All posts filed under: Relaxation

A perfect homestay at Naukuchiatal

It feels almost unreal that we are halfway into February, 2016 is moving a bit too fast, isn’t it? I had a wonderfully slow start to the year though, in the serene hills of Nainital, surrounded by friends, in a cozy hill cottage overlooking Naukuchiatal Lake. It was a New Year getaway but let me confess that I am not a big fan of celebrating the onset of another year. I find the whole thing overrated, especially in the cities, who you pay thousands for going to an overcrowded party, where the food and drinks suck big time, the service is disappointing, and you are likely surrounded by college kids getting hysterically drunk and throwing up before the clock strikes twelve. So, predictably, over the past few years, I have completely abstained from the whole Delhi party scene on NYE, preferring getting together at a friend’s place, or even better, going out of town if it’s a long weekend. This year, we found a cozy lake facing cottage in Naukuchiatal which seemed perfect for our …

A Little Something called Summer Picnics

If you read my blog you would know that I love food. And open spaces. And sunny days. So when I got to know about the food truck festival at ProefPark in Haarlem in August end, it was a proposition I just could not resist. Haarlem where? You may ask. And rightly so, cause I doubt that anyone who visits Netherlands, makes a stop at any city other than Amsterdam. But if you do have time on your next trip, I strongly recommend that you go beyond Amsterdam for a day trip into these charming little cities like Haarlem, Leiden, Hague etc. which are even more compact and slower but full of many interesting gigs and festivals. My experience of this food truck festival brought back childhood memories of picnics at India Gate in Delhi, which I think was quite a staple family outing for all kids born in the 80’s and early 90’s. I remember that we used to go in big groups of 20-30 people, tightly squeezed into cars, with bed sheets and …

A rustic retreat at Himalayan Village, Sonapani

I was weary with work, frustrated with the hustle of city life and craving some quiet time last week. And the soaring temperatures in Delhi were adding to my woes. All I wanted was to get away to somewhere, nowhere and just do nothing at all. Recharge my drained batteries. And what better way to do this than to retreat to the hills with my partner in crime, my sister 😛 Himalayan Village, Sonapani in Uttarakhand has been on my mind for some time, having heard wonderful reviews from many but somehow, it never materialized until now! So we packed our bags, took the train from Delhi to Kathgodam, and a two and a half hour (very snaky)cab ride later, we were at our destination. Himalayan Village I don’t really know how to define this place, it is not a hotel or a resort but more like a homestay. The owners Ashish and Deepa stay on the property, along with their two children Aru and Vanya, and a big mountain dog called Jhumroo(who I found mostly …

The paradise that is Koh Rong!

There is a certain beauty in wilderness, it is all-consuming, brazen and unapologetic. And for me, no place embodies this spirit better than Koh Rong – a beautiful Cambodian island in the Gulf of Thailand, this place overwhelmed me in more ways than one. When I was planning my itinerary for Cambodia, this island particularly stood out – it seemed so far off, so secluded, so beautiful in pictures and still fairly undiscovered, I just knew that I couldn’t go back without a stop here. The fact that just getting to this place would be fairly time consuming on a 10 day trip wasn’t a deterrent. So I landed in Sihanoukville and an hour’s ferry ride later, I was in Koh Rong. And in spite of all my online research, I just wasn’t prepared for what I saw 🙂 . Clear crystal waters in various shades of blue, an open expanse of a limitless sunny sky, powdery white sands, and that feeling of discovering something that not many have access to. We got off at Tui …

A tea garden experience in Assam – Wild Mahseer Homestay

With Assam being the largest tea producing region in India, a trip to this part of the world would definitely be incomplete without a tea garden experience. While plantations are aplenty, only a few offer homestays – unless of course you know someone personally at a tea estate and they are kind enough to let you stay for a day or two 🙂 We chanced upon Wild Mahseer through a friend’s recommendation – and it sounded just right because of its proximity to Kaziranga National Park(though the park is shut till November, we were told to check on the situation a day before we reached, in case a safari could be accommodated, but unfortunately for us it didn’t happen). Wild Mahseer is about a 20 minute drive from Tezpur, in the midst of the Balipara division of Addabarie Tea Estate.  This experience is your cup of tea if – You like peace and quiet, and can survive a slow pace of life You enjoy nature You enjoy having nothing to do (at least once in a while) You can survive without Wi-Fi and TV You are okay …

In Photos: The beauty of Mykonos

With world famous night clubs hosting superstar DJs, multiple bars and beach clubs, the Greek island of Mykonos well justifies its “party island” tag. However, there is more to Mykonos than meets the eye – its perfect symmetry of blue and white stretching across the island, narrow winding lanes, quirky shops, wonderful food and of course the windmills. The perfect white landscape with the windmills in the background. The various shades of blue in the waters, the skies and the houses. A view from the windmills.4. The beautiful waters and the infinite sky.5. A sandcastle made by a group of tourists at the beach. 6. A little adventure never hurt anyone 😉 A sit-out restaurant on one of the many streets, in the main town. 8. The steps to our humble abode, in the middle of a small residential colony. Fresh rolled pasta left to dry outside a restaurant. Catching the sunset at the very famous windmills.  Enjoy a meal right next to the water with the sun going down.  Acknowledgement : These pictures are clicked by two …

Kerala – Kovalam, Alleypey, Kochi and Wayanad

I have been wanting to create a separate section on my blog just for pictures for quite some time now and was contemplating which of my past travels to start with, when Kerala Tourism got in touch with me, appreciating my blog post and requesting me to share an image of their latest campaign, Kerala Great Backwaters. And I thought, why not start with this beauty itself – just so you know this was THE holiday that inspired me to start my blog (Read more about what all I did in Kerala in my post Magical Kerala!) So here goes a collage of some of the pictures that I think are the best – hope you all enjoy!    

Weekend Getaway from Delhi – Tree of Life Resort & Spa, Jaipur

The Tree of Life Resort & Spa, set in the Aravalli Hills, can be an almost perfect weekend getaway from Delhi, if you are the sort of traveler who might appreciate doing nothing much once in a while, and wouldn’t mind spending an extra buck on a luxurious room. I stayed at this property just for a day, in between my Rajasthan travels and below is my take on the overall experience – “The good” stuff 1.The villas The villas are gorgeous to say the least – with a separate living room, a beautiful bedroom overlooking a private garden and a huge bathroom. The private garden (believe it or not!) comes with a Jacuzzi and 2 spa tables (some rooms have a private pool as well). The average size of each of the 14 villas is around 2500 sq. feet (am sure that can put an average Mumbai or Manhattan flat to shame 😉 ). Every piece of furniture and decorative is spectacular, you get loads of sunshine and air in all corners and it is fairly private(I hope the gallery …

Tapri~The Tea House, Jaipur

Till recently, there were hardly any cafes in any part of our country, with the eternal chai as the focal point, except of course, the unassuming roadside “cutting chai stalls” which are dime a dozen. And it almost makes me wonder why, in a pre-dominantly tea drinking nation such as ours(ORG-India Tea Consumption Study,2012 says 83 per cent households in India consume tea), we seldom focus on a beverage which is so widely consumed, and is very much a part of the Indian culture and heritage. Tapri, which means a makeshift roadside tea-stall, is a recent entrant in this space in Jaipur and is a cafe almost true to its name, in concept as well as spirit. The decor is bang-on, vibrant and very innovative, right from the menu which looks like a “sarkari file” to kettles and cutting chai glasses used to decorate the walls, and the typical big glass jars to store biscuits and cookies. The best thing about the cafe is the big open terrace sitting – just the type of place one would want to hang …

Anokhi Cafe , Jaipur

Think of Jaipur and what immediately comes to mind is regal palaces and forts, colors, music and dance, jewelry, and of course – spicy and ghee laden(but definitely tasty) food – the Pyaaz kachoris at Rawat Mishthan Bhandar, Laal maas at Niros or Handi, Dal bhati churma just to name a few. So the Anokhi Cafe, almost seems like an oxymoron to the city of Jaipur. A hidden gem no more, the cafe, adjacent to the Anokhi Store on Prithviraj road has been in business for more than 8 years now. I have been there a few times myself, and have completely enjoyed the fresh, organic and healthy options on the menu. And I always wondered as to why such an exciting concept had not proliferated to other cities, considering the clothing store is pretty much everywhere, but it is not accompanied by the cafe, except in Jaipur. On a recent trip to the Pink City, I paid the cafe yet another visit, in an attempt to savor the goodies and get some well-deserved answers 🙂 …