Friday, 17 October 2014

Faith, Flowers and the Market




Just outside Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy, there are rows and rows of vendors selling beautiful fresh flowers for the faithful to take in as offering to Lord Buddha. I was absolutely captivated by the flowers,the different colors of lotus flowers and the sweet, intoxicating scent of jasmine and frangipani.




It's strange when you visit a place, you go with a goal to see certain specific sights and to tick them off your list. But its often the mundane,the simple things that you encounter on the journey that end up leaving lasting memories. A taste, a smell, a conversation... it's these tiny things that you treasure the most.








I guess that quote, "Its not about the destination, it's about the journey to get there" is true, unless of course you are stuck on a plane of course :) Have a great weekend everyone!


[All Images- Shalini Pereira. Please do not use without prior written permission]





Tuesday, 14 October 2014

A Casual Sunday Meet-up @ Bootleggers Republic Cafe



[Image courtesy- Vickrham Vicky]

Let me start by saying, this is not a restaurant review... it's more of me sharing with you the biggest perk of being a blogger... meeting amazing people :)

It may come as a surprise (except for those that know me well) but I'm somewhat of an introvert. Meeting people for the first time is quite stressful for me... in fact when I was younger, a lot of friends thought I was a bit of a snob, until they got to know me better and realised that I was just reserved, and completely stressed out about meeting new people !

As a blogger though, you have to put yourself out there and meet new people. In the beginning it was quite tough... I used to be terrified, and I'd end up not sleeping the night before a meet :) Thankfully I'm pretty much over this fear... that's why I love blogging. I guess it allows me to experience new things, be in new situations and meet so many wonderful, interesting and inspirational people.

Last week I got an invite to attend a bloggers meet from someone I hugely admire and respect... someone with tons of experience in the hospitality industry, Mr Avininder Singh of Escapades of a Foodie Surdie. Avininder ji organised a get together of sorts, especially for bloggers, and graciously hosted by Viju Raj, owner of Bootleggers Republic Cafe. All this inspite of Avininder ji suffering from a hairline fracture in his ankle and being in a lot of pain! It was quite an informal, unstructured meet where we got an opportunity to connect, share opinions and discuss various things happening in the food world, the blogging world and the hospitality industry. But more importantly get to know the person behind the blogs :)

10 bloggers were present, including some who I follow very closely. We started off the afternoon as acquaintances, some of us hadn't ever met, others recognised each other from various Facebook groups and a few were good friends, but by the end of an amazing 3 hours that seemed to fly by, and after some lip smackingly good starters and blissfully well made cocktails, we were chatting like old friends who have met after years and had tons to catch up on. It's incredible how this happens when people who have a similar passion get together... It was a great pleasure to meet the likes of Vickrham Vicky of Food Maniacs, Sudipto De from Hmm, Sidharth Bhan Gupta (Let's Trip), Anubhav Sapra of Delhi Food Walks, Sneha Lata Saikia (The Kitchen Affairs), Rosme Chaube (whatsup Gurgaon), Nimi Vashi, Sangeeta & Kavita Bahuguna (Dine Out Club), Soumbha Ray Chaudhuri of Foodaholix and of course the Avininder Singh, whose incredible idea this was. 

Bootleggers is where Mochas used to be and I've been wanting to visit ever since it opened about a month ago. I had heard that the drinks are amazing and the food, a strong positive in their favour. So it was with high expectations that I got down to tasting. There is nothing like good food and good drink to get foodies talking and sharing :) I really enjoyed a spiced rum based cocktail that reminded me of an old fashioned. It really hit the spot. To be honest, I was enjoying the conversation so much that I don't really remember the other beer based cocktail I tasted. I did however love their Whiskey sour! The starters were really, really good, the highlights being the Sriracha fish, the soy galouti kebabs and the smokey glazed chicken wings. Since this is not a proper review I won't be going into details, but I definitely plan to visit again and do a proper review :) The afternoon was rounded up perfectly with sweet treats by Jasmeen Kaur Malhotra of Cake Couture. 

We ate...




[Image courtesy- Sneha Lata Saikia]


We Drank...





We made merry...



By the time the afternoon came to an end, I felt like I had made a whole bunch of friends who also happened to be bloggers. I look forward to keeping in touch with them all and am happy to have been a part of such a talented, exciting and just a little crazy bunch of food lovers. It was nice spending an afternoon with people who get you and your borderline psychotic love of food,  who don't judge and roll their eyes when you whip out your camera and start clicking at food as soon as it arrives :) Guys we should definitely do this again!


[Unless mentioned all images by Shalini Pereira]

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