Japanese Tea Ceremony| Chanoyu|Radisson Blu Atria |

“The reputation of a thousand years maybe determined by the conduct of one hour”- Japanese Proverb

The rich culture of Japan roots from ideals, morals and love for all. The periodic customs from the bygone era have become the traditions that we see prevalent in Japan. From the way of their salutations to the way they drink their teas, Japan is a land of cotton puffed dreams.

I, was invited over to experience one of the most soul satisfying rituals in Japan. Their “Tea Ceremony”, which the hostess presents to you a beautifully light brewed matcha for your consumption.

We were given brief introduction & a tea ceremony performance by teachers of Yoshida Hikari, Ms. Nomura Yoko, Yoshida Teruyo, Mr. Murata Masashi.

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About Japanese Tea Ceremony :

It is a choreographic ritual of preparing and serving Japanese green tea, called MATCHA together with traditional Japanese sweets to balance with the bitter taste of the tea.

The whole process is not about drinking tea, but is about aesthetics, preparing a bowl of tea from one’s heart. Even the placement of the tea utensils is considered from the guest’s viewpoint angle.

The manner in which the event is performed is called OTEMAE.  The tea ceremony is highly influenced by the principles of Zen Buddhism.

Seen here are “Yokan & kinako-ame”,which are traditional Japanese sweets

We were given a sense of Japan by their tea ceremony, the traditional Japanese sweets and the beautiful music courtesy of the Shakuhachi Japanese flute by Mr. Kees Kort, who is a renowned shakuhachi player from Holland.

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Chanoyu Etiquettes :

  • Guests usually arrive earlier than the appointed time and put on TABI or traditional Japanese socks.
  • The guests then proceed to a stone basin where they wash their hands and rinse their mouths with water, continuing to the teahouse.
  • The chaji starts with the laying of a charcoal fire to heat the water. Guests are then served each course of food.

  • The host performs the ritual of cleansing the utensils in front of the guests.

  • The host exchanges bows with each guest receiving tea. The guest rotates the bowl (to avoid drinking from the front), takes a sip, and compliments the host.

  • After a few sips, the guest then wipes clean the bowl’s rim and passes it to the next guest.

  • After all the guests finish their tea, the host cleans the chadogu and at the same time allows guests to take a look at them.

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Japan Travel Cafe Azuki :

Riemasala pvt ltd ( Masala Tours) was established as a services company in order to serve the Japanese traveler & expat coming to India.

In the process, they opened the Japan Travel Cafe so that we could catch a glimpse of Japan. This was also the first Japanese traditional sweet shop in India.

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Vurve Signature Salon Launch |Indiranagar |

” Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it”-Confucius

These words couldn’t ring any truer, as i see myself with a beautiful cascade of sun kissed caramel blonde hair. You really ought to know beauty to see beauty in everything.

About Vurve Signature Salon :

Vurve Signature Salon, has inaugurated their fourth salon in Indira Nagar, Bangalore. This is their first salon in Bangalore after having had an overwhelming response in Chennai. The launch saw, the who’s and who of the beauty community.

We were given a chance to have a one on one, with the team of Vurve. Vurve Signature Salon is co-owned by Rebecca Samuel, Sushil Thomas, Manoj Samuel, Sathya Marie with over seven years of experience in salon industry set-up and handling successful operations of 5 salons across Chennai, India. They are highly skilled professionals with a single goal of ‘Customer Service Excellence”.

The salon is spread across 2700 sq.ft on one floor & has been designed by by a renowned Architect Group – RSDA from Delhi who have deep knowledge and experience in building unique and customer friendly salons.

The inclusion of handmade tiles, cloud ceilings and exposed brick just revs up the ambiance by notches.

Services Provided by Vurve Signature Salon:

The comprehensive range of services include all hair services such as Haircut, Hair-Colour, Hair Rituals, Creative Makeover, Keratin, Bridal Makeup services and Spa using the brands of Kerastase, L’Oreal, Skeyndor and OPI nails .

They offer a wide range of Signature Facials and Kerastase Luxury Hair Rituals to choose from and a host of manicures and pedicures too.

L-R: Mr. Manoj, model, Ms. Rebecca, model.

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Verdict : I, completely loved the salon & it’s aesthetics. The main factor, that will make me visit them again is the staff. The staff have just so much expertise & are extremely efficient at their job. I, had my hair coloring done and I must say, I haven’t been happier.

Stay tuned for my next post, which will be describing the hair colouring experience.

Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic Unisex Green Salon| HSR Layout |

“Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do”- Rumi

While we conglomerate with distinct ideas pertaining to beauty, we all do need to realise that not all of these ideas are holistic or devoid of disguised harm.

I, was invited over to be a part of the launch of Blossom K Aroma Magic Unisex Salon, at HSR Layout. This is one of a kind salon and the first green salon in Bangalore under the Blossom Kochhar brand. The Franchise Green Salons operate on the philosophy ‘responsible beauty solutions for consumers’ by Dr. Blossom Kochhar, pioneer Aromatherapist and an icon in the beauty industry.

About Dr. Blossom Kochhar :

Dr. Blossom Kochhar is the pioneer of aromatherapy in India and is globally recognised for her work. She has over 35 years of experience and a double doctorate in aromatherapy, she manufactures her own range of aromatherapy-based beauty products under the brand name ‘Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic’. It is the first aromatherapy product line of India.

About the Green Salon :

The Bangalore Franchise Green Salon is spread across 1600 sq. ft and has sections in manicure, pedicure, haircut, hair wash stations, beauty room (where facials and body massages are given), spa room, bridal room, nail art and hair colour bar.The newly launched Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic Franchise Salon is owned by Mr. Prateek Vaishnav.

Salon USP:

Interiors – The salon has a rustic look with colours playing between white and wooden along with the natural Green Wall and flooring displaying a raw cement look. Energy efficient lighting is included.

Products – Products from Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic brand are used as all our products are 100% free of parabens, alcohol, harmful chemicals, artificial fragrance and colours and promote an organic way of lifestyle.

Training – Therapists are trained to control water wastage and usage of excess electricity while servicing their clients

Services provided: The services provided here are all aromatherapy based thus are very different from services provided at different salons. The facials, body massages, body wrap and body spas are created using products from the professional range of Blossom Kochhar Aroma Magic which brings in the authentic touch of aromatherapy; this is because all our products are nature derived. Some of the services are specially curated for the Franchise Green Salons.

I, had a chance to get a one on one skin consultation with Dr. Blossom Kochhar, where she advised me, on how I could improve the quality of my skin.

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Verdict : After an in depth talk, with the dynamic mother-daughter duo “Dr. Blossoms Kochhar & Samantha Kochhar”, it was very clear about their vision and why they have this unique concept up and going. While the world, had just realised the boons of aromatherapy & their uses, Dr. blossom had been clearly ahead of her times to visualise this.

This salon, is all about loving yourself responsibly, by causing minimum damage to yourself and your surroundings.

Food Fair at StoneHill International School

” Children Learn More From What You Are, Than What You Teach”- W.E.B Dubois

The carefree helter skelter of those little feet and the innocent smiles carefully carved on those faces, had all of us slip slowly into the bygone days of us as children ourselves.

About Stonehill International School :

They are a co-educational day and boarding school located in the lush Indian countryside north of Bangalore, near the International Airport. They are the member of Australian Boarding Schools Association, and serve students from age 3  through secondary school.

Their state-of-the art campus covers 34 acres and includes extensive sports fields and facilities, a swimming pool, an equestrian centre, three boarding houses, two libraries, and a cafeteria.

About Annual Food Fair :

I, was invited to experience Stonehill International School’s Annual Food Fair. The Food Fair, is an annual ritual, which recognises, embraces & celebrates the vast geographical diversity that is prevalent in the school’s students.

Every year, parents come together to put forward home cooked food, which is a representation of their country. They put up stalls and create a fair feel, to it. You are welcomed to experience so many dishes, all under one roof.

They also had a great entertainment quotient going on, with a display of the art by students, live music, games & cultural show.

What I Savoured :

With about 16 countries participating at the Food Fair, it really was a difficult choice to just chose a few dishes to gorge on. Every dish, looked delicious & every parent was enthusiastic. Here is my food walk :

  • Mini Cheese Pies from Brazil : These were just nothing short of amazing. The delectable, feta and egg made this such a delight. One of my favourites.

  • Chocolate fudge truffles from Brazil : Just so gooey and delectable, they were light on the palate as well.

  • Japchae from Korea : Thin glass noodles, stir fried with soy sauce & sesame oil and tossed with veggies. Just so comforting!

  • Zucchini & Carrot Quiche from France: Oh lord! This was just out of the world. The soft crumbly crust & the zucchini & cheese topping, just so filling!

  • Cinnabons from Sweden : Soft, melt in the mouth and nothing like you’d ever find anywhere here.

  • German Bundt Cake : Filled with flavours, I would love to get my hands on this again.

  • Raspberry Pop Tarts from Denmark : This was, just what I needed after the little food escapade that I had. Crumbly, soft & that acidic punch made this complete my meal.

Here are a few masterpieces made by the students, on display:

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Verdict: The Food Fair, was just the perfect experience to sample & try a lot dishes that you do get in Bangalore, but are never as authentic as they are supposed to be.

Rentomojo- A New Way Of Living, A New Way Of Saving.

“In a land of ideas, you are always renting”- Steven Soderberg

And, mankind has always been well known for his fluency in choice reversals. The confidence with which, you procure a product starts to wane down the moment, you see something better. Ergo, in a world of choices it is hard to remain loyal to materialistic products until or unless they hold a deep emotional value.

About Rentomojo :

RentoMojo, India’s leading consumer leasing company, announced an exciting proposition of Rent-to-Own, where customers will now be able to rent till whatever time they want, return or own the products.

Founded in 2014 by Geetansh Bamania an IIT alumnus; RentoMojo started as a rental business, which then evolved as a fintech model where the customers can lease furniture, appliances and two-wheelers by paying an extremely affordable RMI (Rental Monthly Installment).

About The Bloggers Meet :

We congregated at the “Ramada” hotel, for the bloggers meet, where we were given an insight into the true machinery of Rentomojo. Rentomojo, doesn’t just let you rent but also does, give you the freedom of even buying the product if you feel so. With the new offering of ‘Rent-To-Own’ the customers will have a new way of ownership, where after paying some RMIs if the customer feels like buying the products, it can be done.

While we all are aware of the EMI concept, Rentomojo works on the basis of RMI concept. How is RMI better, you ask? The benefits of flexibility and non-commitment to the products, of course. You just have to take the products till the time you want and return when you don’t. An initial security deposit of 2 months of RMI is collected, which is refunded at the end of your rental period.

Geetansh, spoke to us about how it is a better option, when you rent out products and when you do not buy them. He spoke about some cons of product purchase vs product renting; like product depreciation, investing the same lumpsum amount into things that can give your money a growth or investing it in a hobby related option. He gave us an insight into the fact that, Rentomojo offers the option of any time rental – 3/6//12/24 months and henceforth, and if you plan to stop renting, there is no cancellation fees as well.

The facilities that Rentomojo is offering to it’s customers is really amazing, whereby its really a win-win situation for both.The other important benefits, that were discussed include free delivery and maintenance, swap of the products and much cheaper payouts monthly as compared to EMI.

Verdict :

I, certainly thought that, if you are a newly married couple, student, professional or a migrant to a new state, Rentomojo could be an answer to all your questions. They provide you with a flexible module where you have a trial run before investing in a product or if you are a person who loves changing home decor, as per the trends then this is your saviour.

Here are the reasons why you should try RentoMojo:

It saves you money as compared to buying it & incase, you like the product you may also buy it.

If your uncertainties get the better of you, you may always swap for another product.

Gives you flexible rental term benefit and they don’t charge cancellation fees.

Maintainance is given, whenever it is necessary.

No cancellation charges, if you cancel the agreement early.

Please click the link below, to understand more in depth about Rentomojo browse through their website link below:

More About Rentomojo

The Chef Post Calendar Launch-2018| Hilton Embassy GolfLinks

“Intelligence without ambition, is a bird without wings”- Salvador Dali

While the skies turned into a deep grey, withering at the periphery and welcoming the night, the venue started to come alive and breathe in an air filled with ambition.

About The Chef Post :

It is a unique e-publication, which stresses on the concept of not just dining in a restaurant, but in familiarisation of oneself with the fibre of the plateful of food that’s placed in front you. Yes, “The Chef Post”, is all about understanding the Chef, their stories, their visions and their definitions.

The Chef Post Calendar Launch -2018

We saw, the venue “Hilton, Embassy GolfLinks” come to life with the crème de la crème of the culinary community and food connoisseurs. The event started with “Mr. Shekhar Vijayan”, a very eloquent & articulate emcee, who got all of us smiling with his snippets and interactive sessions.

We then had Ms. Sneha Chandrashekhar, the co-founder & CEO, give us her insights about what was the idea behind “The Chef Post”. Her hard work and perseverance, in letting the unsung heroes of the kitchen claim their title had got her into the 2nd year of the successful venture.

Sneha Chandrashekhar along with Kannada Actress, “Radhika Chetan” & Live Talk Show Host “Vinay Bharadwaj”, unveiled ” The Chef Post Calendar 2018″, which features 12 chefs from top hotels for the 12 months of the year. All photographed by the talented fashion photographer”Lucky Malhotra”

The evening ended with some delicious canapés & dimsums, and of course with a few clicks of the camera.

A picture, with the powerhouse of ambition herself.. Ms. Sneha Chandrashekar.

The Den | Luxury Hotel Launch | Whitefield |

“Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it’s not luxury”- Coco Chanel

I, was invited over for the grand launch of “The Den” on 14/12/17. I, absolutely couldn’t help but reiterate Coco’s quote and feel instantly tranquillised by the calming vibes of the hotel.

About The Den :

The Den, a 226-room hotel with 25 floors located on a 2.8-acre land in the midst of an IT hub. The concept of ” Eat.Work.Sleep.Play”, is seen prevalent all across the hotel.

The Den, is the luxury hotel of todays millennial & globetrotter. The hotel exuberates luxury with spacious rooms, sophisticated meeting spaces and an array of delicious dining options to spoil you for choice.

Dining Options at The Den :

“The Creek”, is a serene round the clock restaurant that serves Indian and world cuisines. Their dinner buffet is something that you must come over for. The setting of the restaurant is just the most splendid with a view of the green lawn.

“The Nest”, is a trendy lounge bar with an ambiance that literally takes you to a place of calm with their down toned colour scheme and chandeliers. Serves drinks & quick nibbles.

“The Layla”, is their signature rooftop restaurant which is yet to be opened but will be bringing the “Mediterranean” to your table.

“The Cold Press”, is a quick convenient juice bar.

“The Deli”, is a full service bakery for a gourmet experience.

Work Options at The Den :

Has banqueting space of over 10,000 sqft, that can be used for weddings, conventions, exhibitions,etc. The meeting rooms are equipped with latest technology and meet all your requirements.

Sleep Options at The Den :

There are 226 meticulously designed rooms with 4 different categories and all come attached with a bath tub and toiletries from “Kama Ayurveda”.

Play Options at The Den :

“The Cave”, is a 15 seater large cinema hall that offers a curated selection of movies.

“The Play House”, is a section that offers vintage video games like galaga, snooker etc.

Last, but not the least “Sanctuary” is your spa where you could unwind & relax.

Closing Note from the GM :

Mr. Vinesh Gupta, G.M-The Den said, “The Den brand prides itself as being a cultural touchstone that provides state of art facilities. Our aim this to offer our guest a unique blend of modern and traditional aesthetics that create memorable experiences for millennial and globetrotters”

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My Experience at The Den :

I, immensely enjoyed the hotel tour that we were taken on and given an insight about each and every aspect of the hotel. The rooms are just so immaculate and will certainly please the ones who appreciate the more finer things in life.

Every minute detail is looked into and the result is luxury you can bask in. I, personally would recommend ” The Den”, to everyone.

Address : ITPL Main Road, Whitefield, Bangalore- 560066

Contact : +91- 8049374937

P.S: Mr Vinesh Gupta’s picture has been sourced from google

Kama Ayurveda x Tanya Fontes Dhar |Beauty Masterclass | Bangalore |

” Beauty is when you can appreciate yourself. When you love yourself, that is when you’re most beautiful”- Zoe Kravitz

In a world of “Prima donna’s & Primo uomo’s”, everyone wants to always be at their fluttery best. Vanity rates high & in the pursuit of being the best, we tend to take shortcuts or fall prey to trends that rise & fall as the tides on a full moon night.

It is during these episodes, do you need to realise that it’s our roots & traditions that haven’t changed in centuries. Maybe because, those traditions are timeless and maybe because they do not need an upgrade.

About Kama Ayurveda:

Kama Ayurveda was started in 2002 in India, to promote the message of authentic Ayurveda, universally. Since then, creating pure Ayurvedic products according to authentic prescriptions has been the unique purpose of the brand.

It has received recognition in various global and Indian publications including US Vogue, French Vogue, Japan Vogue, Harpers Bazaar and Tatler among others.

The brand has been synonymous with reawakening the tranquility of Ayurveda with its offerings and reintroducing Indian aesthetics to the world.

About Tanya Fontes Dhar :

Tanya Dhar is the face behind the luxury lifestyle blog “Urban Diaries”. The blog covers various topics from beauty & lifestyle to celebrity interviews & technology.

She is always a very graceful presence in the blogging community with so much knowledge to impart to her camaraderies. Refined and humble, is how you will find this lady.

About my Kama Ayurveda Masterclass Experience:

I, was invited over by the elegant “Tanya Dhar” , to experience a Beauty Masterclass session, curated by her and the expert panel of Kama Ayurveda.

The slow teasing whiff of turmeric, rose water and saffron was prevalent all across. The warmth of those whiffs had me, smiling ear to ear.

The class started with a one on one consultation with Dr. Sharad Kulkarni, whereby he delved into your skin woes and suggested what essential steps are necessary for the overall well-being of your facial epidermis.

He then went ahead, to give us a brief walkthrough of the essence of Ayurveda and why it is an immaculate option for a life of holistic living.

Whilst the doctor explained, the station was getting prepped, so that we could indulge in some DIY scrub making. Not surprisingly, the scrub proved to be a hit with the ladies.

Here’s the secret recipe for a scrub that guarantees smooth skin:

Ingredients:

  • Oats – 2 Tbsp
  • Honey – 2 Tbsp
  • Pure Rose water – 2 Tbsp
  • Kama Ayurveda Mridul – 2 Tbsp
  • Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  • Sweet Almond Oil- 3 drops
  • Lemon Juice – 5 drops
  • Rose Petals – 2

Directions : Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Apply on damp skin & exfoliate gently for 3-4 minutes. Rinse off with water & pat dry.

The Masterclass ended with a photo shoot with all the ladies.

And while we bid our adieus, Kama Ayurveda & Tanya, spoiled us with some goodies from “Kama Ayurveda” & the let us have a mason jar of the DIY scrub as well. Pretty us, after all!

Pabulum | Food Fest |IIHM | Bangalore |

“Talent can’t be taught, but it can be awakened”- Wallace Stegner

And, this is what the mentors, at I.I.H.M- Bangalore, believe in. They awaken the innate talents that, these students have stored within them. They sculpt and fashion them into perfect individuals, ready to take on the world. This morphing happens at all levels of their course. It was a pleasure to see, how well their mentors have done their job.

About Pabulum :

While “Pabulum”, literally means Food in the form of nourishment & intellect, we were treated to more than just food at this fest.

Pabulum, is a food festival hosted by “International Institute of Hotel Management, Bangalore”, which encompasses the true essence of what these students are taught. This is a time when the students are allowed to take control over everything, under the keen eye & guidance of their mentors. They are assessed and asked to face the challenges that are involved whilst coordinating a fest. Ergo, their motto for the fest was, “Learning through Food Fests”.

Experience at Pabulum :

Pabulum, was a masquerade ball party which was held on the 15 December 2017. The fest was solely organised by the students themselves, from invitations to the props and decorations, every aspect of the fest was segregated to a team of students who were handling it, example the cultural team, the prop team, etc. The invites were personally delivered by the students as well. Therefore, making this a very personal fest.

The fest started with gigs done by the students. They had us singing to their tunes and tapping our feet to their dance moves as well. We were then escorted to the dinner buffet, the star of the evening.

The students had, with an exquisite segregated the cuisines into 6 stalls, namely “Greenland”, “Sicily”, “Madagascar”, “Thousand Islands”, “Lankan” & “Oceanic”. They had a dessert counter as well.

What caught my fancy was this beautiful edible sculpture kept near the “Greenland” stall made out of bread which depicted the few elements of Greenland, like the Whale’s tail.

My favourites were, “Pumpkin Soup, Pasta Salad, Eggplant Parmigiana, Vegetable Lasagna & Philadelphia Cheesecake”

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About I.I.H.M :

International Institute of Hotel Management (IIHM) came to existence in 1994 and is currently head by Dr.Suborno Bose.  The institute offers globally recognized International Degree in Hospitality Management.

IIHM is one of the largest Hotel School Chain in International Hospitality Management.  They currently have campuses at Kolkata, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and state of the art, IIHM at KBU Bangkok.

The college can boast itself of more than 3000+ Alumni network who are working in various leading hotels across the globe.Institute collaborates with Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) and University of West London UWL).

Organizer of World’s Biggest Culinary Heats “Young Chef Olympiad” with participation from over 50 Countries.

We were given a chance to have a one on one with Chef Kak and Ms. Shalini Charles, who gave us a briefing about the upcoming “Young Chef Olympiad 2018”.

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Verdict : The fest was a total success with about a grand footfall of 700 + people, to experience it.

My deepest gratitude to Ms. Shalini Charles & Ms. Elizabeth Moyon, for having me over at the fest. A big thank you to their family of students, for looking after all the guests so well. Special thank you to, Ms. Chinar Chaubal & Mr.Jay for being the perfect hosts for the evening.