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 ūüôā

Best,
Sonali

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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‚ÄĚ 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 ‚ÄúCentral Festival Samui‚ÄĚ is situated in the heart of Chaweng and it is only 5 minutes from our resort. This mall¬†describes itself as ‚Äúthe most complete and largest lifestyle shopping complex in¬†Samui‚ÄĚ.

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

 

 

WITH LOVE FROM THE MOST ROMANTIC CITY OF INDIA-UDAIPUR

I am a complete dreamer and I don’t shy away from admitting to it either. I love to dream…Dream about countries, cities, beaches, mountains, lakes and so much more. So, while conversing if you feel that I have switched off, maybe I actually have switched off… And have commenced my day-dreaming probably about being on this beach I came across while glancing through my social media account.

For many of these dreams have turned to reality and many are on the wish-list but I am in a happy space as I gradually want to unravel these places spread through the length and breadth of the World Map. Eagerness to visit any destination makes me think more, makes me read more and most importantly it make me work more (harder) so that I can savour the destination in its true spirit.

Today, I am going to throw some light on my very first holiday and trip of 2017… The trip was made to Udaipur- the city of lakes where I had been to-long time ago. But yet again there was something about it which was making me want to visit it sooner than soon and so it happened! Having a loved sister in company just added the right colour and laughter to the trip.

So, without any further delay-sharing as much from our trip…

  1. When visiting this rather romantic city- best is to stay closest to the lakes. I love the water, so there was no way that I was going to be away from the water. We chose- Udai Kothi to be our home for 2 nights and 3 days. Yes, you can see the lake from several parts of the hotel and I must share that our stay was cozy and comfortable. Though we didn’t eat much here, but we would certainly look forward to the breakfast area by the pool to just sit and relax. We clicked umpteen pictures, for the property is gorgeous in white and gets decorated with gorgeous marigold flowers in the common areas. I must add our room was much bigger than expected and was stocked with all the essentials.
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  2. We had amazing gastronomic experiences, like each meal surpassed the one before. For the very reason that we ate to our heart’s content- we are actually happy that we got to walk quite a bit! Hear me out on this one-whenever you decide to visit the City Palace Museum- you must make time to eat at the Palki Khana as this restaurant lets you enjoy the view of the overwhelming structure.
    Also, when both of us were wanting to try out a nice café- we landed in front of the Udai Art Café which was established by Meropi, a vibrant lady hailing from Greece who is a photographer, a coffee connoisseur, a chef and an adventurer. Wow, impressive right? She impressed us equally while she passionately helped us decide our order. We binged big on their pesto pasta and crepe with mushrooms, tomatoes, cheese and bell peppers. We loved our meal which was light on our tummies and pockets!
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  3. For our evening meals we opted for the Aravali Lakeview Restaurant at the Radisson Blu Hotel where we binged on some Laal Maas and the second evening we ate our all-time favourite, Chicken Biryani at this spectacular restaurant right opposite our hotel called Hari Garh. In both cases, we enjoyed views of the lake (both were different lakes), had amazing food and didn’t land up paying all that much. At Radisson Blu, while we enjoyed a live flute performance, the next evening- we played and enjoyed some soothing music from our own phones as we got the best table which only made us pray that the time should freeze as we were having the best time ever!

    Glimpses from  Aravali Lakeview Restaurant at the Radisson Blu Hotel-
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  4. Two things which must feature on your itinerary when in Udaipur- the Lake Pichola Boat Ride and a visit to the City Palace Museum. You are able to soak in much of the city on opting for these two!

    Views from the boat-
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  5. When in Rajasthan, you would certainly have a strong urge to shop everything colourful that meets your eyes. At the Hathipole marketРwe shopped dupattas like there’s no tomorrow. Also, while passing through several lanes. we picked up jhumkas and lovely neckpieces! Ghewar and Pyaazki kachori are must buys from the Jodhpur Misthan Bhandar for all loved ones back home.
  6.  So, here’s the funniest account-just when someone advised us to head to Sajjangarh for a picturesque panoramic view of the city- we did get there but without looking around much straight away got the tickets for their biological park. Yes, you got that right!!! Little did we know that the very next gate leads to their rather pretty Monsoon Palace… Want to know what next? We were on a golf cart scaling through the park and giggling like little girls spotting the lion, tiger and much more…

  7. For our divine calling, we headed to the Jagdish Temple which is a large Hindu temple in the middle of Udaipur…And we were thoroughly satisfied with our visit.
  8. We thought of ending our trip on a high note and hence, headed to The Oberoi Udai Vilas. Words fall short to describe the beauty that this place is. We had made a reservation for their restaurant-Chandni and post arrival,were soon guided to our table which was facing the lake on one side and gave us a beautiful view of the property on the other. The quality and taste of the food was extremely impressive and we enjoyed every bit of it.
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    Here are few handy tips if you are planning to visit Udaipur anytime soon-

    1. Be ready to scroll around with your luggage in case your hotel is situated in some narrow lane as sometimes the taxi drivers don’t want to risk taking their cars through the congested routes.
    2. Some of the locals take art classes which seem very interesting. Make sure if interested, you keep aside approximately 3 hours for it.
    3. Commuting isn’t an issue, you’ll find autos mostly everywhere…We also made good use of Uber!
    4. Make sure you take reservations in case you are planning to visit one of the plush properties and even check if they allow non-residential guests at all.
    5. We did hear much about the Bagore ki Haveli for its popular evening show with a variety of Indian dance- maybe you could check it out!


    Happy Travelling, always!!!
    -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‚Ķ 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-√Člys√©es and explore the district of Montmartre but if you spend time at the former then don‚Äôt 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‚Äôs 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‚Äôt 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 ūüėČ

Gorge on Grills & More!

It’s only the anticipation of unwinding at a worthwhile joint that can charge you up to drive down from the heart of Delhi to the¬†millennium¬†city-Gurgaon. After a hard day at work, we can vouch for it that all your stress and worries would be drained out-the minute you step into the newly opened- Indian Grill Room.

Our first date with this place was even better as we got to witness the exclusive preview of the alfresco area of the restaurant, the Terrace in early May. The evening was hosted by Kamal Khattar, Owner, Indian Grill Room and well-known socialite Shalini Kochhar. Gulfam Sabri a 7th generation musical scion and new age DJ Vaibhav together mesmerized the guests with soulful Sufi and Ghazal tracks.

Adding glamour to the event were fashion designers Monisha Bajaj and Anil Lepps, Charu Parashar, Jatin Kochhar, Nitin Vijay, Rita Gangwani, Vandana Mehra, Bharti Bhalla,  Meenakshi Dutt, Brinda Bose, Witty Bawa, Shelly & Sanjay Batra, Hairstylist Sylvie and artist Anjana Kuthiala.

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Talking of what remains the primary focus; the place by all standards is massive and serves to be just the perfect venue for all those who like things quite larger than life! The place has a lot of freshness, well even though that’s expected out of a new place, the restaurant clearly stands a league apart from the umpteen Indian food joints in the city. Well, when talking Delhi, there is seldom a chance that you’ll be left to stuff yourself with trashy food but this place stresses much on the quality of food. Each dish reflects much thought and uniqueness.

Papri platter

Grilled Shadras

Gucchi Paneer Lifafa

Raan Sikandari

Salmon – Poli Chattu

And not to miss, the terrace is absolutely to die for! The Terrace @ Indian Grill Room is spread over 10,000 sq.ft. with a water body, gazebos, lounge seating, a performance area and an independent kitchen and bar.  It offers a À la carte menu and is ideal for hosting parties. The cherry on top being the soothing lounge music which is played every night with Wednesdays and Fridays dedicated to guest performers who play Sufi and Retro music.

Open Terrace

More impressed with artificial air conditioning, we decided to be tucked in a corner in the indoor portion and went in for a set menu.

Dining Area

So, as we chit-chatted, the hospitable staff took great care of us and kept pampering us with one good dish after the other. Their biryani and dal makhani are truly lip-smacking.

Also, you just can’t get enough of their kebabs which simply melt in your mouth. ¬†The interesting punch comes in with the exciting beverage menu. We both just couldn’t resist ourselves from¬†slurping¬†some¬†fruit chat and aam panna mocktails. And, for our sweet buds-the gulab jamun and badam halwa did the trick!

Indian Grill Room celebrates Indian cuisine through the use of various Indian grilling techniques like the tawa, charcoal grill, pathar and tandoor. The restaurant aims to provide its patrons with a one-of-a-kind dining experience with open kitchens, and interactive grill station and a private dining room.

Interactive Grill Station

Gazebo at the Terrace

Waiting Area

You’ll never get bored of coming to this restaurant as they quite intelligently change the menu every 15 days. ¬†Quite unusual, isn’t it? So, it’s a wise choice to make two rounds here every month as who wants to give good food a miss? And if the waiting be long, then check the waiting room above; you will not regret the wait. ūüôā