Rising From Ashes

By Kashvi Mahajan

Tycoon Sir Richard Branson’s luxury island retreat in the Caribbean has finally been rebuilt, more than two years after it was destroyed by an inferno. A team of construction workers has been rebuilding the main property – named the Great House – ever since, and the home in the British Virgin Islands finally reopened this month.

Necker Island

Inspired by the beautiful features and Balinese style of the original structure, the new Great House offers breath-taking panoramic views of the Caribbean, the Atlantic and neighbouring islands. The ten-bedroom main house has a master bedroom with a sitting area, Jacuzzi, and a Victorian bathtub on the private terrace. A great place to soak and watch the sunset. Nine bedrooms with either king or twin beds have private bathrooms and balconies. International furnishings complete the quality lifestyle here, with woods and fabrics almost as terrific as the views from every room. Increasing the guest capacity to 30 people, authentic Balinese Houses “Bali Hi”, “Bali Cliff”, and “Bali Lo” offer villa accommodations with private pools, open-air lounges, and private dining areas.

Bali_Lo, necker Island

Great-House-Master-Bedroom-216Arrange for a helicopter transfer to take you to Necker Island and enjoy absolute privacy in a vacation on your own island. The staff, a total of forty-two people, will ensure that your meals are ready and prepared to your tastes, and in the meantime, you can enjoy any of the islands several beaches. Because you have full access to Necker Island, you can sit down to both a sunrise and sunset view. Spend a day playing tennis, or listen to each other play a piano. A fireplace and book library offers richness, and for times of special moments, there is a gazebo. When it comes time to gather everyone together, the formal dining seats 30.

Necker_Beach_House_upstairs

aNecker_Beach_House_viewPrivate white sandy beaches wouldn’t be complete without laser sailing, snorkeling, and water-skiing. Two lighted tennis courts, a gym, video, book, and music library; the snooker table and board games are just some of the things to do here when you’re not soaking up the sun, relaxing, or enjoying meals and beverages. Necker Island provides you with the space and time to do just as you like; when you like, escape to an unforgettable island happily out of step with the world.

neckerisland-gallery-beach_bbq-li

Sir Richard Branson commented: “Necker Island has been my home for more than 30 years and for me it is the most beautiful place in the world. The brand new Great House is the heart of the island and I’m thrilled with the results. This signals a new dawn for Necker, which I’m very excited about.”
Rate: $60,000 per night for 30 adults

Shangri-la Dubai’s 10th anniversary celebrations

I know this is a little short notice but for all of my UAE readers it is a steal, to celebrate its 10th anniversary, Shangri-la Dubai is selling ten rooms for only Dhs 10, valid for bookings on 10th July only.The Dhs 10 rate is limited to the first ten bookings made for the night of 10th July 2013 via the website booking engine at www.shangri-la.com/dubai. Guests may start bookings on 8th July 2013 at 9 a.m. using the special rate code SLDB10ANN. Furthermore, children born on 8th July 2003, the hotel’s official opening date, and residing in Dubai may enjoy a complimentary birthday lunch or dinner for a maximum of ten guests at Dunes Café.

Shangri-La Dubai, www.stylecity.in

Shangri-La Dubai, www.stylecity.in

So spread the word and make it a special anniversary, birthday or general night out with friends for your loved ones. It is a perfect gift, so wish I was in Dubai to avail this offer.

A touch of rural India; Surjivan Farms

The other day thanks to some work I ended up visiting Surjivan Farms in Manesar, a boutique property that has a tie up with Haryana Tourism. Nestled within 50-acres of lush green farmlands, 34 kms off NH8, Surjivan is an ethnic resort based on a traditional Indian Village theme. I met the husband and wife duo who run this resort and have been doing so for over a decade, they seem very passionate about this property and it is only when they have a group booking that it is open to public with the cooks bought in for an traditional experience. The huts are made completely out of mud with terracotta tiles and the basic furniture in the room like bed, dressing table too have been made from mud, covered with authentic Indian fabrics and bedcovers. For an authentic rural Indian experience they have a dining area where you sit and eat on the floor while women make fresh ‘chappatis’ on ‘chulas’ to be served.

Surjivan Resort, www.stylecity.in

Surjivan Resorts, www.stylecity.in

Surjivan Resorts, www.stylecity.in

Surjivan Resorts, www.stylecity.in Surjivan Resorts, www.stylecity.in

Surjivan Resort, www.stylecity.in

They have loads of adventure activities such as Para Gilding, Rock Climbing, and Zorbing, along with out-door sports, swimming pool and an option to have a rain dance. I did not get a chance to really try out the experience hence cannot do a review, but in terms of looks and décor it truly felt like an authentic Rural experience. Also I went mid-June which is the hottest time of the year. To truly enjoy this experience you should plan a trip, day trip or over night maybe between October-March.
For Reservations and Booking
Surjivan Resort- D 3-3513, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi -110 070
Deven: +91 9810105785 Alka: +91 9810291294
Tel: 011 26894866

“Private Moon” travels the world

Russian artist Leonid Tishkov has taken the very notion of romance and actually bought down the moon to earth.Paris, Austria, Kazakhstan and Taiwan are just some of the places he has travelled with his man-made lunar companion. As an artist and story-teller Tishkov’s inspiration comes from various fairy-tales and he dreams of travelling to the moon with his “Private Moon”. Do read excerpts from his interview at Huffington Post.

Leonid Tishkov Private Moon, www.stylecity.in

Leonid Tishkov Private Moon, www.stylecity.in

Leonid Tishkov Private Moon, www.stylecity.in

The entire experience has been captured in intimate photographs taken off the artist with the moon. I for one love the idea of a man travelling the world with a moon and have a photograph trail of his endeavours. Reminds me a bit of the Little Prince. I think if I could travel the world it would be with a giant shoe, maybe convince Louboutin or Jimmy Choo to create one, so I could leave my footsteps wherever I visit. What about you? What would you like to travel the world with? Do leave your ideas in the comments below

Luxe and Stylish: Chateau de Varennes, France

Chateau de Varennes is conveniently located in South Burgundy close to the famous vineyards of Beaune. The current buildings date back to the 18th century and the interior grounds boast a very impressive size of 2,000 sqm for the main building with an additional 600 sqm for the Orangery which is used as a function hall for private or professional events. When the current owners Aymeric and Sonia de Truchis de Varennes inherited the property in 2009, it was too big to keep as a holiday house for the smaller modern families. At that time, they were both working in London and their American friends working in the high-end travel industry encouraged them to refurbish the property entirely and create an ultra-luxury chateau resort. The 2-year ambitious renovation project was led by Fabrice Bejjani, a French-Lebanese interior designer known for refurbishing luxury villas in Paris and on the Mediterranean coast. Fabrice’s signature is the attention to details and the ability to mix beautifully the historic features of the Chateau with contemporary accessories. In 2012, just after its opening, the Chateau de Varennes was already named by CNN among the top ten best wedding holiday resorts worldwide. So here is an exquisite option for your that dream wedding you have dreamt about all your life.

Grand salon (first floor)

021_grand salon pink lounge, Chateau de Varennes

This sumptuous reception room is dating back to the building of the property in the 18th century. Its original decor and furnishings were carefully maintained throughout the time. Lavish silk curtains and a white marble chimney are matching perfectly with the splendid Versailles parquet floor. Romantic paintings of the four seasons are displayed on each corner of the room, showing the then dominant influence of Marie-Antoinette’s taste for pastoral scenes. Silver tea set engraved with the family coat of arms : family collection, Tea cups : Hermes, Vase : Zoeppritz

Marie-Antoinette suite (first floor)

003_bedroom Marie-Antoinette_lounge corner,Marie-Antoinette suite (first floor) 001_bedroom Marie-Antoinette,Marie-Antoinette suite (first floor)

The Marie-Antoinette suite is adorned with a classical wallpaper featuring a very original silver pattern standing out of a soft purple background. This makes it look like a modern’s queen boudoir. The impressive high ceilings are balanced with more cosy fabrics used for the bed furnishings (velvet and tweed). The classic Louis XVI medallion chairs were upholstered with matching purple velvet and the silk curtains were also custom made. All the fabrics and soft furnishings used in this suite were sourced at Osborne & Little in London. Carpet : Zoeppirtz, Cashmere shawl : Jab, Cushions : apartment 9 India, Hand bag : Louis Vuitton, Notebook : Christian Lacroix, Tea cups : Fleux, Tray : Habitat, Vase : Coming B, Wall lamps : Stéphane Davidts, Wallpaper : Osborne & Little, Water jug : Fleux

Music lounge (first floor)

015_music lounge,Chateau de Varennes 016_music lounge, Chateau de Varennes

The music lounge is where all the guests gather for tea time or for drinks. Adorned with family portraites and painted in a classic pale grey similar to the iconic grey shade used in Dior stores, it has not changed much since the 18th century. The precious Italian ivory-inlaid ebony cabinet and the Louis XV chairs are precious family treasures as well as the authentic Murano glass chandelier which was brought back from Venice in the early 19th century. The contemporary accessories are bringing more joyful vibes to the otherwise very classical lounge. Clock : Joy de Rohan Chabot, Fur bedspread : Zoeppritz, Lamp 1 (left side of the sofa) Jeremy Cole, Lamp 2 (right) : Corep, Paint : La Seigneurie, Sofa and table : custom-made, Stool : Exsud, Turquoise jars : Fleux.

Princess suite (first floor)

005_Princess suite, Chateau de Varennes 006_Princess suite, Chateau de Varennes

008_Princess suite, Chateau de Varennes009_bathroom Princess suite, Chateau de Varennes

Offering a lot of space and painted in elegant neutral colors like vanilla cream and off- white, the spectacular Princess suite is often used as a honeymoon suite. The wooden stand tailor-mannequin and the velvet sofa dating back to the 18th century are both vintage treasures from the family collection. The ceiling medallions are displaying lion heads which are edged with a delicate gold line. This gold line is also repeated in the en- suite bathroom. Bed head board, curtains : Dedar fabrics and soft furnishings, Cushions and bed cover : Jab, Hand bag : Cartier, Hat box : Country Casa, Paint : La Seigneurie, Shawl : Zoeppritz, Sofa : family collection, Vases : SMJ, Wall lamps : Stéphane Davidts. The Princess bathroom was custom made with marbles from Italy. The strip made with gold coated mosaic tiles is a subtle reference to the gold edge of the master room’s ceilings. Bath towel : Pretty linge, Gold coated mosaic tiles : Bisazza, Marble basin : custom made by Cristal marble, Tap : Hansgrohe, Toiletries : Eden Park et Exvoto, Wall lamps : Stéphane Davidts.

Kitchen (ground floor)

029_kitchen, Chateau de Varennes

The kitchen was custom made by a local carpenter. Custom designed built-in include storage cabinets and a recessed display wall for storing small kitchen equipment. The vintage farm table and the modern pink chairs are conveying a joyful and relaxed atmosphere in contrast with the more neutral shades of the kitchen cabinets. With the attached pantry, the kitchen spans 100 square meters and the professional equipment allow the meal preparation for the 30 resident guests. Another large professional kitchen is available in the Orangery for big catered events. Cake stand : Habitat, Chairs : Habitat, Lamps : Hind Rabii, Paint : Farrow and Ball, Resident pastry chef : Muriel Arcos, Roller shades : Linum, Tea cups : Fleux, Tray : Habitat

Main dining room (ground floor)

024_dining room, Chateau de Varennes028_dining room side table,Chateau de Varennes

While the elegant lounges on the first floor are very similar to reception rooms of a Parisian “hotel particulier”, the main dining room reminds one of an English gentleman’s library. This was actually the purpose of this room until the previous dining room (which was located in the current Princess suite) was moved from the first floor to this more convenient location on the ground floor. The wood panels were custom built by a local carpenter with oak trees from the property woods. The huge table extends to seat up to 25 guests. Another smaller dining room is available next to the main dining room and is used for children’s meals. Black candleholders : Conran Shop, Chicken wire cloche (cloche en fil de fer grillagé) :Un esprit en plus Porcelain plates and silverware with coat of arms : family collection, Tablecloth : tailor made, White candleholders : Bougies la Française, White low flower vase (coupe blanche) : Coming B

Jeanne suite (second floor)

060_bedroom 25_Jeanne suite, Chateau de Varennes

The Jeanne suite is one of the 4 rooms on the second floor which were painted in 16 different shades of grey (4 different shades of grey were used for each room : walls, doors, door frames, ceiling, ). In order to contrast with this neutral background, a fifth color is used in each en-suite marble bathroom as well as for the soft furnishings (curtains, beddings and seat covers). All these bedrooms are equipped with ultra king size beds allowing them to be transformed into twins if necessary. The Jeanne suite is the only room to feature built-in shelves which replaced a former fireplace. The simplicity of the Louis XVI sofa is matching well with the authentic wood flooring, the exposed beams and the sober wall lamps. Bed head board, bed spread, upholstered sofa, cushions, curtains : tailor made with Dedar fabrics and soft furnishings. Hand bag : Thursday Friday, Lamps : Stéphane Davidts, Yellow bed cover : Zoeppritz

Louise suite (second floor)

031_bedroom 27_Louise suite

The designer Fabrice Bejjani used an autumnal colour palette to soften the bright natural light due to the double exposure of the Louise suite. With East-facing exposure, the master room is providing a superb sunrise view on the private Chapel of the chateau. The. An open walk in wardrobe was built behind the headboard and the study room is overlooking the pool and French gardens. Except for the Marie-Antoinette suite which is decorated with Osborne and Little fabrics, all the other bedrooms are appointed with exceptionally high quality fabrics and soft furnishings provided by Dedar, the famous Italian brand who just created a joint venture with Hermes. Bed head board, bed spread, upholstered chair, cushions, curtains : tailor made with Dedar fabrics and soft furnishings. Fur bed cover : Zoeppritz, Orange boxes : Sarah Lavoine, Wall lamps : Stéphane Davidts

Chapel outdoor by David Brenot chapel indoor_by DB Chapel

Chapel, Chateau de Varennes

After the destruction of the village church during the French Revolution, the owners of the Chateau de Varennes decided to rebuild a new church on their premises. Due to various hiccups including the first World War, the Chapel was only completed in 1920 but its timeless architecture took inspiration from the romanesque style of the Middle Ages. The capacity is 80 guests and it is frequently used for many celebrations. It is quite unique that a private chapel can host Catholic weddings and christenings.

Chateau de Varennes cocktail area LD Outdoors

Aerial view Chateau de Varennes

With 100 hectares of private land, the property is offering substantial space for big functions and for practicing various sports including clay-pigeon shooting. A big cocktail area is set in front of the main chateau with fields and woods on one side and French gardens on the other side.

Pool area

Pool area + weddings at Chateau de Varennes

The heated pool is quite large (16m) and is equipped with luxury outdoor furniture by the famous brand Kettal. The fully renovated pool house is featuring a kitchenette, a shower, a changing room and toilets.

www.chateaudevarennes.fr
Images- Alexandra Meurant

Luxe and Stylish- Imperial Hotel, New Delhi

I love nothing more that pure luxury and nothing defines luxury better than the essence and aura of The Imperial, New Delhi. Stroll through the art laden corridors and you will feel history come alive. On arrival, another world opens up filled with Victorian charm and luxury;Intricate details, space and greenery over seven acres of manicured gardens fashion this royal destination-while you revel in the days of the Raj or seek pleasure on your plate at the award-winning restaurants.

The Imperial Facade

Conceptualized in 1934 by Blomfield The Imperial was inaugurated by Lord Willingdon in 1936. Situated on the prestigious Queensway, now Janpath, The Imperial is a fine confluence of a rich historical past with an awe-inspiring heritage and international appeal. It offers an unique experience embracing history delicately cradled in the comfort of modern conveniences. Indeed, it was in Lutyens’ scheme of things to build the most luxurious Hotel in New Delhi with a unique blend of Victorian, old colonial and a playful dosage of informal art deco.

lobby-entrance-hallway, Imperial, New Delhi

The style is decidedly eclectic. The gates and the massive, avuncular bronze lions at the entrance are Victorian. In the high-domed Atrium inside, art deco wall panels and wrought iron balconies recall the early 20th century. Lutyens’ design of the Universe, a masterpiece made with 800 pieces of marble, can be noticed all over the Hotel, including in its rich 24-carat gold leaf form that appears on the rotunda in the heart of the lobby.

Verandah Lounge, The Imperial

The pillared verandahs, dining rooms, tea lounges, Royal Ballroom and cool and spacious gardens have played host to some celebrated encounters between the British and Indian aristocracy and gentry. It was here at The Imperial, where you could click your glasses on the same table as Lord Harding or Gandhi, to the war efforts or to the Quit India Movement. Replete with tableware from London, Italian marble floors, Burma teak and rosewood furniture, fountains from Florence, original Daniells and Frasers on the walls and the best of Indian furniture, The Imperial  – a unique low-rise structure – creates the aura of an early 19th century English manor.

Live kitchen at Daniell's Tavern, The Imperial

Daniell’s Tavern
Daniell’s Tavern at The Imperial comes alive with a brand new look showcasing a Live Kitchen and a menu that revisits India from the eyes of Thomas and William Daniells. This uncle and nephew team came to experience and paint the rich culture and culinary tradition of India’s picturesque locations in 1786, in the midst of colonial era to assist the expanding British Empire. The new menu seeks to define their gastronomic expedition with unique old world specialties from all the cities they visited. With art spread across the restaurant revealing the beautiful journey of Thomas and William Daniell, white hues, dark blue glasses, intricate wood work on the ceiling, together lend an elegant feel.

San Gimignano, The Imperial

San Gimignano
Cradled in the bosom of Tuscany lies a hilltop town, one of the best – preserved medieval towns, called San Gimignano or ‘the city of beautiful towers’. The Imperial’s Italian specialty restaurant of the same name takes inspiration from this lovely city where vineyards and olive grooves flourish. San Gimignano offers a delectable fare blending the delicate flavours of ingredients that are both procured locally and imported from Italy. In an endeavour to present only the best, San Gimignano sources the finest of balsamic vinegar, cheeses, pasta, risotto and olive oils.

1911 Bar, The Imperial

1911
1911 is a landmark year in the history of New   Delhi. It was in this year; on December 12, 1911 that King Emperor George V had declared New Delhi as the Capital of India. Given the historical significance 1911 is a celebration of aesthetics with its rich, choicely done up interiors and cuisine that showcases the ‘melting pot’ culture of Delhi and service that is truly a reflection of Imperial India.The Imperial, has for long, had a ‘relationship’ with period art. In fact, 1911 is an ode to this tradition. It is replete with antiquities dating back to the 1911 Durbar and photographs from the colonial era.

The Spice route, The Imperial

Spice Route
Heralded as one of the top ten restaurants in the world and proclaimed to be the only-one-of-its-kind, The Spice Route is poetry in design.The Spice Route has been designed to reflect the journey of spices from the Malabar Coast in Kerala through Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Indonesia to Thailand and Vietnam.The restaurant is an overwhelming visual depiction of the art and culture that also travelled with the spices through these regions, presented in a folk, religious and cultural fantasy of the Orient. Designed by Rajeev Sethi, the celebrated cultural czar of India, The Spice Route is an architectural marvel that offers a unique dining experience in a distinctively beautiful setting.  The Restaurant is completely hand painted with vegetable and flower dyes by mural painters brought in especially from a temple in Guruvayur in Kerala with a tradition dating back to 3000 years. Food is sacred in Asia. A manuscript of Ramayana in ancient Thai displayed with pride in the Restaurant echoes the sentiment.Besides the stunning décor, The Spice Route boasts a menu that ensnares the taste buds of a seasoned food connoisseur. Do try out their new summer menu you will be satiated with the unique and interesting use of mango blended into Asian cuisine.

Royal Imperial Suite

The Imperial has undergone a major renovation and restoration work in early 2000s under the aegis of Hong Kong based architect Chandu Chhada – an exercise that re-established the splendour of the Hotel as the grandest colonial hotel in Asia. With high ceilings, impeccable décor and equipped with all the facilities and modern conveniences, the 235 rooms and suites, overlooking lush, verdant gardens, bespeak discreet luxury and offer total privacy and serenity. Choicely designed and thoughtfully decorated for the discerning business and leisure guests alike, the distinctive character and charm of the rooms has been achieved by attention to the smallest detail heightened by a warm and personal service by an efficient staff geared to proffer an unparalleled Imperial experience.

Lutyen Suite, The Imperial

A veritable museum with a rare and original collection, The Imperial showcases different forms of art in its rooms, corridors and public areas. Finest 18th and 19th century paintings, lithographs, sculptures and intricately painted murals – all offer a memorable experience to an art aficionado.

Eliza Room- Grand Heritage, The Imperial

Eliza
The Imperial has a special program ELIZA”, for single lady travellers. The lady guest under the program gets enrolled for the uniquely designed privileges coupled with the unmatched Imperial experience, the moment she checks in.The Imperial has taken this value added initiative for our esteemed single lady travellers to provide a distinct “stay experience” associated with comfort, convenience and care, prioritizing their safety.The lady guests are allocated rooms in a “Single Lady Corridor” equipped with CCTV cameras and are provided with special In-room check-in facility. Single Lady Corridor consists of 12 Eliza rooms on the third floor and each room has a separate room door camera installed as an additional security feature.

The Royal Ballroom, The Imperial

Probably the only authentic ballroom remaining in India with a spring floor that reduces noise levels, the Royal Ballroom evokes the splendour of Lords and Ladies bowing and curtseying, before they swirled across the floor to the strains of the waltz. This is where the distinguished guests amused themselves when the Hotel was opened in 1936 and this is the room where the first grand Ball was held. The vast ballroom today, also, serves as a venue for conferences and events of repute, seating up to 400 guests, auditorium style. Conference facilities also include two mid-size conference halls, namely Emily Eden and Hodges, with a seating capacity, theatre style, for 60 and 30 guests respectively and a Boardroom which can accommodate up to six guests.

The Sufi Spa, Imperial

You can rejuvenate at their well-equipped Fitness Centre or use the facilities of the amazing The Imperial Spa An oasis of calmness in the hectic rush of modern living. The Imperial, with a fabled antecedent, is an institution of class: quiet, dignified, serene and elegant. It has played host to business barons, royalty, sports stars and eminent people in the limelight.

Swimming-Pool, The imperial

Called the ‘only’ Garden Hotel of Delhi, The Imperial rests resplendent in beautifully manicured gardens nestled amidst royal palms. The private swimming pool, deep in the shaded grounds of the Hotel, offers a tranquil, rejuvenating experience.The indelible Imperial Experience is geared towards making your visit simply perfect in every possible way. The Imperial is, in itself, a Destination!
For more details check out www.theimperialindia.com

Travel Diaries; Paris, France

I don’t think there is anything I can say which can describe Paris. Nor do the pictures I have actually do justice to some parts of the city. I feel some things I won’t be able to express and others I you might not agree with, so instead decided to leave you with a few images and few quotes which maybe describe Paris. Here is a Photo essay,part one of my Week dedicated to Paris

Travel Paris, www.stylecity.in
A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life-Thomas Jefferson

Travel Paris, www.stylecity.in

Paris… is a world meant for the walker alone, for only the pace of strolling can take in all the rich (if muted) detail. -Edmund White

Travel Paris, www.stylecity.in

Paris is a heaven for all woman’s obssesions: hot men, great chocolates, scrumptuous pastries, sexy lingerie, cool clothes but, as any shoe-o-phile knows, this city is a hotbed of fabulous shoes- Kirsten Lobe, Paris Hangover

Travel Paris, www.stylecity.in

You can’t escape the past in Paris, and yet what’s so wonderful about it is that the past and present intermingle so intangibly that it doesn’t seem to burden- Allen Ginsberg

Travel Paris, www.stylecity.in

Travel Paris, www.stylecity.in

When spring comes to Paris the humblest mortal alive must feel that he dwells in paradise. -Henry Miller

Travel Paris, www.stylecity.in

I like The Eiffel Tower because it looks like steel and lace-Natalie Lloyd

Travel Paris, www.stylecity.in

Even the majestic trees that graced and sheltered her streets were attuned to her–and the waters of the Seine, contained and beautiful as they wound through her heart; so that the earth on that spot, so shaped by blood and consciousness, had ceased to be the earth and had become Paris- Anne Rice, Interview with the Vampire

Travel Paris, www.stylecity.in

For a painter, the Mecca of the world, for study, for inspiration and for living is here on this star called Paris. Just look at it, no wonder so many artists have come here and called it home. Brother, if you can’t paint in Paris, you’d better give up and marry the boss’s daughter―Alan Jay Lerner

Travel Paris, www.stylecity.in

An artist has no home in Europe except in Paris. -Friedrich Nietzsche

Travel Paris,, www.stylecity.in

Paris is always a good idea. -Audrey Hepburn as Sabrina Fairchild in Sabrina

Travel Diaries: Lisbon, Portugal

Walking through the streets of Portugal is like being transferred back into an old historical town straight out of a classic novel. Some of the world’s greatest explorers originated from Portugal and as you walk through this picturesque town of Lisbon, time stands still; you are met with vintage trams, medieval village like areas and really old restaurants and buildings. Here is a photo-essay of my recent trip to this charming European capital.

Travel Diaries: Lisbon Portugal. www.stylecity.in Travel Diaries: Lisbon Portugal. www.stylecity.inTravel Diaries: Lisbon Portugal. www.stylecity.in

A view of the city from the City centre, along with street art (the couple is painted as bronze statues) and cyclists riding through the city.

3Travel Diaries: Lisbon Portugal. www.stylecity.in

3Travel Diaries: Lisbon Portugal. www.stylecity.in

Cafe ‘A Brasileira’  terrace in Lisbon (Rua Garrett 120) with statue of Poet Fernando Pessoa who was once regular customer. His table in bronze was created by Lagoa Henriques. Also the cobbled streets at Rossio Square look like waves, even though they are straight.

3Travel Diaries: Lisbon Portugal. www.stylecity.in

One of the nicest shops I have seen in the longest time is A Vida Portuguesa. I loved this charming store where they have searched through the country for products created and fabricated in Portugal. Products that have been handed down through generations and retain the same original, beautiful and naïve packaging. This is exactly how I imagine StyleCity store to be like, so my definite Style Pick.

Travel Diaries: Lisbon Portugal. www.stylecity.in

Another store which I really liked was the Porcelain store Vista Alegre Atlantis which besides some Portuguese products also had the Christian Lacroix porcelain collection.

3Travel Diaries: Lisbon Portugal. www.stylecity.in

Ajuda palace which was never completed as planned due to exile of the royal family but is yet filled with extravagant decorative art, furniture, statues and chandeliers. It also hosts various exhibits and I managed to get visit the exhibition by Lisbon-based artist Joana Vasconcelos, which was held at Versailles before this and I had mentioned earlier. Then of course Jerónimos Monastery, final resting place of Vasco Da Gama and the wide variety of museums.

Travel Diaries: Lisbon Portugal. www.stylecity.in

Finally A taste of Portuguese Sweet Tradition “Pasteis de Belem” which started in n1837 as a secret recipe from the monastery and continues unchanged till present day.

Travel Diaries- Jodhpur, Rajasthan

Last weekend two of my close friend Gayatri and Jigar went to Jodhpur to attend the Sufi music fest. Anyway, when I saw the pictures and heard their stories I was very keen to share them with you. So here is a Picture essay for you to enjoy the beauty and colours of this gorgeous city.
Images Courtesy Gayatri Ojha and Jigar Mehta

Travel Jodhpur, www.stylecity.in

A view of Jodhpur also called the blue city as alot of its houses have been painted blue.

Travel Jodhpur, www.stylecity.in

They stayed at the lovely Jhalamand Garh Heritage hotel which is about 10 kms from Jodhpur city. It is a Palace that has been converted into a hotel. The courtyard also houses a swimming pool while the entry hall has beautifully painted wall art.

Travel Jodhpur, Heritage hotel, www.stylecity.in

Travel Jodhpur, Heritage hotel, www.stylecity.in

The restaurant in the hotel which apparently has amazing Marwari food. Style Picks- The Pendant lights

Travel Jodhpur, Heritage hotel, www.stylecity.in

The old city circles the Mehrangarh fort which hosted the Sufi music festival.

Mehrangarh fort, Jodhpur, www.stylevcity.in

The fort came alive with Sufi musicians from Turkey, Egypt, Kutch, Afghanisthan

Sufi performers at Mehrangarh fort, Jodhpur. www.stylecity.in

Umaid Bhawan Palace half of which has been turned into a hotel, one of the best in the country

Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur. www.stylecity.in

Puppets and Block printing in the Silvassa village

Puppets at Silvassa village, Jodhpur www.stylecity.in

Block Printing at Silvassa village, Jodhpur www.stylecity.in

My friend Gayatri tried her hand at pottery, and seems she achieved quite a lot in a day (LOL!)

Gayatri tries Pottery at Silvassa village, Jodhpur. www.stylecity.in Pottery at Silvassa village, Jodhpur. www.stylecity.in

Pottery at Silvassa village, Jodhpur. www.stylecity.in

And finally the Opium ceremony- first I heard of this too. So apparently when there is a dispute in a village both parties have opium water followed by tea with the village head and sort the issue.

Opium ceremony   16

5 Best Tourist cities in the World

MariaTravel is still on everyone’s mind. Well it is constantly on mine. Those of you who did not get to travel during the holiday season will get another opportunity during spring, here we have guest writer Maria who gives us some tips for the 5 best tourist cities around the world.Maria is from Manchester,a passionate writer and a blogger.She writes about travel, technology, business, how to make money online and currently writing  on PPI Claims. Follow her at financeport and check out her site  http://www.instant-ppiclaims.co.uk to learn more about insurance claims and how to help you with other insurance matters.

A tourist city is a place of interest where tourists visit, for its inherent ethical values, historical significance, natural or built beauty, or amusement opportunities. Some examples include historical places, monuments, zoos, aquariums, museums and art galleries, botanical gardens, buildings and structures, national parks and forests, theme parks and carnivals, living history museums, ethnic enclave communities, historic trains and cultural events. Many tourist attractions are also landmarks.
There are many tourist cities in the world; some of them are given below:

Paris, France

Eiffel Tower, Paris, stylecity.in

Paris is the capital and largest city of France. It is also called as city of romance. It is situated on the river Seine. Its metropolitan area is one of the largest centers in Europe, with 12 million on population. Today, Paris is one of the world’s leading business and cultural centers. Every year it welcomes almost 1.51 million of sightseers.

Attractions in Paris

  • Notre-Dame, Eiffel tower sacre-coeur and the world-class Louvre and Musée d’Orsay museums offer a healthy dose of culture.
  • Famous French creamy cheeses, rich sauces and aromatic wines are served at any restaurant.
  • Add to this the spectacular scenery which is unforgettable; A simple stroll along the River Seine will lead to some memorable photo-ops.

London, UK

London. stylecity.in
London is the capital city of England and United Kingdom. It is located on the river Thames. London is a leading global city in the world, with strengths in arts, science, education, entertainment, fashion, media, health etc. it has a diverse range of people and cultures, and more than 300 languages are spoken within its boundaries.

Attractions of London:

  • Tower of London is a historic castle on the north bank of river Thames.
  • Buckingham Palace is the principal work place of British monarch located in city of west minister.
  • Piccadilly Circus and Camden Town appeal to those looking for an edgier experience. Check out the original Madam Tussaud’s, along with various museums.
  • It has variety of restaurants which serves different varieties from Indian to Italian cuisine.

New York City, USA

New York skyline. stylecity.inNew York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States with 8.1 million of population in United States. It is America’s cultural hub. It is known for its status as a center for finance and culture and for its status as the largest gateway for immigration to the United States.

Attractions of New York:

  • Metropolitan museum of art is the largest museum, with significant art collections with more than 2 million works.Other tourist must visit are Empire State Building, Central Park, Rockefeller Centre,Brooklyn bridge and statue of Liberty to name some.
  • New York has prestigious shopping districts like Fifth Avenue and SoHo and is consistently ranked among the most expensive shopping streets in the world.
  • It has variety of gourmet restaurants and night clubs to enjoy. From Greenwich village food, to sophisticated bar at Four Seasons to the casual Old town bar and grill all is found in New York.

Singapore city, Singapore

singapore. www.stylecity.in
Singapore is located on an island at the southern tip of Malay Peninsula. It is an island country made up of 63 islands. According to analysis 9.2 millions of people visited Singapore every year.

Attractions of Singapore:

  • It has stunning architecture, food and traditions, the various temples and museums are a must visit, like Sri Mariamman temple, Chang museum.
  • It has leafy forests with wide variety of mammals, reptiles, birds, flora etc. People often visit Singapore to mingle with its wild life sanctuary, like the Botanical gardens, Singapore zoo and Night Safari.
  • Sentosa Island, Universal Studios and Escape Theme Park

Sydney, Australia

Sydney, www.stylecity.in
Sydney is state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and is located on Australia’s south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. It has 4.6 millions of population.

Attractions of Sydney:

  • Sydney Opera House is largely built by Danish architect; it is a multi-venue art center.
  • Manly Beach is located in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Australia, with in walkable distance from there you can find shops, clubs, night dives etc. There are also a lot of other beaches like Cronula beach, Palm beach and Shelly beach to visit.
  • Sydney has a lot of museums to visit like Hyde Park Barrack museum which is a historical site, Sydney cricket ground and Sydney wildlife Sanctuary are other places to visit.