Milan restaurant, Birmingham – review

Milan Restaurant, Birmingham
You say Birmingham, I say Food.
With such variety, from Thai to Italian, American to Greek, Indian to Caribbean, Birmingham is a foodies paradise. No wonder, I went foodalistic (food + ballistic) trying various cuisines and soaking in the flavours of the world. However, my heart beats the fastest for Indian food (not because of the spices, I genuinely love Indian food) and that’s the reason I’m writing this post. I want to share with all my readers that I’ve found one of the best Indian restaurants in Birmingham, and that restaurant is Milan.
Considered to be a dining institution, Milan is tucked away nicely at the outskirts of Birmingham city centre on Newhall Street. The entrance and the interiors are inviting, with a modern setting coupled with an old world charm, low lighting, soft Bollywood music and fresh flower arrangements. As soon as we (me and my husband) entered the restaurant, we were greeted with a nice, big smile by the Head Chef of the restaurant, Parvinder Singh Multani. Ushered in to our seats, we were attended to immediately by the waiting staff. Drinks and Poppadoms (£1) followed soon after.
The restaurant has classy and inviting interiors
Milan offers an impressive and expansive menu, with a lot of vegetarian options. Innovation, it seems is the key word at Milan, as the dishes on offer are a unique fusion of East and West flavours. One look at the menu and the dishes with its innovative names, and you can see how much love and effort has gone into designing the menu for this place.   
To kick start, I ordered Almond Pears (£3.95), while my husband went for Naram Dill Tikki (£3.95). True to its name, the Naram Dill Tikki was super soft, with melted cheese oozing out from the heart-shaped dumpling. Almond Pears were served over sweet yogurt and were a delight. 
Almond Pears
Naram Dill Tikki
For mains, I ordered Bhindi Mushroom (£6.95) and Tadka Dal (£6.95) with Naan (£1.95). My husband went with Chicken Mirch Masala (£8.95) and Tandoori Roti (1.95). Flavoursome food with artistic presentation is how I would like to describe the mains. Naan was soft and chewy, and the Rotis were perfectly layered. The portions were just right as they arrived in cute little copper kadhais. No overpowering smells or spices, just amazing taste.
Bhindi Mushroom with Tadka Dal
Tandoori Roti
For desserts, we went with the highly recommended Rasmalai (fresh cheese dumplings cooked in milk) and Gajar Ka Halwa (a carrot based sweet). The desserts didn’t disappoint either, however, the star among the two was Rasmalai that was served with a strawberry decoration.
Gajar Ka Halwa with a dollop of Vanilla ice cream and Rasmalai with strawberries
Because of the reasonably priced menu, we could eat to our hearts content and still manage to keep our bill under £55. The ever friendly and smiling staff made the experience even more wonderful. Without doubt, I can say that this restaurant is sure to impress both the pocket-friendly crowd, as well as the most passionate North-Indian food aficionados. If we lived locally, Milan would have been my food mecca.


London Street Brasserie, Reading – review

What a view! London Street Brasserie
The thing that amazes me most about London Street Brasserie (LSB) is how insanely popular it is, even after almost 14 years in business. While all the other restaurants that opened at or around the same time in 2000 have either shut down or made way for fast food joints, LSB, interestingly, has not just survived, it has thrived over the years. Reason? It comes from a rich pedigree. Paul Clerehugh, the man behind the ultra-famous The Crooked Billet is the owner of LSB. Needless to say, I was super excited to dine at a restaurant that has been recommended in the prestigious Michelin guide every year, since 2002.
My gourmet experience started as soon as I entered LSB with my husband for a Monday night dinner. A lady with a warm and friendly smile greeted us from behind a bouquet of fresh flowers. Quickly confirming our booking, she ushered us into the dining area, where our table was beautifully lit and laid out.

Given the fact that Reading has so many eating out options, LSB was unusually packed for a Monday night, which I believe, speaks volumes about how good the food is and how well it is received. The restaurant offers an eclectic selection of dishes, both in a la carte and set menu. The wine list too is expansive and impressive. The place offers more than 60 options, including a lot of award-winners, with as many as 20 that are available by the glass.

Marvelling at the eclectic selection of dishes, I went with Garlic & Herb flatbreads, hummus, baba ganouj, green olive tapenade & tomato chilli chutney (£7.90) for my starter, while my husband kicked off with Chicken liver parfait, rhubarb compote, toasted sugar dough (£8.50) from the a la carte menu.
Scotch and Eggs

The starters arrived soon enough and I have to say, the green olive tapenade was out of this world. A soft punch of garlic and a whisper of thyme, gave it such delicate flavouring that I wished I had some more on my plate. Garlic & Herb flatbreads were well toasted and baba ganouj had the perfect taste and texture. My husband’s Chicken liver parfait arrived in a neat little Kilner jar. He described it as, “velvety, smooth and tasty, with a hint of fruity”. Head chef Sam May had worked his magic.  
More than content with the generous starter portion, I ordered Moroccan spiced baby aubergine & butternut tajine, yellow lentils & chickpea, yoghurt sauce& lavish flat bread crisp (£16) for my mains. My husband went with Roast halibut, salt cod brandade, broad beans & peas, lemon butter sauce (£20) with chips (£3.25).
The mains took some time to arrive, but it was worth the wait as the food looked spectacular. True to its name, my dish arrived in a colourful earthenware saucer. Gently simmered baby aubergine and butternut, sitting pretty on a bed of yellow lentils, chickpea and yogurt sauce. A simple dish, with very little spices, so as to allow the flavours of all the ingredients to come through. On my right, I could see the look of satisfaction on my husband’s face, as he digged into his delicious white-fleshed flatfish. “What a classic, deep taste of the sea,” he exclaimed. Head chef Sam May had worked his magic. 

After all this, going for deserts was the like a Man vs Food moment for both of us. Nevertheless, we decided to have a look at the desert menu; after all, no harm ever came by just looking.
Chocolate Nemesis
With such an amazing choice on offer, from sorbet to crème brulee, it was hard not to order something. Within a couple of minutes, Tiramisu, biscotti (£6) appeared on my right, and a lime & ginger cheesecake (£6) was placed in front of me. If there is ever something that defines Death by Deserts, this was it. One bite into the succulent cheesecake, and I was transported into a desert heaven.    
To reiterate why LSB has not only survived, but thrived over the years, is undoubtedly owner Paul’s vision and his fabulous food, but it is also because of his carefully selected team of chefs and a polished and friendly staff. The place is like a happy home, where the staff is proud to serve and take care of its guests. Take a look at the huge picture collage right outside the women’s loo on first floor and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

My last thought as we got up to leave was, ‘What a lovely, romantic place. Perfect for celebrating special occasions. Should come here for Valentine’s. Or maybe for our anniversary!’ Well, I think, I’m coming back for both.

Au revoir!

Name: London street brasserie

Website: http://www.londonstbrasserie.co.uk/

Location: Riverside Oracle, 2-4 London Street, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 4PN

10-15 minute walk from Reading train station

Accommodation: Ground and first floor as well as outdoor seating. Accommodates up to 80 people at a time.


A la carte - http://www.londonstbrasserie.co.uk/a-la-carte-menu

Set menu - Set menu offers 2 courses – starter and main for £16.50 pp. Deserts are all £5




Foxlow: Nice n sweet

Foxlow, Clerkenwell
Foxlow, the steak-themed restaurant, comes from a rich pedigree. It is the latest venture from the guys behind Hawksmoor, but thankfully, this venture is extremely affordable. Termed as the “new neighbourhood restaurant”, Foxlow can be spotted in all its glory on St. John Street in Clerkenwell.

Serving up slow-smoked and charcoal grilled dishes, Foxlow offers a menu that is imaginative and skilfully executed. One can enjoy specials like Eight-hour Bacon rib with maple and chilli, Ten hour beef shortrib with kimchi or Skin on fries with chicken salt.
The expansive setting @Foxlow
Those with a sweet tooth can try various options, including Caramel popcorn, Bourbon caramel and Apple crumble, all between £3-6. Just like Hawksmoore, Foxlow too has an impressive drinks menu, offering twists on classic cocktails and wines from independent producers.  
The two floor Foxlow is a warm and friendly eatery, with a relaxed atmosphere. Farringdon Tube Station is a 5-minute walk away.


Deborah Brand couture corsets up for sale

Deborah Brand's luxury corsets are up on sale at 43 Face on 43 All Saints Road, Notting Hill, London
Here's some good news for all those who like the finer things in life, like luxury corsets. Personally speaking, corsets are my 'not-so-secret' weapon to manage my bulge and flaunt a lovely hourglass figure. Naturally, I get super excited when their is any news about corsets, more so, when it is about corsets on sale. So, here I am, sharing this super good news for everyone who loves luxury corsets.

Deborah Brand, a London-based luxury womenswear designer and corsetiere, has announced three of her original couture corsets up for sale. The exquisitely handcrafted corsets are being exhibited at 43 Face on 43 All Saints Road, Notting Hill, and will be on display from September 24, 2014.
During her twenty five years as a designer, Deborah, who runs her fashion label under her name, Deborah Brand, has had the pleasure of dressing a wealth of celebrity clients including Adriana Lima, Bjork, Chloe Sevigny, Davina McCall, Demi Moore, Fay Dunaway, Kylie Minogue, Naomi Campell, Oona Chaplin, Penelope Cruz, Tess Daly and more.

Sculpted wonders: Deborah Brand's luxury corsets
Using simple and unusual lines, Deborah’s corsets improve your posture, aids your quest to shed the pounds and are perfect for all body types. Lined with butter silk duchess satin and soft precise padding, they are the perfect garment to flaunt and enhance your curves.

Here’s a sneak peek at the three stunning Deborah Brand couture corsets that are on sale right now. What’s more, each of these corsets are custom made, which means, only one of each of these corsets were ever made, so the owner of these corsets, will be the only one in the world to enjoy these handcrafted design. So, grab this chance to include these exclusive and stunning corsets in your wardrobe as your prized possession…

Angel in White: Karen K Bridal corset

Karen K Bridal corset
This rare bridal corset is magnificently hand detailed and embroidered with rhinestone, sequins, beads and fine lace. The bust is embroidered with a Maria Elena couture piece. Originally designed for a photo shoot with the couture shoe designer Karel El-Khazen, this corset has also been worn by Oona Chaplin (famous for Game of Thrones and The Hour), and featured in editorials worldwide. It is constructed of 45 metal and hand folded polymer bones, and lined in sumptuous French silk duchess satin. Fits standard size 10.

Samara Hand Beaded corset
Black Magic: Samara Hand Beaded corset

Adorned with a rare 1940s embellishment on the bust, the entire corset has been hand beaded. Lined with sumptuous French silk duchess satin and adorned with premium ostrich feathers, this corset is constructed with 45 bones in a mixture of steel and hand folded polymer. Fits standard size 10.

Gisela Bespoke corset
Owing to the rare nature of this fabric, which was taken from a garment made for Shirley Bassey (famous Welsh singer), only one of this corset was ever made. This Elizabethan flat fronted corset has been entirely encrusted with crystals. It is constructed of 45 bones of steel and hand folded polymer. Fits standard size 10.
Crystal Beauty: Gisela Bespoke corset
For more information, visit: http://deborahbrand.com/. For bespoke service, call: 00443335770250 or email: info@deborahbrand.com
For social media updates, you can also follow Deborah Brand on Twitter, @DeborahBrand or like her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deborahbrand2.

Corsets and You: Corsets by Deborah Brand for that perfect hourglass silhouette
You can also follow her designs and updates on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/deborahbrand/ and Instagram: http://instagram.com/deborahbrand

Company: Deborah Brand
Email: info@deborahbrand.com
Company Website: http://deborahbrand.com/


RIP Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers
Came home to a shocking news a few days back. Joan Rivers died, during a surgery on her vocal cords. How bizarre and shocking is that? I mean, I love watching Fashion Police, but I loved it because of her. Without Joan, fashion policing wouldn't have any of the punch, the humour, the playfulness or the critique that she brought with her unique personality. No matter what or how she decoded a celebrity attire, no matter how she poked fun at a stars dressing sense or their look, her comments were said in a way that no one could have ever hated her.

Her critiquing too had an underlining sense of humour and that made her a beloved being among the stars, designers and fashion editors alike. Owing to her frank and outspoken nature, Joan was almost always in the news. She faced criticism and stirred controversies because of her outspoken commentaries on celebrities and politics, but her gregarious nature and her ability to poke fun at herself sort of diluted the impact of her statements, in a sense that nobody could have taken her critiquing to the heart.

I might be wrong. Many might not agree to what I'm saying here, and I too am not speaking from experience. I was never at the 'other' end of her jokes, so I would never know. But I have watched Joan for all these years, and I have always loved her enthusiasm, her comic style and her grasp on fashion. For me, she was more alive and kicking that any of her co-hosts on Fashion Police, and I am going to miss her badly. Fashion Police will not be (read can never be) the same without Joan Rivers.

RIP my fashion yoda.


Beer deserves respect

To beer or not to beer!
I admit, I don’t know much about drinks. In fact, it is only recently that I’ve educated myself on the different kinds of wines and beers and other spirits that are available. A lager, a cider or an ale – for me, they were all the same, except for the colour. Blasphemous, you say!!
But, now that I know, I appreciate and enjoy the taste, smell and the quality that each has, and this interview is for those, who are passionate about their beer. In conversation with George F Reisch, a 5th generation brewmaster, who wants to bring back the respect that beer deserves world over. Read on...  
Brewmaster George F Reisch
You are a 5th generation brewmaster. How was it growing up in that culture and carrying forward such a legacy?

It was very interesting. I grew up in a German brewing factory, which was owned by my dad. So, from the moment I was born, I was basically around beer. Our house was on the brewery property. As a young boy, I played in the brewery. And all those smells and aromas that are a part of a brewery go very deep into your brain stems and they become a part of your personality. And you get a love of beer that is more than just intellectual. It is sensory, and intellectual, and everything else. And that stayed with me my entire life. So, for me, it was just such a natural choice of a vocation to want to spend my career in brewing.

You are known to combine beer with food and creating interesting culinary experiences. How did you get into this 'food for beer' experience?

Combining food with beer is a very old tradition. It is as old as humanity. Beer has always been around. Our ancestors discovered that drinking water when contaminated was dangerous, causing death. But when fermented, the danger no longer existed. So, they started to have beer with every meal, in fact they started cooking in beer. The oldest meal ever discovered had beer in it - it was a beer recipe - written in the form of a song; and that is how it was passed from one generation to another. People say this culture of combining food with beer is new, but I say no, it's always been there. It's just that it is being rediscovered now.

How do you see this culture of beer growing in India?

If I can predict correctly, I think beer will grow so much more if the aspect of beer complementing food is brought in India. Food and beer is like two wonderful people marrying each other and I find that very interesting. Especially in India, where you use a lot of spices. Beer works very well with spices.

And what makes beer pairings different than wine pairings?

If you pair a food with a beer, and it overshadows the food, it's a bad pairing. The food is the bride, and the beer is the bridesmaid. Now, a wine person will never say that about wine. They want to taste the wine, foremost. I'd explain it like this - we all have friends who are kind and never ask for anything. That's beer. Then you have other friends who walk in the room and someone will be crying and they'll say, do you guys like the way my hair looks?

... That's wine?

Yes. Wine is kind of like that. Wine is snobbish, beer is humble
Happy beer days!
You were in India recently on a celebrity Brewmaster Tour. What were you looking for in a zythologist?

People call me a beer connoisseur, a zythologist, but for me, those who love beer and are passionate about it, are true zythologists. Knowing the aroma, the colour and knowing which food works best with it, are all factors that make a good zythologist. Also, I want to bring back the respect that beer deserves. It is a very complicated and sophisticated drink, and it deserves all the respect. If I could speak on behalf of the beer, it will say, 'pour me in a glass and see what I look like. Taste me. Experience all my flavour notes. I hope you're enjoying your food. I'm just a humble beer, but I want you to like me'.


Make it a stylish holiday

Any holiday is incomplete without the right wardrobe! If you are wondering how to dress for yours this season, take a look at these handy points.

1) When in doubt, you can never go wrong with a sundress! It's the perfect clothing item for a tropical getaway. You can wear it with a hat and flip-flops for a sun outing or dress it up with a statement neckpiece for an evening beach-shack dance party.

Taylor Swift in cute summer dresses
2) For a tour around town, wear your go-to pair of jeans with a classic knit tee and sneakers. Throw on a printed scarf to add some detail and style to this uber-casual look!

3) Get yourself a sheer wrap dress or sarong for those long strolls on the beach. It's a lightweight cover-up that won't weigh down on your style quotient!

Trendy beachwear to glam up your holiday
4) Want to save yourself from the sun and still look like a million bucks? The sun-hat is an accessory that promises both. Choose a material and colour based on where you'll be travelling and how sturdy that hat needs to be!

5) A good pair of shorts is a warm-weather travel staple that will survive pretty much anything. Choose from cotton or denim options and pair it with a tank top or a fun shirt. Wear loafers, sandals or platforms and voila! You're ready to discover the world.

6) Whether you're out for some hardcore hiking or a casual stroll, never forget to carry your trustee backpack to store essentials.

7) Remember, happy colours make for great travel photos! So make sure you pack all your jolly brights to be picture-perfect every second of your escapade!

8) A bandana is a cheat code to putting on an air of relaxation. Its effortlessly hippie feel is sure to make you lose all your worries, and put you in the mood for that holiday cocktail!

Bandana to the rescue
9) Wear a cropped top with a high-waisted skirt for an instantly glamorous silhouette, be it day or night!

10) Packing for a holiday is an exciting act in itself, but one mustn't forget to pack in style! Invest in a funky suitcase to ensure you're feeling the excitement of your getaway all the way there!

In love with the hourglass silhouette

Corsets by Deborah Brand
“Always believe in yourself and stay humble – that’s my mantra for success and that is what I would advise women who want to get into business or want to become an independent entrepreneur,” says the highly acclaimed London-based fashion designer, Deborah Brand.

The desire to reduce the waist and enhance body’s natural curves is every woman’s dream and making this dream come true for thousands of women is what Deborah excels at. Twenty-five years into the business, Deborah says, she started her journey by designing under the cult 90’s label Sub Couture. Her first corset dress was commissioned exclusively by the famous department store Harrods, and was sold out within weeks of hitting the shop floor. Encouraged by the positive response, Deborah went solo, moved to New York and launched Deborah Brand Couture.
Corsets by Deborah Brand for that perfect hourglass silhouette
Sharing her incredible journey, Deborah says, “I’ve been a designer all my life. I started by designing the classic collection and three years later, I designed the classic corset. I kept designing and re-designing corsets until I produced my first ‘perfect corset’ with 41 exclusively designed bones with 8-12 panels.”
Soon, her corsets were in demand everywhere – she sold to most major accounts in the UK including Selfridges, Liberties, Joseph, House of Frazer, Cruise Flannel, Psyche, Geese and Sarah Coggles. Her international exposure was equally as impressive as she sold to over 100 accounts worldwide including Ludwig Beck (Germany), Stig P (Denmark), Joyce (Hong Kong), Barneys (New York) and Nordstrom (USA).

Why corsetry, we asked. “I have always been inspired by the shape of a woman’s body, basically the hourglass silhouette – so when it came to designing the perfect collection, it became apparent to me that it had to be a corset,” Deborah explains, adding, “It epitomises everything I work for, and everything that I consider to be beautiful about making a dress. For me it starts with structuring a corset. They are the most beautiful thing and have come a long way from being just an undercloth to a fashion must have.”

The best thing about Deborah’s corsets are the simple and unusual lines that make them a perfect fit for all body types. Available in four different styles – Mila, Rosie, Georgia and Freja – her corsets are precision made, with every possible attention to detail, and are lined with butter silk duchess satin and soft precise padding.

Enhance your curves
Her designs have adorned the most glamorous celebrities such as Naomi Campbell, Demi Moore, Kylie Minogue and more. Ask her if she has any favourites among her clients and she says, “All these women are beautiful and I loved dressing each one of them.” Does she have any favourites in terms of best dressed celebrities? “Salma Hayek. I think she has beautiful curves. I also like Beyonce and Adriana Lima. They both are very sensual in the way they dress.”
As a fashion statement and even as a tool to reduce weight and waist, the demand for corsets is at an all-time high. EBay recently reported a 185% rise in the number of corsets being sold over the last three months. However with these reports, there have also been debates on how wearing corsets can harm your body and weaken your spine. Addressing this issue, Deborah says, “As a nation, we are becoming larger and age certainly is unkind to the stomach. Earlier women used to let go, now they are more conscious about their appearance. Corsets makes them look and feel beautiful and by wearing them they can achieve the desired vintage silhouette. That explains the increasing demand for corsets. As far as health issues are concerned, supressing your waist by 4-5 inches is fine. Beyond that and we advise our customers against it. Back in the Victorian era, women used to go to the extreme by clinching their waist up to 16 inches. That is extremely unhealthy.”

Corsets by Deborah Brand
With the love and fascination of corsets continuing to rise, Deborah now works exclusively with her clients to offer them a highly personalized and luxurious experience. What about her future plans? “Apart from corsets I do wedding dresses, and in the future I will get into dress designing with corsets in them, but for now, I’m just really enjoying the art of corsetry. Being able to make people look fantastic is incredibly satisfying,” beams Deborah.

Pics credit: Deborah Brand


Fiesta Fruit Triffle

Fiesta Fruit Triffle

Being a major sweets junkie, I crave for new desserts all the time. But, one has to keep a check on what ingredients are going in and how many calories you intake. Now you can't always keep a check on these things if you are eating outside or ordering a takeaway. So, I always scour the internet for dessert recipes that are easy to make and are healthy at the same time. So, here it is, another dessert recipe that is so easy to make and tastes heavenly - Fiesta Fruit Triffle. Again, this recipe was picked from www.worldfoody.com. This particular recipe serves one and has a preparation time of just 15-20 minutes.

Any good Fruit Cocktail (I personally prefer Del Monte), Chilled & Drained - 100 grams
Digestive Biscuits - 1 no
Whipped Cream - 20 - 25 grams
Cinnamon powder - To taste
- Chill & whisk the cream until soft peaks.
- Arrange pieces of a digestive biscuit on the bottom of a dessert cup / dessert bowl & sprinkle a tbsp of syrup from fruit cocktail can on it.
- Spread the Whipped cream on top of biscuits. Arrange the Fiesta Fruit Cocktail.
- Garnish with a swirl of whipped cream & a piece of cherry, chill and serve.

Travel your blues away

Scenic and beautiful: Yorkshire

Just back from a mini vacation in Yorkshire, I felt that I absolutely had to write this piece on why travelling/ or taking a vacation is so important. It’s been a year now for me in the UK and I can safely say this, with a hand on my heart that for me, traveling is the new elixir of life.
Ok, so let me put it this way. How often is it that you talk about the trials and tribulations of life? How you feel that your job is getting strenuous and your mind is getting stressful? How you need a break and how you crave for a vacation to relax and unwind. My guess is as good as yours – almost all of us feel the same. And all these are symptoms of a stressed mind and body.

Stress - that’s killing us slowly, that is sucking the daylights out of us human beings and turning us into nervous wrecks. Okay excluding the ‘boss types’, their lives might be a bit easier than us mortal humans but then, they too have their share of decision-making stress. Well, the point is all of us have our own home-grown version of job-related stress. It is time that we do something about it, and what best way to fight it out than by going on a vacation.

Vacations have the potential to break into the stress cycle. Not only would you emerge from a holiday feeling ready to take on the world again, you are also likely to gain new perspectives to fix your problems. Apart from that vacations are the best way of relaxing with your families or with your friends.

While there is no denying that traveling opens up your mind and takes your mind off that undue stress, but an unplanned or unorganised planning trip might add to your stress than take any away. So, it is best to keep certain things in mind before you plan your stress busting holiday. Here’s the checklist:

Plan in advance
This is no 1990s people. You don’t need to go to the library or depend wholly and solely on your travel agent to help you plan and book a trip. This is the internet age and you can finalise the location, the hotel room, the view from your balcony and everything that you can think of all at the click of a button. Go online and browse through the destinations that you would like to go to, then finalise a place as well as your itinerary before packing your bags for the big trip.

Leave the guilt home
Relax and unwind: You deserve every bit of that break
You DESERVE it. Yes. Every human being worth its while has the right to enjoy a few days of peace and calm without a single worry over his head. So, if you are taking time out to go on a vacation, khud par ek ehsaan karna, leave that guilt of – What will happen in office in my absence? Am I doing the right thing? What will my boss think? – home. You don’t need this extra baggage.

Make it an adventure
Now, everyone has a different idea of adventure. For some, adventure is rafting in white waters of Rishikesh and for some it is exploring an unknown destination like villages of Assam. Whatever your idea of adventure is, make sure you do a few things out of your comfort zone. Relaxing at the beach with a book in hand is good, but how about going surfing on those beach waters? Doing something different will make it an adventure.

Be ready for adversities
Though vacations are happy times, god forbid if anything goes wrong, you should be in a position to help yourself and your family. So take this practical advice and keep a medical box handy for medical emergencies. If travelling abroad keep xerox copies of your passport and visa. Travel light, not just in terms of clothes, but also in terms of cash, so that you don’t have to worry about it.

Take home memories
Yes.. I was there :)
Vacations are the best way of making memories and then cherishing them later. Camera rolls ke zamane gaye. Now you don’t have to worry about carrying 10 rolls of film for a 10-day trip. Digital cameras have made life much easier so that you can click hundreds of pictures and make hundreds of memories.

Another way of taking that memory of your vacation back home with you is by buying souvenirs. Those kitchen magnets or those small trinkets make for perfect nostalgic pieces that would remind you of those good old days.
Keep these small pointers in mind and set out to sail. Give that stress a break and go out to reclaim your life… after all you only live once, and it isn’t worth dying behind the desk. Is it?
All pictures copyright: Suruchi Sharma Diwan