Saturday, July 9, 2016

Holiday Inn & Suites, Whitefield - Lunch at an incredible luxury resort

Recently I was lucky to spend some quality time at the Holiday Inn & Suites, Whitefield with my friends. Initially I was bit hesitant to travel to Whitefield on a working day, but immediately changed my mind after locating this place in Google maps. Holiday Inn & Suites is a luxurious American brand of Hotels which is part of the IHG Group (InterContinental Hotels Group) which is also famous for hotels like Crowne Plaza, Kimpton, Staybridge Suites, Hotel Indigo and many more.

I was invited by a close friend of mine to try their special lunch menu from the 'Tiffin Room'. They have Tiffin Room, Tiffin Bar and Pasha Bar and Grill at the resort. The last one is really interesting with a ‘feel like jumping’ pool and nice view of Bangalore from the fifth floor.

Holiday Inn & Suites is located in the Varthur-Whitefield main road. It’s beyond one’s imagination how big this place is when you see the building from the main road. You will be stoked to see the tranquil beauty of this resort once you step in there. They have a very classy, modern and contemporary interior with some antique pieces. The old style chairs along with the modern sculptures makes the lounge more elegant. The lush greenery of the resort adds more charm to this resort.

Being an American brand of hotel, I was surprised to receive a welcome in a traditional way with a decorated thali (tray) full of flowers, diya (lamp) and sindhoor followed by a welcome drink which was Aam panna. Aam panna was thick and refreshing. Tiffin Room is a place for a relaxing fine dining. They have an a la carte menu as well as buffet lunch.

At Tiffin Room they serve European, Continental and Indian cuisines with a modern twist. Chef Shibiraj and his team were really helpful in explaining the dishes. Before starting the lunch I just took some pictures of the dishes from the regular buffet. All the dishes looked so yummy.

What we had for the lunch -

Amuse Bouche – 

Baked Kottimber Vadi which was full of flavors and it tasted like Galouti kabab. By the time I finished Amuse Bouche I was sure that my lunch will be a great one.

Appetizers -

Koon (Mushroom in Malayalam) Ularthiyathu served in an edible spoon, Cheese Kurkuri and Steamed money bag. Starters were decent.

Soup - 

Thengapal Charu seved in surprise. The surprise was really interesting as they served the soup made of coconut milk and other spices in bread. Surprisingly while finishing the soup, bread didn’t become soggy. Bread was fresh and crispy. Soup in bread was a match made in heaven.

Main course -

Veg-Makhmali Kofta with Vegetable Dhalia (broken wheat). Though I had a non veg main course I happen to taste the veg main course and I absolutely loved the taste of Creamy kofta with a healthy vegetable dalia which was served with a Saffron sauce.

Non veg- Murgh Wazidwali with Saffron Pulao. Main course served was Stuffed Chicken breast with a Saffron rice and Makhani Sauce. Main course was so filling and finger licking delicious.

Next came my favorite part of the meal.

Desserts - 

Anarkali in Chocolate cup. Ela Ada and Lava Cake. 5/5 for the presentation. Soft and melt-in-mouth Gulab Jamuns served with white chocolate and Ela ada (Steam cake with coconut and jaggery filling, which is a traditional snack from Kerala) with a caramel sauce were really interesting. Lava Cake was moist and the chocolate flavor just perfect. They also had pastries, payasam and tarts at the dessert counter.

Overall the lunch was wonderful. This place is also very kids friendly with separate serveware for the kids. We tried only Tiffin Room this time and I will go back to this place to explore more. Holiday Inn & Suites can be a good option for a romantic weekend getaway without traveling outside the Bangalore and I am sure a relaxing spa followed by a wonderful meal at this beautiful place will remove all the stress.
Buffet is priced at ₹700+ taxes.
To know more about Holiday Inn & Suites, click here
For reservations or queries, contact 080 28544444

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Fete du Vin – the wine festival a haven for wine lovers at UB City, Bengaluru!

The BrainstrustDF, a leading name in engagement and loyalty, assists brands in building and managing loyalty, reward, recognition and incentive programs. Numerous companies have benefitted immensely from their services in need assessment, ideation, program design, application of technology, rewards, alliances and events. In keeping with their vision for creating exciting platforms for people to engage, they’ve conceptualized and organized Fete du Vinfor UB Cityon the weekend of July 9 and 10. It’s one place where you definitely want to be! With its wide range of participating wine brands, insightful workshops, wine tasting, grape stomping and exciting games, the Fete du Vin is sure to be the event of the season in Bengaluru!

Fete du Vin is a wine and cheese festival that intends to bring together all things fine under one roof; such as Four Seasons, Grover Zampa, Sula Vineyards, Chadon, Kerry Gold, Bread Works, Fratteli Vineyards, Enoteca, O2 Spa, Karen Anand, Prestige Cellar, Himalayan Cheese,Fawa,are participating at the festival. There are going to be numerous thrilling workshops on wine appreciation, wine tasting, contests and quizzesthat could win one amazing prizes. There will also be a special workshop by Chef Gouthamof Toscano, on cooking with wine. A class on ‘Wine and Cheese – Eternal Friends’will initiate people on how best to pair wines and cheese. The Art of Tasting Winewill demystify wine vocabulary and explain how to taste, smell and savour a glass of wines. 
Acclaimed wine trainer Gaurav Thapar, who has studied the art in New Zealand and London, will guide people on appreciating the nuances of wine-tasting. A unique session on painting with wine, called Canvas and Wine,will introduce a little-known art form. What will perhaps be the greatest highlight, is the grape stomping that will happen on both days. It’s sure to bring out the child in everybody! And if you’re wondering, yes, there’s great live musictoo! Incredible vocalist Megha Shankarof the Nathaniel Music School will croon her popular numbers. For just the lilting Blues and Soul music to go with your wine, popular band Mellowdynwill set the mood. The festival will close with singing superstar Soundarya’selectrifying performance, which is just the way a perfect weekend should close. With so much packed in over just 2 days, one is sure to be spoiled for choice.

Announcing the initiative, Mr. Girish Khare - Founder and Principal Consultant, The BrainstrustDF,said, “In the last decade, India has warmly embraced the wine culture. While there are numerous connoisseurs, there is a larger group that is yet to be initiated. There’s so much more to wine than just sipping it. An educational and fun event such as this helps people understand what goes into the wine, how best to drink it and how to pair it with food. The Fete du Vin is all this, and beyond! Our vision is to make it a knowledgeable, interactive and exciting platform where enthusiasts indulge in their shared passion for wine. From tasting and stomping to cooking and workshops, it’s got something for everyone. This should be the beginning of many new amazing journeys!”
Bengaluru’s famed weather is going to have another feather in its glorious hat – some wine-infused frolic! Those with the most discerning tastes are going to be together under one roof, relishing a glass of wine, savouring some cheeses, cooking up something fantastic or winning exciting prizes at the contests. Going by the amazing resources The BrainstrustDF has put together for the Fete du Vin, it’s going to be the most pulsating corner in Bengaluru this weekend. Make sure you’re there! 

Event Details
What:Fete du Vin (Wine & Cheese Festival)       
Date:9th& 10thJuly, 2016
Time:11 am to 11 pm
Where:The Piazza, 2ndfloor, UB City, Bengaluru. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

India Arts & Gems Fair 2016 - The Collonnade, The Leela Palace, Bangalore

Pic courtesy: IAGF

The 2nd edition of India Arts & Gems Fair (IAGF)’ 2016 partnered by BMW is happening at The Collonnade, The Leela Palace, Bengaluru from 30th June to 4th July, 2016 (7.30pm onwards). Similar to the Paris Biennale des antiquaires, this fair brings together the best talents from our county. According to Meena Das Narayan, who is the Founder and curator of IAGF - this is a great platform for renowned artists as well as potential artists. Meena Das Narayan is the Editor-in-Chief of the leading luxury lifestyle magazine- Gulf Connoisseur and also a great art lover, writer, poet, filmmaker and an artist.
A painting by Meena Das Narayan
With Meena Das Narayan, Founder & Curator of IAGF

The fair will bring together 100 artists, art galleries, art collectors along with 15 popular jewelers showcasing their best creations. Creating a stunning ornament itself is an art, says Mani Singhdeo who is a Jewellery Consultant and also a curator for this fair.

I skipped first two days of fair and preferred to attend on weekend. The first thing to notice at the fair will be the all-new stylish and colorful beauty from BMW, Mini convertible. Sadly our roads are not good enough to handle this sexy :(

This fair is conducted in three floors of The Collonnade and saw some of the great works by Yusuf Arakkal, Bijay Biswal, Vaikuntam, Suhas Roy, Sisir Sahana, Sukunta Das, Bhoomika Dange, Ganesh Doddamani and many more. Being an art lover, personally I don’t like taking pics of the paintings and post that in social media. It’s like disrespecting an artist’s creations and hard work behind it. So for the same reason I haven’t taken any good pics of the paintings which were kept on display.
Beautiful hand painted Ganesha pendant with Ruby from Apranje Jewellers

Cute sindhoor box with a peacock and ruby stones

As part of the five day exhibition, there will be other cultural activities like dance and music programmes, art talks, art installations, fashion show for showcasing the exquisite creations by the top jewellery brands in town like C.Krishniah Chetty & Sons, Nikhaar, Apranje, Forevermark, Srishti etc. 

IAGF also had a painting competing for the young talents; the school kids and selected paintings were rewarded. Artist Ganesh Doddamani amazed the audience by doing a live painting of Lord Buddha.

Do checkout this exhibition and it will be a great experience. The entire team from IAGF did a great job to make this event so successful. Kudos to them! Wishing ‘em more success in the coming years!

To know more about IAGF 2016, click here
Check out their website, IAGF 

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