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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fields

 

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burford village

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.

Village home

 

Swinbrook lake

Swan Inn and Lunch

Swan Inn

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

I spy with my London Eye – London Things To Do


I love visiting cities on holiday, but I am constantly torn between ticking off touristy things off my list and simply observing way of life or doing things that people in that city do when they take time off. Three days in London, and I had to sample a little bit of different experiences because only that much immersion is possible in 3 .

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Being A Tourist

I feel all major cities have a similar vibe – people rushing to work, lots of buzz but when a city has hundreds of years of history like London does, it pretty much screams at you from every corner. The architecture, the people, the memories of books that you have read, movies that you have seen that come rushing to you at almost every corner bear a sense of familiarity and comfort.

Our trip was organized by Mercury Travels, and right from the time we landed to the time we left parts of our trip were planned to our convenience. Firstly the location where we were staying was perfect. We stayed at the Best Western Plus in Kensington Place, which is a great location to explore London. the 24 hour bus No 10 I think passes  right outside the hotel so you can always get back as late as you would like. A comfortable walking distance to the Kensington Gardens and Royal Albert Hall, we were thrilled with the location and the hotel.

 

Royal Albert Hall

Royal Albert Hall

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Be a Tourist

Hop on and Hop Off

I did my first ever Hop and Hop off tour, and I must say that it was a lot of fun, especially because the guides have a penchant for typical English humour which I find extremely entertaining. It is also a great way to see the city and the convenience of being able to, as the name suggests hop on and hop off is welcome.

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Trafalgar Square

 

Queens Theatre

Dunamis London

Dunamis – By  ArtistBushra Fakhoury

Prince Albert

St James Park

The River Thames Cruise

We decided to do the River Thames Cruise, but even though it was spring in typical London style the skies were grey and it was cold. While the London Eye is also really exciting, we decided to give it a miss as we had very little time. The cruise is enjoyable, but you must be prepared for the rains or the cold, but however sit back and enjoy the ride. The guide on this tour also was extremely witty and had interesting anecdotes to share about the royal family.

 

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The London Eye

 

London Bridge

The London Bridge

St. Pauls Cathedral

An iconic building in London, and the second largest church in UK, prompted us to add it on our list. The clincher for us was the climb up to the whispering gallery. I cannot put my finger on it, but there is something really adventurous about climbing up towers and churches from paths that people did from hundreds of years ago. I always think to myself how inconvenient the passage would have been for someone who was overweight. They do not allow pictures inside and you can’t really climb up to the dome with views of the city, so do not go expecting that. The baroque architecture however is incentive enough to climb up and worth spending time at.

 

St Pauls Cathedral

St.Pauls Cathedral behind me – See the dome?

Catch a Show at West End

We watched an American in Paris at the Dominion Theatre  – a broadway musical it was an extravagant production. While it had all the classic charm, it had a superb modern vibe to it as well. A Tony award winner, it left us mesmerised. The poster however was reminiscent of La La Land.

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Hang Out at Notting Hill

Let’s just call this the perfect neighborhood. Candy Doors, Manicured Gardens, Immaculate creepers framing doors and houses. I found that the neighborhood had a unique combination of contemporary designs and old world charm. Of course I can only imagine how painful it must be for residents who have pictures of their homes taken constantly. Well, I was guilty of that too! Lots of shopping, a flea market – my personal favorite was definitely the very Lewis Carollish Biscuit Shop called Biscuiteers. They also serve Hot chocolate and coffee while their specialty is essentially icing workshops and very exclusive icing on biscuits.

 

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Biscuiteers

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Some Non Touristy Things to Do

Drink Tea, Have a Pint, Sip on Gin and Find some Hipster Coffee Like Locals do.

While Tea is a tradition, and very honestly I completely get the English obsession with tea. In the weather it is magically refreshing and it is a delight to make a ritual of it.

Whittard of Chelsea – we discovered this place in Covent Garden, and I had a chilli tea, which was really different from anything that I had before. They serve over 100 types of tea and some sinful cakes to go with it. I ordered the carrot cake and was very very satisfied

 

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Chill at a Pub

London has many Pubs, and when it rains its the perfect place to take shelter and even when it doesn’t it’s a cool place to people watch. Interestingly many pubs don’t even bother with serving food, so be very clear about your eating plans, if like me meals are critical for you. The pubs worked perfectly as the country is obsessed with ale and gin, essentially something for him and her respectively.

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George prwell Dog and Duck

London Pub

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Coffee…

No trip of mine is complete without sampling coffee, I make a decent effort to read up on the good ones. While my attempts were rubbished since UK is essentially a tea drinking nation, if there are lines for coffee before the coffee shop opens then definitely its caught on. I managed to sample a few places and lets just say I was not dissapointed. I visited “FucKoffee” and Kaffeine. I had a lot more on my list but they were shut on May 1st

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Picnic in a Park.

I had been keen on eating at Ottolenghi’s restaurant, but the restaurant was packed and when on holiday you do not have the luxury of a long wait so we made a picnic of it. They had really nice tables where we sat down for a meal, at some point it started to drizzle as well. This impromptu picnic was one of our best meals. Ottolenghi’s food is the kind you cannot stop thinking of, and the sheer simplicity of sitting at a park is an experience to cherish.

Notting Hill Picnic

 

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Unwind at Covent Garden.

Covent Garden really seemed like the place where almost all of London came to bring the weekend in, and its a great place for you to do the same as well. Again a lot of choices, many things to do and just hang out.

 

Covent Garden

 

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Walk A Lot

The best way to discover a city is to walk as much as you can, the city is busy and it’s not that easy a walk but it is definitely the most enchanting way to drink in the city. It’s a good idea because if you tire there is always a pub to chill in.

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Oxford street

An Empty Oxford street

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Just London

I am going to end my blog with a few things to keep in mind when you travel to London, which honestly I wish I knew before I went.

  1. The Oyster Card is super convenient and allows you to use the Tube and the Bus, so my advice would be to take it
  2. Shopping closes early during the weekend, 5pm is when they shut.
  3. Also check if its a national holiday when you are there, we were there on May 1st and a lot of  pubs and coffee shops that we wanted to visit were shut for the day
  4. Uber is easy to use, and you get some really cool data deals from India so it is a very viable option, though we never got around to using it.
  5. Stay on the right side of the escalator when shopping or at the metro station, you send a clear signal that you are not a local if you don’t
  6. You must book in advance if you want to eat at a good Michelin Star restaurant (No Shit Sherlock) also since I am vegetarian we really had a limited choice since several menus are pre-set.

 

I would love to hear what you thought of this, do hit me with feedback and also suggestions on what to do when I am there next.

 

 

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

 

Hipster Wordsworth

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

House On the Bridge

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.

Linthwhaite House

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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

 

 

Strawberry Picking in Mahableshwar


Strawberries! I never met a person who said that they did not like strawberries. I look forward to the season every year and through the season we always have strawberries at home. This year we decided to make the 5 hour trek to Mahableshwar to OD on strawberries and bring back some.

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The drive to Mahableshwar is about 5 hours from Mumbai, and it is Strawberry Heaven for sure. The way they sell bananas and chai in every nook and corner in the city, in Mahableshwar you can find strawberries. There are several strawberry farms as well, where you can go and buy them by the kilo.

We did some scouting and discovered “Laxmi Strawberry Farm” . This farm that is owned by the Bhilare Family, lets you pick strawberries and even other vegetables and you can buy what you pick. That seemed like a really fun thing to do. You can call them https://www.facebook.com/mahabaleshwarStrawberry  and check when they will be available. We found them on google maps and landed up there.

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The farm had strawberries which were surprisingly easy to pluck. They are nestled in, but the red luscious beauties are easy to spot and plucking them almost zero effort, but supremely satisfying to see a basket full of them.

They also had cabbage, tomatoes and green chillies, which we picked and brought back. Advocating Farm to Plate

Cabbage Farm

The family lives there, they have a few farms in the city, we went to the one near Marathi Medium School. The farm may seem underwhelming, it is quite a small patch of land, but between the two of us , we did not even comb one row and we still had two kilos of strawberries.

Farm Village India

Strawberry Mahableshwar

This was defenitely more fun, than buying a kilo off the street or a shop. You literally enjoy the fruits of your labour. I would defenitely recommend this as a thing to do in Mahableshwar. It sure is an experience and a memory that will stay with us for a while. And as always, I cannot help but think of the Nancy Sinatra duet, when I think of strawberries, because it rings so true.

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Strawberries, cherries and an angel’s kiss in spring
My summer wine is really made from all these things
I walked in town on silver spurs that jingled to
A song that I had only sang to just a few
She saw my silver spurs and said let’s pass some time
And I will give to you summer wine
Oh, oh summer wine

Siolim House in Goa – vintage and history


Finding a place to stay in Goa is a long deliberate struggle. The husband thinks, I give it too much attention, but I am glad I do. On our last visit to goa we discovered “Siolim House” . It is easy to make me swoon if you use words like vintage, historical , back in time – I am quite the sucker for old world charm and the descriptions of Siolim House had me intrigued.

 

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Casa Palacio Siolim House is 350 years old. An old manor house, it retains all its vintage charm. The team at the home is warm and inviting. We reached at 7.30 am which is quite early by Goa standards, but there were people who welcomed us, and our room was ready. We were also served some excellent coffee. You are greeted with the most charming , happy sign at the entrance.

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The Charming Message At The Entrance 

 

You walk -in to a lovely area to relax followed by the common verandah. Honestly if you ask me, it is difficult to decide where you want to while your morning away. We chose the outdoors, if you are curious 🙂

 

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The Sitting Room 

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Verandah 

The Swimming  Pool is inviting and casual. It is not too deep, but serves the purpose of wallowing in the sun, or working up an appetitie for wholesome goan fare. They conduct a morning Yoga class at 7.30 am by the pool. Honestly, that Yoga Class may just spoil your hipster Yoga Class in the City.

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The Swimming Pool 

 

The Rooms are spacious and our window looked out into the well  near the common courtyard and had a charming sit out as well. But the piece de  resistance was “the throne” , which you will see a picture of as you scroll. I normally refrain from sharing pictures of the pot, but this one just screams share! Honestly the bathroom was the size of both our bedrooms in our Bandra Home. The rooms as you can see are very spacious. Gorgeous wooden furniture, and

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Sit Out Outside Our Room 

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The Bedroom 

 

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View From Our Room 

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The Throne 

Around the Property 

The Property has around 7 rooms, and has a certain intimacy to it. There are some charming spots that you can walk around in and simply enjoy your book or a cup of tea. They have a TV room, that houses some enchanting Coffee Table Books, and games so that you can choose to sit in and do nothing at the property that requires effort or planning.

 

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Around The Property

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A Bench To Relax 

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Steps Leading Up to the TV Room 

The Steps you see above lead up to the TV room and Suites. The most interesting feature that we noticed was that there was a door that would become a floor as you climb up. And Prayshwi the really helpful receptionist told us that there were holes in the door, which would help people see who is at the door and in case they had to shoot attackers in the days of yore they would.

We spent only two days there, but as a location it is ideal. It is a stone’s throw away from Siolim Church. A 15 -20 minute drive will take you to Vagator or Anjuna and Ashwem is about half an hour away . That is super ideal in my book. As a policy you pay for your stay in advance, as we made a last minute booking, very honestly I did not read the fine print on that.

This ranks high in my preference of places to stay in Goa.  We missed having any meals at Siolim House, because Goa has so many choices when it comes to eating out and favorites, but that is defintely something I would love to go back for  and stay for a longer time.

 

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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Udaipur – 5 things that will make you fall in love with it


 

Udaipur is a city, where you see the influence of the Royal Family everywhere you go, with the symbol of the Mewars across the city, an underlying reference to the royals and of course the palaces that stand tall. An ideal destination from Mumbai, it takes about an hour to fly there and 45 minutes to reach the city. So when you have a weekend getaway planned, you will be able to make the most of it.Here is my list of things that could make a weekend getaway truly memorable in the City of Lakes as it is popularly called.

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  1. Visit the City Palace.

The City Palace is Majestic. Built over 400 years, the Complex houses 11  palaces. It should take you about 2- 3 hours to complete the tour. The complex is extremely well maintained and you can hire a guide a la Raju from Guide. In fact we spotted a flashy guide in red pants and a printed shirt speaking in fluent Italian to tourists.He was surely inspired by Dev Anand.

 

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The City Palace

 

Even if you are not a fanatic follower of Mewar history, just seeing the palace, display of wealth and the panoramic views will leave you wanting more. There is also the crystal gallery which we gave a miss but is said to be world’s single largest private collection of crystal under one roof.

 

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2. Walk the streets of the Old Town.

We were staying at the Leela, which is very close to the Old Town. The Old Town is a delight to walk through. Really interesting graffiti, art and shopping beckon you at every turn. I thoroughly enjoyed the art, graffiti and the intricate detailed art on the doors.

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Much to our amusement several restaurants screened Octopussy every night. I’m surprised they left out Guide because Udaipur plays a fairly significant part in the movie.

 

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3. Meals with a view.

We ate Rajasthani food in two places which were poles apart but had the most mesmerizing views in their own ways.

Millets of Mewar

One would describe this as a health food restaurant. Friendly, to vegans, those on a gluten free diet and those happy to experiment with Indian twists to fare. My favorite were the Nutella Pancakes, I truly wished I had more meals there, to be able to have them again.

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View from Millets of Mewar

 

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Banana and Nutella Millet Pancake

 

 

 

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Mushroom and Mozarella Millet Pizza

 

 

Sheesh Mahal

The Sheesh Mahal at the Leela Palace in Udaipur, has one of the best views of the Lake Palace on the Pichola.. The name of the restaurant is Sheesh Mahal, because on a good day you dine to the glistening reflection of the Palace on the lake.

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Reflections

This was the restaurant where we indulged in thoroughly traditional Rajasthani Fare – Gatte Ki Sabji, Papad ki Sabji and of course Laal Maas along with Millet Rotis. We understood why dining at this restaurant tops the list of things to do in Udaipur. Impeccable Service, Unmatched Views and meals that you will remember for a lifetime

 

4. Chittorgarh Fort

This is a Morning  – Evening Trip. I wanted to do this primarily for Rani Padmini, Meera Bai and of course the movie Guide. The Song Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai was shont here, and if you are to see the song again, you will recognize some of the places. And as a child, all I probably wanted was to wear a saree and look like Rosie when I did.

 

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Kumbha Palace

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Kumbha Palace

 

It is a two hour drive, and about two hours is what you would spend there. It’s better to have your own car at the fort. It  may be pretty much impossible to cover this on foot and you would be more comfortable in your own vehicle. The Kumbha Palace, The Meera Temple and Rani Padmini;s palace were the main places I wanted to see and managed to tick them all of.

 

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Meera Temple – Made for her to worship Lord Krishna

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Legend has it, this is where Rani Padmini jumped off to save her “honour” – Padmini Palace

It’s simply surreal to walk down the path of figures, that you read about in History Text Books. It is a UNESCO heritage site, and fairly well maintained. Watch out for the Langoors who hang around the fort.

 

5. Stay on the Pichola Lake.

There are several hotels on Lake Pichola, and most of them super exclusive. Udaipur is so much about the luxury, that I would recommend that you choose where you stay with care. Staying in one of them can truly take your experience a few notches.

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There is the Taj Lake Palace, Udai Vilas, Jag Mandir, Fateh Sagar, and of course the Leela. We stayed at the Leela and woke up to glorious skies everyday and that undeniably adds to the Magic of the Udaipur Holiday.

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View from our Room

 

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The Leela Palace

 

 

While Jag Mandir and Lake Palace are on the Lake, the rest of the hotels, while having an access by road, are best visited on a ferry and a romantic ride on Lake Pichola

 

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Udai Vilas

 

 

Udaipur is a city which you would in all probability promise yourself you will come back to. I sure did. I would love to know if there’s something that I missed out and I must try so that I love Udaipur more.