Friday, February 24, 2017

Grand Bazaar -Turkey’s Turkish delight

When I visit a new country, and when it comes to shopping, I always buy something that accentuates that countries flavor. Especially when you visit a country like Turkey, it offers the best of both worlds. Parted by Bosporus, One side of the river in Europe, and the other in Asia. The combination of both cultures giving Turkey a uniqueness and so one of a kind.

As I mention earlier, when I visit a new country, instead of buying the brands available in my own country, I want to buy or shop something that is not available in my country. What could be the best way to cherish Istanbul other than visiting Grand Bazaar? It is the largest and oldest covered market in the world. It’s not definitely an average experience of attending a regular mall or any modern-day shopping, colorful and kinetic with 250,000 to 400,000 visitors visiting in a single day. That’s the charm of Grand Bazaar.

Hospitality is the other name of Turkish culture, and that’s what you will find in Grand Bazaar in the cheerful and friendly faces of the bargaining shop owners while exploring those shops. Consisting of 61 alley and streets and 4000 thousand shops, it feels like walking in the history, fantastic ambiance, beautiful displays and glittering lights with the madding crowd with galore of shops in this massive marketplace. There are possibly a thousand things you can buy in Grand Bazaar, these are my picks:

Rugs - One word comes to my mind vibrant. You can’t give a pass on those beautiful patterned intricate woven Turkish rugs that have been popular for centuries. If you are able to carry it in flight, surely go for it.

Glassware and lamp - Grand bazaar is famous for Turkish mosaic lamp and glassware. Those bright Turkish lamps give Grand Bazaar its visual treat.

Pashmina Jacket and Shawl – Their colorful and beautiful pattern hypnotizes you. Grand Bazaar is famous for those Pashmina jackets and shawls, silk scarfs with magnificent motifs and tantalizing threadwork.

Pottery/ceramic - The thing that makes Grand Bazaar more magnificent and picturesque is pottery. Pottery or ceramic are something that one can treasure from Grand Bazaar. These have a typical Turkish motif and hand-painted.

Spice - Grand Bazaar offers the variety of spices with aroma and flavor. There are all kinds of choices available in Istanbul. These aromatic spices will leave you mesmerized. I bought saffron from Istanbul. It gives my Biryani a heavenly aroma and a luscious look.

Turkish Tea - One of the best aromatic teas to buy. You will find all kind of flavors here.

Turkeys delight - If you don't buy anything, buy Turkish delight. Made out food dry fruits, it's something that you shouldn't miss.

Evil eye - The Evil eye is a blue and white Nazar) is part of Turkish culture. You will get it in any form either jewelry, key chain or decor.

Leather goods and shoes - Grand Bazaar offers an array of leather goods, handbags and shoes but you need to be careful while buying and be able to differentiate between original and fake.

Jewelry - How can you go to Grand Bazaar and- come back without buying jewelry? Grand Bazaar is the hub of jewelry, diamond to gold to silver, just name it. I love typical Turkish jewelry with filigree work. These are so one of a kind, wearing those makes you stand out in the crowd.

Your negotiation skills will come absolutely handy buying in grand bazaar.

1. The bargain is part of Grand Bazaar culture.
2. You should expect to walk a lot.
3. It’s huge and crowded.
4. It’s not about international brands. It’s mostly indigenous.
5. Endless rows of shops with all kinds of goods.

Even if you don't buy, you can spend the whole day strolling around Grand Bazaar and be the witness to the uniqueness.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sabyasachi for Pottery Barn collection review

He has it all, the world's best-looking women desire for his stunning creation whether Oprah Winfrey or indigenous Ashwariya Rai, Rani Mukherji to Vidya Balan just name it. Sabyasachi, the red carpet loved designer widely known for his intricate, elaborate yet classy designs, whether magnificent saree or muse in western Silhouette.

One of the associate design members of the fashion design council of India and one of the youngest member of the national museum of Indian cinema, he is the first Indian designer to show at the Milan fashion week. Sabyasachi, his phenomenal designs always struck me. It was a pride and happy moment when I saw Sabyasachi's collaboration with pottery barn. The Sabyasachi for Pottery Barn holiday collection includes more than 50 pieces, such as floral plates, mix animal plates, Christmas ornaments, jewelry boxes, brocade and embroidered pillows, block-printed reversible quilts and tufted rugs that range in prices from $14.50-$1,799.

As soon as I came to know, I couldn’t stop myself. I called the store, they said only a few pieces are left. But, when I went to the store it was unavailable, there are no pieces left. But, there was a hope that it was available online. I immediately ordered it online. Today, In my mail I got my plates. Those were not just plates, a piece of creatively crafted art. You can sense India with a very global and international touch. I got mix animal platters (Elephant, Tiger, Deer, and Crocodile) with big serving plate (Monkey) print with an antique finished golden trim. A pretty jewelry box too with bird motif which I will cherish years to come. His Collaboration with Pottery barn has a vintage appeal with an old world glamor. Unfortunately, I could not see his bedding collection with my eyes, as it was sold out. Whatever I saw online, it is created very tastefully using rich color with the luxurious feel and natural fabric. The collection is very global with a touch of Indian soul to it.

One more thing I got from his collection is a Christmas tree ornaments. Probably the best ornament that I could wish for my Indian-American home Christmas tree. What could be better than a Christmas ornament by Sabyasachi? As he says, it’s very globally relevant, with a dose of quirkiness with Sabyasachi way.

As he mentions for pottery barn collection, after seeing his collection people would get inspired to travel to India more. But in my case, having a few of his collection brings India (home) closer to my home here.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Kheer - Anupam Kher's short film debut

I took Anupamji's picture during his visit to Connecticut for performing "Mera Woh Matlab Nahi Tha"

Presented by Terribly Tiny Talkies, stand out starring by ever amazing Anupam Kher, Natasha Rastogi and child actors Stuti Dixit and Abhimanyu Chawla, directed by Surya Balakrishnan and written by Sharanya Rajagopal and Surya Balakrishnan. A story took place when grandkids came home to visit their grandfather, where the grandfather, played by Anupam Kher is in a tricky situation of introducing his lady friend to his grandkids. It was a great cinematic experience of 6 minutes 44 seconds. It is like Indian Kheer full of sweet flavor and twist of spice (cardamom). Like making kheer, one has to be picky incorporating all the ingredients, dry fruits to hint of cardamom. It was exactly same experience with Short film kheer, a wisely depicted middle-class life with every single detail including a not working wall clock, to a worn out sofa instead of modern-day interior. It is worth stirring, I mean worth making for the audience with a beautiful twist. Veteran actor Anupam Kher as always had his best foot forward. Natasha Rastogi was great too, so were grandson played by Abhimanyu Chawla and granddaughter Stuti Dixit. Kheer always leaves a smile and Anupam Kher's debut short film Kheer did the same, a happy, hearty content smile. A sweet treat for valentines day. 

Happy Valentine's day!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

b.good, Canton Review

Are you one who crave for fast food, if yes, I am one too. Because, it saves time, tastes good and convenient with kids. But, the major problem with fast food is that they are loaded with sugar, preservative and growth hormones, antibiotic, ingredients which are not at all good for your health. How about if you can eat organic real food with the feel of fast food restaurant? Here is my recently explored and favorite restaurant b.good. The main idea of b.good is to feel good and not feel guilty after eating.

A casual and clean environment with friendly service and trendy food b.good was a wonderful experience. Medley of kale grain bowls, seasonal salads, and vegetables, hand cut fries and options of local all natural burgers and sandwiches including kid meals, seasonal smoothies and a variety of lemonades. Those smoothies are a delight. Creatively crafted menu with plethora options for vegetarian, and gluten free. The menu is very transparent as all ingredients come from local farmers.

The simple idea of b.good – “make fast-food real by making it the way it should be… by people not factories”.

I ordered quinoa lime avocado bowl. When I ate it, the first thing came to my mind is you don’t need to comprise on taste while eating healthy. A freshness loaded with vegetables like super food kale, zucchini, corn, and avocado, with a perfect portion for the price. Definitely, this kind of food makes it apart from any other fast food joints and make you visit them again and again.I never knew that quinoa could taste so good.

We went with our kids too. The great thing about b.good is that they have a nice menu for kids. The menu even offers kid smoothies too. We ordered two chicken sandwiches for our kids. It comes with the choice of fries (sweet potatoes or regular potato), steam broccoli and apple sauce.

In smoothies, we tried Kale crush, Akai berry and Strawberry banana. I liked Kale crush the most because of its fresh taste.

If you are craving for a hearty healthy fast casual dine definitely b.good is a place to explore. Eat and fell good as its motto says.

And my rating is 4 out of 5

The Shoppes at Farmington Valley
110Albany Turnpike
Canton, CT
Phone: 860-352-2629

Monday-Saturday 11am - 9pm
Sunday11am - 8pm

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Popover Bistro & Bakery review

My four-year-old daughter just picked up from Trolls that life is all about cupcakes and rainbows. Probably at some point in your life, a girl in you believes that. No matter how old you are, like me, a mother of two, still a girl in you always stay there. Especially, I always feel that way in my birthday. Probably that’s what brought me into the Popover, an elegant upscale brunch cum lunch in Simsbury. Pastel theme color sea green and teal blue with beautiful seating arrangement with chic, charming chandelier, Popover is a beautiful place to be, an urban new era menu, with interesting signature smoothies and various breakfast options. They offer Organic Hojicha Green Tea and spatiality coffee. They have options for glutton free and both vegetarian and vegan.

It was lovely to notice that they served water in Mason jars. 

We ordered quinoa spinach burger and veggie popover with two smoothies. Quinoa spinach burger, I was expecting a healthy version, to my surprise, it came as a little greasy burger. Even though it tasted good, not really healthy was my minor gripe. Popover was perfect with scrambled eggs and avocado. Turmeric smoothie, the name was interesting to me. As coming from eastern part of India, eating turmeric is part of our everyday meal. I was surprised to see super food turmeric smoothie in Simsbury, precisely because, eating turmeric is not common in European or American cuisines. I was more than merrier to read a few months ago that somewhere in California a cafĂ© had started serving turmeric latte. It tastes like turmeric, yet fresh and fabulous. We also ordered kale farina smoothie. Smoothies were the best part of Popover. Taste of fresh vegetables and fresh fruits in your mouth straight from the garden. They don’t have any dessert menu particularly but the bakery sells cookies and cakes and glutton free as well. My little one tried and liked it. There is one more addition of Popover was they sell local honey and local maple syrup. I love these restaurants because they use all local ingredients. It tastes terrific and promotes the local economy.

Life is not all cupcakes and rainbows. But at some point, we feel good ended up visiting in Popover.

My rating is 3.75

Popover Bistro & Bakery

928 Hopmeadow St, Simsbury, CT 06070, USA


Facebook Likes