Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Staycation with Svelte Suites

Picture this: You are checking into a hotel (which is either of the two scenarios; work or leisure) and you are actually treated like 'not-just-every-other-guest' and actually made to feel valued as a customer. Not too many times you can say that, right? And before you fire up the accusations, 'but you're a blogger', your visits are paid and valued because you cover the property, let me also clarify that I saw every guest checking in receive a warm welcome like they really mattered. Now that I have set the premise for my #Sveltecation at the Svelte Suites in Saket, Delhi, let me tell you all about how it went. 
In the middle of some fabulous welcome drinks and a huge beautiful bouquet of roses to welcome me, I noticed that the entire staff even the security guards all made that effort to smile and appeared genuinely happy to see their guests. That to me is the promise of a property that keeps its employees and its guests happy alike. We checked in, ordered some lunch because we were lazy and decided to just chill in our suite. Interesting fact: Svelte actually just has suites. No normal rooms. Cause honestly, why regular room it when you can SUITE it?! 
As if the magnificent views from our suite weren't enough, we were greeted with a bottle of the Chef's finest red and some beautiful artisanal chocolates (which I barely waited to polish off). After a hearty meal with some ginormous portions (sorry, I am always impressed with hearty portions) of some Thai curries and spaghetti (squeezed in a nap somewhere there too on the ultra cushy beds), we decided to hit the rooftop pool. For me, it's always the little things and the tiny gestures which a hotel executes that make for a fabulous stay. Piña coladas by the pool? Hell yes, that definitely makes the cut. 

I am going to admit, I was very tempted to utilise the extremely well equipped gym at Svelte(mostly to do a pretentious photoshoot) but I steered clear of anything that could break me into a sweat and stuck to being a vegetable that posed for beautiful photos. It worked out alright, don't you think?
The only cardio I indulged in, at my extremely luxurious Staycation was my little trip to the mall which has an exclusive direct entrance to, from the Svelte suites. Imagine a secret passageway that leads you straight inside, to the heart of Select City Walk. I can tell you, that is what my dreams are made of.

The chef curated a special menu from scratch for us that included an Asian spread that we really couldn't get enough of. I tried everything and we attempted to do justice to some brilliant preparations. P.S: How good was the fish in lemon butter sauce!
Always taking a moment to mention the other little details of a very seamless experience. Not only were my clothes set out, all ironed for me before my shoot that was to take place at Svelte, the hotel also very kindly kept my entire team fed and watered for the entire duration of the shoot (because honestly, what else is the key to minds that create interesting content). 
To a flawless stay and an even better experience, all complete with the perfect photographs for me to take back as memories and a box of their best artisanal chocolates (all because I wrote an instagram post on how much I LOVED the chocolates). If that isn't attention to detail, then I don't know what is.

Select photographs by: Mohit Khetrapal
All details on Svelte, Delhi right here.


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Fashion tales from the beyond

This is not a tale of supernatural anything, except maybe my magical fashion prowess. Could unexpected layering and playing with textures really be a super power? Because this time, at Humayun's Tomb in the freezing Delhi winter with the entire team struggling to resist one shiver at a time, we might have made magic with the natural light and man made structures. Ironic, if I think of it that a tomb could provide an inspiration so real, so as to give birth to an absolutely spanking new piece of work. I tried this time around, as I do many a times, to step out of my comfort zone and recreate my personal style with a whole bunch of colours that the colour wheel would usually not suggest putting together. But like a cheesy fashion mom, I would tell you that fashion rules are meant to be broken. My kids are so not letting me dress them.
Maternal instincts aside, I worked with layers, colours and a lot of textures of clothing alongside textures occurring most naturally in nature to create what might be described as fashion's call from the beyond. Props to the spectacular team for making my vision come to light.

Photos by Devansh Jhaveri
Assisted by Shreela Singh


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Jaipur 2017 with FTLOFAOT

What started off as an assignment to head to Jaipur for the Jaipur Jewellery Design Festival (an offshoot of the Jaipur Jewellery Show) turned into a trip that was as much about stunning jewellery as it was about digging into our heritage via Jaipur. I cannot remember a time when I wasn't obsessed with Rajasthan. While amongst the first few things to strike me was the most genuine hospitality of the people, it was followed suit by the structures and monuments of the state. The magical sand dunes of Rajasthan carry with them the heritage and a legion of traditions. Also unmatched is the richness and the sheer wholesomeness of their food and never have I made a trip to Rajasthan where I did not overeat at almost every meal (honest to God the only time it's not a bad thing to overeat).
I spent a large part of time in Jaipur this time in the old city where I went to the Anokhi block printing museum, the step wells right next to it and just soaked in the vast repository of art and skills Jaipur has to offer. I went into time and tapped into the history of block printing as it stands in Jaipur and worked with the artisans at the museum to learn the procedure of making a block and then printing with the same. Sure made me realise that 2018 sure has to be the year of picking up more skills, honing my creative bent of mind to learn different forms of art, maybe even pick a few hobbies. Not saying I've painted a self portrait a la Van Gogh yet but I've been venturing into the kitchen and whipping up a few things I have fancied and longed to learn. 
And of course, needless to say the Jaipur Jewellery Design Festival did not disappoint. Having always looked at jewellery from a consumer's perspective, it was the most novel experience to understand it from a design perspective. I also had the honour of speaking at a very inspiring panel in Jaipur about my life as a successful blogger, the impact of social media on everything, including fashion and jewellery. 
And if you thought museum hopping and bling appreciating is all I did this trip, then think again because I also got transported into a Wes Anderson-eque set (somewhere between The Darjeeling Limited and the Grand Budapest Hotel) on entering the Sujan Rajmahal Palace, on this particular trip. It was truly a delight for all my senses and I almost feel glad that we couldn't shoot there since it gives me a bigger incentive to go back and stay at this uber luxurious property (all forming a part of my big, idealistic and slightly cliche plan of 'let us travel the world' with the boy).
Carrying forward from my Jaipur trip, 2018 should hopefully be a year of more travel for me. More experiences, lesser regrets. Saying No to what disturbs my peace of mind and yes to whatever enriches my soul and just largely, broadens my horizons and challenges my perspectives in life. More meeting new people, giving everyone a chance and a lot more time with the friends and family who have always been around. I'd raise a self mulled glass of wine to that. You would know what I mean if you follow me on instagram.

All photos by Nupur Agarwal Photography


Thursday, December 21, 2017

The holiday edit 2017

I come bearing good advice (and gifts) because 'tis the season to be jolly. Good news? The fashion Santa approves of a little naughty. Out with the nice and in with the naughty.
The chunky cable knits and the turtle necks all survive this fall/winter (and every other) but with this festive edit, I show you how to take it up just a notch. Risqué tights not for you? Lacey, boudoir bodysuits a bit too much? Fret not cause these looks work just as effortlessly if you introduce just one of these pieces into your look at a time. Start small. Gradually lead yourself up to looking like the Christmas tree at the party. Just kidding. Or am I!
I created a set of these three looks to crack the glamorous dressing code this season. While my looks are usually minimal, I don't shy away from more than one piece of bling or a piece that tends to turn heads whilst creating looks for festive holidays. Like I said, easy to replicate even with one statement piece at a time. Regardless of whether you decide to go for velvet sock booties or over-the-knee Saint Laurent boots, remember to always add a little bit of the label 'You' to your assortment of labels.
And on that corny note, let's dive right into it.

Photography by Aditya Saxena

Joyeux Noël, Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Happy Hanukkah and all those brilliant wishes to all you guys.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The art of throwing a bachelorette-II

The last time I was here and writing a post on mastering the art of throwing a bachelorette, I was a little too cocky and just believed I knew it all. You can read up about me gloating about the fabulous bachelorette I threw my best friend right here. I'm glad so many of you resonated with it and never for a second did I think I would be back here writing yet another post on a bachelorette (this time my own) and realising that my sisters and my best friend did actually manage to overthrow my rule as the coolest bachelorette party thrower. 
We thought long and hard and realised that an exotic foreign locale was not a possibility at this point of time owing to limited leaves, new jobs et al. Thankfully for my best friend who knows me better than I know myself, we decided that we could bring the wine tastings of Napa Valley to India by booking the Source at Sula, Nasik for my bachelorette. I could tell you that I was clued into everything else that my women folk had planned with the most meticulous detail but I would be lying. Apart from our flights to Bombay, an extra day in Bombay to carry the party forward and the fact that we could be consuming copious amounts of alcohol, everything was a surprise for me. 

From going for a wine tour to brunching and drunching at the rooftop bar at The Source, Sula, we did everything touristy that the vineyards have to offer. Everything had been planned to every last detail. Wake up, start sipping champagne, breakfast, wine tours, more tasting, lunch accompanied with Sula's finest rose, cycling around the property in order to take a break from all the drinking and then dive into the big night for *wait for it*, more drinks.

The room was done up in all the bachelorette finery and I swear when I walked in, I felt right into place with all my Pinterest boards. Balloons and streamers and banners in shades of gold and pink, large polka dotted confetti, a Polaroid wall (!!!), a Sula magnum champagne already in the ice bucket, cake and other yummers needless to say and the coolest bride-to-be and bridal party favours and props I had ever seen.

A special mention to all my favourite details:
  • Ever since I went to Australia as a little girl, I have always been truly, madly, deeply in love with everything Peter Alexander including their store. A whole gift set from Peter Alexander with only the cutest bridey boxers, satin eye masks et al lay in store for me.
  • Lipsticks from Bobbi Brown's Crush range in shades picked for each of the girls customised with our names on the lipstick!
  • Goody Bags for each of the girls in the cutest kitty bags and contents that would make any girl swoon. A flamingo print scarf from ASOS, a ring holder in glass and ceramic that says LOVE from Shopbop, a Velvet Rose scented candle, a monogrammed glasses holder in a pale pink with each of the girls' initials from Kikki.K and my gift to all my girls, a piece of jewellery from Outhouse.

  • A bridal sash in black! (Hello chic, goodbye tacky!) and bunny ears with a veil from ASOS for the bride.

I can't imagine the kind of thought my sister put into all these details and how she managed to nail every element of the decor and goody bags the way she did, but if it helps, there could be no one else who could pull it off this way to give me a bachelorette that is impossible to forget. 
Here's to the women who drank endlessly with me, cried with me when I had pre-marital anxiety (or any other kind of anxiety since it's me we are talking about), made me feel like nothing mattered more than my big day, made me realise that while I might have found my soulmate almost 6 years ago, there have also been these soul sisters around, steady as rocks from before he was and gave me a holiday that would give any that follows, a run for it's money.
Safe to say that winding up my bachelorette trip with a day of endless cocktails and seriously fabulous food at Bastian was a pretty good idea!



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