Most Instagrammable Café’s in Bali

Bali is the mecca of Instagrammable café, I think every café I went to in Bali was Insta-worthy. The interiors of cafés in Bali are minimalistic, having cute corners that you wouldn’t want to leave without snapping for sure. Apart from how all the cafés looking cozy where you could spend hours. The food is SO good!! A lot of cafés are vegan, which have fresh, colourful and perfect plating that you would want to capture before digging in. The best part about most of these cafés is that they’re extremely affordable!! So well, that means you can actually go to all of them! Here, are my few favourites and most instagrammable cafés in Bali.

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  • Kynd Community:
    Kynd Community is a plant based café, one of the most Insta-famous cafés in Bali, they are known for their smoothie bowls with customised letters on it. Trust me, apart from how good the food looks, I was really surprised how much I liked the vegan food here. From freak shakes, burgers, smoothie bowls and of course coffee shop staples for me avocado toast and latte, you get everything at Kynd, this was undoubtedly one of my favourite vegan cafés in Bali and I highly recommend it.
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    Must Have: Gourmet Toasts (leo), Freak Shakes, Berry Tropical Smoothie Bowl, Loaded fries and Big mac
    Location: Jalan Raya Petitenget No.12X, Petitenget, Bali
    Timings: 6am – 5pm, Mon – Sun
    Pricing: $8 – $10 per person
    Instagram Handle: @kyndcommunity
  • Café Organic:
    Café Organic is another vegan and vegetarian cafe in Bali, really cosy and a perfect place to get an early breakfast. This is again another insta famous café in Bali.  Café Organic has a corner with a cute botanical painting, perfect spot to get your picture for the gram and guess what, you can buy yourselves goodies to take back home such their chocotella, granola and a lot of other organic, sugar-free and vegan goodies. #GardenGangstas while posting pictures on your Instagram from here.Cafe Organic
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    Must Have: Super Smoothies, Smashed Avo, Kombucha, Blueberry Pancakes, Earth Bowl
    Location: Jl. Petitenget No. 99X, Seminyak, Bali / Jl. Batu Bolong No. 58X, Canggu, Bali
    Timings: 7am – 4pm, Mon – Sun
    Pricing: $10 – $12 per person
    Instagram Handle: @cafeorganicbali

     

  • Revolver Espresso:
    Revolver Espresso is a must visit for all the coffee lovers! It’s one of my favourite coffee shops in Bali. The dope interiors of bright neon lights, floral painted walls won’t let you leave this place without snapping it, but what’s even cooler is the coffee bar!! Revolver is the perfect place to get your morning coffee or a mid-day coffee fuel paired with a dessert. I could spend couple of hours working here and sipping on coffee and maybe a cocktail or two later! They even host Revolver nights which is a dinner, wine and cocktail menu. Unfortunately, that’s something I missed but there’s next time. And lastly, you can buy their merchandise and take their  roasted coffee back home!!
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    Must Have: Piccolo Latte, Cold Brew ( Best I have ever had), Revolver Coffee Shake, Espresso Chiller
    Location: Jl. Kayu Aya, Gang 51, Kuta Utara, Seminyak, Kabupaten Badung, Seminyak, Bali
    Timings: 7am – 11pm, Mon – Sun
    Pricing: $4 – $6 for coffee, $10 -$12 per person paired with food
    Instagram Handle: @revolverespresso 
  • Sisterfields:
    Sisterfields is literally my favourite breakfast/brunch spot in Bali, it has the best pancakes and french toast I have ever eaten!! Sisterfields is an Melbourne style café, having an indoor and outdoor sections, unlike other cafés the outdoor is surrounded by greenery, try and get a spot with all the plants in the background for your Instagram picture. The staff is super friendly and nice, this place will not be a disappointment for sure! 
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    Must Have: Acai Berry Bowl, Smashed Avocado, Chocolate Brioche French Toast, Pancakes & Red Berries, Charcoal Breakfast Burger
    Location: Jl. Kayu Cendana 7, Seminyak, Bali 80361
    Timings: 7am – 10pm, Mon – Sun
    Pricing: $10 – $15 per person
    Instagram Handle:
    @sisterfields
  • Sea Circus:
    Sea Circus is another insta-famous cafe and bar, known for it’s colourful graffiti exteriors and the pink bench that you probably cannot miss! And as soon as you enter a big pink neon sign says ‘restaurant, cocktail bar and coffee den’ that’s enough for you to know what to expect from this exceptionally pink café. It’s a perfect place to get dinner and drinks, a tip – go early sometimes it gets really busy here, which means queuing up to get a table.
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    Must Have: Acai Bowl with Granola, Pulled Jackfruit Tacos, Rice Paper Rolls, Baked Parmesan Dip, Frozen Margaritas, Pow Wow
    Location: Jl. Kayu Aya, Seminyak, Bali
    Timings: 8am – 1am, Mon – Sun
    Pricing: $15 – $20 per person paired with drinks
    Instagram Handle: @seacircus
  • Mad Pops Bali:
    Mad Pops Bali will be your beat the heat spot, mad pops is a vegan ice cream parlour and trust me you’ll be surprised how good vegan ice cream can be. All their ice cream is non dairy with a cold pressed coconut base made with fresh locally procured ingredients. Get yourself a fresh fruit popsicle or a soft and get your perfect ice cream snap near the neon board that says ‘ice ice baby’. Definitely a go to spot even though it’s not a café, it’s got the Insta-shot aesthetics.
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    Must Have: Matcha Sesame, Mint Chocolate Chip, Popsicles
    Location: Jl. Kayu Aya No. 48, Seminyak, Bali
    Timings: 11am – 10pm, Mon – Sun
    Pricing: $4 – $6 per person
    Instagram Handle: @madpopsbali 
  • Nalu Bowls:
    Nalu Bowls you could probably tell my the name, it’s Bali’s first smoothie bowl shack, even with a limited menu they make some of the most Instagrammable tropical bowls. Apart from Bali, Nalu bowls is available in Jakarta, Ibiza and Portugal. You can only imagine how good their smoothie bowls are. It’s a perfect healthy detox place after a night out in Bali.
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    Nalu bowl
    Must Have: Uluwatu Bowl and J-Bay Bowl
    Location: Jl. Drupadi 1 2A, Seminyak, Bali, also in Canggu and Uluwatu
    Timings: 7:30am – 6pm, Mon – Sun
    Pricing: $4 – $6 per person
    Instagram Handle: @nalubowls 
  • Coffee Cartel Bali:
    Coffee Cartel Bali coffee is a big deal in Bali, and Coffee Cartel is setting a new trend of the ripple coffee, using their ripple machine they churn out the most Instagrammable coffees in Bali, it can be a text or an image, they will have it rippled out on your coffee. This place has the most chilled out, laid back vibe, really pretty plating and the most good looking coffee, you will not leave this place without posting it on your gram!
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    Must Have: Speciality Lattes, Mixed Berry Cheesecake, Banana Bread
    Location: Jl. Lb. Sari No. 8, Seminyak, Bali
    Timings: 6am – 5pm, Mon – Sun
    Pricing: $10 – $15 per person paired with food
    Instagram Handle: @coffeecartelbali

I am sure there are many more Instagrammable cafés in Bali left to discover, incase there are places you’ve been to that aren’t on this list, please leave them in the comments down below, I would love to visit them on my next trip to Bali.

Top 5 Breakfast Places in London

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Well, we all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But you know what’s more important for me, a big Sunday breakfast to cure my weekend hangover and get me prepared for my Monday.

Disclaimer, these top 5 breakfast places are my personal favourites and where I would go eat whilst living in London after a night out, obviously cause who eats breakfast during the week? Not me, weekday morning struggles were too hard for me to make myself some breakfast. Hence, it’s all right to treat myself once in a while. You get what I mean, right?

So, now let’s see my top 5 breakfast places in London.

 

  1. Breakfast Club:
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    This one’s on top of my list when it comes to getting a hearty breakfast, inspired by the 80’s classics, it totally lives up to that and you’d feel like you’re in one of those cosy, American diners where a lot of stories have been told. The interiors have fairy lights, pictures of customers and just amazing vibes breakfast and brunch vibes. And the most fascinating or rather exciting part is there is a secret door at the Liverpool Street Breakfast Club, this secret door is basically a refrigerator, which leads you to a bar section and you could just convert your breakfast into a champagne brunch. It’s really cool and if you’re in London you should definitely check out Breakfast Club. It surely wouldn’t be a disappointment.
    What to order: Egg Florentine, Pancakes and Classic Burgers
    Location: Breakfast Club is at 9 locations across Central London
    Timings: 7:30am – 11pm
    Price: £30 – 40 for two
  2. Dishoom:
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    Dishoom is inspired by Bombay’s Irani cafes from the 1960’s and founded by Zoroastrian expats. Dishoom was my go to place whenever I missed home food. There were detailed interiors, having that old Bombay charm to it. Dishoom isn’t only great for breakfast, but their Indian street food, lunches and dinners. The only downside is, no matter what day of the week it is, it is very likely there will be an hour-long queue. But we all know, those good things are worth the wait, right? No need to worry, while waiting to get a table you’ll get constant refills of hot chai for free! So if you’re missing Indian food on your holiday in London or craving it, I highly recommend Dishoom.
    What to order: Kejriwal, Bombay omelette, Naan rolls and chocolate chai
    Location: Dishoom is at 4 locations across Central London
    Timings: 8am – 11pm
    Price: £30 for two
  3. My Old Dutch:
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    My Old Dutch is what I call ‘pancake paradise’, opened over 50 years ago serving authentic Dutch pancakes in enormous portions here. My Old Dutch is my number one pancake place in London, they have a mind-boggling menu of sweet and savoury pancakes. I can assure you to be confused about what to order off the extensive menu. Cheeky tip there, go with a group of friends make them order everything you would want to try and order for the best, dilemma solved. Also, they have “Madness Monday’s” where all the pancakes on the menu are priced at 5 pounds. It’s a great bargain and a perfect Monday motivator. Forget your diet while going here and just dig in the perfect Dutch goodness.
    What to order: Everything, sorry it’s too hard for me to pick favourites here! But you could order one sweet and one savoury to balance the flavours.
    Location: My Old Dutch is at 3 locations across Central London
    Timings: 11am – 11pm
    Price: £25 – 30 for two
  4. Cereal Killer Café:
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    Now the name gives it all away, this place takes their cereal very seriously. To begin with, let’s talk about their creative interiors, it’s probably one of the reasons why I used to keep going back here. Cereal Killer’s colourful, quirky and artistic décor is done using cereal boxes, milk bottles and artwork made out of cereal itself, I bet you’d take a lot of Instagram-worthy pictures here. Now, this isn’t your average cereal bar, they offer 100 types of cereal, 30 flavours of milk and 20 toppings besides, they internationally ship their cereal so if you’re a big cereal fanatic you can have it shipped at your doorstep. Check this one of a kind cereal café and reminisce your childhood.
    What to order: chocopottomus, unicorn poop or be creative and make your own.
    Location: Cereal Killer Café is at 2 locations in London – Bricklane & Camden
    Timings: Bricklane – 8am – 8pm, Camden – 9:30am – 7pm
    Price: £15 for two
  5. The Ivy Chelsea Garden:
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    The Ivy is a posh, sophisticated Richard Caring’s Ivy franchise that serves European continental food, lot’s of truffles (duh, it’s a fancy place) and smashing brunches. This isn’t the kind of place you’d want to go in your jumper and smudged mascara from the previous night! Here, you want to put on a cute dress and on and go for a special occasion. It’s a lovely place to go to on a sunny summer afternoon as they have an outdoor garden and rooftop space. The interiors are very eye catching and elegant having a Persian feel, and a lot of plants, greenery and garden elements around you. They’ve got a tantalising menu to fit for everyone. I would suggest giving this place a shot for your birthday or any occasion per say. A tip, always try and get a table outside.
    What to order: Truffled eggs, Avacado and tomato toasts, mushrooms on toast and a glass of rosé, please!
    Location: 197, King’s Road, Chelsea, London SW3 5ED
    Timings: 8am – 11pm
    Price: £50 – 60 for two
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There you have it, all my favourite breakfast/ brunch places in London that will cure your hangovers and cravings. And forget about the calories you will be consuming just enjoy your meal and then you have the entire day to burn them off! Also, always remember breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so let’s try and not skip it.

If you want to know about my favourite rooftop bars in London, you’ll find them here.

 

Let’s Talk About My City

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So for today’s post, I decided to talk to about my city Mumbai. Most of you’ll know this where I have been born and brought up in South Mumbai, so I thought why not give you’ll an insight about this magnificent city. Mumbai isn’t your average big city; it’s very different from any other big city. It is definitely the city of dreams in India; it’s the city where the magic happens. This dynamic multi-cultured city that never sleeps, all year round you can experience different festivals being celebrated from various regions and cultures across India.

This city is has got something in store for everyone, no kidding! From the famous starry Bollywood industry to millionaire slums (however ironic this sounds, it’s pretty damn true) this is not it, if you’re a finance brainchild or a creative media person, Mumbai has it all for you. For a foodie, there are endless options, from the famous street food like our vada pav and chaats to some of the best fine dine restaurants. But for food, I think India itself has so much to offer like literally, every state in India has it’s own cuisine and speciality. Read more about Mumbai’s street eats here.

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But, apart from all this what makes this city so special, it’s the PEOPLE that make this city what it is. I have never come across people that are so humble, helpful and they just don’t fail to make you feel comfortable. If you tend to interact with people in the city, there is story everyone will have on how they made a living in Mumbai. Everyone here is so approachable and friendly, language, age barrier isn’t even a problem to ask someone for help here, cause irrespective of that people will always offer a helping hand. One thing I have noticed over the years is that most people in the city are extremely energetic and passionate about what they do, A story of a driver coming to Mumbai with absolutely nothing, he even spent nights on the railway station taking up odd jobs, soon he got employed as a taxi driver and he noticed he was catering to a lot of foreigners as he used to work near the airport. He felt the need to learn basic English, which he did, thereafter he could communicate with a lot of people and this expanded his horizons. Little did he know, in a years time he bought his own car and started a personalised tourist taxi service in Mumbai and couple of years later he even opened his own Indian fast food restaurant in the city. This was pretty inspirational that from having nothing to owning a company and restaurant, for this he had to say “this was possible for me to do only in Mumbai as in a smaller city, he wouldn’t have the aspirations to become big”.  Well, that being said I believe that if you are truly passionate about something, there’s nothing that can stop you in life.

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This was a little glimpse into my city Mumbai,  which is the fourth most populated city in the world and on of the fastest growing cities, and the city of dreams in India. And it’s the only city that gives me the feeling of home.I would love to know about your city and what makes it special.

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20 Holidays to take in your 20’s

20 holidays in your 20'sYour twenties are all about exploration, finding yourself and maybe getting lost again. There is no better way to make the most of it other than traveling. These are the years, where we can take the plunge and just book a ticket to an adventure. Prior this age, we are too young to go crazy and after this we will be old and responsible. I have made a list of 20 destinations I want to visit, while I am in my 20’s, these places will literally cover everything I have been wanting to do, from partying to adventures to teaching.

Here, are my top 20 trips to take in your 20’s:

Full Moon Party in Thailand

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The Full Moon party takes place once every month throughout the year, and new years is the best time to attend it. Here, everyone’s going crazy on the cheap buckets of alcohol, covering their bodies in neon paint and fireworks everywhere! It’s a holiday not to miss in your twenties.

Trekking to the Himalayas

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Once you get older, your knees are going to get weak, you’ll be out of breath and stamina to do this trek, trekking up to the Himalayas is once in a lifetime experience, traveling through the highest motor-able road in the world and camping at the Everest base camp, things like this will never be forgotten.

Teach English Abroad

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As students, graduates we can put our language skill to some use, teaching English in a non-English speaking country could add a lot of value to you and someone else’s life, and you get perks for this as being well paid to sponsor more travels. If you look up on the TELF website, there are a list on countries you could teach English in.

Summers in Europe

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European summers are the best, this one trip you have to take with your best of friends or do a study abroad in Europe to spend enough time here. The variety of holiday destination is vast, you could chill on the beaches in Spain or indulge in wine and cheese in Italy or go for the hot tub parties in Budapest or have a summer love affair in Paris or get high in Amsterdam. Basically there’s a lot you could do in Europe, just spend a month here with your friends and make the best memories.

Tomorrowland in Belgium

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Tomrrowland, is one of the most talked about and popular EDM festival. As you get in your 20’s the few things you want to do is rage at these massive music festivals and enjoy the vibes there, and Tomorrowland should be top on your list and can’t be missed.

Backpack across South East Asia

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While we are in our twenties, one thing I suggest is being open-minded and learn about various cultures around the world. One of the best trips to get a different cultural exposure, this will surely be an enriching experience. The countries backpackers visit in South East Asia are Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. So, get those backpacks out and book this trip!

Roadtrip to Iceland

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This road trip would probably one of the most scenic road trips in your life, rent an RV and driving across Iceland’s Ring Road, surrounded with volcanoes, rainbows and northern lights. This is once in a lifetime, and is surely on my bucket list to do in my 20’s.

Hike up to Machu Picchu

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Machu Picchu is the world’s most famous and popular Inca archeological ruin, and now voted as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The best way to discover the city is through the Inca trek and trails, it’s surely not an easy way to get up here. This trek would be exploring mountains, flora and fauna, sacred valley of Machu Picchu and the culture of course. Your twenties are the best time to explore this city and hike up.

Burning Man in Nevada

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Burning Man isn’t an average festival, it’s a weeklong cultural festival in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada. This includes camping in the desert, self-expression art from all over the world, music and a lot of cultural influences are found here. Well, this weeklong festival isn’t easy as camping in the desert is difficult and requires you to be well prepped for this exceptional week.

Experience the great barrier reef in Australia

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The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the largest living space on Earth, with over 1500 different types of species found on a 3000km long marine stretch, this and unbelievable sight. This is the up close experience with the underwater world, undoubtedly Australia is the best place for this experience.

Scuba diving lessons in Indonesia

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Do you love the ocean? The best thing you could do is take Scuba Diving lessons and maybe even become and instructor. Gili Islands in Indonesia is one of the best places to learn scuba diving, a week-long of training to become a pro yourself, and maybe a month-long training to become and instructor. Can you leave a desk job to become an instructor later in life? In the real world it seems unlikely, so go take this leap while you can.

Party in Ibiza

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Yes, our twenties are meant to party are asses off! We will be working hard in the future, so what better place to let hair down other than Ibiza, one of the best party islands having the most chilled vibes and that’s all you need. The beach, music and a little bit booze to let lose.

Volunteer in Africa

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So, I am a big believer of giving back to the world. I mean, for the ones reading this and the ones who’ve had chances to experience even half this list, are really fortunate. Sometimes, we could give back by volunteering in countries like Africa, it could be teaching students, working in a Safari, helping in the fields and experiences like these will make us realise how bless we actually are, so make sure you get a chance to do something like this before responsibilities take over.

Spring break partying in Mexico

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I bet most students have this ticked off their bucket lists, spring breaks are where you’ll are going to prep for summers but in style, Cancun is where most students go party till sunrise and just begin their twenties. Spring break party holidays are the best way to start your twenties travels.

Get wasted on a Yacht at Yacht Week

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Yacht week is a weeklong of sailing, island hoping, diving and partying. You and your group of friends get your own yacht for a week, and this experience is filled with being drunk in the middle of the ocean to waking up on a new island. This could definitely be a perfect bachelor party!

Attend the world’s biggest carnival in Rio

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This is the biggest carnival in the world, in Rio Brazil it’s even known as the Carnival city. This 5 days long party has over 2 million visitors per day and performances, parades performed poor neighbourhood that make this carnival a world-class event. Before you’re too old to move those hips to samba, attend this street party and be awestruck by Brazilian performances and the samba parade.

Learn Spanish in Spain

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Well, in our twenties we are quick learners and the best thing we can learn is a new language, to how about spending a summer in Spain, learning Spanish and immersing your self into a different culture. And this will open so many doors for you in the future in terms of being able to connect with people from different countries, jobs abroad and so much more. Give this a shot in your early twenties!

Get lost in India

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They say you need a lifetime to experience India, and I wouldn’t disagree as India has got such a vast culture and so much authenticity. This is one trip that should be on your list in your twenties, exploring different cities, food and seeing the most stunning places. Maybe one trip wouldn’t be enough to explore this large country but starting in your twenties will always have you going back to India for a new adventure every time.

Underground clubbing in Berlin

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For all those who love deep house and underground music, this one trip you must not miss out on, Berlin is known for having the best clubbing experience in Europe. It’s not mainstream, they are dark underground clubs that make sure you party till 8 am, also it’s got clubs with the strictest door policy in the world. And let’s be honest, as we get older our partying capacity reduces, partying till dawn is something your older self wouldn’t want to do.

Take an Adventurous leap in New Zealand

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Your young and pretty damn courageous, this trip will give you that adrenaline rush. New Zealand is known for having the best adventurous exposure, having the ultimate bungee jump, to sky dives and ocean walks. These are just to name a few activities here, but there’s a lot more! Seriously, I don’t even need to explain why you should be doing this trip in your twenties, go take this adventurous journey.

Your twenties are probably going to be the best years of your life and these are a few experiences you shouldn’t miss out on, take these holidays abroad the experiences and make some unforgettable memories in these years.

High Tea At The Taj Falaknuma Palace

The Falaknuma Palace represents the luxurious lifestyle of the late Nizam, this palace was built-in the 1890’s with Italian marble, timeless architectural design is spread over 93,971 square metres.
What are truly admire about palaces in India is the intricate details to everything even in those times, this palace was no exception to this. Located up hill in Hyderabad, this iconic palace is now taken over by the Taj Group and converted into one of India’s luxury hotels giving you a Nizam style living experience.

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Reception area at the Taj Falaknuma Palace with Italian marble interiors 

While I was visiting the palace I happen to meet a couple of people staying at the hotel and I really wanted to know what it was like living in this fabulous crib, and they told me its an experience that comes with the hefty price tag, but is truly worth it if you can afford paying £350 a night.

Well, what comes with that price is a king size stay with butler services, spas, breakfast in bed and all the prince and princess pampering that you’d imagine of.

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Stairs that lead you to the ballrooms 

But, don’t be disappointed you can get an essence of the luxuries at the palace by opting for high-tea or dinner with a guided tour around the palace just for £30 this is the fair deal I opted for, and this the only way you would be able to get into the palace. I must say they are quite stringent on rules to let people come visit ever since the palace has been converted into a luxury hotel, which is understandable.

So my evening started by being warmly greeted and taken to the palace in a chariot (how I wish that was true), but as you go up, there is a chariot right outside the palace for visitors to take pictures. After strolling around for a bit, we were all called in to take the palace tour, I got to be honest here I felt like I was in school doing this with another bunch of tourists or locals coming to dine here. This tour comes free along with high-tea or dinner.

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Chariot at the entrance of the palace 

As the tour starts, I noticed the high ceilings at the reception and the grand staircases going up, and now it was time to absorb all the facts and figures of this beauty. So, to begin with the palace consists of 22 halls and 60 rooms lavishly furnished and decorated with paintings, artifacts, one of kind master pieces and chandeliers. Falaknuma is known for its largest Vientiane chandler collection with 40 being only in the hall. It’s also known for its unique jade collections and paintings of well-known personalities.

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Crystal Ballroom with an infinite chandler reflection 

Thereafter, we arrived in the Nizam’s games/activity room, this room was where he would spend most of this time with friends playing chess, billiards on the one of a kind billiards table which is designed by Burroughs and Watts who designed two identical billiards tables out of which one being in the Buckingham Palace and the other at Falaknuma. Then, I noticed this massive hookah pot which had five pipes and was probably two feet tall. Wow, the Nizam could smoke quite a bit I must say.

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Burroughs & Watts Billiards table 

Now, we moved to the ballrooms, it’s absolutely magical with beautiful tapestry and glittering chandeliers, imagine having your party or wedding in one of these ballrooms it would be a complete fairytale. Moving on to the dining hall where the worlds longest table is with 100 guests can be seated on the table at once, here the chairs are made of carved rosewood and green leather upholstery and the tableware is made of gold and crystal. This is open to guests with a minimum booking of 20 guests.

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100 seater dining table – worlds biggest dining table 

The tour was about to end, and I almost lost my way around wandering in the palace, the only bit that was left was the bedrooms and library which was a replica from the Windsor Castle having the best Quran collection here. Going back to the reception, it was time for tea at the coffee shop.

 

I was really excited and hungry about by this time, after a day of work, walking around the palace I needed this to fuel me. There are two types of high-tea that you can choose from The Nizam Special – this has a variety of arabic teas and indian snacks along side or The English Tea – you can choose from a variety of green & black teas which are served with sandwiches, scones and parties. Knowing my palette I chose the English Tea.

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High-tea with a view

I have to talk about the great hospitality I was provided here, at first my tea was served indoors and it was about evening time. I noticed there was a terrace area and requested to be shifted there to enjoy the city view while the sun goes down and I sip on my tea. Though there was dinner setting being laid out outside, the staff made arrangements for my tea to be shifted there, which I thought was nice, they ensured all the guests were provided with first class service.

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And finally, managed to get someone to take my picture (even though its unclear)

This was definitely a blissful experience and of the best ways to spend my evening in Hyderabad. Whenever you would be visiting this city, a visit to the Taj Falaknuma would be a must. Make sure, you call the restaurant and make reservations as they could deny you entry at the palace if your name is not at the entrance.

And if you’re staying here, I am pretty sure you’d have a once in a life time king size experience.

London Rooftops

It’s summer solstice, and time to unleash the summer wardrobe and what better way to do it than a sundown or a rooftop brunch. I have always been a bar person, and rooftops are always on top of my list. While London has to offer a variety of rooftops in the city with a mesmerizing view, while visiting London, make sure you visit at least few of these and get a better view of the city while sipping on your rosé. Here are all the rooftops I went to while living in London and are my absolute favorite.

Madison

Madison Summer Sundowns

 

 

Madison has a separate viewing area for tourists to capture a glimpse of the St. Paul’s Cathedral, and an indoor bar serving signature cocktails, my favorite being the Porn Star Martini here. During summer, there are Möet & Chandon brunches organized here, with a lot of cocktail experimentation. It’s perfect for a champagne brunch kind of afternoon.
Location: Rooftop Terrace, 1 New Change, St Paul’s, London, EC4M 9AF
Nearest Tube Station: St Paul’s
Prices: £9–£12 for signature cocktails
Timings: Mon – Sat: 10 am – Midnight, Sun: 10am – 9pm

Radio Rooftop Bar

Radio Rooftop Bar is a swanky bar on the 10th floor of the ME hotel, this modern rooftop bar gives you a 360 of the city from the Big Ben, London Eye, Tower Bridge, St Paul’s to the Shard. It has stylish interiors, and poppin’ EDM beats start playing as the sun goes down. Downside would be long queues on busy nights and the bouncers may refuse entries. It’s better to get a reservation with a minimum spend of 50 pounds to skip the long wait. Must haves would be Spanish Tapas along with wine or try the Bellini popsicle. They even offer brunches and high tea. Dress to impress at this lavish bar, as being in casual would be a problem to entry. Besides, there are boozy brunches and sundowner happening through summer, which cannot be missed.
Location: 336 – 337 Strand, London, WC2R 1HA
Nearest Tube Station: Covent Garden
Prices:£13 for signature cocktails
Timings: Mon – Wed: 10am – 1am, Thurs – Sat: 10am – 3am, Sun: 10am- 12am

 

Sushi Samba

 

Sushi Samba a fusion of Brazilian, Japanese and Peruvian Sushi, on the 38th & 39th floor of Heron Towers, it takes under 30 seconds through the glass elevators to see the Gherkin at eye level. The glass wall gives you a very close view to London’s skyscrapers. The interiors are pretty eye-catching, with an orange tree light up outdoor post sunset. This is one of my favorite rooftops as it gives such a close up, panoramic view of London’s skyline. This would be a perfect place for a birthday or any celebration.
Location: Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
Nearest Tube Station: Liverpool Street
Prices: Culinary Cocktails –£14, Signature Cocktails –£13
Timings: Mon – Sun: 11:30 am – 1:30 am

 

Duck & Waffle

Duck & Waffle is located on the 40th floor of Heron Tower, looking over the financial district of London. This is a 24 hours open bar, serving traditional English and European cuisine. This would be an after party delight to indulge in their ‘Late Night Menuof champagne cocktails and cheeky mid-night treats with a stunning view. I would also recommend sticking around till sunrise and enjoy breakfast with probably one the best sight.
Location: Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
Nearest Tube Station: Liverpool Street
Prices: Mid-night Champagne cocktails at £15
Timings: 24 hours

 

Oblix

 

Oblix is located on the 32nd floor of the Shard, this fancy spot at the Shard is obtained by restaurateurs Rainer Becker for bring a New York style high-end dining luxury. Oblix would be a perfect date place, as tables are available only for dining, which would overlook the Thames and give a sparkling view of Tower Bridge. They have a variety of Steaks and Vintage Wine to choose from, this would be an ideal date setting with a stunning view, sometimes have live jazz performances and there would be a cover of £5 on weekends.
Location: The Shard, 31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9RY
Nearest Tube Station: London Bridge
Prices: £100 -£120 for a meal for 2
Timings: Mon – Sun: 12 Noon – 3pm, 6pm – 11pm

 

Aqua Shard

Aqua is located on the 31st floor of Shard, having high glass windows and a table setting around it, allowing you to stick your face to the glass to get an iconic view of London. They have Signature English cocktails, high tea and brunch all year round. It’s advisable to make reservations in advance as it gets booked pretty quick, and you should also keep up with special events happening here during summer. Something I found interesting is, the bathrooms here have long glass windows, having a panoramic view while doing your business.
Location: The Shard, 31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9RY
Nearest Tube Station: London Bridge
Prices: Signature Cocktails for £16 – £20
Timings: Sun – Thurs: 12pm – 1am, Fri – Sat: 12pm – 2am

 

Sky Garden Bar & Restaurant

Sky Garden is a concept of landscape garden, with open decks and a terrace, this is London’s highest public garden and an amazing social place spread across three floors on the 35,th 36th and 37th floor of 20 Fenchurch Street also known as the “Walkie Talkie Building.” There are free tours, which allow you to explore the gardens and enjoy a 360 view of the city from the South Bank, London Eye, and Gherkin to the Wembley Stadium. Booking for this must be done 3 days in advance. In this big landscape there are two restaurants and a bar. What better way to spend a sunny afternoon than sipping on Mimosa on a rooftop garden with a city view like this, imagine the sun going down while you’re sitting in the garden on the 37th floor. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?
Location: Sky Garden Walk, London EC3M 8AF
Nearest Tube Station: Monument
Prices: Sky Pod Bar Cocktails £12 – £16
Timings: Mon – Sun: 7am – 1am

 

Kensington Roof Gardens

 

Kensington roof Gardens is a little Alice in Wonderland, spread across one and half acres, comprises of three different kind of gardens where you can pop in for a glass of champagne or a free tour on advance booking, it has the Babylon Restaurant by the garden and a members on nightclub alongside an open air terrace. Fancy an afternoon high tea or a brunch in the Spanish or English Garden, to a late night partying. This place has it all, for you. Also, you should look out for events happening through summer.
Location: 99 Kensington High St, London W8 5SA
Nearest Tube Station: High Street Kensington
Prices: Signature cocktails from £12
Timings: Gardens & Restaurants: Mon – Sun: 8am – 11pm, Night Club: Fri – Sat: 10 pm – 3 am

 

Queen Of Hoxton

 

Queen of Hoxton is funky bar and club in the heart of Shoreditch, it’s got three levels and a barbecue rooftop. There are drag queens, live performances, photo booths, games installation in the club, with dimed lights and artistic interiors, this place gives the chilled, fun vibes with young kids getting drunk and dancing to the beats. Throughout summer, they have movies being showcased on the rooftops and events happening, which requires prior booking. On weekends it’s usually very busy due to which there is a £5 cover charge.
Location: 1 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3JX
Nearest Tube Station: Liverpool Street/ Shoreditch High Street (overground)
Prices: Cocktails have a standard price of £8
Timings: Sun – Wed: 12pm – 12am, Thurs – Sat: 12pm – 2am

 

Big Chill House

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Pop – up barbecue & drinks at Big Chill Terrace

 

Big Chill is a large bar and event place with a roof terrace, they open up a bar during summer on the terrace, its perfect for barbecue and sangrias. This is literally a house, with a large drawing room, ping-pong table, private rooms and photo booths. It’s an easy going atmosphere, with art work around the house and a perfect pre-drinking place for the summer as you can get cocktails by glass or a big pitcher. Sounds like a perfect way to get the late summer evening started.
Location: 257 – 259 Pentonville Road, London N1 9NL
Nearest Tube Station: Kings Cross
Prices: Cocktails starting from £8.5
Timings: Sun – Wed: 11am – 12am, Thurs: 11am – 2am, Fri – Sat: 11am – 3am

So, here are all my favorite rooftop bars in London for all, fancy high – end bars, Gardens tours to fun, chilled out bars and night clubs. I would suggest at least visit a few, and enjoy the serene view of London, it’s definitely worth that expensive cocktail!

Street Eats Under A Pound 

It seems unreal doesn’t it? When I moved to London, and if anyone asked me what was the one thing I missed from back home, undoubtedly it was the street food, it’s literally been my appetite saviour for so many years now. If there’s some boring lunch/dinner cooked at home, just run down and have a lot of options to choose from without making a hole in my pocket. However unbelievable it may sound, street eats in Mumbai start at as cheap as 10p. And it’s full of flavours and freshness, obviously it’s not the healthiest option, but hey, it’s better than have your dominos pizza.
If you’re visiting Mumbai, something that you cannot miss out on is the street food, to be warned you’ve got to have a good immune system and a spice tolerance to handle these local Mumbai delicacies.

1. Vada Pav

My all time favourite, Vada Pav is a potato patty with a hint of coriander, garlic and a lot of spices and masala put in a bun with the best garlic chutney (Indian sauces) and green chillies, even known as the “Indian Burger”. It cost as little as 10p for a vada Pav in Mumbai and you’ll find a Vada Pav-wala in every nook and corner of the city. But the best ones I’ve come across by far are the ones in worli and flora fountain, people being queued up and waiting to get that piping hot Vada Pav.


2. Bhel

Bhel is made out puffed rice, finely chopped onions, tomatoes and boiled potatoes, and the binding substance, the three chutneys– tamarind chutney, mint chutney and garlic. You can alter your bhel according to your palette. Weather you’d like it spicy or sweet or something in between. Bhel is a perfect evening snack to have something light but not too filling. And again, Bhel costs about 20p only and my staple places I have bhel is Hari Om Bhel in Fort.

3. Road-side Sandwich

This is nothing like the cold Tesco sandwich you’d have here. These sandwiches are freshly made infront of you, fresh veggies and cheese put in generous portions, grilled and given to you with a tangy ketchup. And wondering how much this would cost, it would be around 25p but the prices vary depending on your sandwich fillings. This is a must have accordingly to me. One of the best sandwich-wala is at Nariman Point.

4. Dosa

Dosa is an Indian pancake made out of rice flour and you can literally have upto 100 kind of different fillings in it. Dosa is one of the healthier options. It’s known as a South Indian delicacy but everyone in Mumbai love it! Dosa is normally served with a coconut chutney and sambhar (a tomato gravy). The best places to have dosa in Mumbai would be Babulnath Dosa and Ramarshray Dosa in Mantuga where people are waiting in lines from 5 in the morning. Dosa start from 40p and vary according to the fillings. This is a perfect filling lunch meal.

5. Bhutta

Bhutta is a corn cob roasted on charcoal, there is nothing fancy about it. It’s fresh corn being cooked and then topping it up with butter, lemon and some spice. This is everyone monsoon favourite food. Having Bhutta in the chilly monsoon is one of the things everyone in Mumbai does. Right opposite the Taj Mahal Hotel at Gateway you’d find these friendly Bhutta-wala enjoying the rains, roasting golden corn cobs and serving it to you in your cars. These roasted corn cobs cost only 15p and are normally big in sizes.

I think, besides the food being so cheap. It’s fresh and made right infront of you, these guys who are making this food get the joy of feeding people and love being appreciated for what they make. They might not make big profits but yet serve the best food in generous portions which everyone can afford. Now, these streets are a must have when you visit Mumbai.