The Idyllic Lake Como 

We spent 14 days exploring Switzerland and Northern Italy. We had lovely experiences throughout the trip and I can’t wait to share it….

Switzerland posts will be coming soon……

From Switzerland we drove to Lake Como via Stelvio pass. It was very scenic. We stayed in Lake Como region for 2 nights at 2 different places on the different sides of the lake.

These are the places we visited

Lake Como is the 3rd largest lake in Italy and one of the deepest lake in Europe with the depth of 1300ft. It is of glacial origin. Lake Como region is upscale resort area since the Roman times. This lake is inverted Y shaped surrounded by Alps and beautiful towns. It has been called ‘the most beautiful lake in the world’. No wonder celebrities like George Clooney, Richard Branson have homes on the shores of this beautiful lake. It has been a favourite getaway for wealthy people. These towns are known for legendary historic villas with beautiful architecture, gardens around the villas and funicular which goes up to the mountain town Brunate from Como. Main towns are Como, Bellagio, Menaggio, Varenna, Lecco….

To experience most of it, we stayed at 2 different sides of the lake.

1st day @ Hotel Paradiso sul lago @ Brunate.

2nd day @ B&B Da Melissa @ Vercana near Domaso.

I would recommend to stay in a hotel on a cliff for amazing views. There are many lakeside options too. Both the places where we stayed were on a cliff offering breathtaking views. Though Lake Como is known as upscale resort area, there are plenty of beautiful budget accommodations offering nice views of the lake.

We drove on both sides of the lake but roads on the western part is scenic than eastern which has all long tunnels.

We reached Hotel Paradiso sul lago at around 3pm. Since it is high up in the mountain town Brunate, we drove uphill through narrow roads. After checking in, we immediately hit the pool which offers great views of the lake and the mountains and then went to the lighthouse nearby. Everywhere in that small town there are viewpoints to see gorgeous views of the lake.

Narrow roads to Brunate
Pool with a view @ Hotel Paradiso sul lago

This breathtaking view 😍😍😍
The Lighthouse near our hotel
This amazing view from the Lighthouse

In the evening we went to Como by a funicular. View of the lake is beautiful while going downhill and it is the fastest way to go to Como than driving all the way. We reached Como in 15 minutes. We spent some time at the lake and had dinner at the lakeside pizzeria. There are many such lakeside restaurants at Como.  Lovely lake and yummy pizza by the lake!!! It was an evening well spent!

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Lake Como while descending
Pizza dinner with by the lake @ Como

Next day, we planned to go to Bellagio and explore some villas. But because of thunderstorms, villas and private boats were closed. But still we decided to explore the streets of Bellagio. Drive from Brunate to Bellagio was via Como was very scenic.
Bellagio is known as ‘pearl of the lake como’. It is wonderful town with narrow pebbeled streets, luxury stores, handicrafts and obviously lovely restaurants….. We spent nice 5-6 hrs restaurant hopping n hogging on yummy gelatos!!! But we couldn’t do anything else coz of heavy rain.

Rainy morning!!! Lovely road to Bellagio!!!
Beautiful promenade skirting the lake como @ Bellagio

Lunch by the lake @ Bellagio

Pizza with a view @ Bellagio

Then we headed to our next destination on the opposite side of the lake at Vercana near Domaso. There are 2 options, to go on the opposite side…..either drive all the way or take a car ferry. We took a car ferry at Bellagio ferry terminal to Cadenabbia. From Cadenabbia we drove till our destination. This was faster. We reached B&B Da Melissa at around 6pm. It was a beautiful room with a balcony on a cliff offering lovely views. Though it was cloudy, the view was beautiful. We booked it through air bnb. Melissa (host) personally welcomed us with a homemade yoghurt cake, wine and chocolates.

Car ferry to Cadenabbia

Welcome by the host
Yummy yoghurt cake!

Since we were tired and we had a wonderful view from our balcony itself, we spent the whole evening in our balcony admiring beauty of the lake. We even had dinner in the balcony. Again this was a wonderful day! Even the bad weather couldn’t spoil our time at Lake Como.

Admiring the gorgeous lake!!!
Dinner with a view in our balcony…..

Next morning, we were to leave for Switzerland early but the weather God decided have mercy on us….. so we changed our plan and went to Bellagio again to catch up with the things which we missed the last day because of rains. We drove till Cadenabbia, parked our car and went to Bellagio by public transport ferry.

Woke up to this view and it was a lovely sunny day!
Homemade breakfast and this view!

From Bellagio we decided to hire a boat to one of the many villas along the shore of lake como. Water limousine ride is highly recommended if you want to experience luxury at it’s best.  Though the water limousine ride is expensive (200euros for an hour), it is fabulous and worth every euro. Along lake como there are 19th centuries villas with beautiful gardens which add to the charm of the lake. We visited villa del Balbionello by water limousine. This villa is easily approachable by boat. This is the place where Casino Royale & Stars Wars – Attack of the clones were filmed. This villa with it’s paradisiacal garden in the backdrop of lake como makes it a perfect romantic fairytale location.

Water limousine ride!!!

Villa del Balbianello
The iconic arches at the villa!!!

Waiting for the water limousine…..

With these lovely memories we went back to Cadenabbia by public transport boat n headed towards Switzerland…….

STAY ROOTED, WEAR ROOTED!!!

Yesterday was World Environment Day and it gives me great pleasure to introduce you all to ‘Rooted’, a brand which offers comfortable yet stylish apparel made of natural fabrics like khadi, organic cotton, handloom cotton.

I was grown up in an environment where my parents always taught me to live sustainably and respect environment. We have been practicing it at home as far as possible by using natural things and by recycling. I’m glad to have collaborated with Rooted. Not just their clothes, i’m even in love with the name ‘Rooted’ which means grounded or deeply established. Their fabric is sourced from the NGOs across India. So it helps local Indian handloom workers to grow. In this way they support ‘Make in India’ movement.

All their dresses are of free size. Since I wear extra small size, initially i thought, it would be difficult for me to carry loose oufits. But when I tried them on I just loved the loose fit…..so comfortable yet so stylish!!! Loose is the new chic now…. This natural fabric is breathable, perfect for Indian hot weather (specially Mumbai weather). Not just the comfort, there’s so much variety in their clothes. They have something for everyone from formal wear to casual wear. I’m in love with their clothes and they are gonna be my wardrobe staple.

I have created 5 different looks wearing 5 different dresses. Check out the following pictures……

1. Indian formal look

2. Sunday Brunch or Summer lunch date look

3. Carefree traveller look

4. Summer chic look to hang out with your girl friends

5. Airport look

Let’s explore the world of ecofashion and try to live sustainably and save environment.

STAY ROOTED, WEAR ROOTED.

Little Black Cape Dress 

Hi,

Lbd is a wardrobe staple for women. It is rightly said ‘one is never overdressed or underdressed with a Little Black Dress’. Whenever you have to attend a party or any event in the evening and you don’t have much time to decide on your outfit or there are some days when you are not in a mood to experiment a lot with your outfit, for those days lbd is the safest option. You can never go wrong with lbd.

Though I like to play with different colours in my wardrobe, I’m biased towards black. I never get bored wearing black. Black colour leads my wardrobe. I would like to share with you all how I styled my cape lbd which I wore for my cousin’s birthday party @TheDeltin, Daman.

I bought this beautiful black cape lbd online from ridress.com. A week before the party, I had undergone a surgery. So I was not in a mood to experiment a lot and wanted to wear something which would be loose over my tummy. I chose to wear this cape lbd with relaxed fit. It was really comfortable and cozy because of the fit and the cape. I teamed it up with zara black boots with clear heels and a clear clutch from accessorize. These days I’m in love with clear accessories. I looking forward to buy some more ‘clear accessories’. Those boots are with box heels which are broader on the lower part, so are super comfortable to walk and what I loved most is gold sparkles in the heels. I accessorised it with a statement necklace and a bracelet. Completed the look with red1 shade of maybelline lipstick (LIP gradation by COLORsensational). I’m in love with this series. I even bought other colours of these. It’s matte, highly pigmented and glides well on the lips giving smooth finish.

I created classy look with my lbd. But you can add pop of colour in your accessories and create fun look. Instead of statement necklace, you can wear big earrings or just keep it simple with no or minimal accessories and wear dressy embellished shoes. You can go for any footwear with nice heels like pumps, stilettos, wedges. For more sophisticated look you can add a belt. Lbds are truly versatile.

Did you all like how I styled my cape lbd?…..Tell me how would you like to style your lbd?

Grand canyon of Maharashtra- Nighoj potholes aka Ranjankhalge!!!

After a long search on where we can plan a day trip from Mumbai in peak summer we found out this place called ‘Nighoj potholes or Ranjankhalge’. I had never imagined that such not so popular place could be Asia’s largest potholes site.

We started our journey from Navi Mumbai on a sunday morning at 9 am. It is in Ahmednagar district about 200 km drive from Mumbai and 90km from pune. We took Talegaon exit on Mumbai Pune expressway and drove towards Chakan. From Chakan best way to reach Nighoj is via Pabal but we missed that turn and landed up on a road which was non existent. And it was fun. While coming back we went via Pabal as we had our good share of adventure for a day in our sedan. Except for this other roads are good and picturesque with pomegranate orchards and onion farms along the road. We reached Nighoj at around 1 pm. Villagers refer to the place as ‘ Nighoj Malaganga kund’.

These potholes are a riverbed of Kukadi river. There’s a canyon, 2km in length which reminds you of grand canyon. It is barely visible from a distance. As you go closer, the view is incredible. It is best seen in summer as the river is dry. There’s a small suspension bridge over it and Malaganga temple on the banks of the river.

There are many theories behind it and one of them is that it is formed because of vigorous circular motion of the pebbles in the water in rainy season creating cavities in the basalt rock or because of heavy rainfall water coming from highlands with such force giving rise to such rock formations.

Geological teams from all over the world come here every year to study the phenomenon of their formation.This place is truly a geological miracle.

I wonder why this is not popular with the tourists. All you see is devotees who come to visit the temple. There’s ghagar miravnuk (procession) every year in April. When we visited it was not well maintained. May be we went just after the procession. Since it is not popular with the tourists there are no facilities to stay, restaurants or toilets. Just a few places selling sugarcane juice and cold drinks were there. We had carried our lunch with us which we had in car before reaching nighoj.

We spent 2 hours there in scorching heat. But it was windy. Noon time is best to take pictures. Make sure you carry a bottle of water with you and wear comfortable clothes and footwear. The edges of the riverbed are smooth and curvy, walking might be tricky. In afternoon time the riverbed becomes too hot to touch. Some potholes are big enough for an adult to fit in.

After visiting this beautiful place we stopped by pomegranate orchards and onion farms and met some local farmers. They gave us some pomegranates and 10kg onions and refused to take money. It was the best gift we have ever received. Meeting such lovely people was the best part of the trip…..that’s why we love roadtrips! Journey is always more enjoyable that the destination. No doubt this destination was also amazing!!!

Best season to visit: March to May as the riverbed is dry……but I would love to see it when water levels are high. Next time we’ll come back here in monsoon to see water gushing through these rock formations.

Other places of interest nearby: Morachi chincholi, Ranjangaon.

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Onion farms along the way!!!

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Pomegranate orchards!!!

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Our home made lunch….no good restaurants around Nighoj!!!
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Journey was as good as the destination!!!

 

 

DIY no sew cape and how i styled it!

Hi,

In this post, I’m gonna share my DIY experiment and how I styled it in two different ways. Since last year capes have been ruling the fashion world be it fashion shows or on red carpet…..it’s everywhere. I really love cape style dresses. They are comfortable as well as chic. Since a long time I was looking for a perfect cape. At that time some leftover tulle was just lying in my closet…..and I realised that I can easily make a cape using a piece of tulle. So I made this pink cape from leftover tulle and it turned out to be good. Trust me it’s always fun to wear outfits which are designed by yourself.

Follow the steps in following pictures for DIYing your no sew cape…..

Things required: a piece of tulle, scissors, chalk
Unfold the piece of tulle. Keep it on the flat surface and fold it twice as shown in pictures.
Take a chalk. Make equidistant dots on folded sides and join the dots as in the picture.
Take scissors and cut as shown in picture.
And your cape is ready. When you unfold, it looks round. You can now wear it as you want.

How I styled my tulle cape- I styled my cape in two different ways. Once with a long flared skirt and the other time with blue jeans. In both outfits I chose to wear pink tops coz pink tulle was looking perfect with pink tops than any other colours. When it comes to sheer clothes, I love layering them on same colour or may be darker shade of that colour rather than contrast colour.

1.Cape with skirt: This is an Indowestern look. I teamed up a cape with a flared blue ethnic skirt and a Forever 21 cropped top. With this lovely fuschia pink and ink blue combination I wore green accessories (Swarovski earrings, necklace and bracelet) and a green velvet box clutch. I wore it for my cousin’s baby shower. This is perfect for a sangeet, mehendi or even for indian festivals.

2.Cape with jeans: Here I wore a same cape in different style (on one shoulder) with a pink tube top from Only and Allen solly skinny jeans. Kept accessories to minimal with just Titan eye plus shades, silver loops, watch. Completed the look with a blue Tresmode sling bag and silver h&m shoes. This was my weekend look. This is perfect for hanging out with your girl gang or for a brunch.

So, out of these two looks which one did you all like? Please comment……

Outfit: Faux leather bustier with printed harem pants!!!

Hi,

I love experimenting with my outfits and my look specially when I travel and sometimes in my daily life. I have been thinking of penning down my outfits since a very long time and finally I’m doing it. I’ll start with my post about what I wore last Saturday @thelilflea.

I went to the lil flea last Saturday. It’s a fun flea market with all colorful stuff (shopping, food and live music). Since it was a sunny evening, I wore pink printed easy breezy harem pants from Fusion beats. The fabric is very soft and I’m in love with it. It looks like a maxi skirt in pictures. But it’s somewhere between harem pants and a maxi skirt. I teamed it up with a black faux leather bustier from Forever 21, a black Sisley sling bag, frilly shoes from h&m and silver accessories (small swarovski earrings, a silver nose ring, silver reflector sunnies and my all time favourite BMW watch). And I carried a oversized cane bag to complete my ‘all set for shopping’ look. And cherry on the cake was the #pataka phone case which I bought from case factory @thelilflea.

If you can’t stop thinking about it….buy it….otherwise it keeps on haunting you😜
This is what I bought 😍😍😍

How did you like my outfit? Please comment!!!

PS- The lil flea is gonna be there today and tomorrow in case you missed it last weekend. It’s their anniversary edition….so it’s gonna be more fun. Have a great weekend!!!!

Review : The Lalit Resort & Spa, Bekal 

We had been on a roadtrip to Kerala from Mumbai to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary! On our way we stayed at this beautiful resort at Bekal.

This lush green property is spread over 27 acres with only 37 rooms surrounded by Nombili river. It has its own private beach. Without any exaggeration, this resort is so picturesque that you click a random picture & it’s hard not to look heavenly. Since Bekal is not very popular with the tourists, there were hardly any people in the resort. There was complete privacy. You feel as if you are in your own property.

Checking in was smooth. Staff was very courteous. We loved the warm welcome. Best part was that they served coconut water as a welcome drink. It was so refreshing after the long drive.

We reached at around 2:30pm and lunch time at the restaurant was till 3. So we immediately rushed for lunch. They have a restaurant called Nombili. We had king fish cooked in banana leaf and tomato rice, both cooked in coconut oil. It was perfect….taste and food quality was extraordinary. They serve organic food grown in their own farm.

After the lunch the staff explained us about amenities and activities in the resort. As per our request, they had given us the room with river view. We stayed in a deluxe suite. Room was huge with a lovely balcony with a river view. At one glance you can see only and all shades of green. You can sit there for hours and just admire the beautiful view. If someone asks me what is heaven, I would say, this…..mind blowing!!!! Washroom was even more bigger with a private jacuzzi surrounded by lovely palm trees. We were told that we cannot use jacuzzi ourselves. Bath butler prepares it for extra cost and it takes time(3-4hrs) to prepare it. So we asked them to prepare the jacuzzi & went to the pool.

The pool was not too big, not too small. It was perfect with islands for trees in it. Not at all crowded. Perhaps we were the only ones in the pool. We felt like it was our private pool.

After spending some time in the pool, went back to the room and our jacuzzi was ready. I was wondering why the bath butler was going to take so much time for jacuzzi, but when we went to the room, it looked amazing…decorated with flowers, candles and incense sticks. It was a twilight time. So the trees around still could be seen. Everything was so perfect…..Loved all the pampering!!!

After the refreshing jacuzzi, we went for dinner. We ordered Prawns fry, Ulli Theeyal, Malabar paratha, Appam & Tender coconut panna cota…..Everything was delicious and high quality. This was the softest Malabar paratha I’ve ever had. I eat quite bland food by indian standards…..so the Prawns were a bit spicy for me. When I told that it’s spicy, the chef prepared it again for me and it was yummy….I have never had such juicy prawns ever.Full marks for the exceptional service and food !!

Next day morning, we spent some time in the balcony admiring the view and then went for a breakfast. There was nice buffet serving international as well as south indian cuisine and fruits. Dosa and Uttappam were very good and fruits were very fresh.

After the breakfast, we went to explore the resort. There offer unlimited kayaking and boating in the river. We enjoyed kayaking. Then we went near the beach. There’s a beautiful wooden walkway over the part of backwaters connecting resort to the beach. Don’t miss fresh coconut water near the walkway. There’s a person who climbs the coconut tree in front of you and gets a coconut for you. Where else do you get such great service with so much of love? They even provide bicycles to go around the resort.

They have a gym and spa. They even conduct yoga and meditation sessions. Since we were there just for a day, we dint try it.

I won’t write about pros and cons here. Though there are some shortcomings, they really make up with lot of other beautiful things….

1.There’s only one restaurant in the resort where there are timings for lunch, dinner and breakfast which gets boring if you are staying for long duration. But food is so delicious and high quality produced in their own farm, I can go there again just for the amazing food. 2.They prepare jacuzzi for 2k rupees but they prepare it beautifully and it’s worth the money. Other activities in the resort like kayaking and boating etc. are included and are unlimited. 3.Lighting is low at night. But day time view makes up for it. 4.Though some people would think that service is not as par with international standards, I felt it was very genuine!!! I loved the service!!! Every single person I came across was very genuine. I felt like I was living in a beautiful village with the lovely people around!!!

How to get there? We went by road from Mumbai via nh17, nearest airport: Mangalore (2hrs from Bekal), nearest train station: Kasargod (12km from Bekal)

Best time to visit: winter ( nov-feb)

Max number of days: 2 days

My rating: location 4/5, room 4/5, ambiance 4/5, service 5/5, food 5/5, amenities 4/5

Would I like to visit again? I usually don’t prefer repeating places. I always like to try something new. But I will definitely go to Lalit at least for lunch or dinner for their delicious food whenever I visit Bekal.

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Happy us……with a welcome drink!!!
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They serve what they grow 🌱
Lunch-King fish🐟 cooked in banana leaf & tomato rice
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Our room

Lovely jacuzzi with a view 🌴🌴🌴

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Ready for dinner!!!

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Kerala style fried prawns 🍤🍤🍤
Ulli Theeyal with Appam!!!
Tender coconut panna cota 🍧
My favourite place in the room- balcony with a view 🌴
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The heavenly view 🌴🌴🌴

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Yummy breakfast!!!

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I find my RUNWAY wherever I go!!!
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Where else can you get such great service???

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What I wore? I wore a short soft cotton romper with palm leaves print which was perfect for the humid weather and comfortable footwear. Bikini again with colorful palm leaves print was going well with the surrounding!!! And a black sheer dress for dinner!

Romper, Black dress & bikini : forever 21