Why Your Next Getaway Needs To Be At Sula Vineyards, Nashik

I first went to Sula Vineyards at Nashik in 2009. I was obviously charmed and enamoured. I have been visiting every year after that and the place has only become bigger, better and more beautiful. On a Tuesday, last week, Sula Vineyards invited me to spend the day there. My sister, Himani (whose photographs you often see on the blog) accompanied me. Also, I have deemed her the official photographeress for everything I do. 🙂 Check out her work at www.himanishah.in.

So, here’s a photo story on how we spent the day in wine and food heaven.

After a long, 4 hour journey from Mumbai to Nashik, we lunched at the Soleil by La Plage.

Lunch at Soleil by La Plage
Lunch at Soleil by La Plage

Fun fact: We celebrated our arrival with a Sula Brut Rosé bottle. And we learnt that what we see in the movies about popping open a bottle of bubbly is not the right way to go about it if you want to drink the wine. We actually saw a demo on how gently the cork comes off if done right.

Opening the Sula Brut Rosé
Opening the Sula Brut Rosé

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Aleece goes French for her Cousins’ Club with wine and chocolate

Aleece
Aleece

A couple of years ago, I started a Cousins’ Club. Now, you have to understand I have a huge family. My dad has seven siblings. Of course, they all have spouses and children. That makes my first cousins run into fifteen, of which some have spouses and children. So, the numerical strength of our CC is 28. But this post isn’t about the math. 🙂 It’s about the initiative all of us took to meet up, have fun and be updated on each other’s lives. We meet once a month, the host decides on a theme; food, drinks and games to go with it. Last month, it was ze sister’s and my turn. The sister has been learning French and we’re still hungover from Paris. The theme was French, Cadbury Bournville decided we had earned it and sent us wine and chocolate to go with. It went great!

Cadbury Bournville chocolates & Sula Wine
Cadbury Bournville chocolates & Sula Wine

One of the games was to put your best foot forward and strike a pose with the Cadbury Bournville and Sula wine of your choice.

Pooja and Himani
Pooja and Himani

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Of blogs and contests | Sweet endings

When I logged on to facebook a couple of weeks ago, I discovered I had won a contest on girlyhour.com I was really happy, simply at the thrill of winning a contest. From previous experience (remember I won the HT Anjaana Anjaani contest and they wouldn’t take me to the Kingdom of Dreams?) hmph one isn’t always sure they’ll be rewarded with what they’re promised.

So, I’d tried my luck at a contest on missmalini.com If you posted a picture of yourself cooking in your kitchen, you stood a chance to win a Rs 1000 voucher + a glass of wine at the Versova branch of Mia Cucina.

So, yes, I did win. I had the liberty to pick a date and they would make a reservation. Fortunately for us, the day we picked co-incided with a wine tasting at the restaurant.

Continue reading Of blogs and contests | Sweet endings

A fat cat’s birthday at a cafe

So, in this case, the fat cat is still me. *cheshire smile* You see, I have this strange affection for the feline monsters. Maybe it began with an admiration for Garfield. But over the years, the cat and I have found a comfortable sweet spot.

On my birthday, a month and a week ago, I was sulking like a cat. I demanded to be taken to a fancy place for grub. For the record, I DON’T like Indian Chinese food. There weren’t too many options and not too much time. My patient friend resorted to the good women at Brown Paper Bag for a recommendation. (Of course, you have checked out their website here?)

Therefore… as is always appropriate in the universe where everything is about me, we were directed to the Fat Cat Cafe. 😛

Photograph: Aniruddha Guha

Earrings – Thrift store, China | Shirt – H & M, Hong Kong | Bag – Cath Kidston

So, anyway, once we were at the restaurant, we left it up to the chef to delight us.

For starters, we were offered wine soaked mushrooms. They were delicious.

Let me say this upfront, I don’t like alcohol. I can’t digest it. I like my drink to taste good. As pretty much anyone would tell you, the solution to that is a wine cocktail. So, there were two on our table. An orange mimosa and a sangria. Both were yummy!

As for the mains, the vegetarian offering was a slightly dry pasta with a garnish of cheese. It had the word tangerine in its description, something that always wins my heart. Aniruddha, my accomplice claims the prawns were the best he had eaten in a while. The presentation of both dishes was really interesting.

It was only their first week and they weren’t serving desserts. But I made cat face and they whipped up a brownie in honour of the birthday girl. Well, they were also offering them to all the other customers on the house. 😛

Photographs: Dhruvi Shah, Aniruddha Guha

So, yeah, we had a great time on our first visit there. Although it was heavy on our pockets. The second glass of wine might have something to add to that. :S

Having recommended it to all our friends and family, we went back in three weeks. The absolute contrasting experience we had left us dumbfounded. The wine soaked mushrooms to begin with were a hit. The wine cocktails were lacking in wine content. Everything we ordered after that was a downhill ride. The starters were strictly mediocre tasting. The homemade pasta served with green apple butter was far from pleasing. It was rather indigestible for its odd colour and smell. We had to resort to potato wedges to save us.

Anyway, take a chance if you may. Their adorable name is very inviting. Visit their site for details here or like their facebook page here.

Sunday fun | Olive’s Ramp & Roll

If you’ve lived in the city long enough,
you run out of options on how to spend your Sunday.

I had found a comfortable sweet spot in eating waffles at Cafe Indigo
And watching a movie at the nearest multiplex.

Hence, the invite to Olive Bar & Kitchen’s Ramp & Roll
came at an apt time…

Olive Bar & Kitchen

A series of sundown evenings called ‘ramp & roll’ was kicked off…

The concept is simple.
Start your evening at 4 with a drink from the bar. Dance to the groovy beats.

Olive | Bar

As the evening proceeds and the weather cools down,
enjoy some grub in the courtyard.

Olive | Courtyard

What to order:

Their selection of white wine as well as the wine cocktail was nice.
A whiskey sour wasn’t too bad either.

If you’re vegetarian:
A buffet style spread serves ready and make-your-own salads.
I stuffed myself with the lavash dipped in hummus.

From the a la carte menu, we called for cottage cheese from the char grill.
Served with a cold dip, the cubes of cottage cheese just melt in your mouth.

Wandering through Olive

If you’re non-vegetarian:
You could take your pick of cold cut meats from the buffet spread.

The dessert counter had delicious chocolate tarts in particular.

Of course, no kick-off evening is complete without celebrity appearances.
& if you’re a fan of desi chick flicks (Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Na and Aisha),
you’re in for a treat.

Prateik Babbar with friends

I love his t-shirt. Shall hunt out the feature I did on cartoon t-shirts and share with you guys.

Ira Dubey | AD Singh | Apeksha Chopra

She was quite casually dressed. It’s a change to see her let loose after the dramatic appearances during Aisha.

So, with that quick view, if you’re stuck next Sunday, Olive Bar & Kitchen should get your vote!
Go try it out for yourself. Clink clink. :*