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.

Falaknuma Palace Hotel

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.

Taj-Falaknuma-Interior

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.

falaknuma - chariot

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.

falaknuma ball room

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.

pool table - falaknuma

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.

dining room - falaknuma

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.

Festival Looks and Tips

Heading out to a three day festival, but can’t decide what to wear? This is every girls first world problem that we can’t make up our mind about what to wear, you want to look different and not repetitive on all the days. The good news is, music festivals allow you to be creative with your looks, you can mix and match different outfits, do some extravagant make up and hair-dos or just keep it basic and simple. Here for all you lovelies, I have created my best festival looks.

Boho Chic
Boho Chic
Floral & Pastels
Flower Power

Fringe It
Tassels
Pom-Pom Co-ords
Pom Pom Girl
Not so Basic, Basics
Sneaker Chic

 

Styling Tips for Festivals:

The first rule for styling your outfit for a 12 hour long ragging day would be, be comfortable. Its very important to be comfortable as you’d be dancing your butt off for long hours. Now here are my few tips for you’ll to make styling a lot simpler.

  1. Experiment with make up & hair styles:
    Doing this makes a big difference to your entire look, a funky hairdo with braids, coloured and adding some hair accessories gets a lot of attention to your hair. Now, make-up is a game changer, literally dramatic lashes, bold lips or a tattoo on your face will get you all the attention you need.
  2. Heels are a big NO:
    I know, for a lot of girls out there you’d be wanting to wear your heels that go perfectly with your outfit, but an hour in them and you would be dying. Don’t ever make the mistake of wearing heels and going to a festival, you’re out there to have fun and go crazy.
  3. Say yes to Accessories:
    Accessorising is the key to styling for a festival, you can pump-up a plain top and shorts with junk jewellery, hat, head-bands, sunglasses, body-chains and the list goes on, you can wear the most funkiest jewellery and look fab!
  4. Mix & Match:
    Okay, so dressing up for a festival isn’t about being perfectly coordinated, being imperfect is better. You could just dig into your wardrobe pick out an old top, and put it on with shorts and booties, you will be good to go. I love dressing up for raves and festivals as it is maximum utility to my old clothes.
  5. Be Yourself:
    I know there are a lot of celebrities setting festival trends every year, but take my advice here, don’t follow what you see, try being creative and let your outfit and look speak about your personality, no one would judge you if even if you walked in your pjs. Be your on trend setters and innovator. 

    I hope these style boards are helpful and you’ll can create your festive looks and post it in the comments below for me to see. And know know what festivals to visit this summer click here.

 

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!

25 European Music Festivals This Summer

It’s that time of the year, I mean its SUMMER! Finally, something to look forward to, while I was planning my trip this summer, and the one thing I was pretty sure about is adding a music fest to my itinerary but I wasn’t sure which one was it going to be, as Europe has so many festivals happening every summer.

Europe has one of the best electronic dance music cultures, and I am not surprised as 70% of the top 100 DJs in the world are European, this list would include Armin Van Buuren, Martin Garrix, Avicii, Hardwell, Tiësto, Calvin Harris and many more. If you feel you’re missing out on big festivals like Tomorrowland and Glastonbury, don’t worry there are SO many other festivals on that scale that you could attend this summer.

  1. Sonar - barcelonaSónar
    Date: June 16th – 18th 2016
    Place: Barcelona, Spain
    Headliners: Richie Hawtin, James Blake, Fatboy Slim, James Rhode, Underground Resistance, A-Trak and many more
    Sónar was established in 1994, and is positioned very differently in the electronic dance by uniting established artists as well as emerging artists. Sónar has now travelled to 50 different parts of the world like Cape Town, Seoul, Frankfurt, New York, London, Boston and the list goes on. This festival will definitely have some new artists that you would discover.
  2. Glastonbury
    glastonbury-england
    Date: June 22nd – 26th 2016
    Place: Somerset, England
    Headliners: Coldplay, Muse, Adele, Ellie Goulding, Foals, Disclosure, Skepta and about 100 more artists performing over 5 days at Glastonbury.
    The festival goes back in the 70’s being started in 1971, it is a contemporary art festival, and a hippie culture is usually found at this gigantic 5 days party! Unfortunately this year all tickets are completely sold out, but hey! There is always next year right.
  3. Awakenings Festival
    awakenings - netherlands

    Date: June 25th – 26th 2016
    Place: Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Headliners: Richie Hawtin, Adam Beyer, Dave Clarke, Maya Jane Coles
    Awakenings is known as the Techo Festival and one of the important electronic event in Europe. This is one of the world’s largest outdoor techno festivals in the world. This would be a perfect fest to attend for any sunshine and techno lover!
  4. Hideout
    Hideout - coratia

    Date: June 26th – 30th 2016
    Place: Island of Pag, Croatia
    Headliners: Skepta, Jamie XX, Andy C, Jamie Jones, Adam Beyer, Gorgon City and over 100 artists and underground DJs lined up over 5 days of complete madness.
    Hideout started in 2011, and the festival has been expanding year by year and 2016 is suppose to be the biggest with the festival, boat parties, after parties on the beach till wee in the morning. Plus, this festival is fairly affordable with tickets at 135 pounds and stay at 20 pounds a night. This surely sounds like a deal!
  5. Fusion Festival
    Fusion+Festival - germany.gif
    Date: June 29th to July 3rd 2016
    Place: Lärz, Germany
    Headliners: To Be Announced
    The Fusion Festival is an underground electronic festival in an abandoned military base in the northeast of Germany, the festival does not release it’s line up in advance, which would leave you quite curious. This festival is now being known as the “Burning Man of Europe”. If you’re an electro underground fan, discovering this mystery would be interesting.
  6. Sensation Angles & Demons
    IMG_2990

    Date: July 2nd 2016
    Place: Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Headliners: Yellow Claw, Robin Schulz, Nicky Romero, Sam Feldt, David Guetta, Mr. White, Rob, Don Diablo
    Sensation is an indoor electronic dance festival originated in Netherlands and now traveling around the globe, the uniqueness of sensation is that it takes place in indoor Arenas and has some mind blowing live acts. My sensation experience last year was insane! Read about it more here.
    I would 100% recommend going for this festival.
  7. Balaton Sound
    balaton 2
    Date: July 6th – 10th 2016
    Place: Budapest, Hungary
    Headliners: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Martin Garrix, Armin Van Buuren, Chris Brown, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Robin Schulz, W&W, Nervo, Tyga, The Chainsmokers, Lost Frequencies, Steve Aoki, Alan Walker
    This year is going to be the 1oth edition of Balaton Sound held in Zamárdi. It is going to a banging summer beach party with this amazing line up and boat parties by the Lake Balaton. Isn’t the line up tempting enough to be at this fest?
  8. Electric Love
    Electriclove - austria

    Date: July 7th – 9th 2016
    Place: Salzburg, Austria
    Headliners: Yellow Claw, DVVBS, Hardwell, Jack Ü, Don Diablo, Nero, Kshmr, Darkraver, Angerfist, Coone
    Electric Love as the name says it is all about electric music and love, located in the mesmerizing Salzkammergut Lake District surrounded by the beautiful nature of Salzburg. If you want a picturesque and a nature covered location with electro beats, this would be the festival for you.
  9. Exit Magic
    Exit serbia 2.jpg
    Date: July 7th – 10th 2016
    Place: Novi Sad, Serbia
    Headliners: Wiz Khalifa, David Guetta, Nicky Romero, Richie Hawtin, Bastille, The Prodigy, Ellie Goulding, Robin Schulz and many more.
    Exit has won the award of the ‘Best Major European Festival’. Exit started as a student movement fighting for peace and democracy in Serbia and has grown into one of biggest festivals in the world. For Exit being on such a big scale it costs as little as 107 Pounds and is held in one of the best locations in the world. I would surely not miss this if I were traveling around Serbia.
  1. Dour Festival
    Dour - belgium
    Date: July 13th – 17th 2016
    Place: Dour, Belgium
    Headliners: The Prodigy, Rudimental, Wiz Khalifa, Underworld, Pixies
    The Dour festival is the biggest and one of the most touristic destination for the French speaking part of Belgium. It is a 27 years old fest, getting bigger year by year having 9 stages, thousands of music lovers and a cozy camping site.
  2. Ultra Europe
    Ultra - Europe

    Date: July 15th – 17th 2016
    Place: Split, Croatia
    Headliners: Above & Beyond, Adam Beyer, Afrojack, Alesso, Armin Van Buuren, Dash Berlin, David Guetta, DeadMau5, Hardwell, Martin Garrix
    Ultra is a heavyweight EDM festival, having insane yacht parties, after parties and the festival comprises of 4 state-of-art stages with over 150 acts over 3 days, this festival has a maximum euphoric energy till sunrise. If you’re an EDM fanatic this is where you should be this summer!
  1. Melt Festival
    Melt - Germany

    Date: July 15th – 17th 2016
    Place: Ferropolis, Germany
    Headliners: Illes Noise, Oliver Koletzki, Acid Arab, Forest, Isolation Berlin
    Melt is a festival inviting new comers in the industry to perform and the big artists as well, and there are no boundaries in the genre, you would find EDM, hip-hop and indie. If you are into discovering new artists, this would be an apt festival for you.
  2. Secret Garden Party
    Secret Garden Party - England

    Date: July 21st – 24th 2016
    Place: Abbots Ripton, England
    Headliners: Caribou, Air, Primal Scream, Lissie, Milky Chnace, Izzy Bizu
    This is a crazy creative party, spread over 220 acres of garden bordered by a lake and a river. These gardeners take their party seriously theming this years party as ‘The Gardeners Guide To The Galaxy’, it doesn’t only have so many artists performing over 15 stages but its filled with a lot of fun activities like water dance floors, mud fights, astronaut training, laser wars and a lot more.
  3. Tomorrowland
    Tomorrowland - Belgium
    Date: July 22nd – 24th 2016
    Place: Boom, Belgium
    Headliners: Alesso, Armin Van Buuren, Adam Beyer, Alan Walker, David Guetta, DVBBS, R3hab, Tiësto, Axwell, Afrojack, Nicky Romero, Robin Schulz, Lost Frequencies, The Chainsmokers, Dada Life, Steve Angello, Steve Aoki, Martin Garrix, W&W, Yves V and many more.
    Tomorrowland the worlds’biggest EDM festival that is larger than life having people travelling from around the world for this three days fantasy, all the best artists from around the world come for this festival and make it a 3 days wonderland. I know tickets are SOLD OUT, but there is always next year! This year’s theme is ‘The Elixir Of Life’ with the best acts with all the world-renowned artists, it’s a once in a life time experience.
  4. Untold Festival
    Untold Festival - Romania.jpg
    Date: August 4th – 7th 2016
    Place: Cluj-Napoca, Romania
    Headliners: Afrojack, Armin Van Buuren, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Martin Garrix, Hardwell, Tiësto, W&W, Nervo, Lost Frequencies and many more
    Untold is a festival in the city center in Romania, this is one of the newest EDM fest making it on the charts of one of ‘Best Major Festival in Europe’ with gaging an award in 2015. Untold is representing big EDM and House DJs and is creating a busting line up for this summer.
  5. Eastern Electric
    Eastern Electric
    Date: August 6th 2016
    Place: London, England
    Headliners: Seth Troxler, The Martinez Brothers, Richy Ahmed, Eats Everything
    Eastern Electric is an English electronic festival lined up with a lot of budding local artists, it’s a 25 minutes train journey from London to Hatfield House. It’s a day full of dancing to electro beats across 9 stages, hoping around raving tents, VIP island paradise and to top it off high-quality food vendor. If you’re visiting London, this fun day could be added to your itinerary.
  6. Barrakud
    Barrakud Festival - Pag
    Date: August 8th – 15th 2016
    Place: Island of Pag, Croatia
    Headliners: Paul Kalkbrenner
    Barrakud is a perfect combination of music, partying and traveling. This festival takes place over 5 locations, and also includes a lot of boat and pool parties to commute to these various locations. This is a non-stop party on Zrce Beach for eight days straight.
  7. Sziget Festival
    Sziget - Budapest
    Date: August 10th – 17th 2016
    Place: Budapest, Hungary
    Headliners: Rihanna, Muse, Sia, The Chemical Brothers, Hardwell, David Guetta, Nicky Romero, Travi$ Scott, Afrojack, DVBBS, Yves V, ZEDD
    From 1993 to now Sziget has grown into Europes largest music festival, with 60 stages, 400,000 visitors per day, thousands of international artists from various genres. Sziget has a lot to offer besides music, its got theatre, films, classical movies, fine arts, and performances all across one week. I would rate this as one of the best festivals where there is literally something for everyone. If you’re traveling in Eastern Europe make sure you attend this mega festival even if it’s for a day.
  8. Sonne Monde Sterne (SMS)
    SMS - Germany
    Date: August 12th to 14th 2016
    Place: Saalburg Beach, Germany
    Headliners: David Guetta, Paul Kalkbrenner, Rudimental, Robin Schulz, Dada Life, Knife Party, Nina Kraviz, Tiga, Sven Väth, Die Antwoord
    SMS is an open air EDM festival, this festival is all about Rave-Beach-Party-Repeat for 3 days non stop. This year the passes are already sold out sadly. But like always, there is next year!
  9. Pukkelpop
    Pukkelpop - Belgium
    Date: August 17th – 20th 2016
    Place: Hasselt, Belgium:
    Headliners: Bloc Party, Big Sean, The Chemical Brothers, DJ Snake, Izzy
    Bizu, Nina Kraviz, Rihanna, Lukas Graham, Twenty One Pilots, Greenday
    Pukkelpop began in 1985 by the ‘Young Humanist’. The line up here is selected with an alternative fringe, there will around 200 be current sensations, living legends and upcoming alternative artists performing across 8 stages over a span of 4 days. This would be a mix of all levels of artists that makes this festival so unique.
  10. Creamfields
    Creamfields - UK
    Date: August 25th – 28th 2016
    Place: Cheshire, England
    Headliners: Alesso, Armin Van Buuren, Knife Party, Nervo, Kshmr, Sam Feldt, Avicii, Martin Garrix, Above & Beyond, Alan Walker, Nick Romero, Tiësto, Hardwell, Calvin Harris, Robin Schulz, Adam Beyer and many more.
    Creamfields is held on the bank holiday weekend, one of the biggest dance music festivals in UK and winning awards for being ‘UK’s Best Dance Music Festival’. Having live acts by all superstar line-up, Creamfields has been traveling across the globe in the past years, but still this one is the best! No better way to spend a long four days weekend.
  11. Mysteryland
    mysteryland - netherlands
    Date: August 27th – 28th 2016
    Place: Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands
    Headliners: Afrojck, Martin Garrix, Diplo, Lost Frequencies, Don Diablo, Kshmr, Sam Feldt, Robin Schulz, DVBBS, Dubfire, Alesso
    This is the longest running and the largest electronic music festival in the world and Netherlands, Mysteryland is known for being sustainable and creative with there set up and achieving its uniqueness amongst all the other fests, this to me is pretty dam impressive!
  12. Outlook Festival
    outlook 3
    Date: August 31st – September 4th 2016
    Place: Pula, Croatia
    Headliners: Andy C, Stormzy, Kano, Mala, Goldie MBE, Slum Village
    The European Summer coming to an end, Outlook takes place at a unique location with a breath taking view and a big party. Outlook has a lot of heavy reggae, dub step and drums n bass, besides this there are green garden areas that provide styling experience to the attendees, I would love that!
  13. Bestival
    bestival - england

    Date: September 8th – 11th 2016
    Place: Isle of Wight, England
    Headliners: The Cure, Major Lazer, Diplo, Years & Years, Skepta, Richie Hawtin, Bastille, Fatboy Slim, Katy B, Hot Chip and more
    Bestival is an award winning 4 days boutique festival set at Robin Hill. The founders of the festival have a creative vision which makes this festival special, they camping site is divided into sections like Cosmic Commune, The Bollywood Tent, Fancy dress emasse, Spaceport. If you’re into camping at festivals, maybe you should give this one a shot!
  14. Lollapaooza
    Lolla - Berlin

    Date: September 10th – 11th 2016
    Place: Berlin, Germany
    Headliners: Radiohead, Kings of Leon, Major Lazer, Paul Kalkbrenner, Lost Frequencies, The Chain Smokers, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, ZEDD, Alan Walker, Years & Years, G-Easy and more.
    This will be Lolla’s first European edition and what you can expect is a lor of dance, hip-hop, rock and even country. This is going to be an artsy affair as Lollapaooza is known to be artistic and colorful, representing a giant lollipop! This would surely be a surreal experience and the best way to bid summer goodbye by welcoming a new fest in Europe.These are most of the amazing festivals in Europe this summer from indoor and outdoor festivals to beach parties. This should help you’ll have a raving and a banging summer if you’re traveling around Europe also add a new experience.
    Please comment below and let me know if you have been to any of the festivals above or are planning to go, I would love to know about your experiences and plans!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Facts About Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the capital city of Netherlands, there are few amazing and surprising facts about Amsterdam that I discovered while visiting this city.

So, I found myself getting lost and losing my way around the canals since they’re all identical. This made me very curious and I wanted to just get to know about how many canals existed in Amsterdam, things just kept getting interesting and I discovered a lot more than the number of canals.

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Get to know Amsterdam better with these not so basic facts:

– There are 165 canals which are more canals than Venice, quite surprising isn’t it? That’s a good enough reason why I was losing my way around the canals.

– If you have been to Amsterdam, I’m sure you must’ve come across endless people cycling around the city. Amsterdam’s bike path is almost 400km with more bikes in the city than people. Woaah, reason why everyone’s fit maybe!

881,000 bikes > 811,100 people

– Something I was quite impressed with was that most people in Amsterdam knew English! Man, that’s something you can’t find it European cities. So, I discovered that English was the 2nd most spoken language that means most people will be able to talk in English, if not they’ll definitely understand what you’re saying.

– Amsterdam is known for its museums, but can you guess how many of them are there? Let me surprise you’ll, there are 75 museums in Amsterdam! You can just imagine what this city has to offer.

– We all know about the popular red light district, in most countries a district like this would be considered ‘shady’ or ‘unsafe’. Ironically the red light district is one of the safest parts of the city. It’s a something you shouldn’t miss out on seeing,

– People believe that the London stock exchange is the oldest, well that’s not entirely correct. The world’s oldest stock exchange is in Amsterdam established in 1602.

– I discovered this fact while talking to a local about the health services provided in the city. In Amsterdam anyone could avail free STD treatment, I am not quite surprised to be honest.

– While I was on the canal cruise I noticed the houses in Amsterdam are weirdly narrow, I was quite intrigued by this and asked someone on the cruise if they knew the reason behind this, turns out that people would be taxed based on the width of their frontier.

I discovered these little strange things while moving around the city by myself, interacting with locals and of course questioning a lot people! I’m glad to take back these unknown facts. I wouldn’t deny that people in Amsterdam are extremely friendly, fun and full of information

*comment below for any other cities fun facts you’d like to know*

Milan Shopping Guide

Milan is every shopper’s paradise, you will literally drop till you shop! Of course the downside can your wallet bear the cost? Well, don’t worry there something for everyone in Milano. From every possible luxury brand to the best high street fashion, Milan has something to offer for everyone. So, not to worry you will go back home with your bag full of goodies.

First lets talk about luxury, high-end fashion in Milan, as we all are aware of Milan being a fashion capital. You will find literally every brand here, and what’s even better is these brands have their biggest outlets in Milan, which will give you a more affordable price for that’s probably been on your wish list for a while.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

The first stop you need to hit is – Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II located right by the Duomo. This is the oldest shopping mall in the world opened in 1867. Here, you will find all your Italian designers have their stores, the Galleria is a must to visit even if you may not be shopping here. The intricate marble flooring and long glass panels along with gothic architecture is a beauty.

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My advice, window shop here, get a feel about what’s buzzing in the fashion world, decide what you would be interested in investing, sip on caffé (Italian espresso) at a cute little café and enjoy the beauty. There after hit the outlet stores to find what you have your mind on, and get it for a better price. Bingo!

Sounds like a deal, doesn’t it?

Quadrilatero d’Oro della moda

Then there is Milan’s golden shopping triangle, Quadrilatero d’Oro della moda also known as the fashion quadrilateral. The district is cornered by four streets – Via Monte Napoleone, Via Alessandro Manzoni, Via della Spiga and Corso Venezia, hence called Quadrilatero.

Walking pass these streets is a mere eye candy as the visual merchandising and the store displays are probably one of best I have seen by far. As you walk, you smell and fee luxury, pampering and haute couture of the classic designers such as Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Versace, Prada, Chanel, Valentino, Cartier, Gianfranco Ferré, Alberta Ferretti, Louis Vuitton and every other brand and designer that crosses your mind.

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Obviously shopping here does not fit every pocket, but just seeing the displays and probably going to Armani’s coffee shop is a small luxury you could treat yourself with.

Enough of window shopping, now you want to go splurge, and here are the perfect places where you will be able to get yourself something to take back home.

Outlet Stores in Milan

 The quest in finding the wish-list handbag was still on, but lucky for you while you are in Milan there are ample of outlet stores having designer goodies at affordable prices, with discounts anywhere between 30 % to 70%. I myself managed to get three bags and couple of polo t-shirts at steal deal prices from these outlet stores, I highly recommend you go there and find yourself something. The best outlets in Milan are:

  • Il Salvagente
  • 10 Corso Como Outlet (my personal favourite)
  • Dmagazine Outlet
  • Le Sac Outlet
  • Outlet Matia’s

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These outlets are located close to each other, about 20 minutes away from the Duomo. If you have an extra day in Milan, you could also drive an hour away from the city and discover outlet villages to shop at such as Serravalle Designer Outlet, Vicolungo Style Outlet, Franciacorta Outlet Village and Fidenza Village. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t have enough time to visit any of these, but a few of my local friends recommend going to at least one of them if you’re on a super shopping spree.

Corso Bueno Aires

Corso Bueno Aires is the biggest high street shopping street in the city and in Europe as well, here there are about 350 international brands having their flagship stores lined up one after another. You better put your sneakers on while shopping here, its quite a walk to complete the entire stretch.

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Here, you’ll find all your Zara’s, H&M, Top Shop, Nike, Puma and local Italian high street brands and boutiques.It’s quite reasonable to shop here at the same time there is SO much variety cause of the number of stores that are there.

This is summing up Milan shopping, I hope there is something for everyone here and this little shopping guide is helpful for all my fellow shopaholics out there.

P.S Happy Shopping xx

*comment below if there is anything more you’d like to know about shopping in Milan*

 

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.

Fall Colors – The 2 B’s 

It’s time to say goodbye to summer and the summer wardrobe. The 2 colors your wardrobe should have this fall are burgundy and beige, that’s my favourite color scheme for this season.

Burgundy compliments every skin tone, extenuates all body types. It’s a must to invest in either a lovely burgundy coat, dress or a pair of booties this season. Burgundy adds elegance to the whole look. It’s a perfect color to be worn for a night out or being casual by teaming up a plain jumper with a pair of boyfriend jeans. Accessorise a plain burgundy dress with a pair of rose gold earrings, and you’ve got your look for the night instead of a repetitive black dress.
My personal favourite is the Burberry ponchos, which can be used as perfect outwear with a pair of burgundy booties. Here are my looks, show casing how to style a look for every occasion using burgundy.

Well, fall doesn’t have to be only about dark colors, style your looks with lighter colors as well. Beige is the perfect color for someone who prefers wearing lighter shades, it’s not pop bright summery color but fits perfectly for fall. Combine beige and gold, and there’s nothing more you’ll need to look glam. My other favourite combination is navy and beige, it creates a subtle look. Having beige in your wardrobe is essential, it’s a brilliant contrast to every other color.

Delusional British Weather 

Delusional British Weather Moving to London the biggest change for me was dealing with the erratic weather conditions here.
You may wake up to sun shining in your face through the blinds and the moment you step out and decide to go for a run and enjoy the pleasant weather. You’ll see how the clouds come around, the skies getting darker and the Suns disappeared before you know it!
It doesn’t stop there, then you’ll discover yourself being attacked by the cold rain and have cold wind gushing through your jumper.
It’s strange how you might see the sun shining and yet find yourself walking in a puddle, it surprises me how it can be cold, rainy and sunny at once! The weather gods are clearly hating on England.
After this weather experience I’ve always left my house well equipped with a scarf or wearing a hoodie to save my blow dried hair!

Picturesque London On A Rainy Day

Living in London, made me realise the reason behind the Brits not being the most friendly people is the weather that reflects everyone’s mood. I’ve seen that change in myself rather, on a gloomy day I find myself being more irritable and restless and not in the mood to socialise, the only thing appealing to me would be making myself cosy under my duvet and watch Netflix.

But somehow London ends up looking beautiful even on a gloomy day! That’s the best part about this city, it never loses its charm irrespective of anything!
I have to say, London is probably the loveliest cities making the weather an exception.