Travel & Me…

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Well, I don’t know what really intrigued me to write this piece but I am still going to go ahead and pour my feelings and emotions about my magical and intense relationship with Travel!

As far as I can remember, I have always loved to travel. No matter what age I was- I was excited each time around mom or dad would announce details of our next holiday. As kids, I’d say our holidays mostly (not all) were to safe and well known places. In the sense, the kind of holidays you usually expect families to take so that minimum risk is involved with going wrong.

A place now not necessarily on one’s “Places to Travel List”- Mussoorie, the “Queen of Hills” as it’s been referred to, made for a constant holiday for us every summer break. To be honest, at times we would detest the monotony. But in today’s times of rampant change- I am glad we as a family had some sense of tradition which got followed and now we do have this treasured trunk of memories. I am not saying monotony was essential but maybe simplicity was. I am thrilled that we tasted the simple things in life as now luxury is more available with growing up.

I mean going pretty much packed in a family car with limited leg room, stocking up everyone’s favourite munchies to share on the way, then heading to modest yet long standing restaurants for their specialties such as Chole Bhature at The Green Vegetarian Restaurant, Steamed Momos at The Rice Bowl, Omellete at the Lovely Omellete Centre or even the Maggie at Char Dukan. All this only added much more flavour to one’s holiday. Best part was that there was little to no “Me Time” and there was a lot of “OUR TIME”. There were little to no selfies but a lot more memories etched in one’s heart.

To be honest, this isn’t a critique of times today necessarily but just a little jiggle for each one of us to be able to enjoy our holidays or family time more. Also, what I didn’t realize then- I wish I am fortunate enough to gift my kids some sense of legacy- in the sense, I visited Mussoorie 24 years in a row straight and that’s not it, this is something which was started during my father’s childhood.  I mean there is no such thing as lack of options but today, I feel blessed to talk about something rather unique even amidst that monotony.

And not to say we just made it to the “Queen of Hills” as a family, we went to the beaches, we went to some really nice heritage properties, we went to some more hills and we also made several road trips. My first flight as well as first foreign trip didn’t come so early but I am glad it didn’t else maybe I would have been devoid of the simple pleasures. For instance, having my father wait as I wrote my final exam to quickly rush to the train station to catch our overnight train to Goa wherein the whole family occupied close to ten beds. Not sure if I’ll do it now but I am glad we did it then as I wouldn’t swap that for anything else!

Today, my job and passion to travel has taken me to several places and I must confess that each place has been ultra-special for me-maybe because there were a lot of firsts attached to them and also for the sheer pleasure of touring on one’s own earnings.

I have to say that my love for travel was triggered during my childhood days and I am glad and grateful to parents and family for ensuring we traveled enough. I pretty much convinced myself of being a travel writer but though that plan didn’t materialize fully (no regrets) – I pretty much got my wings on in my early 20’s and so intensified my relationship with travel.

Here are few snippets of some really special experiences at some really special places-

  1. Thailand, 2012- This one was extremely special as my father let me go by self for the first time to visit friends in Bangkok and Pattaya. I was pleasantly surprised with his decision. And what an empowering feeling- I suddenly felt more responsible and just loved life a little bit more. And not to miss adding- visiting Phuket a year later to indulge in water sports like never before- I feel several fears got conquered at that very instance. Also, Bangkok continues to be special as I have experienced some of the top quality properties, thanks to my blog!
  2. Japan, 2014- I learnt the sense of gratitude and compassion from the most wonderful people I encountered in Tokyo. And in general, the build up to the trip inculcated much faith in self as well as courage and confidence…On a side note, I learnt how to spend 12 hours at the airport if you have a connecting flight 😉
  3. Sri Lanka, 2015- Witnessing the tea gardens of Nuwara Eliya was like my mini encounter with Switzerland!
  4. Bangkok, 2016- This was with family and our special toddler (my nephew), the joy of gifting a holiday to my mom- priceless!
  5. Europe, 2016- What do I say about this one? The trip comprised of my solo visit to Istanbul- sounds fancy but did require much preparation within and out to take it on! But really there was an entire sense of self-discovery during those two days. Then came Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin with my best friend- of course we had some wonderful experiences and ticking off a few things from my wish-list including watching a tennis grand slam live but what it truly made me realize was the richness of a bond that had been nurtured. The way my best friend took care of me, the giggles we shared, the confessions we made- wow, I can see us doing that even at 80!

I must reiterate that I haven’t kicked aside the simple pleasures from my trip, this year itself I thoroughly cherished my trip to Udaipur with my cousin where the simple satisfaction of visiting a temple or being on a boat to absorb the surroundings were truly memorable.

And there is so much more… I can’t thank my job enough for letting me taste immaculate food of Kolkata, treating my eyes to the skyline of Dubai, refreshing my senses in Nepal, indulging in Ayurvedic massages in Kovalam and exploring other cities and their unique offerings such as Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai amongst others!

 

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Gokarna Forest Resort, Kathmandu

Lastly, as the quote goes, “Not all those who wander are lost”- I love to wander every now and then, but trust me- mostly my travels have great purpose as they usually do add more purpose to my life!

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Here’s to my endless wanderlust!!!
-Sonali

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HIGH ON HOTELS: THE DYLAN

Amsterdam… what more do we say that we have not said in admiration of this city? Well, continuing with our public display of affection (P.D.A. you see) for this city, next in our High on Hotel series- we getting chatting with the representatives of another extremely credible and worthwhile hotel- The Dylan, so sit back and enjoy!

Q: Why a stay here would prove to be the most memorable one?
A: The Dylan consist of 40 rooms and suites. All the rooms are individually designed in different styles. The Dylan Amsterdam is located in the heart of the city center and in “de negen straatjes” district. In “de negen straatjes” you can discover different galleries, boutiques, bars and eateries. Personal attention and high-quality service isn’t something we have to explain to our staff –at the Dylan it comes naturally.  Our guests are always our priority. The guests can have a perfectly crafted coffee or one of our signature cocktails at Bar Brasserie OCCO, an exquisite dinner at our Michelin Star restaurant Vinkeles or they can relax in our lounge by the fireplace.

All in one, The Dylan offers a refined, modern decor along with unparalleled, personalized service and a five-star product.
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Q: What all facilities would you find in the room?
A: We have the following comfort in the rooms: Air-conditioning, Bose sound system with Bluetooth iPod connection, safe, minibar, telephone, television, work desk (incl. USA adapter), “Frette” bathrobes, linens and slippers, James Heeley bath amenities and a magnifying mirror. Also, there are tea and coffee facilities, free Wi-Fi and 24 hours room service.

Q: Elaborate on the facilities in the hotel for in-house guests?
A: The Dylan Amsterdam has different facilities. Bar brasserie OCCO, Michelin restaurant Vinkeles, fitness room, a cozy lounge, garden, massages, bicycles, concierge service and free Wi-Fi.

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Q: A must try restaurant in the hotel and why?
A: We have two must try restaurants in The Dylan. One of them is Restaurant Vinkeles. The intimate and historic setting offers the perfect mood to enjoy the cooking of Chef Dennis Kuipers and his team. His modern French cuisine with its international twist, often described as “exciting, modest and refined”, has been awarded a Michelin star in 2009.

Bar Brasserie OCCO is a distinct cosmopolitan eatery with menus highlighting handcrafted cocktails and creative cuisine drawn from local Dutch influences and producers. A perfect, more casual alternative to Restaurant Vinkeles.

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Q: Please throw some light on the USP of the hotel?
A: One of the unique selling points of The Dylan Amsterdam is the location. The rooms have a view over the canals or our garden. The Dylan offers refined and modern décor along with personalized service. Another unique selling point is our the Michelin star restaurant and our beautiful secluded garden.
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Q: Could you share a little about the connectivity of the hotel?
A: The Dylan Amsterdam is perfectly reachable with public transportation. The tram station at the Keizersgracht or Elandsgracht is within walking distance (5 minutes).

Q: Further to the earlier question, what is the easiest way to get to the hotel from the airport?
A: The easiest way to get to the hotel from the airport is with a taxi but the hotel is easily reachable by public transportation.

Q: For all the prospective guests and shopping lovers, please tell us about the closest shopping hub to the hotel?
A: The Dylan Amsterdam is located in “de negen straatjes” (The nine streets).  These streets are the connection between the four main canals. Vintages stores, alternative fashion and specialized theme stores can be found there. The nine streets is also an excellent location for a good cup of coffee and to escape from the busier streets in Amsterdam.

Q: Lastly, if one got back at 2 am to the hotel, what is it that one would get to eat?
A: There are many things that you can eat when you get back to the hotel at 2 am. For example, for a big appetite-we offer pizza, roasted steak with fries, different kinds of wraps and more. Next to this, we have different options for a late night snack. Think of veal “bitterballen” or Dutch shrimp croquettes.

Pictures Curtesy: The Dylan Amsterdam

HIGH ON HOTELS: Swissôtel Amsterdam

It is not an unknown fact that we absolutely love and adore Amsterdam. The place has a fun and cozy vibe which is very inviting and we just cannot wait for our next visit there. Today, in our High on Hotels series, we are throwing light on a boutique hotel situated in our favourite-Amsterdam which looks extremely impressive and comfortable. So, sit back and enjoy this beauty of a property as we get chatting with its representative…

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Q: Why a stay here would prove to be the most memorable one?
A: Swissôtel Amsterdam offers outstanding, personalized service- making guests feel comfortable and at home. The staff goes above and beyond for their guests and has a lot of knowledge regarding the city and its activities and is always there to help and inform guests. Furthermore, the location of Swissôtel Amsterdam gives guests direct access to shopping, public transport and the main tourist attractions. A few minutes away you will also find the famous Body Worlds, Madame Tussauds and Royal Palace.

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Q: What all facilities would you find in the room?
A:
Every room has a Nespresso machine and tea- free of charge and a mini bar at an additional charge. Furthermore, guests can enjoy complimentary wireless access and every room has a pillow menu, where people can find different pillow types that can be requested at reception.

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Q: Elaborate on the facilities in the hotel for in-house guests?
A: All guests have free access to the Swissôtel Amsterdam Fitness featuring state-of-the-art TechnoGym equipment and to the business centre which offers complimentary internet access and light snacks.

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Q: A must try restaurant in the hotel and why?
A: Swissôtel Amsterdam does not have its own, in-house restaurant. However, right next to Swissôtel Amsterdam- you can find the restaurant ROYAL98, which offers seats with a view on the famous Dam Square. ROYAL98 opened up last year and offers delicious, fresh wood oven pizzas and pastas as well as more international dishes such as sandwiches, cakes, burgers and Dutch Bitterballen. And don’t forget to try the typical Dutch dessert-Trio of Stroopwafel. Hotel guests can also enjoy the buffet breakfast or A la carte breakfast for an additional charge.

Q: Please throw some light on the USP of the hotel?
A: The prime location on the Dam Square and personalized service would be our USP.

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Q: Could you share a little about the connectivity of the hotel?
A: There is a tram stop right in front of the hotel, which is connected to the most important stops in the city. Furthermore, the metro and train stations are situated on a 7 minutes’ walk, connecting to the other areas of Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport.

Q: Further to the earlier question, what is the easiest way to get to the hotel from the airport?
A: By train, you arrive at Amsterdam Central Station within 30 minutes, then it is a 7 minutes’ walk to the hotel. Swissôtel Amsterdam can also arrange a taxi to pick guests up from the airport at an additional charge.

Q: For all the prospective guests and shopping lovers, please tell us about the closest shopping hub to the hotel?
A: Next to the hotel- the famous warehouse ‘De Bijenkorf’ can be found, other warehouses ‘Magna Plaza’ and ‘Hudson’s Bay’ are on a 5 minutes’ walk and the main shopping street is right behind the hotel with stores of all the popular brands such as Pull&Bear and Forever21.

Q: Lastly, if one got back at 2 am to the hotel, what is it that one would get to eat?
A: Swissôtel Amsterdam offers 24/7 room service, with offerings such as pizza, pasta, sandwiches and ice cream.

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Pictures Courtesy: Swissôtel Amsterdam

 

Holiday with BFF in Europe.Check!

Well, this one is certainly going to be a treasured blog post as it is going to take both of us down memory lane of a summer so special with two weeks packed with laughter and fun. For few already know, that we got lucky enough to do a proper holiday together for the very first time just sometime back. Needless to say that we made the most of it in the true “bestie spirit”…

So, it all started with me taking the Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul. Since I was entering Europe via Istanbul, I thought of just staying back for a couple of days and exploring what I have seen in pictures is pure beauty. Travelling solo abroad does give one a kick for sure. However, I did exercise wisdom and did some good amount of homework. On stepping out of the Istanbul Atatürk Airport, I hopped into a yellow taxi and had my driver take me to my hotel in the Taksim area.  Well, I stayed at the Metropolitan Hotels and must share that I found my room to be very comfortable. All three dishes which I ordered at the hotel were quite well done including the Turkish style Ravioli in yogurt and tomato sauce. The first day, I decided to explore the Taksim street which is rather happening, I didn’t go big on shopping right away as I had much of the trip left and had very happily come with a mind of not going overboard with retail therapy. I landed up at this cosmetic store-Flormar and was lucky enough to get a make-over of sorts. Post which I did explore many stores and eventually, tried what I had heard so much about, the very famous Turkish ice-cream. Well, just the way it is put onto the cone is overwhelming. Next day, I was waiting in great anticipation for the pre-booked tour of mine. First up, we saw the Topkapı Palace which was one of the major residences of the Ottoman sultans for almost 400 years, it was truly opulent and the most amazing area of the palace was the one from where you get a splendid view of the Bosphorus. The first time I witnessed it, I just wanted the time to freeze. Up next, we headed to the beautiful Rustem Pasha Mosque post which I got off to the Grand Bazaar. It was bright, colourful and had almost never ending shops. It is here that I tried a very interesting pomegranate flavoured tea and also got myself a Turkish scent. Talking about the local stuff, since I had heard so much about it, I did try the Turkish bagelSimit as well. So, this was about some of the stuff I did in Istanbul during my short stay of 2 days.

Further, my excitement held no bounds as I was going to be at my dream destination-Amsterdam and was going to reunite with my definite better half- Shagun. Outside the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, I waited for the shuttle to our hotel- Ramada Apollo Centre. The hotel enjoys a decent location and I found our room to be comfortable and clean as well. In Amsterdam, we walked and explored quite a bit…

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Here are few experiences which gave us a high in the purest sense:

  1. Visit to Café Winkel for one of the best apple pies we have ever had!!!2016-05-29-PHOTO-00002070
  2. For we were missing Indian food, we headed to Ashoka-an Indian and Nepalese Restaurant and everything we ordered was rather authentic…
  3. For what provided the perfect pump to our day was the delicious brunch at Roasters & Bakers. As they correctly say, “B&R is a New Zealand style café served with a heavy dose of Brazil.”
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  4. An experience of liqueur tasting at Amsterdam’s historic distillery-Wynand Fockink 🙂2016-05-29-PHOTO-00002072
  5. For pure pizza lovers like us, a meal at De Pizzabakkers was so worth it!
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  6.  The Canal Cruise proved to be such a beautiful way of exploring the city…
  7. Hopping on to a quick ferry ride to get on the opposite side of the Central Station and post lots and lots of walking, we landed up at a super exciting flea market and then, at a lovely little space by the name of Fashion & Tea where a quick refreshing drink was truly enjoyable!
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  8. For those who love to indulge in retail therapy, Nine Streets has much to offer 😛
  9. Relaxing at the urban Vondelpark…
  10. Fries, fries and more fries 🙂
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Post falling in absolute love with Amsterdam, we boarded our train to the love city of Paris for many fall in love in this city…Here are few experiences, mentioning about them is bringing a smile on my face yet again…

  1. Watching the French Open live… This one would sure be on the bucket list of tennis lovers…
  2. Chilling at the Little Red Door- An awesome cocktail bar…
  3. For the luxury shopping experience, a visit to Galeries Lafayette!
  4. Gorge on Macaroons and try as many flavours… And don’t forget to go big on desserts when in Paris!
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  5. Love and the urge to further explore the Vietnamese cuisine took us to Maison Sen.
  6. Checking out the Eiffel Tower at night had its own charm!
  7. A cozy space with amazing wine and a worthwhile cheese platter was on offer by Chez George’s.
  8. Indulged in some lip-smacking Italian food at Salento!
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  9. Checking out stores after stores at Le Marais…
  10. Louvre and Musee d’Orsay proved to be best museums pick for my first visit to Paris…
  11. Besides at the above, quick pictures at the Luxembourg Gardens and outside Notre Dame shall be with me as keeps.

    And finally, we headed to the city where my bestie resides- Berlin, a place I was truly able to explore and love like a local- thanks to these guys! Visits to the Berlin Wall, The Wall Museum, Brandenburg Gate, Museum Island, Berliner Dom, Hackescher Markt and Friedrich Strasse were truly memorable and worthwhile…And don’t forget to relax enough at their lovely parks. And I must add that I had some amazing food in Berlin whether it was the eggs at Napoljonska, trying out pretty much World cuisine including Indonesian and Austrian at a Kids Carnival or Italian at Trattoria Toscana or Californian-style burrito at Dolores-all of it was awesome.
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    All I can say is that I am filled with gratitude for this dream holiday and have come back feeling richer packed with experiences of a lifetime and the assurance of having a solid relationship called friendship…

    Happiness to all,
    Sonali

It’s all about…Travel!

Let’s confess it straight up, we are damn excited about this blog post as today, we both will share about something that always gets us kicked… Yes, it is all about our travel-an exercise that surely gives us a high. Let us be humble enough to admit that we explore our own areas of residence with as much excitement and that is why you would find their mention here as well. Without any further delay, we share with you few of our memories which are rather special to us…

Q. One place which I toured recently and want to go back to in no time…
Shagun-Tuscany because it has green hills, brown paddy fields, mid-century small towns, over fried pizzas, Chianti wine and amazing gelato.
Sonali- Japan as I loved just everything about it.

Q. One Airport which left me amazed in the near past…
Shagun- Mmmm all the airports amaze me with their lack of simple good food. I love Delhi airport so much in that sense!
Sonali- Honestly, until recently I had not seen the Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai and have to admit it is really impressive. Some of its sections are truly splendid.

Q. Things I usually shop before I leave a place?
Shagun-
Definitely travel toiletries and travel sickness pills.
Sonali- I love checking out the Duty-free shops and as a habit, I have to pick up magnets as souvenirs. The magnets on my refrigerator have mostly been picked up from various airports I have been to recently.

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Q. We love our Wine and Italian Food…my recent favourite experience…
Shagun-
In a small town in Sardinia called Oresei, there is a Pizzeria called Villa Fumosa. They have the best Ravioli and the best pizzas in the world- try Marianara!

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Sonali-
My bestie sure knows my answer. The best Ravioli I have had is at this Italian place in New Delhi called 28 Capri Italy and the icing on cake being that they serve some good wines as well. And not to miss the amazing Risotto I recently had at the Coffee shop in Park Hyatt,Chennai.

Q.The yummiest meal of recent times…
Shagun-
Ah that one is so difficult… But like I said earlier I loved Pizza Marinara in Orosei.
Sonali- I am big on Spaghetti and I still remember the yummiest one I had was at JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai and believe it or not but it was an in-room dining experience.
I also really enjoyed the South East Asian food at The Spice Route at The Imperial Hotel in New Delhi.

Q.The most interesting cafe/restaurant I have been to…
Shagun-
The Artist was pretty interesting in Bucharest, Romania. The food, the presentation and the staff are all brilliant and for much lesser price than what you would pay in any other European city.
Sonali- Indian Accent in New Delhi…

Q.The hotel I loved the most?
Shagun- 
Ritz Carlton, Berlin only because I stayed at the Presidential Suit and it’s amazing. The sound system was enough to impress me. Also, the Curtain Bar makes some of the best cocktails.

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Sonali-
Cinnamon Bey, Bentota for two major reasons- their buffet spread was outstanding and love it when you get done with sitting by the pool, you have the option of walking by the beach in no time.
And one hotel which I really love is Amari Orchid in Pattaya.

Q. A good budget hotel that I would recommend…
Shagun- Villa Gemella in Baja Sardinia. It’s amazing and the staff is so helpful and sweet that you could hug them and kiss their cheeks.
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Sonali-
Queenswood Cottage in Nuwara Eliya, it is cozy and clean.

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Q.The most romantic place I have lately been to?
Shagun-
Again Tuscany because all we could hear was buzzing of bees, all we could see were vineyards and flower beds, there was sun and wine. It’s perfect for romancing.
Sonali- Can I share three please? Hahaha… Well I actually want to because all three places quite well sum-up the my-kind-of-place concept. So in no particular order, one of them has to be Joe’s Downstairs in Phuket, I think I went there on my last night of the trip and I am glad I did for the view and food were amazing!

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I absolutely love Sirocco in Bangkok, the ambience is so overwhelming. Surprisingly, the third place too is in Thailand but in Pattaya and it is the Hilton Hotel, sipping a tasteful drink in its open area is truly divine.

Q.The most adventurous thing I just loved doing?
Shagun-
I can’t say adventurous but definitely a lot of fun was doing a small excursion in the Mediterranean Sea and seeing some of the most beautiful untouched beaches and coves.

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Sonali-
Lately, have tried some rather fun stuff whether it was snorkeling or tubing- I really loved it.

Q. The spa I loved the most recently?
Shagun-
Spas are the best in Asia and the last I really enjoyed was Alaya in New Delhi, in Europe I don’t really go to spas.
Sonali- One of my best spa experiences to date has been at The Oasis Spa in Bangkok.

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Q. That one buy from my travel which is dear to me?
Shagun- I indulge in exotic perfumes while travelling and I bought a Lorenzo Villoresi fragrance recently from Florence. I really treasure that.

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Sonali-
One of the hottest pair of heels I picked up were from a night market in Pattaya, though inexpensive but they were so chic. Sadly, had to part ways with them sometime back…

Q. The most impressive car journey of recent times…
Shagun-
  The road journey through Mount Teidein Tenerife, Spain was really fascinating because the landscape is completely different and something that one has to experience.
Sonali- The drive around Nuwara Eliya is rather fascinating as you are exposed to one tea garden after another.

Q. A quick guide on three cool places:
Shagun-
Paris: Go beyond the luxury spark of Champs-Élysées and explore the district of Montmartre but if you spend time at the former then don’t miss Guerlain. I love their classic fragrances. Another secret is Nicolai who also descends from the Guerlain family. She has her stores at few places in Paris and offers really exotic and unadulterated fragrances. Spend time in public parks because that’s the best thing about this city. Just sit and watch the Parisian life, read a book and sip wine or do just about nothing; the symmetrical green beauty will definitely calm you. Besides, don’t go to Louvre because you must. It is huge and there is no way you can see everything in one visit. So, plan your Museum visit well and go to the galleries that you really want to see.

Amsterdam: Don’t miss apple crumble with cream at Winkel Café. It’s the best for sure! Amsterdam has some really cool vintage fashion shops if you are into that kind of stuff. I also really like the fact that you can just walk through the city along the river and through the small pretty streets. Absolutely can’t miss the typical Dutch French Fries with Mayo.

Berlin: It is extremely laid-back and that’s the beauty of it. The more rugged you dress, the more accepted you will feel. Dressy with too much make-up is a big no. I love the fact that I can walk in any restaurant and bar wearing whatever the hell I want from ripped jeans to a high slit dress. Confidence in oneself is the key to cool here. My favourite coffee places are Father Carpenter, Concierge and Bonanza.

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Berlin has some amazing shopping boutiques all though Mitte and lot and lots of vintage shops. I would definitely suggest a trip to Lunettes for some nice vintage glasses and to much more expensive Mykita for their metal optical glasses or sun reflectors. If you are here in summers then go a little on the outskirts of the city and you will hit some really scenic lakes surrounded by woods. It’s amazing to take a dip while the sun is shining or just lay next to your picnic basket. Lastly, this is something I suggest everyone- go to Das Hotel Bar in Kreuzberg for the best vibe and Moscow Mule.

Sonali-
Japan:  There are ample places to get good food so don’t worry so much. I got everything with ease whether it was Italian or Indian food and obviously I did try the local cuisine as well. Do indulge in some desserts for sure since you’ll see such variety; make sure you binge big on them! In case you have not heard of this before, then sharing for your benefit- take the train instead of the taxi as much as possible for it is relatively inexpensive.

Sri Lanka: I absolutely loved Nuwara Eliya and Bentota. Make sure you experience going to a tea factory in Nuwara Eliya and remember to take tea for your loved ones back home. The super markets have a great variety of tea brands on offer. There is a small Strawberry Farm which we visited which had strawberry as a major ingredient in each of its dishes.

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Also, you have to visit The Grand Hotel, not just for the fact that it is steeped in history but you will feel so welcomed that you actually wouldn’t want to leave.  Each meal here was worthwhile. And for the beach lovers like me, Bentota would be fun. Try water sports, indulge in massages and do a lot of nothing just sitting by the beach.  Booking a cab for the entire stay turned out to be a wise decision for us.

Jaipur, India: I had to share this in some blog post or the other as I am amazed with the good food the place offers and it is not just their local cuisine but other cuisines as well. Here are few places I have eaten at lately and all of them were outstanding-  Handi has lip-smacking tandoori and Mughlai food,  Dragon House at Country Inn & Suites for amazing Chinese food and The Forresta Kitchen & Bar offers great ambience and good food.

Q.Travel tips…
Shagun- Never eat in touristy areas. Don’t be an ignorant traveler. Do your research well and be on top of things. I always read up a bit and make notes that I carry along. If there are some really nice restaurants that I want to visit then I make reservations in advance. I would also suggest spending in some good walking shoes as one ends up being on foot a lot of times and uncomfortable shoes can really kill the fun. If you are travelling in Europe then no matter what the weather be, always keep a jacket along.

Sonali- I quite agree with Shagun, I too as a habit always read up on a place before my visit. It is best to keep a stole or a jacket for the flight to ensure you are comfortable with the cool temperature.  Keep a sling bag for sure so that you are not moving around with your big-branded bag all day long. Also, not to miss wet wipes, mints and gloss- you must have easy access to them throughout. Something which helped me a great deal during a recent holiday, I kept my hand carry light so even though I had a connecting flight, it really helped control the fatigue.

So, hope you enjoyed this post as much as we did putting it together for you… And make sure you always make some time to TRAVEL for you only live once 😉