taj mahal in january

I’ll be honest, I was a little anxious about this trip. For the main reason that I had nothing but fear at the thought of having food poisoning. A result of hearing every single travellers account (in detail) of their Delhi belly. Spoiler alert…I didn’t get sick once!

I went to India nervous but within hours of landing was utterly mesmerised. I didn’t want to come home.

AMBER FORT CITY PALACE

amber fort in january

We set off on the adventure for my dear friend @RoopGill’s wedding and quite frankly it was the most sensational event(s) I have ever been to. The colours, the smells, the flavours, the parties, the PEOPLE. Everything about this trip was such an excitement. Following the wedding we ventured on for a Friend-moon to tackle the bottom half of the golden triangle, Jaipur and Agra. I absolutely fell in love.

CITY PALACE

In celebration of my love-affair with this country, here are my tips for visiting:

  1. Forget what you think you know and embrace the magic and chaos. – The place is a wonder – so many times I sat in awe as we watch monkeys commute across city buildings and cows stop 60MPH traffic on the motorway because they fancied crossing…
  2. Travel around to explore different cities! But be prepared to have long car journeys. Driving in India is a rollercoaster of a ride but they know what they’re doing so forget your highway code and road rules. Some times you’ll need to stop at motorway restaurants/shops to pee. Take toilet roll on your journeys as well as hand santisers. We visited Jaipur (Highly recommend staying in Shahpura House.)
  3. Eat the food and prepare to eat a lot! Indian food is generous and so delicious you can’t stop eating. I avoided ice, tap water, raw foods and salads, ate mostly vegetarian. I didn’t get food poisoning at all, despite lots of people telling me I would. I can’t tell you how sensational the Punjabi and Rajasthani cooking was! My absolute favourite dishes were the Dal Makhani (black dahl), Paneer Masala and Keema curry. If you’re in Jaipur I highly recommend grabbing a bite to eat at Baradari restaurant and bar. It’s more spenny than most restaurants you’ll come across but nothing out of question for London. It’s a great spot to stop at before going in to City Palace next door. P.S. don’t order western food here. Their Indian dishes were awesome.
  4. You MUST visit the Taj Mahal. At first I wasn’t keen on hitting up the tourist hot-spots so (I’m ashamed to say) I toyed with the idea of not going to the Taj Mahal. I am SO glad we did. It was one of the most breath-taking buildings I’d ever seen and it was a marvel to explore the grounds. Everything about this visit had charm. From the monkeys being thrown bananas by the security guards to the Arabic script that graced the marble tiles.
  5. Say YES to a wedding invite. If you ever have the honour of being invited to a wedding in India – don’t think, just go. It will be one of the most memorable and special things you will experience. An absolute RAVE of a party! Make sure you pre-order enough traditional clothing for each event (there may be four or more). I wish I had ordered more as it made it so much more special when everyone is dressed in the beautiful, bright colours. Prepare yourself for the time of year you’ll be there. I went in December and wished I’d taken warmer clothes. Layering is everything at that time of year.

indian bride

 

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dumbo house nyc view

It’s been roughly a month since returning from NYC and to subdue the insatiable travel bug that’s consuming me. Wondering what to do during a long weekend in New York City? I’ve pulled together my favourite pieces of our whistle stop tour.

I hadn’t been to the city for pleasure before (only work) so this was the perfect opportunity to go wild – with food and shopping of course.

flat iron new york

Things that stood out to me most about the big apple:

  1. It is REALLY expensive. I was expecting to spend a lot but my was it pricey. Clothes were generally speaking, a steal (we visited the sale section at Bloomingdales a few times) but the drinks and food is where it will hit you – especially with the tipping culture they have over there.
  2. Best to explore by foot. Take come comfy shoes as it is a concrete jungle and it’s worth exploring as much as possible by walking around – you’ll find the cutest parks and streets this way.
  3. Sephora is life. 
  4. The food, although expensive is fantastic. Equally as good as the phenomenal restaurants you’ll find in London.

Read on for my hotlist…

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aix en provence view

The next stop on our road trip through France was through to the quaintest city I’ve ever experienced. Only there for a night, we quickly made the most of wandering through the cobbled streets, stopping on a stretch of restaurants and street music for an apero before dinner.

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nice port elandess super yacht

If you’re looking for a short break that has it all; sun, sea, sand and city life, Nice will do nothing but continuously surprise you with it’s French splendour and friendly people. My first experience of France outside of Paris and I was oh so impressed. We were in town late September and it was too hot to handle so be prepared for hot weather but check ahead.

We were only there for a couple of nights but made the most of the gastro experience the city had to offer. I won’t give a run down of every place we ate but have highlighted the best of the bunch below!

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