A guide to travel in Thailand’s Chiang Mai

A guide to travel in Thailand’s Chiang Mai

A guide to travel in Thailand’s Chiang Mai By
Unwind
Updated : June 07, 2019 11:53 PM IST Thailand’s splendid Chiang Mai is a semantic oxymoron: the new (Mai) city (Chiang) is actually quite old. Exactly 723 years old. Not cragged and wrinkled but laid-back, beautiful, loaded with history. And stories. Of the Buddha who sits in many a temple; of the valiant King Meng Rai, the city’s founder; of a monk so good looking that he turned himself fat and ugly so that others weren’t distracted; of the old city hemmed by 1.8 square kilometre moat; of the 300 temples within the old square; of elephants; the hill tribes…There many a reasons to visit Chiang Mai (700 kms from Bangkok). From the airport, take a shuttle (nearly 20 baht), call a Grab taxi (there is no Uber; roughly 200 baht) or take blue/yellow taxis. Within the city, use the red cab (30 baht from one point to another), tuk-tuk (it is not metered, so haggle) or blue public buses (very affordable but not available on all routes). For budget travel, there are hostels (dorms start as low as 150 baht a night). Several options are available online (check free Wi-Fi & free breakfast). If you choose roadside eateries, food courts within markets, 250 baht is good for a day (three meals, no alcohol). Legal drinking age is 18; carry a photo ID for entry into nightclubs. Currently, visa on arrival is free for Indians. For quick visa, pay premium fee of 200 baht/person. 1 baht = Rs 2.21. Here are a few must-dos.
The highest point in Thailand: Sitting in a valley surrounded by wood hills, Thailand’s highest point is Doi Inthanon (60-minute drive from the city), its peak reaching out to the heavens at 2,565 metres (8,415 ft). Part of the Himalayan mountain range, Doi Inthanon is one of the most popular national parks in Thailand. Easily accessible, the highest point is reached by a wooden bridge and a few more steps lead to the ash-memorial of King Inthanon after whom the mountain is named.
Massage by a prisoner: Welcome to the Prison. In Rachvithi Road, a signboard above a rattan swing with red cushions welcomes walk-ins and promises a relaxing massage by a criminal. It sounds like a con-woman’s ploy, but it is not. Yes, these women are prisoners who are brought in every morning from the correctional facility to offer massage – it’s a massage rehabilitation program to help the inmates make a living after their release.
Graffiti on the wall: Chiang Mai is arty in its mien, its walls awash with art – sprayed, stencilled, scribbled, anonymous stickers; the motifs ranging from cartoon, anime, classical, to contemporary and irreverent. One of the best graffiti walks in town is the walls along the now-closed correctional facility.
The Royal Garden: Ferns. Orchids. Portulaca. Air plants. Ancient statuesque trees. Zinnia and periwinkles. Sculptures, arches and garden pavilions from various countries. Officially called Royal Flora Rajapruek, the garden was built to commemorate the 60th anniversary of King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s accession to the throne. Counted as a major centre of agricultural research, it is a long walk around the manicured space. Take the free tram ride and do stop at the India Pavilion where a tall Ganesha stands on a pedestal in a lotus pond. (Photographed here is the Cannon Ball tree flower in the garden’s India Pavilion)
Traditional Umbrella Making: For nearly a century, Bo Sang (also known as Bor Sang; 10 kms from Chiang Mai) village has been pounding the fibre of the Sa tree to make the famed paper umbrellas. Legend has it a Thai monk discovered umbrella making in Burma and launched it in the village. One can watch women hunched over sedulously creating canvas and paper umbrellas and parasols. Together, they had created a 7-metre long umbrella when Princess Diana visited the Umbrella Making Centre.
Lamour Salon & Cafe: The house is mango yellow, the servers wear red, the food is scrumptious and on a whim, you can get a haircut. Lamour Cafe (Soi Wat Umong, Suthep) started life as a salon and turned into a popular cafe where smoothies come with accompanied with tiny flower baskets. Commonly known as the Yellow House, the cafe/salon is quaintly charming and its fusion cuisine is delicious.
Museum of Contemporary Art: Located in the cultural district of Sankampang (20-minute drive from the city centre; entrance fee: Adults 150 Baht; closed on Tuesdays), MAIIAM Museum of Contemporary Art opened its door in 2016. With a mirror facade and large white walls, the Museum is currently hosting Spanish artist Pilar Albarracín’s first solo exhibition in Asia.

Read More…

Plate up my adventure

Purnima Sharma
Food isn’t something that just fills your stomach but, with its taste and flavours, it is something that can take you places and make you feel on top of the world,” says Shifa Merchant, an avid traveller and photographer. Shifa always ensures that when globetrotting, her itinerary remains full not just with sightseeing and adventure activities like ziplining, seakarting or snorkelling, but also varied food experiences, each more adventurous than the other. A recent US-based survey has, however, claimed that more than 67 per cent of Indian travellers like to play safe and pick their travel destination based on the cuisine and food choices it offers. And sure enough, while the world is waking up to vegetarianism and veganism, many followers of this concept find it difficult to get food options that fall in line with their diktats.
“One of the major ingredients of a good holiday is splendid food, so I’d rather spend it in London or New York that offers stuff up my street,” says Neha Parashar. But till recently, while many echoed Parashar’s line of thought, they are now willing to change. “There’s always something splendid waiting to be unveiled at each place,” smiles Deepika Sood, who always likes to holiday in lesser-known destinations. “Like the freshly baked bread balls I had in Sanya (China) several years ago. Their taste still remains fresh with me,” says Deepika.
For palate’s sake
Shifa, who calls herself an ‘incorrigible foodie’, agrees with her. “For me, exploring new food experiences is a given at a new place,” she says.
That is why despite her love for ghar ka khana, Shifa enjoyed the culinary encounters she had recently at an oyster farm in Taiwan. “Raw oysters, fresh off the farm, were on the menu. The way to eat these — as people there told me — was to gulp these down!” Although the idea was initially ‘a wee-bit unpalatable’, the Mumbai-based food lover did give it a shot. “And it turned out to be good,” she laughs. The same was the case with Peking duck. “The way it’s served — as if a real duck is sitting on your place — can put you off. But I thought of giving it a chance. After initial apprehension, I enjoyed the experience.” Sure enough, most avid travellers agree that if food of the destination they’re travelling to is good, then magic of the holiday gets multiplied manifold.
“Many people don’t like the idea of experimenting with food,” says Komal Seth, a senior travel executive. “And while they have no complaints about the place, they do crib about the missing ‘X-factor.’ And this translates into food of their choice.”
Food on my mind
Vegetarian or not, food is a big part of the Indian traveller’s holiday plans, says Komal, who has been organising travel trips. She recalls the time when she first started travelling. Being a vegetarian was the biggest bane of her life then, she says.
“Gorging on limited options like potatoes and cheese or butter and then the desserts, would often leave me up by many kilos. So I started experimenting with my food,” laughs the travel aficionado. Since she was travelling as often as twice a month, she also decided on a “more sensible solution” of carry theplas and special masala to add spicy flavour to her salads, instead of the regular cheese and butter. “Experimenting is fun. It not just expands our global palette but also introduces us to interesting culinary experiences,” she adds.
Sometimes, the going can be tough for vegetarians, says Delhi-based fashion designer Madhu Jain. Having travelled extensively, she prefers the oft-trodden path that invariably includes Paris for its vegetarian options that she can tuck into with gusto. Remembering the time she first visited the French capital about three decades ago, Madhu laughs, “My meals then comprised a plate of boiled rice with tabasco sauce and coke!”
With vegetarian options “including the to-die-for breads and cheese” available now, there’s no reason for the couturier to feel shortchanged. “And in any case, one request from you, and the chefs, even at the local bistros, will rustle up the most amazing vegetarian dishes for you,” smiles Madhu.
While travellers across the world have long been open to the idea of a ‘food adventure’, the Indian palate, too, is opening up to the power of food. Every time Abhinav Gupta travels abroad, the first thing he does is book a food tour. “The one I was part of in Lisbon recently unveiled some of the most exotic meals ever, including grilled sardines and mashed potatoes with olive oil dressing, besides Douro Valley’s green wine.”
From a different world
Unlike many, who might crave for home food, Abhinav says he “doesn’t miss it one bit because I have enough time to have it once I get back”.
Piyali Dasgupta, a media executive who recently returned from a two-month holiday in Europe, agrees. “Why think of home food when there’s a smorgasbord of incredible foods waiting to be devoured?”
Be it in Auckland or Assam, Piyali says she has enjoyed “some amazing culinary experiences”. She remembers walking into a roadside dhaba near Guwahati and opting for the only dish readily available. “This was a typical Khasi pork preparation. Despite the pungent smell that had initially repelled us, we relished it immediately after it was served.”
Needless to say, food has been an important part of her travels. “Imagine going to a place and not getting good stuff to eat — I’m sure you’ll not want to go there again,” she says candidly. Remembering her Spanish sojourn, Piyali says, “Even now, when I think of Barcelona, it’s paella that springs to mind.” And her memory of the Swiss snowscape is not complete without remembering the “heavenly cheese and toast we had one morning. It may sound simple but it’s sure to take me back to Zurich one day”, she smiles.
Spontaneous food choices are always at the heart of great travel experience, says model Jessy Randhawa. A little shop she discovered in Rome has since become the go-to place for her kind of pasta whenever she’s in Italy. “On the one hand, I enjoy subtle flavours of Italian pasta, on the other I relish the strong spicy taste of Rajasthani food,” she adds.
The Indian palate, according to Jessy, is one that adapts easily to different tastes. Having travelled all across both for travel and leisure, the girl from Punjab says, “Despite being a vegetarian, I have been a non-fussy eater and open to trying out different recipes and tastes,” she adds. The only time she faced some problems were when in the “Arab world where the vegetarian choices were few. But I would still happily manage with rice and some bit of sauces here and there”. Where there’s a will, there’s a way to indulge your tastebuds!

Read More…

Chef Craze – Food Cooking Game – Lapusanu Patriciu

iPad Description Chef Fever – Food Cooking Game is a brand new cooking games for girls & rated the best in 2019 from its fast food category! Play for free & discover free new recipes and tons of restaurants like french cuisine,american cuisine,italian cuisine,chinese cuisine & many more! Push your time management skills to the limit and build your own kitchen! Travel across the world and spread the Fast Food Feverin all the kitchens! Beat your of the free cooking games for girls today and cook mama’s delicious meals,dishes and desserts in every country in the world!Features:- 4 Exotic Restaurants with tasty food- 160+ Levels of cooking delicious recipes- Best cooking gameplay!- Learn how to cook pizza, spaghetti & discover new delicious recipes for free!- Learn the cooking madness & cooking craze way of making tasty food!- Bake tasty desserts and Fast Food games for girls & discover Oriental Restaurants and Chinese Restaurants, you will be able to cook and learn a variety of cooking techniques.- Taste the fever of New Cooking GamesAmerican RestaurantYou will learn to serve burgers, sausages & learn to condiment the burger meat with ease!The perfect burger is made with ketchup, mayonnaise and just a small amount of mustard!The Chicken Fried & crispy chicken wings are a game changer!Use lemons to prepare a special white sauce with garlic & sour cream & milk! When you cook with mama & she tells you to eat your vegetables, then you eat them in order to win this cooking game! Don’t forget about the barbecue level where you will discover recipes like Hot Chicken Wings with garlic sauce or hot chili sauce as well as french fries and several other types of chicken meat & also grill some beef ribs or pork chops & delicious Stew or Chicken Parmesan.Italian RestaurantWe’ll teach you how to make pizza & spaghetti!We have unique flavours for Pasta Bolognese,Carbonara,Tortellini & Arrabiata! We also have various types of pizza like pepperoni, pizza carnivore & pizza cannibale. Taste delicious sea food with herbs,lemons & olive oil.Chinese RestaurantChinese cuisine is very old & always a delicacy! Pork Dumplings as snacks and Shrimp with Broccoli in Garlic Sauce for dinner is the main course in this country! Fried Rice which has the best complex carbohydrates mixed with soya sauce for healthy bodybuilders!Japanese sushi shouldn’t be forgotten!Tempura and Sashimi Sushi are tasty & a hot bowl of Ramen or Makizushi will make your day! Make sure your sushi rice is cooked with wasabi and soy sauce to perfectly season the food!Australian RestaurantWe didn’t forget about waffles with strawberries, honey & blueberries! We’ll teach you some sugary recipes to do in your kitchen with ease. Shakes & blenders will be your friends in this level. Mama will make you cookies,banana split dessert & a banana smoothie!The cakes that she makes are internationally recognized!Smoothies & milkshakes are the tastiest ever!We will teach you how to cook your favourite donuts, cheesecake & brownies.Upcoming RestaurantsIn the Mexican restaurant, we adore to cook Chicken Fajitas, slice meat and veggies to wrap them in the tortilla!We have our proprietary blend for Guacamole recipe to fit perfectly with the Mexican Burrito, Nacho & Taco!The secret here is to choose the best olive oil, tomato sauce & fresh avocado!The indian cuisine which is one of a kind!The Indian Chicken Curry is at the base of indian food!Cook tasty Samosa with some Tandori chicken or Rogan Josh.Don’t do it without Naan bread or tortilla for dinner.Chole Chickpea Curry or Palak Paneer spinach and cottage cheese are recommended for the elders & it’s a delicious lunch.Did you know that Chaat is the most delicios snack in India?Play our free cooking games & download Chef Fever – Food Cooking Game today! Information

Read More…

Ouzo Bay and Loch Bar Set to Debut, Original Ninfa’s Goes Uptown

EXPAND Photo by Joe Sweeny Openings and Closings: Ouzo Bay and Loch Bar, Original Ninfa’s Uptown Lorretta Ruggiero | June 7, 2019 | 5: Ouzo Bay , 4444 Westheimer, opens June 17 along with its sister concept, Loch Bar. Brothers and owners Alex and Eric Smith of Atlas Restaurant Group operate 18 restaurants from Baltimore to Washington D.C. and down to South Florida. Ouzo Bay and Loch Bar were both opened in Baltimore in 2012, with a second location for each in Boca Raton in 2017. Now, the brothers are bringing the upscale Mediterranean Ouzo Bay and the seafood tavern, Loch Bar, to the River Oaks District, a pedestrian-friendly and upscale area primed for these two concepts.
Ouzo Bay is “elevated Mediterranean” with much of that Mediterranean cuisine inspired by Greece, particularly Santorini. For those who have yet to experience the blue and white serenity of that Greek isle, the Smith brothers want to transport patrons there with the decor, fresh seafood and traditional Greek dishes with a modern touch.
EXPAND Ouzo Bay has beautiful colors of the sea. Photo by Joe Sweeny There are appetizers such as hummus, tzatziki, and goat cheese dip with pita. The catch of the day is a colorful and sumptuous display over ice and its Fish Market offers delights such as Aegean Bronzino and Hawaiian Kona Kampachi.
Evan Turner has curated an adventurous wine list and the glass-encased floor to ceiling wine room showcases the bottles. An ivy-covered trellis leads to the patio and a massive indoor-outdoor fireplace makes a dramatic statement.
The restaurant seats 275 guests and there will be a live DJ in the bar and lounge Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Sit back with an infused whiskey and pretend you’re enjoying some Greek nightlife. In River Oaks.
EXPAND Oysters on ice and everything nice. That’s what Loch Bar is made of. Photo by Joe Sweeny Loch Bar , 4444 Westheimer, is a seafood tavern with a speakeasy feel featuring live music every evening. Boasting one of the largest raw bars in Houston, there will be iced towers of oysters and caviar plus New England lobster rolls and Maryland-style crab cakes. And in keeping with its entry into the Houston restaurant scene, there will be a Viet-Cajun crawfish boil as well.
Designer Patrick Sutton has brought a feel of The Cape to the Bayou City with white-washed wood accents contrasted with brass fixtures. Antique mirrors and custom clocks line the walls and deep-tufted red leather banquettes offer comfortable luxury for relaxing with a cocktail or glass of sparkling wine. The bar program offers over 400 labels of whiskey from Europe, Japan, Canada, and of course, the good ole U.S. of A.
Loch Bar has seating for 175 guests and a private dining room for 30. There’s an elevated lounge overlooking the central dining area and an expansive patio features black and white pin-striped canopies to keep out the Texas sun.
EXPAND The Original Ninfa’s is going uptown. Photo by Kirsten Gilliam The Original Ninfa’s Uptown Houston , 1700 Post Oak Boulevard, opens June 10. The menu and pricing will be the same as The Original Ninfa’s on Navigation, but new cocktails and a happy hour bar menu will be featured. A weekday breakfast will be launched later in the year.
The space at BLVD Place was originally occupied by Peska, which closed in November 2017. There is seating for 280 guests, with the three covered patios accommodating 100 of them. The interior design is by Michael Hsu out of Austin and Houston’s Studio Red Architects. The renovations were done by Construction Concepts. Photos of “Mama” Ninfa Laurenzo decorate the walls, including black and white photos of the young beauty. The kitchen has a wood-burning oven and grill, signatures of the Original Ninfa’s.
EXPAND Jason Gould and Alex Padilla are heating up the wood-burning grills at The Original Ninfa’s locations. Photo by Kirsten Gilliam Jason Gould will serve as Executive Chef. The Australian native has a multitude of experience from restaurants around the world, with Cyclone Anaya’s and Gravitas part of his Houston portfolio. He will oversee operations with Legacy Restaurants’ Corporate Executive Chef, Alex Padilla, and General Manager Ashley Clark. Beverage Consultant Linda Salinas will help to launch the bar program with its new cocktails. Happy hour in the bar will run from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Indika , 516 Westheimer, will close June 30, as reported by t he Houston Chronicle . The modern Indian restaurant was helmed by Chef Anita Jaisinghani for more than 15 years. The James Beard Award-nominated chef sold her share in 2017 to concentrate on her new venture, Pondicheri, which has locations in Houston and New York City. It was bought by Mickey Kapoor, owner of Khyber North Indian Grill. No word yet as to what Kapoor’s plans are, but the restaurateur has been a character in the Houston restaurant scene for decades, so it should be interesting.
Candente , 4306 Yoakum, is expected to open mid-July. The new Tex-Mex concept from Sambrooks Management comes hot on the heels of the recent opening of another concept from Michael Sambrooks, 1751 Sea and Bar. The new restaurant will feature a custom built wood-burning grill which will remind diners of The Pit Room’s smoky flavors.
Mex Taco House , 14030 Telge, opened May 19. The fast-casual Mexican restaurant serves breakfast and lunch tacos from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. There are also treats like churro pancakes, tortas and on the weekends, menudo .
Bonjour Cafe , 20829 Kingsland Boulevard, began its soft opening June 3 in Katy. Chef Arnaud Acaries, formerly executive pastry chef at La Villa Saint-Tropez, has opened his own pastry shop and cafe in Katy. The French-born Acaries came to Houston in 2015. On the advice of his family, he enrolled in Le Notre, earning a degree in Baking and Pastry. The cafe is open for breakfast and lunch, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Sunday.
The menu leans heavily French with croquet madame or monsieur , quiche, sweet and savory crepes and salade vinaigrette . There are tempting artisanal pastries including eclairs and macarons , plus coffee drinks, organic teas, sodas, sparkling water and bottled juice. The chef also creates special desserts and special occasion cakes.
EXPAND Black’s Market Table is closing in Cypress. Photo by Lorretta Ruggiero Black’s Market Table , 11550 Louetta, will serve its last dinner service July 13, according to Houston Food Finder . The restaurant’s farm to table, upscale cuisine impressed critics and local residents, but the owners cite Hurricane Harvey, the move of Hewlett Packard Enterprise from the nearby Cypress Creek campus and the preponderance of nearby chain restaurants (especially in the Vintage Park area) as contributing factors to the decision to close its doors. Chef Bart Black and wife Rachele opened the restaurant five years ago serving homestyle fare like fried chicken, deviled eggs, shrimp and grits and steaks with a contemporary and chef-driven flair.
In a post to its Facebook page, the owners stated:
“Along the way, we’ve had good days and bad, but what stands out are the new friendships and memories that were created inside our doors. It has truly been an honor and a pleasure to serve our community, not only a good lunch or stand out dinner, but to have been a part of your celebrations. Creating a sense of connection through food is one of the things that drives us…seeing that happen time and again has given us a sense of purpose and value.”
Unfortunately, diners choosing Black’s for special occasions and celebrations weren’t enough to keep it going. The drop in sales, with many of the surrounding area residents pouring their financial resources into rebuilding after Harvey and the loss of thousands of HP employees means Cypress is losing another family-owned restaurant.
However, loyal patrons still have a month to show support. Check its Facebook page for specials and the return of some favorite menu items.
Base , 801 Congress, opened May 31. The speakeasy-style nightclub is located in the basement of the Henry Henke building in Market Square. In order to access the club, well-dressed influencers need to make their way through the lobby and take the elevator down to the basement, where sharp eyes will notice a pink neon “Ssshhh”. Push the wall and you’re in like Flynn. The weekend only party place comes from Concepts to Fruition (C2F), according to CultureMap Houston and is open Friday and Saturday only from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
There’s bottle service for high rollers and their entourage. A neon-lit dance floor offers plenty of space to dance and put out the vibes to potential mates. There are tables and couches for resting your high-heeled tootsies and cooling off with a glass of champagne.
EXPAND Photo by Carla Gomez Local Group Brewing , 1504 Chapman, is shooting to open in late 2019. at Hardy Yards in Near Northside. The 7,500 square foot brew pub will feature an air-conditioned tap room with over 20 taps, 8 of which will be connected directly to the ten barrel serving tanks. The pet-friendly, kid friendly brew pub will also have views of downtown Houston and an outdoor patio.
The team and co-founders are Todd Donewar, a native of New Orleans, Canadian Michael Steeves and James ” Huggy Bear” Wolfe, whose previous stints include No Label Brewing Company and Southern Star Brewing. Oh, and NASA. The team is currently searching for an executive chef to head the kitchen.
The Near Northside area is part of Mayor Sylvester Turner’s “Complete Communities” initiative and the team at Local Group are excited to be part of the neighborhood. The building housing the brew pub was built in 1948 and local firms like Method Architecture, GSD Construction and Field of Study Design will create and design the space.
Chef Holley at Davis Street , 5925 Almeda Road, is expected to open in August 2019, according to The Houston Chronicle . Chef Mark Holley brought his experience working at Brennan’s, Commander’s Palace in New Orleans and his 12 year stint as executive chef at Pesce to his own restaurant, Holley’s Seafood Restaurant and Oyster Bar which opened in 2014. The restaurant closed in October 2017 after Hurricane Harvey and Holley has continued in the hospitality industry as a restaurant consultant. Now, he’s taking over the Davis St. at Hermann Park spot, which closed in February 2017 for renovations and never reopened.
Holley is being tight-lipped about whether or not his famous fried chicken will be on the menu, but expect to see some of his signature dishes, seafood and prime steaks. Holley also plans to feature a few Davis St. menu items as an homage to the former restaurant.
La Torretta , 600 La Torretta Boulevard, is liquidating all its contents by “Public Sale” which began June 6 and continues Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. until everything is sold. This pre-renovation sale is to make way for the transformation of the Lake Conroe hotel, spa and restaurants into Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Resort, which will include its two restaurants, Landshark Bar and Grill and 5 o’clock Somewhere Bar and Grill.
For bargain hunters, the tag sale will include the entire contents of the 307 guest suites, bed and bath linens, carpet, drapes, gift shop items and more.
EXPAND Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue is branching out again. Photo by Carlos Brandon Tejas Burger Joint , 214 Main, will open in Tomball later this summer, according to Houston Business Journal .
The owners of Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue saw huge increases in sales after it made Texas Monthly’s No. 6 spot on its Best Barbecue in Texas list. However, Wednesdays were sluggish and a burger was introduced to pick up sales. It has proven to be so popular that the owners have decided to open a burger joint not far away from the barbecue restaurant at 200 N. Elm. You can read Carlos Brandon’s recent review of Tejas Chocolate & Barbecue here in the Press .
The burger spot will sell burgers, shakes and fries and, after acquiring a liquor license, “adult” milkshakes.
EXPAND Fajita Pete’s will set you up with meats. Photo by Pedro Mora Fajita Pete’s , 1214 W. 43rd, will open in the Garden Oaks/Oak Forest area June 10. The Houston-based fajita company does a brisk business in to-go orders and catering, but also has dine-in available. Beef or chicken fajitas can be ordered by the 1/2 pound and includes all the fixings like shredded cheese, pico de gallo and guacamole. There are other menu items, including enchiladas verde, quesadillas and flautas. Tres leches and sopapillas are on the dessert menu and Pete’s Ritas are available starting at 12 ounces up to a gallon for take-out. If you bring a gallon of ritas and a couple of pounds of fajitas to your posse, you will be everybody’s darlin’.
Weinerschnitzel , 20130 U.S. Highway 59, opened May 26, according to click2houston.com The hot dog franchise began in 1961 and is especially known for its chili sauce for topping its dogs, burgers or fries. Super fans can even purchase the chili by the can to take home and douse whatever is in the pantry without judgment.
The company, which is the world’s largest hot dog chain in the world, had locations in Houston in the 1970s and ’80s, but left the city. Now, it has returned as the “world’s most wanted weiner”. I thought that title belonged to Brad Pitt, but anyhoo. The dogs can be ordered with a variety of toppings like sauerkraut, green chiles and relish. If weiners aren’t your thing (sorry, Brad), there are burgers and chicken sandwiches. And chili cheese fries.
EXPAND Willet Feng is the man with a plan for a new burger-chan. Photo by Diane Wu Feng

Read More…

5 Local Foods You Can Eat To Help Preserve Biodiversity — And Help The Planet

5 Local Foods You Can Eat To Help Preserve Biodiversity — And Help The Planet June 07, 2019 Twitter Last month, the United Nations released a report on biodiversity and ecosystems that found 1 million plant and animal species are currently facing extinction — an unprecedented figure. The report represents continued efforts to bring the scientific community’s concerns about biodiversity to the mainstream. For most of us, biodiversity and species extinction seem like distant problems in South American rain forests or African deserts. So scientists are on a mission to ground biodiversity in everyday reality. I prefer to look at big problems through the lens of food. It’s often more interesting, and in many cases, more delicious — and this is a perfect example. Since 75% of the global food supply comes from just 12 plant and five animal species, can changing the way we eat help mitigate the loss of biodiversity? The World Wildlife Fund argues dietary monotony (think about the last time you went a day without eating corn, rice or wheat) leads to a decline in biodiversity since “many birds, animals, insects and wild plants can’t thrive in biologically degraded landscapes” created by intensive farming. So in partnership with the German food brand Knorr, the WWF published “ Future 50 Foods ,” a list of “foods we should eat more of because they are nutritious, have a lower impact on our planet than animal-based foods, can be affordable, accessible, and taste good.” Though New England is unlikely to ever produce quinoa, jicama or nopales, many of the 50 items can still be easily found in the region. Below, read a companion guide to the “Future 50 Foods” that highlights the ingredients available at Massachusetts farms and restaurants that you could eat to help improve biodiversity. 1. Wakame Seaweed Wakame seaweed salad. (Loozrboy via flickr) Wakame and other seaweeds thrive in the cold waters of New England, and fresh, frozen and dried versions are now available to locavores. Whole Foods carries Maine Coast Sea Vegetables’ wakame, and other smaller, newer businesses have local seaweeds for sale online and in some specialty stores. A recent New York Times article outlined how seaweeds are not only high in potassium, iron, calcium and fiber, but also are considered a sustainable food since they don’t require fertilizer or other inputs like water, seeds or chemicals. They actually absorb phosphorus and carbon dioxide from the sea. Seaweed is so high in iodine , however, that it’s best in moderation with a little bit added to everyday foods. Kelp belongs anywhere that you want a pop of green, or a bit of savory salinity — tossed in pasta, blended in smoothies, and of course, in miso soup. Or, if you prefer to drink your superfoods, you can go for seaweed-infused beer instead. 2. Beet Greens Spinach and beet green salad. (Timothy Vollmer via flickr) Beet greens cook up a lot like Swiss chard, which isn’t surprising since they are different cultivars of the same species, beta vulgaris . Like their roots, the greens are nutritious, so it’s a shame that they often end up in the trash or compost, either on the farm or in our kitchens. Beets with greens are available in many grocery stores, but if it’s fresh, vibrant greens you’re after, look for bunched beets at farmers markets this summer. Cut the roots from the greens as soon as you get home; the greens struggle to remain fresh by drawing moisture from the roots. At a market or farm stand, you could even inquire about buying only the greens, since farmers eventually have to remove greens for beets to go in to storage. I’m partial to creamed beet greens , but they’re so versatile — try them in soup, quiche, gratin or even dumplings . 3. Okra A customer checks the firmness of fresh okra at Doris Berry Produce stand in Jackson, Miss. (Rogelio V. Solis/AP) Okra isn’t top of mind for most New Englanders, but the funny looking fruit — yes, technically a fruit — thrives in our region for a couple months each year. If you think you don’t like okra, late August is the time to give it another chance at the farmer’s market. Flats Mentor Farm focuses on training refugee and immigrant farmers who wish to grow produce from their cuisines; find them at a number of local markets this summer . Many recipes seek to minimize cooked okra’s sliminess by keeping the pods whole, or by quick cooking methods like deep frying. But if you don’t mind a bit of slime, consider using it to your advantage as a thickening ingredient for soups or stews, like gumbo, North African tagine, Sudanese tomato and okra stew , or North Indian bhindi masala , a crispy stir-fry. 4. Spelt Spelt pasta with wild mushrooms, black cabbage and egg. (T.Tseng via flickr) Spelt is a grain similar to wheat and also known as emmer, and it can be cooked whole or ground in to flour. Used in Rome to make flatbread and polenta , spelt is considered an “ancient grain.” Whole-grain spelt might be compared to brown rice — it takes a bit longer to cook, and is much more nutritious. If you impulsively bought an Instant Pot and aren’t sure what to do with it, it can make cooking whole grains like spelt very easy. Consider cooking a large batch early in the week, and pull it out of the fridge as needed for soups or grain salads . Lower in gluten than typical white flour, spelt flour is ideal for pancakes, muffins or quickbreads like banana bread. 5. Black Turtle Beans Turtle bean and chili con carne burrito. (Alpha via flickr) Black turtle beans are most popular in Latin American, Cajun and Creole cuisine, but you might be surprised to learn they grow well in New England. In fact, Charley Baer grows about 20 varieties of beans in South Berwick, Maine, and some are even indigenous to this region. His products are available in a number of Boston retailers . According to Baer, freshness matters, even when it comes to dried beans. After two or three years, dried beans require pre-soaking and longer cooking times, and may never become fully hydrated and tender. So black turtle beans, like spelt are worth buying from a local source and then cooking in bulk, especially if you have an Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Even though beans are a New World crop , they appear in recipes from around the world, which means you can eat a different bean dish every day of the week . Related:

Read More…

Radisson Blu Azuri Resort & Spa

Radisson Blu Azuri Resort & Spa Posted on 7 June 2019 Departure date: 2019 Number of nights: 7 Package price: R18 880 p/p sharing Enquire Now Set on a preserved beach of the northeastern coast that frames the Azuri village, Radisson Blu Azuri Resort & Spa delivers guests a distinctive getaway experience. It is an ideal retreat for couples and an enjoyable holiday for families alike. Indulge in culinary delicacies at our 3 restaurants and bars that offer local, Mediterranean and international cuisine. Guests can relax by the pool with a refreshing cocktail from the poolside Cyan Bar. Cost of Radisson Blu Azuri Resort & Spa Package: 7 nights From R18 880 per person sharing (13 Jul – 31 Aug 2019) 7 nights From R21 880 per person sharing (28 Sep – 05 Oct 2019) 7 nights From R24 130 per person sharing (05 Oct – 02 Nov 2019) Package includes Return flights from OR Tambo to Mauritius including taxes Return airport/resort transfers Accommodation in a Deluxe Garden Room All meals and selected drinks
Important:
Book and pay R6 000 per person to qualify for advertised prices. Balance becomes due 8 weeks prior to travel.
Valid for Saturday to Saturday stays. Other days available on request at a surcharge.
Meals and drinks other than specified Visa fees if applicable Anything not mentioned in inclusions above Terms and conditions Long weekend and school holiday surcharges apply Valid for SA Residents All prices are per person sharing unless otherwise specified Single supplement surcharges will apply Packages are subject to availability at the time of the reservation Prices are subject to change without prior notice due to airfare increases and currency fluctuations Standard terms and conditions apply You may also like 7 June 2019 Solana Beach embodies a fresh concept with eye-catching patterns in bright colors combined with neutral… read more 5 June 2019 Spend five nights soaking up the sun at the 4* Uroa Bay Beach Resort on… read more 4 June 2019 Located on the famous white beach of Nungwi, on the northern tip of Zanzibar. The… read more Send us an enquiry and a travel expert will contact you to help you plan your holiday. You’re under no obligation to buy anything. Your name * Tell us a bit more about your travel plans Email This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. This iframe contains the logic required to handle AJAX powered Gravity Forms. tcat2_slug – travel-packagestcat_final – bookingsArray ( [0] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1002075 [name] => Beach [slug] => beach-package-styles [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002181 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Our list of beach packages take you to some of the most sought-after holiday destinations in the world. Whether its relaxing off the coast of Kenya, diving in the Maldives, tanning in Zanzibar or chilling out on the picturesque beaches of Mozambique, you’re bound to find your ideal beach-bum holiday with us. [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 7 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1002075 [category_count] => 7 [category_description] => Our list of beach packages take you to some of the most sought-after holiday destinations in the world. Whether its relaxing off the coast of Kenya, diving in the Maldives, tanning in Zanzibar or chilling out on the picturesque beaches of Mozambique, you’re bound to find your ideal beach-bum holiday with us. [cat_name] => Beach [category_nicename] => beach-package-styles [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [1] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1002055 [name] => Islands [slug] => islands [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002125 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Getaway Travel packages and holidays to the Indian Ocean Islands. [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 15 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1002055 [category_count] => 15 [category_description] => Getaway Travel packages and holidays to the Indian Ocean Islands. [cat_name] => Islands [category_nicename] => islands [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [2] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1010390 [name] => Mauritius [slug] => mauritius [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002135 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Known for its beautiful beaches, natural coral reefs and freshwater lagoons, the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius makes for the perfect beach vacation. Visitors flock to the tropical paradise every year to unwind and explore the mountainous interior with its rainforests, waterfalls, hiking trails and wildlife. [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 4 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1010390 [category_count] => 4 [category_description] => Known for its beautiful beaches, natural coral reefs and freshwater lagoons, the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius makes for the perfect beach vacation. Visitors flock to the tropical paradise every year to unwind and explore the mountainous interior with its rainforests, waterfalls, hiking trails and wildlife. [cat_name] => Mauritius [category_nicename] => mauritius [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [3] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1002111 [name] => Packages under R20,000 [slug] => packages-under-r20000 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002241 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 5 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1002111 [category_count] => 5 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Packages under R20,000 [category_nicename] => packages-under-r20000 [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [4] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1012420 [name] => Travel Packages [slug] => travel-packages [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1012686 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 0 [count] => 53 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1012420 [category_count] => 53 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Travel Packages [category_nicename] => travel-packages [category_parent] => 0 ) ) Travel Package Search Destination Array ( [4] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1002075 [name] => Beach [slug] => beach-package-styles [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002181 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Our list of beach packages take you to some of the most sought-after holiday destinations in the world. Whether its relaxing off the coast of Kenya, diving in the Maldives, tanning in Zanzibar or chilling out on the picturesque beaches of Mozambique, you’re bound to find your ideal beach-bum holiday with us. [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 7 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1002075 [category_count] => 7 [category_description] => Our list of beach packages take you to some of the most sought-after holiday destinations in the world. Whether its relaxing off the coast of Kenya, diving in the Maldives, tanning in Zanzibar or chilling out on the picturesque beaches of Mozambique, you’re bound to find your ideal beach-bum holiday with us. [cat_name] => Beach [category_nicename] => beach-package-styles [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [6] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1010358 [name] => Botswana [slug] => botswana [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002185 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Botswana offers some of the best wilderness and wildlife in Southern Africa, with the game-rich Moremi Wildlife Reserve, Chobe National Park, Okavango Delta and Central Kalahari Game Reserve. [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 3 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1010358 [category_count] => 3 [category_description] => Botswana offers some of the best wilderness and wildlife in Southern Africa, with the game-rich Moremi Wildlife Reserve, Chobe National Park, Okavango Delta and Central Kalahari Game Reserve. [cat_name] => Botswana [category_nicename] => botswana [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [9] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1010362 [name] => Cape Town [slug] => cape-town [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002191 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Cape Town, fondly known as The Mother City, is one of the most picturesque cities in the world. Nestled against the iconic Table Mountain, the city is bordered by spectacular beaches and famed winelands, has a glittering city bowl at night and features spectacular views from places like Chapman’s Peak Drive, Signal Hill and Lion’s Head. It is not hard to see why Cape Town is the most popular tourist destination in Africa. [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 5 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1010362 [category_count] => 5 [category_description] => Cape Town, fondly known as The Mother City, is one of the most picturesque cities in the world. Nestled against the iconic Table Mountain, the city is bordered by spectacular beaches and famed winelands, has a glittering city bowl at night and features spectacular views from places like Chapman’s Peak Drive, Signal Hill and Lion’s Head. It is not hard to see why Cape Town is the most popular tourist destination in Africa. [cat_name] => Cape Town [category_nicename] => cape-town [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [10] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1011140 [name] => Chobe & Moremi [slug] => chobe [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1011406 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Chobe and Moremi National Park in northern Botswana have one of the largest concentrations of game and elephant and are hugely popular for wildlife and photographic safaris. [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 3 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1011140 [category_count] => 3 [category_description] => Chobe and Moremi National Park in northern Botswana have one of the largest concentrations of game and elephant and are hugely popular for wildlife and photographic safaris. [cat_name] => Chobe & Moremi [category_nicename] => chobe [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [13] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1002085 [name] => Cultural [slug] => cultural [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002195 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Get whisked away into a world of the unknown and discover magical places on our selection of cultural travel packages. Explore palaces, castles, monasteries and museums and uncover the rich culture and heritage of these intriguing destinations. [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 1 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1002085 [category_count] => 1 [category_description] => Get whisked away into a world of the unknown and discover magical places on our selection of cultural travel packages. Explore palaces, castles, monasteries and museums and uncover the rich culture and heritage of these intriguing destinations. [cat_name] => Cultural [category_nicename] => cultural [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [17] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1010735 [name] => Far East [slug] => far-east-top-destinations [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1011001 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Visit one of the exotic Far East destinations for an explosion of culture, history and locals. Popular choices include Thailand, Bali, Vietnam and China. Affordable and memorable, these packages are designed to see and experience as much of the country, food and hotspots in one tour. [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 1 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1010735 [category_count] => 1 [category_description] => Visit one of the exotic Far East destinations for an explosion of culture, history and locals. Popular choices include Thailand, Bali, Vietnam and China. Affordable and memorable, these packages are designed to see and experience as much of the country, food and hotspots in one tour. [cat_name] => Far East [category_nicename] => far-east-top-destinations [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [20] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1013515 [name] => Game Lodges [slug] => game-lodges [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1013781 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 9 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1013515 [category_count] => 9 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Game Lodges [category_nicename] => game-lodges [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [25] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1002055 [name] => Islands [slug] => islands [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002125 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Getaway Travel packages and holidays to the Indian Ocean Islands. [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 15 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1002055 [category_count] => 15 [category_description] => Getaway Travel packages and holidays to the Indian Ocean Islands. [cat_name] => Islands [category_nicename] => islands [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [29] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1010376 [name] => Kruger National Park [slug] => kruger-national-park [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002213 [taxonomy] => category [description] => The Kruger National Park is undoubtedly South Africa’s most popular bush destination, and one of the world’s best game reserves. For a Big Five holiday, it can’t be beaten. The Kruger National Park offers the ultimate wildlife experience. Aside from game drives, activities in the park include 4×4 trails, guided walks, canoeing and even golfing. [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 4 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1010376 [category_count] => 4 [category_description] => The Kruger National Park is undoubtedly South Africa’s most popular bush destination, and one of the world’s best game reserves. For a Big Five holiday, it can’t be beaten. The Kruger National Park offers the ultimate wildlife experience. Aside from game drives, activities in the park include 4×4 trails, guided walks, canoeing and even golfing. [cat_name] => Kruger National Park [category_nicename] => kruger-national-park [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [32] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1002099 [name] => Luxury [slug] => luxury-package-styles [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002219 [taxonomy] => category [description] => From Tiger-trekking in India to the uber luxurious Zambezi Queen houseboat in Zambia, our selection of luxury travel packages allows you to choose a holiday that suits your opulent flair. [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 1 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1002099 [category_count] => 1 [category_description] => From Tiger-trekking in India to the uber luxurious Zambezi Queen houseboat in Zambia, our selection of luxury travel packages allows you to choose a holiday that suits your opulent flair. [cat_name] => Luxury [category_nicename] => luxury-package-styles [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [35] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1010386 [name] => Maldives [slug] => maldives [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002133 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Year round warm weather and fantastic diving and snorkeling, the Maldives has breathtakingly beautiful scenery, pearly-white beaches and is a hot spot for honeymooners and couples. [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 1 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1010386 [category_count] => 1 [category_description] => Year round warm weather and fantastic diving and snorkeling, the Maldives has breathtakingly beautiful scenery, pearly-white beaches and is a hot spot for honeymooners and couples. [cat_name] => Maldives [category_nicename] => maldives [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [37] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1010390 [name] => Mauritius [slug] => mauritius [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002135 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Known for its beautiful beaches, natural coral reefs and freshwater lagoons, the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius makes for the perfect beach vacation. Visitors flock to the tropical paradise every year to unwind and explore the mountainous interior with its rainforests, waterfalls, hiking trails and wildlife. [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 4 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1010390 [category_count] => 4 [category_description] => Known for its beautiful beaches, natural coral reefs and freshwater lagoons, the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius makes for the perfect beach vacation. Visitors flock to the tropical paradise every year to unwind and explore the mountainous interior with its rainforests, waterfalls, hiking trails and wildlife. [cat_name] => Mauritius [category_nicename] => mauritius [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [43] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1002057 [name] => Package styles [slug] => package-styles [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002137 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Our various package styles helps make finding your perfect travel package just that much easier. Select the desired package style, whether its beach, bush or birding, and a list of relevant packages will be displayed. [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 1 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1002057 [category_count] => 1 [category_description] => Our various package styles helps make finding your perfect travel package just that much easier. Select the desired package style, whether its beach, bush or birding, and a list of relevant packages will be displayed. [cat_name] => Package styles [category_nicename] => package-styles [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [44] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1002107 [name] => Packages under R10,000 [slug] => packages-under-r10000 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002237 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 25 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1002107 [category_count] => 25 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Packages under R10,000 [category_nicename] => packages-under-r10000 [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [45] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1002109 [name] => Packages under R15,000 [slug] => packages-under-r15000 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002239 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 10 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1002109 [category_count] => 10 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Packages under R15,000 [category_nicename] => packages-under-r15000 [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [46] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1002111 [name] => Packages under R20,000 [slug] => packages-under-r20000 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002241 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 5 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1002111 [category_count] => 5 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Packages under R20,000 [category_nicename] => packages-under-r20000 [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [47] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1002113 [name] => Packages under R25,000 [slug] => packages-under-r25000 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002243 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 5 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1002113 [category_count] => 5 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Packages under R25,000 [category_nicename] => packages-under-r25000 [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [48] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1010533 [name] => Packages under R30,000 [slug] => packages-under-r30000 [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1010799 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 3 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1010533 [category_count] => 3 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Packages under R30,000 [category_nicename] => packages-under-r30000 [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [61] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1010414 [name] => South Africa [slug] => south-africa [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002253 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Memorably described as ‘a world in one country’ and ‘the Rainbow Nation’, South Africa offers a diversity of destinations and cultures that’s hard to beat. [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 15 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1010414 [category_count] => 15 [category_description] => Memorably described as ‘a world in one country’ and ‘the Rainbow Nation’, South Africa offers a diversity of destinations and cultures that’s hard to beat. [cat_name] => South Africa [category_nicename] => south-africa [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [69] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1010422 [name] => Thailand [slug] => thailand [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002153 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 2 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1010422 [category_count] => 2 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Thailand [category_nicename] => thailand [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [71] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1002069 [name] => Travel deals [slug] => travel-deals [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002159 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Search for travel packages under these various prices categories. [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 1 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1002069 [category_count] => 1 [category_description] => Search for travel packages under these various prices categories. [cat_name] => Travel deals [category_nicename] => travel-deals [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [75] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1010426 [name] => Victoria Falls [slug] => victoria-falls [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002163 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe’s top attraction, is the adventure-sport capital of Africa. The Falls offers a plethora of exciting activities including white-water rafting, bungee jumping, flying over the falls in an ultralight plane, cruises on the game-rich Zambezi River, gorge leaping, walking with wild lions and elephant-back riding. On a more leisurely note, there’s no better way to chill and drink in the tranquillity of the Zambezi than to canoe its sliding waters and camp along its banks. [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 13 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1010426 [category_count] => 13 [category_description] => Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe’s top attraction, is the adventure-sport capital of Africa. The Falls offers a plethora of exciting activities including white-water rafting, bungee jumping, flying over the falls in an ultralight plane, cruises on the game-rich Zambezi River, gorge leaping, walking with wild lions and elephant-back riding. On a more leisurely note, there’s no better way to chill and drink in the tranquillity of the Zambezi than to canoe its sliding waters and camp along its banks. [cat_name] => Victoria Falls [category_nicename] => victoria-falls [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [76] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1013104 [name] => Vietnam [slug] => vietnam [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1013370 [taxonomy] => category [description] => [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 2 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1013104 [category_count] => 2 [category_description] => [cat_name] => Vietnam [category_nicename] => vietnam [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [77] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1010428 [name] => Zambia [slug] => zambia [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002169 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Zambia is a landlocked country in Southern Africa offering some of Africa’s finest safaris. Not only does it share the mighty Victoria Falls with its neighbour, Zimbabwe, but it also is home to some of the greatest game reserves in the region namely South Luangwa, North Luangwa and Kafue. [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 1 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1010428 [category_count] => 1 [category_description] => Zambia is a landlocked country in Southern Africa offering some of Africa’s finest safaris. Not only does it share the mighty Victoria Falls with its neighbour, Zimbabwe, but it also is home to some of the greatest game reserves in the region namely South Luangwa, North Luangwa and Kafue. [cat_name] => Zambia [category_nicename] => zambia [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [78] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1010430 [name] => Zanzibar [slug] => zanzibar [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002171 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Zanzibar attracts visitors in search of glorious white sand beaches, warm turquoise sea, fantastic diving and rich cultural heritage. It is home to Stone Town, an intriguing old city of narrow, winding alleyways and stone coral buildings, which is full of atmosphere and immensely beautiful. Visitors to Zanzibar typically spend their time diving, snorkelling, swimming and exploring the beaches. [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 10 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1010430 [category_count] => 10 [category_description] => Zanzibar attracts visitors in search of glorious white sand beaches, warm turquoise sea, fantastic diving and rich cultural heritage. It is home to Stone Town, an intriguing old city of narrow, winding alleyways and stone coral buildings, which is full of atmosphere and immensely beautiful. Visitors to Zanzibar typically spend their time diving, snorkelling, swimming and exploring the beaches. [cat_name] => Zanzibar [category_nicename] => zanzibar [category_parent] => 1012420 ) [79] => WP_Term Object ( [term_id] => 1010434 [name] => Zimbabwe [slug] => zimbabwe [term_group] => 0 [term_taxonomy_id] => 1002173 [taxonomy] => category [description] => Zimbabwe is a fantastic destination for its abundant wildlife, scenic beauty, adventure sports and unfettered wilderness areas. The country’s attractions are numerous from Victoria Falls to Lake Kariba, the Eastern Highlands, Great Zimbabwe Ruins and Mana Pools. [parent] => 1012420 [count] => 11 [filter] => raw [cat_ID] => 1010434 [category_count] => 11 [category_description] => Zimbabwe is a fantastic destination for its abundant wildlife, scenic beauty, adventure sports and unfettered wilderness areas. The country’s attractions are numerous from Victoria Falls to Lake Kariba, the Eastern Highlands, Great Zimbabwe Ruins and Mana Pools. [cat_name] => Zimbabwe [category_nicename] => zimbabwe [category_parent] => 1012420 ) ) Experience

Read More…

Hidden Gems

Our regular feature in which we explore some fascinating off-the-beaten-track places and unique experiences you probably didn’t know existed…but which are truly worth a visit. Sanbona Wildlife Reserve … the Klein Karoo at its wildest best By Zainab Achmat I recently enjoyed the privilege of spending a couple of days at the Sanbona Wildife Reserve a stone’s throw from the picturesque and historic little town of Montagu in the heart of the Klein Karoo (Little Karoo). What a delight! As far as Hidden Gems go, this one is an absolute jewel. Driving up from Montague to the reserve, I was struck by the rugged beauty of the surroundings – a vast landscape of indigenous flora punctuated by fascinating rock formations. Then, as we entered the reserve, we spotted in the distance some of the other treats that lay in store – an abundance of wildlife including the fabulous Big Five. Booked into our accommodation, our hosts made sure we were treated to every possible creature comfort. Over the following few days we were spoiled rotten with delicious and wholesome farm-style cuisine. When not enjoying action-packed days out on safari – two daily game drives or wilderness walks – we felt like royalty relaxing in the comfortable lounge and relaxation areas, out on the pool decks with swimming pools, or at the superb spa facilities. The Relaxation Retreat menu presents a range of therapies and treatments, including a steam room at Gondwana and Tilney Manor. Other activities included wildlife excursions and photographic safaris, stargazing and guided rock art walks – all of this within a scenic 3-hour drive from Cape Town along the popular Route 62. Our visit coincided with Sanbona Wildlife Reserve’s recent unveiling of its new-look Dwyka Tented Lodge and Gondwana Family Lodge. Recognised as one of South Africa’s largest privately-owned reserves, Sanbona stretches across 58,000 hectares of the wide-open plains of the Klein Karoo and is known as the Western-Cape’s premier wildlife destination. It offers an authentic safari experience in a malaria-free area close to the hustle and bustle of South Africa’s second city, yet so far removed from it because of the overwhelming tranquillity you’ll find here. Sanbona is a sanctuary for indigenous flora and fauna, including the Big 5, but it is the vastness of the landscape and the alluring isolation amid the raw beauty and boundless plains which sets it apart. Embraced by striking rock formations, Dwyka Tented Lodge, which accommodates 18 guests in nine luxury tents with private Jacuzzis, is set in a horseshoe bend of a dry Karoo ravine framed by the beautifully weathered landscape. The secluded lodge has received a complete revamp to the lounge and dining areas and the nine luxury tents, each with its own private deck and heated Jacuzzi, to epitomise the romance of a pioneering wilderness adventure. Tilney Manor caters for only 12 guests in six spacious open-plan suites leading on to private verandas. Gondwana Family Lodge also had a total face lift to the 12 suites, as well as the main lodge dining and lounge areas. Offering a family-safari in style, Gondwana welcomes children of all ages and is equipped with a kids’ TV lounge, indoor and outdoor play areas with a child-friendly swimming pool. With mountain views the spacious thatched lodge overlooks the dam and is ideal for groups of friends and families travelling together. Inter-leading rooms are available, and all suites come with a comfortable sleeper couch to accommodate a child. The Sanbona Kids on Safari programme at Gondwana offers educational and recreational wildlife experiences. Welcome Packs include the Sanbona Activity Book filled with educational and interactive activities to teach children in a fun way about the wildlife at Sanbona. Children four years and older are welcome on game drives with their parents, while the Interpretive trail takes children of all ages through the gardens to learn about important plants and animals on the reserve. There are many other kids’ activities too. Under the stewardship of non-profit conservation organisation, the Caleo Foundation, Sanbona Wildlife Reserve and sister property Jock Safari Lodge in the Kruger National Park have been pioneers of conservation, reserve development and eco-tourism. Sustainability and responsible utilisation are the cornerstones of all lodge operations. Contact Details: Tel +27 (0) 21 010 0028 or after hours +27 (0)21 010 0002; Reservations email ; website sanbona.com . Great Brak River… charming hamlet on a river and an island By Stef Terblanche While driving on the N2 highway, about midway between Mossel Bay and George, the road suddenly descends sharply from both directions and crosses a bridge over the wide expanse of a lagoon. You are crossing the Great Brak River, once the eastern boundary of the Cape Colony. In the vicinity of the bridge you’ll notice a petrol station, restaurant and some other activity. Towards the seaside you’ll see some holiday homes in the distance, and if you look towards the inland side, you’ll spot a hint of a village nestled in a deep valley surrounded by forested hills. Travelling up the Great Brak Heights on the George side of the bridge, looking down, you’ll see what used to be a railway station and an island full of holiday homes in the river mouth. But if you don’t slow down, turn-off and explore, that’s all you will see. While viewing this from your speeding car is still as pretty a picture as they come along the famous Garden Route, you will be missing out on experiencing a true slice of heaven on earth. Over the years the holiday mansions lining the sand dunes by the sea – an area called Southern Cross – and up in the hills above the island have multiplied, and the commercial activity by the bridge was added. But in the little hamlet of Great Brak River proper, not much has changed. Here, around the river in the foothills of the Outeniqua Mountains, the 10,000 odd residents still go about their daily business pretty much in the same way their forebears did, with many of them still living in the little cottages the local shoe factory built for its workers. For many years the shoe factory, still producing its famous Watsons shoes, and a saw mill were the commercial core of the village. Today the village forms part of the Garden Route District Municipality. The village straddles the river that emerges at this point from a deep, narrow valley to widen into a large lagoon. A small bridge connects the eastern and western parts of the village at a junction in the road marked by the Searle Memorial Church with its terracotta roof tiles and Mediterranean look. On either side of this pretty little church you’ll see two large and stately Victorian country manor homes, one on the bank of the river, the other high up on the wooded hill. These were homes in which the founding members of the Searle dynasty once lived. They once owned this entire village. The Searles were the legendary founders and owners of much of Great Brak River who arrived here from Surrey, England. Richard Searle, a labourer, arrived in South Africa in 1845, and then worked at Great Brak River for the Central Road Board from 1850, where he was soon joined by his younger brother Charles, and sister-in-law Pamela. In 1859 they founded the village of Great Brak River and became the local toll-keepers (operated by private contractors back then, much the same as today’s tollgates on major highways). They soon established a shop, tannery, saw mill and the shoe factory. More businesses were added and in 1949 the company listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange as Searles Holdings. In 1980 it was sold to Desmond Bolton, becoming Bolton Footwear in 1987. Shoes could not readily be bought in the area back in the 1860s, so like everyone else around here, Charles started making his own rugged leather “veldskoene” – stitch-down boots that he started selling to the operators of the ox-wagon trains transporting goods between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. They proved so popular that soon the shoe factory was established, which prides itself to this day on the fact that all its shoes are handcrafted. On a personal note, I remember as a small child accompanying my mother on occasion to both of the Searle homes for tea and scones. I distinctly remember the one Searle lady – I no longer recall her name – seeming quite proper and very English with a regal appearance and thought to myself, this is what the Queen must look like. The picture has stuck in my mind. Today most of the village still consists of the original Searle homes (one is now a B&B establishment), the church plus a later addition by the Dutch Reformed Church, the primary and secondary schools (although now housed in modern buildings), the shoe factory, some shops, the timber business, the factory labourers’ cottages, a police station and a camping and caravan park on the banks of the river. The village and the valley are green and lush, with the deep dark waters of the river tranquilly flowing through it, bringing a sense of serenity to the village. The character is still quaintly old-world, much the way it must have been towards the end of Charles and Richard’s time. More houses, restaurants and other businesses later developed along the road leading down to the sea as well as housing developments on the road going up the hill towards the Outeniqua Mountains and the erstwhile mission station of Friemersheim. In 1869 the Reverend Johann Kretzen of the Berliner Missionary Society established a school and church at Friemersheim on a part of the farm Gonnakraal, which Kretzen had bought for his sister. When she died in 1872, he bequeathed it to the Dutch Reformed Missionary Society, and it was renamed Friemersheim, after Kretzen’s town of birth in Germany. In the 1960s it was sold to the state. Apart from the original mission church, here at Friemersheim you can still visit the home of the original owner of Gonnakraal, Petrus (Pieter)Terblanche, a direct forebear of this writer. His wife, known as Hanna Agent, was a legendary character of whom many stories are still told although much exaggeration has been added onto the original stories over the years. This house, mostly still intact and lived in, later became a slave lodge when they built a second home for themselves. The slave house was built in the style of a German longhouse, which in turn was based on the Viking longhouse. One current occupant of the house, Aunt Millie Uithaler, and her helpers cook about 100 bottles of delicious jam each day that are for sale. Inside the house one can still see the yellowwood beams that the slaves originally cut down up in the mountain. Preceding Aunt Millie, other more recent occupants of the house included the late Stegman, a legendary self-taught motor mechanic of the area and his wife, Dollie, and later the indefatigable farm manager of Gonnakraal, Abraham (Tier) Pieters. Looking across a ploughed field from the slave house, the graves of Petrus and Hanna can still be seen in the field. It is here also that the first Volkwyn arrived in the early 1800s and started making furniture, which later led to the brothers Charlie, Hennie, Isak and Aser of Friemersheim producing their famous Volkwyn yellowwood and stinkwood furniture, a tradition still carried on by their descendants. Most famous of all was their ‘Volkwyn Chair’, also known as the ‘Cape Regent Chair’, a much sought-after antique piece these days. There are also a number of newly established private game reserves in the area where the owners have reintroduced some of the wild game that once thrived here, as well as a few odd species that never really existed here. Unfortunately, some of these reserves have either demolished or transformed many of the original buildings of these farms or built new ones – in one case an entire ‘safari’ village – that have changed the original character of the immediate area. They have also somehow managed to ‘privatise’ the gravel road to Little Brak River, a very scenic route that follows the river and is now closed to the public, much to the chagrin of locals who have lived here for generations and used the road as the shortest route to Little Brak River and Mossel Bay. Back in Great Brak River you can cross the bridge to the eastern side where the shoe factory is and then follow the road towards the sea. After passing under the N2 bridge you’ll find the old railway station, now a popular restaurant famed for its excellent food and wine. Nearby is a rickety single lane bridge to The Island, barely wide enough for one car at a time. The island is completely filled with holiday homes, but offers a few lovely, small secluded coves and beaches alongside the river. The river and lagoon are ideal for leisurely kayaking, allowing you to observe the bird and marine life of the lagoon. Following the road back to the western side and then towards the sea, you’ll pass some lovely sand dunes ideal for sandboarding, although the dunes today look much smaller than when we were kids. Close to the sea the lagoon provides a lovely naturally enclosed corner ideal for swimming. Cross over the small dune to the beach and miles and miles of Indian Ocean fronted beach is yours for the taking. From May to November the sea provides the added attraction of pods of Southern Right and other whales playing just behind the surf. There are also a number of excellent hiking routes in the area, some along the river, some near the ocean and others making their way through the forested hills around the village. Other attractions in the area include the local history museum (housed in the old school house built in 1902 on Amy Searle Street), the Wolwedans Dam, an art route, cycling routes, the nearby Outeniqua Mountains, a fragrance route (lavender planted in local gardens) and a historic route. There are also a wide variety of excellent B&Bs, restaurants, coffee shops and pubs. Next time you pass here along the N2, do take a day or two off to explore this magnificent little paradise. Contact Details : Great Brak River Tourism Information Tel +27 (0)44 620 3210 or or go to greatbrakriver.co.za ; Mossel Bay Tourism Tel +27(0)44 691 2202, website www.visitmosselbay.co.za , or email . Kwafubesi Tented Safari Camp… luxury ‘camping’ and Big Five two hours from Gauteng By Sophie Baker “If you can’t remember my name, you can just call me Sir Rhino. People even write that on TripAdvisor” our smiling guide Cyrano chirps from the front of the game vehicle. We had left Pretoria just two hours earlier in the pouring rain for a relaxing bush weekend at Kwafubesi Tented Safari Camp, situated within the Mabula Game Reserve. Fortune was on our side as the rain eased off and the sun valiantly shone through gaps in the clouds on our Big Five-spotting adventure. A small, intimate lodge of only five luxury tents, it’s clear from the get-go that good service is the name of the game at Kwafubesi. We’re greeted at the main Mabula lodge by the Kwafubesi camp manager Sammy, before eating lunch and being driven to the camp by Cyrano, where chef Johannes is waiting for us with a wide smile and a cold iced tea. Our bags are neatly deposited in our canvas tents while we ready ourselves for the first game drive of the stay; with the other guests running late due to the rain, we had a private drive. My requests? Oh, just the entire Big Five in one weekend. ‘I’ve only ever managed to do that twice’ laughs Cyrano ‘but I’ll try.’ I compromise and say that I’ll settle for a cheetah instead of a leopard if necessary, which, strangely, doesn’t seem to make him any more sceptical. We get off to a good start with rhino and elephant on the first day, alongside the usual host of buck, zebra, and warthogs. He’s a passionate, enthusiastic guide with a knowledge that far exceeds his years and from the titbits of information on birdlife, plants, and bushveld-related survival, we instantly recognise that any game drive with him at the helm will be an exciting one. Throughout the weekend we manage four of the Big Five, with only the leopard managing to elude us. With much urging, the ever-obliging Cyrano does his best to find the cheetah instead but after following their tracks for an hour, we just can’t quite pin them down. Nevertheless, it’s quickly forgotten after spotting a lone Kalahari lion male strolling through the bush, his thick black mane enough to make the Kardashians jealous. We were granted the privilege of being the only vehicle privy to his display before he quietly disappeared into the surrounding bush five minutes later. Another highlight is a horseback safari where ten minutes in, we find ourselves a mere two metres away from two rhinos. They’re unperturbed by the presence of the horses, who regularly graze with them and despite my own unease about locking eyes with a two-ton animal, it’s the kind of experience that takes your breath away. Everything about Kwafubesi is designed to be intimate and customisable. After arriving back from a chilly evening game drive on the first night, we were promptly handed a glass of sherry before our orders are taken for the night. “Everything is set up for the private dinner on your deck already” Sammy says. It’s news to me but I’m definitely taking all the credit, and it’s clear that Sammy knows this when he winks and whispers to me that he thought it would be a nice surprise. After taking our orders (leek soup, salmon and couscous, and a chocolate brownie and raspberry coulis) we’re led back to our tents which have been painstakingly set up with red tablecloths, white china, perfectly folded napkins, a gas lantern, and a good Pinotage ready to be enjoyed. You can request this for any lunch or dinner at Kwafubesi. It’s date night to the extreme and trust me when I say that you’ll be earning serious brownie points with your significant other for setting it up. On the second night, after a day filled with game viewing, indulgent spa treatments, reading next to the pool, lazy gin and tonics, and long soaks in the stone baths we take dinner in the boma. A feast of perfectly cooked meat and traditional accompaniments keep the noise down as we all tuck in, but as the flames grow and the wine flows there’s a satisfied, appreciative murmur emanating from all ten guests as we relive our stories from the bush. The night draws to a close when Cyrano and Sammy come skipping down to the bonfire excitedly asking if we’d like to see Steve, their resident porcupine. The answer is a resounding yes, so, gathering up our wine glasses with the intention of retiring to our tents after a night-time porcupine sighting, we leave the remaining embers to slowly burn out. Steve has conveniently parked himself right outside our canvas hotel, so we get five minutes of admiring his long quills and the clear night skies before zipping our door closed for the night and retiring to our king size bed. We fall into a deep sleep tucked up under the goose down duvet, ready for one final jaunt on the game drive vehicle the next morning before leaving the company of elephants and lion and returning to the city feeling rested and thoroughly at peace with the world. Contact Details : Tel:+27 (0)11 516 4367; Fax: +27 (0)11 516 4367; Email: The Novelty of Newlands… from hipsters to history buffs, there’s something for everyone Supplied From its majestic Josephine Mill Museum and Brewery Tours that take you back in time, to its trendy Dean Street corridor, nestling in the southern suburbs of Cape Town behind the mountain, Newlands will satisfy anyone from hipsters to history buffs. Although it’s tucked away in a quiet pocket between Rondebosch and Claremont, the largely-residential suburb of Newlands is hardly sleepy. Newlands is famous for many things besides its quaint Victorian cottages and winding back lanes: renowned sports stadia, landmark hotels, excellent restaurants, superlative schools such as SACS and Westerford, gourmet food shops, significant national monuments, a design centre, and a natural spring whose ever-flowing waters defied the recent drought in the Western Cape. It’s also notorious for being the wettest suburb in Cape Town due to its annual rainfall levels. Trivia aside, here are some of the not-to-miss aspects of Newlands: The Josephine Mill Museum is open to visitors by appointment, but you don’t need to go inside the museum to appreciate the building. Astonishing for its industrial revolution architecture and a water wheel that still functions, the on-site restaurant is set on the banks of the gently burbling Liesbeek River. Close by is the Newlands Brewery, one of the oldest commercial beer breweries in South Africa. The #beerexperience will take you on a tour through all things malt and hops. Compare old favourites with new-fangled craft brews. The Montebello Design Centre on Newlands Avenue is another must-visit destination for lovers of creativity. This collection of 25 painters’ studios, potter’s workshops and craft shops – huddled together in a fine example of period architecture – is a beacon for devotees of art, craft and design. The charming Gardener’s Cottage restaurant hunkers down below giant trees and overlooks a verdant nursery that spreads out around a historic Greenhouse. As for sport, why watch on the big screen when you can see your team play live at Newlands Rugby Stadium or the cricket grounds? The PPC Newlands Cricket Stadium is said to have the loveliest batting pitch in the world thanks to the majestic backdrop of Newlands Ravine and Kirstenbosch. If you are in Newlands for the sporting action, the Park Inn by Radisson Newlands is so close to the grounds it’s likely that you could lob a shot into the nearby stadium from the hotel lobby! Besides the uber convenience of the location, the venue offers upscale accommodation and conferencing in a contemporary setting. It is a standout hotel thanks to its unique and ongoing commitments to supporting DeafSA – 20% of the hotel’s administrative staff are hearing impaired. A mecca for foodies, Newlands can brag that is has not one but three artisanal ice-cream parlours. The Creamery’s ices are rich and decadent, and the choice selection is distinguished by an ever-changing Flavour of the Month. Gelato Mania, in close proximity, has a name that says it all for those who are crazy about Italian-style frozen confectionary. Le Delizie is run by a friendly Italian couple who have made Newlands their home. Massimo is a third-generation gelato maker and confectioner who – besides noteworthy flavours of ice-cream such as Crèma della Nonna – conjures up an irresistible range of handcrafted chocolates using ultra ingredients such as hazelnuts imported from the Piedmont region of Italy. You’ll quickly become a loyal customer! Dean Street and surrounds are peppered with a score of upmarket eateries and a trendy smattering of smoothie bars and taco joints. Exploring Newlands will uncover even further gems that will expand this growing list of lust-worthy locations. And it is possible to do it all on foot. Contact Details: Park Inn® by Radisson reservations and more information, visit parkinn.com ; or contact Stephanie via or Tel +27 (0) 21 685 0169.

Read More…

A Day at Queens Farm (and the Restaurants You Should Dig Into Afterward)

You’re reading Summer in the City, our limited-edition newsletter that rounds up the best things to do in New York City during the hottest season of the year. Sign up here to get future editions delivered to your inbox. The Game Plan
What to do
After a week spent staring at a screen, don’t you want to do something with your hands?
Put them to use at the Queens County Farm Museum.
The farm dates back to 1697 — 322 years if you do the math — and spans 47 acres, making it New York City’s largest uninterrupted tract of working farmland. Since the city acquired the farm and opened it to the public in 1975, it has become a place for New Yorkers (and mostly kids) to learn about agriculture, and on Tuesdays and Sundays from spring to fall, it welcomes volunteers to help weed, mulch and harvest the land.
If you like to get your hands dirty, throw on sturdy shoes and work clothes, and get yourself to Floral Park. There’s no need to sign up in advance; just show up any time between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., and you’re free to dig in for an hour or stay all day. Around noon, the staff and volunteer crew, which will no doubt include some regulars, break for lunch. It’s B.Y.O., but the farm will often supplement your meal with a salad, picked that day from its vegetable and herb gardens.
When you decide it’s time to throw down your gloves (provided by the farm), you can visit the farmstand to buy fresh honey, vegetables or eggs. Or meet the resident hens, sheep, alpaca, heritage-breed pigs, and Dexter and Jethro, the farm’s very small steers. You’re even allowed to feed the goats — a sweet ending to your day of fresh air.
Pro tip: If farm work isn’t for you, come for one of the museum’s educational programs. There’s a watercolor class every Thursday in June and an herbalism course on June 22 .
Get directions to Queens County Farm Museum . Admission is free outside of special programming.
Where to eat
Bundu Khan is a Pakistani kebab house with a commendable menu of hard-to-find dishes, such as paya, a cozy braise of cow or goat feet with a silky, peppery sauce. Even if you’re not “hot to trotter,” this sauce is ideal for dipping flaky paratha and airy naan, which are both made to order and nothing short of dreamy. The biryani and pulao are also worth your time, and the ground-meat kebabs are more than solid.
Sagar Chinese is a less overtly meaty option. The Bellerose branch of a local chain, it specializes in Indian-style Chinese cuisine: sweet and tangy chili prawns, masala fried rice, and gobi Manchurian, a mash-up of cauliflower florets dredged and deep fried like chicken chunks, then tossed in a wok with soy sauce, onions and spices. The chicken lollipops are like an upsized version of popcorn chicken and impossible to stop eating.
See the restaurants on our Google Map .
Where to drink
Mumbai Xpress doesn’t serve beer or liquor, but in a neighborhood effectively devoid of bars, it’s the curious drinker’s best bet. In grand Indian snack-bar tradition there are milkshakes, juices, lassis and falooda. Their cold coffee, a beloved Indian treat that’s basically an extra-strong coffee milkshake, is a salve on a scorching summer afternoon, and if you like savory drinks, you’ll love the surti chaas, a frothy glass of salted buttermilk spiced with cumin, green chile and cilantro.
See the bars on our Google Map .
What to check out nearby
The Adriance Farmhouse , built in 1772, is open for free tours on the hour and half-hour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Duck over for a quick learning break.
Alley Pond Park is the perfect spot for a hike before or after you volunteer. As you follow the trails, keep an eye out for an array of birds, and see if you can locate what might be the city’s oldest tree.
Real Usha Sweets & Snacks sells some of the best Indian milk sweets you’ll eat outside an auntie’s kitchen. The mango burfi are particularly good, and the tiny wedges of nut-paste watermelons are just delightful. Tiny cardamom seeds in place of watermelon seeds complete the tromp l’oeil effect.
See these nearby spots on our Google Map . 3 Quick Things
Something free or cheap
Go on a moonlight bike ride through Central Park. “Time’s Up,” an environmental group that is not affiliated with the other organization by the same name, leads the ride on the first Fridays of June, July, August and September. Meet the group at Columbus Circle at 10 p.m., and enjoy a guided cruise through the park’s roads and paths. The ride will be leisurely and won’t exceed 10 miles, and you’ll finish back where you started by midnight. B.Y.O. bike, and remember that if you use CitiBike, you’ll have to dock midway through the ride. Lights and a helmet are also encouraged.
Something for the weeknight
Check out New York’s new park. Pier 35 is now open by the Manhattan Bridge, and it’s pretty spectacular. Next to a geometric screen wall, an “urban beach” features dunes and a landscaped lawn, and the shoreline is a habitat for mussels. (Don’t worry, they’re already calling it “Mussel Beach.”) Once you’ve poked around a bit, kick back on the swings overlooking the East River, and take in the view.
Something from a reader
Get on the water in Gowanus. “ The Gowanus Dredgers are a group of intrepid boaters who take to the fetid Gowanus Canal in canoes launched off a dock at the end of 2nd Street in Brooklyn,” writes Nicole V., a Summer reader from Gowanus. The group offers free canoeing most Wednesdays and Saturdays during summer (though donations are encouraged) and hosts art shows and musical performances at its boathouse. Nicole also flagged that “one of the best events they run,” the SuperFUN Canoe Race, is taking place from 2 to 5 p.m. this Saturday. Swing by to see which team finishes first — or wins “best dressed crew” or “coolest team name.”
Share your secret or not-so-secret things to do this season at [email protected] , and your idea might be featured in our next newsletter. Happening This Week (and Beyond)
Friday: Catch Kaia Kater and her mix of jazz, folk and bluegrass at Flushing Town Hall.
Friday: The Climate’s a Drag party unites drag and environmental advocacy on Governors Island.
Saturday: The Indonesian Food Bazaar is going down in Elmhurst. Bring cash to sample dishes from a host of vendors in the St. James Episcopal Church.
Saturday: For Walt Whitman’s 200th birthday, join the Walt Whitman Beard and Moustache Competition in Fort Greene Park. Yes, there are prizes.
Saturday: It’s Belmont Stakes Day. Grab your hat, and head to the racetrack.
Saturday: Pride Day in Brooklyn begins with a 5K morning run and ends with a twilight parade. See more ways to celebrate Pride Month.
Monday: Listen to arias and duets in Central Park at the Metropolitan Opera’s first free summer concert this season. See more noteworthy events like this one on our Culture Calendar.
Tuesday: Take advantage of the Museum Mile Festival. All the Fifth Avenue museums from 82nd Street to 110th Street in Manhattan are free and open from 6 to 9 p.m.
Tuesday: Hit the Sweat Sessions in Hudson River Park at 14th Street for free fitness classes from boutique fitness studios. This week’s schedule features instructors from Solace, Barre3 and Flex Studios.
This edition of Summer was written by Margot Boyer-Dry and Max Falkowitz. In real life, Margot writes the newsletter Lorem Ipsum on what’s cool and why in culture, while Max reports on food and travel for The Times and other publications. Both root for whatever team is playing the Yankees.
Margot: Twitter | Instagram

Read More…

How To Celebrate World Gin Day In London & Beyond

Posted on Image credit: EK Yap and ATLAS. Need some gin-spiration this summer? In midst of a modern renaissance, there has never been a better time to be a gin drinker. To celebrate World Gin Day, discover The Wordrobe’s top gin experiences to try in London and beyond 1 Take gin-fuelled journey through the African Sahara with Mr Fogg’s summer safari Embark on a palatable adventure of flavours and tastes throughout the summer months as Mr Fogg’s Society of Exploration transforms into a setting reminiscent of the African Sahara. Created in partnership with Whitley Neil gin, the immersive experience will have you entering a paradise of plants as you forage through the summer menu.
Be sure to get your tourist visa upon arrival, and of course no trip will be complete without having the correct vaccinations – luckily here they come in the form of tasty liquid libations. Adventure awaits on this sensory journey for both the eyes and stomach from ‘The Big Five’ daring cocktail menu to the African inspired food dishes. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the Big Five animals throughout the venue as a surprise award awaits. We’re excited for this exotic endeavour! mr-foggs.com 2 Embark on a gin foraging trail with The Botanist Chin, chin! The Botanist have teamed up with a number of London’s best bars to create special serves in celebration of the most treasured day in the gin calendar. Partnering with Boisdale of Belgravia, Opium, The Blind Pig, The Shrub and Shutter, The Little Yellow Door, Le Pont de la Tour and Jin Bo Law Skybar to offer guests foraged gin—based cocktails within some of the most stylish bars in the capital, The Botanist have event created a beautiful map to guide Londoners on their gin quest throughout World Gin Day. Available in the bars from the 5th-9th June, don’t miss out on the Wordrobe’s tipple of choice: High as a Kite – a fluorescent pink cocktail produced by the experienced mixologists at The Shrub and Shutter. This cocktail is a perfect combination of The Botanist Gin, belsazar rose, beetroot, hibiscus shrub and comes served with a packet of lemon balm and blueberry sherbet for added nostalgic fun. thebotanist.com 3 Sample W London’s killer gin menu Bored of the classic Gin & Tonic? W London has the perfect solution with their selection of innovative gin-based cocktails to tickle your tastebuds this summer. From suit up to sun down, soak back into Perception bar’s trailblazing interiors, musical delights and bar-raising cocktails. With sips such as ‘The Italian Job’ and ‘Make a Green Choice’, the only worry you’ll have is which cocktail to choose. Don’t miss the Wordrobe’s tipple of choice: Get Wasted – a completely recyclable cocktail consisting of herbal gin, sustainable vermouth sweetened with pomegranate tea and carame. theperceptionbar.com 4 Take a gin masterclass at the Ginstitute The Ginstitute is the perfect experience for booze boffins wishing to brush up on their gin trivia. Nestled beneath The Distillery hotel on Portobello Road, your ‘ginstructor’ will take you on a whistle stop journey through the history of gin before an interactive lesson in creating your own bespoke blend. All mixed with copious quantities of testers and cocktails as the day progresses, you’ll ‘graduate’ with your newly created tipple. If you want to take the experience one step further, why not book a stay at one of the rooms of the boozy boutique hotel – with rooms decked out with cocktail making kits and numerous bottles of Portobello Road Gin you’ll be giddy just thinking about it. theginstitute.com 5 Go bottomless with Mrs Fogg’s
Raising the brunch game in the Capital, Mrs Fogg’s is serving up a bottomless brunch with Bombay Sapphire G&Ts and cocktails, alongside indulgent dishes with an exotic twist. Setting sail every Saturday, expect an impressive Indian-fusion brunch menu which is best enjoyed on the outdoor terrace with live music and all the gin-based trimmings. Don’t miss the Rhu Baa Baa cocktail – a mix of Bosford Rose gin, Fentimans Pink Rhubarb Tonic and Vaporetto Extra Seco Spumante. mr-foggs.com. 6 Jump aboard the B-Bakery’s gin-based afternoon tea bus
Is there anything better than gin and cake? Hop on-board B-Bakery’s vintage routemaster bus and take in some of London’s most iconic landmarks whilst indulging in B-Bakery’s bespoke Afternoon Tea. Hayman’s Gin infused delights combined with sensational gin cocktails are the perfect way to unwind and relax as you wine and dine, watching the hustle and bustle of the city go by. london.b-bakery.com 7 Celebrate all things gin with the makers themselves at Junipalooza Junipalooza is back at Tobacco Dock on the 8th and 9th June to celebrate World Gin Day and this year it promised to be bigger and better than ever. Focusing on experience, this gin-infused festival will take you inside the minds of the master makers, with over 60 gin distillers attending from all over the world. Once through the door you’ll be handed everything you need in the form of a tasting glass, show guide and of course a bottle of water – because with over 200 gins to sample this promises to be one majorly booze-infused session. junipalooza.com 8 Rock the boat with London’s summer gin cruise London’s first artisan gin cruise is setting sail this summer and it is sure to float the boat of every gin lover. Climb aboard for a tour through London, accompanied by live music, a gin masterclass, gin inspired tapas and a vast menu of artisan gins. Throw cautions to the winds and batten down the hatches, this is going to be one boozy boat ride. ginontheriver.co.uk 9 Sip in style in the Angler’s sky high summer terrace There are few better ways to celebrate World Gin Day than sipping on a creative cocktail on top the sky high terrace of the Michelin-starred Angler restaurant. Launching a picturesque summer bar in collaboration with award-winning gin producers, Cambridge Distillery, this summer hangout is a haven filled with gin cocktails and blooming summer flowers. If that isn’t temptation enough, a bespoke menu of nostalgic English bar snacks has been designed to pair perfectly with the gin-based drinks to satisfy your stomach. Make sure you don’t miss the Wordrobe’s tipple of choice: The Cambridge Collins, a moreish concoction of Cambridge Dry Gin, Kamm & Sons, ginger ale, Aperol and blackcurrant. anglerrestaurant.com 10 Satisfy your sweet tooth with a chocolate gin tasting board Chocolate fans, this one’s for you. The London Gin Club are serving up a gin botanical inspired chocolate board – two of our favourite things combined into one delectable dessert. Paired with arguably the best classic gin & tonics in London, the knowledgeable staff will guide you on your way to your perfect tipple. If you’re feeling really fruity then why not try the newly launched Summer Tasting menu, showcasing some of the most fabulous floral and fruit forward gins. thelondonginclub.com PLUS: Take your love for gin global with the top 3 gin-based experiences around the world 1 Soak whilst you sip in Glasgow’s Gin Spa Drinking your gin is one thing, but Glasgow’s aptly named Gin Spa takes this tipple to new levels with the world’s first botanically inspired day spa. Guests will let you enjoy treatments that take their inspiration from botanical ingredients from some of the world’s top gins. And, much like a pairing, the mix of botanicals correspond to moods and feelings. Want to feel happy? For that, there’s a pink grapefruit, bergamot and lime. Need some tranquillity? Well that would require the cedarwood, lavender and geranium. All combined with a full menu of standard spa treatments. Depending on the choice of package, guests can enjoy a gin and tonic from the Fever Tree trolley and an afternoon tea, while the Twilight Tasting package includes a five-course gin-inspired tasting menu. Ready to relax in gin paradise? G&Ts and tranquil treatments await and we couldn’t be more excited. ginspa.co.uk 2 Quench your thirst in the world’s largest gin bar Image credit: EK Yap and ATLAS.
Pick up your passport and head to ATLAS in Singapore, the world’s largest gin bar. With gins from nearly 40 nations, not only does ATLAS boast a gin tower complete with over 1,000 varieties of the spirit, but it is a gin collection that has been carefully curated.
ATLAS bar wants guest to learn something about gin in all its magnificent variety. Knowledgeable waiters will guide you through the never ending list whilst you sit back and appreciate the gorgeous art deco-inspired space which graces the ground floor of Singapore’s iconic Parkview Square. atlasbar.sg 3 Combine gin with safari amid Namibia’s beautiful desert landscape Go off-grid in Namibia with a spectacular safari experience complete with gourmet food and glorious gin!
Accompanied by his gourmet bush kitchen and craft gin bar on the back of a ‘Safari Butler’s’ 4×4, soak up Mavros Safaris exhilarating experiences through Namibia’s vast and vibrant landscape.
Dean, your expert Safari Butler will pass on his passion for Africa and bush fire cuisine whilst cooking fine dining dishes around the campfire in the NabibRand Nature Reserve.
Journeying all the way to Wolwedane Dune Lodge in the Nambid Desert, this will be one scenic safari in one of the most remote areas on early. Refreshing gin drinks will quench your thirst on this African adventure – hic. mavrossafaris.com
Words by Emma Blunt

Read More…

J. INDER SINGH KALRA, POPULARLY KNOWN AS JIGGS KALRA, THE CZAR OF INDIAN CUISINE IS NO MORE

Home JOBS all Post Your Profile for FREE World Hospitality Events By Company Hilton Read By Company Department Topic Exclusive Interviews J. INDER SINGH KALRA, POPULARLY KNOWN AS JIGGS KALRA, THE CZAR OF INDIAN CUISINE IS NO MORE Jiggs Kalra , also known as the ” Czar of Indian Cuisine ” was a pioneering food columnist and author, gastronome and food consultant. In a career spanning close to Five decades. He was instrumental in introducing Indian cuisine to the international audience as well as setting standards of the same. Inducted in the International Food & Beverage Gourmet Hall of Fame (making him the first Asian to be inducted in this highly prestigious society), he had numerous awards and accolades, both national and international, to his credit.

Read More…