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Saturday, September 2, 2017

#Hippieque Travels – Udaipur


#HippiequeTravels Udaipur

This is not the first time I visited the City Of Lakes—Udaipur and neither will it be the last time. From rich history to scenic locations, this beautiful city has so much to offer. Unlike a typical 2017 city, this one resplendent in history and oozes with hospitality. If you’re a person who can leave the gizmo bliss aside and be one with the Indian heritage and beauty, then this city should be on your list to explore over the next long weekend you get!

Here are all the things that made my travel the most amazing one in 2017 so far!

1. Throwback to the life of Rich and Royals at The City Palace

The City Palace was built by Maharana Udai Singh II and his successors over a period of 400 years. The Royals lived here and ruled their kingdom. This palace is said to be the largest of its kind in Rajasthan. No dearth of ‘Game Of Thrones’ plot stories here!

#ProTips:

      • Get a guide from the entry point to know exactly how the royals lived and get the inside scoop on all the interesting stories from their time.
      • There is a lot of walking, so make sure your footwear is comfy and not runway ready!
      • Must see the Crystal Gallery. It houses some of the most exquisite crystals in the form of decorations and ornaments. Basically, all the bling the Royals owned like a boss!
      • Instagram worthy level: 8/10

 

2. Detoxing mind and soul at the scenic Monsoon Palace

Monsoon Palace, Sajjangarh

Monsoon Palace, Sajangarh

This is another highly attractive tourist point based on the view that one gets from the top. In The Monsoon Palace you don’t have much to do except enjoy the view, so make sure you charge your devices because this place will need a lot of Instagram posts!

#ProTips:

  •  You need to arrange for your own vehicle to go to the top of the Monsoon Palace from the entry gate. Trust me that’s a long walk unless you’re lucky enough to hitch hike!
  • Only go for the view. The Palace structure is not maintained and looks highly unreliable.
  • Wear a cap because there’s almost 88% chance that the birds will poop on your head!
  • Instagram worthy level: 8.5/10

 

3. Strolling along the bylanes of Lake Pichola

Lake Pichola

Lake Pichola

There is nothing better than taking a walk by the calm lake Pichola. The smell of freshly baked breads from the bakeries on the street is heavenly, and shopping for irresistible nick-knacks from the petite street stores is a must. The area is also known for some highly recommended restaurants (read point number 5 for specifics).

#ProTips:

  • Carry enough cash with you as there are limited ATMs in the vicinity (if they work!).
  • Must visit The Ambrai at Amet Haveli for the view and some delicious food. Also, please make sure you pre-book a table because it runs even more packed than Taj Lake Palace! (Not even joking!).
  • There are small boutique stores by the lake that offer you their services to stitch up any kind of outfit in just a couple of hours. All you need to do is show them a picture of it! I personally didn’t try it because for once, I was more focused on travel than fashion!
  • Instagram worthy level: 8/10

 

4. Shopping at the local market of Hathi Pole

Street shopping is one of the factors I always consider while choosing my travel destinations. My love for traditional shoes and bags makes Udaipur on the top of my splurge list! The Haathi Pole market is where the locals shop from but it also caters to a large number of tourists. The (if I may) iconic green skirt that I’m wearing for most of my Instagram pictures is from this market and you’ll see many designs and colours in the same!

#ProTips:

  • Do not pay anything more than Rs 350 for a pair of juttis. Even though, I bought mine for INR 150 since I have mastered the art of haggling (thanks to Sarojni and Colaba Causeway!).
  • Most of the shops are selling the same design, so do NOT give in to impulse buying!
  • Instagram worthy level: 5/10

There are also many jewellery and art stores near Sahelion ki Badi. One such store is The Silver Arts Palace, which houses some of the most creative jewellery, bags, and decor.

5. Foodies gone wild with these recommended eateries

The down side of ‘livin it up’ in Udaipur is that you’re sure to gain at least 3 kgs when you snap out of your trip! #TrueStory

There is some mesmerizing food to be tasted in this city. Here’s THE ONLY list you need to satisfy your tummy with beautiful food and dream about it for the rest of your life!

1. Hari Garh Restaurant 

  • Location: Overlooking Lake Pichola. Get a seat on the 1st floor of the restaurant for the best view.
  • What to order: Go for Indian food and must try the Mewari Chicken! I still dream about that dish TBH.

2. Tribute Restaurant

  • Location: Overlooking Fateh Sagar Lake. Pre-book a table by the lake, it’s truly divine!
  • What to order: Indian food all the way!

3. Upre by 1559 AD 

  • Location: Rooftop restaurant. Perfect for a romantic date. Better to go at night for the view!
  • What to order: Can go for Indian or Continental.

4. Ambrai by Amet Haveli

  • Location: Overlooking Lake Pichola. This place really has the best view of the area. Must pre-book at all cost!
  • What to order: Indian as well as continental. Must try laal maas!

5. 1559 AD

  • Location: Near Fateh Sagar Lake. Beautiful boutique restaurant.
  • What to order: Continental and Indian. Must try their desserts!

6. Cafe Edelweise

  • Location: Bylanes of Lake Pichola.
  • What to order: Bakery foods & breakfast.

6. Experiencing the luxury at The Oberoi Udaivilas

A high tea and a tour of this lavish fifty acres property, which includes twenty acres of wildlife sanctuary has got to be the highlight of my trip! The Oberoi Udaivilas is built on the hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Mewar and has both Mughal and Mewar architecture.

Fun fact: The domes that you see with a pumpkin design is a clear signature of Mewar architecture. While the plain domes are a representation of the Mughal architecture. That’s why Taj Mahal has a plain dome as it was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan! (Only getting you smarter by the minute!). You’re welcome!

Did I mention, that the private tour included the Presidential Suite that costs INR 9 Lakhs a night! (Future husband, are you reading this?).

The Oberoi Udaivilas

The Oberoi Udaivilas

It has an infinity pool right outside the bedrooms

The Oberoi Udaivilas Presidential Suite

The Oberoi Udaivilas Presidential Suite

The lobby entrance of the room smells like you’re sitting next to fresh water springs

The Oberoi Udaivilas Presidential Suite

The Oberoi Udaivilas Presidential Suite

The drawing room is worth drawing in the book titled – This is what lap of luxury feels like!

The Oberoi Udaivilas Presidential Suite

The Oberoi Udaivilas Presidential Suite

This hotel has been in countless Bollywood movies, the latest one being Yeh Jawani Hai Diwani. Remember Kalki’s wedding destination scenes?

The Oberoi Udaivilas Presidential Suite

The Oberoi Udaivilas Presidential Suite

The Oberoi Udaivilas has been awarded as the Best Hotel In The World, consecutively 3 times. The splendid property and the fine hospitality by the staff, makes this hotel perfect to create some memories for a lifetime!

#Protips:

  • If you’re not staying at the hotel, it will be still amazing to have a meal at one of their restaurants and request the front desk to give you a tour of the place.
  • Pre-book your rooms as they are very packed throughout the year.
  • If you do happen to stay there book yourself for an afternoon of enjoying the nature and chasing peacocks in the gardens!
  • Instagram worthy level: 100/10!!!

And finally, here’s my travel movie that says it all…

A BIG SHOUT OUT TO:

1.  @MyPixelPantry a.k.a my cousin who gave me company in all the madness I had! (What’s travel without having someone amazing to share it with?).

2. Udaipur’s most exciting Instagram – @InstaUdaipur for making my trip rather interactive with The Hippieque take over!

3. And lastly, my travel partner – @PeeSafe without which I do not even dare to step out of my house let alone escaping to a travel fantasy. The toilet seat sanitizer is a must for every woman out there so that you are free from any infections like UTI. Buy it HERE.

Hope you liked my Udaipur adventure. It’s time you live your own!

Comment below with a travel destination you’re most excited to explore, and I might just go there as a recce team and give you all the details!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

#Not Your Basic Desi


Not Your Basic Desi Not Your Basic Desi Not Your Basic Desi

Not Your Basic Desi

Not Your Basic Desi

Photography: Harshit Sohu || Styling – Mirror- work Top: Mom’s jacket made into a cut out top! | Shorts: Forever21 | Bag: Collaba Causeway | Stacked Bracelets: Thrifted | Flipflops: West Side

 

Raiding my mother’s closet has a charm of its own. No amount of shopping from a designer label will give me as much happiness as re-inventing something from my twin’s (my genes have taken the phrase—Like mother like daughter, very literally) vintage collection.

 

One fine day, a long long time ago, a Rajasthani sleeveless jacket from my mom’s closet, featuring intricate mirror work and embroidery, met my eyes and I knew exactly what needs to be done with it. I snipped out the back of it completely and cut the neckline according to its mirror work and—Voila! Another vintage jacket bites the new age dust! In my defense, at least I made a good use of it. I packed this top for a great adventure in Gokarna (travel blog soon to follow). A pair of sturdy, ripped shorts and a big desi tote bag made this look just right for the new form of my mom’s vintage top.

 

Not Your Basic Desi

Have you ever done some experiment with your mom’s closet? I can’t wait to hear it. Go on, inspire me!

 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

#The Chic End


The Chic End

The Chic End The Chic End

The Chic End

The Chic End The Chic End

The Chic End

The Chic End feat. Eashwar

The Chic End

Shot by Vincent King | Hair&Makeup: Eashwar Log | Outfit deets -Cape: Kashmir | Golden jacket: Hippieque | Denim cami: Forever 21 | White Shorts: Thrifted | Ring: Shahapurjat, Delhi | Mustard kitten heels: West Side

 

Layering is love. It sure is a tricky trend to master because you can either hit the spot or go a little too wrong. It doesn’t matter what your body shape is but how you layer it, is what makes all the difference. Allow me to take you back to a beautiful day where my team and I shot this editorial consisting of an exquisite Kasmiri work cape and a short brocade jacket.

A simple trick to layering: If you are bottom heavy then a long cape will only complement your curves and if you are bottom skinny then you can flaunt a short jacket that ends at your waist.

And if you’re more like me; make-your-own-fashion-rules kinda gal, then just go creative with all the jackets and cape in your wardrobe. You can make an outfit casual or formal, sexy or covering with just the right kinda layering element.

Want more inspiration in layering? See how other fashionistas are rocking this age old trend.

1. Layer with a skimpy crop-top over a plain white shirt.

BOWS ON BOWS – a full look at this outfit! All outfit details will be up on the blog soooon 🎀 #samiahhannan

A post shared by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀FASHION | INSPIRATION (@samiah.hannan) on

2. Loosely hang your leather jacket over your shoulder for a chicer look.

3. Mount a loose cardigan over a denim shirt to complete your OOTD.

4. Or an XL sweater over a printed shirt to add some uniformity to the look.

So hope these tips inspired you to go forth and layer away that outfit. Comment below and tell me if you need some inspiration to rock any particular trend and I’ll have a great excuse to shoot soon!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

#Fashion ERROR 101


Lakme fashion Week wearing Ekam Lakme fashion Week wearing Ekam Lakme fashion Week wearing Ekam Lakme fashion Week wearing Ekam Lakme fashion Week wearing Ekam Lakme fashion Week wearing Ekam

Photography: Vishal Kumar |Sneakers: Adidas Originals Superstars | Skirt: Ekam | Bralette: Zivame | Necklace: The Hippieque | Bracelets: Forever 21

If you guys follow me on Instagram and Snapchat (id – fiercecosmopout) then you know all about the fun I had at Lakmé Fashion Week SR ’17. It is that week when I lost my appetite for food and gained all the enthusiasm for fashion! Seeing such creative shows back to back straight for 3 days was simply amazing. The fashion week is not just about the fashion but the creativity and inspiration that you can absorb. Meeting old friends, admiring new talent, ogling over hot models (guilty as charged!) and interviewing celebs – is what my day comprised of during the mad week.

And like they say “when in Rome do as the Romans do, ” when it comes to fashion week you need to dress like the fashionistas do. So knowing the very talented designer Arman Randhawa from Ekam, came in handy. His label Ekam was one of my favourite shows at LFW. I have seen his work before and have always been a fan, but his recent collection for Ekam is simply super. With trendy bomber jackets, capes, bodysuits, skirts and everything a trendy millennial would want to wear; his collection is a must check-out for a stylish 2017.

I styled this skirt featuring ERROR and floral motifs with a simple black bralette, a pair of good ole Superstars. This skirt really needs minimal accessorizing as it is a statement piece but since it was fashion week (and you’re allowed to go a little OTT) I stacked some bracelets and accessorized with a hand-made neck piece.

Liked my look? Like,comment and share.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

#HippiequeTravels – Sri Lanka


#HippiequeTravels - Sri Lanka

This blog could’ve come to you sooner only if I could’ve fought my own demons in time! Sri Lanka was my last very cherished and happy vacation of 2016. The most special thing about the trip was not the place but the people who came along (isn’t that the case every time?). A month of research, split into four people and a visa issue later we were all set for Ceylon – Sri Lanka’s old name. And even though your travel list might not go any less than Bali but Sri Lanka is definitely a place you shouldn’t miss out on!

Image Source: Dream Holiday Srilanka

Image Source: Dream Holiday Srilanka

So since we had only a week in hand we could either choose North or South of Lanka. We choose to go South and touch a bit of central. Our group of four was divided into beach loving and hill loving people so we had to see the best of both worlds Lanka had to offer. We started off with the beauty of hills and ended up under the coconut trees and musical waves. Let’s take you through place by place.

1. Kandy

This little township nestled between the hills is great to enjoy a laid back day walk around the Kandy lake and doing some street shopping. This town houses many sacred Buddhist sites among which Buddha Tooth Relic Temple a.k.a Temple Of Tooth is a popular attraction.

  • Keep 2 hours minimum to explore the Temple Of Tooth as it has a park, many shrines and museums inside.
  • We stayed at Muduna Walawwa resort which is a great place with a very hospitable host.
  • Kandy town is extremely small, you can walk from the epicenter of the city to anywhere.
  • You can even shop around the town as they have some great wholesale retail shops.
  • Keep an eye out for some great local food shops and some cozy cafes.

2. Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya is just 2-3 hours away from Kandy so we decided to take a train ride to the hill station, which backfired as the train was so crowded that we had to get off after a couple of stops and reach our destination via bus. Nuwara Eliya is a hill station, just like Munnar or Ooty and it is famous for it’s lush, tea plantation and the typical hill station vibe (of course there is a lake!).

  • If you love the hills then you can book a cute hotel by the lake and re-kindle some romantic memories or do a quick day trip from Kandy (which is what we did).
  • Single Tree Hill Trek is an easy one for anyone to go for. It starts from a Buddha Temple, which has a giant elephant right outside.
  • You can also go to the highest peak of the hill station but you need your own vehicle to reach the peak. You cannot walk to the place or use a taxi.
  • If you ask any local there, they would point you towards the small restaurant that claims to have the best burgers in town. Since we were too early for the burger place, we stuck to a recommended place from the Lonely Planet guide.
  • DO NOT MISS the popular bakeries on the streets to grab delicious chicken patties and puffy muffins! (I still dream about them).

After completing the hilly areas it was time to hit the beaches, but we made a pit stop on the way to Colombo at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. And boy, we had never seen anything like it before! Imagine seeing a river bed filled with at least 50 Asian elephants having fun in the water. It’s a sight worth seeing. Make sure you time your visit to the place when the elephants are going to bathe in the river, that’s the highlight of the place and we were in luck!

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Check out more images in the gallery below:

3. Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa is by far my favourite place in Sri Lanka (as I am a beach person). Imagine clean white sand with gorgeous hues of water right next to some restaurants serving sumptuous meal and draanks! The road parallel to the beach has all the cool shops for shopping, boutique hotels and restaurants.

  • Best place to buy a new bikini. They have one of every kind!
  • Must take some surf lessons while you’re there.
  • Hire a bike and explore the entire stretch of the beach.
  • Crowd is mostly all firangs and locals who provide the stay/ food or activities and services.
  • One can even go for a relaxing Ayurveda massage, they claim to be really good at.
  • Galle is only 20 mins away from Hikkaduwa, so it’s a good idea to take a day trip to Galle while you’re there.

4. Galle

Apart from being the Southern most tip of Sri Lanka, Galle is a cute little Portuguese city 20 mins away from Hikkaduwa. It has romantic vintage lanes among the cluster of cozy boutique hotels and eateries, historical museums and over-priced shops (because firangs everywhere!).

  • You can visit the Dutch fort, the light house and take a walk in the winding streets that have a lot to offer
  • A day trip is perfect but even a night stay in one of the boutique hotels will be great for the experience.
  • Shopping can be restricted as it is highly-priced but I still managed to buy a pair of shades (hey they are really cool, okay?).
  • Do have a meal at The Heritage Cafe (it’s worth it being on their waiting list if you have to).

5. Bentota

Again a place worth visiting to experience the beach bliss. Bentota reminded me a lot of Galle with it’s little miniature-city-like design. The beach only has luxurious resorts and hotels by the waves, so it’s worth to splurge and wake up to the waves in your hotel comfort.

  • Bentota has a cute railway station – that’s a must visit.
  • A river safari is worth the morning wake up alarm.
  • The Golden Grill, Bentota is one of the best places to dine in the vicinity.

Before heading back to Colombo we made a pit stop at one of the many Turtle Conservatories and Protection Institutes you will see spread all over the coastline. This place definitely goes in to my must-visit list as it shows how wildlife is being conserved in the best way possible.

  • Hunting for turtles is banned in Si Lanka and therefore they protect them.
  • Such institutes are not always funded by the government so it is great to see how individuals have set up such turtle rescue farms on their own, charging a small entry fee from tourists.
  • One can even volunteer to work at the institute for few months and visitors who stay for a long time in Sri Lanka tend do to this.
  • They take care of a varied breeds of turtles and even the ones who are wounded by the hunting/attack.

6. Colombo

By the time we reached back to Colombo we were extremely exhausted hence by default the urge to constantly click pictures decreased. Colombo is like a typical city and like all capitals has great nightlife and shopping stores. We were to ring in the new year in the capital and catch a noon flight the next day. So we had a low key NYE which ended up in Casino Marina and me winning 8,000 Rs on the black jack table! Woohoo!

  • Shopping places: Odel Store, Paradise road & House Of Fashion
  • Places to chill: Must visit Dutch hospital and courtyard, it has great cafes and shopping in one ground.
  • We stayed at Lafala Services Apartments and Hotel which was really comfortable but recomended place is the Cinnamon Grand Hotel.

7. Home sweet home

A week of Sri Lankan madness is more than enough to love the experience and the culture. After all ‘aakhir dil hai Hindustani!.’ Here are a couple of quick take-aways you need to see, if Sri Lanka is on your travel list for 2017. Sri Lanka can definitely see me again but maybe this time I shall explore the North – Jaffna.

Date of travelling: 26th-1st Jan 2016

Currency: Srilankan Rupees (which is half of INR Yay!)

Places visited: Colombo, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Hikkaduwa, Galle, Bentota (yes, we left nothing!)

Must visit: Hikkaduwa (beach) and Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.

Must try: EGB (ginger beer), Kottu with curry and Arrack (local daru!)

Need to be careful about: Local crowd in Colombo (especially if you’re a girl or have girls in your group). 

Activities to do: Shopping in Colombo, River safari in Bentota, beach water activities at any beach, tea-picking at Nuwara Eilya and trekking

Key Observations:

  • The country is extremely clean and well kept.
  • Most workers/laborers you see in the city areas are all sent from China (yes, China is being their BFF!).
  • The people are hospitable and sweet but you might face little bias as they too are obsessed with fair skin firangs.
  • If you’re a girl then you need to be as cautious to travel around the country as you need to be in India (in fact a little more).
  • The food is amazing, must try their Kottu with curry (prawn/chicken)
  • Since the currency is 50% lesser than INR, one can afford to have a great time but do not go overboard because everything might seem cheap to you (I am guilty!).
  • Make sure you always carry your passport with you as the entry fee will differ according to your nationality.
  • If you plan to travel by train then you need to make a reservation first, travelling without a seat will result in a very uncomfortable journey. Picture yourself in a Virar fast during peak hours with firangs stomping on you instead of Indians!

Hope this blog could help you plan a good trip to the Lanka land. have a great trip!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

#1 Bomber 3 Way


 

Resolutions are for the naive so this year I have goals. And among them blogging consistently is on the top of my list. And considering the amount of photo shoots I do on a weekend-ly basis, this goal is totes achievable! Speaking of goals, is Mumbai competing with Delhi when it comes to cold? This is the coldest I have found Mumbai weather to be in 7 years! But I believe there’s nothing a bomber jacket can’t handle! I got this velvet bomber from the good folks over at Redesyn and we have been inseparable ever since. Tracks, skirts or shorts no matter what you prefer – here’s how you can style any bomber like a total fashion fleeka a.k.a chica who is on fleek (yes, I will take all the credit of making this term up!).

1. Track On Some Monochrome Magic

Kicks: Adidas Superstars | Tracks: Thrifted | Black Bralette: Zivame | Necklace: Anupama Dayal | Photography: Vincent King

A pair of comfy tracks and jacket has got to be the current fave of all the celebs from Khloe Kardashian to our desi doll Jacqueline Fernandez. Trust me when I say this, This is also the combo the models wear off-duty no matter which fashion week we’re talking about. So this staple look was a no brainer. I added my superstars and a cute cloth necklace and it made me feel like I am Kanye’s hommie! (Yeah, I made that bitch famous!)

2. Swag With Some Shorts

Block Heels: Topshop | Swag Socks: Forever 21 | Denims: Levis | Crochet Cover-Up: Thrifted | Hamza Chain: Hippieque | Photography: Vincent King

This is my favourite look mostly because of my bias of being a shorts gal all the way. Currently I am also obsessed with cover-ups especially when I discovered the secret – they are not just for the beach! It only took a while to hunt down my swag-licious socks to go with the street-chic look and we’re back in business!

3. Skirt Up The Shirt

Kicks: Adidas Superstars | Skirt: Beneton | Boyfriend Shirt: It’s Boyfriend’s! | Tank: Koovs | Peach Cuff: Thrifted | Tote: H&M | Photography: Vincent King

Apparently a crisp white shirt looks even better when layered under any jacket. The proof is right in front of you! That’s how you spice up the styling for a simple tank and skirt combo. I wouldn’t recommend layering if you have a boxy figure because it might not suit you. But a cheat sheet to that is ‘confidence’ and there’s nothing you can’t pull off no matter what size or shape you are! So go forth and experiment with your favourite bomber, I’d love to see some pictures so tag me!