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Things to do in Brighton

September 12, 2015

Brighton is a place that is not-to-be-missed for those who are travelling to London. The beachy town, which is full of life, is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway. The wondrous backdrop is ideal for a lazy stroll along the shore or to sunbathe under the glistening sun.

Day out in BrightonDay out in BrightonHere are three things to do in Brighton:

Eat: We arrived extremely hungry and after scouting all the places to eat, we settled for the good ol’ Mexican fare at Tortilla. Who can resist moreish guacamole and mouth-watering tostadas? Since we were super hungry we settled for large burritos brimming with extra dose of sour cream…ahhhh heaven! Brighton, like London offers diners a wide variety of options. From Indian to Singaporean, you can get a taste of different cuisines. There are numerous indie cafes with kitschy décor and delicious offerings.

Places to Eat: The Salt RoomThe Breakfast Club, Food for Friends & Solera

Day out in Brighton

Relax: We hired deck chairs and vegetated under the glorious sun. Although I always complain about the weather, I feel giddy with happiness when the rays of the sun warm my skin. I’m like Olaf from Frozen! If you don’t want to waste time sunbathing, you can take a dip in the ocean or walk around to explore the numerous art cafes and bakeries. We stumbled upon a fair that had food stalls, art installations and numerous counters showcasing local wares.

Places to See: Workshop, Brighton Open Market & Snoopers Paradise

London to Brighton Things to do in Brighton

Have Fun: Brighton Pier is a great place to indulge the kid in you! From Waltzers to Turbo Coasters, there are all sorts of rides to keep you entertained. R coaxed me into going on the Horror Hotel Ride, although it isn’t as scary as the one in Disneyland Paris, I being a total wuss closed my eyes tightly through the entire ride. At the Pier, R and I felt like two cool kids all set to raid the candy store. Sigh.

However, if this is not the kind of fun you want to have, the lanes are dotted with cutesy vintage stores selling everything from clothing to records. If that doesn’t float your boat, head over to Lucky Voice to show-off your singing skills or to Komedia Club to laugh away!

Brighton Pier London to Brighton

PS: The ice creams at the Pier are amaze balls! If you have any more interesting suggestions for things to do in Brighton, do let us know in the comments section below.

Life Lately Travel

Scotland Road Trip

August 10, 2015
Tomatin Distillery in Scotland


We planned our Scotland road trip in summer so we could enjoy the austere beauty of Scotland in all its glory without bundling up in heavy woollens and hiding indoors. Our friends Ravi and Shweta joined us all the way from the States to make this trip happen. After landing in Edinburgh, we set out to explore the fabled town that’s steeped in history. Instead of being enveloped by the warmth of sun, we were welcomed with a gush of chilly wind. Not what we were expecting!

Scotland Road Trip

Inside Edinburgh CastleWearing a fit and flare dress on a windy day is definitely not advisable. I walked all the way up to the castle holding my dress. The castle looks majestic against the Edinburgh skyline; no words can describe this vastness. We strolled through the castle marvelling at the richness of history – The Prisons of War Museum is particularly captivating. From the crown jewels to the military artillery, the museum is full of stories of yore. It was a fascinating start to our weeklong journey.

Zizzi Ristorante Edinburgh

We trudged upon a quaint Italian restaurant called Zizzi for lunch where we indulged ourselves in a rather large meal. Post the satisfying meal, we headed to our hotel MotelOne for a siesta. Since it was the Champions League finals between Barcelona and Juventus, we went to watch the match at a local pub. The raucous crowd and the overflowing beer served as the perfect antidote to Barcelona’s win. The best way to experience the true culture of any place is to watch a football match with the locals in a pub – the experience is metamorphic. Before we bid adieu to Edinburgh, Ravi and Shweta wanted to listen to Scottish folk music so they headed to Captain’s Bar. R and I were too exhausted so we had dinner at a Nepalese Restaurant and headed back to our hotel.

Edinburgh Waverly station

Fort William

Next morning, the sun was out in full force. We kicked off our Scotland road trip by renting a Nissan Qashqai and drove towards Fort William. On the way we stopped at Stirling Castle – a historical castle surrounded by steep cliffs. The Great Kitchens and Stirling Heads Gallery are the only high point of this castle. After spending the better part of our day at the castle, we headed to Crown Hotel in Callander for lunch. Hungry and happy, we sat down to have the standard American fare. Except R being the fancy one had Salmon with Garden Vegetables

View from Stirling Castle

Crown Hotel in Callander

Stirling Castle review

Scotland Road TripWe drove towards the Three Sisters to bask in the magnificence of nature and also for a photo op. These forbidding mountains are considered to be the highest peaks in Argyll. Silhouetted against a saffron and azure sky, it was a breathtaking sight. Sigh! The beauty of countryside.

Ben Nevis

After a particularly unappetising breakfast, we decided to do the Gondola Ride at Nevis Range. The ride which offers a breathtaking view of Aonach Mor is a value-for-money experience. Since it was a last minute plan, I was dressed in the most inappropriate attire. I trekked all the way up to the vantage point in a tulip skirt and loafers. Fashionable choice? Yes. Sensible choice? Non. Post the trek; we headed to board the ferry to Isle of Skye. Handy Tip: Always book in advance, or you’ll have to wait for hours to board the next one. We were lucky that in spite of telling us they were full, they let us in because there were a few cancellations.

Gondola Ride at Nevis Range.

Fairy Pools walk on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.

Isle of Skye

Our first stop on reaching Isle of Skye was Fairy Pools; by the time we got there it was cold and drizzling. We bundled up in all the clothes we had and hiked our way to the first pool. The vividly coloured pools are famed for having a bright turquoise-green hue to them. After spending an entire day amidst nature, we retired for the day in a cosy Bed & Breakfast called Grasmhor. Though the hosts weren’t very welcoming, it’s a lovely place to stay. Another Handy Tip: Stock up on food before you reach Portree because everything closes by six. We were tired and hungry and all the restaurants were closed. Thankfully we found a takeaway joint called Fat Panda that served us delicious semi-authentic Chinese food.

View from Old man of StorrAs the morning dawned bright, we drove towards the picturesque Old Man of Storr – a series of rocky pinnacles that look mighty and majestic. The unadulterated air and the hustling sound of the winds were like a balm to our souls. Next, we drove to Kilt Rock, a scenic beauty that’s a must-visit! The cliff formations are said to resemble the pattern on Scottish kilt, hence the name. The waterfalls, boats on the horizon and the mighty creations of nature are all a sight to behold. Magical! Before heading to Elgol, we stopped at a charming café in Staffin called Ellishadder Art Café – a quaint and rustic place with a very homemade vibe. After stuffing our faces with a little bit of everything on the menu, we set out on our next grand adventure. We rerouted to head to Elgol (when I say we, I mean Ravi – he drove while we snored.), which had vertiginously steep roads peppered with numerous blind turns.

Loch Coruisk Misty Isle Boat Trips

Boat Trips on the Isle of Skye from Elgol to Loch CoruiskAfter a backbreaking two-hour drive, we reached just in time to get onto the Misty Isle boat ride. The boat took us to Loch Coruisk, a secluded rocky island in the heart of the Cuillin Hills. We spent an hour exploring the island basking under the high altitude sun. On our way back, we made a short trip to the magnificent Eilean Donan castle, which sits right in between where the three lochs meet. Though the castle was closed, we admired its beauty from the outside.Eilean Donan Castle

Having eaten very little since morning, our stomachs were grumbling for some good food. We chose a Thai Restaurant in Inverness without looking it up on Tripadvisor (blasphemy), but we were proved that best things in life are those that are unplanned. Albeit a little expensive, the food was heavenly. Scrumptious Pad Thai, Chicken Red Thai Curry and Chicken & Cashew Stir Fry were gobbled up in seconds. No Thai meal is complete without Sticky Rice Pudding with Mango, so we rounded off our day with just that. We retired for the day at a castle-like place called Ballifeary – probably the only place in our entire trip where we had a good breakfast.

Edinburgh to London

This was our last day in Scotland, with heavy hearts we vacated our rooms to head to Loch Ness. What a fail! We drove around in circles trying to find the viewpoint. We were running out of time, so we decided to skip it and head to Tomatin Distillery. The guided tour of the distillery is quite educative, they take you through every stage of the process. There’s a little tasting session after the tour where you get to taste different varieties and try to assess the flavour. Though we had to rush to the airport to board our plane it was one helluva trip which we will cherish forever.

PS: The next road trip is already being chalked out


Honeymooning in the lap of luxury at Primrose Villas Chikmagalur

April 10, 2015

Primrose Villas Chikmagalur is a cosy boutique hotel 

On a wintry morning, we took off on a road trip towards Chikmagalur, the home of the magnificent Mullayanagiri range. The chilly February weather and the traffic-free roads made it especially ideal for travel. Five hours and 155 miles later we reached a beautiful and cosy boutique hotel to spend a weekend of bliss.

Primrose Villas Chikmagalur room with a view (2)

Primrose Villas Chikmagalur room with a view (15)

As we entered the lobby, we were greeted with a glass of chilled bubbly and warm smiles. The lobby looks like a work of art; it is aesthetically done up with artifacts collected from all over the world. Every nook and corner of the place has a story to tell. From the red sandstone flooring to brass artifacts and Victorian furniture, the owners – Ravi Ramu and Sumitra have given the place a rustic and earthy feel. It’s modern yet has a homely feel to it.

Primrose Villas Chikmagalur room with a view (17)

Primrose Villas Chikmagalur Review Price (16)

Primrose Villas Chikmagalur room with a view (16)

Once we were done marvelling at the place, we were taken to our honeymoon villa and R and I became quite speechless for a while. Built with glass walls, the high-ceilinged villa opens up to the most stunning mountain view. The interiors are plush with an eccentric mix of ethnic, contemporary and antique furniture. Satinder Singh, the friendly manager at Primrose told us about how much work had gone into making sure we had the best time of our lives. From adding our favourite dishes to the menu to decorating our bed, there was so much attention to detail. Since we were the first honeymooning couple to visit the villa, they had baked us a heart-shaped raspberry cake – a very thoughtful gesture, indeed.

Primrose Villas Chikmagalur room with a view (8)

Primrose Villas Chikmagalur room with a view (5)

Primrose Villas Chikmagalur room with a view (12)

To make our first meal extra special, they set up a table for us in a secluded spot in the property. In the midst of a dense forest with sounds of birds chirping and wind swishing through the trees, we had a meal fit for a king. The food was a revelation; it was cooked and spiced to perfection. I don’t quite remember the names of the dishes but R particularly liked how juicy and tender the meat was.  Post the meal and a little celebration (we’ll tell you why, soon) we went up to the terrace to watch the sunset. It was the perfect opportunity for R to bring out his camera and capture the changing shades of the sky.

Primrose Villas Chikmagalur Review Price (18)

Primrose Villas Chikmagalur Review Price (17)

Primrose Villas Chikmagalur room with a view (13)

Primrose Villas Chikmagalur room with a view (9)

The day ended with a hearty 7-course barbecue dinner and champagne which was served right outside our villa. We were so full that we could barely move. The in-house chefs at Primrose surely know how to whet one’s appetite. As R and I sat in the portico under a blanket of twinkling stars, we couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed with all the love and warmth.Primrose Villas Chikmagalur Review Price (15)

We woke up the next morning with rays of sunshine pouring into our room and gently nudging us to wake up. After lazing around in bed for a while, we went to have our breakfast. We were ravenously hungry in spite of having had a rather large meal the previous night. R loved the breakfast spread; though it was the standard English fare, everything was done to perfection. The pancakes were fluffy, the bacon crisped just right and the sausages…oooh the sausages were simply delicious. R being a fussy eater ordered two more plates of them, so you can imagine how good they were. Having tamed our grumbling tummies, we went out to explore the property. The newly-opened retreat is housed amidst the 122-year-old, 600-acre ancestral property. During the coffee picking season, they take you on a guided tour around the coffee estate. They also offer a trek up the mountain but we didn’t get to do it due to a wildfire.

Primrose Villas Chikmagalur room with a view (7)

Primrose Villas Chikmagalur room with a view (4)

Primrose Villas Chikmagalur room with a view (18)

What stood out for us was how each and every staff member was so dedicated and friendly. R was impressed with how the owners had carefully handpicked their staff because he felt that’s what distinguished them against other luxury hotels.

Primrose Villas Chikmagalur room with a view (14)


Primrose Villas Chikmagalur room with a view (3)

There was a personal touch to everything they did, in fact, we were moved by how thoughtful they were when they packed lunch for our drive back home. Like R says, it’s these little things that make a whole lot of difference. We came back with our heart’s content and stomach full (they really do feed you well).

PS: Even though we couldn’t find any reviews on TripAdvisor we went ahead and booked the Honeymoon villa at Primrose Villas Chikmagalur, sometimes you just have to take the leap of faith

General Life Lately Travel

Glorious memories of 2014

January 4, 2015
Deadmau5 in India, Bangalore

2014 was a glorious year and here are a few of my favourite memories from the year gone by.

Our room opened up to the most breathtaking view

Our room opened up to the most breathtaking view

My friend and I travelled to Sri Lanka last year and we stayed at a beautiful homestay in Kandy. Located on top of a hill, Hanthana Homestay is truly a paradise. Large spacious room, delicious Sri Lankan food and friendly hosts made our stay there extra special. The owner whose name I have forgotten gifted us a bracelet on our last day there and I thought it was a very sweet gesture. Every time I look at the bracelet, it reminds of how great the trip was!

Deadmau5 at Sunburn Supernova Arena, Yelahanka, Bangalore

A girl in the washroom asked me how old I was, when I said 27, she said ‘oh’!

My cousin M, who is a big fan of Deadmau5, very generously offered to take me to the concert and it was an absolute blast! The crowd, the music…was all so perfect. That evening was so magical that we could barely sleep that night. Seeing M let go and sway to the music made me all the more happy!

Above & Beyond

I highly recommend giving this album a listen

When I met R for the first time, I didn’t know we would ever come this far. One of the very first gifts he gave me was an Above & Beyond cd and a box of chocolates which remind me of our initial courtship period. It was all so exciting and fresh and I loved the whole discovering-each-other phase.

My lovely parent-in-laws

My lovely parent-in-laws

I spent an entire afternoon with my parent-in-laws looking at R’s baby pictures. He is so cute that I wanted to gobble him up. I still can’t get over his cuteness. Most importantly, it was an afternoon of scrumptious food and bonding with my new parents – a day I will cherish forever.

R’s baby picture

How cute is naked baby R?

R and I dove into each other’s arms after spending three months apart. That feeling is inexplicable. It was such a perfect day that even the rains couldn’t spoil our mood.

So these are my memories of 2014, what are yours?

PS: We have been extremely slow in updating the blog because we’ve been very busy. With the wedding only 26 days away, there is a lot of last minute plans that need perfecting. Expect regular updates 24th onwards.

Happy New Year, everyone!

General Travel

Postcards from US of A

November 16, 2014
Hello, Grand Canyon

Pictures capture the essence of a place much better than words can ever do. Come, take this photo journey with me as I show you the grandeur and mesmerising variety that US of A has to offer.

The "cool" Miami look :)

The “cool” Miami look 🙂

Niagara Falls - Up, close and personal

Niagara Falls – Up, close and personal

Niagara Falls yet again

Maid of the Mist, Niagara Falls

Segway tour. An ideal way to see Chicago

Segway tour. An ideal way to see Chicago

View from Skydeck Chicago

View from Skydeck Chicago

The picture says it all

The picture says it all

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Welcome, in different languages

Welcome, in different languages

That mandatory picture - Universal Studios

That mandatory picture – Universal Studios

Hoover Dam Bridge

Hoover Dam Bridge

The mighty Grand Canyon

The mighty Grand Canyon

Las Vegas from the Eiffel Tower

Las Vegas from the Eiffel Tower

PS: Chalk these in your itinerary as a few must see places in USA.

Food General Life Lately Travel

What Makes Us Happy

October 21, 2014

It is often the silliest and smallest dissatisfactions in life that stop us from being our optimum self. We focus too much on what makes us unhappy that we forget to practice gratitude for everyday things. The purpose of this list is to remind us that there are infinite little things Continue Reading