Udaipur: Of Lakes, Palaces & Royalty

Hello Friends,

Here’s hoping the New Year has begun well for everyone!

Our dear son was visiting us over the recent holidays and we decided to take a quick trip within India.Now my travel almost always revolves around Culinary travel wherein essentially,I roundup a list of of best eats, or perhaps rub shoulders with a Chef at the hotel and get him to share a secret or two, or even do a workshop like I did one in Galle,Sri lanka. However this post is perhaps not as food centric and more of a travel post, sharing  the sheer splendour and magnificence of Fatehgarh, a  luxurious and boutique hotel we stayed at on our recent trip to Udaipur in Rajasthan,India.


Udaipur is quite aptly named as the City of Lakes or the Venice of the East and a city in Rajasthan, India, makes a perfect getaway  due its proximity of an a hour’s flight from Mumbai.The city has numerous lakes such as Fateh Sagar, Lake Pichola that make it a perfect spot for boating or perhaps even just walking.Besides lakes, Udaipur is also popular for its  historic forts and palaces, museums, galleries,gardens, temples, as well as traditional fairs and cultural festivals.The city founded by Maharana Udai Singh is  quite well know for its lavish and royal residences.

With the dear son visiting us over the Christmas holiday’s, we so wanted a break from our usual routine’s and decided on a quick break to Udaipur. The hubs was travelling and of course I was entrusted with making the vacay plans which meant scouting for a good hotel. Well infact the first hotel I chanced upon was the Fatehgarh property and I must admit was very impressed by the images on their website and of course the various amazing traveller reviews.

Lets say the decision was made to spend our time at this property and so glad that we did.

Hotel Fateh Garh, a Heritage Renaissance Resort – is located   on the perphery of   Udaipur city and surrounded by the magnificent Aravali range with spectacular & panoramic views.The hotel welcomes guests with style and traditional fanfare to a property that is resplendent in modern luxury coupled with old world charm.The hotel has a grand fort like entrance and  is a 48 room property , that offers a tranquil and quiet getaway.

The resort was just the kind of break we were looking for. Nestled away from the main city, it turned out to be luxurious and a dream like experience for us. The interiors are resplendent in style and elegance and the hotel prides itself in the use of  indigenous material, which is most suited for the region such as locally available stone ,marble and wood.The  Royal and Palatial charm is encapsulated in each detail be it their decor,facilities or the hospitality of the staff ,that give  us a glimpse into the glorious Rajasthani tradition and culture. One certainly felt transported to an era of the royal life of the kings of yester years.


Now while there’s plenty to do in Udaipur one really wanted to indulge and bathe in the royalty that Fatehgarh promised to offer. So Day 1  we did a quick tour of the city via transport organised by the hotel. This included a visit to the City Palace, Lake Fateh Sagar, Taj Lake Palace and of course a walk down the quaint lanes of old Udaipur for their famous street food.

Street Food Udaipur:

  • Bhole Mistan: Jalebis
  • Poornima Vada: Vada Pav
  • Apni Dhani: Rajasthani Thali
  • Hotel Natraj: Dal Batti Choorma

And of course the numerous street vendors that make the most delicious Kachori’s, Chaat and Gulab jammuns.


 Must eats in Udaipur are: (Fine Dining)

  • Upre: (Best for:Dinner) Upre literally means “up” or “upstairs” Located on the terrace of Hotel Lake Pichola, gives you some spectacular views of the City Palace. The restaurants is multi levellled with Gazebos that give a feeling of dinning in a royal tent.of sorts that give a. The individual tables are done up royally like tents and gives you a nice and romantic feel. The fare consists of a North Indian and a Chinese menu.
  • Palki Khana: (Best for: Snacks & Drinks) Situated inside the City Palace, Palki Khana is the best place to unwind after your long walks inside the Palace and the museum. With the lake on one side and the beautiful facade of the City Palace on the other, it offers an amazing view. In case you would just like to relax with a book and a bottle of wine.
  • Ambrai:  at the Amet Haveli is a great place for tourists  for some authentic Rajasthani cuisine.Not only does Ambrai take their guests on a delicious gastronomical ride, but the restaurant is located on the banks of Picholi Lake, giving a delightful view of Sajjangarh Fort, Jagdish Temple and the City Palace.

Places to Visit:

  • Lake Pichola
  • Lake Fateh Sagar
  • City Palace
  • Sajjangarh Palace

The city sights and sounds were a pleasure  to all the senses indeed. But I must admit the best part of our sojourn was sitting back on the idyllic gardens of our stunning hotel Fatehgarh and soaking in it’s breath taking landscapes and sourroundings.



Become a Maharaja  during  your vacation at Fatehgarh. Dine in magnificent splendour and sample exquisite cuisine, watch local  folk dancers perform the traditional dances of India and stay in rooms furnished in opulent luxury and royal lifestyle indeed.

Our short stay at Fatehgarh turned out to be an unforgettable holiday in royal style. The hotel had excellent facilities and the staff were extremely hospitable. Our stay was a fleeting glimpse into the luxirious  and glamorous lifestyle of Rajasthani culture. I do hope this blog post has captured the essence and beauty of Udaipur in a snap shot, all though nothing can do justice to this city than a short trip and a memorable one too.



Udvada: The Perfect Foodie Getaway


Culinary travel is something that I’m very passionate about. And yes, I certainly will  travel 200 kilometres  away from Mumbai in search of hidden gems that nourish and  feed the soul.Well after all the best part of any travel is the food, right?

One such getaway was a road trip to the sleepy and quaint town of Udwada in Gujarat. The hubs and I are the perfect partners in crime as he loves to drive and I’d go to the end of this earth in search of good meal. En route, our pit stop is  the legendary “Ahura” on the NH8 which serves up some great Parsi delicacies. We settle for some Akuri (spicy scrambled eggs with onions, tomatoes and spices) and some Kheema (Minced meat). Both these are served with Pav (Indian dinner rolls). With our bellies full we proceed on our journey ahead.


NH 8, Amboli, Tal. Dahanu, Dist. Palghar | 14 km after Charoti Toll Booth on NH 8 while driving to AhmedabadDahanu 401601, India
+91 97665 12512

We arrive at our destination late afternoon. Now Udvada is a small town in Gujarat and home to   famous for its Zoroastrian Atash Behram,probably the oldest place of worship for Parsis. The drive from Mumbai is about 3 hours  making it a  quick weekend getaway from Mumbai and quite a foodie haven. This quaint town spells old world charm. Perhaps even a sleepy old town with a population of no more than 10,000 inhabitants and mostly Parsis.It is said that the name ‘Udvada’ was derived from ‘uth vada’ which means ‘grazed by camels’.This was our getaway a couple of months ago. Just right for an overnight trip to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. We decided to stay the night at a the Globe Hotel as this came  highly recommended by friends.


Globe Hotel Udvada:

Udwada Road, Near Pundole Agyari, Udvada, Gujarat 396180 

 0260 234 5243


This place is  every bit old world and a “no frills” kind of place. It’s nice to see the owners around the property and taking good care of their clients. We opt for an air-conditioned room which is simple and just right for just the night. Having checked into our hotel we decided that the best way  to explore this town is to take  a walk around. The roads are fairly isolated as it is quite lateen the afternoon and perhaps a time for siesta.We pass by some fairy tale cottages and sandal wood vendors on our way to the fire temple.

Some Must Do’s in Udvada:

  1. Fire Temple:


Quite rightly coined as the Mecca for Zoroastrians as it home to the “Atash Behram” s the most sacred of the Zoroastrian fire temples in India and the oldest continuously burning fire-temple fire in the world. Since only Parsis’s are allowed into the fire temple, I was quite happy taking pictures from the outside. It is said that the name ‘Udvada’ was derived from ‘uth vada’ which means ‘grazed by camels’.

2. Goodies from the Irani Bakery:

Nestled in one of the by lanes, we discover this lovely bakery and decide to buy some Mawa Cakes, Brun pav and Khaki biscuits as food souviniers to share with the family back home.
3. A walk on the beach and wandering around the city:
The beach turned out to be quite rocky and we just about managed to take a short walk but this, and all the trotting around the town does our appetite good. We get back to our hotel in time for an early dinner. One that I’ve been waiting for. The food is cooked in the hotel kitchen on the premises. The gastronomy arrives and at first seems like a large spread for two. All though we do land up doing full justice to our meal.
5. A Parsi Meal at Globe Hotel:
Our meal consists of:
  • Fried Boi ( Local Fish)
  • Fish Curry
  • Parsi Gosht Ni Curry (Mutton Curry cooked with potatoes)
  • Rice
  • Chappatis ( Indian wholewheat bread)
  • Kachumbar ( fresh salad with Onions,tomatoes and fresh coriander))
  • Hand churned ice cream ( sadly no pic, but was delicious)

We decided to head back to Mumbai early next morning.This trip turned out to be exactly what the foodie in me hoped for. I can happily check it off my to-do list around Mumbai. I do hope I have enticed you to discover Udvada and revel in some Parsi gastronomy.

Bon Appetite & happy travels! I’m working on my blog post on my recent trip to Montreal. Can’t wait to share my Culinary sojourn.



Travel Diaries:Bangkok Revisited & A Thai Recipe Too

For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return…

Leonardo da Vinci



Our vacations most often are pre planned with a lot of thought into the destination,food,sight-seeing etc.However, I love it when a travel plan happens just out of the blue,spontaneously,sort of an impromptu one so to speak.Well the dear husband had work related travels to Singapore and suggested that my son and I come along and we could club it with a short trip to Bangkok too he said.

It’s always fun travelling to the Far East,for one the travel time is fairly short, and of course the food,night life and shopping,admittedly make it an alluring proposition,albeit revisited.We have travelled to  both cities a couple of times, Bangkok several years ago.The city has changed and modernised is what I heard from friends who travelled there recently.So yes of course, I jumped at the idea of a quick family vacay. Our time in Singapore was short and I  spent it  mostly catching up with some friends.  Of course the highlight was being able to watch the Broadway production of Les Miserables,which was a spectacular performance and a houseful one that too.

Our flight to Bangkok was a short one.My husbands colleagues recommended  staying around  the Ploenchit – Sukhumvit area as it is  quite accessible to shopping malls and easy to get around to various sight-seeing spots around the city. So we booked ourselves into the Novotel hotel.The location turned out to be just perfect as it had a Metro right outside and a short walk to most of the malls and areas of interest.

Continue reading

Ramadan Kareem: A Culinary walk through Bohri Mohalla

Ramadan Kareem to those who observe this holy month of fasting.



My recent blog feed has some fabulous  posts that were a visual delight as many  fellow bloggers have been posting for Ramadan.Some focussing on various street eats,special hotel buffets and tents while others cooking up a storm in their kitchens.One such post on Facebook brought back recollections of a fantastic experience from last year.

Mumbai has an eclectic and vibrant neighbourhood that comes alive around Ramadan every year. These  by-lanes  of Mohammad Ali Road,Bhendi bazaar and Bohri Mohalla are  abuzz with food vendors and street stalls.This is perhaps one of Mumbai’s oldest and significantly iconic neighbourhood’s that reverberates fervent activity at sundown and can quite rightly  be named the old Muslim quarter.Wandering down these lanes can turn into a delightful experience for the senses as one revels in the array of street food  and small eateries that serve up some finger licking good food. Continue reading

Vallonne Vineyards: There’s Always Time For A Glass of Wine



I’ve been contemplating a blog post on some quick getaway’s from Mumbai as Jd and I are quite the “Let’s just drive off for the weekend sort of folks”.  While I’m still in the process of  collating  the information and editing images,(as I’d like to add on a couple of good weekend destinations),I thought I may as well go ahead with the Vineyard tour that we explored recently.We decided to visit the Vallonne Vineyards on this trip.Nestled amongst the gorgeous Sahyadri slopes of Maharashtra,Vallonne Vineyard’s is a  premium boutique winery and  a great place to drive off to and unwind.The drive  is approximately 160 kms by road from Mumbai and just south of Nasik,the Wine capital of India.

Yes indeed, Nasik is a premium wine growing region playing host to some well branded wineries.Indian wines have certainly evolved in the past decade or so and this region can quite easily be coined as India’s Napa Valley.

Vallonne is definitely one to keep an eye on.This premium boutique winery aims at  bringing the “French Chateau” experience to India. Our main agenda was of course Vino sampling.We started off with some white’s.The Chenin blanc was refreshing and quite light bodied. The Sauvignon blanc also crisp and clean. Both the red wines, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon were full-bodied and well oaked.

Ideal for a weekend,we decided to spend a night at this wine resort a couple of months ago. Continue reading