12 February 2019

My Favourite New Restaurants of 2019

It's barely been a month and a half into 2019, and I haven't been doing a lot of eating out lately. "Then how can you have favourites already, Zenia?" Well because these few places I ate at have been absolutely exceptional and I can foresee them making a distinct mark into Mumbai's food scene. Here are my favourite meals from 2019 -

1. Tresind, BKC
Modern Indian restaurant Tresind made it's way to Mumbai after an extremely successful stint in Dubai. Now I know what you're thinking - 'Does this city need another Indian fusion restaurant?' But Tresind is different and here to stay! Firstly none of the dishes feel contrived or forced, and inspite of the occasional fumes and foams the food retains all the classic flavours. Their nine course chef's tasting menu shows technique and finesse, and is still able to evoke a strong sense of nostalgia and comfort.

Chicken Cafreal (Image Courtesy: Tresind)

4 February 2019

A Harry Potter Themed Walking Tour of London

There are so many ways to explore a new city - you could cram in all the touristy spots in a day, ticking them off your list as you go through. Or you could eat your way through the city, understanding how food influences their way of life. Or you could go museum hopping, learning more about the city's past. I had all these options buzzing through my head on my recent visit to London. Having a measly 48 hours in the city (not enough!), I decided to forego them all and do the unthinkable - explore London through the eyes of Harry Potter. The minute I read about Harry Potter walking tours being conducted across the city while I was researching a probable itenerary, I was sold - hook, line and sinker! I packed the husband off to Lord's cricket stadium for the day, and set off for the walking tour of my dreams.

Now, I've read the books a million times, seen the movies a dozen times (the books are better!), blogged about my love for the Harry Potter franchise (read that here), and even contemplated signing up for a degree in 'Harry Potter' at Durham University. Yes, that exists. And if you share the Potter love as much as I do, here's a step-by-step, self guided Harry Potter walking tour of London that you can do too! This features some of the landmarks that either inspired Rowling or were used as filming locations in the film series. So get on your Nimbus 2000 and fly along -

21 December 2018

Meet South Africa - The Jungle

In the second of this three-part series documenting my travels through South Africa, I tell you what I learnt from my very first safari experience. 

'In the jungle
the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight. In the jungle
the quiet jungle, the lion sleeps tonight.'

This song from The Lion King reverberated in my head as we set off on one chilly morning for my very first game drive on the last leg of our South Africa trip. I'd barely slept the night before out of excitement, and was up and awake before the crack of dawn, slathered in sunscreen and mosquito repellent, binoculars strung around my neck, and a nervous anticipation seated in my stomach. You see, I'd never been on a safari before and I was blessed that my very first time was going to be at South Africa's famed Kruger National Park. 

A South African vacation is incomplete without getting a taste of the jungle life, and there are plenty of smaller game reserves scattered across the country that offer the safari experience. However, Kruger is the largest, most popular, and offers plenty of options ranging from luxury lodges to government owned properties. No matter where you stay, you're guaranteed plenty of animal viewings  it's Africa after all! I was in the jungle for two days, went on three game drives, and here's what I learnt...



20 December 2018

Unburden Your Health - A Resolution for 2019.

'What is this life, if full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.'

I cannot help but strongly agree with what the poet W.H. Davies says here. Our fast paced lives are indeed beginning to take a toll on our health. Extremely long work hours and erratic schedules leads to lack of exercise, irregular meal times and improper diet. Work stress and fatigue means that the individual is both physically and mentally at risk for a break down. Coupled with environmental hazards such as pollution around us and the chemicals we put in our bodies, we are literally sitting on a ticking time bomb waiting to explode!



Importance of early diagnosis
The old saying - Prevention is better than cure - holds true in today's world. It is a known fact that early detection of a health related condition leads to early intervention and in return a better prognosis for recovery. It is easier to nip a problem in the bud then try and eliminate it after it has grown into a fully bloomed problem. There are innumerable studies that emphasize on the importance of early identification of a medical condition, which improves recovery rate and prevents the spread of disease.

15 November 2018

Meet South Africa - The Cities

In this first of a three-part series documenting my recent visit to the Rainbow Nation - South Africa, I'll take you on a trip to two of South Africa's largest cities - Johannesburg and Durban.


The sun was just setting as I got off the plane at OR Tambo International Airport, and as I left the airport it was pitch dark. Even in the darkness as we drove down, as I got glimpses of Johannesburg and the lights in the distance, I knew I was falling in love. Falling in love with South Africa's many vibrant colours, falling in love with the misty fragrance in the air, and most importantly falling in love with the warm and smiling faces of the people who make up this beautiful country. Over the next ten days, as I explored South Africa's Kwazulu-Natal and Mpumalanga regions, the love affair intensified further.

Even though Johannesburg (or Jo'burg, as it's affectionately called) serves as a major point of entry into the country, most tourists bypass the city for favour of the wilderness. If Joburg is glitzy and commercial, Durban on the other hand exudes a far more subdued charm, but it's worth a visit for the strong Indian connect it holds. Both cities can be explored in fairly short amounts of time, if your itinerary doesn't permit a longer stay. Here is my 24 hour guide to Johannesburg and Durban respectively.