Weekend Trip to Kolkata

History and Culture:

Calcutta was established in the year 1686, as a result of the expansion plans of the British Raj. Job Charnok, an agent of the East India Company chose this place for a British trade settlement. The site was carefully selected, being protected by the Hooghly River on the west, a creek to the north, and by salt lakes about two and a half miles to the east. There were three large villages along the east bank of the river Ganges, named, Sutanuti, Gobindapur and Kalikata. Calcutta derived its name from the last of the village settlements of Kalikata. The word “Kalikata” has origins from the Bengali word “Kalikshetra” meaning Ground of the Goddess Kali. In 1772, Calcutta became the capital of British India, and remained so till 1912, after which the capital was shifted to Delhi. In 1947, when India got freedom and the country got partitioned between India and Pakistan, Calcutta was included in the Indian part of Bengal – the state of West Bengal and became the capital of the state. In 2001, Calcutta was officially renamed Kolkata.

Kolkata is rightly referred as the ‘Cultural Capital of India’, that pioneers the Indian renaissance. It is a city that has nurtured literary and artistic heritage since ages. Durga Puja is the grand festivity of Kolkata and celebrated with pomp. It boasts of the ingenious generations of writers, poets, dancers, singers, musicians, filmmakers, painters, Nobel laureates and many more. Music and dance are the two most integral cultural aspects of Kolkata, and are taught to every Bengali.

Things to see in Kolkata:

Victoria memorial

Tips: The Victoria memorial gallery is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 AM – 5 PM. For foreigners – the entry fee to the museum is Rs. 200/-(per head).

The Victoria memorial gardens are open all days of the week from 5.30 AM – 6.15 PM. Daily ticket : Rs. 10/- (per head, per entry)

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PC: Hindustan Times

Howrah bridge

The iconic landmark of Kolkata has turned 75 this year, making it all the more essential to pay a visit there.

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PC: Travel d’globe

The Marble Palace

Built by an affluent Bengali merchant Raja Rajendra Mullick in a neoclassical style, this incredible building is made up of 26 varieties of Italian marble.

Opening hours: 10 AM – 8 PM

Ticket Price: Free, but a permit must be acquired from the West Bengal Tourism Information Bureau at BBD Bag, Kolkata, at least a day before the intended day of visit since a part of it is still a private residence.

Belur math

Sprawling over forty acres of land on the west bank of the Hooghly River, Belur; the Belur Math in Kolkata is a place of pilgrimage and also the headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission.

Opening hours for museum: Tuesday to Sunday. Morning: 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM, Evening: 3:30 PM to 5:30 PM.

South Park Street Cemetery

The Park Street Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries of Kolkata. The mausoleums and memorials are architecturally impressive and represent the grandeur of the colonial period. It houses the tombs of distinguished expatriates who were once an integral part of Kolkata’s history.

Opening hours: 10 AM – 5 PM

Price: Free

PC: Wikimapia
PC: Wikimapia

Botanical gardens

Kolkata’s lovely 109-hectare Botanical Gardens make for a great place to escape from the city’s frazzling sounds and smells. Founded in 1786, the gardens are home to more than 12,000 plant species.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 6 AM – 5 PM

Price: Rs. 100 for foreigners

Things to do in Kolkata:

Grab breakfast in Chinatown

Known as Tiretti Bazaar, it is the best place grab to a hearty street breakfast of momos (dumplings), sausages or rolls to set you up for a day’s sightseeing.

PC: flippy whale /Flickr
PC: flippy whale /Flickr

Ride the Kolkata Tram

Kolkata is the only city in India where you can ride an electric tram through the streets. The trams have a wide network throughout the city, with stations at all the major junctions. The base fare starts from only Rs. 4. Tram route from Kidderpore to Esplanade takes only Rs. 5.

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PC: qz.com

Go First Edition Book Hunting on College Street

Kolkata’s used books market, College Street, is the second largest of its kind in the world and a book collector’s paradise. Many bookstores here contain rare publications or first editions of books dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries.

Best Places to Eat in Kolkata:

Bohemian

Popularly known for its curious blend of Bengali and Continental cuisine, Bohemian is a favourite amongst Bengalis! Their star dishes are the Kacha Lonka Mangsho, Bhetki, Chital and Cheesecake Malpua. They have a beautiful decor and cozy ambience.

Cuisines: Bengali, Continental, Seafood

Address: 32/4, Old Ballygunge, 1st Lane, Near Bondel Road, Ballygunge, Kolkata

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PC: TripAdvisor

Flurys

Flurys is the perfect location to catch up over a traditional English cream tea or grab a refreshing break from the summer heat with an iced coffee with ice cream. Flurys is also the place to go in Kolkata for weekend brunch, serving its popular English breakfast all day.

Cuisines: Bakery, Continental, Cafe, Desserts

Address: Opposite McDonald’s, 18A, Park Street, Park Street area, Kolkata

Nizam’s  

Nizam’s claims to be the inventor of the famous kathi roll, which has become one of the must-try dishes in Kolkata. Apart from this amazing comfort food, you can also try their delicious Mutton Rogan Josh and Phirni.

Cuisines: Fast Food, Mughlai, North Indian

Address: 24, Hogg Street, New Market, New Market Area, Dharmatala, Taltala, Kolkata

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PC: India Mike

Spice Kraft

This amazing gem located in the Ballygunge area is very evidently an absolute favourite amongst the Bengalis! Ideal for a romantic date, this place is popular for its classy decor and soothing ambience, and a courteous staff. The food here is exceptional, and people love the Shepherd’s Pie, Sushi, Dajaj Chermoula, Spicy Rice, Mousse and Saffron Rice here.

Cuisines: Continental, Asian, Middle Eastern

Address: 54/1/2A, Hazra Road, Ballygunge Phari, Near Hazra Law College, Ballygunge, Kolkata

BarBQ

Kolkata comprises of an amazing blend of different cuisines, and not just Bengali food. There BarBQ to prove that! This awesome Chinese/North Indian cuisine-selling restaurant has some classic favourites such as Chicken Butter Masala, Chicken Hakka Chowmein, Chicken Bharta, Mutton Rogan Josh and Chicken Honey. It’s also loved by the Bongs for its great ambience and friendly staff.

Cuisines: Chinese, North Indian

Address: 43-47-55, Park Street Area, Kolkata

Hotel Recommendations:

Best Budget Hotel: Hotel Cecil

Cecil is a great budget hotel with lots of facilities such as Complimentary breakfast, Air conditioned rooms, Laundry, WiFi connectivity, Television, Call – in doctor and Room service at a very affordable price.

Address: 52/1/1, College Street, Bow Bazaar, Kolkata

Prices: Rooms start from Rs. 2499.

Best Boutique Hotel: The Corner Courtyard

With a range of themed rooms in bright colours and lush, quirky decor, The Corner Courtyard offers a unique Kolkata experience that’s not to be missed. Along with its intimately designed rooms, the boutique hotel is also home to a vibrant restaurant serving a range of local and international dishes.

Address: 92B, Sarat Bose Road, Hazra, Bhowanipore, Kolkata

Price range: Rs. 3,597 – Rs. 5,523

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PC: Conde Nast Traveller

Best Luxury Hotel: Oberoi Grand

Opened in 1888, this luxury heritage hotel is a palatial landmark in the Kolkata and offers well-appointed rooms, excellent dining, great facilities and truly wonderful service a stone’s throw from the main sights.

Address: 15, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, New Market Area, Dharmatala, Taltala, Kolkata

Price range: Rooms start from Rs. 8000.

Insider Tips:

  • India’s coolest Street Art Organisation, St+art India launched itself a couple of days ago in Kolkata with a series of small-scale events in collaboration with Bonjour India and Aravani Art Project, and the theme for the city was “The Unseen”. Started from 4th and ended on 14th February, Kolkata has been witnessing the well-known French artist Chifumi gifting the city walls and its people with beautiful artworks in his famous bright pop art theme. He has been focussing on the lives of people living in the infamous red light districts of the city, thereby attracting the common man’s attention towards the subject, and provoking thought and conversation on the matter.
  • Blue and Beyond is one of the best rooftop restaurants in the city where you can get a bird’s eye view of New Market and see as far as the Victoria Memorial. Although it is pretty during the day, it is ideal during the sunset. The scattered plants and candle-light add to the mood.

Valentines Day Special: Romantic Restaurants in the city

The Tasting Room, Lower Parel

The Tasting Room is a beautiful relaxed place with a hip, vintage atmosphere offering international dishes, wine and cocktails. The Chef serves up scrumptious Mediterranean cuisine, with The the quality and quantity of the food justifying the prices. Its amazing decor, ambience and service is sure to give you and your partner a unique experience. The Tasting Room has an extensively-stocked wine bar with more than 300 wines, making it quite a perfect place to relax and unwind with your partner!

Address: 1st Floor, Good Earth, Raghuvanshi Mill Compound, Senapati Bapat Road, Lower Parel West, Mumbai – 400013

Contact Details: 022 65285284

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PC: Mumbaigo.com

Gadda Da Vida, Juhu

Enveloped by the tall pines, and surrounded by a lovely ambiance, cushioned rattan chairs are positioned for Arabian Sea views at this serene al fresco hotel lounge. Romantic candle light dinners never looked this good! Gadda Da Vida has separate eating and recreation corner, and you can enjoy the DJ and live music acts available for all customers. They serve delectable  Continental cuisine. All in all, this place is a perfect blend of great food and ambiance, and your partner will surely love your date night choice!

Address: Lobby level,Novotel, Balraj Sahani Marg, Juhu Beach, Mumbai – 400049

Contact Details: 022 66934444

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PC: Tripadvisor

Skky by Ramada, Powai

Ensconced within the Ramada Powai, lies one of the suburb’s most romantic restaurants – Skky. As the name suggests, it is an open air restaurant and the views of the city under the sky. They serve delicious South Asian cuisine. Tables here are separated from each other by a range of pretty plants and water islands in order to give privacy to every couple. Take your special one on a beautiful candle light dinner, preferably on a weeknight when the restaurant is emptier and the staff can pay more attention to giving great service.  

Address: Ramada, 16/17, Paspoli, Saki Vihar Road, Powai

Contact Details: 022 61998042

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PC: Eventshigh.com

The Sassy Spoon, Nariman Point

Sassy Spoon is one of the most romantic restaurants in the city, with stunning French-inspired décor with gauzy curtains, chandeliers, fairy lights, a spot of fuchsia furnishing, and a menu offering extensive options – European,Mediterranean, South East Asian and Indian cuisines as per everyone’s taste palette. This outlet at SoBos corporate hub- Nariman Point offers a cozy and romantic setting with al fresco seating and a vertical garden. The interiors boast a trademark wall of crumbling vintage suitcases which you cannot miss! This place has super tasty food with a lovely ambiance, perfect for a special date.

Address: Ground Floor, Express Towers, Ramnath Goenka Marg, Nariman Point, Mumbai – 400021

Contact Details:  099200 03500/022 22888222

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PC: Justdial

Aer, Four Seasons, Worli

Believed to be one most thrilling landscapes all amidst the romantic sojourn, Aer from Four Seasons is one of the most accomplished rooftop eateries in Mumbai. Take your date to this surreal place and enjoy live music and delicious food with bird’s eye view of the Mumbai skyline and a great party atmosphere making it one of the best places to be on Valentines Day! The menu is multicuisine and will be savoured by your date. However, they are currently not serving alcohol, but you can enjoy their wide range of delicious mocktails.

Address: 1/136, 34th Floor, Dr. E. Moses Road, Worli, Gandhi Nagar, Upper Worli, Worli, Mumbai – 400018

Contact Details: 022 2481 8444

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PC: EazyDiner

Tamasha

A romantic dinner under a cluster of beautiful light bulbs? Yes, a thousand times over! The setting in Tamasha is so magical, making it absolutely perfect for a intimate date with your partner. The decor is plush with dangling filament bulbs. The vibe is fun with the DJ playing EDM tracks. They serve fusion food and are famous for serving their dishes infused with alcohol. Specially for Valentines Day this year, they have organised a fun Photo Booth session on 12th and 13th February to make sure all the couples coming in have a great time.

Address: Pandurang Budhkar Marg, Lower Parel, Mumbai – 400013

Contact Details: 082919 00141

PC: Tamasha
PC: Tamasha

Romano’s at JW Sahar

Romano’s at JW Marriott, Sahar takes you to the heart of Italy with its simple and freshly sourced Italian fare. Romano’s is a two storeyed restaurant with the bar and private dining area on the upper level and the dining area with open air kitchen at the lower level.The decor is spacious, very chic and stylish yet warm and inviting. The setting is peaceful and romantic, thus highly recommended for a Valentines special date night. The food is to die for, with the Chef creating a symphony of flavours with the simplest of ingredients.

Address: IA Project Road, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Andheri, Mumbai – 400099

Contact Details: 022 33956233

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PC: Business Traveller

Hakkasan, Bandra

This fine-dining Michelin star restaurant is the epitome of chic understated elegance, thus making it one of the most popular dining destinations in the city. To celebrate this romantic time of the year, they are offering a complimentary glass of sparkling wine to all couples who come in for a special Valentine’s Day date. Hakkasan is also celebrating Chinese New Year upto 4th March with an exclusive signature menu, including dessert and cocktail decorated with a traditional fortune cookie. Take your date here to celebrate Valentine’s Day and make this a day that you will both remember forever.

Address: 2nd Floor, Krystal Building, Waterfield Road, Bandra West, Mumbai – 400050

Contact Details: 022 2644 4444

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PC: Justdial

Valentines Day Specials at Grand Hyatt

Pre-Valentine Party at China House Lounge

China House Lounge invites all super women to celebrate and rejoice over complimentary cocktails at the Pre-Valentine party on February 10, 2018. There will be an amazing Pre Valentine DJ Party for all ladies to let their hair down and party all night long!

For more details, check out their official Facebook event.

Date: 10 February, 2018

Timing: 8:30 PM onwards

Prices: INR 5000 plus taxes per couple

Address: Grand Hyatt Mumbai, off Western Express Highway , Santacruz East, Mumbai – 400055

Contact Details: +91 22 6676 1149

Valentine Day Specials – 14 February, 2018

Celini – Signature Italian Restaurant:

This season, celebrate your day of love with an Unapologetically Italian Valentine Dinner at Celini. Explore a delightful 4 course Italian dinner crafted by Chef Alessandro for an intimate Valentine’s celebration.

Date: Wednesday, 14 February, 2018

Timing: 7 PM – 11 PM

Prices: INR 5888 plus taxes per couple

Address: Grand Hyatt Mumbai, off Western Express Highway , Santacruz East, Mumbai – 400055

Contact Details: 7045950143/22 6676 1149

Fifty Five East – multi cuisine buffet restaurant:

Feast with fabulous flavors this Valentine Day at Fifty Five East – the splendid Treat your special one to a feast of flavours from across the world and savour chef crafted specials at the splendid dinner buffet at Fifty Five East – a multi cuisine buffet restaurant.

Date: Wednesday, 14 February, 2018

Timing: 7 PM – 11 PM

Prices: INR 5555 inclusive of taxes per couple

Address: Grand Hyatt Mumbai, off Western Express Highway , Santacruz East, Mumbai – 400055

Contact Details: +91 22 6676 1149

China House – specialty Chinese restaurant:

Celebrate with your loved one over a chef crafted six course Chinese dinner as Grand Hyatt revels in season of love at China House.

Date: Wednesday, 14 February, 2018

Timing: 7:30 PM – 11:30 PM
Prices: INR 6250 plus taxes per couple

INR 10000 plus taxes per couple at the scenic China House Pagoda with Sparkling Wine (alfresco dining)

Address: Grand Hyatt Mumbai, off Western Express Highway , Santacruz East, Mumbai – 400055

Contact Details: +91 22 6676 1149/ 7045950140

Soma – specialty Indian restaurant:

Rejoice and celebrate the day of love as you savor a chef crafted four course dinner at Grand Hyatt’s Indian specialty restaurant – SOMA.

Date: Wednesday, 14 February, 2018

Timing: 7:30 PM – 11:30 PM

Prices: INR 5888 plus taxes per couple

Address: Grand Hyatt Mumbai, off Western Express Highway , Santacruz East, Mumbai – 400055

Contact Details: +91 22 6676 1149

China House Lounge – lounge & nightclub:

Celebrate the day of love with your beloved with foot tapping music, courtesy China House Lounge’s guest DJ couple this Valentine’s Day. The couple entry fee will be inclusive of appetizers, cocktails and house pours and champagne on arrival.

For more details, check out their official Facebook event.

Date: Wednesday, 14 February, 2018

Timing: 9 PM onwards

Prices: INR 6500 plus taxes per couple

Address: Grand Hyatt Mumbai, off Western Express Highway , Santacruz East, Mumbai – 400055

Contact Details: 022 66761087

The Bar – Anti Valentine Party

Here’s a shout out to all the single ladies and lone rangers to unwind at The Bar, Grand Hyatt Mumbai for an Anti Valentine celebration. Enjoy specially curated cocktails and bring along all your single friends to have a great time together.

For more details, check out their official Facebook event.

Date: Wednesday, 14 February, 2018

Timing: 4 PM onwards

Prices: INR 888 plus taxes

Address: Grand Hyatt Mumbai, off Western Express Highway , Santacruz East, Mumbai – 400055

Contact Details: 022 66761149 / 66761234

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, 2018

Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is India’s largest multicultural festival that takes place at Kala Ghoda in February each year. During my first visit to Mumbai in 2011, I came to the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival and enjoyed a wonderful theater performance in the Horniman Circle Garden. This year’s festival theme is “Hara Ghoda” (Green Horse) which brings to the stage the wonders of nature shown through performance and art. The four elements of nature are depicted through the artistic representation at the festival. It’s the last few days of the art festival and you should make sure to visit it at least once. Details about the program visit their website.

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Newly opened Restaurants in Mumbai

  • Porto & Poie, Juhu

This is a wonderful 100-seater restaurant that is now serving modern Goan and Portuguese cuisine to Mumbaikars. Located in Juhu, this new venture is a brainchild of Chef Gracian D’Souza who travelled extensively through Goa and Portugal to draw up an authentic menu that represents Goa and Portugal.

Address: Juhu Tara Road, Above Royal Garden Hotel, Mumbai – 400049

Cuisine: Goan and Portuguese

Contact Details: 097696 60803

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  • Bombay Vintage, Colaba

A restaurant that boasts of beautiful interiors and impeccable vintage décor, Bombay Vintage is sure to take you back to the vintage colonial Bombay. It will highlight Mumbai’s culture and culinary heritage, and will serve up some amazing Continental as well as Indian, especially Parsi and Malwani fare popular in Mumbai.

Address: Opposite Regal Cinema, Indian Mercantile Mansion, Regal Circle, Madame Cama Road, Colaba, Mumbai – 400001

Cuisine: Continental, Indian

Contact Details: 022 6944 4124

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PC: Justdial
  • The Market Project by Pizza Express, Kurla

The Market Project is a brand new series by Pizza Express located at Phoenix Marketcity, Kurla that serves Italian dishes but with a nice Indian touch. This place, although relatively new, has great reviews already. Courteous staff, regular discounts and comfort food such as pasta and pizza is what is shaping The Market Project into a favourite restaurant for all!

Address: UG-46A, Phoenix Marketcity, Lal Bahadur Shastri Road, Kurla West, Mumbai – 400070

Cuisine: Continental

Contact Details: 022 4089 7500 / 022 33126727

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PC: Trell
  • Nara Thai, BKC

At Nara Thai BKC, you will taste the vibrant exquisiteness of age-old Thai cuisine that blends perfectly with a modern, casual ambience. Nara Thai’s menu offers a diverse range of authentic Thai dishes, with veggies and meat on the menu. Nara Thai is where family and friends can come together over good food and it is a place worthy of a birthday dinner or an anniversary celebration.

Address: Ground Floor, Raheja Towers , Near Dena Bank, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra, East, Mumbai – 400051.

Cuisine: Thai

Contact Details: 022 61378080

PC: Mumbai Foodie
PC: Mumbai Foodie
  • Ark Deck & Bar, Bandra West

The city just got its second floating restaurant called Ark Deck and Bar this January. The boat will be stationed 1.6km away from the Sea Link jetty and will have 100 seats spread over three floors, an open deck bar and a private dining room. The restaurant will offer multi-cuisine food from Italian to Lebanese. This place is perfect for a romantic date with your loved one.

Address: Bandra – Worli Sea Link, Reclamation, Bandra West – 400050.

Cuisine: Italian, American, Mexican, Lebanese

Contact Details: 022 33715979

PC: Mid-Day
PC: Mid-Day
  • 12 Union Park, Bandra West

Union Park is where great food meets a bustling nightlife. The kitchen at 12 Union Park cooks predominantly Chinese and Japanese dishes, and is basically heaven for those who love Asian cuisine. So go on, unwind with your friends and have a relaxed time at 12 Union Park!

Address: 12, Ground Floor, Union Park, Carter Road, Bandra West, Mumbai – 400052

Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Japanese

Contact Details: +91 9664444794 / +91 9664444796

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  • Plate & Pint, Kemps Corner

Plate & Pint serves all-day breakfast! Need we say more? This is a casual dining place that has recently opened, and the cafe has a chill vibe. It’s a great place to catch up with your friend over breakfast, early lunch, or a healthy drink! So next time you’re around in the area, don’t forget to check out Plate & Pint and the extensive menu they have on offer.

Address: 106, Dhun Abad, Bhulabhai Desai Road, Junction of Warden Road & Nepean Sea Road, Mumbai – 400036

Cuisine: Continental

Contact Details: 022 2368 3655

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PC: Vogue India
  • Keiba, Mahalaxmi

Keiba is a newly opened restaurant that takes its cues from the Orient. This swanky restaurant is about more than just the food. It’s about the ambience, music, décor and service. It has indoor seating as well as a beautiful al fresco section. Keiba can be a great choice for an intimate dinner with your friends and family.

Address:  Royal Western India Turf Club, Mahalaxmi, Mumbai – 400018

Cuisine: Asian, Japanese

Contact Details: +91 7400066640/+91 8976040121

  • Kitchen Garden, BKC

Kitchen Garden by Suzette is BKC’s new hip health cafe. The menu is 85% organic with dishes like Offering Bowl (vegan, all sourced from local organic farms), Far East Salad and Green Smoothie Bowl.In a corporate atmosphere, this is a great place for all those who want to eat clean and maintain a healthy lifestyle amidst the crazy work pressure.

Address: Maker Maxity, 3, North Ave, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai –  400051

Cuisine: Healthy Food

Contact Details:  022 6770 2772

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PC: Mumbai Live
  • The Wine Rack, Lower Parel

The Wine Rack in Lower Parel is a wine bar in Mumbai that has an amazingly relaxed and fun vibe. This new bar and restaurant has stocked up 300 vino labels from over 45 regions around the world and serves delicious food curated by former Masterchef Australia contestant and Goa restaurateur Sarah Todd. This is a perfect place for after-work drinks or a special occasion that calls for celebration.

Address: No 8B & 8C, Groundfloor, Phoenix mall, High-street, Lower Parel, Mumbai – 400013

Cuisine: European, North Indian, Continental

Contact Details: 022 33951701

  • Cin Cin, BKC

BKC’s new Italian restaurant is the perfect place to remind you of your dream Italian holiday. There an outdoor section where a bar folds out of white arched windows, and pastel coloured walls and the menu consists of authentic Italian small eats to mains and pizzas, absolutely ideal for a classic Sunday brunch!

Address: Ground Floor, Raheja Towers , Near Yauatcha Restaurant, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra, East, Mumbai – 400051

Cuisine: Italian

Contact Details: 022 69956666

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  • The Urban Foundry, Colaba

Pune’s favourite all-day bar and eatery, The Urban Foundry has opened in Colaba. The food at this restaurant is a perfect marriage of comfort Indian food with flavours from around the world. With edgy and rustic interiors and delectable experiments such as their Edamame Ki Bhel and Bacon Vada Pav, this place sets out a mark for itself.

Address: B-1, Amerchand Mansion, 16 Madame Cama Road, Colaba, Mumbai – 400005

Cuisine: Indian, Asian

Contact Details: 022 61054617

  • The Nutcracker, Bandra

Townies’ go-to place for great breakfast is now here in Bandra! The Nutcracker is a homestyle café that brings the experience of delicious, comfort food designed around eggetarian and vegetarian recipes, with the warmth of a home and a touch of quirkiness. The upcoming Nutcracker at Bandra is inspired from its surroundings of old roof tiled houses with their little gardens. The menu includes an exciting choice of healthy but flavourful dishes like Turkish Eggs, Greek Salad Omelette, Cloud Omelette as well as some indulgent breakfast dishes likesFrench Toast Sticks with Pomegranate Reduction, Caramelized / Multigrain Bagels and Cream Cheese, Apricot and Honeycomb Pancakes. This place is perfect for a breakfast date with your bestie!

Address: C/2 Diamond Arch Cooperative Housing Society, St. John Baptist Road, Reclamation, Bandra West, Mumbai – 400050

Cuisine: American, European

Contact Details: 022 26400432/+912222842430

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Pre-Valentine Cooking Workshop at The Sassy Spoon, Nariman Point

Join The Sassy Spoon, Nariman Point for some pre-Valentine’s Day fun, next weekend! Come on over with a friend, your special someone or just by yourself for a special cooking workshop where their Chefs will teach you how to whip up a delicious 3 course meal!

The workshop includes the following:

  1. A demonstration session of a 3 course Valentine’s Day menu (salad, main course & dessert)
  2. A sampling session of the recipes demonstrated
  3. A complimentary glass of wine
  4. A veg/non-veg appetizer

For more details, check out the event on Eventshigh.

Date: Saturday, 10th February, 2018

Timing: 4 PM – 6 PM

Prices: Rs 1200 (inclusive of taxes) per person.

Address: Ground Floor, Express Towers, Ramnath Goenka Marg, Nariman Point, Mumbai – 400021

Contact Details: 099200 03500

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Valentines Day Gift Guide 2018

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and this is exactly the time when couples start looking for something special to gift their partners. Phoenix Marketcity is the perfect place to find a plethora of options suitable for this beautiful occasion. Here are our favorite things to gift this Valentine’s Day:

  • Kama Ayurveda Valentine’s Day Special Gift boxes

Kama Ayurveda is all set to get you into the Valentine’s Day mood as it has launched their excellent products in beautiful gift boxes specially created for this day full of love. These gift boxes are customisable and their range starts from Rs. 575. This is one of the best ways to pamper your beloved partner and make them feel special. The lovely boxes are packed in special Valentine’s paper bags.  

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  • Caratlane Valentine’s Day Special Fine Jewellery

Caratlane has launched a fine jewellery range specifically for couples, with beautiful rings and pendants. They have a lovely collection such as bracelets with cute cameras and pretty rose gold heart-shaped earrings. This jewellery range starts from Rs. 4500, and is the best way to express your love. After all, nothing says forever like a piece of exquisite fine jewellery.

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  • Handmade India gift pieces

Handmade India has a lovely range of gift accessory pieces perfect for your home. Be it dip bowls or exquisite jewellery boxes made, you can find it all here. The price range begins at Rs. 500. There are also lovely handmade paper books and rosewood boxes that can be gifted by both partners to their better halves.

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  • Accessorize gift accessories

If you wish to surprise your loved one with beautiful chunky necklaces, dainty pendants, bracelets, anklets, earrings, soft scarves and sequined bags – from tote bags to pretty clutches, then Accessorize has a great range of these gifting accessories for your partner. These gift options start from Rs.1500.

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  • Books from Crossword

Books are one of the most unconventional yet perfect gifts to give your soulmate. If your partner is an avid book reader, then he/she is sure to love you for giving such a thoughtful gift. Crossword in Phoenix Marketcity has a wide range of Fiction, Non-Fiction, Romance and other genres of books where you will be spoilt for choice! Books such as Love in the Pink City by Gautami Shankar or I Do What I Do by Raghuram Rajan could be great book options. Prices for books in Crossword start from Rs. 350.

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  • Fossil mens watches

Fossil watches have a beautiful classic design and are the ideal gift for your boyfriend or husband. Some of the bestsellers such as the Modern Machine Automatic Leather Watch for Rs. 19,000 or Townsman Automatic Stainless Steel Watch priced at Rs. 17,000 are available in the Phoenix Marketcity outlet and you can take your partner to try it on.

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  • Colorbar Makeup

Colorbar has a superb range of makeup products that totally suit the Indian skin. Treat your girlfriend or wife to amazing highlighter kits, blush, nail paints and foundation such as the Amino Skin Radiant Foundation and Colorbar Velvet Matte Lipsticks available in a wide range of colours. The product prices start from around Rs. 400.

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  • Ties from Louis Philippe

Louis Philippe has a diverse collection of ties in prints and patterns, solid and pastel colours that you can gift your husband or boyfriend this Valentine’s Day. He will surely love the gift and appreciate your great choice!

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January Favorites

Omg! January is over… Wow, 2018 is rolling… And I am loving it. Lots of fun stuff happening and of course, I went crazy during the End of Season Sales at Phoenix Marketcity. In fact, I met some of you during my shopping trips or accompanied you while buying new sport shoes and what not… You know I spend a lot of time in this mall. So, I decided to share a special kind of monthly favorites with you and that is my JANUARY FAVORITES – Marketcity Edition!

Comfy Sweater from Forever 21

This beautiful sweater is the most comforting piece of clothing I have ever worn. It feels like a warm hug, a cup of hot chocolate while you are cuddled up on the sofa and watching the snow outside… Haha, okay. No snow in Mumbai (unless you go to Snow World) but I still love the sweater and I am actually wearing it a lot these days…

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I do what I do (Raghuram Rajan) from Crossword

I have been ‘complaining’ to my bookworm friend Tatjana that since a few years, I have been reading only non-fiction. And while I have a few novels on my reading list for 2018, my current favorite book is this book by the former governor of the Reserve Bank of India. I am only half way through but I love the crisp, informative, easy to understand and precise way in which Raghuram Rajan shares insights into the Indian monetary, financial and wider economic framework. If you are interested in learning more about India’s economy and politics, this is a great read. (And if you are not so much into this kind of stuff, Crossword has plenty of other options).

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New Frozen Teas at Starbucks

Ladies & Gentlemen, if you don’t know by now that I am a tea lover and I hang out at Starbucks a lot… well, then you are clearly not following me on Instagram. I am super excited about their new frozen teas and my favorite being the Iced Black Tea with Ruby Grapefruit & Honey. If you come to the Starbucks store at Phoenix Marketcity, tell them I sent you. (A brit friend of mine once walked into the store when I was there and since then she always gets a welcome of “hey Gwenda’s friend”…)

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Silver Party Skirt from Forever 21

I bought a disco ball to wear. Hahaha! Seriously, I would have probably never looked at this shiny and sparkly skirt if it was not clearly marked with the word SALE 🙂 I tried it on just for fun… But hey, the deals are a steal during the End of Season Sale. And who knows when I will actually need this disco ball skirt for an event or something. And until then, I wear it when I visit the construction side of our office neighbors 🙂

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The Market Project by Pizza Express

A new restaurant that opened at Phoenix Marketcity this January is The Market Project by Pizza Express. It’s the perfect spot for a lunch with your girlfriends when you need a break from shopping or you can come in the evenings for live music. The main area is a casual al-fresco (well, it’s open to the mall but still super cozy) space but they have a bar section in the back as well which you should definitely check out. My favorites here are the Palak Goat Cheese Pizza, the Santacruz Salad and the Cheesecake. Unlike The Runway Project at the Phoenix Mall in Lower Parel, this restaurant serves delicious Italian food with an Indian twist. But don’t worry… it’s not too Indian, the pizza is very authentic and delicious.

And a little secret… they have a small corner on the left side when you enter the restaurant with cute decor items from Chor Bazaar that you can buy (not sure if you can actually bargain like at Chor Bazaar though).

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Tips to stay fit this 2018

Every New Year, we make resolutions to stay fit and make the new year our healthiest yet. But by the end of the first month itself, all the good intentions go down the drain. Don’t let 2018 pass by just like the previous years. Make this year productive, stick to your resolutions and promise your body that you will keep it healthy and fit. Here are three tips that you can use to stick to your New Year resolutions and exercise more this year:

  • Keep realistic goals

Always swear by this tip. It is very important to know your physical and mental abilities and make goals accordingly. By making unrealistic aims, not only do we fail to follow them but it also causes us to become demotivated towards exercising and leading a healthier lifestyle. Keep achievable goals which will be easier to attain, and then slowly go on increasing the level of difficulty, for example, starting with 1 a kilometre run and gradually increasing the distance or doing 10 push-ups a day and then increasing the number every day. These small wins will make you feel confident that you are taking successful steps towards completing your goals.

  • Get new stylish sportswear

If you’re about to start your new rigorous exercise regime, and need some motivation, then one of the best ways is to treat yourself to some stylish new sportswear! Buying some amazing sportswear such as tees with inspirational quotes, neon coloured shoes, trendy wristbands and other accessories will make you feel good and help boost your willpower to start the routine. You know that Phoenix Marketcity Kurla is my favorite mall and they have a wide range of sportswear brands such as Nike, Adidas, Fila, Puma, Reebok, Speedo, Skechers and more!

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  • Stay accountable

Keep a track of all the exercise and workouts you have been doing. You can keep a diary and track your exercise or use one of the plenty apps to do this for you. Share your happiness by posting a pre and post workout session photo on your social media profiles and tell your friends to keep you accountable. Make sure you don’t miss your workout on any day and be very regular about it. The key is perseverance and the determination to keep yourself healthy. Working out with a friend or your partner also helps you stay accountable and achieve your new year’s resolutions.

Gwenda Glocalista’s Fitness Goals for 2018

My fitness new year’s resolutions are to run 60km in races this year, to exercise 5 times a week, to create a yoga routine (somewhat daily) and to join a football team. Putting it out here on the blog, I hope to stay accountable to all of them!

We are hosting an Expat Business Networking Breakfast

I don’t know about you but in the last 4 years that I have been living in Mumbai, I could not find a single high quality, casual, professional Expat Business Networking event or group. Yes, you have the events by Consulates or Chambers of Commerce and there are plenty of social networking groups for expats. But whether you are brand new in the city or you have been around for some time, you may not want to build your professional network while half drunk dancing on the dance floor.

That is why I partnered up with The Sassy Spoon in Nariman Point to host the first Glocalista Expat Business Networking Breakfast! I am super excited to bring working expats from around the world together and to create a platform for all of us to grow our professional network.

The breakfast takes place on 30 January 2018, 8.30AM to 10AM at The Sassy Spoon in Nariman PointTicket price is 450 INR which includes a breakfast item and a hot beverage. For more information you can check out the Facebook event page or email us.

Glocalista Expat Business Networking Breakfastat Sassy Spoon Nariman Point 30 January 2018

 

GRAND Strawberry dreams come true

I grew up picking strawberries in my own garden in my childhood and it’s definitely one of my favorite fruits (just like mango, sitaphal and pineapple). I am so glad the strawberry season is finally here and I can’t get enough of it.

I recently enjoyed a delicious Strawberry Milkshake at the Gourmet Store at Grand Hyatt (thank you Pratiti for forcing me to not stick to just water during our meeting). It was so simple, yet the most delicious Strawberry Milkshake I have ever had in Mumbai (okay, I must admit – when I pick the strawberries in my own garden it tastes better).

But Grand Hyatt is doing so much more than just “simple strawberry milkshake”. Like always, they are going GRAND. Here is what they are offering this season:

STRAWBERRY TEMPTATIONS AT GOURMET STORE & LOBBY LOUNGE

January 15 – 31, 2018

Celebrate the royal fruit of the season as you savour delightful strawberry-infused specials like strawberry shortcake, strawberry Nutella cheesecake, strawberry & basil margarita, mojitos, smoothies, and more at the Gourmet Store and Lobby Lounge.

STRAWBERRY COCKTAILS AT THE BAR & CHINA HOUSE LOUNGE

January 15 – 31, 2018

Toast to new beginnings with our specially curated berrylicious cocktail collection. Get ready to get a party started at The Bar or indulge in special signatures of the month infused with Strawberries at China House Lounge

STRAWBERRY MASSAGE AT CLUB OASIS FITNESS CENTRE & SPA

January 2018 | INR 4444* | 60 minutes

Relax and pamper yourself with the strawberry massage at Club Oasis Fitness Centre & spa. Feel the benefits of fresh fruity berries against your skin energising your body and soul!

STRAWBERRY FACIAL AT CHRISTIAAN GEORGIO SALON

January 2018 | INR 3999* | 45 minutes

Fight oily skin & revitalize your senses leaving you with a natural glow as you indulge in a strawberry facial at Christiaan Georgio Salon this New Year.

Enjoy an afternoon catching up with friends or indulge in strawberry delights during your business meetings. And then there are the celebrations – a special birthday, anniversary or just because you have had a good week – when nothing else will do except mouth-watering sweet & savoury strawberry delights.

For more information, get directly in touch with Grand Hyatt Mumbai at 02266761234.

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