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Morocco Guide of Where to Go & What to See

July 24, 2014 by  

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Welcome to Morocco, the land of colour and light.
Jemaa El Fna square at sunset Giant lanterns, bright rugs, dimly lit restaurants with low tables and belly dancers, candles, snake-charmers, mountainous sand dunes shaded burning orange and dusty hairpin roads stretching as far as the eye can see: Morocco is an experience not to be missed. TRAVEL: Morocco is easy to get to. From London, easyJet operates flights most days to Marrakech. My personal favourite though, depending on what end of the Morocco you’re planning on starting your trip from, is to fly to Madrid for a cheeky tapas-infused stopover and then hop over to Tangier and from there an a short plane ride. Once in the country, you can hire a car (the roads are generally very good but beware crazy drivers in Marrakech) or take trains and buses throughout the country; check out this site for brilliant travel logistics.  The transport infrastructure is impressive and the trains are wonderful.  Book your own carriage for the ultimate experience. WEATHER: In the summer months (July to September) Morocco gets very hot but the temperature varies widely from place to place.


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A Visit to India’s Village Gunehar

July 24, 2014 by  

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  When visiting Palampur last summer, at the urging of those at Norwood Green I found myself headed for a day-trip to village Gunehar, hitherto unheard of. Located in close proximity to Bir, largely known as a paragliding destination when twinned with Billing - an activity I have not yet had the desire (read courage) to experience. You see, my sense of adventure extends far beyond the pale, to the palate. Wolfing down meals at all sorts of dubious places works just as well for me, if not my innards. Indeed my aim even that day last year was to locate this cafe, supposed haven of culinary treats that its owner Frank Schlichtmann created himself. In that sense, it was a wasted effort; a hot coffee and hurried chat across the cab boot was all I got. On a repeat visit this year I discovered there was a lot more to this sleepy Himalayan hamlet. Listing here, in no particular order, the 4reasons why it is worth every minute of the near-eight-hour drive from Chandigarh. For one, the 4tables Cafe dishes out some truly divine, home-cooked, wholesome fare in order to justify its worth and popularity. I confess the conjurer had me at first bite…of a delicately herbed baked chicken in…

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Jamaica on Happiness, Being Present & Life’s Magic Moments

July 23, 2014 by  

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I am sure you’ve all had those moments, where, for whatever reason we are prompted by the inner working of our minds to face our fears, accept our failures and forgive our faults. I wasn’t expecting these emotions to sweep through me while in Jamaica but as I watched the sun set on my last day in Montego Bay, I realized the tides were shifting, both externally and internally. Maybe the waves of emotion I’d been experiencing the last few months were because I was moving forward, not backward. Jamaica brought everything to the surface, exposing the truths I had too long forgotten.

On Happiness

I guess it all started on our first day in Negril, where we volunteered with some local children. Assuming that I was a burden to them, sent there for my own amusement, I approached the students timidly. How was it that a 27 year-old seasoned traveler felt intimidated by these young, vivacious children? Well, that was just it actually. As I watched the students during their recess break, my mind drifted back to my years in elementary school. I went to a private Catholic school in a pretty building, with pretty teachers and pretty classmates. During recess, I’d…

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The Magic and Serenity of Riad Dar Habiba in Morocco’s Marrakech

July 23, 2014 by  

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At first morning light hundreds of swallows fill the hazy blue sky where the softened sun glows as if covered by frosted glass. Over the roofs of varying shades of terracotta they swoop and swoosh, chasing one another and lapping up the coolest part of the morning. Marrakech roof terrace On the terrace of Dar Habiba Riad you’ll find me, lying on the cushions under the shaded iron awning, the curtains slightly pulled to block out the sun’s heat but allow the breeze to filter through. Around me are the roofs and terraces of the surrounding Marrakech riads; cacti adorn a side of one, an elaborate canola-topped temple and palm trees protrude from the middle of another. I admire a skinny cat leaping from ledge to ledge in search of scraps or the perfect spot to sunbathe. Marrakech rooftops Dar Habiba is a tranquil and elegant place to stay in this exciting, vibrant city. The staff are caring and helpful and although fairly small, the rooms are carefully thought out and beautifully decorated. Above the beds intricate lamps hang casting beautiful shadows on the wall and as you enter the…

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6 Local Foodie Superstars in New York City

July 23, 2014 by  

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  Alas, the Big Apple for great food. Most people know that New York is foodie heaven but with cool cafés and funky restaurants on every corner the options can get more than a little overwhelming.  I’ve been exploring the city like a local and sampling New York’s top restaurants following some great recommendations from family and friends. Here are some of the top superstars:  

JOSEPH LEONARD

Joseph Leonard, Greenwich Village

Stepping in to bite-size Joseph Leonard in Manhattan’s leafy Greenwich Village sort of feels like dining in your grandma’s front living room. With only a handful of tables and a bar, it’s an intimate spot with quirky adornments like a wall of vintage mirrors and crystal cut-glass bowls filled with rock salt. For brunch try the asparagus and parmesan omelette with baby lettuce and brioche or the avocado toast.
rosemarys nyc

Rosemary’s, West Village

Clutching the accolade of being probably my favourite restaurant in the world, Rosemary’s has the combination of great food and vibrant atmosphere mastered. The doors are folded back as tables spill onto the pavement, Parisian twinkly lights dangle from the ceiling and Sam Cooke and his band of soul brothers pour from the speakers.  On a…

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Taking in Odd Beers & Burgers in the Big Apple

July 22, 2014 by  

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    indulgence burger Beer & Buns “Indulgence Burger” In March 2014, The Court, a St Giles Premier Hotel, unveiled possibly New York City’s most interesting burger joint: Beer & Buns (B&B). Forget beef patties with lettuce, tomato and pickles, as these burgers are made with a variety of proteins, ingredients and accompaniments inspired by other culinary cultures, mainly Europe and Asia. “The inspiration for Beer & Buns came out of our desire to craft a creative, comfortable yet casual restaurant and bar in The Court Hotel and to also offer a new and unique food offering here in the Midtown and Murray Hill neighborhood,” said Abigail Tan, Head of St Giles Hotels, U.K., Europe and USA. “In our food trial and tasting sessions with Chef Nok, we came-up with the idea of developing hearty, burgers and sliders with an international flair and pairing it with global and local craft beers – We intended for Beer & Buns to be affordable as well so that not only residents in the area could get great mouth-watering sliders at great prices, but people working in the area and an after-work hours crowd would have easy access to a burger-bar that…

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A Summer Weekend at the Gotham West Market

July 22, 2014 by  

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  In the West Village, it’s worth checking out the Gotham West Market, which I have been wanting to visit for a while now. photo 1 Our first stop was Ivan Raman Slurp Shop for some ramen noodles. photo 2 I had the veggie noodles and Chris got the Tokyo Shio with pork belly. photo 3 photo 4 After lunch we moved on to El Colmado for some wine on their outdoor bar stools. photo 5 photo 6 photo 7 Finally, at Cannibal we took advantage of their 3 o’clock happy hour to grab some beer and cocktails. It was the perfect ending to the day. photo 8 Except that I wasn’t done yet, because I had to grab some ice cream from Jeni’s. A triple scoop with three different flavors. Do not come all the way out to Gotham West Market (which is pretty far out of the way if you live where we do) without picking up some ice cream. This alone would…

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What To Hit & Where To Go In Portland

July 21, 2014 by  

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  Finally, I checked Portland off my travel bucket list only to discover that I want to check it off again and again. This city is effortlessly fascinating and everything from the gritty street art to the farm to table culinary scene tops the charts. If you’re from Portland you probably already know that it’s the epitome of cool but for those of you who are planning a visit, hopefully this gets you in the Portland mood. I’ll be doing a neighborhood guide soon enough but for those travelers who are on a time crunch, I’d stick to a few main areas to see Portland’s hippest areas. I’d recommend stopping by Powell’s Books in the Pearl District and biking to the Alberta Arts District for graffiti, boutique fashion stores, artisanal ice-cream and food trucks. Don’t leave town without passing through Mississippi Avenue for more bars, restaurants, beer gardens and stores selling knickknacks. In case you need an extra push to visit Portland this year, here are 10!

1) The street art is inspiring and will put you in a positive mood. Can you think of better advice than this?

10 Reasons to Visit Portland Now

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