Upasna

I discovered Upasna during my year in Pondicherry. Searching for local brands that was comfortable for the humid weather i was living in, stylish and worth the money.

Upasana, an Auroville based brand is a beautiful amalgamation of creativity, fashion, design, Indian culture, social responsibility and spiritual progress – woven seamlessly together.
Clothing has power, the power to change lives. The lives of farmers, spinners, weavers, printers, tailors, designers and many more who have invisibly woven their souls into what we wear. Upasana honours them all, consciously, at every stage of crafting their products. Shifting fashion to touch the soul instead of just the body, we believe life is interconnected. Beauty is beyond vanity.

Upasna Label, aims to create conscious sustainable fashion where they take care of our environmental cost and not pass it on to the future. For them, design is creative, problem-solving. Any problem, be it post-tsunami trauma, farmer suicides, garbage littering, weavers losing their job, Upasana looks at social issues as a space to exercise for change. Out of these real problems were born the following projects:

» Kapas – organic cotton project with families of Madurai

» Varanasi Weavers – a project with the weaving communities of Varanasi

» Tsunamika – a tsunami related project providing livelihood to fisherwomen

» Paruthi – India’s local organic brand to support India’s organic farming community

» Small Steps – compact bags as an alternative to plastic bags

It is great to be sharing about brand like this, investing in something that helps nuild my conscious lifestyle.

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Love Satpreet Kaur

Daughter Earth

Daughter Earth, a skincare brand that is close to home and incredibly good. The aroma of its moisturizer on my skin lingers while i type this and its is one of most amazing skincare brand for sensitive skin (mine is both sensitive and combination).

Coming across a brand that is made with a conscience, and doesn’t leave you to choose between natural and high-performance products is rare and . Every product we make is formulated without compromise.

As a skincare brand they went beyond organic, and formulated products with potent wild-harvested botanicals from some of the remotest habitats. What began as a quest for non-toxic skincare led them on a conscious journey to build products that are good for your skin and also deliver maximum results.

Products i Have Tried and Loved

Eternal Youth Phytonutrient Moisturiser – Smells beautiful, just a pea size and enough moisture, i use this in my night time CTM routine (but you can use it during the day as well, as it is equipped with natural SPF that helps combat free radical damage and photo aging) as i love smelling good when i am going to bed. Its rich in antioxidant-rich plant nutrients, gives long-lasting hydration, its lightweight, non-greasy and helps in radiance and youth-preserving treatment.

Eternal Youth Rejuvenating Serum – I love serums, i feel they are a perfect way to add an extra boost to your skin, i make sure to use serums morning and evening. The eternal youth serum is dermatologically tested, 100% active, preservative-free it helps correct skin and enriches skin with antioxidants, flavonoids and nutrients (Vitamins E, C and B). the serum helps skin microcirculation and delivers nutrients to the deeper layers for a rejuvenated and radiant skin. i also use it before make up sometimes and let it rest for 5 minutes, it gives me a nice glow and sets my make up perfectly.

Face Mist – Rose – Face mists are great, they give you instant of freshness, you use it directly, over your make up, while travelling and in your face pack (only if it is 100% natural, like this one) literally whenever and however you need it. A good face mist helps combat dryness and inflammation throughout the day. I never step with out a mist in my bag, especially during summers.

Wild Java Plum Ayurvedic Face Mask– Rich in skin-nourishing bioflavonoids, antioxidants and Vitamin C, Java Plums are nature’s gift to our skin. With the oil-balancing, acne-clearing and complexion-enhancing properties, these black fruits deliver a power punch of nutrition to the skin in the form of a mask. Also a great skin detoxifier. Suitable for all skin types. Make a mushy paste by mixing in floral waters like Rose, and apply a thick layer on your face and neck. Rinse off before it dries up and after rinsing, spritz your face with the rose mist and follow with the rejuvenating serum. This helps seal your skin with all the nutrition and forms a lipid barrier to prevent loss of hydration. Dull Skin or Uneven texture, Acne and dark spots, Uneven oil levels

Antioxidant Lip Balm – We all need lip balms, i can’t count the number of lip balms i have – in my bag, in my office desk, in my car, in my travel kit and one on my bed side.

An Antioxidant lip balm seals and hydrates your lips while also protecting from the harsh UV rays, helps with lip-elasticity and pigmentation on and around the lips. 100% Vegan and Beeswax-free.

Hope you enjoy reading this, for more such sustainable brands don’t forget to check out my Conscious Living tab and don’t forget to subscribe so you get all updates right in your mailbox. Also follow me on Instagram @ssatpreetkaur , Facebook –FashionEatista, for more instant updates on all things fun, food, fashion and travel.

Love Satpreet Kaur

Calcutta Bungalow

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Kolkata, the first capital of British India is a place where you can still breathe the bygone era vividly. The architecture, people, street food and cabins (now known as cafes), museums and Bazaars clearly show how you can find beauty even amidst chaos

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Calcutta Bungalow, a 90-year-old Majumdar bari (townhouse) restored and tucked in a quiet neighborhood. It is a heritage bed & breakfast with six rooms. Every corner of this three storied building boasts a mix of colonial and local architecture.  Away from the maddening chaos of the city, this is a perfect place to stay, that offers an old-world charm along with urban amenities to make your stay a comfortable one.

The intimate property has a small open courtyard and rooms that are named after old neighborhoods like Sahibpara, Darzipara, Mochipara, Potuapara (artists’ colony), Boipara (about books and publishing), Dorjipara (tailors’ hub), Jatrapara (famous for traditional theatre). The rooms dedicate a tale about the places they are named after.  Just like the rest of the bungalow the rooms too are a perfect amalgamation of vintage and modern and equipped with modern day luxuries like air conditioning, television with Netflix, WiFi an attached bathroom and comfortable bed. The place also boasts a reception, recreation room, terrace and a dining hall.

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The dining room, called Notunbazar (named after new market), a common meal space for guests has loudspeakers as ceiling lamps and books that any intellect would like to borrow. While the breakfast is included in the stay, you will have to inform them in advance for dinner or order in, the staff is warm and helpful and lay down your meal for you if you wish to have it in common room, instead of your room.

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The statement Show ’19

The exhibit that brought best of jewellery brands and labels from all across India under one roof.

Designers and brand owners from jaipur, kolkata and of course Hyderabad participated, bringing in their best collection and some of the most exquisite pieces that definitely left me and most of the people awestruck.

Some pieces were perfect for modern souls, intricate designs and diamond’s while others included timless piece’s like jadau, emeralds and some with all new crystal collection. There was something to please every age group and taste.

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Coco Shambhala, Sindhudurg

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Aerial view of Coco Shambhala, Sindhudurg

Goa has for long known as to be the party capital of India, but there is so much more to it. The exotic landscape, virgin beaches, water sports and luxury indulgences. Named as one of the best beach villas by a leading magazine ‘Coco Shambhala’ as personally experienced is a tropical paradise with best of hospitality, amenities and privacy.

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Open air villa at Coco Shambhala, Sindhudurg
Mezze  platter served with Goan poe  bread and wine overlooking monsoon rain at coco shambhala, Sindhudurg 

Coco Shambhala has two properties, one in Goa and the other tucked away on the border of Maharashtra in a small town- Sindhudurg luckily i had my fair chance to experience a stay in both in leisure. Set in a tropical garden, barely 200 meters off the beach, Coco Shambhala, Sindhudurg has villas designed as inclusive, barefoot retreats, each with their own infinity pool looking out to the sea. Coco Shambhala is a place of peace, happiness and tranquility.

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Room with a view at Coco Shambhala, Sindhudurg
Monsoon getaway at Coco Shambhala, Sindhudurg 

There is a lot i love about this place, but what tops it is privacy that nurtures a sense of balance, much needed in the hectic lives of today in combination with ample of nature all around us. Each villa has a stunning sea facing living area, 2 large bedrooms also facing out to the sea, a well-stocked bar in the living pavilion and its own infinity pool where i spent my day and night, sunrise and sunsets, floating in he pool under rain and stars giving me some of the most breathtaking moments of my life so far.

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Spacious lounging area in villa at coco shamabhala, sindhudurg
read, eat, play all at the luxury of your privacy at coco Shambhala, Sindhhudurg

The villas are spacious and are spaces designed for dining and lounging. It works beautifully for quiet reading, intimate and family dinners alike and group bonding over games all at luxury of your villa, while providing a sweeping vista of the sea just below, and the tempting turquoise waters of the infinity pool in front. The bedrooms are designed to provide natural light, just as the entire villa with stunning sea views and boast of artfully designed coconut wood furniture, sitting alongside the modern amenities of a luxury bedroom.

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A taste of Malwani cuisine at Coco Shambhala, Sindhudurg

The kitchen team prepares everything ahead of your arrival; Their head chef got in touch with us, post our booking confirmed to discuss our culinary preferences and make tailor menus based on your feedback. Their complimentary car and driver are at hand, to not only take you around but also, run errands for you. We were also provided with free usage of the pre-programmed cell phone in each villa to contact anyone on the Coco Shambhala team for any assistance.

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Missal Pav  for breakfast at Coco Shambhala, Sindhudurg

Their menus showcase the best of Goan cuisine, fresh local produce and sea food. From the mezze platter that’s served with Goan poe bread on welcome (which i have repeatedly ordered every evening) to the delectable spread of Malwani cuisine everything left me craving for more. They also had carefully curated an alluring collection of wines, single malts and craft beers, in the comfort of our (each) own villa. Their Director of Cuisine, Shagun Mehra, crafts new menus each season, which are further tailored to your preferences and palate.

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Coco Shambhala, Sindhudurg is a destination in itself, calm beaches, water sports in the season and if you fancy being a little more energetic and can tear yourself away from the sun lounger the hotel offers option to venture out and visit local villages. After a full day of exploring, the one place we desperately wanted to get back to is the ocean followed by a sun downer at the privacy of our villa.

Infinity pool that overlooks beach and endless ocean, Coco Shambhala, Sindhudurg 

For more visit- www.cocoshambhala.com

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Enchanted white with Samant Chauhan

I love my whites as much I love my blacks, and yet have a life that is beyond the monochrome magic. While many may disagree an all-white look stands out more than an all-black look for various reasons. Regardless of personal like and dislike for the bright noncolor head to toe hue, an all-white look is more of a statement than its counterpart. It’s brighter; It’s classic but not too been-there-done-that. It’s a no-brainer but not that easy to pull off.

Spelling white perfection in this Anarkali designed by Samant Chauhan, paired with Sangeeta Boochra jewelry that further enhances my look, has to be my most favorite look for summer 2018. Whether it’s a wedding or family function, this look assures spotlight. This top to toe white Anarkali by Samant Chauhan with the light embroidered front is perfect for any summer occasion; It is comfortable, feather-light and paired with right silver jewellery has garnered me several compliments already.

The Brand Sangeeta Boochra has been synonyms to silver jewellery for years now, with best of design that shows the creative craftsmanship has brought Indian craftsmanship on the world map. They offer best of traditional and contemporary jewelry that has developed the ancient craftsmanship and began to create exclusive jewelry with the help of its master craftsmen around Jaipur. Established in the year 1897, it has traveled far and wide. Regularly spotted on best of Bollywood style icons, their pieces are a real treasure.

When I am wearing Anarkalis I prefer the ones with subtle color and not so heavy intricate work. The only reason being I love accessorizing, and lately, I am obsessed with the silver/oxidized jewellery. Apart from the fact that it turns any look classy, the jewellery like the one I got form Sangeeta Boochra is a small investment to a forever fashion, as it sure will never go out of style.

An ultimate neck piece like this brings out a delightful look when you pair it up with a subtle garment, you can style it for a traditional look over a cotton/Banarasi saree, pair it up with your favorite Tie & dye kurta or just a white shirt and it sure will complement each one of it. The intricately designed earrings are light and versatile, the flower ring is just the perfect size symbolizing a blooming flower, it makes me a happy person every time I wear it, even on not so good days, I mean who doesn’t like flowers, it makes everyone happy and this one will never fade out. With generations of efforts, name, and hard work, the quality of products from the brand are undeniably good.

Shop similar jewelry and more from their website – Sangeeta Boochra

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Nail Ishq, Hyderabad

Everyone loves a good pamper session, and when it can give you a longer result it makes every penny spent worth it.

For ages women have loved to groom themselves, proper hair, skin and ofcourse nails. Nails are as important to us as much as the skin itself. Nothing speaks sophistication as much as well done nails.

Perfectly manicured nails and feet talk about an individual much better than half chipped nails or unmanicured (it may not be a word but it is definitely is an expression) hand and feet.

Comes to the rescue ‘ Nail Ishq’ Hyderabad. Tucked away in the corner of a dessert shop this Nail Parlour is my new favourite in town. They are the most pocket friendly Nail service in Hyderabad. They may not offer you a lavish manicure pedicure treatment but they offer skills to turn your nails into ones of diva.

From Gel Nail paint to Extensions, Metallic magic to Instagramable Nail Art they do it all.

I had two sessions with them, my experinace has been really good. The staff is well trained and know what they are doing. Show them a picture and they will excitedly paint your nails away. The quality of products are excellent and my nails stayed as new as it was when i got it done for almost 3 weeks.

However because the place is compact i would recommend you visit them only on appointment.

Location- Rd No 9, In Guilt Trip, Banjara Hills. Ph- 080081 62224

Heavenly Spa at The Westin Hyderabad

Spa for most of us means a place where you get a massage. Which is actually not the case and at Westin Hyderabad, Heavenly Spa shows us why. The concept at Westin’s Heavenly Spa is to create a complete wellness experience.
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I was invited over the weekend to indulge and review their signature heavenly massage. My therapist for the day led me to their massage room, and once I was ready she began with soaking my feet in warm water using mineral salt to cleanse them and began with my treatment. She used apple pie oil that gave extreme moisture to my winter dry skin. I drifted into Zen mode as she began with my concentrated (focus) area with required pressure to relive stress and have a more enhanced blood circulation in my body. 

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The pressure was just perfect and exactly what I needed after a long week of work, I enjoyed every bit of it.  As the warm oil seeped into my body I could feel my aches slowly fade away and enter a state of absolute bliss. This goes over an hour and my masseuse slowly kneads on my muscles combining that with gentle strokes. The last 10-15 minutes she spent massaging my face and head. More like pressing the correct pressure points and releasing stress and it was followed by a facial.

Facial

I opted for the ‘Illumination’ facial. It is curated to bring back glow to your face. The active ingredients and cooling gel mask brighten up the skin by treating the hyper pigmented areas. This again was an hour long treatment that was done using the ‘Comfort Zone’ products winding up with a pack followed by a serum to keep you skin glowing and hydrated.

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At Heavenly Spa you can always add-on, facilities like body scrubs, steam and Jacuzzi right in your room (on additional basis).  The post therapy part included, being escorted to a quite dim lit, waiting area where I relaxed, breathing in an amazing experience I just had while sipping a hot  cup of green tea with some dark chocolates and walnuts for a quick a boost.

Address: The Westin, Mindspace IT Park, Hi tech City, Hyderabad. Ph: 040 6767 6910

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J W Marriott Resort & Spa, Jaipur

J W Marriott is one of the most recognized hotel brands in the world, and at their all new property- J W Marriott Resort and Spa, Jaipur we experienced most energized hospitality and were treated to some incredible meals. The property has a welcoming atmosphere, right from the traditional welcome and breathtaking lobby, there is incredible attention to detail that made our stay full of utmost comfort.

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JW Marriott Resort and Spa, Jaipur- Royal and Splendid

The Resort

It can be rightly said that J W Marriott Jaipur Resort & Spa is a modern day palace. I mean if i was a queen today, i would want my palace just this way, away from the hustle of the city, surrounded by the hills with all modern amenities and architecture that displays the best craftsmanship. A white tone follows throughout the property with breaks of blue and metallic at various places, well manicured paths, artistically done fountain spaces (indoor as well as outdoors), grand arches that are perfectly apt for a modern day royalty; and staying here we got treated exactly like that. When touring the property I was awestruck by the doors, the hand-painted patterns by local artisans, paintings and the architecture on the whole.

Food & Restaurants

Food at these restaurant are curated by executive chef Yogender Pal, i was delighted to meet him as i have known him for years, from when he was at The Marriott in Hyderabad. Sukh Mahal restaurant offers modern world cuisine but multi-cuisine delicacies are rustled up as adeptly as marwari meals in this all day restaurant.

On our last day we had a special surprise dinner at Mohan Mahal, just being there was a special experience, it was like dining in sheesh mehal. Mohan Mahal restaurant, is a gorgeous, tenderly-lit restaurant that serves up Rajasthani and Mughlai thali, open only for dinner. The design and beauty of the restaurant is architecturally reflective of Amer Fort’s Sheesh Mahal. Lit by candles, with Rajasthani music and gurgling fountains within the restaurant, provides a beautiful background score. Taking a notch above the meals are served in silver-plated tableware and local delicacies left us with a most found memory, one that will definitely add up to best dinner experiences i have had.

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Chai and Musical evenings by the pool at JW Marriott Resort & Spa, Jaipur

Evening tea, in khullads (they also have cup options but obviously we preferred the desi khullad and masala chai) are best enjoyed while witnessing the performance by the pool that included folk music and folk dance. They also have a lot of fun activities like henna application, puppet show, pottery, elephant rides for kids and relaxing SPA sessions (read here), J W Marriott Jaipur has something to keep everyone indulged.

Room- Royal Courtyard Room

Our villa was bright, lively and equipped with amenities like cable tv, safe, coffee/tea maker, walk in closet and an attached bathroom with a tub and forest essentials toiletries, i love forest essentials; period. But our room and outdoor lounging area was not that got me excited, i mean it was beautiful but what i loved the most was our private outdoor plunge pool.

I spent an entire day and night right at the property to soak in all the beauty and luxury, i even spent a freezing few hours out in the lounging area watching the night sky and gazing the stars. If it wasn’t for January and winters, and the fact that it was more colder because it was at the outskirts, i would have spent the night out in the open.

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The landscape of this place has been done so amazingly that I absolutely enjoyed strolling around the property. The resort has a massive swimming pool by itself for all the guests.

We spent 3 days at this property, but it still felt like it wasn’t enough. The hotel is quite secluded from the city but the helpful staff had a car ready for us whenever we needed (on request), that made travelling totally hassle free for us. Finding cabs might get little tricky in the area so I suggest you book in advance. Being winters the nights were freezing, but I enjoyed my visit both to Jaipur and J W Marriott to the core.

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Love Satpreet Kaur

Retreat in Wilderness of Bandipur

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The Windflower Resort & Spa, Bandipur

Bandipur National Park is regarded as one of the most beautiful and better-managed national parks of India. The moment we entered the grounds of Bandipur the tranquility of nature engulfed us. We were greeted with hundreds of deer’s freely roaming around, as if welcoming to their sanctuary.

The experience of wildlife safari is something everyone must go through once in your lifetime. They have open jeeps and busses with set timings, but no private vehicles are allowed for safaris. We obviously chose the Jeep, as we were four and it gave us our own private vehicle. You are not allowed to step out of the vehicle though. Going to the wild is always exciting and soothing – the excitement of watching the wild animals and the tranquility of being in the lap of mother-nature.

Post the initial trail into forest we, knew we finally pierced into the ‘real’ forest when we started noticing countless deer’s, langoor’s hopping, peacocks wandering and wild boars boaring around.  This place is located amidst the picturesque surroundings of the towering Western Ghats Mountains. You will be lucky to spot a leopard but keep your hopes up, sadly we dint.

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The villa room at Windflower Resort & Spa, Bandipur
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The Windflower Resort & Spa, Bandipur
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A true retreat, disconnected from the world where only source of indulging myself was a good a spa, books, infinity pool, bonfire and lots of games. Being in the digital age you just don’t know the peace that comes with disconnecting the world until unless its forced upon, in this case it was a gift.  

Stay: The Windflower Jungle Resort & Spa

Windflower resort in Bandipur is one of the best and right amidst jungle landscape. You will see herd of deer’s coming in and out of the, the resort as the name suggest encourages wild life and is safe, you will see monkeys and some wild pigs once in a while too. The guests are recommended to stay indoors post 7:30 and mornings are begun with nature walk, where an expert takes you on a natures trail, introducing you to most amazing facts of nature.

The resort is more like a retreat where Television is available only in a common room, the internet and mobile phone connectivity is nil, except for wi-fi in the lobby. It truly helps you reconnect with yourself and your loved ones. We assure there will not be a dull moment, with an infinity pool overlooking endless forest, games room with numerous games like snooker, carom and even play area for kids outside, wildlife documentary aired in T.V room, bonfire in evenings and Spa to pamper yourself.

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Infinity Pool and wine at The Windflower Resort and Spa, Bandipur
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Spa at The Windflower Resort and Spa, Bandipur

Service at the Windflower is impeccable, and so is the food. Rooms are done quite elegantly while retaining rustic look from outside. The staff is well trained mostly local people, who were more than willing to can guide us with anything needed.

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Breakfast at The Windflower Resort and Spa, Bandipur
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Lunch at The Windflower Resort and Spa, Bandipur
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Dinner at The Windflower Resort and Spa, Bandipur

Food

There are no options available beyond your resort in Bandipur. Windflower resort usually offer buffet meals, but if there are limited guests, the chef will personally attend to you and extended his hospitality by serving you what suits your taste buds the best, luckily for us, the chef indulged us with a mix of local cuisine and some really good food and desserts, all of which is made in house.

The food is outstanding, tastes very home-cooked.  The Courteous & friendly staff ensured our stay is pleasant and kept surprising us with their deep knowledge of the nature around them with impressive knowledge about the animals and birds.

I was looking for some quality time with my family and this resort was the perfect solution for us. The facilities are basic but the location, well equipped rooms, in term of design and privacy is just appealing. It was an amazing hassle free stay, and the Safari too was organised by the staff (on request) and we just dint have to worry about waiting in lines or anything, with a pick and drop from our resort to the tourist office where the safari starts from, was all taken care by the staff at Windflower Resort.

Loved: What i loved the most about the resort was the private seating area, the infinity pool and the fact that we dint have any network and it helped us enjoy the holiday to the core and courteous staff.

Know: Little known is the fact that these Bandipur forests once belonged to the Mysore Maharaja’s personal Game Preserve. Steps were taken to preserve this priceless reserve since the beginning of this era when all other reserve’s and natural habitats abundant with wildlife were on the verge of extinction.

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Incredible route to Bandipur

Getting There
By Road: You can reach Bandipur from Bangalore town via Mysore and the distance is just 220 kms. You can take the Coimbatore route via Ooty which is hardly 168 kms.
By Air: Nearest airport is Mysore. Located at a distance of 80kms and Bangalore is the next nearest airport located at a distance of 190kms.
By Rail: Nanjangud is the nearest railway station. Mysore railway station

Book:  www.thewindflower.com

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Staycation at Novotel Hyderabad Airport

Ah vacation.  How many of us don’t sometimes wish we could escape the hustle, bustle, & day-to-day responsibilities of our normal lives for a week of fun and relaxation somewhere far, far away? But There’s nothing better than a staycation when you don’t want to splurge on air tickets or you don’t have time for a long vacation or waste time commuting, and yet enjoy unwinding in luxury for a few days.

Between restaurants, hotels, and transportation, travel costs can add up fast especially when those costs are multiplied for a family.  But that doesn’t mean when vacation time rolls around you can’t still have a great time! This year, why not plan a vacation in your own city?  A true Staycation is more than just a week at home; it is an intentional time of fun and relaxation for your whole family.  It does take a little effort to do it right, but can ultimately be just as satisfying as going somewhere far away.

I spent my extended weekend having an amazing staycation with my mom. Between work, I hardly get time to spend with her. When Novotel invited me for an experiential review I knew my mom would be a perfect company.

Hotel: The hotel is strategically situated in Hyderabad to accommodate both business and leisure travellers. It is well connected to the International Airport and the location makes you feel like you are away from the city, amidst endless greenery and fresh air. I began my staycation from the very beginning, how? Well by giving up driving and stress of traffic, we opted to choose to travel in car by the hotel and enjoyed our long drive. The fact that it crosses the long stretch of airport road really made me feel as if I am travelling away.

Room:  Our room had a pool view with a sky that often witnessed landing and taking off of flights. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in complete relaxation. Their full menu of activities and services helped me meet my travel goals, whether its productivity, fitness, relaxation, or simply wellness of being, just lazying around in front of your TV screen, with room service pampering you endlessly. Novotel is perfectly away from the city offering a cosy abode to unwind in.


Culinary experience: Take a culinary trip around the world without leaving your hotel.  Novotel Shamshabad offers a unique dining experience that will delight even the most discriminating palettes. From traditional Indian dishes from the Northwest frontier, to the vibrant flavours of Italy, their restaurants, cafés and lounges showcase the best of global cuisine in inspiring settings.

End the day with a nightcap at the bar or by the picturesque poolside, I loved my Vietnamese coffee that was a perfect end to a long yet relaxing day.

Indulgence:  Soak yourself in a therapeutic massage or sip a cocktail in style at the bar or by the pool, where you can enjoy your beverage between laps. well i opted for both, a spa for a much needed pamper session of an Ayurvedia Indian therapy follwed by dinner and drinks by the pool.

Just a button click away lies your weekend of eternal bliss. All you have to do is pack an overnight bag and take off!

NOC NOC Bistro Hyderabad

Noc Noc Bistro is kid on the block, quirky decor and great outdoor seating makes it a really welcoming place. I was really happy on my visit as it rained outdoors, and nothing beats the combination of rain through huge glass windows, crunchy food and endless conversations.

Butter Chicken Spring Rolls at Noc Noc Bistro

The menu has some quite entertaining dishes, with all the hype I wanted to try the non Veg Tandoori momo’s but it wasn’t available. So I went ahead and ordered ‘Butter Chicken Spring Rolls’ being a Punjabi, butter chicken is like the top of food  hierarchy for me, and I was pleased to see complete justice done to this dish. Perfectly crisp rolls filled with boneless (well) marinated chicken, served with mint chutney. Next was Howrah Chicken’ as the name suggests this dish got its influence from Bengal, rightly spiced and tandoored to precision served with Jhal Muri was spicy and mouth melting. top hyderabad food blogger, Indian lifestyle blogger 

Hawrah Chicken with Jhal Muri at Noc Noc Bistro

In vegetarian the ‘Falafel Platter’ looked impressive but failed when it came to taste. The pita bread was not soft and hummus could have been done better. On the other Hand ‘Paneer Sheek with Paratha’ is a filling portion, a great combo of cottage cheese skewers with paratha with mint sauce, the flavors were right and portion size as well. Hyderabad food blogger, Hyderabad lifestyle blogger

Paneer Sheekh with Paratha at Noc Noc Bistro

Accompany your food with Mocktails like ‘Apple Kiwi Delight’ more like a slush and ‘Cucumber Buzz’, a tad too sweet for my taste but otherwise great to beat the summer heat. Our meal ended with ‘Smores Pizza’ which had an extremely crispy base loaded with Nutella and Smores that will definitely makes you go high on sugar.

Smores Pizza at Noc Noc Bistro

Location: 105, Kavuri Hills, Phase 2, Near State Art Gallery, Madhapur, Hyderabad, 9052002570
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Cartier Travel with Style

Taj Falaknuma Palace, Hyderabad opened its doors last Sunday for ‘Cartier  Travel With Style 2017, Concours D’Elegance’ Fifth Edition in India. The event is considered as one of the benchmark exhibits of its kind, showcasing the best and rarest of Indian automotive heritage on an international platform.
Ranked alongside Villa D’Este Concorsa D’Eleganza and the Pebble Beach Concours D’Elégance, Cartier Travel With Style is  one of the world’s most prestigious automotive events and is today counted as one of the benchmark exhibits of its kind, showcasing the best and rarest of Indian automotive heritage on an international platform.

Princess Esra of Hyderabad, graciously opened doors to her family seat for this edition of the concours. An instrumental force behind the restoration of Taj Falaknuma into a world renowned luxury hotel, termed today as the World’s Best Palace Hotel. 

Hyderabad witnessed the opulence and elegance of India’s automotive setting the bar higher from the previous edition, Cartier Travel With Style 2017 showcased an exclusive exhibit total of 112 of rarest classic automobiles of which there were 73 cars in eight distinctive classes and 39 best preserved motorcycles in three signature classes from the esteemed stables of Indian royal patrons and noted private collectors. In addition to the pre-established categories – Pre-War, Pre-War – Rolls Royce, Post-War, Indian Heritage, Preservation, Exhibition and Roadster classes were on display. 

cartier-hyderabad12cartier-hyderabad24cartier-hyderabad100cartier-hyderabad117cartier-hyderabad132cartier-hyderabad163cartier-hyderabad231cartier-hyderabad281The crème-de-la-crème of the Indian society mingled with noted international guests, esteemed judges and royal collectors over lunch and high tea, it was an event perfectly fit to suit the royal palace of Falaknuma.

The Best Car of the Show – 1914 Wolsley 30/40 HP by owner Mr Shivardhan Kanoria

The Best Motorcycle of the Show – 1947 Indian Chief by owner Arjun Oberoi

Presented by Mr. Guillaume Alix, Regional Managing Director, Cartier Middle East, India & Africa.

Lot of restored cars from Nizam’s are also displayed at Chowmallah  Palace for public viewing. while it may not be as extravagant as this event, but you can definitely have a taste of royal auto gears from it.

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Chit Chat Chai

So i have been waiting for this place to open for a month now. I used to say i am not a tea person but i realised i actually am the only thing is i prefer mine without milk.
So when i was at the 36 drive in last night to hog on some food i spotted this place and people in it , leave the fact i dint know where it was going to open… it was already OPEN!

So i went over the very next day and was greeted by there in house Tea Sommelier, who also happens to co-own the place. On asking she mentioned that they haven’t launched officially yet but are open for anyone who drops in.

Dont go by the look from outside the place is huge, they have an outer area, inner seating and option for private  (or larger) gatherings upstairs.

Chit Chat Chai as a place that offers more than just chai (a lot of chai, if i may) they have desserts, fresh cookies and good food.

Coming to tea’s they have done their homework in best way possible (they all have some health benefits), so no matter what you are drinking rest assured you are benefiting from it.

Kadipak Chai and Matcha Tea

The Tea experience began with ‘Kadipakk Chai’, the aroma feels your senses and reminds you of rainy days snuggled at home. ‘Matcha Tea’ was something i was looking forward to try, with a world wide hype and disappointment post tasting the bitter matcha frappe at Starbucks i really wanted to understand it its meant to be that way. To my surprise and pleasure it wasn’t bitter, the taste blended beautifully (when i asked her about the drink she said it all depends on the quality, the better the quality the better it blends.. point to be noted)

Rose Tea

Coming to flavored tea (my favorites here) i tried the ‘Rose and chamomile- Mint tea’. Both the tea’s were mind blowing. The aroma, the sense of calmness that comes with each sip is just heavenly.

Rose, Hibiscus, Mango ice tea, Strawberry Tea with barbecue chicken wings and creamy Harissa Chicken with Hummus & Pita

Next i tried cooler versions- ‘Rose Hibiscus Mango Tea’, with a hint if each and chia seeds it look beautiful but came a little strong on flavor for me (i loved the addition of chea seeds though, good option for summers if you are okay with the sweetness) what I tried next was a definite surprise , ‘Strawberry Tea’ which looked pretty and tasted well too, i mean who could have imagined strawberry Tea? (Until unless it was just a flavored green tea types)
I cant wait for the rains to begin to enjoy my daily dose of cuppa here. As for food don’t miss out on the ‘Creamy Harissa Chicken with hummus and Pita’ ( its really delicious) and ‘Barbecue Chicken Wings’ , which are tangy and spicy
Have a great weekend and head to chit chat chai for lot of ..well chit-chat and chai.

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Mercure Hyderabad

Mercure Hyderabad KCP is located in the heart of Hyderabad, with  128 well-appointed rooms, three food and beverage outlets and five contemporary meeting and banquet spaces, it’s a perfect leisure hub for all travels and corporate.

The hotel infuses a true representation in bringing local culture and tradition to life which can easily be seen around the hotel’s interiors and decor, and surrounds the food and beverage outlets, meeting and banquet spaces.

Cayenne, an all-day diner, offers an eclectic selection of local and intentional cuisines.  A spice adding zing and pep making everyone come alive with non-stop energy that describes the multi-cuisine restaurant serving piping hot and delectable dishes. Executive Chef – Vinay Talagadadev has left no stone unturned in laying a perfectly set menu that does justice to taste your buds.  They have both lavish buffet and a-la-carte menu to choose from. The variety is endless, and after the tasting we for sure recommend everything as a MUST TRY.

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Makhai kali Mirchi Soup

We started of the culinary journey with ‘Makhai Kali Mirchi’ a soup which will pleasingly fire up your taste buds, it gave me really high expectation of whats to come and every bit of it was met with even more delicious course followed by next.

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Kup Kebab, Bamboo Chicken, Murgh Afghani Tikka, Shami Kebab

In starters we were served ‘Murgh Afghani tikka’ ‘Lamb Shami Kebab’ ‘Bamboo Chicken’ ‘Kup Kebab’ ‘Bhindi Karaari Ki Tikki’ ‘Dahi Kebab’. Kup Kebab (the best at Mercure) is a sure winner with mouth melting texture of minced chicken and earthy flavor, Bamboo Chicken was another delight which is chicken infused with flavor served in a bamboo, a definite must try. Shammi kebab is another favorite that is perfect mix of spices.

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Nalli Nihari
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Murgh Makhani and Nadru Kofta

Main course was an array of gravies like outstanding ‘Nalli Nihari’, perfectly cooked and thick in gravy full of flavor and taste. ‘Dhuvaari Murgh Makhani’ ‘Nadru Kofta’ where also great in taste.

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Gulkand Cheese Cake, Fudge Brownie, Velvet Delight

‘Gulkand Cheese Cake’ ‘Fudge Brownie’ ‘Velvet Delight’ made a great windup for the exuberant meal.

So go ahead and have a really soulful meal at Mercure Hyderabad, and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, @fashioneatista your favorite Hyderabad blogger for all the updates of fashion, food and lots more.

Location: Mercure Hyderabad KCP, 6-3-551, Erramanjil, Banjara Hills Ph: 040 67888860, 040 67888888

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