Will Travel For Food – Where has it taken me…

A few days ago I was invited by my friend and teacher Prof. Kurush Dalal to speak to a class of Travel and Tourism Management students. I was to speak to them about Culinary Travel giving them a writer’s perspective and how to write about food and travel. I don’t know how to teach people to write, but what I know is to tell people the experiences to look for so that they have enough stories to write about. So, as I made the presentation (yes, I HAD to the bit I despise the most!) it started shaping up into what I would do as a culinary travel writer; I spoke about things that I when p keep in mind when planning my trips, stories that I go looking for and the ones that find me instinctively. Places culinary travel has taken me to…

To a humble kitchen in McLeodganj, Himachal Pradesh

After quitting my job in 2016, my first trip was to this dreamy little town in Himachal Pradesh. My only plan here was to eat at the pretty cafes and tiny restaurants and pack-in as many meals as possible in 2 days (also read – Where to eat in McLeodganj). I had another agenda too…to take a cooking/baking class. There are a few Tibetan chefs around and I had read somewhere about Sangye’s Kitchen, a modest little kitchen in the heart of the town. I signed-up for his class to learn Tibetan breads. On that evening, while he taught me to bake using the most baking equipments he had (a gas stove and a pan), Sangye taught me the first lesson of, “start where you are, use what you have.” (also read: Baking bread and learning life’s lessons at Sangye’s Kitchen)

Sangye Tashi

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Traveling in India during monsoons

I have a love-hate relationship with Mumbai’s weather. Every summer I hate it to the core, going into hybernation and refusing to step out of my room. Every monsoon I fall in love with it again, ogling at every green patch I can find, planning trips to the city’s outskirts. Traveling through the Konkan belt during monsoon is bliss and I make it a point to be out there soaking in the weather, even if it’s just for a weekend.

Last weekend I was in Wai, a small town in Maharashtra’s Satara district located on the Krishna river. It’s surrounded by the gorgeous Sahyadris with the clouds floating low, kissing the hills. The site is healing to the eyes and soul with all shades of green vying for your attention. I spent my day walking down to the river, letting my feet soak in its chilled water and inhaling the freshness of my surroundings.

Wai in the Satara district of Maharashtra

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Non-touristy Things to do in Panjim and Old Goa

“Humen saal mein kam se kam do baar Goa zaroor ana chahiye”, remember Sameer’s dialogue from Dil Chahta Hai? It resonates the feelings of almost every Mumbaiite and I am trying to make it my life’s motto, for now, to visit Goa at least once a year if not twice. This time around, since I was staying at Bay 15 in Dona Paula (there’s another post on it, check it out here), I went exploring Panjim and loved what I saw. Here’re some recommendations if you’re looking at some non-beachy and non-touristy things to do in Goa.

See and Do:

Sit on the steps of Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church
This church was built in 1541 as a chapel by the Portuguese and was later converted into a church. The all-white church looks like a giant wedding cake from a distance. Once you’re done lighting candles, sit on the steps and observe the local life and people passing by.

Our Lady Of Immaculate Conception, Panjim

Our Lady Of Immaculate Conception, Panjim

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A Weekend at Bay 15 in Dona Paula, Goa

“The temperature outside is 32 degree Celsius”, the cabin crew announced as my flight landed in Goa. That’s hot, that’s really hot! But then, there’s no wrong weather to head to Goa for a relaxed weekend. So here I was, on my second Goa trip of the year (boy! can I get enough of this place?).

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Lovely Private Cabanas, Bay 15 Goa

In around 45 mins – after a lovely drive – I was at Bay 15, a beautiful property on Odxel beach in Dona Paula. Odxel is a small, secluded, partially rocky beach in north Goa. I was thoroughly impressed with the location, view and the rooms. It’s a small property with beach-side cabanas, a small and clean pool and windows that open to the view of the sea.

The Cabanas:
All the cabanas are of the same size and design with both pool and sea view (latter more expensive, of-course). The interiors are modern with framed pictures of Jim Morrison, Audrey Hepburn and Merlyn Munroe hanging from the wall. The air-conditioned room has a refrigerator stacked with beer, cold drinks, juices and chocolates; tea kettle with tea bags, coffee and sugar; chips and snacks; television with Tata Sky connection; a wardrobe; study table and French window with a small balcony where I spent most of my time looking at the sea and enjoying my beer. Continue reading