All posts filed under: Featured

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The Penland Diaries: Washing dishes and making them

From washing dishes to making them has been the tagline of these last few days. And I’m borrowing and modifying the phrase from my very talented sister Ranjita (who used to be a chef and is now a potter) who says she went from: “Making dishes to making dishes”. Exhausting. Hectic. Overwhelming. Intense. Fantastic. A few words to sum up my experience at Penland so far. Time flies when you’re having fun and it really did. I have no idea how 10 days went by–it’s like one of those sprint races with Usain Bolt. It’s over before it started. The 18 member group worked at breakneck speed to fire “Rosie”, Penland’s three-chambered wood kiln. After 24 hours of stoking and firing, making sure all the three chambers were heated up, we stopped a bit past midnight on Wednesday. It was a first time for me working together with a team to fire a wood kiln and it was memorable. Now, I can see the reason why people fire these things. It’s tough and challenging–I still …

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The Penland Diaries: Arriving and settling in

The Penland School of Crafts has been on my “wish” list for a few years now. In 2013, when I was visiting friends in Virginia, I did a 2 month ceramics course down at Manassas. Around that time, I happened to chance upon the school and the workshops it offers and instantly put it down as something I’d like to try and do someday. Workshops are on a wide variety of mediums—glass, metal, wood, drawing, painting, clay – check out the current workshops and also future ones here. A peek at some of the workshops During the last year I’ve been able to explore both jewelry making and ceramics to a greater extent with access to more resources than I had earlier. Some of the artistes I’ve been able to learn from are Edith Schneider (jewelry), Elaine Pinkernell, Linda Mau and Jamie Meador—all three being fantastic handbuilders. And then towards the beginning of the year, I was browsing and came across a link asking those interested to apply for the summer sessions that would be …

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Adventures in India: A 12 day trip to the South

Join me on an adventure of a lifetime! A vibrant and diverse country, India can be fascinating and yet also be pretty challenging for a traveler. Especially, if you haven’t been to the country before. But don’t worry – you’ll be in good hands! I’ve traveled to many parts of the country, on many occasions on my own, and have a fair idea of the dos and don’ts to ensure that we have a great time, and ensure we keep out of trouble. If you did have India on your mind—this could be the perfect opportunity to join in on an active adventure—indulge in fun activities like running, swimming, hiking and cycling (and if we have time, we can even squeeze in a few other local activities). Besides of course, tasting some of the local delicacies—every state in India has a different cuisine, language/s and customs. On this trip, we’ll cover 3 states. Trip Description: An adventure trip and we’ll make sure you keep fit and active with hearty doses of cycling, running, hiking and …

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In search of the perfect dim sum: An anniversary special menu at Yauatcha

A dim sum evokes all kinds of feelings in me. I associate it with comfort food. Though traditionally it was meant to be an appetiser, I can eat it any time during the day – breakfast, lunch or dinner. And in between. There are moments I could do anything for that perfect steaming mouth-watering dim sum. It’s a seemingly simple dish – but one bite and you’re in foodie heaven. If you read this detailed guide, it will tell you that dim sum means “touch the heart” – it definitely does something to mine! My fellow foodie in Bangalore, Mukta Chakravorty, braved the incessant rains (and risked being stranded thanks to our infamous local disappearing cabbies of Bangalore), and came back with this report. Enjoy and bon appétit! ~~~~ A Michelin-star restaurant, baskets of steaming hot dim sums and cocktails – perfect combination for a rain-drenched Wednesday evening. We all know how the rains in the city throws everything off course. Afraid it would put a dampener and the traffic already looking menacing, it was …

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A close encounter with the “king of wines”: Barolo Wine

Apart from tea, the only other beverage I’m partial to is wine. For me a perfect meal is complete with a glass of wine which complements the food. Given my love for this extremely complex drink with a rich history, it was only natural that I even made an attempt to study the art and science of wines. I couldn’t possibly keep swirling glasses, and not knowing what exactly I was doing! Anyway, you’re now talking to a wine aficionado (I won’t call myself a connoisseur yet, given I probably still have to complete a few more levels!). But while on my favorite topic of wines, let me talk about a particular varietal that I discovered on one of my journeys and have enjoyed (amongst many others). Some of my favorite wines come from regions in are France, Argentina, Chile, Spain and Italy. This particular wine I stumbled upon while traveling in Spain last year. I really enjoyed it; the rich flavor and the strong character of the wine were what made it memorable for …

Pic: Courtesy Wikipedia Commons

Development of local airports the way forward says the Manchester Airports Group

Now, this piece of news caught my attention. Being a traveler and having been in many airports, and spending time going to and fro, I’m always interested in any developments that might impact travel and travelers. Some of you might remember my airport woes in Brussels last year, where I missed a flight because of 2 airports in the same city and landed up in the wrong one. And you might be wondering why I’m still talking about having more airports in the same area! But the more I think of it, the more it makes sense. And I’ll come to it later. But back to the report. This one pertains to Manchester Airport in the UK which is calling for development of local airports and with good reason. The UK has been, and always will be, an incredibly popular choice for vacations, and while most choose to travel to London, there are still millions of people who travel outside the iconic city every year. In fact, travel outside of London is so popular, the …