Monday, April 13, 2015

Ri(t)ch Styles Featured on IFB Links à la Mode: April 9th - Finding Meaning in Fashion Blogging

Update!

My post got featured on Independent Fashion Bloggers Links à la Mode again :) Yayy!! :) My last post that got featured was in this round-up!

There are some really fabulous bloggers who have been featured with me and you can check out their posts below!

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Finding Meaning in Fashion Blogging

This week, many IFB bloggers sought to go deeper than the #OOTD, with shout outs to philanthropic organizations including Scotty’s House and To Write Love on Her Arm—plus we heard some compelling personal stories. Other posts tackled diversity in magazines, the “new sexual revolution,” and older women’s right to wear leggings. On the lighter side, we have our fair (and necessary) share of fashion and beauty tips, trend pieces and news bites. All around, it’s a well-balanced collection of fashion blogger fare. I hope you enjoy! And if your post was chosen, please don’t forget to post the LALM roundup on your own blog (see instructions below)!

Links à la Mode: April 9

Want to be featured in Links à la Mode?
1. Read the clarified rules and submit your links on this page: Links à la Mode.
2. If your link was selected and you need this week’s code, visit this page: Links à la Mode Code.

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Friday, April 10, 2015

Pocket friendly Luxurious Boutique Hotels in Jaipur

Any traveller to the Pink City can see the beauty of Jaipur in its magnificent palaces, forts, hilltops, lakes, food(as shared with you on the thalis in my post here) and of course the beautiful hotels that you can choose from. I love how the influence of the historical palaces and forts has been beautifully imbibed by the hospitality sector in creating world class luxury and boutique hotels in Jaipur. It's nice to feel like royalty once in a while and I know you will love it too. So here are some of my favourite affordable hotels that I or people known to me have stayed in and loved, that will help you plan an absolutely wonderful stay in Jaipur!

Trident

The lovely Trident hotel on way to Amber fort is located bang opposite the Mansagar lake and the view of Jal Mahal Palace from the uber-comfy rooms facing the lake is beautiful. The rooms are spacious with a 'jharokha' style extended window in every room which is perfect to get a gorgeous view of the lake or the gardens depending on which room you have chosen. I had chosen the lake view room and the sunset was one of the prettiest I have seen with the Aravallis in the background. They have a lavish buffet breakfast with health friendly options too which is synonymous with Trident breakfasts across the country. Jal Mahal is their main restaurant which offers authentic Rajasthani dishes but if you interested in some mouth-watering grills and barbeques, The Verandah is where you should head for an al fresco dining experience. You can also laze by the pool and soak in the sun, listen to your music or read a book. The spa is brilliant. All in all this property is ideal when you want to split your holiday between doing touristy stuff, shopping and relaxing. They have some brilliant offers most of the time and room for kids under 12 is complimentary in most cases. Imagine the savings! Room prices per night start at about INR 3,500 depending on the stay duration and package. It is an absolute steal!

Samode Haveli

The Samode Haveli is a luxury heritage hotel housed in a restored 19th century haveli and is located in the centre of the city.It was originally the manor house of the royal family of Samode and the descendants still live there though they have converted the property into a hotel. It still has the unique feature of an elephant ramp. Antique furniture decorates the room, while rich mosaic work and paintings adorn the walls and ceiling. The beautifully decorated bathrooms are lavish and well equipped to make your time within most comfortable. The balconies of the rooms open onto views of the pools, gardens and fountain courts which make for really pretty sights. The main restaurant which was formerly the dining hall of the royals is bedecked with colourful hand-painted murals, where the the chef offers a choice between traditional Rajasthani cuisine and continental food. If you are the tea drinking types like me, then the regal Verandah Lounge is where the afternoon tea is served. For unwinding head the pool or the jacuzzi or the spa. There is a wade pool for the little ones too which is a big factor I need to keep in mind now. Evenings can be fun with the traditional puppet show or a Rajasthani music and dance performance that the hotel arranges for. The hotel is situated at easy access to important monuments like the Hawa Mahal, the City Palace, the Nahargarh Fort and the famous Bapu Bazaar. Room prices start at INR 6,300 but then what you experience in over a 200 year old property can't come cheaper than that.

Lebua Lodge at Amer
This is one of the best boutique hotels that I have seen in the world. It is located on the outskirts of Jaipur city near the Amber fort which is also known as the Amer fort. There is a valley that the fort wall leads to and that is where the Lebua Group has created a geometric wonder.  Amazing looking tents, patterned canvas cubes set over a sculpted landscape in between the hills - sounds incredible doesn't it? It keeps in mind traditional yet modern concepts. Tents have been a regular feature in the hunting lodges and deserts of Rajasthan since centuries and that ideology has been put forward with modern technologies to create the Lebua Lodge experience. The luxurious tents have large bay windows with light filtering latticework and a high ceiling that gives you the feeling of enormous space other than the fact that it is also 500 sqft in area. The interiors are done in leather, wood and shades of brownish reddish stone and you just don't feel like you are living in a tent. A cute looking pavilion with a day bed extends into a private outdoor garden so there is so much more than just the room even if you want to just laze around the room. The Toran restaurant is a beautifully created arch and the food prepared here is with ingredients from their own garden. You can even do a romantic dinner they can organize by the sunken poolside area or a campfire dinner by the historic Amer fort wall. Their spa treatments from la Terre Spa by L'Occitane which you could enjoy in the spa cabana near the pool or in your private pavilion are impeccable and puts you in a state of nirvana. Babysitting options are also available for you to get some moments to yourself. The tent prices start at INR 4500 depending on the offers and these prices took me totally by surprise for an experience this different!

Each of the hotels that I have shared with you are different in their own respects and pocket friendly having the prices of mid-segment hotels in Jaipur while being luxurious. Doing hotel bookings in Jaipur is very simple as each hotel has their own online booking system or you can log onto any of their travel partners and book through them. I hope these inspire you to go check them out and I would love to know your experience.

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Monday, April 6, 2015

The best of Traditional Rajasthani Thalis in Jaipur

Rajasthan is a traveller's delight. Every city you go to  has something really unique to offer be it the history, the geography, the experiences along with the one common thing loved by all - Traditional Rajasthani food!

Jaipur is a part of India’s Golden Triangle and is one of the top five destinations in India in terms of tourism. It is a must go on anyone's bucket list. I have been to Jaipur twice in the last couple of years and food is the first thing on my mind when I land there. After trying and testing a couple of places for various kinds of dishes, I have zeroed down on my favourites though of course I am always open to trying out new places and dishes when I visit next. 


The traditional thali in Jaipur is a must have if you are visiting and here are my favourite places which you must try out!

Chokhi Dhani
Chokhi Dhani is the perfect place for a rustic Rajasthani experience. It is set up like a village and you can experience folk dances, street shows, palmistry, shopping for handmade jewellery and artifacts before you settle for the best part of your visit which is their unlimited thali. When I had visited, I actually sat on a swing hung from the tree, spent sometime with the palmist, shopped for cute handmade jewellery, saw a folkdance and a rope walk, all before heading for my dinner which was something that I had not imagined would be so fabulous. The servers are really friendly and forever smiling and once they start feeding you, they do not stop putting food onto your plate. They urge you to eat more and top every serving with a spoon ful of desi ghee or white butter! The variety is so huge, that you don't know what to eat and what not to eat and everything is so tasty that 'Pet bhar jaaye par man na bhare' which means 'Your stomach gets full the heart doesn't agree'. The main course consists of traditional Rajasthani starters and main course dishes and once that is done, the variety of sweets too is unending. I couldn't get up after my meal because I was so full and it took me a good 10 minutes before I could finally think of making a move back to the car. It costs you INR 600 for an adult and is worth every penny. 
Address: Chokhi Dhani - 5 Star Ethnic Village Resort, 12 Miles Tonk Road, Jaipur

Laxmi Mishtan Bhandar
One of the oldest in Jaipur, this place is known for its sweet shop and restaurant. It is also known as LMB. The thali menu is extensive and the varieties of dal baati churma that they serve is really good. The kadhi pakodi was delicious. My other favourites were the pyaz kachori which is fried in pure ghee and the paneer ghewar which is a speciality. The dahi wadas melt in your mouth and the chaat dishes are tasty too. The lassi is so thick that you have to suck the straw multiple times to get a sip but it is brilliant - one of the best lassis I have ever had! Located in the heart of Johari Bazaar, it is the perfect place to head to after all the wonderful shopping in the market. It costs about INR 450 inclusive of taxes for a thali.
Address: 100, Johari Bazaar, Pink City, Jaipur

Handi Restaurant
This place is a must for non-veg lovers and has an awesome non-veg thali. They serve you 3 authentic non-veg dishes in your thali along with other veg dishes. The Jaisalmeri Lal Maas is to die for and the butter chicken is really tasty. The handi meat is their specialty which is served with smoked charcoal and the Jungli chicken is another to die for dish. You must try the Afghani chicken for starters and the roomali rotis that are paper thin and just melt in your mouth. The Mutton Handi Biryani is another must have from their menu. We had ordered a thali and some a la carte dishes too and so I landed up trying quite a few dishes. Some of the non veg dishes were very spicy but really mouthwatering. I guess its the spice that makes the dish even more flavoursome. The non-veg thali costs INR 550.
Address: Maya Mansion, Opposite GPO, MI Road, Jaipur

I feel like going back to Jaipur just for this yummy food after having described it to you in such detail! Whenever you travel to Jaipur, do try out the authentic Rajasthani food in Jaipur at these places. Most people think that Rajasthani thalis are only veg, but Rajasthani non-veg thalis are quite easily available across the state which I highly recommend. If you also find a restaurant to recommend to me, do let me know so that I can check it out on my next trip to Jaipur.

Bon Appétit! :)

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Pic Source: Pixgood.com

Saturday, April 4, 2015

February 2015 Favourites - Make-up, Skincare and a Perfume!

The favourites is becoming so much fun and trying new products with the thought that I have to choose the best to recommend to you guys is quite exciting. It also makes me think why I like a product over the other and it's actually helping me create a check list of 'must-appeal' in a product. I'm thinking by the end of the year I will do a favourites of the year video too :)

Okay now let me get back to my February 2015 favourites and back to what I was sharing with you. I have make-up, skincare and a perfume this time and some of my favourites are really brilliant products. Check out the video!


While the February favourites have been delayed, the March one will be coming up soon and I have some great products lined up for that too :) In case you have missed my earlier updates, head to my YouTube channel to see them.

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