ITC Announces the Launch of Super Premium Luxury Hotel ITC Royal Bengal

ITC Announces the Launch of Super Premium Luxury Hotel ITC Royal Bengal

ITC Announces the Launch of Super Premium Luxury Hotel ITC Royal Bengal
ITC Ltd today announced the inauguration of its new super-premium luxury hotel in Kolkata – the ITC Royal Bengal. Hon’ble Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee inaugurated the iconic hotel. The 456 keys ITC Royal Bengal is ITC Hotel’s 14 th Luxury Collection hotel in India and is a befitting tribute to the timeless traditions and royal heritage of Bengal, which has been ITC’s headquarters for over a 100 years. Christened ‘One of a Kind’, the grandiose property is a mark of ITC’s confidence in the tourism potential of the region and serves as a true badge of honour that Bengal can proudly showcase to the world.
Built with an investment of nearly Rs 1400 crore, the ITC Royal Bengal will redefine Kolkata’s hospitality landscape making it a preferred destination for global MICE tourism and other large events. From a sprawling 16400 sq feet pillar less magnificent ballroom, pre-function areas and outer courtyards attached to the Grand Ballroom together adding approximately another 33000 square feet, to exquisite arrival lobbies and huge lawns ideal for Kolkata socials, ITC Royal Bengal offers versatile banquet options for both the business meetings and events with total banquet and convention facilities covering an area of 61000 sq feet.
A distinctive proposition of this new super-premium luxury offering from ITC Hotels lies in the fact that the composite properties – ITC Royal Bengal and ITC Sonar will be marketed together as one of the largest hospitality and MICE destinations in the region. The launch of ITC Royal Bengal adjacent to ITC Sonar, marks the unmatched offering of two world-class hotels complementing each other. Together, the two hotels will offer 693 rooms, suites and serviced apartments, 15 signature dining destinations, 22 meeting venues and a sprawling 1,00,000 sq ft of banqueting space. In close proximity to the city’s largest convention and exhibition venues, the ITC Royal Bengal and ITC Sonar duo will offer the best choice for large scale exhibitions, meetings and events in Kolkata.
Speaking on the occasion of the launch, Mr. Sanjiv Puri, Chairman and Managing Director of ITC Ltd said, “We are delighted to announce the opening of the iconic ITC Royal Bengal. This signature property will provide further impetus to transforming the tourism landscape in the state and will be an icon of repute on the world tourism map. This landmark investment from ITC is a part of the Company’s growing footprint in the State across all sectors, namely agriculture, manufacturing and services.”
Mr. Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC Ltd said, “The addition of ITC Royal Bengal to our luxury hotel portfolio further strengthens our presence in Eastern India. Bengal is ‘Royal’ in a unique way – it has celebrated the royalty of the intellect through the centuries, where literature, poetry, painting, sculpture, theatre, cinema, science, have not only blossomed but are inherent to the fabric of Bengal. In keeping with ITC Hotels’ philosophy of Responsible Luxury and creating indigenous experiences, ITC Royal Bengal is rooted to the ethos of the land and pays a tribute to these finest experiences that while being indigenous to the State are celebrated globally.”
ITC Royal Bengal – ‘One of a Kind’
Standing tall, at a height of 133 meters, the 30 storied ITC Royal Bengal’s magnificent and monumental edifice, inspired by regional history and culture, towers over Kolkata’s skyline and blends fine indigenous architecture with contemporary design. Conveniently located in the business district of the city, this 456 keys architectural marvel endeavours to celebrate the spirit of Bengal and the unique fervour of its people through its super premium offerings – 374 rooms and suites, 82 serviced apartments, 5 culinary brands, the one of a kind state-of-the-art meeting and convention spaces and the rejuvenating wellness experience spread across 24,000 sq ft, including, Kaya Kalp – The Royal Spa.
The accommodation is characterized by an eloquently tempered expression of luxury, drawing inspiration from Bengal. An expression of an exquisite confluence of contemporary architecture and the distinct warmth of old world hospitality, the 14 suites offer pleasing contemporary décor and a bouquet of signature services to elevate the stay experience. Featuring finest Italian marble, timber floors, state of the art gym, elegantly designed furniture, The Grand Presidential Suite & The Presidential Suite are spread across a striking expanse of 6620 sq.ft. and 3500 sq.ft. respectively.
A contemporary Indian ethos underscores ITC Royal Bengal’s architecture and design philosophy, manifest in the endeavours to enable a ‘sense of destination’ through a showcase of local cuisine, arts and culture matched by hi-tech accent on services to enhance guest experience. A stand-out in-room tech feature is the amalgamation of all services through the E-Butler iPad. Built according to the highest standards of environmental excellence, ITC Royal Bengal is targeting to obtain USGBC LEED® Platinum rating as well as GRIHA Five Star rating.
The sprawling property symbolises the traditions of the region through culinary destinations that include the acclaimed Royal Vega , featuring the luxury vegetarian cuisine of India; Reminiscent of Kolkata’s historical market is the Grand Market Pavilion, the 24*7 restaurant showcases Indian and Inventive international cuisines, with an exclusive showcase of the 7 sisters (the North-Eastern States of India). ITC Royal Bengal will also house Ottimo – Cucina Italiana, ITC’s signature pan-Italian brand, and Darjeeling Lounge is a warm reminder of the city’s tea culture, and the culture of Adda, offering the finest teas from the region as well as from the world, single origin coffee and finest beverages paired with pre-plated comfort food. A lobby level jazz bar, The Brass Room rings in the city’s fondness for music and good life.
ITC’s Investments in West Bengal
ITC’s journey towards making Kolkata a premium hospitality destination began with the launch of ITC Sonar nearly two decades ago. Considered as a giant leap of faith by ITC at that time, the hotel transformed the landscape into a thriving hub of social and commercial activity, representing the resurgence of the city and the State.
With its diversified business portfolio, ITC today has a growing presence in West Bengal across all three sectors of the economy –agriculture, manufacturing and services, supporting sustainable livelihoods for millions in the state. ITC has invested in building world-class assets for Bengal’s future. To unleash the opportunities in food processing and agriculture, ITC has within a span of couple of years, set up 2 world-class integrated food processing facilities which are manufacturing ITC’s nationally acclaimed food brands. The two factories at Panchla and Uluberia are running at full capacity and are among ITC’s biggest packaged food manufacturing units in the country.
ITC’s state-of-the-art Information Technology facility, ITC Green Centre & Infotech Park in Rajarhat, Kolkata, is also underway. While these recent investments strengthen ITC’s growing footprint in the State, the Company is also planning to set up a state-of-the-art Personal Care Products manufacturing facility in the state, which will strengthen ITC’s growing FMCG Businesses in the State. ITC has also invested in a Décor Paper manufacturing capacity in Tribeni which will be a significant step in the Nation’s efforts towards import substitution. Investments for a new manufacturing facility in Dhulagarh as well as other expansion projects are also underway.
ITC has been expanding its footprint in the agricultural sector in the State. Leveraging the knowledge and experience of ITC’s globally acknowledged e-Choupal programme, the Company has been working with farmers in West Bengal to promote contemporary and relevant agriculture practices in over 500 villages, leading to reduction in input costs, improved yields & enhanced incomes. Over 70,000 farmers have benefitted from ITC interventions in the state, so far. In addition, the Company has spearheaded a wheat development programme that covers around 8,500 acres, focusing on providing region-specific improved varieties & agronomical practices to increase yield. ITC has implemented targeted interventions in rice, fresh fruits and vegetables. The Company also engages with aqua farmers, supporting a prawn value chain that is anchored by our brand ITC MasterChef Super Safe Prawns, which is exported to the US, Japan and Vietnam. ITC’s subsidiary, Technico’s early generation high-quality seed is used by over 1,35,000 farmers in 12 districts, increasing yield, quality and reducing costs.
To promote all round socio economic development, ITC’s engagement with rural communities in West Bengal extends to supporting various social initiatives including primary education, vocational training, health and sanitation, solid waste management among others. Celebrating the rich cultural legacy of Kolkata, the ITC Sangeet Research Academy embodies ITC’s commitment to the heritage of Hindustani Classical music.
ITC has recently forayed into the milk and dairy products sector. New investments have been made in this sector in West Bengal. To develop the farmer backend, ITC is progressively expanding its milk productivity improvement and procurement programme across 300 villages in the State.

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Review: Midsummer’s Mayhem by Rajani Larocca

9781499808889 $16.99
Can Mimi undo the mayhem caused by her baking in this contemporary-fantasy retelling of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream ?
Birthday alert! This book’s official release date is TOMORROW! I picked up an ARC at KidLitCon back in March, where the author spoke about Diverse Fantasy in the Real World.
There is so much in this one book that makes me want to organize a book club around it! First up is the fact that Mimi is the youngest in a large Indian-American family, with mention of favorite Indian cuisine sprinkled throughout ( culture study ). Everyone else in the family is wildly successful: Dad as a food critic, Mom as a business-woman, siblings in sports and arts ( explore similar feelings of not measuring up ). Mimi is a wonderful baker, but puttering in the kitchen doesn’t seem as flashy or impressive as being in the limelight at a performance or game ( does something have to make you famous to be important or enjoyable? ) Starting a summer without her best friend, who has moved to Australia, Mimi is at a bit of loose ends. ( moving, making new friends, noticing new kids at your school )
Then a new bakery in town announces a contest for kids, with the winner meeting Mimi’s culinary idol, Puffy Fay ( what kind of contest would you have a good chance of winning? ). She follows a strange-yet-familiar tune into the forest and discovers a new friend – along with plants and animals she could swear weren’t there before ( habitat diversity ). Things start to look up…and quickly turn sour again.
Mimi’s father seems to lose his ability to detect subtle flavors in foods – kind of important for a food critic! – while eating absolutely everything in sight. After eating cookies Mimi makes with ingredients from the forest ( herb lore ), two boys fall madly in love with one of her sisters, while her brother falls in love with…himself! Then in the first round of the baking contest, Mimi’s offering is flatly rejected . Wait a minute – isn’t the protagonist supposed to win???
Those who have read Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream will quickly recognize elements of the story line, as well as characters such as (Ti)Tania and Peaseblossom. A brief synopsis offered by a character towards the beginning (as he just happens to be playing Puck in the school production) will give others a heads-up as to what is about to transpire. A book club could, of course, read or watch the play alongside this title. For a short version, I highly recommend Bruce Coville’s rewrite .
Either way, readers of any age will enjoy puzzling out mysteries and solutions with Mimi and her new friend Vik. Most of all, they will want to start baking! Mimi makes several tasty snacks throughout the story, musing about specific herbs and spices and how they might work together – blending savory and sweet. This is the reason I most want to have a book club centered on the title: how much fun would it be to experiment together in the same way?!** There are two recipes in the back along with directions for candied rose petals. I plan to try the Chocolate Chunk Thyme Cookies with Citrus Zest soon!
Since I have an ARC I will have to order a finished copy for the library, but as soon as it arrives I will be handing it off to a few young patrons I already have in mind. A solid, engaging middle grade novel with something to appeal to everyone.
**of course, it’s also the reason I started experimenting myself this weekend, with results that would definitely NOT win any contests. But that’s another post.

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Raindrop’s Cafe Where Native American Cuisine Meets The Community – 27east

Jun 10, 2019 12:17 PM Publication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press Raindrop’s Cafe Where Native American Cuisine Meets The Community By Annette Hinkle
For those in search of a quick bite or a bit of comfort food, a new dining option has opened just west of Southampton Village. Raindrop’s Café, a farm-to-table restaurant owned and operated by members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation, celebrated its official opening over Memorial Day weekend with raffles, tastings and a craft market. But even a month before its official opening, fans of Raindrop’s fusion cuisine, which merges traditional Shinnecock fare with modern favorites were already settling into the café’s cozy confines in the white building located behind Raindrop’s Quick Stop on Montauk Highway.Bryan Polite is the owner of the café as well as the head roaster at Raindrop’s Coffee, which is produced on site at the rear of the building. Deana Smith serves as the restaurant’s operational manager, handling all the front of house operations. Samantha Sosa is the culinary expert in the kitchen and it’s there that she whips up small bites along with soups, stews, sandwiches and salads, many of which are fused with the flavorings and styles of traditional Native American fare—a menu reflective of the food that all three of them grew up with on the reservation. “It’s fusion,” Ms. Smith explained during a recent visit to the café. “I used my grandmother’s recipes. She passed away years ago and lived on Heady Creek. She would make clam pie, we would go and get the clams ourselves and peel potatoes. We keep it traditional and have added our own recipes.”Among the unique offerings on the menu is a venison Philly cheese steak, inspired by the fact that Ms. Smith once lived in the City of Brotherly Love.“It’s marinated venison with onions, mushrooms and cheese,” she said.Other offerings at Raindrop’s include omlettes, French toast, sandwiches, Native nachos (frybread topped with venison, turkey, beef or vegetarian chili, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese and sour cream), succotash, samp (a corn-based Native dish), seafood chowder, burgers (turkey or beef) and a “3 Sisters Carving Board” featuring grilled squash, green beans and corn chips with corn and bean hummus. The café will also serve Shinnecock-raised oysters in season. “This has been two years in the making,” said Mr. Polite, who comes to the café business after having worked as a police officer for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe in Connecticut and attending law school for a year.“I was planning to go back to school, then I got into horticulture and the science behind coffee roasting,” explained Mr. Polite, who uses the same roaster that has been in his family since the mid-1990s. “I fell in love with getting my hands in the earth and watching the expression of people when they enjoy the fruits of your labor.”In addition to producing the coffee, which is packaged and sold at Raindrop’s Café, Mr. Polite has also operated an organic farm behind the building. While creating locally sourced, high quality dishes is the primary focus at the new restaurant, he notes that Raindrop’s Café is ultimately about making connections with community.“I wanted to create a place where people can enjoy good food and great conversation. That’s what the coffee is about and I see it as a culture of the region,” added Mr. Polite, who learned the coffee business from his mother, Dianne Vieira. “We want this place to be an educational platform for the outside community.”To that end, Raindrop’s Café has already become something of a community and cultural hub. In April, the restaurant was the site of a “Game of Thrones” final episode party. In early June, Raindrop’s hosted a meet and greet breakfast event with members of the Southampton Town Democratic Committee and candidates running for local office. In the months ahead, an outdoor craft fair and other events will take place regularly behind the café. So stop by and see what’s cooking!“We’re excited and optimistic and for this summer,” said Ms. Smith.Raindrop’s Café is located at 40 Montauk Highway in Shinnecock Hills and is housed in the white building behind the Raindrop’s Quick Stop convenience store. Summer hours are 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information on upcoming events, call 631-287-3200.

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Jiggs Kalra was way ahead of his time (Obituary)

Advertisement Booking Breaking News Get your summer basics right for fashionable outing NEW DELHI: Step up your summer fashion game by experimenting with comfortable and stylish ensembles in white, pink, red, pastels and blue. Tushar Ved, President, Major Brands India Pvt. Ltd,… Sports powers kids to fight emotional distress TORONTO: Parents, please take note. Kids who engage in organized physical activity at a young age are less likely to have emotional difficulties later in life, says a study. Besides… Good sleep cuts appetite for sweet, salty food JOHANNESBURG: A good night’s sleep helps in reducing the desire for sweet and salty foods, intake of sugar and caloric content, says a study. It is known that sleeping less… How to be environment-friendly during periods NEW DELHI: Use menstrual cups, biodegradable sanitary napkins or organic tampons to ensure you are environment-friendly during menstruation, suggest experts. Anupriya Kapur, Founder, Imbue, and Deep Bajaj, Founder of PeeBuddy… Jiggs Kalra was way ahead of his time (Obituary) VISHNU MAKHIJANI NEW DELHI: Back in the early 1970s, when J. Inder Singh Kalra began writing “Platter Chatter” on food for a leading daily, there were many who sniggered. But… Maa ki Baat is Chef Ranveer Brar’s ode to motherhood NEW DELHI: Have you ever wondered “what does mom like to eat?” Enter Maa ki Baat, a 20-part web series crafted by multi-talented Chef Ranveer Brar, “the perfect ode” to… Quirky, nostalgic, practical: Tea towels make a splash When Corinne Morse found one of her late grandmother’s handwritten recipes inside an old cookbook, she wanted to share it with her mother. So she transferred an image of the… Indian college intern sentenced to 6 yrs for providing tech support to telemarketing scam in US WASHINGTON: An Indian college intern in the US has been sentenced to five years in prison for providing tech support to a telemarketing fraud scheme that duped about two dozen… 50 per cent tariff on US motorcycles by India unacceptable, says Trump WASHINGTON: Donald Trump has again criticised India’s high import tariff on the iconic Harley Davidson motorcycles as “unacceptable” while acknowledging that his “good friend” Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reduced… France to provide up to 7 lakh euros for railway station development in India NEW DELHI: Indian Railway Station Development Corporation (IRSDC) on Monday entered into a tripartite agreement with French National Railways (SNCF) and French Development Agency (AFD), under which a grant of… Jiggs Kalra was way ahead of his time (Obituary) June 11 by India Post News Weekly 0 Comments VISHNU MAKHIJANI
NEW DELHI: Back in the early 1970s, when J. Inder Singh Kalra began writing “Platter Chatter” on food for a leading daily, there were many who sniggered. But Jiggs Kalra was way ahead of his time and doggedly pushed his way through to earn monikers aplenty and show the path ahead to more than a generation of food writers – and, indeed, raise the art of gastronomy to new heights.
Along the way, in a career spanning five decades, he strove to revive lost cuisines as well as cooking styles and re-introduced age old delicacies such as the galouti and other kebabs served in India’s royal kitchens; and established some of the country’s most highly-acclaimed and best performing restaurants – one of the most notable being Masala Library that is run by his son Zorawar Singh, apart from Punjab Grill and Made in Punjab.
Ever one to be modest, he said of his culinary journey in a magazine interview some years ago: “I come from a typical Punjabi family; my father was from the Indian armed forces and a stickler for discipline. He expected me to follow in his footsteps but I had other plans. Reading and writing were a passion from a very young age. My exposure to the kitchen happened, thanks to my grandmother. Her mutton beliram still remains my favorite. My mother is one of the finest cooks I’ve ever known. I consider them my mentors.”
And some mentors they proved to be – along with Khushwant Singh, the then editor of The Times of India in Bombay who was quite taken in by Kalra’s constant griping: who’s going to tell me about the best places to eat in this city?
The answers came with a vengeance and stretched way beyond Bombay to span the entire country as Kalra honed his skills on the job, as it were, his meticulous research translating into 11 books on Indian cuisine, including Prashad that many a chef till today consider his bible.
“ Prashad has now gone into its 44th reprint. It’s the one book a mother-in-law gives to her daughter-in-law and to her daughter. My younger son Ajeet’s wife cooks everything out of that book,” Kalra had been quoted as saying.
Then came Daawat – India’s first television reality show – and that too in the Doordarshan era.
Pushpesh Pant, a no mean foodie himself who was associated with the show and later penned a coffee table book on it, said: “The proof of the pudding, they say, is in the eating, and another adage cautions that too many cooks spoil the broth. Accepting the challenge meant defying conventional wisdom. We, in turn, began by inviting dozens of chefs – young and old – accomplished masters and promising talent, men and women from the four corners of our vast and varied land – to showcase the fabulous culinary heritage of India.”
Jiggs, “never the one to be happy unless the labour undertaken is prodigious, suggested – and his suggestions have the tendency to end up as dictates – we give the viewers something new in addition to what was expected. Why not research the ayurvedic basis of Indian cuisine and incorporate interesting useful information about the ingredients being used? What started as a lark has now become an obsessive quest for both of us but that is a different story”, Pant added.
This, more than anything else, explains the mark of a man who, along the way, suffered a heart attack but bounced back after a bypass surgery in the US.
Recalls senior Mumbai journalist Mark Manuel of Kalra’s post-operative days: “I told Jiggs that the only other person I knew about who popped over 60 pills a day was Sylvester Stallone. ‘I should open a company with him, maybe a chemist shop, naam se chelega’, he joked.”
Since the time he had returned from the hospital after recovering from his stroke, he had done two books, helped to open three restaurants, held nine food festivals from Delhi to Kolkata, become the brand ambassador for Basmati rice, travelled overseas with Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Malaysia and organized his meals, planned the banquet at Agra’s Jaypee Palace Hotel for President Pervez Musharraf, and was back on Jet Airways as the food caterer.
“All this for a man who is only half a man,” Jiggs chortled. “People tell me I have achieved more from the bed than if I had been walking around. I don’t agree,” Manuel recalled.
This also explains Kalra’s major role in the culinary success of major chains like the Oberoi Group, ITC Hotels and the Park Group as also some international properties.
Honors came his way aplenty, including induction into the International Food & Beverage Gourmet Hall of Fame (the first Asian to be so elevated), besides numerous awards and accolades, both national and international.
There are those who rise above any honors bestowed on them. Kalra was certainly one of them. May his soul rest in peace. IANS

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These are the Nottingham bars, cafes, pubs and restaurants that have closed so far this year

These are the Nottingham bars, cafes, pubs and restaurants that have closed so far this year Gone but not forgotten Lynette Pinchess What’s On Content Editor (Food and Drink) 14:59, 11 JUN 2019 Click to play Tap to play The video will start in 8 Cancel Play now Get the biggest Daily stories by email Subscribe Thank you for subscribing We have more newsletters Show me See our privacy notice Could not subscribe, try again later Invalid Email
The number of restaurants, bars, pubs and cafes closing down in Nottingham demonstrates just how transient the food and drink industry can be.
One minute you’re in your favourite spot eating and drinking, the next there’s a sign up on the door. Worse still, it’s on your list of places to visit… and now you’ve missed out.
Celebrity chef chains, long established old favourites and even some more recent favourites have shut their doors this year. Then there are those which have closed, only to re-open with a brand new concept.
Is it too soon to be nostalgic? Nah, let’s take a trip down memory lane and remember the good times we had at this little lot. The Peacock The Peacock, Mansfield Road, Nottingham (Image: Nottingham Post)
Nottingham’s only 100 per cent vegan pub closed in January when landlord of 19 years, Michael Scholes retired. The historic pub, in Mansfield Road, is where DH Lawrence was rumoured to have used the former upstairs hotel as a refuge for writing, and years later the boozer became the home of the Sausage Society.
It re-opened for a short time and then it closed again. Owner Star Pubs & Bars is planning a major refurbishment and the search for a new licensee continues so there is hope for the future. Rub Smokehouse Rub’s chicken nugget birthday cake
Christmas was barely over when Rub, the brains behind the mega chicken Nugzilla, bottomless chicken nuggets, and eye-watering belly-busting concoctions, closed its doors for good without warning.
The American barbecue restaurant, in Adams Walk, off Fletcher Gate, remains empty. Fans were dismayed but others were glad to see the back of some of the monstrous creations. Wimpy Wimpy in intu Broadmarsh (Image: Nottinghamshire Live)
A wave of grief and an outpouring of fond memories hit Nottingham as the city’s last remaining Wimpy announced its closure in January after 43 years.
Akram Malik, the man at the helm of the intu Broadmarsh burger joint, said he had no choice but to close, having been asked to vacate upstairs and move downstairs to a unit which wasn’t ready.
Customers declared it a loss. Richard Smith, 51, of Mansfield, said: “Everything is now served in boxes or bags but Wimpy is on a plate and you get a proper cup of tea.” Curious Manor Curious Manor in Trinity Square
The quirky cocktail bar overlooking Trinity Square was renown for its unicorn, flamingos, skeletons, glitterballs and other weird and wonderful artefacts but they went into storage, ready for a huge tranformation.
Farewell Curious Manor, hello Monty’s.
Co-owner Dan Brown said: “I want to go more leisure-based as the market has moved on. People want more than just a drinking experience. The Manor will always have a place in my heart but it’s always nice to have a shake-up and refresh.”
Instead of the tea garden and secret gin bar, the new retro gaming bar has interactive darts, ping pong, pool, table football, pinball machines and a 20ft shuffleboard. Hart’s Restaurant Hart’s Restaurant (Image: Andrew Hallsworth)
It was a sign of the times when Hart’s revealed plans to close its landmark restaurant at the top of Standard Hill after 20 years.
Once the number one spot for business lunches, the demand, time and budget are no longer there. The 80-seater fine dining restaurant saw the number of diners drop from 40,000 to 30,000 in the space of a decade.
Owner Tim Hart scaled back the operation to create a more intimate restaurant, renamed Hart’s Kitchen , within his boutique hotel next door. Storybooks Tinkerbell Tia Bamford, 16, Wicked Witch Madeleine Walker, 26, and Captain Hook Christopher Pascoe, 22, at Storybooks (Image: Nottingham Post)
The fairytale ended when Nottingham’s magical tea room Storybooks closed at the end of January – ten weeks after relocating to new premises in Upper Parliament Street.
Customers were entertained while tucking into afternoon tea or a crazy freakshake as characters from Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan and Wizard of Oz were brought to life.
The property has recently re-opened as a Turkish barbers. Gurkha Kitchen Curry at Gurkha One
The closure of one of Notts top Indian restaurants left customers dismayed. The award-winning Gurkha One, at Rolleston, became a destination for curry lovers who knew they were in for a great experience.
Rising costs and increased competition were blamed for the closure. The owners said they had “worked tirelessly to make the business work” but couldn’t continue any longer.
Regular Jacqui Leigh said: “Brilliant place. It was a great restaurant with the best food ever. Such a shame.”
The venue has since re-opened under new ownership and is now a gastro pub, called The Dapper Spaniel. Druckers Druckers in the intu Victoria Centre
The chain, famed for its Vienna Patisserie, closed the branch in Nottingham, putting an end to posh cake and tea on the upper mall of intu Victoria Centre.
Part of the troubled Patisserie Valerie chain, it was amongst 71 branches to close nationally. Aubrey’s Traditional Creperie Meg Hale, proprietor of Aubrey’s Traditional Creperie
It came as a shock when this hidden gem, in West End Arcade, decided to shut its doors after ten years, especially as the little crepe shop was thriving.
Owner Meg Hale said she’d taken the business as far as it could go, it had exceeded all expectations, and she was now ready for a new chapter in her life.
The French-style creperie’s last day, appropriately, was Pancake Day, March 5. Dolcino
The gelato shop, in Beastmarket Hill, closed in December for a winter break, while the Winter Wonderland took over the Old Market Square. But it was never to reopen and officially announced the closure in February, which just happened to be the warmest February since records began.
As well as gelato, the cafe sold paninis, waffles and hot drinks, but the owners said they couldn’t compete with vendors in the square, both over Christmas and at the Nottingham Beach.
Dolcino was open for less than two years. The prime location remains empty. Apotheka Apotheka
Just a year after opening in Ruddington, trendy cafe and cocktail bar Apotheka called time – but not before inviting customers to “drink us dry.”
The all-day venue, in Wilford Road, served breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and a wide range of cocktails but the proprietors said “circumstances beyond our control” made the bar untenable going forward.
The bar went out with a bang, in March, and remains closed although there are rumours about a new business moving in. The Yacht Club The Yacht Club in Maid Marian Way (Image: Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post)
The upmarket seafood restaurant lasted just eight weeks before closing with immediate effect. The food, inspired by London’s top oyster and caviar outlets, was lauded but it just wasn’t meant to be.
After a short closure, and the erection of new signage, it was replaced by the Maharaja’s Retreat – giving Maid Marian curry pilgrims an even wider choice of destinations for their bhuna or chicken tikka. Jamie’s Italian Jamie’s Italian in Low Pavement
After months of rumours and speculation, the celebrity chef’s Italian chain went into administration in May. The Nottingham restaurant , in Low Pavement, was one of the casulties.
Nationally more than 1,000 staff lost their jobs. The chef tweeted: “I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the staff and our suppliers who have put their hearts and souls into this business for over a decade.” Le Mistral Le Mistral at Eldon Chambers (Image: Paul Saxby)
It was a very different picture 12 years ago when the French bistro opened, tucked away in Eldon Chambers, off Wheeler Gate as it quickly gained a good reputation for its authentic cuisine.
But it became a victim of the knock-on effect of Jamie’s Italian, Carluccio’s, and shops in and around intu Broadmarsh Centre closing, resulting in a 40 per cent drop in footfall.
Owner Chris Bulaitis, managing director of the Ever So Sensible Restaurant Group, said: “Over the last year this area of the city has declined as a retail and restaurant location, with many businesses closing. This has led to a major decline in footfall both day and night, making the location no longer financially viable for this style of business.
“We know that many of our customers, some who have been frequenting us for nearly 12 years will be upset by this decision.
“It has nothing to do with the offering or being a poor quality business but the location. Movement and footfall simply isn’t there and it’s not coming back in a rush – not on that street.”
There is some good news, however, as the company is actively looking for alternative sites to re-open in Nottingham city centre. Shakeaway Shakeaway in Long Row
The milkshake bar – which boasted 180 different flavours – ceased trading at the start of the month, blaming “high rents” for the closure in Long Row.
However, it might not be the end of Shakeaway in the city.
Retail operations manager Lauren Kirby said: “We can confirm that the store’s lease came to an end and a decision was made that the rent costs in this location are expensive and larger more economical properties are available in Nottingham where we intend to reopen in the near future.” Read More Bridge closure, roadworks and torrential rain hit Sandiacre pub The Bridge – and now there’s a power cut Read More Read More

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Warm homestay in Munsiari, Kumaon Himalaya

Spent 5 days last week in Sarmoli village, above Munsiari at about 2300 msl, in Kumaon, Uttarakhand, the Indian Himalaya. I and my Kalpavriksh colleague Shrishtee Bajpai were there for a Birdwatching festival that we help organise every year, the local hosts and organisers being the villages of Sarmoli and Shankhdhura, Maati Sangathan and Himalayan Ark. More on the fest in another blog … meanwhile, a heartfelt thanks to a lovely homestay host, Deepa Nitawal (and her husband Munna). Deepa ji has only last year joined the homestay programme initiated by Maati. Complete with basic comforts (the blanket-cum-rajai on the first night we got there, our bodies finding it hard to withstand a 30 degree drop in temperature, were most welcome!), including an attached toilet, fresh warm meals in the family’s kitchen, and a great view from the courtyard in front. The best part, other than the couple’s warmth, was the local cuisine that Deepaji conjured up for us every day: kukla, a kind of hand-made wheat noodles with various masalas (a traditional dish, not a copy of Maggi!); timur (like a local pepper) soup; pakodas made with leaves of jarak growing wild in the frontyard, or bhainyur leaves, mandua (ragi) halwa and roti, salty tea jia, bhang chutney , and much else.
Not to mention nursing me back to health after I was struck by a mysterious stomach upset on the first night itself (probably ate too much of the delicious but perhaps somewhat acidic kaafal fruit on the way!) … with nothing but some local herbs and appropriately light food.
This is one of 18 homestays in Sarmoli/Munsiari, run by women, as part of the Maati (a women’s sangathan) attempt at women empowering themselves for more secure livelihoods, against gender injustice, and for better conservation of nature around them. The initiative started about 15 years ago (see https://www.thehindu.com/features/magazine/homestay-with-a-difference/article4396757.ece), and has seen a slow but steady increase in the number of women taking it up. Along with this are also programmes to train some of the women and local youth into becoming nature guides; the birdwatching festivals, and butterfly/moth ones run by Titli Trust more recently, are part of this. Over the last few years, at least half a dozen local villagers have become good at bird identification, with names in both local and English. Annually, all these village and civil society organisations put together the Himal Kalasutra festival, integrating birding, butterflying/mothing, a full day community fest up at the Mesar Kund (lake) set amidst lovely forests (van panchayats managed by the community), a gruelling run up about 2000 metres of Himalayan terrain, and other activities (see www.himalkalasutra.com).
Deepaji is amongst those who have most recently joined the homestay programme (less than a year old), and seems to have immediately become well-versed!
Deepaji in front of her house
Shrishtee and I with Deepa Nitawal Dawn seen from Deepaji’s frontyard
Deepaji and Munnaji’s house
Kukla, urad wada, bhang chutney; one of the many delicious meals!

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Rab Se Sohna Isshq actor Ashish Sharma seems to be in love with homemade food and here’s the proof

tv Rab Se Sohna Isshq actor Ashish Sharma seems to be in love with homemade food and here’s the proof Rab Se Sohna Isshq actor Ashish Sharma seems to be in love with homemade food and here’s the proof Rab Se Sohna Isshq actor Ashish Sharma is in love with home-cooked food prepared by his mother and wife and these pictures are a proof of it 7:36 PM IST | Updated: June 11, 2019 7:38 PM IST
Rab Se Sohna Isshq actor Ashish Sharma loves to have Ghar Ka Khaana and usually keeps posting pictures of home-cooked delicious food. There is a very common notion that celebrities like to have luscious restaurant food but this is not the same with Ashish as he considers home-cooked food as the best meal.

A simple roti, sabji, dal and chawalis Ashish Sharma’s version of divine and scrumptious food. His chiselled abs and perfect body is all because of the food cooked by his dearest wife and mother and we have proof. Here’s a sneak peek into his Instagram posts which reveals he only craves for Ghar Ka Khaana.
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Jul 8, 2018 at 2:14pm PDT
Ashish Sharma ‘s Sunday Binge had brinjal, paneer and the yummy missi roti.
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A post shared by ashish sharma (@ashish30sharma84) on Apr 23, 2018 at 12:18am PDT
A lush spread of ghee on the roti, sabji and jaggery is what his idea of opulence is!
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A post shared by ashish sharma (@ashish30sharma84) on Aug 13, 2018 at 1:46am PDT
The secret to his fit body is that even his salads are simple and easy to make at home.
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Jan 19, 2018 at 8:38pm PST
Onion, tomato uttapam , and chutney for breakfast, anyone?
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A post shared by ashish sharma (@ashish30sharma84) on Dec 25, 2017 at 1:07am PST
No matter how big of a superstar you are, nothing beats Maa ke haath ka gajar halwa, period
Even when outdoors, the actor prefers to eat only basic and doesn’t seem like much of a fan of anything but Indian cuisines. Not sure about you, but our hunger pangs have definitely kicked in hard!
Stay tuned for more scoops and updates! 7:36 PM IST | Updated: June 11, 2019 7:38 PM IST

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Rajasthan Rifles: Anglo-Indian Cuisine At The Peak

Rajasthan Rifles: Anglo-Indian Cuisine At The Peak Posted Today Black Sheep are venturing to The Peak, with its newest opening inspired by the Anglo-Indian mess halls of the early 1900s.
District: The Peak, Hong Kong Cuisine: Anglo-Indian How much: Lunch dishes range between $78 and $178; sizzlers range between $178 and $298; tandoori dishes between $178 and $228; currys between $98 and $228; biryani $298 Must order: Samosa Chutney; Keema Anda Pau; Butter Chicken The best for: Casual all-day dining Sassy tip: If you’re heading up The Peak with your pooch in tow, make a beeline for RR’s outdoor seating area. You can enjoy a cup of chai masala ( or a G&T! ) and you can both cool down and enjoy the city view.
We know by now that when Black Sheep Restaurants go with a theme, they go all-out. So, hot on the heels of the newly opened lively SoHo spot, Taqueria Super Macho , comes its latest venture, Rajasthan Rifles . Taking its inspiration from the Anglo-Indian mess halls of the 1920s to 40s , where the British Indian Army got together to socialise, drink and, most importantly – eat – the restaurant completely transports you back to the era, with everything from the waitstaff’s army-style uniforms, to the lively jazz soundtrack and the blending of British and Indian flavours sure to take diners back in time . As mentioned, BSR is known for its well-researched and authoritative hand and Rajasthan Rifles is no different, managing to capture all the best bits of this fragile period of history and serve them up in the group’s signature style. Overseeing the kitchen is Executive Chef Palash Mitra, of one Michelin-starred New Punjab fame , so the although it’s easy to get swept up in the story behind the restaurant, you know that what’s really important (the food) is done right, with the restaurant serving simple and well-executed dishes, focusing on quality ingredients .
As the group’s first restaurant located at The Peak, the Rajasthan Rifles is set to be a casual and relaxed all-day dining spot, serving up hearty fare and refreshing drinks for residents, tourists and dog walkers alike . The broad menu features everything from tandoor-grilled meats and creamy curries to the “Company Special” Lamb Biryani and its own Rajasthan Rifles Club Sandwich, along with the British-inspired Bread & Butter pudding. A word of warning, make sure to come hungry (and don those stretchy trousers!) as the food here is rich and will definitely have you coming back for more . We began with the classic Samosas ($78) , which our hungry selves couldn’t get enough off, diving straight into the delicious pastry triangles, that were lovingly filled to the brim with lightly spiced potatoes and green beans, and served with a tangy tamarind chutney. We also loved the Keem Anda Pau ($128) . A traditional mess hall dish, consisting of slow-cooked minced mutton and crushed boiled egg, served with lightly toasted and buttered milk buns. The meat was heady and warm with spices, while tender and full of gamey flavour. Sandwiched between two milks buns, it was almost like an Indian-spiced take on an American sloppy Joe. A must to try alongside one of Rajasthan Rifles’ array of light and refreshing drinks.
Focusing on low-alcohol beverages that are made for all-day-drinking , the bar menu here offers up a wide range of British gins , alongside favourite summer tipples such as the Minted Pimm’s Cup ($98) , Lunchtime Bloody Mary ($88) and the Dutch Courage ($98) , made with dark rum, pineapple, bergamot juice and peppermint tea. The easy-drinking beverages work to refresh the palate and don’t try to compete with the richly spiced food. A dish that is sure to be a favourite accompaniment to drinks is the Rajasthan Rifles Club Sandwich ($148) . This classic lightly toasted white bread is filled with chicken tikka, masala omelette, tomato chutney and cheddar cheese, and is served alongside crispy thick cut chips and a spiced tomato sauce. Putting other interpretations of the widely popular dish to shame with its perfectly balanced levels of spice, it is the ultimate coming together of the two cultures .
We also enjoyed the aptly named Soola Salmon Sizzler ($278) . Served to the table on a hot (and sizzling!) plate, the salmon had been marinated in soola spices for over 24 hours, and lightly seared to create a fall apart texture, and was served with buttered vegetables, peppercorn sauce and parsley rice. From the tandoor, we tasted the Goat Seekh Kebab ($228) . Flavoured with green chillies, roasted cumin and cheddar cheese, it had a punch of flavour which was only enhanced by the refreshing yet spicy green mint chutney .
From the array of curries on the menu, we sampled the Butter Chicken ($178) , Pedro Vindaloo ($228) , Dum Aloo “Gunpowder” ($98) , Dal Rifleswala ($108) and Clubwala Palak ($158) – all of which we enjoyed with plenty of garlic naan ($38/$48) . The butter chicken didn’t disappoint, with the braised chicken tikka swimming in a creamy sauce of tomato and butter. We also loved the deeply comforting dal, made with lentils that had been slow-cooked over smoked charcoal embers to impart flavour and make for a rich and satisfying curry. The Goan-style Pedro (prawn) vindaloo is one for spice-fiends to try, made in typical South Indian style with white wine vinegar and garlic. And for a taste of greenery on your plate of colour, spice and flavour, don’t miss trying the Clubwala Palak (creamed spinach) , with garlic, onion and tomato masala.
Fans of a classic biryani will also want to try the “Company Special” Lamb Biryani ($298) , aromatically flavoured with over 20 spices, the lamb was slow-cooked in layers of basmati rice, making for a succulent and lightly spiced meat, in amongst the basmati rice that was rich in mint and saffron.
Desserts on offer include the light Lemon Posset ($78) and the slightly-heavier Bread and Butter Pudding ($98) , but we think that the best end to the meal is the Masala Chai ($58) . The hot, sweet tea was richly spiced with ginger and cardamon, making for a comforting end to an indulgent meal.
Our verdict: Although the location may at first seem a little far out, Rajasthan Rifles may be setting a trend for more restaurants to open at The Peak. The all-day dining space is perfect for a lazy afternoon, whether you’re heading in for drinks and snacks or a meal of hearty Anglo-Indian fare, you’re sure to be left satisfied.
Rajasthan Rifles is now open Tuesdays to Sundays; 12pm to 3pm for lunch, 5pm to 9:30pm for dinner and from 12pm for drinks and snacks. It’s soon to launch a breakfast menu and be open all day.
Rajasthan Rifles , Shop G01, G/F, The Peak Galleria, 118 Peak Road, The Peak, Hong Kong, www.rajasthanrifles.com
All images courtesy of Annie Simpson and property of Sassy Media Group. About the author Annie Simpson A born and bred Brit with a constant sense of wanderlust (and an insatiable appetite to match!), Annie will travel…
A born and bred Brit with a constant sense of wanderlust (and an insatiable appetite to match!), Annie will travel far and wide for a good meal. Heading up the Eat & Drink and What’s On sections at Sassy Hong Kong, Annie can usually be found hunting down the newest restaurants and bars in the city, sipping on a beer at the beach, or cooking up a storm in her tiny kitchen.

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These Road Trips Are Perfect For Family-Friendly Fun This Summer – Essence

June 11, 2019 Find adventure with the family this summer with one of these cool road trips we mapped out just for you.
iPad loaded with movies and games? Check. Car stuffed with snacks and ­music that appeal to adults and kids alike? Double-check. The kids are on ­vacation, and you want to keep them busy, learning and having fun. Prepare for the ultimate family road trip with our guide to cool routes to take and great places to stop, stay and dine—all on a dime.
EXPLORE NEW YORK STATE With its bright lights and big-city dreams, New York City is the premier destination on the East Coast. During summertime, catch Broadway and off-Broadway shows, spread a ­blanket for free concerts on the piers, visit museums, watch Shakespeare in the Park and nosh on world-class cuisine in every borough—think flavorful Indian food in Jackson Heights, Queens; tasty Caribbean cooking in Brooklyn; authentic Italian fare in the Bronx.
But the rest of the state is no slouch. Filled with millions of acres of ­protected wilderness, lakes and more than 2,000 miles of hiking and biking trails, the countryside of New York State is where your family can retreat from the hustle and bustle of New York City and nestle into the serenity of nature. Now, before you think your road trip could turn into a scary scene from Us meets, well, every movie ever made about pitching a tent in the woods, think again.
…plenty of opportunities to explore the meaning of the Empire State’s mantra, I Love New York.
With glamping—a vacationing hybrid that combines the luxuries of a posh hotel (fluffy beds, sheets with high thread counts, charging stations, room service) with the thrill of the outdoors—you can put all those concerns to bed. Just a five-hour drive north of New York City takes you to the Adirondacks, where you can embrace a glamping experience at Lake Placid. Or stay at Lake George, home of more than a dozen private islands that you can rent for a very rustic time. Either way, the Adirondacks, with its more than 8.1 million acres of parkland and mountains, provide plenty of opportunities to explore the meaning of the Empire State’s mantra, I Love New York.
ROUTE TO TAKE : I-87 north. WHAT TO DO : World Awareness Museum ($5; children under 3 years get in free), parasailing, hot-air balloon rides, tubing, children’s museum, kayaking, sailing, Great Escape Six Flags. WHERE TO EAT : Mirror Lake Inn’s The View Restaurant at Lake Placid (a 48-hour reservation is required and a dress code of no flip-flops, baseball caps or athletic wear is ­enforced). Or wear what you want and get some of the best catfish in nearby Schenectady at a little place called YaYa’s House Southern Cuisine (518-382-9292). WHERE TO STAY : Adirondack Safari on the Schoon River ($169–$300 per night, adirondacksafari.com) or find more locations online (glampinghub.com). For no-frills campgrounds, try Bass Island ($28–$48 per night, reserveamerica.com/explore/glen-island-lake-george-is/NY).
If glamping in the Northeast isn’t for you and your family, then head south
FIND THE FUN ­BETWEEN PHILLY AND WASHINGTON,D.C.
If glamping in the Northeast isn’t for you and your family, then head south into ­Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love and birthplace of The Roots and Jill Scott. It is also where portions of the movies Creed and Rocky were filmed. You and the kids can spend a few days steeped in African-­American firsts: the African American Museum in Philadelphia, the first museum created to preserve Black history, and The ­Philadelphia Tribune, the oldest newspaper to tell our stories.
Cruise through the Germantown Historic District and see where Harriet Tubman stayed during her stops along the ­Underground Railroad, and visit The Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Free Library of Philadelphia, both designed by Julian Abele, the first African-American to design buildings in the city and the first to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania School of Architecture. Change things up the next day with Elmo and Big Bird at Sesame Place, which is celebrating 50 years of Sesame Street (kids under 23 months get in free); take a tour of Herr’s Snack Factory for fresh ­potato chips, then grab some hoagies or Philly cheesesteaks to hold you over until you arrive in Washington, D.C., two hours later.
Once in D.C., settle into a midrange hotel from your favorite chain where breakfast is complimentary for you and your crew. You’ll want to rest up to see all the sights—in particular the breathtaking National Museum of African American History and Culture at the Smithsonian. Begin at the top floor for fun, interactive experiences that allow you to learn how to step, trace destinations in the real Green Book and see 3-D models of ­museum artifacts. It’s a lighthearted way to start the museum tour. If you begin on the first floor, be prepared for emotionally moving ­depictions of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. We suggest breaking up your visit into two days as timed passes are good for three hours on weekends only. If you get hungry, nibble on soul food from a menu created for the museum by chef Carla Hall.
Sharon Pendana, a D.C. native and author of Secret ­Washington, D.C., offers another itinerary: Visit the U Street ­Corridor area of the District, “once known as Black Broadway ­because of the theaters and who came to town to perform there,” she says. This community shows off the culinary diversity of the diaspora, with its large Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurant ­options. In the same neighborhood, you’ll also find the renowned Busboys and Poets, which offers standard American fare, music and ­poetry performances and a bookstore all in one. If you feel like something quick and native, get some half-smokes—hot dogs with chili—from the historic Black-owned Ben’s Chili Bowl, a ­favorite of locals. If you’re looking for something more upscale, go by the Wharf area for dinner at Kith+Kin.
ROUTE TO TAKE : I-95 south. WHAT TO DO : Step Afrika (open June 8–16); MLK Monument, National African American Museum of Art & Culture (nmaahc.si.edu to request timed passes); Herr’s (800-284-7488). WHERE TO STAY : Midrange hotels like Residence Inn by Marriott ($183–$249 per night, marriott.com) or Homewood Suites by Hilton ($266–$349 per night, homewoodsuites3.hilton.com); bed-and-breakfasts like Akwaaba Mansion ($205–$255 per night, dcakwaaba.com). WHERE TO EAT : Kith+Kin for a fusion of African and Caribbean cuisines; Busboys and Poets for fresh American food.
FEEL A CULTURAL VIBE IN THE SEA ISLANDS
More than 100 sea islands dot the Atlantic coast, from South ­Carolina to Georgia to Florida. Visit the white sand beaches of Hilton Head, South ­Carolina, which are among the top family beaches in the country. Book a guide to explore the island and its wildlife, go bicycling and golfing, and shop at quaint boutiques. Then experience the region’s living history with a two-hour Geechee/Gullah tour. As the only region in the U.S. where traditional West African customs have been preserved from our ancestors, the Gullah Islands are home to the Geechee people, who offer oral histories from the time we first landed until now.
Choose from the Gullah Heritage Trail Tour on Hilton Head, the Sallie Ann Robinson Gullah Tour on Daufuskie Island (the entire island is considered an historic district), the Penn Center on St. Helena Island, the Gullah Geechee Visitor Center in Beaufort, or the Gullah Guide to Charleston.
As the only region in the U.S. where traditional West African customs have been preserved from our ancestors, the Gullah Islands are home to the Geechee people
Gai A. Spann, founder of Spanning the Globe Travel Tours in Atlanta, found the Gullah tours to be the most comprehensive. “They do not downplay the role that South Carolina played in the slave trade,” she said after visiting this past spring. “I realized this when I took a traditional tour in the morning and the Geechee tour in the afternoon. I knew some of the tour guide’s data from the morning tour was incorrect, but I didn’t know the facts well enough to correct her. When I took the Geechee tour, I realized just how inaccurate the first tour guide was.”
ROUTE TO TAKE : I-95 south to I-287 east to Hilton Head, then a boat to the other islands. WHAT TO DO : Nature, wildlife and historical tours; dolphin watching, biking, kayaking and golfing. (Gullah/Geechee tours cost $20–$32 for adults, $12–$20 for children). WHERE TO STAY : Rent a home or condo (from $55–$415 per night, airbnb.com or vrbo.com). WHERE TO EAT : Gullah Grub on Saint Helena for soul food; Poseidon Coastal cuisine on Hilton Head for seafood; The Dog House in Beaufort for hot dogs and lobster rolls. BYOB to the other restaurants on the islands.
ENJOY THE HIGH LIFE IN CALIFORNIA’S BIG SUR
Stretching for over 163,000 square miles, the state of California offers family-friendly destinations to satisfy every interest. While Los Angeles is California’s most famous city, one of the prettiest road trips runs through Big Sur, located along the state’s central coast. Cali abounds with great getaways. That’s what Yvette Davis Gayle, head of communications and engagement at the Africa Creative Agency, and her husband, Colin, realized while living in Los Angeles. Every spring and summer break they would hit the road with their now 13-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter for a quick trip. “We’d drive up I-10 east to Palm Springs,” Gayle says. “It’s an easy two-hour drive, making it far enough to get away but not so distant that the kids ­become uncomfortable.”
While Los Angeles is California’s most famous city, one of the prettiest road trips runs through Big Sur
Another scenic drive, 130 miles of highway known locally as Palms to Pines, takes you through the San Gorgonio Pass, where mountains soar thousands of feet above the road. Along the way you’ll find must-stop taco trucks and kid-friendly roadside attractions. From Palm Springs, you can do a day hike through the Joshua Tree National Park, which bridges the ecosystems of the Mojave and Colorado deserts. “We typically rent a really nice two-bedroom villa when we go,” Gayle says. “This allows us to cook, barbecue and spend more on the local activities.”The drive from Palm Springs to Oakland is about seven hours and is probably better suited for travel with older children. Take in the history of Black resistance at the African American ­Museum and Library at Oakland. The first floor houses 12,000 volumes by or about African-Americans. The second floor is host to original and traveling exhibits, so check what’s showing during your visit.
When you’re ready to eat, Oakland offers a wide variety of hearty traditional, ethnic and vegan fare. Choose from Ethiopian, Cambodian, Latin, Caribbean and ­traditional soul food places to chow down. For a quick day trip, drive about two hours from Oakland to Monterey for the ­magnificent coastal views. While in Monterey, visit the ­Monterey Bay Aquarium; the state beach for swimming, surfing and scuba diving; the Steinbeck’s Spirit of Monterey Wax Museum; and George Washington Park, which provides ­superb natural bird and butterfly viewing.
ROUTE TO TAKE : I-10 east to Los Angeles. WHAT TO DO : On the way to Monterey, shop at the Cabazon Outlets and visit the Cabazon Dinosaurs, a campy roadside attraction. While in Palm Springs, visit the Joshua Tree National Park for picnics, the Living Desert Zoo and the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert. WHERE TO STAY : Rent a villa or a private home (innclusive .com or airbnb.com). WHERE TO EAT : In Oakland, check out Brown Sugar Kitchen, Everett and Jones BBQ, Souley Vegan and Suya African ­Caribbean Grill. Share :

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‘Bengaluru captures all flavours of southern India’

Chef Saransh Goila is a well-known name in the food business. He is the founder of the famous ‘Goila Butter Chicken’ restaurant in Mumbai and the author of the travelogue ‘India on my Platter’. Saransh was also a guest judge on Masterchef Australia.
He is also a campaigner for ‘India, Ready Action’, a project upheld by Samsung towards breaking stereotypes around India. As a part of the campaign, the celebrity chef was recently in the city to conduct a session on making short impactful videos.
Metrolife had a candid chat with Saransh, and here is what he had to say.
Tell us about your involvement in the campaign.
I found the campaign exciting because it was about breaking stereotypes around India. I was intrigued when they approached me for the
food category. We are pushing people to make videos of actual Indian food and share it.
You have travelled around the globe. Which is your favourite cuisine?
I am always biased towards Indian food as it is diverse. Japanese and Italian cuisines are my other favourites.
What are the misconceptions other countries have of Indian food?
When people think of Indian food, they think of curry. It is a conception that needs to be corrected. I feel the basic education for the global audience is not given, for which we are also fairly responsible because no one has taken the ownership of taking pride in our food. The idea is to let people know we also have chaats, varieties of flatbread etc. and not just curry. Also, I think it is the jargon; nobody corrects them when they say ‘naan bread’ or ‘chai tea’. But it is slowly changing now.
What are the misconceptions Indians have of the global cuisine?
When a certain cuisine is introduced in another region, slight alterations have to be made to adjust to the respective people’s palette. Indians are so adjusted to powerful, bold tastes that we forget about other kinds of flavour. For example, if we travel to China we can’t expect Indian Chinese food or Chinjabi.
I think we look at the world cuisines at our own length, but in the last decade a lot of us have travelled and explored more, and we are aware now.
A global movement is happening in India in terms of food as I see multiple cuisines coming in and doing fairly well.
What are the current food trends that you like?
The one that I relate the most to is regional cooking; people are looking back to their community.
Sustainable farming and food delivery business are also the trends that I find exciting.
Do you have a Bengaluru connect?
My first job as a chef was in Bengaluru. It is one of my favourite destinations. The place captures the flavours of southern India fairly well. Every time I am there I make sure that I get my cup of filter coffee.

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