – Walk down since the village has no cabs. So be prepared for this when you visit the Cotswold. It would have been a lovely idea, except it was a cold windy day in the Cotswolds. 6 degrees!

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We decided to do what any self respecting heroine in a Jane Austen novel would do – and walked. Best decision we ever made and one of the most unforgettable experiences in my life. We did not see a soul for miles, well we heard some hunting dogs bark (that was scary) . But I am going to let these pictures do the talking. It is a 2.4 Mile walk each way and honestly I would not have enjoyed it as much any other way.

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Swinbrook

Well the village was less commercial and a lot more quaint than Burford. This was the epitome of a sleepy village. We had reached around lunch time, and we did not see any one in the village at all, till we reached what seemed like the centre of the buzz. Some snippets of the village below, so that you get an idea of the pristine gorgeousness I speak of.

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Swinbrook lake

Swan Inn and Lunch

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Swan Inn, had a fabulous vibe to it. Very elite, everyone was talking quietly and it seemed like the noisiest thing in the restaurant was the clinking of wine glasses. Worked for me, we shared a wholesome meal. Arjun had steak, while I enjoyed a Quinoa salad, fresh veggies with feta and a red onion and orange dressing. The piece de resistance for me was the dessert which was the Yorkshire Rhubarb and berry compote, fool sable breton. Not a chocolate aficionado when it comes to dessert, I loved the difference in flavour and texture with this one.

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All in all, our trip to the Cotswolds was barely a teaser of what glory a full fledged holiday there can be. This is the most that we  could fit in, in one day but it has certainly whet our appetite for a longer haul – hopefully sooner rather than later.

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And of course – some tribute to the Queen will greet you even in the wild

Lake District – Five Reasons to go


The Lake District in England is spectacular. The best time to visit is perhaps Spring or Summer. I would be more partial to Spring, because the landscape is filled with gorgeous flowers and it is a fact that flowers make everything prettier. The Lake district is also home to the “Lake Poets” and the famous “Daffodils” was inspired in these lands.

 

We were there about a month ago, and I can say that there isn’t a day that I have not thought about the beauty of that place. The pace of life, the calm, the people – they all leave an indelible mark on you. The experience becomes a part of you, that you never want to let go of.

5 reasons why I can’t let go

The landscape

Green, till the eyes can see. Sheep grazing almost telling you that it’s okay to slow down and just be. The English Countryside, thanks to our colonial education always brings a rush of memories. Famous Five, Anne of Green Gables and even Wordsworth. To see all of it come alive and in touching distance is an experience all right.

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Lake Windermere

This is England’s Largest Lake and where we stayed had the most divine views of the Lake. Since “Lady Windermere’s Fan” was one of my favorite plays in college we began our relationship on a partial note.  We stayed in Bowness on Windermere, and the Lake itself was about 25 minutes downhill. From Panoramic views of the lake, to a fabulous Boat Ride and simply just absorbing the beauty of the lake, we managed to do it all. Lake Windermere has some of the most luxurious homes around it and you can actually go from one village to the other taking ferries.

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Visit to Grasmere

If You love Wordsworth as I do, and enjoyed his poetry a visit to the Dove Cottage where he spent a good many years of his life is a must do. The village of Grasmere is well connected by Bus and the bus practically drops you off right opposite his house. You can buy a day pass for about 12 pounds and go up and down and from village to village as you please.

A visit to Sarah Nelson’s historic Grasmere GingerBread is also a must do. Invented by her in 1854 you are literally indulging in a slice of history. You can walk down to her store that retains all it’s vintage charm. While the Ginger Bread is tops, what we really loved and were happy we bought was the Rum Butter. Do not miss either

 

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Wordsworth’s glasses and top hat

Dove Cottage

Dove Cottage

Grasmere GingerbreadHouse

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Bridge House

This Bridge House stands unassumingly in Ambleside which is between Grasmere and Windermere and the good bus stops close too. The 17th Century survivor was part of a big manor, and since then even became an apple shop. Today it is one of the main attractions simply because this is one of the few Bridge Houses in the World

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Kendal

Kendal was a slightly bigger town than the others, and while we did not have enough time to go to the bigger castle, we went to the ruins of the Kendal Castle in the City. Fletcher Park had some of the most amazing views of Kendal and was an ideal place for a picnic or to do just about nothing but gaze and absorb every minute detail and breath of fresh air.

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Kendal Fletcher Park

I have to make special mention of the beautiful place that we stayed in. Linthwhaite House. While the location was remarkable we experienced old school british hospitality. We have stayed in a few five star hotels but the personal attention and experience here was simply different. All the perks of luxury, served with a dash of non chalant comfort, it’s evident that the service bar has been set very high.

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And one cannot leave without a scrumptious indulgence of Sticky Toffee Pudding. Let me tell you that the description of the dish  does no justice to the taste. However my sneaky belief is that it is the butter.

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sitting on my couch, I will end this blog with lines from Wordsworth that pretty much encapsulate what the lake District leaves you feeling.

…I gazed — and gazed — but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the Daffodils

 

 

#NutCracker – A Happy Place if You Love Food


The Name NutCracker always makes me as happy as a child on a swing. It immediately brings to mind  fairies, magic, Christmas and all happy memories. Now Imagine a place that would do this all year round, and even better imagine if you find it in your city. Well, that’s what happened to me – I found a really cute little cafe that serves up delectable fresh fare and which I can easily say I am in Love with.

Local Fresh Ingredients, form part of the menu and each dish has a twist. Why you must go there is because some items on their menu are unique and  even regular items on their menu, have a stamp of unmatched quality.

Starting with the humble Cheese Toast, this one reminded me of the Jon Favreau Cheese Sandwich scene Chef Cheese Toast Scene

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Sorghum Salad

I like to think of this as the Mumbai Winter on  a plate. The salad dressed with a spicy dressing has strawberries, ponkh, sweet potatoes and pomegranates. It is like they decided to put every thing good about the Mumbai winter on a plate and serve it to hungry food lovers like me. I have already been back twice to indulge in this fearing the end of the seasonal produce. Hope you can make it too.

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The Kejriwal

I must confess eating the Kejriwal anywhere else apart from the Bombay Canteen feels like cheating. This one however is starkly different from that one. A generous Mushroom Filling and Cheese on the top. I definitely enjoyed it.

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Avocado On Toast

This is a recent love affair that has begun. I am actively looking for Avo on toast everywhere, and let me tell you very few places offer it, and do it well. This one comes with a dash of hummus on toast.  Makes for an indulgent yet healthy brekker. Good fat, protein, carbs and all that jazz 😉

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Nutty Spaghetti

This seems like a regular aglio olio on the face of it, but what really blows your mind and takes you by surprise is orange rind in the spaghetti. I have had some interesting variations of the aglio olio, with coriander, green chillies, onions but orange rind is such an unexpected flavour, that it gets my vote.

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The Eton Mess  waffle

Another seasonal special is the Eton Mess Waffle. The Eton Mess is one of my favorite desserts simply because it offers such an array of flavours and textures and has such a DIY air about it – it seems like you are eating so many different desserts at the cost of being guilty only once. The Waffle here is tops like everything else about the place – Soft in the middle and cruncy on the side. Pieces of meringue, strawberries and banana generously strewn. Oh happiness your name must be this waffle

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The Seven Layer Cookie

 

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Often when I have eaten here, I have been unable to leave enough space in my tummy for this mad dessert. However, I tried it finally after two years of unsuccessful attempts and realised what the big deal about this cookie is. It is served with a fresh butter scotch ice cream and I dare you to not go mmmmmmmmm! when you have the first mouthful. The Cookie is a happy concoction  – Nutella, White Choc, Dark, Cookie base and frankly I don’t know what all the seven layers are, except that this is Sinful but worth the muffin top.

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The Cafe is predominanly vegetarian but serves eggs. My first stumbling block was convincing my hard core non vegetarian  partner to come with me to Nut Cracker, after that he has happily suggested it himself. Good Quality and Great Food always wins. Another amazing perspective is that the restaurant uses fresh local produce and it is lovely to see it becoming a trend and cool. We actually get to eat fresher food. They also serve fabulous Coffee, so I can safely say that It is on my Happy Place List.

New York at Christmas


 

There is something about being in New York that makes me feel that I am in the middle of a Rom Com or in an episode of SATC. The whole city has an air of familiarity, but at the same time, promises adventure and discovery at every step.

 

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I experienced the last leg of Autumn and the first leg of Christmas  as I found myself in New York in the first few days of December. The leaves were flaming orange, and yellow , the Christmas Spirit Engulfed the air. Special Shows, Large Christmas Trees, Special Display windows all over the city. They made me forget that I was walking around in 4 degrees temperature. I find 21 degrees difficult to bear, so one can only imagine what Antarctica this would have meant to me.

Here are a few things that you Must Not Miss if you are ever in New York at Christmas. While Fairy Lights, Carols and Happy faces beckon you at evey turn some need undivided attention

Watch George Balanchine’s Nut Cracker at the Lincoln Center

The story of the Nut Cracker is what we have all read in parts or religiously as we were growing up. You will realise how familiar the music is once you listen to the various pieces that are part of the ballet. This was my first ballet and it was enchanting to see dreamy sequences come to life. You see a 12 ft Christmas Tree become 40 feet whilst the dream world of Marie comes to life. While there are several versions of the Nutcracker  –  The George Balanchine production of the Tchaikovsky ballet is the most celebrated one in the US and a must do thing around Christmas. The Snow Flake Sequuence and the Waltz of the Flowers were my favorite, I’d love to hear about yours too.

 

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They do not allow pictures inside, though I managed to sneak one little one at the end, because I just had to walk away with a memory of the lovely experience I had. I got fairly decent tickets at 125$ with a good view. But I was still sitting up on the first floor, I was in the 4th ring.

 

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Make a Date With the Rockettes

The Christmas Spectacular at the iconic Radio City Music Hall is also one of those amazing experiences that simply add to the Christmas Spirit . I watched this after the ballet, so while the productions are very different, this one had a more relatable charm to it, whilst the ballet was etheral. 14 years of convent education had done enough to excite me about any reference to Christmas. Christmas combined by the awe inspiring synchronised dancing of the Rockettes guarantees an awesome show. It is called the Spectacular so expect nothing else. Here I got better tickets in about 110$ so i sat closer to the stage 🙂

 

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This was my favorite song and I spent the next few days singing it while I explored the city.

Check out Rockettes New York At Christmas

 

The Rockefeller Tree

The tree is considered the epicentre of New York City’s Holiday Celebrations. Right from the time of the Great Depression, while workers stood to collect their wages, the Tree has metamorphosed into a symbol that heralds the onset of the holidays. In recent years the lighting of the tree is a celebrated event that is also telecast Live. The 1999 tree was 100 feet tall, the one that I saw last year was 94 feet making it the second largest ever. Honestly it’s difficult to get a good glimpse as everyone wants a picture with it, just like I did. I chose to go during the day and avoid the night.

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The Christmas Markets

The parks turn to bustling markets where you can buy Christmas decorations, gifts or simply hang out to soak in the vibe. I spent a good afternoon at the Bryant Park market watching people skate and enjoy the holidays shopping. You have some amazing stores from around the world and New York and is an ideal place to shop for souvenirs and Christmas goodies.

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I also visited the Columbus Circle Market. What I enjoyed most at both these markets was people watching and sipping divine hot choclate.

 

The SnowFlake on Fifth Avenue

Another New York Icon is the Snowflake on Fifth Avenue. It is put up by the UNICEF and is dedicated to vulnerable children across the world. I can only think of this song when I look at it

“O Star of wonder, star of night. Star with royal beauty bright”

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Coffee Up and Stay Warm

The best thing about the cold is Warm Drinks. And No better Warm drink than Coffee in my book. I am not a fan of regular American Coffee, so I did extensive research on where I must have coffee in NYC. I sampled the following and was not dissapointed at all. The Blue Bottle next to Bryant Park, Blue Stone Lane Coffee in West Village  Toby’s estate next to Flatiron, and Third Rail scored high on my list! I would recommend these to any coffee lover at the drop of a hat

 

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Other Things to Do

High Tea at Bergdorf with a dash of Central Park.

While you admire the iconic window displays at Bergdorf Goodman, it will do you good to go up to the restaurant and enjoy their High tea as you look out into Central Park and at the right time of the evening you can see the sun set on the buildings and it is truly a Rom Com movie sight. The tea and the spread is not bad too. It was a lot of food, and I had time to kill and they do not hurry you at all. So i would say indulge and be a lady and channelise that inner Carrie in you. The tea including tips would cost you about 75$

 

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Walk down Brooklyn Bridge

A clear day with the occassional chill that kisses your face, the close to a mile walk is never boring for a New Yorker so for a tourist you can imagine the charm. This was my second walk and a much longer one, because we walked from Eastern Parkway, over the bridge till Seaport in Manhattan.

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Walking remains the best way to discover a city, but I was a huge fan of the Kick app. it simplified the metro and also worked offline, which is great because no matter where in the world you are connectivity in the subway is weak.

This was only a short list of what exciting things one can do in New York around Christmas. Would love to hear from you, if I must add to this list. Hopefully some day soon I will be back at Christmas and I will be sure to use those notes then 🙂

 

 

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Palermo – More to it than the Godfather


Palermo is a charming city in Sicily, and an overnight train ride away from Naples. We were keen on a Sicily leg to our Italian holiday, and between it’s mafia  connection and love for all things sweet, our decision was made. We spent two days in this charming capital city and took back a lifetime of Sicilian memories.

It is part of Italy, but has a different vibe to it compared to the rest of it. This could be because of the Byzantine influence. An overnight train journey took us to the city of Palermo from Naples. Its refreshing to wake up to a train ride that brings to you some breathtaking views of the sea.

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View from the Train

 

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Palermo bylanes

We stayed in the most gorgeous Air BnB in the centre of the city – L’Olivella it is very close to the Teatro Massimo. It was strategically placed and we were actually able to walk to most places we wanted to go to. The hostess was really helpful and sets up the most divine breakfast with a whole host of Sicilian treats. If any of you do decide to visit Palermo I would strongly recommend that you check L’Olivella ‘s availability and grab it, if it is available.

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Breakfast at L’Olivella

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The Living Room

About 400 metres away is the Nicest Coffee shop in the whole of Palermo called Ruvol0. For the 3 mornings that I was there, that was where I headed for my morning cuppa, to find a Sicilian gossip conference on as early as 6 am. You have a view of the Teatro Massimo and an array of Sicilian delights to choose from.

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Sweet Treats

Opera Dei Pupi (Opera of the Puppets)

Puppet theatre is quite popular in Italy, we saw it on the promenade in Salerno as well, but the piece de resistance was definitely the Opera Dei Pupi that we saw in Palermo. It has been been listed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. When we saw it, we understood why. The marionette was entirely in Italian, and was an enactment of a “Orlando Furioso” a complete pot boiler, it had its share of conflict, romance,metaphysical, fantasy, humour, war, and even though we did not understand the language, it was exaggerated enough for us to get a sense of what was happening.

 

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More than anything, the quality of production is mesmerizing and leaves you enthralled. it transports you to the middle ages and I was in awe of the sheer brilliance. It was nice to see a lot of local families and even children enjoying the show. I really wish that I had understood the language to enjoy it more and laugh at jokes.

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Sugar Rush – Sicilian Treats

Casatta was born in Palermo. This was reason enough to pay obeisance to this city and brave a bus ride (with no ticket) to Pasticcerria Oscar to eat the best Casatta in the city. A sponge cake, moistened with juices, layered with ricotta, and covered with a shell of marzipan. It is sweet and has an array of textures, and a delight for all the senses.

 

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Casatta at Oscar

Cannoli Siciliani was the next dessert, we simply had to try here. It gets it’s name from Cannolu meaning Tube, and it looks like one with a filling of Ricotta or Mascarpone. You may have eaten it with a creamy filling, which could be custard but that’s only because people did not have the right ingredients in that part of the world, and over a period of time, it became the norm. The dessert is distinct to Sicily and I would say make most of it while you are there, as it’s not easily available all over the world.

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Cannoli

 

Brioche Con Gelato, or the Italian Ice Cream Sandwich. This has to be the best use of a Brioche. In most gelataria’s you can make your own Ice Cream sandwich. Choose your gelato flavors and the kind man at the counter, will make your own sandwich. Just the kind of breakfast / snack that calls out to me. It was an indulgent discovery, and a happy one. You cannot take your sweet time with it, because you are managing the melting gelato, and trying to balance that you have enough Brioche left till the very end. However, these are the kind of problems that I love to have.

 

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Brioche with Pistachio and Strawberry Gelato

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Almond Granita

If you have a sweet tooth like mine, there just aren’t enough meals to do justice to the Sweet haven that Palermo is. Never mind the sugar rush, but old favorites and experiments with new ones have to be made.

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Palermo being the capital of Sicily, had a huge Mafia presence, and that’s what the city is famous for. However, we noticed stickers in our building and a few of the restaurants that we went to, that said “AdioPizzo” , meaning  “Goodbye Pizzo” .

 

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We went to Antica Focacceria San Francesco, a restaurant that was established in 1834, while the food they serve is delicious and they are famous for that, they are in the news more because they were one of the first establishments to refuse to pay “Protection Money” . Focacceria owner Vincenzo Conticello became a local hero.

 

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The iconic Restaurant Facade

The restaurant is very famous for it’s Lamprodetto, but apart from that they serve a lot of snacks as well as pretty decent vegetarian fare. I indulged in the “Involantini di Melanzane” Eggplant Roulades, with cheese in a tomato and pinenuts puree. I could understand the hype around the restaurant. Good food, and history always go very well together for a tourist.

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Lampradetto

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Involantini di Melanzane

 

 

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Other things to do in Palermo

There is history everywhere, and like most of Europe, just walking around will have you marvel at the architecture and the sheer beauty of the city. Buskers, cafes and historical buildings are in every corner. The Normandy Palace, is another place that is simply marvellous. It is grand and very different from the kind of architecture you see in the rest of Europe. The Byzantine influence shines through. Street Food tours are popular, and you can eat almost every kind of meat, possible and also buy some sicilian crockery as you walk in the bylanes of Palermo.

 

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One more thing to keep in mind, is to definitely buy a day pass, if you intend to use the Bus. Your ticket is not checked on it, and definitely not sold. So either you buy it at the station, or a tabachi and that is closed on Sunday. We found out the hard way, and because we were too chicken to risk a fine, walked most of Sunday in Palermo, which I do not regret considering all the Sweets I ate.

I am certain we will go back to Sicily some day, when we will go to other cities like Catania  and Taormina, a  stop over at Palermo will be inevitable for all the original goodies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E.A.S.T for Culinary Travel – #FoodComa


South East Asian Cuisine for a lot of us growing up was simply Chindian – Manchurian, Fried Rice and Hakka Noodles. That, till our palates evolved and we realized that theres a world beyond Chindian. For a seasoned palate, and a lover of South East Asian food E A S T at Sahara Star is definitely a must on your list.

True to it’s name – East Asian Spice Trail at Sahara Star Mumbai serves up an array of flavors from this region. Your introduction to it starts right from the plate. The edges of the plate have the countries of South East Asia, whose cuisine the chef whips up. You know when a restaurant has given so much thought to their plate, the attention to details with the food would be impeccable.

 

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Japanese Sushi 

My most favorite item from the meal was the Avocado Sushi. I loved it, especially because the flavour of the avocado with the Cheese was perfect. The best part was that the rice wasn’t as heavy as it tends to be in most sushi, but while the texture was still a bit chewy, and sticky, it had the right amount of lightness to it. The best part about that? You can down several pieces of it, while still having place for the rest of the yummy food on the menu.

 

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Vietnamese Rolls

Not only were the Vietnamese Rolls gorgeous, they were also one of the healthiest starters I have eaten. Instead of oily spring rolls the Vietnamese rolls  are a much better option. The rice paper rolls, light vermicelli noodles and vegetables, were a different take for my palate. Frankly one I prefer over a greasy spring roll!

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Wholesome Thai

Raw Papaya Pad Thai

While I have often seen the Raw Papaya Salad, and Pad Thai noodles as different items on menus, this was the first time I had tasted the Raw Papaya Pad Thai. Needless to say the twist is friendly to the palate.

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Thai Green Curry

Thai Green Curry, tops my list of comfort foods. There’s something about that mix of lemon grass, coconut milk and all those delectable spices that makes it a happy food for me. I have eaten some thick, not so great curries in my time, but at E A S T I must say, that the Curry is extremely comforting and delicious. Not a fan of the ridiculously thick curries one tends to have more often than not. This was the perfect consistency to wolf down with Sticky Rice.

 

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Dessert Trail 

My Favorite Dessert of the evening was the Coconut Pandaan Jelly. It is impossible to be satiated with just one. Served with toothpicks, you should ideally pop the whole piece into your mouth. The best part of the jelly is the amalgamation of the two flavors that complement each other perfectly. This is again such a light item that it is impossible to keep count of how many you may have wiped off.

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The menu also has some western desserts, because we love our Chocolate Mousse, and Tarts, but the clear winner and what I would go back for is easily the Coconut Pandaan Jelly

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Eating Out is a delightful experience, and when the eating experience transports me to different places it only adds to it, and makes it even more special. My meal at EAST felt like a culinary holiday with samples of different cuisines of South East Asia. Being Vegetarian I am happy to discover variety in food at restaurants, as I truly believe that very few  speciality restaurants do justice to it and EAST got my vote.

I would love to hear what your experience was at EAST, and if I have missed out some item on the list,  do ping me. I should get ready for my second inning at the restaurant soon.

 

 

Finding #Coffee in #CuttingChai City


My quest for good Coffee, in this Tea drinking city, has seen me go through several cups. More bad ones than good. I realized that there was very little of the good brew out there. Those who are addicted to Coffee, will know how disturbing a mediocre or bad cup of coffee can be, and also know the sheer bliss of the perfect Cup.

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While a lot of factors contribute to that perfect cup, ranging from the quality of beans, freshness of milk, mood of the barista and so many other variables like these. What really matters to me is how good the beans are, when they were roasted and definitely no “Low Fat” Milk. Once you have tasted coffee made from freshly ground beans, it is difficult to make peace with an instant mediocre brew.

I have put together a list of the Best 4 from my experiments with Cafes and here they are…

Zen Café

The Coffee at the Zen Cafe in Lower Parel, is as smooth as silk. There’s something about the way their coffee is made that makes you always want to have the second cup and on several occasions I have. I tried to find out from where they source their coffee, because there is a distinct lightness, yet thickness of coffee and lack of acidity in it.

Their beans are a combination of Origin X — a carefully profiled small batch roast of award-winning high altitude organic coffee from the Balmaadi Estate, perched within the O-valley region of the Nilgiris and Espresso X—a unique blend of Balmaadi arabica and the world’s first Q-graded Fine Robusta from Sethuraman Estate, Chikmagalur

Zen Cafe

Their baristas are experts, and whip up a mean cortado, cappucino or even an affogato. Their coffee art surprisingly stays intact for a while as you sip the cappucino that’s covered with a velvety microfoam. It surely gets my vote for one of the best cups in the city. It’s a basic coffee menu, no frills but damn good coffee.

Suzette

A meal at Suzette is unlikely to ever be a disappointment, thankfully for me the same is true of their coffee as well. They use a super premium 100% arabica coffee blend with a medium dark roast only assembled and roasted for them. If you like a cappucino then the richness of taste comes from the best milk in the market Pride of Cows. It is my first choice for a meal out in Bandra when I want to end it with coffee.

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BAD Café

The BAD Cafe that opened earlier this year, opened with the claim of serving the best coffee in town, and they have pretty much lived up to this claim. They source their beans from down south for robust flavors. What makes their brew truly special is that
their coffee is brewed from beans which come from the first point of coffee farm, that are handpicked and aged with care.
They have an exhaustive coffee menu, and perhaps the most robust one in Mumbai. I like their cappucino the best. I have tried a few of their coffees and they have something that will reach out to the passing coffee drinker as well as the aficionado
Bad Cafe
BAD innovates with fit and complimenting flavors, which go beyond enhancing the taste and feel of the brew! In fact they have also started retailing their coffee. You can get them in two variations. Yin and Yang**

 

Matunga – Filter Coffee

Just the way one is unlikely to drink Bad Filter Coffee in Madras, the same holds true in Matunga as well. I know I can blindly order it and not be dissapointed. The strength of the decoction may oscillate a bit but more often than not you will treat yourself to a damn good davra of coffee. I’ve had coffee at Arya Bhavan and  Madras Cafe and both have been damn good. Familiar comfort of Filter Coffee and all the happiness that comes with it.

Filter Coffee

 

Apart from the ones I have listed above, the coffee at Le 15 Colaba (They use Blue Tokai) and the Pantry is also pretty good and definitely worth a try. All these cafes surely know the importance of sourcing the right beans, with attention to the quality of the roast, the freshness of the roast and of course the quality of the milk they use if they are whipping up a cappucino or any coffee with milk.

Since I moved to Mumbai from the intensive Coffee Drinking City Chennai, I realized that much like the Sambaar, the coffee palate was also different here. Everytime I cribbed about the coffee, very few people got it. I prefer drinking my coffee at home, because there will be no disappointment, but I like to have a second cuppa outside once in a while.

If I have missed out any place that serves a good cup of Joe, do share that with me, I would love to discover it. While I am no coffee expert, I lack the patience for a bad one, and will make a trek for a good one, so hit me with your suggestions.

** About Yin and Yang

Yin: A rooted emotion, dark texture and cold effect strike a balance with the chaotic and expansive human body, making it calm and centered.
 
Yang: A creation that empowers and energizes you to achieve activity, execution and sustenance with the fire of creativity.