For the love of Health- Sante Spa Cuisine, Hyderabad

So, while it has been a while since I last posted here, I am extremely excited to share with you, all about a fun yet unconventional dining experience (it’s an all day eat-out) in the heart of Hyderabad, i.e. Sante Spa Cuisine in Banjara Hills. Before you get thinking that there is a spa twist to this as well, hold on as there isn’t but the food here promises to be made with the choicest of healthy ingredients without compromising on the taste factor. And for someone like me who is quite conscious of my food intake but has been travelling quite a bit in the recent teams, a healthy eat-out is absolutely a great idea!!!

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Getting Started- They have an elaborate menu on offer and just because their offerings are healthy does not mean that they have a limited menu! You in fact, would land up spending some good amount of time mulling over what really to order. In the starters, the Thai Spiced Fish Cakes totally won our hearts!!!

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WOW Factor- Well, for a pizza lover, pizza on the order is a must! And believe it or not but most of their pizzas have a Ragi Base! And as you can see our pizza was very colourful and trust me, very tasteful as well!

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Sweet Endings- You have to really love a dessert to ask for a repeat, right? Their Valrhona Chocolate Pie with an oat flour base was absolutely divine!

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Lastly, its not a compact but a rather well spread out outlet with a good vibe to it!!! And we were told the Activated Charcoal Lemonade is a must order as well. You can even buy their homemade healthy cookies…The owner was extremely welcoming and we truly believe much hard work is going in to deliver a very international yet healthy experience! Having said all this, as I have visited here- I am happy that I have been able to get another tick on my- MUST VISIT PLACES IN HYDERABAD list 🙂

Best,
Sonali

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The Oasis Spa for an experience like no other!!!

Okay then, some of the finest things take time… Hence, this review is coming now- well, I was in Bangkok in February like many of you already know and a ritual of sorts for me is to pamper myself at the top quality and extremely rejuvenating spot- The Oasis Spa.

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Once you enter its surreal setting, you’re sure to leave behind all your worries and stress and trust me on this, I always feel when I am here that I am no longer in a city but truly in heaven.

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It truly is an Oasis of everything pleasant and positive! The tranquility develops as you pass through the gate into an exotic world of beauty, serenity and pleasure. Here you are in company of a place of lush foliage, wooden bridges and walkways, waterfalls, reflective ponds and private treatment villas encompassed in the arms of ancient venerable trees.

The manner in which you are greeted as if they were only waiting for you (even though they keep quite busy), the welcome with fruits, towel and a drink that follows, then the entire process of ensuring you get the most appropriate and effective therapy taking into consideration several factors- everything is dealt with utmost care and professionalism.

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I am not new to this spa at all as have been visiting it for years but this time around I wanted a loved one to try it for she is getting married soon. And with the wedding preparations comes enough anxiety and stress, so I thought this would be the most ideal spa date and gift for her! And while I shall take you through our treatments, I must share upfront itself that my lovely was blown away by the services and the experience and towards the close of our trip, said without a doubt that the visit to The Oasis Spa was the highlight of the entire trip for her!

While she opted for the King of Oasis Signature Massage which is a two hours massage and ensures utmost level of release, relief and contentment using a unique combination of “East meets West” massage techniques. It employs kneading, thumb pressure, stretching and compression combined with a warm aromatherapy oil massage and a Thai Herbal Hot Compress. Tired muscles are soothed to allow stretching that removes energy barriers and re-open all the body’s energy pathways. Eventually you find relief from stiff muscles and muscular discomfort, and gift yourself improved sleep and reduced stress.

King of Oasis Spa Signature Massage

 

And I this time around went in for the Queen of Oasis Signature Massage which is also a two hours massage combining the best of Eastern and Western therapies to promote a woman’s health and sense of well-being. The ancient oriental massage integrated into this therapy concentrates on the Meridian Lines to detoxify, improve organ function and promote self-healing. The Swedish, Hot Stone and Aromatherapy massage further restores and enhances vitality. It realigns a woman’s life-energy, improves digestion and promotes inner harmony. And you know what? This treatment quite rightly has been compared to doing yoga without the effort while receiving acupressure treatments!

And let me make an honest confession here that the hot stone therapy is absolutely blissful. I also believe that a good spa experience always helps you get some relaxed sleep and guess what? We both woke up totally refreshed post our treatment, still wanting more.

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I always say this and shall say this again- when in Thailand, a visit to The Oasis Spa is a must!!! The Oasis Spa has over 10 branches in Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations of Bangkok, Chiangmai, Pattaya, and Phuket. This is a special year for the brand as it completes 15 years of excellence in 2018!

Happy Spa-ing you all!!!

xoxo,

Sonali

In Love with Tea all over again!

I would be lying if I’d say that I have not been a tea fan. In fact, I have always loved my tea and even more in times of rejoicing as well as during stress times to refresh myself! But my latest obsession without a doubt has been with the teas from Gardner Street which are rather aromatic and tasteful. And trust me I have never enjoyed having my tea as much as I do now. I am big time in love with tea all over again! And what is more is that these teas do come with considerable benefits as well.

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And then I got talking with their Brand Representative, so without any delay- here is all that they had to share…

Q: Tell us a little about each of your signature, luxury and wellness collections?
A: So, sharing some information on them-
Wellness- The blends have been created keeping in mind certain targeted problems that are faced by our consumers in their daily lives.
Luxury- Blends that are to be sipped on in leisure, while conversations with our loved ones flow into the night.
Signature- Our first line of teas which is focused on making one ingredient the hero while our whole leaf green tea and other accompanying ingredients compliment it.

Q: Tell us one rare benefit about these teas which is least known?
A: All our teas are whole leaf teas which means that they have a much higher concentration of EGCG and other antioxidants that provide all the benefits from weight loss to clearing the skin. Also, commercial variety paper teabags are composed of tea dust and fanning which is the lowest grade of tea available and is in the form of tiny tea particles. When tea is broken down into such tiny particles it loses all its nutritional benefits and often results in a brew that tastes stale and is more likely to turn bitter.

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Q: This one is for all those who love to host tea parties, what food goes best with your teas?
A: It actually depends on the tea-
1. Glow- Goes best with light foods like Salads, Sandwiches and unsweetened baked goods like Croissants
2. Moroccan Mint- Apple Pie, Poached Pear Tart, Fruit and Spice-based Desserts
3. Chinese Whispers- Asian food like Dim sums, Teppanyaki Rice and Vegetables, Udon noodles
4. Kashmiri Kahwa- Rich Indian foods like Biryani and Kebabs
5. Flower Power- Pancakes, Crepes, Light Salads and Desserts

Q: What are the key points to keep in mind while preparing your teas?
A: Your final cup of tea is a result of the following factors:
1. Quality of tea leaves used- Gardner Street teas are high quality whole leaf teas
2. Water temperature- For Green teas, make sure the water temperature is just under boiling temperature (85 degrees Celsius). To arrive at this, let the water come to a rolling boil, turn off the heat and then wait for 2 minutes till it cools down a little. Then pour the water over tea and not the other way around. For Black and Herbal teas (Moroccan Mint and South African Rooibos) – use boiling water
3. Brewing time- Green Tea- 2-3 minutes, Blacks and Herbals- 5 minutes
4. Quality of the water used- Make sure that you are using filtered water

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Q: For someone who has stopped by Gardner Street Tea for the first time, what would you recommend is a must try?
A: The must-try would be our best sellers: Glow, Moroccan Mint and Kashmiri Kahwa
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Here is hoping you enjoyed reading this post and wishing you a teariffic weekend ahead!

Love,
Sonali

 

 

 

For the True love for Fashion, Beauty, Wellness & More…

This one is especially dedicated to all our readers who have been wanting to read a beauty blog post- there are some fab tips and recommendations… And what’s more is that we have combined this demand with something for our readers who love to read and enlighten themselves on wellness and food.

The best part about this post is that we reached out to someone who constantly loves to educate herself about what goes into her food as well as the body. And whatever she writes whether it’s on natural products, health food, yoga, wellbeing, eco-travel, home or sustainable fashion- she doesn’t shy away from being honest and only recommends brands she truly trusts and that too post sufficient background check!

Now without any further delay, here is Helipadonheels Team in conversation with Alisha of http://www.beautysprinkles.com

 

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Q: Tell us about your journey on what eventually led to starting- Beauty Sprinkles?A: I had been blessed with very good skin throughout my teenage days but as soon as I hit my 20’s, my skin started to become very sensitive and even intolerant. It took me a couple of years to understand what exactly was going on and how I could tackle the issues without changing my lifestyle overnight. Alongside, since I already had a knack for literature, designing and other creative fields,I decided to share whatever I had learnt over all these years with other people.

Q: Tell us about the best beauty buys of 2016 and why?
A: The three best buys of 2016 would definitely be- 1) Just B Au Naturel’s 100% Natural Deodorant Cream because it is made with organic ingredients and is 100 % free from aluminum. 2) The Skin Pantry’s Aloe Whisper Moisturizer as it is very mild and hydrating and of course is organic and is made with very high quality ingredients. 3) A pair of earrings I got from Purpose Jewellery. Not only because it reflects my personality but also because it is made by survivors of human trafficking. These women are very talented and deserve to be applauded for their courage.

Q: Tell us how in our daily living-a few basic practices which we can alter to ensure a healthier living?
A: I know it may sound very basic but keeping hydrated is very important mainly to flush out all the toxins. My health has gotten a lot better after I scrapped processed food from my diet and started having fresh home cooked food. The third practice would be to have sugar in moderate amounts. You don’t have to completely remove it from your diet but having it every single day is definitely not a very healthy practice.

Q: Tell us about the three best health food buys of 2016 and why?
A: Himalayan Cheese mostly because of the taste and because it is made from real milk from grass fed cows and also as it involves fair trade. The next two things would be ideal buys for the vegans- Nut Khut Peanut Butter from Organza Foods because of the organic ingredients and the delicious taste and SVA Foods Nut Milks because they are freshly made and they even have a big range of flavoured nut milks.

Q: The most underrated health food according to you and why?
A: In my opinion, since I am not a nutritionist-I think the most underrated health food would be Psyllium Husk also known as Isabgol. It not only helps with constipation but also cleanses the colon.

Q: Tell us about that the one food term, we have to know about!
A: Omega 3 Fatty Acids which is an unsaturated fatty acid mostly found in food items like fish, nuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds etc. It has numerous health benefits for the heart, skin and hair and is also very beneficial for women with PCOD problems.

Q: According to you- the most environmentally conscious beauty and fashion brands of recent times?
A: Well, conscious beauty brands will definitely hit boom in the coming years but for now I love-The Skin Pantry and Just B Au Naturel. But when it comes to fashion, I am extremely happy to tell you that we have a long list of conscious fashion brands in India. I love Arture, Chirita, Pero, Tribling, Doodlage and Chola … I can just go on and on

Q: Any message for our readers…
A: My message would be to appreciate the beautiful life you are blessed with.Taking care of your health because to create a life you want and to give back, the most important thing would be to have energy which is possible only when you are healthy. So, just be happy, be healthy and share the love.

Wow, that was quite a simple yet profound message for you guys, what say?

HIGH ON HOTELS:KC Beach Club & Pool Villas

Okay then, having issues beating the Monday morning blues?  Breathe a sigh of relief, as we are all set to virtually take you to a true paradise called the KC Beach Club & Pool Villas at one of the most gorgeous places on Earth- Koh Samui… Hence, sit back and enjoy this latest post in our series on- High on Hotels where we get talking with their representative!

Q: Why a stay here would prove to be the most memorable one?
A: Our chic retreat is located in the heart of Chaweng Beach which is known to be the best party place on Koh Samui. This amazing beach has soft, white sand, a shallow turquoise sea and a big variety of leisure and sports programs.
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Q: What all facilities would you find in the room?
A: This new stylish Beach Club Hotel has a total of 42 units: each room has a king-size bed and sofa, bathroom with Jacuzzi bath and rain shower. The rooms are equipped with in-room technology such as 42” LCD Satellite and Cable TV. Each room also disposes of air condition, in-room safe, minibar, complimentary tea and coffee facilities, bathrobes, hair dryer and complimentary Wi-Fi.
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KC Beach Club located on central Chaweng beach, Koh Samui, Suratthani, Thailand

Q: Elaborate on the facilities in the hotel for in-house guests?
A: In our resort, guests can experience two swimming pools, NEO Restaurant, Pool Bar or massage at beachfront sala. There is free shuttle bus to our sister 5 star resort where guests can utilize local spa and fitness center. Not to forget mentioning about the Saturday Pool Party with professional DJ, hostesses to serve delicious cocktails, plus excellent entertainment from saxophone players, drummers and dancers, also there is an international buffet prepared by our Chef.
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Q: A must try restaurant in the hotel and why?
A: Savour the delectable flavours of fine cuisine at Neo Restaurant, Koh Samui’s most fashionable dining venue located at KC Beach Club & Pool Villas. Feel the sea breeze from the open air dining terrace and gaze in awe at the panoramic views of Chaweng Beach as you browse through the mouthwatering menu of carefully selected dishes. Our experienced chef creates classic flavors with the freshest local ingredients including seafood, herbs, chilies and more and presents them in a way that looks almost too good to eat.
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Q: Please throw some light on the USP of the hotel?
A: If you are looking for a prime location, fashionable beach club, great music club, entertainment, bar and restaurant, modern accommodation, friendly staff and guests from all over the world-KC Beach Club & Pool Villas is the best choice for a perfect vacation!

Q: What is the easiest way to get to the hotel from the airport?
A: The easiest way to get to KC Beach is to book airport transfer provided by hotel or take outside taxi. We are located just 10 minutes away from the Koh Samui airport.

 Q: For all the prospective guests and shopping lovers, please tell us about the closest shopping hub to the hotel?
A: The closest shopping mall “Central Festival Samui” is situated in the heart of Chaweng and it is only 5 minutes from our resort. This mall describes itself as “the most complete and largest lifestyle shopping complex in Samui”.

Q: Lastly, if one got back at 2 am to the hotel, what is it that one would get to eat?
A: Our resort take last order at 22:30, however around us you can find many restaurants and small shops, which you can reach within walking distance.

 

Pictures Courtesy: KC Beach Club & Pool Villas

 

 

CAFE CRUSH: TREW ERA CAFE,LONDON

Hey, so it is truly the season to be jolly! We hope that you are making the most of this time of the year 🙂 With the World being our stage and a global outlook, we thought it is best to further expand our horizons and without any delay- we should virtually visit some of our favourite places and unravel them well.

This desire took us to London to talk about a fun and buzzing café called the Trew Era Café which has also led us to start a brand new series called the Café Crush where we shall together discover some of the worthwhile cafes from around the World. We are excited, already!!!

We got lucky as despite being such a busy time of the year we got some great deets from their star chef- Michele Kirsch who also confesses to be a general chatterbox. Quite a combination, isn’t it? A pair of magical hands and someone to have hearty conversations with, Michele- we are your fans! She has been with the café since its inception in 2015. Now, let us get taking about this café and its offerings…

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Q: It truly does sound like a great and fun place with much meaning and purpose. Now, let us get talking about what we love the most i.e. food. So, for all sandwich-lovers, please be extra kind and help us add a dash of creativity to our breakfast menus…

A: One popular lunch dish is a sandwich of whole meal bread (or white or gluten free) with hummus and char grilled peppers flavoured with sumac-a lovely, slightly smoky but slightly fruity seasoning. Some people add a bit of feta cheese for more protein. Our toasties are very popular too, particularly one made with pesto, tomato and mozzarella cheese. The mozzarella melts really well. We also have a new vegan “cheese” based on coconut. It sounds strange but it actually does taste like cheese.

Q: Here is a quick one, tell us about one popular smoothie of yours, one egg dish and one absolute favourite dessert…

A: One of our most popular smoothies is the creation of one of our team members- Gary. It is called- Caribbean Green. It has pineapple juice, ginger, honey, banana, spinach and coconut milk (or an alternative milk or real milk can be used). The recipe is flexible but it’s very popular.

I can’t really say which egg dish is the most popular but we do get lots of requests for egg (scrambled) and avocado. It’s a very nice and nutrient dense meal. We also do eggs with spinach and tomato which is also really healthy. Most dishes come with a generous side salad on request.

We get lots of sweet dishes which are gluten free and/or dairy free but one staple is Kizzy’s cookies which are vegan and brought in by one of our friend’s Kizzy. They are generously sized and go really well with tea or coffee and are a good snack to take away. The most popular flavour is chocolate chip.

Q: Tell us please on what we should and what we should not expect especially when visiting Trew Era Café for the first time…

A: Expect a very warm welcome and a very home like atmosphere. The coffee is excellent and very good value compared to other places nearby and we have just about every alternative milk type drink under the sun. We often have music playing and have a little dance. Expect lots of people who have just met to be chatting away to each other like old friends, and delicious soups and stews chock-full of colourful vegetables.

Do not expect to see Russell Brand. He has many commitments and is a very busy man.

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With this café giving you a home like feeling, next time around don’t feel lost in London, okay?

Pictures Courtesy: Trew Era Cafe

HIGH ON HOTELS: 137 Pillars House,Chiang Mai

Well, for all those who have been waiting for the latest post in our “High on Hotels” section- the wait is over!!! And we are certain that you would be quite pleased with what is coming your way… Thailand is a favourite with many of us, and this time around we have explored a beauty in Chiang Mai called 137 Pillars House. Towards, the close of this post- we are certain that you would agree that it is a beauty with a difference! Here is all that we found out…

Q: Why a stay here would prove to be the most memorable one?
A: In addition to the naturally gracious Thai hospitality, exquisite cuisine and sensational spa treatments, the boutique experience at 137 Pillars House is unique due to its rich colonial history as it is built around an original teak homestead that dates back to the late 1800’s which has been lovingly restored.  It evokes an experience that goes back to a bygone era which is still evident throughout the house.  As the winner of the coveted Travel + Leisure’s Best Resort in Asia Award which is voted by the readers, this perhaps is a testimony to its memorability; together with its high year round occupancy and a high percentage of return guests.

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Q: What all facilities would you find in the room?
A: 137 Pillars House has 30 suites all of which are white, contrasting with the rich wooden teak homestead and furnished with rich Jim Thompson silks and fabrics in a deep green, a vibrant red or a dark teal.  Suites have high polished wooden floors, black and white mosaic tiles in the bathroom, a deep soak standalone claw footed bathtub, outdoor showers, large verandahs complete with the signature 137 rocking chair and exquisite furnishings throughout, with stunning orchids and bespoke amenities. Modern comforts and a contemporary interpretation of colonial design that marries the old and new.

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Q: Elaborate on the facilities in the hotel for in-house guests?
A: The hotel houses the Jack Bain Bar, Wine Cellar and Dining Room among others.  Recreation facilities include the Spa, Gymnasium and Swimming Pool.  The hotel’s cooking classes are very popular and guests find it hard to stop at just one spa treatment! Although an intimate footprint guests can immerse themselves in the resort with in-suite dining, multiple dining areas and cuisine options, spa, wellness programs and classes.

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Q: A must try restaurant in the hotel and why?
A: The hotel has two restaurants and they both offer different experiences, one with Thai food which is hugely popular worldwide and which most guests want to experience and keep coming back for more (as well as doing the cooking class so they can recreate their favorite dishes when they get home for their family and friends).  Palette – a intimate dining experience for up to 20 people, also exhibits local artworks and offers exquisite western food options and daily specials, using organic ingredients.

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Q: Please throw some light on the USP of the hotel?
A: Rich Colonial History, gracious Thai hospitality, bespoke experiences such as- delicious cuisine, the spa –actually hard to name just one.  Also, a great location in an historic area of Chiang Mai and within literally 5 minutes walking distance of upmarket boutiques, galleries and restaurants along the river. Personalized guest experience with all guests assigned a butler who remains in touch with guests both on property and off property. Thoughtfully designed, spacious suites and balconies offering guests a “private residence feeling” instead of a guest room. It is an Oasis in the city or even, a Sanctuary in the city.

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Q: Could you share a little about the connectivity of the hotel?
A: Guests who stay in a hotel of this caliber prefer to use the hotel transportation, but the hotel is easily accessible by those who want to use the local tuk tuks and other local transport options.

Q: Further to the earlier question, what is the easiest way to get to the hotel from the airport?
A: By hotel limousine which even has free wifi and is a seamless, relaxing and elegant way of getting in and out.

 Q: For all the prospective guests and shopping lovers, please tell us about the closest shopping hub to the hotel?
A: Literally around the corner from the hotel is a renowned artisan store -Villa Cini showcasing the best of Thai silk products, ceramics and weaving (bespoke handbags, lifestyle items) then, vintage and traditional Thai sarongs at  Fai Sor Kam and Sop Moei Arts for handicraft items. The street offers wonderful colonial era architecture.

Q: Lastly, if one got back at 2 am to the hotel, what is it that one would get to eat?
A:
Currently the kitchen closes at 11.30pm and re-opens at 5.30am as there has been no demand in the last 4 years of operation – but this is also under review to consider some menu options to be made available at such hours.

Pictures Courtesy: 137 Pillars House