Friday, 15 December 2017

Revisiting Old World Charm at The Corner Courtyard

Hello Chicas,

A couple of months back I visited a lovely boutique hotel in Kolkata, The Corner Courtyard, to spend a long weekend and came back with such awe-inspiring stories about the property which I thought of unraveling to you'll. The Corner Courtyard is a small boutique hotel located in south Kolkata and has been developed by the restoration of an old Kolkata Bengali landowner's Haveli originally constructed in 1904. Situated in the heart of the city, the hotel is a short taxi drive of approximately 45 minutes from the airport. The hotel has seven rooms, each with a theme based on the city’s colors— Vermilion, Cadmium, Charcoal, Viridion, Crimson, Ivory and Indigo. 

We stayed at the Crimson room which draws inspiration from the architecture of the Writers Building in Kolkata which was built in 1777 by the East India Company. With period furniture and Raj-era letter boxes, the room is designed for people who loves history. 
After checking in, we ordered for breakfast which comprised of some sandwiches and coffee. I was supremely impressed by their prompt service and delicious food. After our breakfast we went on to explore the property further. Although the hotel has been restored with modern amenities, it retains plentiful heritage atmosphere. One entire wall in the restaurant area is covered in door locks and keys, all original fittings of the property. Not just that, the walls are stacked with shelves having old books, vintage phones and cameras. Being a lover of all things vintage, I was in awe of the regal interiors.

After clicking a few pictures we sat for lunch at the restaurant which is popular with both the hotel guests as well as local diners. The restaurant offers European and Continental cuisine. We ordered for chicken stroganoff, nachos, sizzler, oreo shakes and Philadelphia cheesecake. The food served was delicious and I was particularly impressed by the sophisticated plating. The chicken was succulent and juicy but the shakes were a tad disappointing. The only thing I personally feel which they can improve is the number of items in their menu which I found to be very limited. The property also has a bar on the terrace with beautiful seating arrangement done in pastel colors. Being a small boutique hotel, the rooms are confined to first and second floor with basic amenities like WiFi and laundry.

The Corner Courtyard is a confluence of modernity and legacy so visit the property if you want to experience the city in whole new way. The hotel also rent out cars to travel around the city so tourist can easily visit the popular spots such as the Victoria Memorial, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Park Street. 

Picture Courtesy: Jyotika Baijal

The Crimson Room we stayed at!

Breakfast in bed kinda days are the best..

That shower area though!!

Friday, 8 December 2017

What to Wear to a Winter Concert

Hello Chicas,

Trying to decide what to wear to a winter concert can be a bit complicated. I mean we all want to look our best but at the same time need the outfit to be functional and protect us from the cold weather. Apart from that, the outfit also has to be comfortable enough for us to shake a leg throughout the concert.

All black everything is usually a safe bet, as are leather jackets. However, I decided to ditch the conventional layering and got inspired by the Coachella festival. The look I have created is a fusion of the current on trend items (metallic) and bohemian accessories as seen in most of the outdoor music festival. Following the trend of metallic madness, I chose a golden sheer metallic tunic from the fall winter collection of Max Fashion. I am supremely impressed with the winter collection of Max Fashion, from velvet dresses to metallic bombers, they have it all at really affordable prices.  I wore the metallic dress over a black mock neck bodysuit along with a pair of black shorts underneath. If you're in a really cold region, you can always use a pair of denim instead of shorts. 

Making accessories a part of the outfit as another layer enhances the outfit rather than detracting from it. Channelizing my inner bohemian soul, I wore a lot of silver junk jewelry, a dream catcher oxidized earrings, a silver choker and some silver and golden bangles. Further, I went on to add a bowler hat and a black sling purse to complete the look. It's always a good rule of thumb to wear comfortable shoes to a concert. In the winter you want to make sure that those shoes are not only comfortable but that they are warm. I am wearing a pair of thigh high boots which not only looks fashionable but also keep my legs and feet warm. 

Picture Courtesy: Jyotika Baijal



Friday, 6 October 2017

My Kama Ayurveda Skincare Routine

Hello Chicas,

When it comes to skincare, I always tend to be gravitated towards products made of natural ingredients. So when I received the skin care hamper from Kama Ayurveda, I was super excited to try them out. I have never really used any of the products from Kama before and I was looking forward to try them as they offer authentic Ayurvedic products. Their products have received extensive coverage and recognition in various global and Indian publications including US Vogue, French Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and Tatler among others. The hamper which I received had 5 products comprising of Kama Ayurveda Eladi Hydrating Ayurvedic Face Cream, Kama Ayurveda Nimrah Anti Acne Face Pack, Kama Ayurveda Kumkumadi Brightening Ayurveda Face Scrub, Kama Ayurveda Himalayan Deodar Body Moisturiser and Kama Ayurveda Nalpamaradi Thailam Oil. You can read the details of each of the products below. I'll be reviewing each of them later once I have used them for a considerable period of time.




Kama Ayurveda Eladi Hydrating Ayurvedic Face Cream

Product Description

 Made with a blend of pure ingredients, this formula is prescribed in the ancient Ayurvedic text of Ashtanga Hrudayam as the ideal skin treatment of herbs processed in pure Coconut Milk and Sesame Oil. Costus and Cardamom are known for their Varneekarana properties – the ability to enhance skin texture. Costus is especially known for its soothing effect on the skin. Also, contains Aloe Vera which has antiseptic properties, prevents acne, blemishes, fine lines and gives adequate sun protection. Olive Oil derived extracts enable high skin absorption without stickiness or heaviness. Pure essential oils of Rose and Jasmine purify and nurture for a naturally healthy looking skin.

Price

50 grams for INR 1125



Kama Ayurveda Nimrah Anti Acne Face Pack


Product Description

A powerful, effective yet completely natural blend of Vetiver, Ashwagandha, Red Sandalwood, Coriander, Lodhra and Liquorice. The pack works as a treatment for acne, pimples and helps to reduce scars and dark spots. Ashwagandha decreases inflammation, swelling and discomfort while correcting early signs of ageing. Red Sandalwood brighten the complexion and also lightens post-acne scarring. The antibacterial properties of Coriander seeds act as effective treatment for blackheads and prevents hyperpigmentation.

Price

40 grams for INR 1095



Kama Ayurveda Kumkumadi Brightening Ayurveda Face Scrub

Product Description

A luxuriant face exfoliator that combines the potent Ayurvedic Kumkumadi oil with a host of other skin repairing ingredients. Kumkumadi Oil is a miraculous beauty fluid created from 12 precious and rare ingredients to help illuminate complexion, smooth fine lines and other signs of aging while and promoting new cell growth. The finest Kashmir Saffron brightens skin, repairs pigmentation and evens damaged skin with its antioxidant action. Finely ground Sweet Almonds – rich in Vitamins E & D – nourish and nurture while lifting away pollutants and impurities for a glowing complexion.

Price

50 grams for INR 1195

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Festive Style Guide with Max Fashion

Hello Chicas,

Festive season is around the corner and so is the fever to shop to look one's best during the celebration. As a kid, I had always loved festivals for the numerous shopping trips I took with my mother. For me, the best part about the festivities was to get all decked up to attend the Puja and later going out with friends and family for pandal hopping followed by dining at my favorite restaurant. Fast forward to 2017, nothing has changed much except for the fact that I am no more accompanied by Mom for shopping. This year I did my Pujo shopping from Max Fashion from their recently launched festive collection.


Max Fashion celebrated the advent of festive season by launching their new collection. The collection is about bringing back the rich grandeur of Indian tradition yet giving it a modern touch. Max through its ‘Tavisha’ range offers a range of stylized garments comprising classic combinations of voluminous, vibrant and layered skirts with trendy cholis or crop tops, to complete the grand look of the festive season. It is a fusion of tradition and latest trends on the block and you can buy it from your nearest Max stores or online here


From flared maxi skirt to embroidered tops their new collection is all about ethereal timeless textures and classic beauty. Once such outfit caught my eyes when I was there at the Max Fashion Store for their collection launch event. It was a gorgeous maxi skirt in maroon. The skirt was very simple with brocade detailing at the hem, however the voluminous flare made it look so royal. To style the skirt, I picked a black top with a thin strap. The top had golden detailing on it which went well with the Marsala skirt. As I was shooting on a rather sunny day, I tied my hair in a low bun and added a pair of black round sunnies to give a retro look.

I shot the outfit at the Parasnath Jain temple which is located right next to my house. This temple is some 150 years old and its construction was initiated in the year 1867 by Ray Badridas Bahadur. The interiors of the temple has been lavishly decorated with high quality mirrors, multi hued stones and glass made mosaics, while the outdoor area is surrounded with many hued flower gardens and sparkling fountains. The garden itself is decorated with blocks of glass mosaics and silver European-styled statues.  One of the major attractions of the temple is a lamp, which is burning with ghee perpetually inside the sanctum sanctorum, since the inception of the temple in 1867The whole environment of the temple radiates peace and serenity that has a very calming effect on the body and soul.

Enjoy the pictures!
Picture Courtesy: Jyotika Baijal



Thursday, 21 September 2017

Mini Staycation at Raichak on Ganges

Hello Chicas,


I had been yearning for a vacation for the longest time and one fine day I was surprised to receive an invite to review the property Raichak on Ganges. I was super excited to travel after so long and that too, along with my travel bud Jyotika. Raichak on Ganges is a first of its kind development in Eastern India, and was the first in Eastern India to make it to the league of small luxury hotels of the world. It is a 100-acre project being developed by Ambuja Realty. Opened in 1997 as a landmark in West Bengal, today it proudly stands as a piece of art amidst 65 acres of landscaped greenery against the backdrop of the river Ganga and a stroke of the blue skyline beyond.


The property comprises of the Ffort Raichak luxury hotel, a boutique resort called Ganga Kutir and the Anaya destination spa, along with numerous country homes that dot its landscape. The hotel also treasures some memorabilia of the British period, which include a clock, a grand piano, perfume bottles and swords. You can also visit the port city of Haldia situated on the other side of the river Hooghly.

Getting there

Raichak on Ganges is situated just 50 kilometers to the south of this bustling city and is a quick 90 minutes drive from Kolkata. We booked a car to reach the resort and the two way journey cost around INR 3500. As there is no direct route by train to reach Raichak, I feel that renting a car is the safest option. The ideal time of visiting Raichak is during the period between October and March, when the temperature drops down and becomes pleasant.

Day 1 at Ganga Kutir

We were greeted by the staffs with refreshing watermelon welcome drinks and headed towards the Ganga Kutir which boasts of a perfect hybrid of traditional elegance and modern luxury. The resort consists of tastefully done up rooms, a library, as well as a pool whose edge melds into the waters of the river. We stayed at one of the Deluxe rooms which was very spacious and gave a spectacular view of the pool overlooking the river. After taking a tour along this part of the property, we headed off for a quick dip at the pool which was followed by breakfast by the pool area. After freshening up, I dressed up in a comfortable maxi for lunch at Reflection. I was mighty impressed by the buffet spread, they had a special Bengali theme buffet and I really enjoyed the fish curry. Post lunch we clicked some pictures at the garden area. The maxi turned out to be a savior as the weather was quite humid. After a stroll in the garden area we headed out to explore the Ffort area.

Day 2 at Anaya 

We spent our second day at the Anaya Kutir where we got our own duplex. The interiors of the villa has been done in blue and white which exuded Santorini vibes. The ground floor has a living area and a small kitchen while the first floor comprises of the bedroom and the bathroom. I felt the bedroom was too compact with a very little scope for movement inside the room. However, the living area was pretty spacious and it straightaway opened to the courtyard with a huge swimming pool. The Anaya Spa building has the look of a rammed earth construction on the outside. Two types of facades clad its exteriors; red brick and a central dome like structure that is clad in shimmery white mosaic. Day 2 was again super relaxing, spent most of the time lazing around at the villa and spoilt myself with a luxurious spa session at the Anaya Spa by L'occitane. You can read more about my experience at Anaya Spa here. For our meals, we headed to the Reflection at Ffort. Again the a la carte menu was quite impressive with a vast option of different cuisines. We tried a few North Indian dishes and my favorite pick was butter chicken. A special mention goes to the walnut brownie served with salted toffee sauce which was truly heavenly. However, I feel they should work on their breakfast menu. Although there were many Indian options for the breakfast, the English breakfast menu was very limited and not up to the mark.


Things to do at Raichak on Ganges
  • Pari- A river cruise to catch the first rays of the Sun. Pari has a 50 people capacity on the Lower Deck in the Air-condition boardroom. The Upper Deck naturally is open-air and can accommodate 60 people comfortably. It is the perfect set sail experience on one of the most beautiful rivers in the world.
  • River Side Walk- Immerse into the serenity of the Ganges by walking along the pathway, designed exclusively to provide with the best experience of the river.
  • Cycling- Bring back childhood memories as you ride around the beautiful resort, soaking in nature and modernity alike.
  • Paddle Boating- Steer your way through the beautiful waterway at The Ffort Raichak with paddle boats. Another way to revive your childhood memories with your friends and family.
  • Gymming- For all those who like to work out while travelling the Magna Charta Gym offers state of the art equipment to sweat it out.
Raichak on Ganges is a perfect getaway to escape the hustle and bustle of the city life and enjoy amidst the nature. If I had to choose among the two resorts I stayed at, I would pick Ganga Kutir as represents a perfect blend of traditional aesthetics with modern luxury.
Picture Courtesy: Jyotika Baijal

Ganga Kutir

Tired but always ready to pose!:P

Deluxe Room in Ganga Kutir

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Retro Rewind with Zink London

Hello Chicas,

You’ve probably heard the saying “everything old is new again.” The same can be said about design and trends. Trends and fashion statements are constantly in a flux. They change in every era and decade bringing new concepts of style to surface. This year has been all about revival of old trends, right from dramatic sleeves to colorful embroidery. 2017's most popular styles seem to be a mashup of the '70s and the early aughts, with a dash of inspiration from other decades for variety.

Zink London has launched it's Autumn Winter collection recently and I was elated to spot some classic pieces forming a part of their new launch. Positioned as a brand for the young urban woman, Zink London is the style setter and star of your wardrobe. It draws inspiration from the iconic runways of Milan, Paris, London and New York and creates exclusive work-wear and leisurewear ensembles for today’s fashion conscious woman. Whether it's vivid colors or dynamic prints, their delectable assortment of must haves is all about striking a balance between high impact and effortlessly cool. Their new launch has made me go gaga and I thought of sharing the same with you'll and created 3 looks featuring my favorite picks.

The first look is a vintage inspired trend, the dramatic sleeves. This monochrome gingham top took me back to my childhood days. Gingham is enjoying a moment this season, revamped in chic and modern silhouettes. Once associated with Picnic table cloths, this fabric has come a long way. The tiered ruffle sleeves adds up to the otherwise basic monochrome top. I have paired the top with a pinstripe wrap skirt. I think this is the first time I am wearing mismatched prints and boy I'm loving the outcome. I have accessorized the outfit with a pair of silver hoops and same black footwear.