November Favourites 2017

Raw Pressery Detox

After drinking Raw Pressery juices “just for fun” for a while now, I finally tried out their Juice Detox. They have multiple options such as Light Cleanse, Deep Cleanse, Fiber Cleanse and Beauty Cleanse. I choose a 1 Day Deep Cleanse (you know I am eating out way to often – so a deep cleanse was needed!). It includes 6 x 410 ml of juice + 1 booster which all have a beautiful name to it:  Trim (9am), Love (11.30am), Flush (2pm), Shield (4.30pm), Glow (7pm) and Lean (9.30pm).

Each bottle lists the exact ingredients of the juice and its benefits. These juices are #allgoodnobad and I absolutely loved doing the juice cleanse. In fact, I am planning to do this once a month now. Maybe not on a Sunday though like this time because it becomes really hard when you are thinking the entire day about Sunday brunches and high teas.

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Bombay Daredevils

Some of you may now that I used to play football (or soccer for my American friends) for many years but after moving to Mumbai I didn’t have a team to play with and so I stopped. Luckily, I am getting back into the game as I started handling the social media accounts of Bombay Daredevils, an Amateur Football Team that is part of the Roots Premier League. It’s so much fun to watch these guys play that I am planning to join one of the female teams of the league next season! As for the Daredevils, you can still watch two games before the season ends. Make sure to like their FB page to get updates on the matches.

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New office

Finally! Our very own Glocalista office is ready. After getting the space renovated since Diwali, we finally moved in last week (on my birthday – Yeah!). We are located right next to the Phoenix Marketcity – let us know if you are in the area. We are still not done decorating but promise – I will share photos soon!

The Hipster Salad

I can’t get enough of this salad. In fact, I celebrated my Birthday by having lunch at Bombay Salad Co and of course ordered the Hipster Salad. If you ask me my three favourite dishes, I would probably tell you Sushi, Dahi Puri and The Hipster Salad from Bombay Salad Co. I mean I love salads anyways but the Hipster salad is so delicious, healthy and good-looking. Seriously!

(Sorry, I know I have already mentioned this in many previous Favourites articles. But I can’t take a chance that even one of you doesn’t know about it.)

China House Lounge

Officially opening only on 02 December, I had a chance to already experience Mumbai’s popular night club that changed into a new avatar. And trust me – you will love it! Stay tuned for a detailed blog post coming up early next week! I am sure China House Lounge will be part of many more Monthly Favorites in 2018.

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A 100 year old bungalow turns into a backpackers hostel in Bandra

At just a 10 minute walking distance from Bandra Railway station, off the bustling Hill Road, you will find one of the oldest houses in the area – the 100 year-old Almeida House, a Portuguese bungalow that has now been converted into Horn Ok Please, a traveller’s hostel.

The navy blue gates open to a super-funky artistic door, that has Horn OK Please written on it in exactly the way that you’d find on any truck in India. This hostel that opened a few weeks ago, serves as a temporary home to travellers from around the world.  

PC: Tripoto
PC: Tripoto

Who started Horn Ok Please?

This is the brainchild of a group of three self-confessed backpackers – Rishab Maskara, Smit Jain and Rohan Shelke. Rishab is also being supported by his wife Adina Goerke, who looks after the decor and other arrangements.

Horn Ok Please was initiated with the aim to offer travellers a new kind of space and comfort in Bandra. It is a subtle mix between a budget-friendly yet homely place.

These three boys are very fond of travelling. They have stayed across various hotels in Europe and Asia. They said that they found this place in December 2015, on the day of Christmas and after going back and forth quite a couple of times, got the space in July just this year. They confessed that the idea of HOP came from a hostel in which they stayed while in Budapest. Despite working hard day and night, it took them around 75 days to set up HOP since they were determined to focus on every detail, and make this place welcoming for its future guests.

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PC: Tripoto

Why this quirky name?

The boys wanted a name which could be understood by everyone. Their list of names mainly included an animal and an adjective.  From Drunk Monkey to Pink Cow, they thought of a number of other names, eventually settling on Horn Ok Please which could be shortened to HOP as well. Their amazing ideology behind this name was the fact that it is a popular phrase and works well in India.

Currently, HOP has space that can host around 24 people, in their dorms. Out of 3 rooms, one is specified for female travellers whereas the other two are mixed.

Expansion plans are already on at HOP and they may open up the first floor by mid-Jan next year.

Facilities available in HOP:

  • Restrooms along with free lockers
  • Equipped Pantry
  • Credit Card accepted
  • Air-conditioned dorms
  • Free wi-fi
  • Breakfast
  • Hot water
  • Books
  • Comfortable beds
  • Showers

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The hostel also has a customized little brochure for every guest that can come in handy while travelling around Mumbai. It has a map of Bandra with a checklist of Things to do, apps you should use and a few of their own favourite places. All this gives you a good idea about all the awesome things to do in and around Mumbai.

HOP is a great budget friendly beautiful home for travellers, while also making sure they feel safe at all times. So if you’re planning a trip to Mumbai but don’t know where to stay, then HOP is the place we’d recommend!

Address: Horn Ok Please Hostel, House No. 22, D Monte St, Santosh Nagar, Bandra West, Mumbai – 400050

Here is the Google Maps link to the hostel.

Phone: +91 9985544000

Email: whatsup@hophostelmumbai.com

Website: www.hophostelmumbai.com

All beds are priced the same at INR 849 inclusive of taxes.

 

Things to do this week in Mumbai (27 November – 03 December, 2017)

27 November, Monday

Head to Caferati at Prithvi Cafe tonight at 7 PM where they are hosting the biggest open mic in the city running since the past 9 years! You can either perform solo or duo, and can present your writing in English, Hindi, Marathi and/or Urdu. To know more about the event, click here.

28 November, Tuesday

A Christmas Pop-Up with a good cause is being organised this Tuesday from 10:30 AM to 3:30 PM, where you will find an amazing variety of gifting, food, clothing options and much more to choose from! For more details, check out their official Facebook event page.

29 November, Wednesday

Get ready for some action as Bombay Daredevils play against the Livepools this Wednesday from 7:45 PM – 9 PM at the Turf Park in St. Andrews, Bandra. Join Gwenda Glocalista as she cheers for her favourite team! For event details, click here.

30 November, Thursday

If you love world cinema, you should definitely attend the film screenings of these three movies – Poussin, Shitao and Vermeer, organised in collaboration with Alliance Française de Bombay, this Thursday from 6 PM – 7:30 PM at the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum. For details, click here.

01 December, Friday

Get ready to have a great time at one of the most fun shopping festivals in Mumbai! The Times Bandra Fest is back again this year from 1st to 3rd December with amazing shopping, food and entertainment options. It is the perfect place to head out with family and friends. For details, check their Facebook event.

02 December, Saturday

Start your Saturday evening early with a Sundowner followed by a 4 course meal, paired with Single malts from the house of Paul John at Mia Cucina from 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM. For information about the event and tickets, click here.

03 December, Sunday

What could be better than a lazy Sunday to indulge in a super delicious brunch? NRI, BKC is hosting such brunches every Sunday from 12:30 PM to 4 PM, and the menu includes a feast of Global Indian & Latin American cuisine paired with refreshing drinks. To know more about the event, check out their official Facebook event page.

Crispy Bombil Fry recipe

Bombay Duck, also known as “Bombil” among the locals of Mumbai, is actually a fish and caught in the waters of the Arabian Sea. The Bombil fish is a species that is found along the coasts of Goa, Karnataka and in some parts of Bay of Bengal, but most primarily off the coast of Mumbai, hence the moniker. It is used to prepare lip-smacking local recipes. The unique feature about this fish is that its flesh is very soft and delicate, unlike the flesh of fish like salmon, mackerel, etc. that can be eaten in a fillet form. Bombil meat can be fried or used in curries. Either way, it is absolutely delicious!

Today we are sharing a traditional Maharashtrian recipe with you that comes directly from the family kitchen of our intern Ruta. Her mother, Sujata Karmarkar, makes a Special Crispy Bombil Fry that is absolute heavenly!

 

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Before we share the recipe with you, here are some tips for buying Bombil:

  • Bombil or Bombay Ducks are available in almost every fish market of Mumbai. Ensuring the quality of the Bombils before buying them is very important. The freshness of this fish is determined by the colour of its flesh. Make sure that the flesh has a pearly white colour, not red and the flesh should be firm and not flaky. You should also make sure that the Bombils do not have a rotten smell.
  • The availability of Bombils depends upon the season. You may not find this fish in the markets during the monsoon season.
  • One plate (locally called vaata) has about 7-8 Bombils. The cost of each plate ranges from ₹75-100. Bargaining is recommended.
  • The flesh of the Bombil fish is a little slimy. Therefore, to make this super-delicious recipe, Sujata strongly recommends everyone to compress the fish before coating it with masala. The process will be described in detail down below in the method section.

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Ingredients for Bombil Fry:

1 plate of medium-sized Bombils, butterflied (slit sideways)

1/2 teaspoon Turmeric

1/2-1 teaspoon Chilli powder (depending on your taste)

3/4 teaspoon Dry Mango powder

1 teaspoon Fish Fry masala

Oil for frying

Salt to taste

1 tablespoon Green Masala

How to make the green masala:

1 cup Coriander

1 inch Ginger

8-10 Garlic Cloves

2 Chillies

Put everything in the mixer and make a paste out of it.

For coating:

Semolina

Rice flour

(Ratio of rice flour to semolina is 1:1.5)

1 muslin cloth for wrapping the fish

Method:

Start the process of compressing the fish by placing the pieces in a muslin cloth. Remember to place the sliced section of the fish on the cloth, and not the other way round. After you have finished wrapping the fish pieces, place a flat board (you can use a vegetable cutting board) on the cloth and keep a heavy weight on it. This process helps the cloth to absorb all the wetness and slime of the fish, leaving you with flat dry pieces of fish. Keep the weight on for about 20-30 minutes. After you have completed this process, remove the Bombils from the cloth and place them in a plate.

It’s time for all the spices to go in. Now add the turmeric, chilli powder, dry mango powder, fish fry masala, green masala and salt, and mix it all well. Make sure that every piece is coated well with the masala.

After this is done, prepare your semolina and rice flour coating, and dunk the fish pieces in the dry flour. In the meantime, you can heat your pans, add oil for shallow frying, and keep them ready. Once all the Bombils have been coated well, place them on the heated pan, and keep a medium flame. Once they are crispy and golden brown on one side, flip it on the other side. After 5 minutes, turn off the gas.

Serve it hot with some amazing homemade dry salad, and your Bombil fry is ready to be devoured! (A 21+ year old add on for this dish is a chilled beer to accompany the Bombil fry.)

Things to remember:

  1. Bombil is a delicate fish, and therefore does not take much time to cook. Keep a close eye on the fish, and when you think the flesh has turned white, and the skin is crispy enough, turn off the gas. Over-frying could end up burning the fish.
  2. This fish fry requires a decent amount of oil to be poured around the fish at regular intervals in order to make the skin crispy. For all those who are on a diet, you have the option to pour less oil. But remember, the skin may not turn out to be as crispy and golden-brown as you’d wished it!
  3. After the process of compressing the fish has been completed and the pieces have been removed from the muslin cloth, it is advisable to throw the cloth away since it might stink later.

Marathi 101 – Basic Marathi words and sentences

For all those living in Mumbai, or coming to Mumbai as tourists, learning Marathi along with Hindi will make your stay in this city easier and much more fun! Speak the language of the locals while in Bombay!

Here are some basic words and sentences that should help you out!

  1. Hello = Namaskaar (नमस्कार)
  2. Yes = Hoy (होय)
  3. No = Naahi (नाही)
  4. Thank you = Aabhaar/Dhanyavaad (आभार/धन्यवाद)
  5. Sorry (for a mistake) = Maaf karaa (माफ करा)
  6. What is your name? = Tumche naav kaay aahe? (तुमचे नाव काय आहे?)
  7. My name is ___ = Maazha naav ___ aahe (माझं नाव __ आहे)
  8. How much is this for? = Hey kitila aahe? (हे कितीला आहे?)
  9. Can you help me? = Aapan malaa madat karu shakaal kaa? (आपण मला मदत करू शकाल का?)
  10. Where are you from? = Aapan kuthun aahaat? (आपण कुठून आहात?)
  11. Go straight! then turn left/right = Saral jaa! Nantar daavikade/ujavikade valaa (सरळ जा! नंतर डावीकडे/उजवीकडे वळा)
  12. Less spicy = Kami tikhat (कमी तिखट)
  13. Can you say it again? = Aapan te punha mhanu shaktaa kaa? (आपण ते पुन्हा म्हणू शकता का?)
  14. What time is it? = Kiti vaazle aahet? (किती वाजले आहेत?)
  15. Can you speak slowly? = Aapan zaraa halu bolu shaktaa kaa? (आपण जरा हळू बोलू शकता का?)
  16. Can you talk in English/Hindi? = Aapan Ingrajit/Hindi-madhye bolu shaktaa kaa? (आपण इंग्रजीत/हिंदीमध्ये बोलू शकता का?)
  17. Where is the washroom? = Bathroom kuthe aahe? (बाथरूम कुठे आहे?)
  18. I love you! = Mee tujhyaavar prem karato (if you are male) / karate (if you are female)! (मी तुझ्यावर प्रेम करतो/करते!)
  19. Happy birthday! = Vaadhdivsaachyaa shubhechha! (वाढदिवसाच्या शुभेच्छा!)
  20. Our Mumbai! = Aamchi Mumbai! (आमची मुंबई!)
  21. See you again = Punhaa bhetu (पुन्हा भेटू)
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PC: Manali Jain

Thanksgiving 2017 in Mumbai

Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States (23 Nov 2017) and originated as a harvest festival. Today it is often celebrated by huge Thanksgiving Parades, Charity Food Drives and Giving Thanks during Thanksgiving Dinners with family and friends.

Thanksgiving in Mumbai 2017

We can’t bring you the famous Thanksgiving Parade to Mumbai but we curated this list of Thanksgiving meals in the city for you:

  • Grand Hyatt in Santacruz East

Grand Hyatt has more than one Thanksgiving special planned for us. At the Gourmet Store, you can buy decadent treats such as the herb-roasted turkey, barbecued ham, chocolate bourbon pecan cake, classic traditional pecan pie, pumpkin cheesecake, festive raspberry ganache tart and more to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with your family at home. For details check the Facebook event.

The Thanksgiving Big Brunch Sunday at Fifty Five East will offer delicious preparations like roasted turkey with cranberry sauce bread sauce, glazed ham and apple marmalade apricot jams, lamb wellington, chicken roulade stuffed with chestnut and dried apricots figs, roasted butternut squash with cranberries, Sautéed assorted wild mushrooms with white wine and chest nuts, honey glazed baby carrots, lamb shepherd’s pie. For details check the Facebook event.

  • Bastian in Bandra

Like last year, Bastian is putting together a wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner. The special menu for the evening will include dishes such as a BBQ Platter, Prawn Boil, Tofu and Paneer and the traditional Turkey. There will be a wide range of favourites such as Mac n Cheese, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, Green Bean Salad, Gluten Free Stuffing and Cranberry Sauce. To end the meal, you will be able to indulge in treats from the Bastian Bakery such as Cookies, an Ice Cream Sundae Bar plus Thanksgiving favorites like Pumpkin Pie and Apple Pie. The meal is priced at Rs. 5,500 per head without alcohol and at Rs. 6,500 per head with alcohol. For details, check the Facebook event. Call 022 26420145 for reservations.

  • Magazine Street Kitchen in Byculla

Head to Magazine Street Kitchen for a splendid Thanksgiving feast! They will be preparing all the Turkey day classics just for you. The menu includes some amazing dishes like Selection of Cold Cuts, Selection of Cheese, Mag St. Breads, Assorted Jams, Prawns, Chilli Garlic, Parsley, Confit Pork Belly, Autumn Greens, Roasted Turkey Breast, Turkey Leg Roulade, Cranberry Sauce, Mashed Potatoes, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie and more! Tickets on Insider (selling out fast).

  • Savor Experiences (delivery)

Order Thanksgiving Lunch from Savor Experiences. The menu reads delicious: Butternut Squash and Sage soup Bread stuffing Roast Chicken or Green Bean Cassoulet Glazed Baby carrot and Snow Peas Roast Sweet Potato with Apple and Cinnamon. Order today for tomorrow. For details check the Facebook event.

  • Burn Kitchen and Malt Room

Head to Burn Kitchen and Malt Room enjoy their Thanksgiving dinner – a specially curated a lavish spread which includes a sparkling wine, two glasses of Red, White wine and select delectable bites, and the star of the day – The Perfect Roast Turkey. Conclude with their sweet-tooth offerings like Spiced Pumpkin Latte Cheesecake. This spread can be availed at INR 2499/- all inclusive. To know more, check their Facebook event.

  • The Boston Butt

The Boston Butt would be a great venue to bring in your family for an intimate and private thanksgiving dining experience this fall. Their chef has included all his classics such as yam crisps, Burgoo stew, dukkah spiced bbq turkey and pumpkin mash. Savour their delicious desserts like their peanut butter-jelly cheesecake with brownie ice-cream and St. Germain elderflower liqueur bundt cake with mascarpone cream cheese and lemon butter ice-cream. For details, check their Facebook post.

Things to do this week in Mumbai (20th November – 26th November, 2017)

20 November, Monday

For all you bookworms out there, there is a BooksByWeight sale at Fabiani Art Gallery, Irla from November 18th to 22nd, 10.30 am – 8.00 pm where you can find a wide selection of pre-owned book that will be sold by the kilo! So make sure you attend this amazing event. For more details, check their Facebook event page.

21 November, Tuesday

The rich cuisine from the Lion City of Asia – Singapore has arrived in Mumbai! Experience the Singaporean Food Festival at Imperial China from 17th to 30th November (dinner only). For reservations and other details, call +91 22 2838 0000 and check their event page.

22 November, Wednesday

Bring in the Christmas season this Wednesday by attending this fun-filled Cake Mixing Ceremony at Oberoi Mall from 5:30 PM. To register, check out their Facebook event page.

23 November, Thursday

Enjoy your Thursday evening as True School of Music is bringing to you The Blind Orchestra Experience from 7 PM to 9 PM. The project is based around a unique concept: All musicians play blindfolded while one musician acts as a conductor and can signal each musician when to play/sing and when to stop. Truly interesting right? Then don’t miss this! for registrations and event details, click here.

24 November, Friday

For all the jazz lovers, there’s a treat in store for you! The International Jazz Festival at NCPA starts from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th November. Famous jazz bands and vocalists, both from India and abroad, will be performing at this festival. Be a part of this amazing event and enjoy this beautiful treat to the ears. For more details about the event, check out their official Facebook event page.

25 November, Saturday

Experience the culture of Japan in Mumbai at the Cool Japan Festival at High Street Phoenix. It’s going to be 6th edition of the festival this year. You will be able to savour delicious Japanese cuisine, witness Japanese culture and a wide range of products. So what are you thinking about? You don’t want to miss this! For more information, check out their official Facebook event page.

26 November, Sunday

Feast on the Thanksgiving Big Brunch at Fifty Five East, Grand Hyatt this Sunday from 12:30 PM – 4 PM. This brunch will offer indulgent preparations like roasted turkey with cranberry sauce bread sauce, glazed ham and much more! The cost of this brunch is INR 2222 onwards, all inclusive of taxes. For more details, call 7045950144 and check their Facebook event page.

Kerala Travel Ideas

Out of all the holiday destinations in India, Kerala is one of the best places to visit. Known as God’s own country, Kerala is home to rich culture and tradition. It is undoubtedly one of the most magnificent places on Earth. There is diversity in its people, culture and history, hence making it a top tourist attraction.

Here are some places that we recommend you to visit in Kerala:

  1. Alleppey Backwaters: This place is well known for its beautiful and serene backwaters. Alleppey is described as one of the best locations in Kerala, fondly called as ‘Venice of the East’ by Lord Curzon because of its wonderful backwater rides on houseboats. You can savour delicious traditional fish recipes while soaking into the beautiful view. You can visit these backwaters in any month. However, October to December is the best time to visit.
    Tourist destinations in Alleppey: Chettikulangara Bhagavathy Temple, Arthunkal Church, Krishnapuram Palace, Pathiramanal, Marari Beach, Sri Krishna Temple in Ambalappuzha.
    Best months to Visit Alleppey: January to December
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  2. Munnar: One of the most popular hill stations in South India and surely one of the best tourist destinations in Kerala. This hill station has a great view of mountain slopes on display. The slopes are covered with about 80,000 miles of green tea farms. There are special arrangements for waterfalls and hiking routes for adventure lovers. It is one of the most unique and picturesque places in India.
    Tourist destinations in Munnar: TATA Tea Museum, Blossom Park, Pothamedu View Point, Attukal Waterfalls, Top Station, Kundala Lake, Mattupetty Dam, Eravikulam National Park, Marayoor Dolmens, Anamudi, Indo Swiss Dairy Farm, Lockhart Gap, Cheeyappara Waterfalls, Life of Pi Church, Meesapulimala.
    Best months to Visit Munnar: January to December
  3. Wayanad: You can surely say that it is a ‘Green Paradise’ in Kerala. An amalgamation of nature and heaven together, Wayanad is a gorgeous destination. It is also rich in tribal heritage. Moreover, it is a popular destination for trekking in the monsoons, thus making it the best season to visit and witness the beautiful scenic beauty it has to offer.
    Tourist Destinations in Wayanad: Thusharagiri Waterfalls, Thirunelli Temple, Banasura Hill, Lakkidi View Point, P Kuruvadweep, Puliyarmala Jain Temple, Kabini, Papanashini River and Padinjarathara Dam.

Best time to visit: October to May (Adventure seekers should visit during monsoon months of July and August to enjoy the perks of trekking and adventure activities.)

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  1. Thekkady – If you are interested in wildlife safaris and exploring nature, you must visit this place! In Thekkady, you will get to see a variety of vegetation and exotic wildlife. If lucky, you may get to watch the near extinct animal species from afar during wildlife safaris in Thekkady.
    Tourist Destinations in Thekkady: Periyar Lake, Kadathanadan Kalari Centre, Elephant Junction, Deepa World Spice and Ayurvedic Garden, Kumily, Ramakkalmedu, Mullaperiyar Dam, Periyar Tiger Trail, Mudra Cultural Centre, Vandiperiyar, Chellarkovil, Murikkady, and Vandanmedu.
    Best time to visit: November to October
  2. Kovalam Beach: For all you beach bums, this is the place for you to be! Kovalam Beach is one of the best beaches in Kerala. It is quite famous for its grand New Year celebrations, relaxing massages, Ayurvedic treatments and water sports.
    Tourist Destinations in Kovalam Beach:  Lighthouse Beach, Hawah Beach, The Lighthouse, Samudra Beach, Thiruvallam Parasurama Temple, Vizhinjam Marine Aquarium, Halcyon Castle, Akkulam Lake, Vizhinjam Fishing Harbor, Kovalam Jama Masjid, Vellayani Lake, Karamana River, Aruvikkara, Rock Cut Caves, and Valiathura Pier.
    Best time to visit: September to May kovalam_city
  3. Bekal: The Bekal Fort is one of the reasons why Bekal is considered a great tourist place. Indian Movies like Rang De Basanti have been shot in these fort premises. Bekal has also been rated as one of the top three honeymoon places in South India.
    Tourist Destinations in Bekal: Bekal Fort, Ananthapura Temple, Valiyaparamba Backwaters, Bekal Beach, Mallikarjuna Temple, Chandragiri Fort, Kappil Beach, Nileswaram, Bekal Hole Aqua Park, and Pallikere Beach.
    Best time to visit: All year round
  4. Kozhikode: Also known as Calicut, Kozhikode is one of the active commercial cities in Kerala. It is famous for its rich culture, historic sites and educational institutions. The architecture of this place has been strongly influenced by the Dutch and the British. The place is also known for its authentic Malabar food.
    Tourist Destinations in Kozhikode: Mananchira, Conolly Canal, Hilite Mall, Kallayi, Thali Temple, Kappad Beach, Kozhikode Beach, Thusharagiri Waterfalls, Sargaalaya, Payyoli Beach, Kozhippara Falls, and Matri Dei Cathedral.

Best time to visit: All year round

Expats Feature: Tatjana Chen from Germany

  1. What’s your name?

Tatjana Chen, or short Tats

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  1. Where are you from?

Berlin, Germany

  1. When and why did you move to Mumbai?

I came a little over 4 years ago. I met my now-husband in Dubai. He moved back to Mumbai and after 2 years of long-distance I decided to move to Mumbai as well. So yes, I came for love… 😉

  1. What was your experience of giving birth to your daughter in Mumbai?

In one word: fantastic! After the initial hick-up of finding a doctor and hospital I felt comfortable with, it was great. Even though family is far away, I had an amazing support system here with my midwives and doctor but moreover with moms I either knew already or met through the many parent-baby-groups. I got an answer almost immediately for any question or concern I had.

  1. How is life with a young child in Mumbai?

So far it’s been great. It is great to have so much help at your hand with maids and nannies, cooks and drivers available. That would certainly not be the case back home. On the other hand you have full-day kindergarten in Germany and to find a decent day-care, especially when the child is still young is not all that easy. There are many places to explore like the different indoor play areas in the city and restaurants are mostly very kid friendly. When I did visit home I loved being able to just take a walk with my daughter in the stroller and I was missing proper sidewalks when I got back. But I was baby wearing right from the beginning and cannot recommend it strongly enough. Great way to move around with the little ones with the additional benefit of having your hands free.

  1. What are your favorite places in Mumbai? (Restaurants, parks, shops, museums, anything and everything)

Oh dear… This might take a while. I am a foodie and with Mumbai’s ever changing and expanding food scene, where do I begin? Well, there is definitely Taj Mahal Tea House in Bandra Reclamation. If I had to choose one place, this would be it. Delicious chais, scrumptious snacks and the gorgeous environment with all its books – there are not enough words to describe it. Other than that, I love the atmosphere in Prithvi Cafe – ha, and there is a bookstore right there, too. When I want to shock friends visiting from abroad, I take them to Pali Village Cafe. Nobody would set foot inside the place looking at it but the food is to die for. When I crave something healthy and light, I am going to Bombay Salad Co. I could go on forever… ha, one more: afternoon tea at the Taj Mahal Palace!

So much about the food. I love reading so I enjoy popping into the various book stores around town, especially Granth and Kitab Khana. My favourite places are the Bandra Fort (great view of the Sea Link) and the Forest Park in Powai (you really feel as if you are in a forest!), and walking through the lanes of Bandra or Kala Ghoda. To get pampered I enjoy a nice foot massage preferably at the Sukho Thai Spa on Turner Road. I am not much for shopping in the big malls. I much rather go for the various pop-up markets and discover smaller brands with a story and beautiful quirky things to sell. One store though, does stand out for me: Good Earth in Lower Parel. The decor, the sounds and scents in the air – even if you don’t buy anything you leave happy and relaxed. Wait, is that why they call it retail therapy?

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  1. What was the biggest challenge for you when you moved to Mumbai? How did you overcome it?

Hmm, I think I had a much easier start into life in Mumbai than most expats. My husband is Indian and so for any questions/challenges/language barriers I had somebody at hand to ask. Also, as he had moved here much earlier, I came into a fully set up apartment, so no concerns like “I need WiFi, NOW”. However, as I was used to working full-time I quickly felt bored but didn’t yet know where to go and what to do. The various expat clubs really helped me, introducing me to people and locations around the city and from there I started off on my own and haven’t looked back since. So in brief: my biggest challenge was where to start exploring 😉

  1. What are your tips for people who are moving to Mumbai to make this city home?

Jump in, deep end, head first! It’s a crazy city (in a good way!) with lovely people and something on offer for everybody. You just gotta find YOUR places and people and you will have an amazing time.

  1. Show us your phone screen: what are your favorite apps to use in Mumbai?

Definitely Google Maps and Uber – the way to find places and get to them. Facebook! Only just because I feel Facebook is a much more used tool in Mumbai than anywhere I lived before. When it comes to sharing events, new restaurants/stores etc., basically whatever happens in the city, you will hear about it on Facebook.

  1. Anything else you would like to share?

#1 I love Mumbai! #2 I am really excited to be joining the Gwenda Glocalista team and spreading my love for the city!

Mumbai for Kids – Part 1

Children’s Day is being celebrated across India today (November 14th) in order to increase awareness of children’s rights, health issues and education needs. If you find yourself, like so often, looking for interesting, engaging things to do for your kid(s) where they learn something new or burn off all that energy, then we have some suggestions for you.

There are of course events put up especially on days like Children’s Day. Check in newspapers and on the Facebook event section or with the various groups you may be a member of (Facebook or What’s App based mommy groups, clubs/gymkhanas, children libraries, etc.) to find out about events in your neighbourhood. If you are staying in a compound with other families or if your kid(s) go to school, check with other parents and the notice board.

sitemgr_kingsley1

If nothing turns up, here are some all-time favourites that almost always work. Right now the weather is pleasant but the hot and humid summer and rainy monsoon will be back so we included some out-and indoor options:

Parks / play grounds:

  • South Bombay: Hanging Garden and the Boot House just across the street, Chowpatty beach
    Bandra: Joggers Park, Bandstand & Carter Road (not parks but plenty of space to run)
    Juhu: Lions Juhu Children’s Municipal Park, Juhu Beach, Juhu Joggers Park
    Powai: Forest Park
  • Some neighbourhoods have lovely little parks and many of them are equipped with at least some basics (swing set, slide, see-saw)
  • Before heading out make sure to check the opening timings (Google Maps is one resource to do that) since most parks close during the day (between 10 am and 3 or 4 pm)
  • Some parks do charge a minimal entry fee (about 5 – 10 Rs). That often means though that they are kept up and tidy.
PC: Parents Magazine
PC: Parents Magazine

Indoor playgrounds:

  • Lower Parel: Funky Monkeys, Millk
    Bandra: My Gym, Hop n Bop, Skipperty Hopperty
    Andheri: Funky Monkeys, Play Around
    Powai: Little Monsters
    Chembur: Hop Skip N Play
  • As mentioned above, the weather in Mumbai makes it tricky sometimes to use parks which is when indoor play areas come in really handy
  • There are options all over Mumbai with quite a high concentration in Bandra and Lower Parel, but also in Powai, Andheri, Chembur and South Bombay
  • Pricing will differ based on location and size of the play area, what time you are visiting (weekday vs. weekend) and how many adults are accompanying the child
  • Many have little cafes in the play area as well (though food and drinks are usually fast-food-like snacks)
  • All kids have to be accompanied by an adult and both, kid(s) and adult(s) have to wear socks.

kids_play_area_funky-monkeys_in_mumbai

Other forms of entertainment:

  • Places of interest: Kidzania, Zoo, Aquarium, Smaaash
  • Classes: Yoga, dance, swimming, music – usually those are not just temporary possibilities but many places offer a free trial or special sessions
  • Camps: Especially during school holidays you will see a lot of information going around on how to keep your little one busy when not in school. Again, Facebook and the mommy groups are the main place to find information.