English literature studies of Shakespeare’s play “The merchant of Venice” in school had always left me dreaming to be in Venice the City of Islands and waterways where streets should be, once  in my life. Paris though topped my world tour bucket list, Venice was the next and life has been more the kind to offer me a chance to live my dreams. After my 2 days Parisian romance,  next was the floating city of Venice.

We took Transavia flight from Paris Orly to Venice Marco Polo Airport. It was the month of Feb so very cold and there was a long walk from the airport exit to the water taxi boarding point,to reach the city. There are public water taxies operated by Ali Laguna which are slower and have various stops on the way to city however for a faster ride to the city you can book a Private water taxi.


It took us almost an hour to reach our hotel, Hilton Molino Stucky from the Airport. The water taxi experience was novel and to be cherished forever. The Hilton Molino Stucky Venice is an iconic structure, once a floor mill located in the grand canal of the city.  My husband had registered us for the membership of Hilton hotel worldwide and to our delight we got a complimentary upgrade to a deluxe room with canal view. Thanks to my husband for his smartness, he generally enrolls for memberships of hotel chains and frequent flyer programs of airlines to enable us enjoy such perks while on vacations.

Hilton Molino Stucky Venice is a grand hotel with lovely views, roof top open pool, terrace bar with grand canal view. The cherry on the cake is a complimentary water shuttle service for hotel guest to the main square in the city every 20 minutes.

Venice is an island city well connected by water taxies and the very famous Gandolas. It has a lot to offer from gourmet delight to mouth watering pizzas, to lip smacking pasta, focaccia bread, wines, gemstones,leather goods, famous venetian murano glassware and the architectural delight. To add on to the list were the high end fashion stores, the smartly dressed locals, tiny bars brimming with life make it a prefect holiday destination throughout the year. Though we were in venice in the month of feb considered to be an off peak season but the influx of tourists and their undeterred spirit to discover the city was unparalleled.

gelato venice

We were also in high spirits to discover Venice. To start we walked passed the cobbled streets in search for a place to have lunch, as our early morning flight had left us very hungry. We settled down at a small restaurant with quirky decor, soothing music and sumptuous Italian delicacies. Our lunch comprised of pizza, gnocchi along with mulled wine to keep us warm in the bitting cold. The staff was not well versed in english but was warm and courteous.

Venice is well connected by water taxies with stops at all tourist attractions, but walking was our choice as we were transported to a dream world we had always imagined. The sight of Gondola’s  criss crossing the city canals in blue waters was to die for. Finally I was in Venice!!!

In our walking expedition we came across gelato and pastry shops where we relished some of the tastiest cream roll and ice creams forever. The feeling to remain lost in the city forever groped us. The walk and window shopping sessions had again left us exhausted and it was time for a coffee break. The waiters in Venice dress up impeccably, definitely an eye catcher.

We continued our walk to pizza San Zaccaria, clicked lots of pictures and ended up in the same restaurant where we had lunch for some early dinner. We called it an early day after the dinner and took the complimentary water shuttle to the hotel. A steaming hot bath and a cup of green tea was good enough for a heavenly sleep after a tiring day.

Next day we were up early and left for the main square of the town for some authentic local breakfast. We enjoyed focaccia bread and grilled veggie sandwich with hot chocolate for breakfast, to mention here the hot chocolate was not the regular chocolate milk but it was a cup of hot molten chocolate. Next on the itinerary was Saint Marks Square, a UNESCO World Heritage sight. We visited the three major tourist spots at Saint Marks Square including the Saint Marks Basilica, Tore Deliorologio( bell tower ), Dodges Palace and The Bridge of Sighs.

We skipped on the Gondola ride as they are overly priced and not nearly the quite romantic experience you might expect them to be, this was done just out of personal choice. Instead we decided to get lost in the alleys of the Venice again, walking in the direction opposite to the crowd, without a map, i did considered “Get lost in Venice”. Next on the list was some famous Murano glass artifacts shopping ,as time constrained we skipped the visit to the island of Murano on the Venetian lagoon for ourself to see how the famous glass was blown into pieces of arts, rather settled for the souvenirs.


The Rialto Bridge was next and while our ride to Rialto we saw iconic structure of San Simeone Piccolo Church, San Zaccaria Gothic Church. We saw girls dressed up in carnival clothes and masks posing with tourist for a picture after paying some euros. Finally we relaxed in canal side restaurant where we enjoyed bowl of veggie soup with huge portion sized garlic bread which was as good as a meal. We returned to our hotel and explored the hotel a bit. It was about time in this unusual romantic city of Venezia, I would love to return to this city because you can’t seem to get enough of Venice the beautiful city 365 days a year. With a heavy heart and all hopes to return soon we departed to the airport in our water taxi lingering on to the memories of architectural magnificence, candy colored glass artifacts and gourmet delights this Italian city is sure to leave you in awe.


P.S: Staying at Hilton saved us the task to tour the grand canal in a vapouretto a must to do in the list of tourist attraction in Venice ,as the hotel itself is in the grand canal.



IMG_8232Grasse is a hilly town in the French Riviera, renowned as the perfume capital of the world.It is well connected by bus and train to Nice and Cannes, the major cities in French Riviera(Cote d’azur). We stayed in Nice for our French Riviera trip and took a day tour to Grasse from Nice.

Nice to Grasse by bus takes approximately 70 min and the ride is sure to cheer up nature lovers. Grasse owes it fame to the flowers that are grown there for perfume making and is the most sweet smelling town of Europe. The flowers for even Channel No 5 perfume are grown and nurtured in this hilly town of France. Grasse is a small medieval French town and a day at Grasse to visit one of the perfume factories is a must in the itinerary to French Riviera.

The Fragonard, Molinard and Galimard perfumeries in Grasse offer free guided factory tours with basic information about perfume making throughout the year. These tours are carried throughout the day in several languages and are free. However if you wish to spend a day learning the details of scent making and create your own perfume you need to book an appointment which is chargeable. A trained perfumer(Nose) will help you through the process of perfume making while teaching you some basics.


We reached Grasse and a five minute walk downtown led us to Fragonard perfumery where we took a free guided tour in English to learn about the process of perfume making. We visited Grasse in fall season so the flowers we not blooming then, but in summers the tour also includes a visit to the nearby flower farms to see the bloom. The guided tour ended up in a souvenir shop where we could purchase perfume from Fragonard. We shopped perfumes and spend some time walking around the town. In the evening we took the bus back to Nice. Visit to Grasse and learning the basics of perfume making was a very unique and must experience of a lifetime.



My Perfect Lehenga Quest


Every Lehenga has a story behind it and I too have my own tale to tell.It was 2 years ago when my brother in law decided to get married, my hunt for a perfect outfit began. I had lot of options in my mind like a gown, a draped sari, lehenga sari, anarkali, but after a lot of brain storming decide to settle for a lehnega.


A lehenga was my final choice because its comfortable, easy to carry and traditional at the same time. The first part of the search began online to check out the latest trends but sadly what you find browsing the net is mostly not what you actually get in stores.I decided not to be influenced by online designs and make up my mind about the kind of lehenga I wanted only after visiting the stores.

As Chandni Chowk is considered as Mecca for ethnic shopping in New Delhi, I too wanted to have a check on what it had in stores for me. After talking to some of my designer friends I got to know that the shops in Chandni Chowk mostly have sample pieces and fabricate the outfit only after you place an order. So it takes time to deliver the actual piece and if its one of the wedding season in India the wait can be even many months long. Since i didn’t not have much time to spare I decided to look for a Lehenga in the affordable ethic stores of New Delhi, skipping on very big designer names. I did not want to spend fortunes on the Lehenga rather spend the equivalent amount on my over all look including good , footwear and accessaries. I always believe in budget fashion which is appealing and does not rip you of your hard earn money.


The first store i visited was Shakuntalam in Ambience Mall Gurgaon showcasing budding designers collection at affordable price ranges. I am a person who settles down for something after a lot of trial and comparison rest assuring what I pick up is value for money. This piece was an instant connect, I fell for this one the moment i saw it and even imagined my whole D- day look.


Yes! I had found my perfect lehenga, It was a blend of modern silhouettes and traditional red color. Though the color was red, it did not give a bridal lehenga feel or appearance. A full embroidered high-low jacket with red, blue, dull gold embroidery and silver crystals all over, with a plain not too over the top red skirt with satin lining and sleek silver border. The icing on the cake was the designer pre draped blue dupatta with a neck embellishment that was almost like a neckpiece and saved me the hassle and money to wear one.


Moreover while trying it on I realized this was not a one time wear, rather it could be paired up with other pieces to create different looks. I have already created 3 different  looks using the same skirt and even the top can be paired with red or blue silk pants.


The added advantage i got was a 25% silver jubilee discount going on the store. I flaunted my perfect lehenga at the wedding without spending a bomb and wore it at two more occasions later without being repetitive. This was my own story about the quest for my ” Perfect Lehenga “.




Living in Morocco, Spain is just a stone throw away, popular vacation destination from Morocco. Though Spain is just right across the Mediterranean sea we somehow omitted it from our travel itinerary for good two long years before we finally crossed the sea to experience Spain.

Spain is easily accessible from Morocco by flights and ferries, and to try a new mode of transportation we took ferry from Tangier Med to Algeciras, a port town on the coast of Spain. This sea adventure was very comfortable, different with ecstatic views of the sea and I was lucky enough to spot some dolphins. We took a bus from Algeciras to Malaga which is about 3 hours journey but the breathtaking views kept us glued to our seats looking outside the window throughout our journey.


Malaga was our pitstop so we just had one day in Malaga, the hometown of legendary painter Pablo Picasso who spent his childhood there. But the first thing on our mind was to hit the beach because we had waited long enough to be at beaches of Spain, the land of rich culture, architecture, Paella, Sangria and world finest wines. We stayed in Puerta Silken Hotel just 200 meters from the Central train station. On checkin we were given complimentary drinks coupons and were informed that the hotel provided beach towels complimentary which was pretty impressive as hotels across Spain don’t allow hotel towels to be taken to beaches.

We just dropped off our bags in the hotel, freshened up and left for Playa Malageuta, the best beach of Malaga and spent the afternoon at the beach relaxing ,enjoying the atmosphere. In the evening we returned to the hotel showered and dressed up, enjoyed some fine wine at the hotel bar and headed to the old town for an insight of the city. Walking through the cobbled streets we visited the city Cathedral and Chateau. Lastly we were at the central market which was infested with fancy designer stores, bars and restaurants. After a stroll through the bylanes of Malaga we ended our day with Sangria and Paella.

Next morning we headed to the airport after a wholesome and delicious breakfast of Spanish omelette and fresh orange juice.  on completing the checkin and security formalities we were on board our flight to IBIZA. Its a short flight of an hour from Malaga to Ibiza,soon after we took off we were over head the Spanish coast and were left marveling at the spectacular aerial views of the clear blue water, white sand beaches and mountains. In no time the flight was ready to land at Ibiza, the party island,with Yacht and boats all over the blue sea. The final approach to the runway at Ibiza airport overlooks the sea, a sight not to be missed.


The island never sleeps or feels dull, every moment in Ibiza is an experience. The atmosphere in Ibiza was electric and i felt being transported to a different world. Everyone was in a joyous mood, dressed up in the best of beachwear, its certainly party lovers paradise. We checked in our hotel, dressed up and were soon figuring our way in streets of Ibiza to the most celebrated club of the island, USHUAIA IBIZA.

My husband is a die hard EDM fan so we had pre booked our passes to the live concert of HARDWELL- No 2 DJ of the world. In Ibiza the night never seems to end and we partied till late with the best crowd and music, all tired and hungry we left the club and were wondering if we would get some food at that hour of night and were almost taken aback because all restaurants were open, the streets were brimming with life as if it would be at 2 in the afternoon. Young boys and girls were all over partying and having the best times of their life. We had a late dinner /early breakfast;) of Pizza because it was almost dawn. We wen to our hotel to catch on some good nights sleep. The next morning after a super breakfast we hit the Bora Bora beach in Ibiza. The beach is clean with white sand and blue water, we rented beach beds, umbrella and spent the entire day eating, drinking soaking in the water,enjoying the sun,the tan and relaxing.


The restaurants at the beaches had pool parties with free entry, electronic music,food and beverage served right on the beach. It was the perfect summer day out at one of the happening beach of Ibiza. The bikini clad girls flaunting their summer bodies and beach wear the boys were also not behind. The evening was spent strolling across the hippie market having a look at handmade artifacts, clothes and jewelry. We enjoyed some wine and tapas in dinner and left for the airport, for our late night flight to the capital of Spain , MADRID. Its again a short one hour flight to Madrid from Ibiza, while waiting for the departure we recalled our fantastic two days spent in the most lively island of Ibiza, good byes are always hard but i was equally excited to be in the capital city too!!


Madrid is a big city, full of architecture, modern markets, designer showroom, plenty of gardens, restaurants and bars. We stayed in Petit Palace Hotel right at Puerta del Sol, the central part of the city. It was hot during the day so we though it wise to cover the city in the big bus hop on hop off tours. The big bus tour made our site seeing very comfortable with air conditioned interiors, well designed routes, great bus frequency and several points to change routes. We had a 2 day tour pass with commentary in several languages about the history of each monuments in the city. The tour was divided in 2 parts, a modern city tour comprising of the upmarket streets of Madrid, Real Madrid Soccer ground, several museums, libraries, government buildings parks and the second part covered the old town with the palace, cathedrals, markets, squares, theatre, and all ancient architecture. We covered all touristic spots of madrid in 2 days and then ended our visit at Puerta del Sol, shopping and visiting the oldest market of Madrid- Mercado San Miguel, offering some of the finest wines, Paella, Tapas, Meats and the famous Churros with hot chocolate.I tried Sangria with a twist, different from the classic version in this ,wine is mixed with Champagne, served with some fresh marinated green olives.

This was an end to our Spain trip, covering three totally different cities and finally I got a chance to experience Spanish culture and architecture., still a lot left to explore, until next time”AMIGOS ESPANIA”

Royal Palace de Chateau Versailles


My pervious Parisian romance was followed by this chance to experience French royalty. We flew from India to the loving city of Paris@ Qatar Airways A380 super experience and awesome flight. Flying from your home country always ensures excess baggage full of groceries and so we decided to stay in hotel Hyatt Regency at Charles de Gaulle Airport.It was July, a summer day in Paris but some how clouds love us a bit too much and we are always welcomed by them when in paris. After checkin formalities in the hotel we were dead tired so decided to spend the evening exploring the hotel and grabbing on some rest.

The next morning soon after a whole some breakfast we left our hotel taking the complimentary hotel bus shuttle to the train station terminal 2 at the airport. To our luck lady at the ticket counter spoke english and helped us to buy this one week Paris pass zone 1-5 which could be used on all public transport across the city. The best part was this pass was cheaper then 2 day paris pass and could be recharged to be used on our next Paris visit. The airport train line does not directly connect to versailles ,so we took RER B to Notre dame station and from there changed for metro to Versailles. Its easy to locate the station as its the last stop and most of the people get down there.

It is always advisable to book online tickets for any monuments in Paris to avoid long queues and avail discounts. We too booked our Palace tickets prior which saved us all the hassle.The royal garden of the palace however do not have any entry tickets, so if you are not very keen for architectural and historical details you can skip the palace tickets and just  enjoy the breathtaking views of the Royal gardens. Paris is famous for long queues at monuments, we too waited for our turn to enter the Chateau. The chateau is a fine specimen of french architecture and royalty and it was incredible to see all the extravagance and the bling(Gold). We spend the afternoon in the gardens capturing the views and enjoying the cool breeze. When we got all exhausted and hungry we decided to head to Gare du Nord for some Indian food and then to Mont Marte Sacre Coeur Cathedral.













Au Revoir Versailles!!!!!!!!

My Moroccan Hammam adventure……

Morocco is my second home since i got married 2 years back,as my husband is based in Mohammedia a town on the way between Casablanca and Rabat.Morocco is a lovely country with warm people who just adore Indians or “Hindustani” as they prefer .I always enjoy the almost star like treatment I get ,thanks to Shahrukh khan and Bollywood;this part of the world welcomes Indians with open arms

               I had always heard about the mandatory weekly regime of going to the “Hammam” among the locals but being a foreigner with language constraints always prevented me from soaking into the hammam experience as Arabic and French are the spoken languages and English-speaking locals are sparse.

My fantasy of going to the Hammam was curbed for a while until a comrade offered me to join her for a trip to the hammam at weekend.It was an immediate yes ,as it was a longing since i knew about one.The hammams are gender specific ,separate for men and women.They can be categorized as traditional public bath where you shower and clean with many other people or the modern version which is like a spa with privacy.Its advisable to book your sessions at spa as it gets busy at weekends.I was excited for my little adventure trip to the hammam.yes!! it was no less than adventure trip for me.

My friend helped me with the errand of organizing things required for a visit to the hammam. At a hammam you are supposed to carry your shower products,shampoo,after shampoo,face wash,towels ,flip-flops and fresh set of clothes to change and you are good to go.She also helped me with some  hammam etiquettes.A 15 minute of car ride and we were at the hammam spa.The pre booking of session helped us from waiting and in split of seconds we undressed and were in the hammam room.As it was my first visit I was a little hesitant in changing in vicinity of a friend but she made me feel very comfortable and soon I began to enjoy the experience.

A hammam is a large room with sauna ,steam , supplies of hot and cold water ;though I had carried my shower products the special scrubbing glove needed for exfoliation was missing from my hammam products list but my friend was sweet enough to let me use her exfoliation glove , significant of the warmth Moroccans imbibe in them.The ritual is divided in two parts sauvonage+gommage, means soaping+scrubbing.

To get started we applied the black soap lathered up and rinsed.Then we were taken up by the hammam attendant for the scrubbing and I was in a stupor to see the amount of dead skin peel off my body.The hammam attendant even lampooned by saying the dead skin peel was like spaghetti.After the vigorous scrubbing my skin felt smooth, supple,shiny and flawless.I fathomed a new, very clean me.Meanwhile I relaxed in the hot sauna and steam she completed the same liturgy with my friend.

The scrubbing session was followed by a rose-water body rinse,it smelled ethereal and was very soothing.The final step was a rosewater and mud pack.It was a truly pampering and indulgent experience The hammam attendant was very comradely and hospitable,took great care of me.All this was followed by a head and body bath , I was spoiled completely .I had never felt so relaxed and clean,my skin was gleaming .

P.S- Now I know the little secret to glowing skin of Moroccan women.

The Hammam tends to get very hot so we were given cold mineral water bottles a much-needed thirst quencher..We dried and moisturized our body, I changed into a knee-length dress  thinking to flaunt my flawless skin when I was apprised by my friend that it was an etiquette to change into fresh set of pajamas and cover the wet hair with a scarf after hammam, to mention here she was carrying an extra scarf which i used to cover my wet hair.We payed and tipped our hammam attendant , as it ensures quality and personalized service at the next visit and it would have been unfair to the one who left me feeling very clean and beautiful.The day at hammam made me beautiful and flawless.While in Morocco a trip to the hammam is a must ,highly recommended secret to relaxation and pampering.

All images are sourced from the Internet since could not photograph myself in the hammam .












My 2 Day Parisian romance !!


13th feb 2016, was the day to remember forever as the travel plans to the most romantic city of the world “Paris” was finalized and we were all set to board my 1st ever flight to Europe.It would sound cliché but Paris  was  my dream city ever since and this stupor was coming true.The hiatus to be there was worth,as I am firm believer of divine decree.A former cabin crew and not travelled to this part of the world earlier,God had a plan for me and a perfect one.I was to visit my city of dreams for valentines with the love of my life, couldn’t have asked for more.

As travelers we have never made our travel arrangements through agents as we find it too pricey.Thank God for the acumen in Saurabh to spend hours before a trip looking for good flight and hotel deals which saved us a lot of money to expend on our trip later.We took an early morning/late night flight to make the most of our 1st day in Paris, landing at Paris Orly airport we took a shuttle to the city.Tickets to the city shuttle are readily available online or right outside the airport through vending machines.(P.S American express credit cards are not widely accepted across Europe ,so carry the right cards.) We always prefer using public transport over taxis as its better to save on the little we can to fund my shopping errands;)

A fifty minutes of shuttle bus ride with exuberant views of the city we reached our metro stop.As planned we bought a two-day paris metro pass right away because paris is very well-connected by the metro plus tard easy on the pocket.Soon we were walking down the road to our hotels, thanks to google maps navigating is so much easier.A small revelation here ,because of all our walking and use of public transport over taxis I managed to lose some kilo in my Europe trips;sounds nice!!

Day 1 in Paris:

We checked into our hotel room unpacked, showered,dressed-up and in no time were moving for our first Parisian encounter.On the way to the metro station we stopped at a cafe to grab a quick coffee and croissant breakfast.The best thing  about these coffee shops infesting the entire city is they have a very European feel to them.The paris metro map handed over to us at the hotel reception was very helpful through our two days in Paris.Thankfully we had made a check on the city weather before leaving for the trip so the umbrellas we got proved very helpful while it showered.First thing first we boarded the metro to catch a glimpse of the “Eiffel Tower”, one of the most iconic structures of the world.We got down at Tour Eiffel metro station and there was a small walk before we could witness the tower.In my small walk  to the tower I was so caught up by the small souvenir shops that i didn’t realise when the structure was right in front of me.

There were tears in my eyes, as I held onto saurabh’s hand ,for i was living my dream.Life had been kind!! Soon the photographer in us surfaced and we were clicking pictures like fanatics at every possible place in every possible angle and pose.The lift up the tower offering a panoramic view of the city was not going to the top that day so we decided to skip the long queues in the biting cold.There was a maddening number of people selling roses because of valentines making the place more crowded.We made our way to the main boulevard and took a small fancy rickshaw ride (unlike the rickshaw rides in india,though)to the most happening street of Paris” Champs Elysee”.The truly chic upmarket locality left me drooling over every high-end designer store ,the Gucci’s, prada’s,LV’s!!.The people clad in fashionable attire was a fashion lovers treat.After our walk to the Arc de Triomphe, some pictures, little shopping at Sisley paris and Zara we parked ourselves at a cafe flooded with the locals enjoying coffee and snacks after all the shopping.As we are a die-hard fan of south indian food our dinner paradise was Sarvana bhawan in Paris Nord.An indian waiter at the cafe helped us with the metro route to Paris Nord metro station.Its advisable to be careful of all belongings and pickpockets while in metro because they tend to be crowded.The sumptuous dinner of masala dosa , south indian thali , lassi left us full and we called it an early day returning to the hotel exhausted.




It was an early start of the day for the Louvre museum as we had heard about long queues for entrance to the coveted museum.To our disappointment it was already crowded by the time we made it to the Louvre and our early morning effort went in vain.The instant idea of skipping the long queue in the bone freezing cold moving at snail’s pace struck both our minds as we didn’t want to spend valentines in Paris waiting to enter the museum.After our mandatory photo session we took the metro to Jardin de Luxembourg,meaning garden of luxembourg.I was amazed to see despite the chillweather and couple of showers people were all over the park eating ,walking,exercising,maybe it was their idea of valentines.The center of the park overlooked a small pond with swans and remote operated toy boats over the greenish water which was very pleasing to the eyes.The leafless trees in the park would have looked pretty with cherry blossom had been one of the spring days .The cold and showers did not deter us from exploring more and more of the city and we took the metro to our next stop the Notre Dame Cathedral.A monument to marvel at the true essence of French architecture.The aura in the cathedral instilled in me a unique serene peace.We offered our prayers , thanked god for our blessings captured the architectural beauty of the cathedral in our phone and left.Wandering alongside river Seine looking for a place to have lunch we settled in a restaurant overlooking the small shops near the cathedral and feasted on crepe fromage and glasses of vin chaud.We shared a crepe Chantilly for dessert.How can one miss on to the glass of mulled wine while at a winter trip to paris.We continued our walk along the river eves dropping to some electronic music across the street.Almost running past the traffic we found the place where the music came from,it was a festival campaign for some sports clothing line.The energy there was magnetic, young boys and girls exchanging passionate kisses made the environment romantic for valentines.It was almost evening and we were fully exhausted after a complete action packed day with long walks.We went back to the hotel, took a nap, hot shower and were ready again to explore the city by night.

It was valentines eve and we had not seen the love lock bridge “Pont des Arts”,hitting the metro taking directions from few locals we made our way to the love lock bridge, though sadly the locks have been removed as sections of fencing on Ponts des arts crumbled under the locks weight which the people had put.Walking hand in hand with the love of my life at the love lock bridge we locked our Parisian valentines memories forever .We always try to capture the iconic monuments of a city in day as well as night , Louvre was near from the bridge so we clicked images of it all lit up.We ended our two-day valentines special trip to paris at the Eifel tower and it never fails to amaze by its beauty weather day or night.Though two days is not enough time in the most romantic city of the world, we were happy to have covered the major spots although we will love to return to get more of this exuberant city until then its au revoir “Paarreee”.