Destiny Farmstay

“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” – John Muir

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Tucked in lap of valleys is this scenic beauty, a heaven of a place – Destiny Farmstay. This was my second visit to the place, I have been longing to go there after the 1st visit a few years back. Destiny is situated in the faultless valley of Avalanchi, about 25 km past Ooty, Destiny The Farmstay hotel is a modern farm with revolutionary, eco-friendly cultivation methods. It offers a scenic view of the nearby lake and is guarded by mountains around.

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To reach there is another adventure all together. Once you reach the parking spot the final destination is a 2km drive from there in the Jungle van and it is a crazy bumpy right through the forest. Head-up if you have a back ache, I would suggest not to go for it.

 

Being said that, Destiny is not a regular farmstay, the rooms scream of luxury with wooden flooring, balcony opening to the valley and the lake which gives an ethereal view of the nature enveloping the place.

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The view at dusk and hours following is like therapy, the sheer numbers of stars on the clouded mountains is a sight you can’t take your eyes off.

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The food is good with variety on menu and with most ingredients which are grown right there! The property is stupendous, with lot if activities to keep you busy- trekking to the woods, volleyball court surrounded by mountains, indoor sports, born fire list goes on. If you are looking to have an moment alone with nature and just sit and enjoy the view and probably introspect a little, well, you will find lot of spots for that 😛

The weather in January is a blessing, not to cold but cloudy and breezy.  To add to the experience are the staff here who are extremely friendly and helping. They will always greet you with a smile on their faces and will make sure that your stay is comfortable and fun. My interaction with Mahalakshmi, Saurav and all other staff was a happy one.

I would recommend this place to all nature lovers, who want to leave the city buzz for sometime and have a peaceful getaway. So if you visit, do let me know how was your experience, would be great to hear.

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Cheers guys! Hope this year is treating all of you well 🙂

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Coorg and Crazy Beans Company

Hello Folks! Sorry for being absconding for this long, got caught up in the hustle of life 😛 Anyways, here is a fresh one and I believe its perfect to make up for the “disappearance”.

The end of 2017 was a crazy one, exhausting honestly. So to rejuvenate I planned a trip to  Coorg, I have heard so many good things about the place I had to see it by myself.

img-20161025-wa0005 Trust me it was one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever had on a trip. The place is blessed with breathtaking landscapes and wildlife. The sun rises with the lush green view of the coffee plantation that goes on for stretches is mesmerising.

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Coorg is synonym to coffee and being a coffee lover I wanted to explore. Luckily enough I had a chance to meet Mr. Bharath who runs a coffee plantation there. He is certified by coffee board of India as a Roaster and Barista and also we are members of SCAA. A very passionate man who treats coffee as his treasure.

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As I went around with him exploring the coffee estates I witnessed how much love, passion and hard work goes into our early morning cuppa.

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To make the best coffee available to all of us as fresh as it can get Bharath has started an online portal http://www.crazybeancompany.com/ where Natural processed coffee is available. The best part of it all is that the order can be custom roasted and grounded as per your requirement. I had to share the details afterall we all deserve our good blissful cup of coffee.

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In his words –

Farmers by birth, roasters by choice and business people by accident. We love our food and drink and we enjoy making it for others as well. There’s an old saying- “if you’re good at something don’t do it for free” so we started The Crazy Bean Company.

img-20161025-wa0011We can tell you that our farm in the heartland of Kodagu is irrigated by a freshwater spring, fertilised by wild animals and birds, the fruits are serenaded by classical music and caressed of their stems on maturity. Well, the classical music part isn’t true everything else is. We also follow modern, scientific and sustainable methods of farming, which means absolutely no pesticides.“

 

So here you go guys! Hope I am helping out some of my travellers & coffee loving friends 🙂

Cheers!

PROJECT ALOFT STAR MTV – Finale at Aloft Cessna Business Park

ALOFT Hotel, a quintessence of modern architecture and vibrant ambiance hosted the finale for the aloft star in collaboration with MTV. I got a chance to witness some breath-taking live music performance by budding artists from across India.

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The contest has been running for a while and the top 5 finalist got the opportunity of a lifetime to perform live at the venue on 18th of September at Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Business Park. The winner was crowned Project Aloft Star and won US$10,000!

#AloftStarMtv

The finalist

Bachpan – Sylvio Olvin – India

Tujhko Dekhe Toh– Divya Venugopal –India

Main Hoon Tera Radio – Rohan negi – India

Veda*-TheBand – India

Inertia Kills – Run Pussy Run- India

The judges for the event were-

Clinton Cerejo the award winning composer, producer and singer. He made an memorable impact on Coke Studio with Sufi Pop.

Aditya Swami the EVP, Viacom18 Media and Business Head of MTV & MTV Indies

Hazel Ooi the Manager, Brand Management Asia-Pacific of Aloft Hotel.

The night went better than I imagined, beautiful ambiance, wonderful artist and to add to it lip-smacking food and drink. Couldn’t have asked for more. 🙂

Here, are some sneak peek from the event.

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And The winner!

And The winner!

A evening well spent 🙂

Cheers!

Starbucks Summer Adventure

Summers! I used to like summers but as the years are passing by its not so much of my favorite anymore. Though I still can’t deny the few perks that it brings along and mangoes tops my list. Precise reason why I was excited to be a part of the Starbucks  summer adventure and took the #sipface challenge.

#sipface

#sipface

#starbuckfunventure

#starbuckfunventure

Starbucks has introduced Mango flavored menu to cater the summer cravings of us all, the menu brings together Alphonso Mango Frappuccino, the Baked Mango Yogurt and the Alphonso Mango Frappuccino with Java chip.

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Alphonso Mango Frappuccino

A rich blend of Alphonso mango and milk with ice and dollops of whipped cream. You can personalize this beverage by adding Java Chip to bring out the best. Special blend to suit the Indian taste pallet, this is perfect for the summer season, not too sweet, not overdosed on the flavor, just perfect craftsmanship.

Alphonso Mango Frappuccino

Alphonso Mango Frappuccino

Baked Mango Yogurt

Ah! I can’t talk enough about it. What beautiful flavors. A rich blend of Mango puree, yogurt and cream. Truth is, by the look of it I anticipated it to be too sweet for my taste but I was wrong, and how. This is nothing less than heavenly. So fresh and delicious I scrapped the bottom of the cup for more.

Picture courtesy - http://www.sindhujp.com/

Picture courtesy – http://www.sindhujp.com/

 

Don’t miss out on these mango delights. Do grab one till it is still available, it’s the part of Starbucks summer menu.

Thanks again to Starbucks for the delightful and fun evening full of flavors.

Cheers!

Chop! Chop!

Crop Tops are here to stay! Making a comeback in 2014 this style rocked the runways this spring too.  This midriff- baring style has made a statement in the New York Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2015.

Crop Tops - New York Fashion Week 2015

Crop Tops – New York Fashion Week 2015

Image Courtesy – http://www.nydailynews.com/

A qwerky crop top one paired with shorts makes for a perfect beach look. If you are looking for something more lady-like pair one of these beauties with a structured skirts and those high stilettoes and you are good to go, that stretch of skin transform to an oh-so-elegant feature 😉

Image Courtesy - www.fashionisers.com

Image Courtesy – http://www.fashionisers.com

My favourite version of it is the chopped-tee style.

Crop Top

Crop Top

I Like The Ring :)

I Like The Ring 🙂

So go girls! Time to flaunt that mid-riff.

Cheers! 🙂

 

 

Amrut Whiskey Tasting at TGH

Truth be told I have always been in love with whiskey and an evening in a mesmerizing ambiance, in good company, lip smacking food and one of the best whiskey to savor is an evening well spent. The Glass House is breathtakingly beautiful, the unique blend of glass and steel make the place look so chic and elegant, the lighting with the beautiful ceiling adds to the magic.

The Glass House

The Glass House

The whiskey tasting event hosted by the pioneers of Amrut Distillery at The Glass House, Bangalore was an event I am glad I could be a part of. I discovered the most beautiful Indian whiskey I had ever laid my hand on. Amrut Single Malt.

Blind Tasting

Blind Tasting

The day unfolded with Mr Ashok Chokalingam , introducing us to a blind tasting of whiskey’s from around the world. Mr. Ashok is a renowned whiskey expert voted whiskey Ambassador for the year 2012, by the Icons of whiskey. Ashok guided us trough the samples of whiskeys explaining how to appreciate your whiskey and walked us trough different ways to understand it right.Discovering the smokiness of oak barrel, the sweetness of caramel, the punch of citrus or the spiciness of anise just by nosing the drink and then by letting our taste buds dance with the glittering golden whiskey.

Amrut Single Malt

Amrut Single Malt

The blind tasting ended with evaluation of the score cards here the most popular choice was Jim Beam followed by- The Amrut Fusion and the Amrut Peated Single Malt then on the list was Johnnie Walker Black Label and Glenmoraingie.

Tasting Session

Tasting Session

Score Cards

Score Cards

‘Amrut Distillery’ has won numerous awards worldwide and also won the third best whiskey in the world title. The fact that such fine whiskey is made in India makes me proud and the distinct taste has put it on my favourites list.

After the whiskey tasting we moved to the food, the cuisine in TGH is European inspired but with a twist. Let me tell you the chef has done a wonderful job with the oh-so-mouth-watering menu.
The menu for the evening was-

Veg-

1.Stuffed mini eggplant roulade: hummus

2.Goat’s cheese lollipops: spiced romesco, dates and jalapenos stuffing, chilly lavash triangle

3.Rosemary margarita: san marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, fresh rosemary

Stuffed mini eggplant roulade: hummus

Stuffed mini eggplant roulade: hummus

 

Goat’s cheese lollipops: spiced romesco, dates and jalapenos stuffing, chilly lavash triangle

Goat’s cheese lollipops: spiced romesco, dates and jalapenos stuffing, chilly lavash triangle

 

Non veg-

1.Chicken fire cracker: red dynasty cabbage slaw, scallions

2.Beef carpaccio: red wine cured, shaved ginger, togarashi spice

3.Lamb and jalapeño sliders: pickled cabbage, mini bun

4.Fish and chips inspiration: house tartar sauce, lavash crisp

Chicken fire cracker: red dynasty cabbage slaw, scallions

Chicken fire cracker: red dynasty cabbage slaw, scallions

Beef carpaccio: red wine cured, shaved ginger, togarashi spice

Beef carpaccio: red wine cured, shaved ginger, togarashi spice

Fish and chips inspiration: house tartar sauce, lavash crisp

Fish and chips inspiration: house tartar sauce, lavash crisp

Had a wonderful time at The Glass House and added Amrut to my mini bar already 🙂

Cheers!

 

Resisting Rice (pun un-intended)

Textures always were my favourite.There’s something about the originality and mystery that you can see in textures that makes you wonder how beautiful things can be if you let them take their course.

I keep looking for more ways to create textures, believe me the techniques I have come across are oh so exciting all the time.

Recently I learnt about a new technique my friend, Mrinmayee. She makes textures using rice and it was so interesting I asked her if I can write about it. So here it is, sharing some of her work.

Resist Technique/Rice Printing-

Textured created through resist printing

Textured created through resist printing

Inspired by the resist tie-dye technique used in ikat she has explored a way in which she uses rice to resist color on paper and the results are just brilliant! Its what she calls the ‘resist rice’ method.

Texture

Texture

Materials used are minimal- water, paper, color and a few rice grains and you are good to go. What you get at the end are mesmerizing all over prints each very different from one another.

The Artist's Desk

The Artist’s Desk

Thanks you so much Mrin for sharing it with me. I will definitely try making some 🙂

Cheers!

Apurva