Diwali done Right – Five Essentials


Diwali is best spent at home, with family but all festivals are as special as we make them, therefore if Mumbai is not your hometown and you still want a flavor of a thamizh Diwali, I am going to tell you how you can do it in a super easy way. We have done it a few times over the last few years, when we have not travelled back to Chennai for the festival

 

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Buy Bakshanam

The best part of Diwali is easily all the yummy bakshanam, and the blatant license to eat it without guilt.  We also enjoy the marindhu – the spicy, magic every sin melting concoction. Frankly while we enjoy this we never seem to have the motivation or the time to make any of it.

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To the rescue is A.S. Rajashekar Caterers. You can find them at the Bhajana Samaj in Matunga. All Bakshanam is made fresh, and there is a disciplined system in place. You can taste, choose what you want pay and walk away with a lot of goodies. They have even marindhu that you can buy and you do not have to slave over it.

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Visit Giri Stores for essentials.

Not only will this store transport you back to Mylapore, you can also buy some really interesting festive items from there. Perfect for lamps, bells, temple jewellery and music CDs. I like visiting this place, to refresh the lamp stash during a festival and if you are calling people home they make for very interesting Tamboolam Bags too. It is the ideal place to buy Ready Made Kolams as well, if like me you do not have an artistic bone in your body.

lamps

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Flowers… Flowers and more Flowers

While this city loves it’s mogras, it feels more like a celebration if you have got some mallipoo into the equation. The flower market in Matunga is the place to go to buy garlands, jasmine flowers and even vethalai’s for the pooja.

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flower market

Saree Shopping

What is a festival without some saree indulgences. Matunga is a decent place for a quick fix Silk saree. Mahalakshmi Stores is an old school saree store where you can sit down on a white mattress and he will show you as many sarees as you would like to see. The saree you see below is one I bought from there about two – three years ago. Of course there is Nalli too, which is the golden standard in silk sarees.

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Invite Friends Home

Now that you did all the above, it is best to call friends over to celebrate the festival. My go to Book for every festival is this book by Vimala Ramanan. It has all the details on the festival, why it is celebrated and most importantly what to make and how. Every time we bring this book out, it only spells happiness because it means that some yummy fare is being made at home.

 

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Diwali is one of our favorite festivals, as it transforms cities, there is light, there is joy, there is happiness and some great food doing the rounds every year. Since we love far away and have fairly hectic jobs our main aim is to have the frills of celebration with minimal effort.

 

 

My List of Top fun things to do in Prague


 

While I did my homework on what to do in Prague, I came across the quote that “Prague is the Paris of the 90’s . It got me curious, considering it does have a mini version of the Eiffel Tower too, I delved a bit deeper. Really the comparison was to the Paris of the 1920s that was bursting with artists, inspiration, writers and much art and beauty. Well, they got that right.

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Prague has a very obvious fairy tale, old world quality about it. It has something for every kind of traveler too. I have listed the top things to do in Prague that I would recommend that you do not leave without doing.

1. Charles bridge in the morning 

You will inevitably walk on a crowded Charles Bridge several times to get to one place or another if you are in Mala Strana or old town. I however, strongly recommend a visit in the morning. The bridge is empty, you have it to yourself or are sharing it with fitness and photography enthusiasts, and there are very few so it’s a total win for you there. There is no other time that you will not be jostled on the steps I am posing on.

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2. John Lennon wall

It stands as a symbol of peace and love, but the history behind it is interesting. It began with a tribute to the singer post his death, and the young people of the city covered it with more graffiti and messages, as the czech regime at the time had banned lot of pop music and entertainment. The wall that is owned by the Knights of Malta was whitewashed several times, but was always found repainted with graffiti and Lennon tributes, that they gave up.

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This is a visually striking wall, and makes for superb instagram pictures, which in today’s times translates to a lot of crowd. I cannot reiterate this enough – but go early to beat the crowds 🙂

3. Kafka in Prague

Whether you have read Kafka or not, you may have used the term “kafkaesque” to simply denote something dark, illogical, nightmarish or uncomfortable imagery. A visit to the museum is recommended simply because you understand the struggles of a man with a tough childhood, who was perhaps unlucky in love, bogged down by the tussle of going to work and simply wanting to pursue his passion.

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The museum tour is a self guided one, but easily one of the most engaging, interesting museums I have ever been to. They played with light,  the placement, An Audio Visual element, narrow paths – the works. It took you into his world, and his mind. Whether you read Kafka or not this is a museum visit that will remain with you.

 

4. Prague’s own Eiffel…oops Petrin Tower 

Built as a look out tower and a transmission tower, Petrin looks very similar to the Eiffel Tower. 299 steps will take you to the top and the height it is said is similar to that of the Eiffel Tower In Paris.

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You can take the Funicular up to Petrin Hill. Find a good spot, you can see all of Prague as you go up to the foot. You land in a garden, which is landscaped beautifully. You can climb the observation tower. There are two decks. I climbed up to just one, because the height did me in. However, if you are one, who is not afraid of heights, you can climb on. And if you did, do share pictures with me. 🙂

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5. The World’s most Beautiful Library

I would recommend planning a visit to the Strahov Monsatery along with Petrin tower. A short scenis walk will take you to the monastery. There are a couple of cafes where you can sit back and enjoy a meal in the outdoors or simply have a drink while you soak a different angle of Prague.

strahov library

Why you must visit? To see two of the world’s most beautiful libraries. That is not an exaggeration, but the Strahov Monastery library has made it to a few lists. Unfortunately you cannot enter the halls, but you can see both the majestic libraries. Artistic frescoes, and 1000’s of manuscripts that go back to the 12th Century.

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6. World war 2 tour

Like Most of Europe, even Prague has a World War history. It was taken over by the Nazis, with the government having fled to France and Britain. There are a few tours that take you through the history of the capture, the cruelty of the Nazi regime and the underground movement.

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It is a 2 hour walking tour and takes you to through the streets of old Prague and even the Underground cellars, under the astronomical clock that served as a hospital during the war, and a hideout for the rebels.

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Whether you are a history buff or not, this is a very informative tour and you surely come out knowing  a little bit more than you did earlier.

 

7. Sculptures around the City 

In addition to being a beautiful city, Prague has sculptures that are world famous. They are memorable and disturbing.

In the old town, only difficult to miss because there is always a crowd looking up is a statue of the hanging man, Freud debating whether to hold on to the rod or let go. This is designed by David Cerny and a representation of the psychoanalysts constant struggles

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The Kafka monument, is a representation of a Mini Kafka on the shoulders of a headless suit. This is located in the Jewish Quarter where he spent most of his life.

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The memorial to the victims of communism is a representation of the seven stages of living in a totalitarian state. It really represents the degeneration of man in the society and is a sad sight, especially because it hits the reality of how the generation truly believed that their life was going to change for the better and that promise simply degenerated.

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We could’nt make it to see Cerny’s Babies on the Zizkov Tower, but caught three of them guarding the Kampa museum. We saw a Manolo Blahnik exhibition there, you may want to check what is up while you are there.

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8. Views For Days 

Prague has many parks, and open spaces where you can make your own little picnic. Walking is most fun, a lot of these places are a climb up but totally worth it for the view.

Letna Park has a beer garden, and if you time it right, you can get a lovely table at the edge and have a view of the city.

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Vyserhad is a lovely park as well, it has a church but more importantly it has a huge park and various spots where you can set up a picnic, play with your dog or simply drink in the view.

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The Prague Castle is also something that you are most likely to do whilst you are there. My favorite part about it was the View, which you see below. The castle has a lot to offer, especially the St.Vitus cathedral which is synonymous with the skyline. I also enjoyed a military exhibit they had, since over the years it also served as a base especially during the war.

prague castle

I have only covered my favorite things to do in Prague, the city of course is a culinary delight and has a plethora of options for every kind of traveler. Since, it has a rich history even in the post modern era it really is a delightful combination of modern and classic. One can choose the kind of experience they want. I firmly believe after each travel you take a bit of the city back with you for eternity and we have surely taken a large part of Prague back with us.

I would love to hear what you liked about the city, so we can compare notes. 🙂

Finding #Coffee in #CuttingChai City


It’s #InternationalCoffeeDay and I simply had to revisit this. This list hasn’t changed much, except I would add koinonia to it. That’s all!

SWATHI RISHI

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…

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How to Eat Out & Still Fit in!


If your life revolves around the next meal as mine does, or if you are planning your next meal as you are finishing your present, then you may just understand the struggle of fitting in to clothes. Some are blessed with a metabolism and skinny genes, and I realized very early on that I am not one of those. My mantra was Eat…Burn…Repeat and still continues to be.

 

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Having said that, just burning is not enough. We have to watch what we eat. But what does one do, when social life revolves around eating out, treating oneself with food is easier than a shopping binge or a holiday so a meal out or dessert is often a pat on the back too. While I have been trying to lose 5 kgs for the last 8 years now, and I haven’t lost it, but my goal has not changed, which essentially means that I have not changed sizes drastically. I have also made peace with my body now. There are a few pointers I practice and I would like to share them with you, about how I try to balance eating out and still being healthy.

Tip 1 : Easy On Oil / Butter / Sauces and Cream.

Any restaurant that is making food fresh, will be happy to accommodate this request. No matter how fancy or regular it is. I have realised that a lot of restaurants tend to go overboard with the oil and butter, since it cooks food faster and comes across as tastier. I prefer to control the amount of ghee or oil so I always ask for it on the side. You don’t have to deprive, just control

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Tip 2  : WorkOut in anticipation of a Big Meal

When I am indulging in a BIG meal, I always plan activity as well. Either before to earn it, or after to redeem it. I realise it is Math, we are biting into a lot more than our body needs from our sedentary existence. In my head this is a fair trade.

Sometimes, you may not be able to make time for a workout, but it does not matter if you miss it by a day, the important point to keep in mind is that one must go back.

 

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Tip 3: Share Dessert

Desserts are Sinful, and the tastiest ones are sheer indulgence and possibly have nothing that is nutritious, as much as we convince ourselves. There are healthier options, but the unhealthy ones are the ones we crave, the healthy ones are those we make peace with. At least, that’s what I do. It is an indulgence and best shared,. Dessert portions are fairly large and sharing them just reduces the guilt of wasting, and the burden of pants that don’t button up!

 

 

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Tip 4: Meals with Friends.

I love romantic dinners for the ambience and the bonding, but I always have one regret. The variety of food that you can taste is very little. Added to this, since my husband is Non Vegetarian and I am vegetarian, when we go out we seldom share. The greedy in me loves the idea of many dishes… I love tasting a lot of food when I am going out, therefore I am always in favour of large groups going out to eat. You also do not end up eating as much and you can try a lot of food. You have the choice of portion control paired with tasting more food.

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Tip 5: Plan One Big Meal

My bohemian fantasies are made up of every meal being a feast, a slothful existence in which I am skinny.  But that, is a fantasy that has no scope of being a reality anytime in future. Three mad meals in a day may be difficult for the body to take, so balance it out. If Breakfast put cheat day to shame, then Lunch and Dinner can be a bit kinder on the stomach and conservative with calories. I also try to ensure that I am not completely skewed to one food group. I would avoid 3 carb heavy meals in a day and mix it up with a meal that is protein heavy.

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These are some things I follow, I would love to hear what you do to balance eating out and stay healthy. If any of my tips helped you I would love to hear about that too. Let’s keep the conversation going .

 

 

Lip Smacking Prague…Here’s what to eat!


Prague is a beautiful city, It has a magical, fairy tale like quality to it. It really comes from the identical  sloping red roofs, powder towers and the spires. It is really easy to get lost in its beauty, when you don’t see that many tourists around, but let’s accept it every princess has to eat. Finding local food to eat is definitely high on my list of things to do on a holiday and being vegetarian I need to do my home work a little bit more thoroughly.

 

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Here is my list of favorite lip smacking Prague food.

Kulajda

Kulajda (Pronounced ku-ly-da) is potato soup. This however is unlike any potato soup that I have eaten. It is thick, but not as thick as pureed potato that passes off as soup. A generous dose of dill, mushroom and a poached egg on the top. There is something easy about the soup, without the overwhelming starchiness of most potato dishes. I had this whenever I could get the opportunity, since I was certain that I wasn’t going to find this on menus anywhere. The best ones I had were at TriSoleti and Guston

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Palacinky

Palacinky is a czech speciality and to keep it simple, is essentially a crepe. I had my favorite one at the Lokal Inn. Lokal is one of Prague’s best restaurants for authentic czech food. I had one with Curd cheese baked with eggs and I would definitely add it to my list of favorite foods. You do get crepes in several places with different kinds of fillings, this one at lokal was surely my favorite.

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Cafe Savoy

Cafe Savoy is listed on every Prague food list and it is easy to understand why. I would recommend reservations here. We had to go back the the next day, since they were full and had about 90 mins waiting. Firstly the grandeur of the coffee shop has a wonderful old world charm about it. You really feel like you are part of something historical and luxurious. However, the food matches up to the hype. We enjoyed an utterly delectable Half boiled egg in a cup, with generous shavings of parmesan. This really evoked childhood memories for me. Half boiled eggs were a ritual and I loved the drama of the half boiled egg cup, it was more fun than eating an omelette.

 

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Cafe Savoy is also very famous for its desserts. Their section is drool worthy, but alas the stomach can only stomach that much. Thankfully they do mini portions. We tried the Karamelovy veternik another czech dessert. It has a hard pastry like shell with a creamy caramel filling in the centre. I hope you have the opportunity to try more. Do tell me what you liked, so that I can take notes for next time.

caramel vetrinik cafe savoy

 

Guston Burger

This was one place where we saw no tourists. Just the kind of place that locals would visit. It is Zizkov which is the modern part of the city. This place is famous for it’s burgers. As a vegetarian I find burgers very unappetizing, but this was really wholesome. It had a chunk of roasted tofu, aubergine, lettuce, tomatoes. The super interesting part is that they also do a “lettuce” version of the burger. The burger is massive, and honestly I could not finish it. The waiter did tell me later that a lot of “girls” like the lettuce version and I should have gone for that. I must really prove my carb love to him another time.

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Ice Cream

 

No one ever looked sad eating ice cream, but the struggle to eat something so exquisite is real. Amorino in Mala Strana in Prague churns out Gelato Flowers. At the end of  an exhausting walk around old town Amorino is the perfect place to treat at least two of your senses. You can choose as many flavours as you want, and they make your own personalized flower. You just have to choose the size

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Fresh Fruit

You will always find me where the berries are. Fresh fruit is found in abundance and I love to snack on fresh produces. So do yourself a favour, find em berries and I find them great as a snack or even to quench your thirst or battle that tiredness because of the walking. We found several fresh fruit stalls across the city

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Tredlnik

What will fire your curiosity is the cylindrical, bread like item that everyone is eating around the tourist part of the city. Some eat it plain, and with ice cream or whipped cream. Honestly, since we went to Budapest after, I ate the better tasting Tredlnik there. However, if you are planning to eat it then have the one at Good Food Bakery. It does have the comfort of sweet, carb loaded bread.

 

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This is just some of the yummy food I ate there. Do share with me what you ate when you went there, or if my blog helped you. I do hope you enjoyed reading this.

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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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

Kensington

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.

Trafalgar

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.

 

thames tour

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.

An American in Paris

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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Nottin g Hill 1

 

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

 

Whiitard of Chelsea

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

Admiral Dubcan

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

Fuckofee

 

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.

Sunny Day

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.