World On A Plate: A Food Lover’s Delight
World On A Plate: A Food Lover’s Delight
Over 3000 food lovers flocked to season 4 Bangalore edition of World On A Plate, India’s biggest gourmet festival! Chef Marco Pierre cooking India’s favourite dish- Jalebi at World On A Plate! Chef Marco Pierre White & his sous Chef Andrew Bennett A sneak peek into the Master Class by Chef Marco Pierre Ritz Carlton Executive Sous Chef Ajay Athawle & Chef Ashish Sharma World On A Plate would have been incomplete without a plate full of finger licking good food! Here’s some asparagus served with egg, ah, so good! A fine dine experience made better with some sparking wine served at the dinner night at World On A Plate Chef Marco Pierre White & Chef Andrew Bennett with Chefs from Ritz Carlton Gold Rush CEO, Kiran Soans & Chef Marco Pierre White at the Dinner The Ritz Carlton Bangalore Staff
Touted to be Bangalore’s biggest edition till date, WOAP saw over 5 Celebrity Chef Masterclasses, 22 food pop-ups by exceptional restaurants that span regional Indian & global cuisines, unique desserts showcases, an impressive cocktail program and live music. Chef Marco Pierre was here at the event in his usual formidable style, and expressing his love for India, he said, “India has yet again given me more than I have given it. This country has been a very emotional and culturally rich experience for me.”
Comprehensive travel guide to London • Nomad Revelations
Bus Transfer between Heathrow and Gatwick Airports – 31 Euros. Arriving in London by train
If you’re traveling from another European country, you can opt for a train or car. Since the Channel Tunnel was finished and opened in 1994, you can travel by train to London. Although the prices aren’t always the lowest when compared to low-cost flights.
For example, a one-way trip from Brussels to London booked one month in advance costs 50 Eur. However, it’s a great solution if you’re afraid to fly or prefer the scenic train ride.
With so many railways connecting all the major cities in Europe, you can plan your train itinerary to spend some time visiting other European cities if you have the time. Arriving in London by car
If you enjoy driving and are not afraid of driving on the left, traveling by car has some pros and cons. On the one hand, you are free to reorganize your trip as you go along and you can stop where and whenever you want. On the other hand, once you add up the costs of fuel, tolls, and car maintenance, it can be an expensive trip.
Besides, if your goal is to visit London, may I remind you how hard it is to drive and park in the city center? Some areas are also restricted, and no cars are allowed. Where to stay Where to stay in London
Several factors will influence your choice of accommodation, from whether you’re traveling for leisure or business to budget and traveling style.
If you’re traveling by plane or by train, for example, you’ll prefer a hotel in the city center, as close to the tourist sites as possible. If you stay further away, hotels will be cheaper, but you’ll lose more time and money in public transportation. If you decide to visit London by car, you must look for a hotel near an affordable or free parking space, since parking space in the city center is hard to find and very expensive. Some hotels include parking for a daily fee, which varies according to the hotel and location.
Nowadays you get all that information on hotel booking websites like Booking.com.
If you don’t like surprises, you can choose a chain hotel like Ibis. They are more or less the same anywhere in the world, affordable, and have good service. In 2009, I stayed at an Ibis close to many of the attractions in London. Check it out here. Check my page : Where to stay in London . What to pack
You’ve probably experienced going on a short trip and packing practically everything you own for fear of needing something important, to realize later you haven’t taken most things out of the bag during the whole trip. Traveling with too much stuff is a burden from the beginning of your trip, be it by plane, car, or train, until you arrive.
Remember that by traveling light you can save a lot of money especially if you’re traveling on a low-cost airline that charges more for checking in luggage than for the plane ticket. Those airlines allow you to take a carry-on bag or a backpack. Size may vary but it’s usually 55cm X 40cm X 20cm. It’s a no brainer : do you prefer to lug heavy bags around or travel with a light backpack? You’ll feel freer and a lot more comfortable, especially if you’re staying at more than one hotel during your trip or if, for example, you decide to pull a one-nighter on your last day in the city. Travel Light – pack only what you’ll need. Cash, cards, and ATMs Cash, cards, and ATMs in London
The currency in London (and the rest of the country) is the pound, which can be a pain in the neck to calculate the conversion. Although England is part of the European Union, it never adopted the Euro as a currency.
The Sterling Pound, which is divided into 100 pence, is currently at 1.39€ and the trend is it will continue to increase its value because of the crisis in the Eurozone. Bills come in £5, £10, £20 and £50. Coins come in £1 and £2 and 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, 1p and 2p.
You can exchange currency in your country of origin, but most times it pays off to only exchange when you arrive in London. You can do at the airport or later in banks or exchange currency businesses in the city center. You can choose to carry some cash in the local currency from your country and then see which place in London has the best rates. Sometimes it’s a huge difference, and you may lose money if you don’t look for the best deal.
Carry some cash in pounds to pay for train, subway, or bus tickets after your flight, and for some other small expenses like eating when you reach the city, etc. The next day while sightseeing keep an eye on the exchange rates.
Most businesses take credit cards, especially the larger chains. Some might accept payments in Euros, but they will charge a conversion fee, which is sometimes higher than if you had exchanged currency yourself. Some businesses in London airports also accept Euros.
In London, you can withdraw cash from ATMs. As with anywhere else in the world, pay attention to pickpocketers and don’t carry large amounts of cash that might get stolen or lost.
While in some counties ATMs are the same for all banks, in the United Kingdom each bank has its separate ATM system. This could mean you get limited information about your bank account’s movements.
However, you’re free to withdraw cash whenever you want, although some ATMs might charge you a commission for withdrawing money. The ATMs with the bank brand are the ones that don’t charge commission.
Before traveling, check with your bank if it’s best to use your credit card for shopping or at restaurants instead of exchanging currency. Simple math will help you figure it out.
Since the country kept its currency even as a member of the European Union, it also kept the currency exchange companies in business, which employ many people. In the center of the city, you can easily find small offices that convert different currencies. You can also compare rates because some places are more worth it than others. How to save money How to save money in London
Cost is one of the factors most of us think about when traveling. Follow my tips to make the best of London without breaking the wallet.
Some countries and cities are more expensive than others. It all depends on currency and the local cost of living. London can be expensive and, obviously, if you have a bigger budget, it will be easier to choose what to do.
But you can also have a memorable experience in London with a small budget. All you have to do is dodge the tourist traps that usually inflate their prices. If you’re a student look for and ask for special discounts available. Food & Drinks
Like in every other tourist destination, some places are more expensive than others. Even the fast food chains may seem more expensive in London because when you mentally convert pounds into your local currency, you’ll notice you’re paying more than you would in your country.
However, there are other places where you can eat for cheap like small cafes, fish-and-chips shops, pizza places, Indian and Chinese restaurants, sandwich restaurants (some of them grab and go), or all you can eat buffets with drinks on the side. In that case, calculate how much it will cost with the drinks and if you don’t want to spend more ask for a glass of tap water, which by law is free. If they haven’t placed it on the table already, order it yourself.
In your travel to London on a budget, the biggest portion goes into food, especially in expensive cities like London. If you choose the fancier and touristic spots, you’ll obviously spend more. However, London has plenty of cheap cafes and restaurants selling Chinese food, Indian food, pizzas, traditional fish-and-chips, etc.
If you opt for more practical meals, there are plenty of grab-and-go sandwich joints. You can also choose to buy groceries at supermarkets or markets, and if you choose unbranded ready-made meals, you’ll be able to save even more money. Some restaurants offer a discount if you have a ticket for a show and you can buy a discount card like Taste Card with up to 50% off in meals.
Supermarkets also sell ready-made sandwiches and drinks that are cheaper alternatives, as long as you opt for the nonbranded options which are usually the cheapest. At food markets, prices are also lower. You can buy fruit to eat as you walk.
Why not buy all the supplies and have a picnic at one of the many parks in London? Insider’s tip : some restaurants serve discounted meals for people attending shows in London. Because you have to eat earlier than usual in time to catch the show, meals are cheaper. It’s a win-win situation. You can also buy the Taste Card that includes 50% discounts on hundreds of restaurants in London, some of them quite pricey, so it’s worth it. Museums & Entertainment
First of all, there are plenty of must-see sites that are free admission such as the British Museum, but there are many more! Occasionally, some shows are free or give massive discounts on last-minute purchases when the theaters need to fill seats to have a full house. Check my page : Museums in London . Transportation
To save on public transportation, buy the Oyster Card. Traveling with this top-up card is cheaper than buying tickets separately. Public transportation is cheaper off-peak hours and on weekends. Take a map of London and organize your days per area. The less you wander off, the more you’ll save because most sites are within walking distance from one another.
Oyster Card it’s a kind of a public transportation pass that saves you money by topping it up instead of buying individual tickets for each trip. It also saves time because you don’t have to always worry about paying for transportation. If you have any questions about which is the best option for you, go to one of the booths in the central subway stations, and they’ll tell you what suits you better.
If you travel on public transportation off-peak hours or weekends, tickets are cheaper! The other option is to walk and save money on transportation. The city is huge, but if you plan your itinerary by zones, you’ll walk less and sightsee more. Free things to visit in London Courtyard at the Victoria and Albert Museum
There are many London museums with free entrance: British Museum, The National Portrait Gallery, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The National Gallery, Tate Museum, Tate Britain, Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Museum of London, National Maritime Museum and Imperial War Museum.
Make the most of it! In addition to this, many other places occasionally have free concerts and events. Check the city’s cultural events calendar to see what’s free when you’re visiting. Look for discounts
West End shows have two kinds of tickets for the front rows: expensive and very expensive. But there are some tricks you can use to get cheaper tickets. Some tickets at TKTS in Leicester Square or Brent Cross are 50% off. Those are last-minute tickets for great seats and with a great discount. The other option is to buy one of the cheapest tickets available at the theater where you want to see the show. Usually, it’s for the seats further from the stage and some cost around 10£. Some theaters sell last-minute cheaper tickets hours before the show, so they can have a full house. Visit the theater to know more. Internet & WiFi
Do you need free WiFi? Many hotels and cafes offer free WiFi but so do the public libraries, and you don’t need a library card to get in. If you’re going to stay in London for a long time, it pays off to get a library card, so you can get in and out as many times you want and have free WiFi. Accommodation
If you’re traveling with a group of friends or family maybe it’s best to rent a house where you can cook instead of booking several rooms at a hotel. Hotel is, of course, a comfortable option where your bed is made for you every day, your room is cleaned, and breakfast is included most of the times. But considering that most tourists are out all day sightseeing, you could save money by cooking instead of dining out. Calculate your costs to see which option is the cheapest. Travel Insurance
The straight and short answer to this is “absolutely”! However, each person is different, and you might already be covered and not even know about it, so there’s no need to get insurance.
Insurance is a precaution. When we travel we focus only on the good experiences, but anything can happen.
If you get sick, have an accident, or your documents get lost or stolen, travel insurance can come to the rescue and prevent you from spending a fortune.
Imagine that you’re lost in your thoughts or have your eyes on the camera and twist your ankle on a step. If you don’t have insurance and need healthcare, you might be faced with a large bill. Or imagine that you let down your guard for a split second and someone steals your photography gear? If you have insurance, you can get part of the money back or even a full refund.
Choose an insurance for your needs. For example, if you’re not traveling with valuables, an insurance covering health expenses and evacuation fees is more than enough. If you’re a photography enthusiast, if you travel with expensive musical instruments or sports equipment, you must get the insurance that covers all this in case of theft or accident.
There are many insurance companies offering a wide range of policies, so you’ll definitely find something that’s a perfect fit. I suggest one of the most famous insurance companies among travelers – World Nomads .
If you already have car insurance or a credit card, that policy already covers different situations like some health and evacuation expenses in case of an accident, even if you’re not traveling by car. Talk to your insurance company and your bank because you might not need to get new insurance or you can get a simpler and cheaper additional one.
In addition to travel insurance, you should request the European Health Insurance Card. It’s free, issued by Social Security, and valid in all European Union countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. This card gives you access to those countries’ health system when traveling, with the same perks as one of their national citizens. Transportation Transportation in London
London is one of the biggest cities in Europe. It’s impossible to avoid this: you’ll have to travel for many kilometers if you want to make the best of your trip to London. See which one is the best option.
London is huge and although most must-see sites are located in the city center, in a sort of inner circle, you’ll end up traveling for miles.
You have several options to move around London : renting a car, subway, taxi, bus, and train. Subway in London
If we think about how old the English subway network is, we’re impressed by how well-planned and complete it is, even though some of the lines are 150 years old.
Thousands of people took shelter in the tube’s tunnels during the Second World War to escape the German bombings.
The lines are organized by color, and it’s easy to see where they connect. The tube, as Londoners call the subway, has about 300 stations.
All lines run in different schedules, and there are six different zones. Trips on the zones further away from the city center, zones 3 to 6, are cheaper than in the zones in the center of London, 1 and 2. The first subway starts at 5:00 am (some of them even before that) and most end by midnight, with some running until 1:00 am. The central line is the red line that connects with all other lines and crosses the city from end to end.
If you can, avoid taking the tube during peak hours when it’s the most crowded. Also, don’t block the way looking for your ticket at the entrance of the station. Do it before and let people in a hurry catch the subway. It’s best to get out of the way of Londoners rushing for work. Nearly 3 million passengers use the tube daily.
On the subway escalators, you’ll notice the rules that allow those in a hurry to get ahead of you and move faster. Always stand on the right and those who are in a hurry will take the left. When standing at the platform outside the train, let people out first and then get in.
All stations have clear, color-coded indications for each line and station. If you realize you’ve made a mistake and are already inside the tube, that’s okay. Just get off at the next stop and switch platforms to travel in the opposite way. You can always ask people at the platform if you’re going the right way.
Inside the tube, you can listen to the next station announcements, although most times you can’t understand them. Each car, however, has a map of the line route so you can trace your trip by following it. Fun fact : King’s Cross St Pancras is the most frequented station. The London subway is over 400 km on rails and has more than 4,000 vehicles.
At the platforms, you’ll also see the Mind the Gap notice written in yellow on the ground, and inside the tube, you’ll hear the warning to mind your step when getting off the train. Some platforms are further away from the trains, and you have to watch your step. In some stations, the gap is almost as large as a hole. When waiting for the tube, stand behind the yellow line. Map of the London Underground
The London subway, also known as the tube or London Underground, is very good. Here you can see a map of the London underground, in the capital of England. In the city of London, public transportation is the best way to get around. The London public transportation network is very good with subways, buses, taxis, and bikes. Click the map to enlarge. Oyster Card If you buy the Oyster Card, you’ll have discounts on trips. The card costs £5, and if you return it in the end, you get your money back. You can top it up as you need. Even if you use the subway or the bus 50 or 100 times in 24 hours, it’s capped at £8.80, so you’ll never spend more than that. 7 Day TravelCard If you want to stay in London for more than four days, it pays off to pay the 7 Day Travelcard. It’s a one-week pass that costs £30.40 and that you can use to travel in zones 1 and 2, the most touristic ones. Check which option is the best considering how many days you’re staying in London. Title Three Gutenberg is really awesome! Ultimate Blocks makes it more awesome! If you buy a regular ticket without the Oyster Card, you’ll pay £4.50 or more per trip. With the Oyster Card, you pay £1.40 per trip. If you only use the bus and the tram, it’s capped at £4.40. Walking around
London is a big city, but all tourist attractions are concentrated in one area. If you organize your trip by zones, you’ll be able to walk everywhere and save money on public transportation.
Walking in London is good if you like to “get lost” in the city streets, but also a great option if you want to save money because public transportation in London is expensive. Thinking of these travelers, Walk London designed some walking tours.
In addition to sharing itineraries for walking tours, every week they organize free walking tours based on a theme. In one week you can explore the city’s parks, and next week the monuments and tourist attractions. They always have new ideas on how to show the city around.
Most museums are free entrance. If you don’t spend money on public transportation, you can stay for several days without spending a dime in the city except on food. That’s the other benefit of getting to know the city on foot. Where to Walk in London By walking in The City, you’ll uncover London’s ancient History. The Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge, and the Museum of London are some of the tourist attractions. You can also visit the Barbican Center in the area, a center of arts with different shows. If you want to explore the famous place for theaters and musicals in London , start your walk at the West End. You’ll see Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, and Chinatown. Nearby you’ll see Trafalgar Square and many free-entrance art galleries. After that, visit the Soho, a very artistic and lively neighborhood. In Covent Garden, you can visit some of the main attractions on foot: the square, the market, museums (like the London Transport Museum), several art galleries, and the Royal Opera House with its magnificent restaurant and views. St. Paul’s church is relatively close, and in the center of Covent Garden, you can visit Neal’s Yard, a very colorful area dedicated to natural products. If you don’t have much time to visit museums and just want to visit a couple of them, Bloomsbury is a good area to explore on foot. The British Museum and the library, as well as some other museums like the Charles Dickens Museum and the Pollock’s Toy Museum, are nearby. St. Pancras station, St. George church, and the University of London are some of the must-sees in this route. Walking the South Bank: after a ride on the London Eye, walk by the river and visit Tate Modern. Across from the Millennium Bridge, on the other side of the river, is the St. Paul’s Cathedral. From here you can go to the Tower Bridge. Before leaving to the London Eye, visit the Westminster area where you can see Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament. You can also take the opportunity to take some photos by the Thames. There are a few important must-sees in the Mayfair and St. James’ area, which are the Buckingham Palace, the St. James’ Park and its palace, the Green Park, the Royal Academy of Arts, the posh Bond Street, and the charming Shepherd Market. In the Regent’s Park area you can visit the well-known Madame Tussauds wax museum, the Sherlock Holmes Museum, and, on the other side of the park, the London Zoo. In addition to getting to know this beautiful park, you can go on a rowboat ride and explore the canal where the houseboats are docked. Don’t forget to visit the gardens, or at least one, but keep in mind that’s not because you’re in a lush green area that you won’t have sore feet. Most English gardens are massive, but the best way to explore them is really on foot. If you want, weather permitting, have a picnic. Explore the legendary Hyde Park and the Kensington Gardens where you’ll be joined by many squirrels. Both gardens were once part of Hyde Park, but they are now separated by a lake and a street. There are lots to see around, including the National History Museum, Science Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Kensington Palace, Albert Memorial, Royal Albert Hall, and Portobello Road in Notting Hill a little farther. Best Restaurants Best Restaurants in London
The city of London is huge. Choosing the best restaurant or the most exciting pub in the city is virtually impossible.
You shouldn’t visit London and leave without getting to know some of its pubs and taverns. However, for the day-to-day basics, while you’re busy visiting monuments and sightseeing, it’s easier and cheaper to eat at a café, or a roadside restaurant, or the market.
Remember that London is a very big city with a lot of different restaurants, cafes, fast food stalls, and much more to choose from! You won’t have trouble finding something that fits your taste and your budget.
If you’re at the East End, look for Whitechapel Road where you’ll find several Indian cuisine affordable restaurants. You can see a video of this street here, with all the stores, street stalls, mosques. For a split second, you may even feel like you’re not in London. I have two suggestions for you. The Spice Grill & Café , an Indian restaurant, and Ruchi , a Bangladeshi and Indian restaurant with vegetarian options.
If you want fast service and low prices, look for a Wagamama restaurant anywhere in the city. I’ve been to these restaurants many times in London. Although it’s not exactly a vegetarian restaurant, you’ll find many veggie dishes to choose from and at affordable prices (for London standards, at least).
List of the best restaurants in London. TortelliniCup
It serves breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. It’s open all day, and has dishes from 2 to 7 euros. You can find one of these Italian fast food restaurants at Finchley Road in Hampstead. It has free WiFi. New London Café
This nice café with a cozy environment and outdoor seating at St. Paul’s Road serves light meals that cost between 4 and 11 euros. Wassouf Lounge
On the west side of London, away from the city center, this restaurant serves meals that cost around 10 Euros. Service is fast and friendly, and the food is fresh. If you’re in the neighborhood give it a try. Pellicci E
Off the tourist path but still close to the city center on the East End, Pellicci E is located at Bethnal Green Road. It’s an Italian-British cuisine fusion restaurant serving affordable meals for 10 Euros per person. The Punjab
It’s at the heart of London, in Covent Garden, 80 Neal Street. It’s one of the best and oldest Indian food restaurants in London. Service can be slow sometimes, but the food is very good, and the prices aren’t very high. Ideal for those who need a break from fast food restaurants, street food stalls, and markets. It’s open from noon to 11:30 pm and a meal costs between 15 and 20 Euros. The Yellow House Bar & Kitchen
In the center of London, right at the entrance of Southwark Park on Lower Road, this bar and restaurant has diverse food where the pizza is delicious. For vegetarians, there’s also a good range of dishes available. Prices per person are between 10 and 20 Euros. Vertigo 42
If you’re not afraid of heights, try this restaurant at the top of Tower 42, one of the tallest buildings in London. It costs a bit more, around 30 to 45 euros per person, but the view is fabulous. Take your camera and take some pictures. It’s more or less between The City and Whitechapel, on Old Broad Street. The Five Fields
Located in Chelsea, at Blacklands Terrace, this gourmet restaurant is not budget-friendly. A meal costs around 100 euros per person but the environment, the high-quality service, and the dishes are unique. From the main course to the dessert, everything is exquisitely cooked and plated. For special occasions when the budget is not an issue. Restaurant Gordon Ramsay
A restaurant with tasting menus only where food is served in small portions. The goal here is to try a bit of everything. The restaurant is quite expensive. Frugal couples may pay around 200 euros for a meal, but if you get carried away, you can easily spend between 1,000 or 1,500 Euros. It is a unique experience, though. Definitely not for all budgets. It’s located at Royal Hospital Road, in Chelsea. Bel Canto Restaurant
If you like opera, you’ll love this restaurant where employees sing while serving you. With prices above 100 Euros per person, it’s not for every taste and certainly not for every budget. However, the place, the service, and the dishes are impressive. If you can afford it, give it a try. It’s on Bayswater Road, right next to Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. Since you’re in the neighborhood, take a moment to visit Kensington Palace, the official residence of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The Foyer at Claridge’s
This place at Brook Street, in Mayfair, is sought-after for afternoon tea but also serves wonderful dinners. Prices are around 200 Euros per person, but both the restaurant and the service are top-notch. If you’re in London for a special occasion or anniversary, splurge and give it a shot! Weekend Itinerary Weekend in London
Visiting a city as large as London in 2 days with so much to see and do can be a trip tough to plan, especially if you’re only staying for the weekend.
How to plan a perfect weekend in London. Let’s go. Friday (First Night)
Visiting a pub in London every day is a healthy habit, so as soon as you check in (and assuming you arrive at the end of the day), go straight to The Lamb & Flag . It’s one of the oldest and most iconic pubs in London in the heart of Covent Garden, one of the main nightlife areas in the city and perfect for a late-night snack and a beer. After a pint, or two, or three, take a walk around Covent Garden. If you’re in London for your birthday, register at the pub’s website for a free birthday drink. Saturday (First Day) Entrance to the British Museum, founded in 1753 it was the first national public museum in the world
Let’s start with the city center. Unless you’re not a museum enthusiast, don’t skip visiting two of the country’s most important museums, the British Museum and the Natural History Museum . These museums are huge, and if you’re that kind of person who likes to see everything in detail, it’s best to pick just one; otherwise, you won’t have time to see anything else.
Since the museums only open at 10:00 am, if you’re an early riser take a morning walk at Hyde Park, one of the most famous parks in London, 500 meters from the Natural History Museum and 2 km from the British Museum. Princess Diana Memorial Garden in Hyde Park at London
After the museum(s), go to Brick Lane Market in Whitechapel, a very colorful street market with many Indian food restaurants where you can enjoy a cheap and tasty meal. It’s 4 km walking distance from the British Museum, so better take a bus if you feel your stomach growling. Transportation ? The cheapest way to get from the British Museum to Brick Lane Market is by bus line 8 via Holborn – Procter Street – 2€ and takes about 32 minutes. The quickest way is to take a taxi – 11€ – 14€ and takes about 8 minutes.
After lunch, visit the Tower of London. Once the residence of Kings and Queens and a prison for important figures, it now houses the Crown Jewels and a peculiar colony of crows. It’s less than 30 minutes walking distance from the market, so take the time to walk slowly and take in the city. Get your Tower of London Ticket with Crown Jewels Exhibition . Tower of London Tower Bridge
Next, walk across Tower Bridge, one of the most iconic structures of London. Walk by the Thames and visit the Tate Modern, the most important modern art gallery in England.
Continue towards Westminster and catch “flight” at the London Eye , one of the biggest giant wheels in the world. The ride takes about 30 minutes, and you can see the whole of the city center from the top. Don’t forget the camera to capture some unique pictures.
Time flies by, and by now it should be late afternoon. Walk for 3 or 4 minutes by the Thames and cross Westminster Bridge that ends right next to Westminster Palace and its Clock Tower, housing the famous Big Ben. If you get there at the hour, you can hear it give the time. Check out the London Parliament behind-the-scenes exclusive guided tour . Westminster Palace
For dinner, I suggest one of the most typical taverns in London, just 2 km from Westminster Palace, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese . On the way, pass by number 10 Downing Street, the official residence of the British Prime Minister.
After dinner, have a drink at Vertigo 42, if you still feel like it after the tavern. Located almost 180 meters above ground, at Tower 42 int 25 Old Broad Street, it has a spectacular view over the city of London. It’s about 7 minutes by bus from the tavern and about 20 minutes walking distance. Sunday (Second Day)
Time to pack. For such a short trip, I’m sure you didn’t pack much especially if you followed my advice of traveling light and carrying a backpack. That way you can enjoy your Sunday and not worry about luggage. Science Museum in London
Start the morning with a visit to the Science Museum. Admission is free, and you can see many of the wonders of human imagination, from the industrial revolution to the first days of aeronautics.
Then go to one of the markets in London where you can go for last-minute shopping or have lunch (or buy groceries for a picnic in one of the many parks in the city). I suggest Portobello Market where you will not only find vintage pieces, but many shops selling books, music, handicrafts, and antiques. Buckingham Palace
It’s almost blasphemous going to London and not visiting the Queen’s official residence. After lunch, go to Buckingham Palace, a one-hour walking distance through Hyde Park or about 30 minutes away by subway or bus. If you’re lucky, you might catch the changing of the guards. Get your Changing of the Guard & Buckingham Palace Tour in advance . Renting a car
Before renting a car in London, please keep in mind you’ll be driving on the left! It will feel funny at first, but once you get used to it, it will be simple. Don’t forget to carry your driver’s license. You can’t rent a car without it.
Make sure it’s the best option.
If you’re just traveling in the city center, renting a car is not the best option. Not only is it expensive, but you also have to add the high costs of fuel and parking. You can choose an automatic car if you feel strange shifting gears with your left hand. Most cars have GPS (for an extra cost), so it won’t be difficult to find all the must-sees.
But if you’re thinking about traveling to neighboring cities or visiting other parts of England from London, check online to see which rent-a-car company offers you the better deal. Renting a car is a good option if you want to travel to Liverpool, Manchester, Cambridge, Oxford, or even Scotland.
You can rent a car from just a few hours to one or more days.
Always keep the contact details of the employee who rented the car to you, in case something happens with the car, and you need the name of the person. Sometimes, calling out just the company’s name is quite impersonal and could make things more difficult in case of need.
Always keep the contact for assistance when traveling in case something happens. It’s highly unlikely, but it’s best to be prepared for everything. Anything can happen from someone scratching your car in the parking lot to someone breaking the window to steal something.
Be as vigilant as you would be in your own country or house and don’t leave valuable items inside the car when parked. Of course, renting a car increases your awareness levels, and you’re not as relaxed as you would be with someone else driving you around.
You’ll find the top rent-a-car companies at the airport, with prices varying depending on the size and type of vehicle. Prices start at 7£ a day. By top companies, I mean Budget, Alamo, National, Enterprise, Sixt, Europcar, Avis and Hertz, for example.
The drop-off location might be the same as the pick-up, or you can arrange for a different location. Some companies charge more money when the drop-off point is different from the pick-up one. Considering they’re close to the airport, it’s better to drop it off there when you have a plane to catch.
Usually, these companies have a free shuttle between terminals but check first before arriving to find out how long it takes from the drop-off point to the departure area.
Make sure you hand over the car at the time you agreed. Delays can happen, and you’ll end up paying for an extra day just because you were late for a couple of minutes. Remember that all it takes to reach the drop-off location late is a traffic jam during rush hour or a car accident on the road. Check how many kilometers you’re traveling and if the company offers you unlimited mileage. Some companies don’t, and if you drive for more miles than what was agreed, you’ll pay more. No need to stress about it, but be careful! How to get a job Get a Job in London
As the capital city of one of the largest and most important countries of Europe, London can be either the land of opportunity or misfortune.
Now let’s read about the most important things to know before working in London. Working in London Don’t pay anything to someone offering you a job because legal job agencies are paid a commission only after you sign a contract. Make sure the job offers are legit! It’s important that you don’t take the first offer you see. I’m sure you’ve heard the stories of people who were promised the world and found out they had been ripped off when they arrived. Research a lot, get all the information online, at UK embassies and consulates in your country of origin, or at Chambers of Commerce. Gather as much information as possible about your employer or whoever is offering you a job. If all you find is negative feedback or you can’t find any information whatsoever, be careful. Remember that in the digital age it’s very hard not to have an online presence no matter how small. Be suspicious if you can’t find a digital presence and assess the risks. Although it’s not necessary, at least in the simpler jobs, speaking English goes a long way. It’s essential if you’re looking for a job dealing with customers like working at a hotel, café, or restaurant. Consider the costs. If you’re working in London, ideally you should already have accommodation, whether it’s your own, offered by your employer, or staying with friends or relatives. Housing in London is very expensive, and you should keep that in mind before accepting a job offer in this city. The distance between your house and your job is also important considering how expensive public transportation is. Find assistance in your country of origin. If you’re thinking about working in London but don’t have an offer yet, register at a local job agency. If you live in another EU country, you can register there to get more information. Did you know if you’re the citizen of an EU country and you’re unemployed you can continue to collect your unemployment fund from three to six months? Learn more about it here: Transferring unemployment benefits .
US marines play kabbadi and musical chair with Viskhapatnam’s school children
June 13, 2019 13:51 13:51 IST more-in In order to experience India, over 40 sailors and marines from the US Navy ship USS John P Murtha (LPD 26) interacted with the boys from a Government Children’s Home at Chinnagadilli
The normally silent corridors of the Government Children Home for Boys at Chinnagadilli bustle with activity. There are volleyball matches afoot and and painting-on-the wall activities, musical chairs and selfie sessions. Children of the home and over 40 sailors and Marines from the United States Army are spending time together.
The sailors and marines are a part of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS John P Murtha which arrived in Visakhapatnam on June 11. The visit to the boys home was a part of a community engagement programmeto help the crew of the ship to experience India.
““Most of the crew members are visiting India for the first time and I am glad we are a part of the community engagement programme,” says Lieutenant commander Roach who adds that it has been a humbling experience. Experiencing India
For Petty Officer Jamie, this is the first time she is stepping out of the United States. “I have been reading about India and the one thing that every site recommends is Indian food. I am looking forward to exploring various cuisines, as I have been told that every State here has its own way of cooking,” she says. Her colleague Faith loves food too and says while she found an Indian buffet spicy it was amazing.
Along with food, the crew also learnt about Kabbadi from the children. “I never knew that a game like this existed but now I love it! It is so simple, yet so much fun. One does not require any fancy equipment to enjoy the game,” says Jamie. She adds that she cannot wait to go back to the States and flaunt her ‘kabbadi skills’ to other colleagues. A break from the routine
While the grown ups were busy ‘experiencing India’ for the boys of the Home it was a welcome break from books and lessons. Tutu Sarkar, a student of grade seven spent his morning playing carom and sketching along with the sailors. “I wish they could come every day, then we wouldn’t have to spend the whole day studying” he exclaims.
Before this, the crew of an Australian ship visited the Home and in 2016, another crew from an American ship had come calling.
“Every time such visits are organised, the children are exposed to a new aspect of the world and get to learn about different people. This will motivate them to do better in life,” says the superintendent of the home, K Veeriah. He adds that the officials strive to host more cultural activities to keep the children busy. “In the last summer vacations we hosted drama classes for the boys,” he adds.
The Government Children’s Home for Boys currently houses 64 boys. Most of the children are orphans or homeless. A normal day at the home begins at 6 am with yoga classes and a physical training session. They are given academic lessons from 9 am to 4 pm after which the boys are encouraged to engage in games. “ It takes a lot of effort to discipline them. Such activities not only help in keeping away the feeling of isolation among these kids, but also makes them feel special and inspired,” adds Veeriah.
Indore Marriott Hotel organizes “Mantou Madness”, a traditional Chinese food festival
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National, 11 th June 2019: Chinese food is what we always turn to when we’re tired of eating home-cooked Indian food. While there are many options available, what fills our hearts with happiness is experiencing a culinary trip to the east and discovering the best and exquisite Chinese flavors. Indore Marriott Hotel has organized “Mantou Madness”, an authentic and traditional Chinese food festival that will be hosted from June 7 th to 16 th , 2019 at One Asia restaurant.
The food festival will mainly focus on serving the guests with the finest traditional cuisines prepared with Mantou (also referred as chinese steamed bun or bao). The cuisines listed in the menu are traditional Chinese mantou or bao with different flavours such as corn spinach cheese bao, Mushroom bao, glass noodle bok choy bao, paneer bell pepper bao. For Non-Vegetarians, the options include BBQ chicken bao, pork shitake mushroom bao, chili chicken bao, and thai curry flavor bao. In addition, Chinese flat breads called bing, wheat noodles, mango sago pudding, were prepared to provide additional flavour. This food festival, apart from pleasing the palate, has some great gigs and live music lined up.
Mr. Devesh Rawat, General Manager, Indore Marriott Hotel said, “Mantou Madness is a food festival where we bring together traditional Chinese flavors where the menu is specially designed to showcase the flavors of China with a few favorites. Our guests will experience an authentic culinary trip to the east and will relish the perfect blend of authentic Chinese cuisine with music and much more.”
He further added, “Some of the dishes will remind the guests about the food heritage of China. The food festival is featuring exotic delicacies like varieties of bao, which would be liked by people of the city. The food menu reflects the rich diversity of Chinese flavors and culture, all designed by the artistic skills of expert chefs.”
About Indore Marriott Hotel:
Indore Marriott Hotel, the premium 5 star property, is the largest in Madhya Pradesh in terms of rooms and meeting space, which covers an incredible 55,000 sq. ft. of meeting and banqueting space. The property is strategically located a few minutes away from the airport, with easy access to all the business and entertainment hubs of the city. The hotel has total 218 residential rooms including 11 suites and 80 rooms that are fully controlled by I-pads. The rooms are beautifully crafted keeping in mind the comfort of the travellers. To learn more, visit www.marriott.com. Stay connected to Indore Marriott Hotel on Facebook and @marriottidr on Instagram.
About Marriott Hotels:
With over 500 hotels and resorts in 59 countries and territories around the world, Marriott Hotels is evolving travel through every aspect of the guest's stay, enabling the next generation to Travel Brilliantly. Boldly transforming itself for mobile and global travelers who blend work and play, Marriott leads the industry with innovations, including the Greatroom lobby and Mobile Guest Services that elevates style & design and technology. Marriott Hotels is proud to participate in the industry’s award-winning loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®. Members can now link accounts with Starwood Preferred Guest® at members.marriott.com for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer. To learn more, visit www.MarriottHotels.com. Stay connected to Marriott Hotels on Facebook, @marriott on Twitter and @marriotthotels on Instagram.
About Marriott International, Inc.:
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,400 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 126 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.
Jimi Famurewa reviews Parrillan: Grill-it-yourself restaurant is audacious but exceptionally enjoyable
2Glasses of Bhilar Plots 2017£24
Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross, N1C (020 7018 3339; parrillan.co.uk ) The best al fresco restaurants in London 25 show all The best al fresco restaurants in London 1/25 Dalloway Terrace The decor of this Bloomsbury spot may change with the seasons, but it is perennially pleasant. Dalloway Terrace is best known for its spectacular floral installations – changing from icy white and pink in the winter, to a tropical paradise in the summer – making for a highly Instagrammable brunch spot. A retractable canopy means the terrace can be used all year round – blankets are handed out in colder months, panama hats in warmer ones. 2/25 Le Pont de la Tour Le Pont de la Tour offers one of the most iconic vistas in London. On its terrace, delicate French cuisine and a bountiful selection of seafood can be enjoyed looking out onto Tower Bridge – it really is a dazzling view of the world famous structure, particularly with a bit of sun on your side. 3/25 The Ivy Chelsea Garden The Ivy in Covent Garden may be the original and best, but this west London offshoot is a unique gem amid the Ivy Collection’s growing portfolio. Inside, the King’s Road spot is festooned with blooms both real and doodled onto the walls, before the restaurant opens up onto an almost absurdly leafy garden – and not all of it is ivy (sorry). Paul Winch-Furness 4/25 Parrillan Tapas restaurant Barrafina gives a superlative taste of Spain, but its Coal Drops Yard spin-off Parillan is your best bet for enjoying Iberian food in the sun. The outdoor restaurant is named for its small Spanish tabletop charcoal barbecues, on which diners can grill their own meat, seafood and vegetables, served alongside a selection of classic Barrafina dishes. Greg Funnell 5/25 Petersham Nurseries Being perfectly literal, the restaurant at Petersham Nurseries is not exactly outdoors. The acclaimed cafe-style spot serves up its seasonally-focused food inside a glasshouse, which is filled with aromatic jasmine and bushes of bright pink bougainvillea. When the sunny weather is guaranteed to hold out, it also serves tables under its wisteria and rose-covered outdoor pergola. The whole restaurant is, in turn, surrounded by the nurseries – a garden centre, in other words – blooming with floral fun. 6/25 Chiltern Firehouse Inside may glimmer with farmhouse-chic decor and the prospect of spotting a well-known face, but the terrace at Chiltern Firehouse has its own charm. Its discreet spot on a quiet Marylebone street makes for a cosy rendezvous already, even before adding in candlelight, a roaring fire and slick black and white furnishings. 7/25 Dishoom Shoreditch Dishoom boasts aesthetically pleasing places across the capital, but sun-seekers should head to its Shoreditch branch. At the East End location, diners can take their bacon naan and black daal on the “verandah”: an area open to the heavens (with a retractable roof just in case) which is decorated with eclectic wooden furnishings and a quirky selection of books and vintage prints. 8/25 Dinerama Let us guess – one person wants pizza, the other wants dumplings? Before the squabble breaks out, head to Dinerama, where 25 food stalls across two levels offer anything from jerk chicken to vegan tacos. Traders including Black Bear Burger, Pastaio, White Men Can’t Jerk and Club Mexicana are on offer to enjoy at tables on the ground level, with bars found on the rooftop. 9/25 Chicama Inside, Chelsea restaurant Chicama is a pastel paradise, its soft pink and blue decor given a kick with zingy Peruvian dishes spilling out of the open kitchen. Outside, the neighbourhood feel of the restaurant extends onto the small terrace. Tucked just off the King’s Road, guests cuddle up under similarly pastel blankets on vintage furniture, surrounded by cascading plants. 10/25 River Cafe A legend of London restaurants inside and out, River Café’s light and bright interior spills out onto a pretty glorious terrace, sun-soaked at lunchtime. The name isn’t for show; riverside views are found just beyond a lush garden, filled with herbs, salad and edible flowers that are used in the Italian-inspired cooking. 11/25 J Sheekey Atlantic Bar A veritable legend of West End dining, J Sheekey has been serving oysters to theatregoers for more than a century. Considerably more recently, it opened Atlantic Bar next door, a more casual version of the original seafood stalwart, which boasts Paris-inflected street dining, looking out onto the stage doors of Wyndham’s and the Noel Coward theatres. 12/25 The Modern Pantry Believe it or not, Anna Hansen’s Modern Pantry has been around for more than a decade now, but her innovative, Antipodean-inspired food still excites. In the summer months, visitors can kick back on a collection of tables in front of the Clerkenwell restaurant, which opens out onto pedestrian-friendly St John’s Square. 13/25 Sea Containers The outdoor area at this Bankside restaurant is not so much all at sea, but rather riverside. At Sea Containers, a dining spot at the hotel of the same name, the Tom Dixon-designed interior is flanked this summer by a brightly coloured Laurent Perrier terrace, which is serving up a seafood-focused menu. The views of St Paul’s and the City across the Thames are spot on. 14/25 The Prince There’s a party going on in West Brompton. Formerly the Prince of Wales pub,the Prince boasts a host of partially covered pergolas draped with the flowers and foliage of an English summer garden. Food comes courtesy of pizza purveyor Homeslice, tapas don Edu and burger master Patty & Bun, alongside its fried chicken spin-off Jeffries. 15/25 Orrery A little bit of Provence has come to Marylebone this summer, on the rooftop of Orrery restaurant. The French spot has transformed its terrace into a corner of the French Riviera. Littered with lavender, rosemary and olive trees, the space will serve an exclusive summer menu. 16/25 Boundary Rooftop The Shoreditch skyline isn’t known for being the most spectacular, but rising above the hustle and bustle of below to kick back on Boundary London’s rooftop is still a rewarding experience. Mediterranean dining can be enjoyed whatever the weather in the restaurant’s glass-encased Orangery, or outside on the heated terrace, which is peppered with both proper tables and cosy armchair set ups. 17/25 Chucs Serpentine Chucs Serpentine is better known for its building than its surroundings, but it’s a tough call. Its Zaha Hadid-designed architecture undulates out of the side of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery (it looks like a manta ray from most angles), making dining inside a fairly unique experience. Outside, Italian food is served up with views of Hyde Park. You decide. Kilian O’Sullivan/VIEW 18/25 Scott’s The terrace at Scott’s has to be one of the most glamourous street-side spots in the city. The Mayfair restaurant is no stranger to famous faces lured by its sumptuous seafood offerings. This summer, the star-studded facade has been reimagined by legendary shoe designer Christian Louboutin, who has been inspired by the garden of his 13th century Champgillion chateau. Inside, it boasts the world’s most expensive restaurant interior. 19/25 Kricket White City White City has changed more than a bit in the last couple of years, and the re-jigging of the old BBC Television Centre is at the centre of the shake up. The development is now home to a host of restaurants, including Brixton-born Indian sensation Kricket, whose latest venture looks out across the square to the iconic cylindrical building, with outdoor seating for maximum viewing. Keralan fried chicken in the sun? Don’t mind if we do. 20/25 Rochelle Canteen Margot Henderson’s long-standing Shoreditch favourite gets even better on a sunny day: the outdoor seating surrounding the converted bike sheds of a Victorian school is an enviable spot, the sunshine dappled for some tables by overhead grapevines. You’ll need to press a buzzer to be allowed inside the grounds – ideal for a little seclusion. 21/25 Flat Iron Square Dining out-out isn’t all about al fresco restaurants – London’s food courts offer outdoor dining with more choice, and less of a struggle to get a table. Casual dining at Flat Iron Square means choosing between the likes of fried chicken fan Motherclucker and pasta purveyor La Nonna, before enjoying it all on the communal benches with a drink from the bar. 22/25 Pop Brixton If snacking on street food is your idea of a summer well spent, Pop Brixton is a sure-fire hit. The south London shipping container complex is made up of stalls from local independent businesses, with a host of food concepts including Halo Burger, Koi Ramen, Mama’s Jerk and Alpes. Grab-and-go food can be enjoyed out on the decidedly rustic-chic seating. Camille Mack 23/25 Sushisamba Covent Garden Sushisamba has already dropped around 30 floors on its travels from the City to the West End, and now the new restaurant has expanded from its perch on top of Covent Garden Market to the square itself. This summer, diners can enjoy Sushisamba’s Japanese-Peruvian-Brazilian food in the famous promenade, mingling among the street performers and shoppers under orange canopies. 24/25 Darby’s Nine Elms may not be high up on your list of summer destinations in the city, but Darby’s – the new restaurant from Robin Gill of The Dairy fame – should be. The restaurant’s glass front opens entirely, looking out onto a large, sun-trapping courtyard with a trickling pool at its centre. Later on in the year, the restaurant will also service London’s first “sky pool” – a glass bottomed pool suspended 115ft above ground. Paul Winch-Furness – Photographe 25/25 Vinegar Yard While it’s tempting to say Vinegar Yard is in the shadow of the Shard, that couldn’t be further from the truth. This new street food and vintage flea market near the base of London’s tallest building is bathed in sunlight in the afternoons – pick up food and drink from the likes of Baba G’s, Nanny Bill’s and Up In My Grill, and take a pew on one of the many orange benches at the yard’s centre. 1/25 Dalloway Terrace The decor of this Bloomsbury spot may change with the seasons, but it is perennially pleasant. Dalloway Terrace is best known for its spectacular floral installations – changing from icy white and pink in the winter, to a tropical paradise in the summer – making for a highly Instagrammable brunch spot. A retractable canopy means the terrace can be used all year round – blankets are handed out in colder months, panama hats in warmer ones. 2/25 Le Pont de la Tour Le Pont de la Tour offers one of the most iconic vistas in London. On its terrace, delicate French cuisine and a bountiful selection of seafood can be enjoyed looking out onto Tower Bridge – it really is a dazzling view of the world famous structure, particularly with a bit of sun on your side. 3/25 The Ivy Chelsea Garden The Ivy in Covent Garden may be the original and best, but this west London offshoot is a unique gem amid the Ivy Collection’s growing portfolio. Inside, the King’s Road spot is festooned with blooms both real and doodled onto the walls, before the restaurant opens up onto an almost absurdly leafy garden – and not all of it is ivy (sorry). Paul Winch-Furness 4/25 Parrillan Tapas restaurant Barrafina gives a superlative taste of Spain, but its Coal Drops Yard spin-off Parillan is your best bet for enjoying Iberian food in the sun. The outdoor restaurant is named for its small Spanish tabletop charcoal barbecues, on which diners can grill their own meat, seafood and vegetables, served alongside a selection of classic Barrafina dishes. Greg Funnell 5/25 Petersham Nurseries Being perfectly literal, the restaurant at Petersham Nurseries is not exactly outdoors. The acclaimed cafe-style spot serves up its seasonally-focused food inside a glasshouse, which is filled with aromatic jasmine and bushes of bright pink bougainvillea. When the sunny weather is guaranteed to hold out, it also serves tables under its wisteria and rose-covered outdoor pergola. The whole restaurant is, in turn, surrounded by the nurseries – a garden centre, in other words – blooming with floral fun. 6/25 Chiltern Firehouse Inside may glimmer with farmhouse-chic decor and the prospect of spotting a well-known face, but the terrace at Chiltern Firehouse has its own charm. Its discreet spot on a quiet Marylebone street makes for a cosy rendezvous already, even before adding in candlelight, a roaring fire and slick black and white furnishings. 7/25 Dishoom Shoreditch Dishoom boasts aesthetically pleasing places across the capital, but sun-seekers should head to its Shoreditch branch. At the East End location, diners can take their bacon naan and black daal on the “verandah”: an area open to the heavens (with a retractable roof just in case) which is decorated with eclectic wooden furnishings and a quirky selection of books and vintage prints. 8/25 Dinerama Let us guess – one person wants pizza, the other wants dumplings? Before the squabble breaks out, head to Dinerama, where 25 food stalls across two levels offer anything from jerk chicken to vegan tacos. Traders including Black Bear Burger, Pastaio, White Men Can’t Jerk and Club Mexicana are on offer to enjoy at tables on the ground level, with bars found on the rooftop. 9/25 Chicama Inside, Chelsea restaurant Chicama is a pastel paradise, its soft pink and blue decor given a kick with zingy Peruvian dishes spilling out of the open kitchen. Outside, the neighbourhood feel of the restaurant extends onto the small terrace. Tucked just off the King’s Road, guests cuddle up under similarly pastel blankets on vintage furniture, surrounded by cascading plants. 10/25 River Cafe A legend of London restaurants inside and out, River Café’s light and bright interior spills out onto a pretty glorious terrace, sun-soaked at lunchtime. The name isn’t for show; riverside views are found just beyond a lush garden, filled with herbs, salad and edible flowers that are used in the Italian-inspired cooking. 11/25 J Sheekey Atlantic Bar A veritable legend of West End dining, J Sheekey has been serving oysters to theatregoers for more than a century. Considerably more recently, it opened Atlantic Bar next door, a more casual version of the original seafood stalwart, which boasts Paris-inflected street dining, looking out onto the stage doors of Wyndham’s and the Noel Coward theatres. 12/25 The Modern Pantry Believe it or not, Anna Hansen’s Modern Pantry has been around for more than a decade now, but her innovative, Antipodean-inspired food still excites. In the summer months, visitors can kick back on a collection of tables in front of the Clerkenwell restaurant, which opens out onto pedestrian-friendly St John’s Square. 13/25 Sea Containers The outdoor area at this Bankside restaurant is not so much all at sea, but rather riverside. At Sea Containers, a dining spot at the hotel of the same name, the Tom Dixon-designed interior is flanked this summer by a brightly coloured Laurent Perrier terrace, which is serving up a seafood-focused menu. The views of St Paul’s and the City across the Thames are spot on. 14/25 The Prince There’s a party going on in West Brompton. Formerly the Prince of Wales pub,the Prince boasts a host of partially covered pergolas draped with the flowers and foliage of an English summer garden. Food comes courtesy of pizza purveyor Homeslice, tapas don Edu and burger master Patty & Bun, alongside its fried chicken spin-off Jeffries. 15/25 Orrery A little bit of Provence has come to Marylebone this summer, on the rooftop of Orrery restaurant. The French spot has transformed its terrace into a corner of the French Riviera. Littered with lavender, rosemary and olive trees, the space will serve an exclusive summer menu. 16/25 Boundary Rooftop The Shoreditch skyline isn’t known for being the most spectacular, but rising above the hustle and bustle of below to kick back on Boundary London’s rooftop is still a rewarding experience. Mediterranean dining can be enjoyed whatever the weather in the restaurant’s glass-encased Orangery, or outside on the heated terrace, which is peppered with both proper tables and cosy armchair set ups. 17/25 Chucs Serpentine Chucs Serpentine is better known for its building than its surroundings, but it’s a tough call. Its Zaha Hadid-designed architecture undulates out of the side of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery (it looks like a manta ray from most angles), making dining inside a fairly unique experience. Outside, Italian food is served up with views of Hyde Park. You decide. Kilian O’Sullivan/VIEW 18/25 Scott’s The terrace at Scott’s has to be one of the most glamourous street-side spots in the city. The Mayfair restaurant is no stranger to famous faces lured by its sumptuous seafood offerings. This summer, the star-studded facade has been reimagined by legendary shoe designer Christian Louboutin, who has been inspired by the garden of his 13th century Champgillion chateau. Inside, it boasts the world’s most expensive restaurant interior. 19/25 Kricket White City White City has changed more than a bit in the last couple of years, and the re-jigging of the old BBC Television Centre is at the centre of the shake up. The development is now home to a host of restaurants, including Brixton-born Indian sensation Kricket, whose latest venture looks out across the square to the iconic cylindrical building, with outdoor seating for maximum viewing. Keralan fried chicken in the sun? Don’t mind if we do. 20/25 Rochelle Canteen Margot Henderson’s long-standing Shoreditch favourite gets even better on a sunny day: the outdoor seating surrounding the converted bike sheds of a Victorian school is an enviable spot, the sunshine dappled for some tables by overhead grapevines. You’ll need to press a buzzer to be allowed inside the grounds – ideal for a little seclusion. 21/25 Flat Iron Square Dining out-out isn’t all about al fresco restaurants – London’s food courts offer outdoor dining with more choice, and less of a struggle to get a table. Casual dining at Flat Iron Square means choosing between the likes of fried chicken fan Motherclucker and pasta purveyor La Nonna, before enjoying it all on the communal benches with a drink from the bar. 22/25 Pop Brixton If snacking on street food is your idea of a summer well spent, Pop Brixton is a sure-fire hit. The south London shipping container complex is made up of stalls from local independent businesses, with a host of food concepts including Halo Burger, Koi Ramen, Mama’s Jerk and Alpes. Grab-and-go food can be enjoyed out on the decidedly rustic-chic seating. Camille Mack 23/25 Sushisamba Covent Garden Sushisamba has already dropped around 30 floors on its travels from the City to the West End, and now the new restaurant has expanded from its perch on top of Covent Garden Market to the square itself. This summer, diners can enjoy Sushisamba’s Japanese-Peruvian-Brazilian food in the famous promenade, mingling among the street performers and shoppers under orange canopies. 24/25 Darby’s Nine Elms may not be high up on your list of summer destinations in the city, but Darby’s – the new restaurant from Robin Gill of The Dairy fame – should be. The restaurant’s glass front opens entirely, looking out onto a large, sun-trapping courtyard with a trickling pool at its centre. Later on in the year, the restaurant will also service London’s first “sky pool” – a glass bottomed pool suspended 115ft above ground. Paul Winch-Furness – Photographe 25/25 Vinegar Yard While it’s tempting to say Vinegar Yard is in the shadow of the Shard, that couldn’t be further from the truth. This new street food and vintage flea market near the base of London’s tallest building is bathed in sunlight in the afternoons – pick up food and drink from the likes of Baba G’s, Nanny Bill’s and Up In My Grill, and take a pew on one of the many orange benches at the yard’s centre.
Best Indian Restaurants (Singapore)
Best Indian Restaurants (Singapore, Asia, 11:09 11:10 15:09 Reply to : (Use contact form below)
Anjappar is the best Dining in Little India Singapore…Here you can find the high quality and tasty veg and nonveg dishes like Chicken Biriyani, Fish Head Curry, Murtabak…
Check out the best Indian restaurants » in Singapore, a famous South Indian cuisine restaurant that serves food with a rich culinary heritage! Visit us now! It is ok to contact this poster with commercial interests.
Resto bars to drive Speciality Restaurants’ growth
Resto bars to drive Speciality Restaurants’ growth 13/06/2019
Speciality Restaurants is poised for a major makeover with founder Anjan Chatterji’s son Avik leading the drive to attract youths to its resto bars.
Speaking to TOI, Anjan Chatterji said existing brands — Café Mezzuna, Hoppipola, Zoodles and Gong — along with a couple of new ones — Episode and Hay — would lead the Speciality Restaurants’ growth story in the years ahead.
“With 50% of the Indian population below the age of 25, we have to cater to them or risk becoming irrelevant. While we will continue to offer a fine-dining experience to families and make occasions memorable, we will have to create restaurants that are younger and easier to attract those above 21. The 20+ youngsters don’t want to go out with their parents except on special occasions. Instead, they love to hang out with friends in a fun place that offers beverages and finger food. In the next 24 months, this segment will contribute 35-40% of the group revenue, up from 18-19% at present,” said Chatterji.
In 2018-19, Speciality Restaurants recorded a turnover of Rs 346 crore, an increase of 17% over 2017-18 when its revenue stood at Rs 297 crore. Liquor sales contributed to 16% of the revenue, primarily from the 14 Hoppipola outlets, and Chatterjee expects the contribution to grow significantly as Hoppipola, Episode and Hay expand rapidly.
At present, Mainland China restaurants contribute around 50% to the company’s revenue. “The group will continue to focus on offering five-star food and service at a price point that is not five-star,” added Chatterji.
With the new initiatives, the average age of patrons at Speciality Restaurants is set to decline from 28 years now to 24 years in two years.
The first Episode — Episode One, a premium resto bar with tap-tails (cocktails off the tap) will open in Kolkata, followed by Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. Also, the first joint of the Hay, a micro-brewery, will be in Kolkata, followed by a roll-out in other metro cities.
“We wanted to create a self-evolving all-day brand that could shape into tomorrow’s trends, hence the Episode series. The brand is a mix of nostalgia and lifestyle,” said Avik Chatterji.
Speciality Restaurants is also venturing into Indian Mughlai food with a new brand Riyasat whose first outlet will be launched in South City Mall. “Riyasat is about Royalty inspired Indian food,” Chatterji explained.
Chatterji is also set to finally realize a long-cherished dream of opening a Bengali cuisine restaurant in London. To be called Chourangi, the restaurant based in London’s Oxford Street will serve Kolkata Bengali cuisine with the menu adapted from Oh! Calcutta.
The group has restaurants in Doha, Colombo, Dhaka and Tanzania. Source:-https://retail.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/food-entertainment/food-services/resto-bars-to-drive-speciality-restaurants-growth/69764911 ITC restructured the WelcomHotel brand to make it more contemporary: Sanjiv Puri ITC launches new hotel in Kolkata HUL employees find a lever, crorepati club grows 27% after falling for 4 years
PLATINUM RECORDS & BUTTER BEANS: MIA X SERVES IT ALL
by James Cullen Published June 2019
I walk up a long staircase, following a voice and the familiar sound of a wooden spoon dinging on a heavy-sided pot, like the brass hammer of a boxing ring bell.
“I’m in here.”
I turn the corner into a small kitchen and adjust my eyes. Two glinting Magnalite pots temporarily blind me. Mia Young, known everywhere else as Mia X, is stirring the smaller one, rendering down smoked sausage, chicken, bell peppers, and onions into a fragrant base for jambalaya. She turns and greets me with a quick hug, and then goes to work on some fresh parsley, gently removing the stems and tearing the leaves.
“My mother would be so mad if she saw me doing this,” Mia explains, referring to the tearing of the parsley, instead of chopping it finely. For a city girl born and raised in the 7th Ward of New Orleans, the rough-hewn ingredients resemble country cooking. Or as she calls it, “Creole Soul.”
Unexpectedly, she makes me a big plate. “I want you to try it and tell me how it is. The key is the chili powder.” Of course it’s delicious, and as I juggle my fork, plate, camera, and recorder, this interview already feels almost too intimate.
Mia X has sold over six million records worldwide, and influenced countless MCs. Her albums on No Limit Records, Good Girl Gone Bad (1995), Unlady Like (1997), and Mama Drama (1998), are legendary. She is a rapper, author, actress, chef, businesswoman, cancer survivor, and humanitarian. And she is just as likely to eviscerate you on the mic as she is to invite you over for dinner when you request an interview.
Currently, she is in the process of taking over the world for a second time. She has partnered with the Geaux Beautiful brand of hair and beauty products to produce a line of wigs, the “Mia X Collection,” which supports women with cancer. Her self-published memoir-cookbook, Things My Grandma Told Me, Things My Grandma Showed Me , was released last July. She also appeared in Lily Keber’s critically-acclaimed documentary on New Orleans culture, Buckjumping . At the Pythian Market, Mia and Chef Melissa Hinton sling traditional New Orleans supper plates at their weekly pop up. Also in the works is a food truck and TV pilot with former NFL player Vince Wilfork.
But more than anything, Mia is a champion of New Orleans culture—the music, cuisine, traditions, and people. We discussed all of this over jambalaya and root beer.
First of all, thank you for the jambalaya because it’s delicious. Why don’t you tell me what you’ve been up to recently? Where have you been? What have you been doing?
I’ve been doing a lot of cooking. I’ve also been mentoring some young girls. I’ve been writing music. I’ve been doing a lot of things.
And you partnered with the Geaux Beautiful line of wigs, you pop up once a week at the Pythian Market, you feed the homeless, you produce, you act… so, that’s not even a question!
Well, when I had cancer, some ladies made wigs for me, and Geaux Beautiful is a hair extension line. They wanted to take their extensions and create a wig for me, but I asked them could we partner? And one of the reasons I wanted to partner was because I wanted to be able to gift cancer warriors and survivors with wigs. So, we went into this partnership and I was like, for every six wigs that the Mia X collection sells, I would like to gift the seventh wig to a warrior. So that is the inspiration behind the Mia X collection and the Geaux Beautiful company.
How did you find out you had cancer?
Well, your body talks to you, so you have to listen to your body. And my body was giving me signs that was totally different from the way I normally felt. And so I scheduled an appointment. I went to the doctor and then after that there was some testing done. This was 2014. One was a transvaginal ultrasound, and they were able to see something, which was followed up by a biopsy, and that’s how I found out.
And you’ve been cancer-free how long?
Two years now!
Cancer probably changed your outlook on a lot of things. How did it affect your creative process?
Well, creatively, I think I was charged with a little adrenaline because… you just don’t know. We don’t know day-to-day anyway, but I felt like I needed to do things that I wanted to do. So whenever I wasn’t feeling bad, I was in the kitchen cooking and creating recipes, or I was in the studio making records just for myself, not even to release. I was writing a lot. But my outlook was definitely changed because you understand that any moment is—you’re either here or you’re not. And it made me want to take better care of myself. It made me want to educate women on the GYN cancers because they are underfunded and under-researched, and we really don’t know much about them. And so, it did a lot of things as far as my outlook, as far as the way I feel about things, the way I look at people, the way I look at life. Because we are pretty lackadaisical when we don’t have a clue with what’s going on with us health-wise, and then once you kind of get a grip of that, you move differently.
Was it the first time you felt mortal?
No, it actually wasn’t. You feel mortal in childbirth. [ laughs ]. But it was the first time I felt real fear . Mia X performs at the 102.9 Summer Jam circa 1990-2000 (photo by Polo Silk )
That’s an interesting thing to say, coming up in New Orleans. I know you’ve had friends that have been lost along the way, but that’s the first time you felt real fear?
Real fear, yeah. You know, losing friends—even losing my parents and grandparents—I felt pain and sorrow. This is the first time I felt fear, you know? Because my mom would call me a daredevil; it wasn’t much I was really afraid of, no matter what it was. But this is the first time I can say I felt fear.
Your on-mic persona is pretty fearless, so, that’s interesting. Did you think about your legacy at all during that time?
Hmmm… Well, I didn’t. Because one thing I’ve noticed—just from losing so many friends in the industry and around the way in the 7th Ward—when you die, it seems like that’s when your legacy jumps out and everybody talks about who you are and what you did and how great you are, how nice you were. So I was expecting that part.
They’d put you on a t-shirt.
Yeah, you know I’d do that so… I didn’t too much think about my legacy, as much as I just thought about my children and my grandbaby and some close friends that I’ve been blessed to meet. I thought about people more than I thought about me or what I did.
You’ve been working on a lot of projects lately. You had a part in Lily Keber’s Buckjumping and I know you are a big second line proponent, the Ancestors Church. How do you see second line music and rap and hip-hop in New Orleans coming together? Do you think there’s a connection? Do you think that they influence each other?
Yeah. I mean, I can’t speak for anyone else outside of New Orleans, but I know our hip-hop culture is definitely influenced by second line, by brass, brass jazz, and by the tribes. I’m first-generation bounce music and we had a series of chants where we would just chant our raps, and we can rap to second line music even if they’re not doing a cover of hip-hop or R&B. If they’re just doing a traditional second line record, we can jump up there with them and turn that into a hip-hop song.
Were your chants inspired by Indian culture?
Yes, yes, most definitely. When the tribes meet and they talking smack to each other, it’s like a battle rap… they talk a lot of smack and sometimes they even rhyme, you know?
Who was your neighborhood tribe growing up?
My family, Yellow Pocahontas.
So, Tootie [Big Chief Tootie Montana].
Yes. That was my grandmother’s cousin.
So these roots run deep.
Yes. Very, very deep in my family. There was the Jolly Bunch second line club. My great-grandfather was a member and one of the founders of that club, and so I’ve always been a part of the second line culture and always been a part of the Mardi Gras Indian culture.
Can you tell me a little bit about what your role in Lily’s film was? What did she focus on particularly about your role?
I was boiling seafood and I was pretty much there to introduce her to the Original Four. I have a friend that second lined with them named Herman, and on the day that she came to interview me, it was their second line, and so I was just there to kind of introduce her to them and to bring a little clarity to the culture, because a lot of people think it’s just dance. They don’t understand that on a Sunday in Congo Square, Black people would congregate and dance and sing and chant and parade in the street, and we did that for happy and sad occasions. And I wanted her to get more of the cultural side of it and not just the dance side. Just like with the Mardi Gras Indians: a lot of the slaves, when they would escape, tribes would let them come with them and then when they would dress up and move around in the streets, they looked so much alike you couldn’t tell who was the indigenous first people of New Orleans versus who was the actual African slaves. And so the bloodline between African slaves and indigenous tribes run real deep. Especially the roots run deep downtown, so I just wanted her to know that when I say Ancestors Church, that’s for real, that’s not a made-up word. This was the way that our ancestors worshipped and praised without it being known that they were really worshipping and giving praise, because everything was taken from the tribes as well as the slaves, as far as their religion, and things that they grew up being accustomed to. Those ways were stripped, so this was a way that they could worship and praise.
It was an act of subversion really because—to build on your point—I don’t think enough people understand that aspect of it; they focus on the beauty of the suits.
The outfits, the suits that the tribes make, and the creativity in the second line clubs, yeah. And the culture sometimes gets lost in it. But if you pay attention to the tribal suits, they all tell different stories. And if you just look you’ll see that many of them—like 95% of them—stick to the culture of it all when they beading and sewing the suits.
So Tootie was your uncle?
My cousin, but this is how it goes: if you are old enough to be my father, then you are Uncle, even though you are cousin.
Building on what you were saying about the suits, there’s a very distinct difference between an Uptown Indian and a Downtown Indian. Do you have any idea why Tootie decided to go three-dimensional with the suits and not sew patches?
I know that’s very distinctive, especially for Yellow Pocahontas, but the three dimensional was to be able to distinguish that particular tribe. And you know with every gang you do something different so that they can know you.
Uptown and Downtown isn’t just about musical styles or Black masking Indian styles, but it’s also about cooking styles. Talk to me about what’s it like to be a cook out of the 7th Ward.
7th Ward is Creole Soul. The people in the 7th Ward, we didn’t cook with a lot of meat and a lot of pork; we cooked with a lot of seafood because most of our grandfathers and uncles and fathers, they fish (when you retire, you fish every day). And so we were used to eating from the water. And then we talk about Creole and Cajun; you know Creole is like tomato-based, Cajun is kind of brown-based. Creole Soul is somewhere in the middle. So I feel like a lot of Uptown cooks, they cook real Southern food to me. You can get neck bones and things like that Uptown. I see a lot of food Uptown from people in Alabama and Mississippi, and I know a lot of people from Uptown have cousins and they roots is like deep in Alabama and Mississippi. Whereas in the 6th Ward and the 7th Ward, the roots is the swamps… Even the 9th Ward cook a little different from us. You can tell people from the 7th Ward. I think 7th Wardians are food snobs.
What’s the distinguishing characteristic of 7th Ward cooking?
So our trinity—you know how you say, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit?—it’s: in the name of the onion, the garlic, and the bell pepper. [ laughs ] We use celery and bell pepper with onion and garlic, but we never leave the bell peppers out; we almost put bell peppers in everything. You know what else in the 7th Ward?
Will you leave the celery out?
We don’t. It’s like the fourth thing, so you know, they say: onion, garlic, and celery and we say really it’s onion, garlic, bell pepper; or you could do onion, garlic, celery, bell pepper. We do four things. And we add thyme to all the gravies. Got to have thyme in ‘em, so it gives it a distinctive taste. If you go to somebody’s house from the 7th Ward, you’ll taste that. But if you go somewhere else, you won’t taste the thyme in the gravy.
Thyme in your gumbo too?
A little thyme in the gumbo. Anything that have a gravy base we put thyme in it.
So, would I be wrong to say that gumbo is kind of the dividing line between the different areas of the city? You can tell where a cook comes from. Is gumbo a definitive dish?
You know why? In some areas, a lot of my friends Uptown, they mamas put chicken feet in the gumbo; my people didn’t do that. Some people have egg in the gumbo; my people didn’t do that. Some people have different meats in the gumbo that we didn’t put in the gumbo. So I can pretty much tell when I go places where people are from just by how the gumbo looks. Some people gumbos look kinda reddish and some people’s gumbo is brown; some people’s gumbo is kinda light brown. A lot of people in the East, their gumbo wasn’t really, really dark; it was kinda light… The way my grandmother explained it to me, gumbo was one of those dishes where, after you make your roux, the various meats that you had, you added it. It was one of those things almost like a potluck in one pot and it’s really no wrong way to make it, as long as you cook clean and you cook with your heart, because everybody’s palate is gonna be different. And Mamaw grew up during the Depression, so they had to make do with a lot of things—especially food—because she said they would always run out of food by the time they got to the Black people. So you really had to be creative. So I learned. That’s why a lot of us, you know, we eat from the swamp, because you had to be creative if you wanted to eat. [ laughs ]
What goes in your gumbo?
Hot sausage, smoked sausage, chicken necks, gizzards, shrimps, crabs, smoked ham. That’s it.
That’s it? [ laughs ]
It’s a pretty rich dish.
Yeah, all the flavors—you know, that’s what make gumbo good, when all the flavors get to hang out and just do them.
Do you use Kitchen Bouquet?
Sometimes. So, when it gotta go fast, I use Kitchen Bouquet. But most of the time, no.
Your cookbook is kind of a cookbook and a philosophy book at the same time, right?
It’s a memoir.
Can you tell me a little bit about it?
It’s about me and my grandmother. I was with her from birth until I was 31 years-old… She had a potty mouth, that’s why I curse in my raps and that’s why I curse every day [ laughs ]. She had a no-nonsense attitude. She could make the pot sing. She was a great cook. But she said a lot of profound things, and so I wanted to write about the things she said and tell people like, well this is what was going on when she said this to me. So like when she said, “I’d rather have a second job than a wet ass from a poor dick”—when she said that, that was just her way of making us understand that you shouldn’t be laying up, broke and lazy, and you shouldn’t be laying up with a broke and lazy man. You should want to have a second job before you’re just laid up looking in somebody’s face, and y’all don’t know when you’re going to get put out or when the lights going to get cut off. So she said different things like that and it was just to get us to understand what she was saying. When we were younger and we would get all dressed up and get ready to go out to the club, she would say, “Don’t be stupid, giving your ass away like trick-or-treat candy” and that just was like, you know: don’t be fast, don’t be easy. And so I decided to write the book and tell them, “Well, when we was making chicken or when we was making Creole stew, we was having this particular conversation and this is what she said.” My hope is to bring people together to start cooking again. My hopes is that families can sit around the table and just converse and bond through food. And that was the whole reasoning behind the book, to pay tribute to her.
“ New Orleans always had the dopest girls as far as rhyming, girls that actually write their music.”
Do you think what your grandmother showed you and told you enabled you to rhyme and to rap the way you did and to kind of turn that on its head?
Well I definitely believe that my sharp tongue was influenced by Mamaw, and it was just listening to the records. My first record came out 27 years ago, and it was just listening to the boys say things about us. And I was like, I wonder how they would feel if we said some stuff back to them? That was the birth of Mia X—standing up for the ladies and showing the guys that, if y’all say this, we can say this too; and it doesn’t feel good being called a bitch and a ho and a trick. And so I decided to even up the playing field, you know? I definitely owe it to Mamaw because my grandmother said some things you just would not believe. Like, how do you make this stuff up? We just used to look at her like, I don’t believe this lady just said this, you know? It was always something strong, something real. I used to tell a lot of people when they come in the house: if you could get past Mamaw cursing us out, you gonna get something.
What was the most memorable thing she ever said to you?
My first heartbreak, she said, “Baby, your heart don’t care how stupid you look, it just knows what it feels. But your common sense have to step in and have your heart’s back.” That’s when I started to understand the emotional roller coaster of love and how, in matters of the heart, you will make yourself look stupid sometimes, be it if you’re being a sucker or if you’re being angry, and the heart doesn’t care about any of that. It just cares about the emotion that it’s feeling. So I was able to put a lot of things in perspective when it came to breakups and dealing with people.
So, Good Girl Gone Bad didn’t chart, but No Limit had faith in you and Unlady Like did chart. What did that feel like? Did it legitimize what you knew you were doing?
Yeah, because I had worked at Peaches Records and we used to look at Billboard all the time, so to see me in the Top 200 with all of the rock stars and everything, I was like goodness gracious, wow. Never thought this would happen. Because with Good Girl Gone Bad , it was like [Master] P’s 99 Ways to Die . That album didn’t chart for him. Good Girl Gone Bad , we was expecting to move like about 10 or 15,000 copies, so it way exceeded our expectation. We just was trying to introduce me to the world.
It was certified gold, right?
Yes. I couldn’t believe that hundreds of thousands of people actually bought the record, because they didn’t know me. I was just a girl from the 7th Ward. They don’t know anything about me and I figured well, just New Orleans is gonna buy the record, but that didn’t matter to me. But then, wow, a lot of people bought it.
So, next was Unlady Like and then Mama Drama , which was a double platinum record. So you were at the height of your popularity, No Limit was blowing up and, I don’t want to say you stopped—
I did stop! I literally said, “I quit!”
Well, my parents and grandparents played a major role in the raising of my children, and I was allowed to tour and to make a living for us thanks to them. And then my parents died back-to-back. My sister was in college. I didn’t want to hire anyone to look after my children—they were 9 and 11. So I was like, well, I quit. I’m gonna go and be a mom and a big sister and a granddaughter. I felt like my grandparents, their health was deteriorating—especially after my mom died—and I felt my children had such a heavy void after she died. I needed to step in and be who I am first and that’s Mia, not Mia X.
Was it frustrating at that time, not being able to tour?
I didn’t miss it, not even a little bit. I didn’t even really think about it at all.
Were you writing for other people during that time?
Yeah, I’ve always done that, even when I was just a local artist. Love having alter egos. I love being able to write something that I might not feel like saying, but I want to hear somebody else say it. I like doing that. I don’t think I’ll ever stop.
You talked a little bit earlier about mentoring, and I think this is probably the best time, maybe ever, to be a woman in hip-hop and rap. Who on the New Orleans scene have you helped, mentored?
You know, I’m not mentoring artists. I’m mentoring girls with this organization called the Outstanding Mature Girls. We just started a chapter here. They all originated in Baton Rouge. We have our conference coming up and it’s about 800 at-risk girls… trying to keep them on the right path. And once they join the organization, they stay on that path and they go to college and it’s just a beautiful thing. But as far as hip-hop artists in New Orleans, the females, I will say this: I have had an opportunity to bond with most of them over a 27-year span. I’m thankful because they will take my advice. They know that they can call me whenever they need me. They listen to me. I’m grateful that they respect me enough that if they feel a type of way about something, I’ve been able to calm a lot of ‘em down and get them back on track; which is: focus on the music, keep your eye on the prize. I’m grateful that they respect me and I respect them and I can pick up the phone and call anybody in hip-hop and, be it a problem, be it a favor, be it whatever—I can have those conversations. The girls here, I feel like they look at me like a mother or auntie. I’m older than most all of ‘em. None of ‘em ain’t older than me, matter of fact. I remember when none of ‘em had children. I always say that, whenever we together and I see so many girls… Like Ms. Tee’s baby graduated from high school, and her other baby graduated college and I’m like, I remember when Tee didn’t have any kids! I remember when Cheeky didn’t have kids. I remember when the Ghetto Twiinz didn’t have kids. I remember Lady Red didn’t have kids. Like, I remember when they were all girls, and to see them grow up and be these powerful women with these strong children? All of that just makes me smile big.
“ When we were younger and we would get all dressed up and get ready to go out to the club, [MaMaw] would say, ‘Don’t be stupid, giving your ass away like trick-or-treat candy’”
Who should we be looking at coming out of the New Orleans music scene?
We should be lookin at Briki Fa President, 3D Na’Tee, G.I. Peachez, Ms. Allie Baby. There are so many. I’ma say this about New Orleans, I’m just putting this out there: I always tell my friends from other coasts, New Orleans always had the dopest girls as far as rhyming, girls that actually write their music. Because a lot of places girls are popular, but they don’t have a pen game. I’m lost in the shuffle all the time amongst girls that didn’t write they raps, and I’m like, well damn how they in the Top 5 and, well, how that go? But you just keep it pimpin, shrug, and keep it moving. [ laughs ]
I think some of that is generational though. We’re just about the same age, and as a Generation Xer, do you ever feel that you get lost? Our era was kind of lost in the shuffle between the big era behind us and the big era in front of us, and the big populations on either side.
I think we’re lost in the shuffle because we were the first guinea pigs, you know? We were after the whole civil rights movement. Most of our parents were probably hippies, but we were the guinea pigs cuz they pushed machine guns on us and they pushed crack on us, you know? I always tell people, “Yeah my era, what was it y’all invent? We invented crack.” And I think that set us up for a lot of emotional issues, you know? We have a lot of friends and a lot of them are addicts. And so, since so many of the X’ers are addicts, our dreams got lost in the shuffle, and the things that we actually do kind of get lost in the shuffle because there are so many epidemics that came out of watching us grow up. Once we became grown, it was crack, it was AIDS, it was all kind of stuff… I think we’re responsible for bridging the gaps—the X’ers—because, racially, the X’ers made friends and then we had children, and our children didn’t see a color line. So then when history repeats itself and stuff come around and now we get a lot of racially charged hatred, the kids that was born in the late ‘80s and the early ‘90s and the 2000s, this is a shock for them because they got a chance to go to school with everybody. They got a chance to make friends with everybody. We went to work and, myself included, we bought homes in the suburbs. So all the children got a chance to play together and go to school together. So when bad things happen, it’s kind of like a shock for the kids cuz they don’t even know how to move. At least we still knew how to move coming off the civil rights era cuz we would listen to our parents say certain things. But the kids nowadays, they don’t know how to function, they don’t know how to identify hatred because by the time we started having children, everybody was pretty much blended. I remember we used to be like, “Oooh I ain’t going to Chalmette.” By the time I started having children, all the Black children and white children in Chalmette was making children, you understand? So what’s going on now, it’s a brown baby running around and his great-grandfather was probably a Klansman, but he love him so much, you know what I’m saying? Like, that’s what’s happening now: everywhere you go, you seeing people who have blended their families and blurred lines, so when bad stuff happen, it’s a heavy blow.
You didn’t see that when we were growing up, but—
But see, I’ma give the credit to hip-hop. Hip-hop is the reason why cultures really get along because… I’ll never forget a concert I had in Spokane, Washington. I’d never been there before in my life. When I stepped out on stage, it was all white people out there. I was like, what in the world? How they know me? But they knew me and they liked me and they bought my music. And so you go all the way back to Run DMC and you’re merging the hip-hop and the rock together, and then you go back to the beginning of MTV, and Black children and white children watching this channel, liking this music, buying tickets to events—companies were created. Black and white children began to run these companies. We gotta give that credit to hip-hop for blurring that line and then creating generation after generation after generation. Hip-hop is 44 years old, so generation after generation, we watching my kids and now I’m a grandmother. Rap is just for whoever is dope.
“ This is our culture: food, music, creativity. That is who we are, and this place can’t turn into some other place. This place is just this place. So, if you’re not gonna accept the way this place is ran, don’t move here. Just visit.”
To tie this back to New Orleans, recently we’ve had a lot of people come here. Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” video featured New Orleans heavy heavy. Drake came here, and there’s a cutout of Drake in Gene’s [Po’boys], right? [ laughs ] But do you feel that New Orleans is finally getting its due for its influence, or do you still feel that it’s really overlooked in how much influence the New Orleans sound has had in the world of rap and hip-hop?
I don’t think it’s overlooked. I think it’s looked at and almost preyed upon. One of the things that I don’t like is when the essence of bounce is taken, people everywhere else act like that’s just something new, and they pretend—I said they PRETEND—they don’t know where it comes from. They pretend it’s a new sound. They pretend it’s something different and those same people have been singing with DJ Jimi for almost 28 years. Those same people who pretend can still sing Bustdown records. But I’m grateful for what Drake and Beyoncé did because both of them reached back. Beyonce went and got Freedia, Drake got Freedia, he got Weebie, he got Bobby Jean, he got BlaqNmilD. So, I’m grateful that these artists get an opportunity—even the ones that’s not here like Magnolia Shorty—they get a opportunity for people to say, who is that? I don’t think New Orleans has gotten its just due yet for many things, even with the second line influence in some musics, you know. I can’t wait until people just finally acknowledge that New Orleans people can actually master all genres of music. That’s what I want them to say about us. I want them to say that we are an island in America, we a bowl or something, I don’t know. We feel different. We don’t even talk like people from Baton Rouge, you know? And I want people to acknowledge this very unique melting pot of people and talents. I want them to acknowledge us, cuz they don’t. I don’t like that, it makes me mad.
So, you’re popping up over at the Pythian Market with Chef Melissa Hinton. How long have you been over there? How did it start? How did you guys get together?
I’ve been at the Pythian for two months now. I was contacted by the Director of Affairs. She felt I would be a good fit, and it’s been very, very successful. I met Chef Melissa… we were both recipients of the Lady Chef Awards in 2017, and so I wanted to do the Pythian but I know I’m also busy because I still tour and I still go other places to cook. So, I asked her would she team up with me? And I was like, on days that I’m not there or whatever, you can just be there. And she said yes and it’s been a pretty cool thing because we each offer an entree, but we do it New Orleans supper style. We serve dessert and to-go drink with our food, because that’s the way the suppers went when I was a little girl.
Explain to someone who might not know what New Orleans supper style is.
OK, so my grandmother gave suppers since before I was born on Fridays and Saturdays. You could get anything in your supper plate—fish, shrimp, stuffed bell peppers, meatballs and spaghetti, whatever. But your entree always came with the lagniappe of a dessert, and lagniappe means something extra. Your dessert was included and your soft drink was included. So, you might have meatballs and spaghetti with salad and garlic bread, but then you might have a slice of pound cake and a drink to go with it. A supper plate is a one-stop-shop; you have everything on it. You know, your salad or your vegetable, your entree, your dessert. It’s very popular in New Orleans. Suppers were given to raise money. My grandmother always gave suppers to have extra money to put us through school. Suppers are given when people don’t have money to bury people. Suppers are given when children need to make the debuts. It’s just a way to make extra money and fill that financial gap. So, since the Pythian is a place with a lot of history, I thought it would be a good idea to bring the supper plate and the tradition of the supper plate to the Pythian, for the tourists especially, so that they could get a idea of the way the locals really eat. I’m still trying to gauge the people in the Pythian as far as what they eat. I’ve been very successful. I usually sell out all of my food, but I’m trying to just gauge even when the tourists come through, what is it that they’re looking for, you know? I’m always trying to figure that out: Think they want red beans? Think they want butter beans? I know I did butter beans, and they tore them out the frame. Cabbage. I was so shocked, every white person that came up, I was saying, “Now they’re not gonna want this damn cabbage.” Shiiiit….
That cabbage was delicious, I had it.
“Can I get the cabbage?” I was like h, alright, OK. Well that mean I can bring my greens here, you know?
Your macaroni—probably your most popular?
Yes, I am the macaroni whisperer. So yeah, they will buy five of the macaroni, and that’s cuz of the macaroni roux! You know, you gotta get that right. It gotta be creamy, it gotta be cheesy, gotta be buttery. It can’t be a big clunk o’ something that flour is holding together, or eggs.
Because the Pythian’s pretty diverse, it doesn’t have what you would call a lot of traditional New Orleans-style food. It’s getting harder and harder to find traditional New Orleans-style food. So is this something that was important to you?
Very important to me. You know, the preservation of the New Orleans culture is extremely important to me… As we watch the neighborhoods change—I don’t particularly have a problem with the neighborhoods changing, I don’t really have a problem with seeing people buy things and improve the neighborhood; however, it’s important for people to know that when they buy property here and they buy property not to flip but to actually live in, you can’t have a little piece of Maine in New Orleans. You can’t do that. So, when we have noise ordinances, that really pisses me off because… you have to understand, I remember when Phil Frazier and Kermit Ruffins put Rebirth together, and I remember when they would practice. I remember many of the greats being on the corners of our neighborhoods or in front of someone’s house that had a larger portion of the sidewalk. I remember the bands gathering and playing. I remember when bands were not so good, but we would all get in the street. I remember when the boys had buckets to beat on and not real drums but out of that the greats were born. And so sometimes they try to stop that, but you can’t come here and fall in love with the place but then don’t know why you fell in love, see? You just come on the tail end where the musicians are already at the Grammys. But in New Orleans we were there when these musicians and these legendary names were being built, and how they were being built probably is outside of your damn door with the trumpet screeching and not on key or whatever. But they gonna get better! And this is our culture: food, music, creativity. That is who we are, and this place can’t turn into some other place. This place is just this place. So, if you’re not gonna accept the way this place is ran, don’t move here. Just visit.
Do you feel the culture’s gonna survive all the changes?
I believe so. Listen, as long as there are Black people in New Orleans, the culture will never ever die, because we can’t survive without our culture. We can’t… And that’s why we lost so many of our elders during that whole Katrina-Rita situation. They died of a broken heart. This place live in us, you know? We bleed this culture. We bleed the culture so much. I know when we went to Texas, we went to the stores and was like, look: we need Camellia red beans. And Camellia butter beans. The only kinda packaged beans we’re gonna eat? They have to say Camellia. You need to call and order that. We need pickled tips. “What is that?” It’s like a pickled pork brisket, I don’t know. Call ‘em and ask ‘em what it is, but we need that. We need hot sausage—not y’all hot links. You can order this thing called Patton’s. We have so many sausage makers in New Orleans—the Vaucressons, the Mulays—like look, we need these things to be able to cook. So, this one store held us down, Fiesta. They got everything you need from New Orleans in there, and we was able to cook. Cuz being in Texas and Monday come and ain’t no red beans, you start getting physically sick. Not so much because you have to have the food, but it’s the conditioning of the culture. Like, that’s the way we’re conditioned, you know? And then Friday come and they say, well, they had this fish called tilapia. Well I’m not about to fry that, I don’t know even know what that is! …And when they had to be reminded of the harsh times of the racial division, being in different states where it wasn’t like New Orleans, you know? Cuz people always say, “Oooh the New Orleans people, even the white people—y’all all sound alike!” [ laughs ] You know? So as long as Black people are in New Orleans, this culture will be what it is, and I think if Black people was not in New Orleans no more, white people wouldn’t even like it. That’s what they better understand.
Mia X will be performing and recording a feature on a live version of Gumbo with PJ Morton at Essence Fest on Friday, July 5. On Sunday, July 7, she will be at the Convention Center demoing her “best crab cakes evah.” Also be on the lookout for a food truck, a TV Pilot with Vince Wilfork, and her supper plate series at the Pythian Market with Chef Melissa Hinton. For more info on the Mia X line of Geaux Beautiful wigs, check out geauxbeautiful.com For Mia’s books, check out teamwhipdempots.com . Transcription by Michelle Pierce | photos by James Cullen Leave a Reply You must be logged in to post a comment. Featured Articles
Instant Indian by Rinku Bhattacharya [blog tour review] @rararesources @wchestermasala
admin Instant Indian by Rinku Bhattacharya [blog tour review] @rararesources @wchestermasala Today I’m excited to be a part of the blog tour for a recipe book – always a treat – and, even better, for an Indian cookbook to be used with an Instant Pot (or pressure cooker, if you have a different brand)! Read on to see what I thought… and prepare to feel hungry…! Publisher: Hippocrene Books [Synopsis]
Rinku Bhattacharya — cookbook author and founder of Spice Chronicles — has put together a collection of 100 authentic recipes that showcase the diversity and range of the foods of India, where every state and region boasts its own unique dishes. Whether you crave takeout favorites or want to be introduced to lesser-known specialties, this cookbook brings the best of India to your table in an instant!
The Instant Pot(R) lends itself perfectly to Indian recipes, making flavorful, nutritious Indian fare (like simmering-all-day dals, legumes and all manner of curries) in minutes instead of hours. Instant Indian features numerous vegetarian and vegan options, and nearly all recipes are gluten-free. [My Review]
Instant Indian is an inpsiring, easy to follow cookbook that combines two of my favourite things: delicious, authentic Indian recipes with a pressure cooker! I actually don’t use my Instant Pot as much as I’d like to, as sometimes I find myself rather lacking inspiration. As me and my partner don’t eat meat, a lot of the recipes which center around cooking meats are defunct (for us, anyway). This recipe book, however, has a fantastic array of delicious-sounding Indian food, much of which is vegetarian or can be made vegetarian by swapping some of the ingredients.
I love the section on vegetables and paneer – paneer is one of my favourite ingredients in Indian cooking. If I could put it in everything, I would! So I of course loved the paneer recipes (I tried the ‘Creamy Spinach with Paneer’ and it was SO good – and can be swapped for Tofu instead of the paneer if you want to make it vegan). We also eat fish, so the ‘fish and shrimp’ section was also a big hit!
I can wholeheartedly recommend the ‘Mashed Eggplant with Red Onions and Chilies’ and ‘Coconut Fish Curry with Cauliflower and Eggplant’. Some of the vegetable dishes were more side dishes, but there’s nothing to say you can’t make a larger portion and serve as a main dish, and I have earmarked many more recipes to try out.
Some ingredients aren’t readily available here, but only a few. One of these was Spaghetti Squash, which I’ve tried many times to ask for in supermarkets, as it’s in many American recipes I see, only to be met with blank stares or staff thinking I mean spiralised butternut squash (no!). There isn’t too many recipes with these ingredients in though, I’m pleased to say, so it’s not a big issue.
There are photos throughout (my Kindle Paperwhite don’t do these justice though unfortunately), and I always find images useful when I’m preparing recipes, so I know what it should look like!
Overall this is a great recipe for anyone who loves Indian cooking and has a pressure cooker – or indeed even those without, as it’s not too hard to adapt the recipes to a normal stovetop method of cooking. I’ll definitely be dipping into this book a lot more in the future, anytime I need some dinner-time inspiration, and will be checking out some more of Rinku’s books too! [Rating: 4/5]
Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review, and thanks also for the spot on the blog tour! Buy Instant Indian on Amazon UK or Amazon US . [About the Author]
Rinku Bhattacharya ( spicechronicles.com ) was born in India, and now lives in a house with a vibrant backyard in Hudson Valley, New York with her husband, an avid gardener, and their two children. Rinku’s simple, sustainable approach to Indian cooking is showcased on her blog, Spice Chronicles, and in her Journal News column “Spices and Seasons.”
Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past nine years, and works extensively with local area farmer’s markets on seasonal demonstrations and discussions. Rinku is also the author of The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles (Hippocrene Books, 2012), winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2013 for Best Indian Cuisine. She writes for the Poughkeepsie Journal, the Journal News, and several online sites, and is a frequent guest on CT Style TV.
Follow Rinku on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook and Pinterest . [FOllow the rest of the tour] DON’T FORGET… FOLLOW ME ON: INSTAGRAM @SNAZZY_BOOKS_ / GOODREADS LAURA / AND TWITTER @LAURANAZMDEH ! Share this:
A very nice place to stay with your family. Food served here is also very nice. Staff is helpful.must visit.Mr. Kazim is a supportive person. Indian cuisine is right beside the hotel. Being a vegetarian was not a problem .