Mövenpick Resort and Residences, Aqaba- The Ultimate Luxury Experience in Aqaba!

BLOGGING HAS GIVEN ME opportunity to stay in some of the finest hotels and resorts. But often many luxury properties fail to touch your heart and forge a personal bond with you. The smaller properties and home stays are often the better bet.

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View from some of the rooms be like….

Mövenpick Resort and Residences, Aqaba is a rarity. Despite its huge size and a large number of staff, everything this resort does exudes warmth and friendliness. I interacted with many of the staff members and each one of them has attended to the guests with utmost care, willingness and a broad genuine smile.

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Its secluded pool!

One of the front office staff Naser Herzallah chatted with us for a long time even after his duty hours was over. When we asked him if we can visit his home for a deeper immersive cultural experience, he did not take even a second to invite us to his home. We could not visit his home due to lack of time.

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The friendly Filipino host Jonalyn Lagaspi at the restaurant.

The next morning, the many Filipino girls at the Palm Court Restaurant & Terrace won our hearts with their attentive and friendly service. They anticipated our need and would leave no stones unturned to give us a memorable experience. The vibrant restaurant has an indoor dining option as well as an outdoor section.

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The al fresco restaurant

It serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. I sampled only breakfast which comprised of a wide array of Middle Eastern and European cuisine. The live cooking made the ambiance lively.

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The friendly people who willingly posed for us at the al fresco dining!

Apart from the buffet, the restaurant also offers à la carte dining menu. The second day, I dined in the private dining room which was quieter and less packed. I particularly liked the youthful décor of the restaurant.

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Palm Court Restaurant and Terrace

My suite was huge and airy. Its windows and 2 terraces opened to sweeping views of the Aqaba city. Some of my co travelers got even better views of the ocean. Balcony was my favorite part where I would spend all my leisure time watching the city over a smoke. The bathtub helped me fight the tiredness, thanks to a busy day of travel. The sitting area was huge, none of which I could use due to lack of time. The suite even had a kitchen and a large refrigerator.

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The living room of my suite!

Where Mövenpick Resort and Residences, Aqaba wins is its attention to detail. It sure knows how to delight its guests. I was delighted to see a local craft on my bed. It was a gift to me from the resort along with the cookies and delicious dry fruits. Even the bathroom slippers in the hotel were not a bland white. It was colorful and depicted local art.

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My room. Notice the complimentary gift so thoughtfully presented!

The resort is so gorgeous that I couldn’t resist saving some time in the early morning for a property round. There is a bridge which connects the main building to another. This bridge is on the top of the road called King Hussein Street. It was very creatively used for an al fresco Jacuzzi pool. We arrived at the private beach of the hotel from where it offered many water sports. Ala’a Salman, one of the jovial staff took us on a tour. Though he knew little English but we communicated well between smiles and wallahs.

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Ala’a Salman with my co traveler and friend Arka Das.

He even showed us the border of neighboring countries from the hotel. He was another staff member who touched our heart and exceeded our expectations. I like the way people from different countries work here as a team. A co traveler told me his room was serviced by a very friendly attendant from Patna, Bihar! Who would have thought?

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Naser Herzallah was a delightful company. He talked to us for a long time even after his duty hours were over. Picture Credit: Naser Herzallah

Ms. Layali Nashashibi, Director of Communications and PR, herself showed us some of the ethnic decor of the resort and educated us about the history of Mövenpick chain and its core values.A brilliant and vivacious lady, she patiently answered all our questions and offered us the famous Mövenpick ice cream.

I have always valued human interactions more than the material comforts in a luxury property. Not all of them do it well. Very small percentage of luxury hotels get that right. Fortunately, Mövenpick Resort and Residences, Aqaba is one of them.

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The private beach of the hotel

And oh, Don’t forget to eat the famous Mövenpick Ice Cream if you go there!

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Don’t forget to check out the ruins of an ancient city Ayla in front of the resort.

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AMMAN CITADEL- THE CONTINUALLY HABITATED WALLED CITY

AIR ARABIA- HOW TO TRAVEL TO JORDAN ON A BUDGET AND IN STYLE

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Me posing at the resort in Aqaba, Jordan. Behind me is Israel!

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The Palm Court & Terrace- All day dining!

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Me, faking it in the lobby of Movenpick Resort and Residences, Aqaba! (Pic: Arka Das)

NOTE: I was invited by Jordan Tourism Board to Jordan on a Press Trip

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People & Co: Live Rock Show, Stand Up Comedy and Great Food. New in Gurgaon!

Imagine a place where you can watch a Stand Up Comedy show, A live music jig and eat food exclusive to that restaurant. People & Co, the cool new hang out zone in the vibrant Cyber Hub of Gurgaon is the place to go to. It was hard for me to believe that it was a newly opened place. The food, the shows, the vibes made it feel like they are running this place for years now. They have a smaller version in Mumbai. The Gurgaon outlet impresses with its size and the variety of activities you can do here. It is divided in 3 sections – The Bar (Great place for music over some drinks!), the restaurant (a formal dining space) and a sound proof theatre (For Stand Up comedy shows, plays)

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The theater which hosts plays and stand up comedy shows daily.

I started my evening with the Comdey Show. We waited for the fun to begin in the auditorium as we nibbled on the finger foods over interesting mocktails (Pirated Cane – quirky and delicious twist to the humble sugarcane juice) and cocktails (12 O’ Clock – Coriander liquer, orange chunks and lime juice). The auditorium hosts plays and comic shows. It has a little bar from where you can order mocktails. You can ask any of the server to bring finger food and alcoholic beverages from another bar outside.

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The Bar

Stand Up Comedy which you want to continue for eternity.

Pics above – Comic stars – (L to R) Raghav, Amit, Sumit

Soon, the lights went off, smoke fills the stage and appears a half asleep chap Sumit Anand, wearing a tee and pajama. He doesn’t even say anything but his dead pan face is enough to break the audience into hesitant giggles. And then he starts to interact with his audience, basically bullies them in a fun way! He didn’t really present an act but his hosting style was enough to crack you up. His spontaneity and the ease with which he pulled it off made me feel like I can be a stand up comedian too. I know it is easily said than done. First act was in Hindi by Amit Sharma. His ‘cute yet sinister’ face, ‘desi tadkas’ and style of speaking had the audience in splits! Most of his jokes bordered on self pity, self mock and what really goes on in the life of a married, middle class, Indian man. The show was closed by Raghav Mandava. The lean, unassuming 30 year old is one of the pioneers of Stand Up Comedy in India. He fluidly jumped from one topic to another in the manner only a veteran can. His was the most energetic act. The good part is they have live comedy show every day!

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People and Co. Stage opposite the bar!

The Livewire Rock performance

Post the show, we moved into the bar area outside and enjoyed the live rock show by the Gurgaon based band Klevoans. The energy of the performers was infectious and I couldn’t help getting glued to the seats like many others. Born in 2014, the other genres the band performs are Metal, Rock and Roll, Blues, Classic Rock, Progressive rock. Their style was unique and inimitable. No wonder, many passer byes stopped to have a look and enjoy the music they made. I hope to catch one of their shows again soon. Full marks to Iris Rose, Andrew Chyne, Jimmy, Ta Ran and Jatin for a livewire performance! Check out videos of their performance here.

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Klevoans regaling the audience!

The Fine Dining – Kokum Cocktail, anyone?

Post the music session, I went to the third space which is the fine dining area. I was mighty impressed with their main course menu. It’s short and no nonsense menu. I loved the subtle flavours of Pizza Romagna. Unconventional toppings like chargrilled artichokes, oven dried tomatoes, toasted pine nuts and baby spinach. Goat cheese along with mozzarella complimented the toppings. It was the first time I tasted goat cheese, soft and delicately flavoured. Hand churned basil pesto was used as a dressing.

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Pizza Romagna came in unusual shape – A delicious rectangle

The flavor was delicate and none of the ingredient overpowered the other. For the main course I had Potato Gnocchi. Gnocchi is one of my favourite Italian dish. Their version of dough was made up of potato and flour and caramelized for that extra zing. Served in a bed of sun dried tomatoes, saffron nage and peas, I loved the texture of the balls.  The melt in the mouth Gnocchi was good in portion size. The meal left us with no more capacity to eat more but how do you say no to Raspberry Cheesecake? Masterfully crafted, it came, topped with fresh berries and a fruit mix on the side. Memorable evenings must be concluded on a sweet note such as this. Full marks to the minimalistic and classy presentation!

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Potato Gnocchi

What makes the Food and beverage at ‘People And Co’ stand out is the freshness of ingredients and a recipe unique to this particular place. Impressed, I talked to Chef Abhishek Nair who has invented the recipes and designed the menu. “What we have tried to achieve here is use fresh, seasonal ingredients. We have a rotational menu which changes as per season. We have also tried to present the traditional Indian dishes in a contemporary way. The presentation also remains western in spite of the desi flavours of many of our menu items.” Nair has worked in leading restaurants before.

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Chef Abhishek Nair with his portrait in the fine dining area. How cool is that!

I was full otherwise I would have definitely sampled some interesting entrees such as  Kidney beans Erissery,Idiappam Aglio Olio & drumsticks relish; Kadai Ratatoullie with Country Cheese Gratin & Samak Rice Upma. Even Baigun Bhaja & Chhena malai Moussaka, sweet Bengal Gram With Green Pees filled Luchi sounded exciting. I wish I had enough space to sample these Indians dishes with a western twist. Many complete western dishes sounded appealing too. Salads like ‘Chili Roast Pears with Arugula & Blue Cheese’ and ‘Mainland Salad with Glass noodles & Tempura caviar’ tempted me. So did pastas like ‘Spinach, wild Mushrooms & Goat Cheese stuffed Crepe Canneloni, Cherry tomato Compote & Walnut Crumble.’

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Kokum based cocktail – marriage of traditional and contemporary tastes

Even the cocktails I tasted were unique and not something which I had tried before. Most of you know my love for all things Maharashtra. As I was scanning the beverages menu, my eyes were somehow stuck on a cocktail called ‘God’s Very Own’. What appealed to me was the use of Maharashtrian Kokum in it. I have never before seen a cocktail using kokum as base ingredient, let alone taste it. Blended with white rum, kaffir lime leaves and lime juice, it stood out and was my favourite out of all the 5-6 cocktails and mocktails I shoved down my throat that day!

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They added a twist to the humble sugarcane juice

The F & B manager Mohit Negi told me, “Even in our beverages we use fresh ingredients. We prefer using fresh fruits instead of syrups and squashes and that makes all the difference. Twisted Mule (Whiskey, Thai lemon grass, ginger & ginger ale) is one of our most popular cocktails.”

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People and Co

In mocktails, while Innocent Mule (Ginger, lemongrass & lemon juice) was passable, People’s Shikanji was refreshing. However, though I prefer cocktails, I was not much impressed with the variety of mocktails on menu!  They need to introduce more mocktails for their teetotaler patrons.

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Raspberry cheesecake

What makes this place unique is its exceptional customer relations initiatives. GRE aka Guest Relation Executive is mostly a feature of 5 star properties so it was heartening to see People & Co taking their guests seriously. The suave GRE, Rajat talked to the guests and asked for their preference and likes/dislikes which will help them to have a better time. Even the head chef Abhishek and F & B Manager talk to the guests on a daily basis! The service is friendly and thankfully all the servers are attentive, quick and have sunshine smiles. A rarity these days! The décor is contemporary, minimalistic, classy and cheerful! Give me a reason why I should not go back to this place.

The view from my #SoulWindow is Oh So Good!

 

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Me and the wall with pictures of stand up comic actors

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Find out how Hollywood actress Jennifer Aniston makes a new friend on Emirates Flight!

Who doesn’t love the TV sitcom F.R.I.E.N.D.S.? I grew up watching it and even now I keep seeing its re runs. It never fails to crack me up. One of my favourite character was Rachel, played so well by Hollywood heartthrob Jennifer Aniston. Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning actress partners with Emirates for its product campaign! Hollywood actress par excellence, a director and producer Jennifer Aniston makes a return to the Emirates A380.

She makes a new friend, in a new global digital and TV advertising campaign for the world’s best airline*. The cool new ad is a follow up on the successful first Emirates-Jennifer Aniston ad launched last year. It was a much talked-about campaign and took no time in going viral. On the lines of the first light-hearted TVC, my favourite actress lends her unique personality, classic style, and that quintessential touch of humour (which never failed to crack me up), to put A380 in spotlight.

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The advertisement begins with Jennifer exiting her shower room. Jen was freshening up in the Shower Spa when she found the feisty young boy who whiled away his time playing in her Private Suite in the Emirates First Class cabin. Surprised, she remarks to the little boy, “Oh, can I help you Sir?” It is this inimitable style of her which has turned me into her fan for life! As they exchange banter, the two end up finding friendship. The two strike up a conversation. “My name is Jennifer but my friends call me Jen.” Jennifer tells him. “My name is Cooper but you can call me Coop!”, the kiddo retorts, perhaps oblivious to the star

that Jen is!  They build rapport strolling nonchalantly through Emirates’ Business Class cabin and Onboard Lounge, causing much curiosity to the co passengers, the audience is hooked to know what happens next.

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What happens next is heartwarming and warms up the cockles. While they were sitting and chatting on the stairs between the lower and upper decks of the aircraft, Cooper confesses to Jen about his dream of becoming a pilot – of ‘this plane’. “But this is the best plane Jen, So I only want to fly this very plane!” He innocently points to his model Emirates A380 aircraft.

As they walk up the aisle, Cooper reunited with his parents in Economy Class. The parents are taken aback when they see Jen. Jennifer swaps the seat with Cooper’s mother and enjoys Emirates’ ice inflight entertainment system with Cooper. Cooper’s mother is excited and makes the most of Jennifer’s Private Suite.

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Boutros Boutros, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Marketing & Brand explained: “A year ago, when we launched our first ad featuring Jennifer Aniston, we were overwhelmed by what a social phenomenon it became. The humour resonated with audiences around the world, and the ad was viewed by millions of people, generating thousands of conversations. Fans of both Emirates and Jennifer loved her effortless charm and humour, and enjoyed a story that deviated from traditional airline advertising.

“We were overrun with requests to see Jennifer again. She has an enduring, universal appeal that is at once sophisticated, but also down to earth – a great match for our brand. This new ad perfectly captures the fun, spontaneity and glamour of flying on Emirates, and we are confident audiences will find it as memorable as the first.”

The TVC was directed by industry veteran and Oscar-nominee Bryan Buckley, who is acclaimed for his numerous Super Bowl ads. The script and creative concept was a collaboration between Buckley and Emirates’ in-house advertising team and produced in conjunction with the WPP Group.

The TVC can be viewed on the Emirates website or on the Emirates YouTubechannel, Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram. Fans can join the conversation using the tag #JensBack.

Emirates has recently been awarded the 2016 Skytrax World Airline Awards and I can see why. As I was watching the TVC, my roving eyes got a glimpse of the insides of Emirates. Not only was the suite ultra luxurious but even the economy class looked like a must try in the advertisement. I harbored the dream of flying in Emirates one day and played the TVC one more time. The quintessential Jen fans will understand!

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Shop At Foodhall For Exotic Food Ingredients. Yes You Can eat Those Flowers!

I was invited to Foodhall for a live demonstration by chef showcasing the products offered by this amazing gourmet food store in DLF mall, Saket, Delhi. Not one to say no to gastronomic outings, I immediately said yes. What helped me was the fact that the location of the event was convenient.

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Yes, you can use these petals in cooking!

Before we were treated to the chef special dishes, me and other bloggers were taken for a round of the store. I was amazed to see the variety of food available. The many variety of pita bread delighted me. Especially the one topped with zatar powder, a Middle East specialty. The store also stocked exotic spices from Gulf such as Baharat, Zatar, Sumac etc. Just back from a trip to Jordan, I was happy to know that you can get those exotic spices in India too.

Click here to read about my Jordan Trip

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These are teas, not cosmetics!

ven stocked many varieties of dry chillies including the very hot Bhoot Zholakia from North East India. Parnashree, a fellow blogger was happy to see a condiment from her region. The tea section called House Of Tea was impressive. Stored in boxes, that looked like boxes of muscle building supplements, the tea were a winner and came in many flavors. I particularly liked the kettle with a strainer on sale there, very convenient for those who are green tea addict. Black tea, oolong tea, green tea, white tea, yellow tea, they stocked it all. Nearby was a tank which stocked flavored water. We were taught how we can have one installed at our home for a daily supply of flavored water. The one we tasted was carrot and herbs flavored.

The cheese section got me hooked. I could not help but take a second helping of the exotic cheeses on offer. I just couldn’t take my hands off green olive and chipotle cream cheese. The many dips accompanied with colorful nachos were fab too. I liked the flavored hummus and raw mango dip. They even had packed sushi which is great for those who like their sushi on the go. Being a vegetarian, I am impressed to see the veg sushi, not available commonly.

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My favorite!
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Melt in mouth Cronuts!

In the Pomme Frites section, I sampled the thick French fries. It tasted good and crispy even after minutes of being fried. Those were accompanied by many dips and sauces such as peri peri sour cream, sambal oelek, chipotle sour cream et al. However, I did not like the Chola Kulcha buns much. Some things I prefer the classic way. The way they are sold on streets.  Paneer Makhni bun also left me craving for the real stuff. Carrot dumplings were tasteful and had a very thin layer of coat over it. Just the way I prefer it. Honey flavored apple pie was another favorite.

Pics above : Click to enlarge

The event was organized to showcase the monsoon special menu of the store. What I appreciated was that most of the items were healthy and low calorie without compromising on the taste. Great for weight watchers! Also, the staff was very friendly and upbeat to guide you through the store. You must go if you are looking for some exotic ingredients for that dish you learnt in Greece or closer home, Nagaland. You name it, they have it.

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Apple pie!

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What A Comic Show – Unique Comic Themed Restaurant in Delhi!

Growing up as a child in 1990s in North India, I was addicted to comic books. Diamond comic’s brand of wisecracks were my favorite. While entertaining us, the comics also ensured there was something for the kids to take back as a lesson. Pran, the most famous comic legend was a universal favorite. Who could forget that everytime Sabu gets angry, a volcano exploded somewhere far. And of course, Chacha Chowdhury’s brain always worked faster than a computer in an age when most didn’t even know what a computer was. I always wondered how Billu managed to see the world with all the excess hair hiding his eyes. And Pinki’s cool escapades always made you feel bad about your own childhood. Dhruv, Bankelal and Nagraj would make the boys want to grow up and be like them. Continue reading “What A Comic Show – Unique Comic Themed Restaurant in Delhi!”

The Crazy Burgerthon at Hard Rock Cafe!

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Cool Interiors of HRC!

Hard Rock Cafe is hosting its ongoing festival called the World Burger Tour from June 1, 2016 to July 31, 2016. I was invited to sample its eclectic range of burgers and cocktails. I was mighty impressed with the range of burgers on offer here. The idea is to include the quintessential burgers from HRC outlets across the world on the menu.

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The dine in area of HRC

As a travel writer, I am always curious to sample the local food of a place I am traveling to. Imagine my delight when I was able to sample the Mediterranean, Lebanese, Caribbean, Mexican burger all under one roof and in my city.

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The live bar at HRC

I believe a country’s cuisine comprises an intrinsic part of its social culture, portraying aspects that reflect the customs and traditions of its people. Food, being no longer about ingredients alone, is a celebration of an entire experience, offering insight into different parts of the globe with just one bite at a time.

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This is how walls of HRC looks like!

We were surprised when we were told by the host that they have planned a crazy Burgerthon. This meant, that all the participant bloggers had to compete with each other to finish off the burger. Whoever finished first, took away a prize. I was apprehensive after seeing the size of burger. I anyhow jumped at the idea. However, as I took my first bite, I was convinced that I was in no hurry to swallow it fast. I savored the taste while other did their best to outdo each other to win the contest. I love my food and I am a big time foodie so it made more sense to me to enjoy every bite.

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Barman at HRC, yes he’s dancing on the counter!

The first burger served to us was a Mediterranean Veg Burger. The patties were made up of vegetables and spices with a dash of spicy mango aioli, cheddar cheese and fresh spinach slaw. It was a lightly spicy burger and I liked the taste. Though it was a bit on the sweeter side for me!

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The huge burgers at HRC

Lebanese Veg Burger was a more familiar taste for me as I make hummus at home at least once a week. Predictably, it was a combo of hummus, falafel patties, lettuce, tomato, garlic aioli, veg pickle and cheddar cheese. Despite the familiarity of taste I could not stop myself from nibbling on it. It was definitely one of the healthier versions of burger.

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My burgers had a veg flag. Kudos HRC for doing that!

Caribbean Veg Burger was also innovative. Vegetables and brown lentil patties were clubbed with Cheddar Cheese, quinoa relish and sunflower relish.

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The man behind the show. Meet the Chef!

However my favorite was Mexican Quesedilla Veg Burger. As soon as I bit into, I was happy as a kid to chew on the crunchiest burger I have eaten in a while. It was a mélange of varied flavours, ready to burst in the mouth. A fusion of polenta, spices, sweet corn, kidney beans and vegetables made up the patty. It was topped with tangy enchilada salsa, swiss cheese, avocado and nacho straws. It left us begging for more, even though we were full by this time. I wish we had this burger first thing during the bloggers meet. I would have hogged more of this star burger.

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When beer cocktail comes laced with chili flakes!

All the burgers were accompanied by French fries, dips like chimi chimi mayonnaise, salsa etc, garlic aioli, sweet chilly dip and an exciting variety of cocktails. All the cocktails were class apart. This was the first time I had so many beer cocktails.

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The refreshing cocktails accompanied the burgers!

El Matador had fresh strawberries fused with basil leaves, Bacardi rum, fresh lime juice and topped with beer. We enjoyed sipping it over our burgers.

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What’s not to love?

Next in line was All Jacked Up. We smiled after having our first sip. It was a delicious mix of Jim Beam Whiskey, Captain Morgan’s spiced rum and honey mixed with pineapple juice and lime juice. Very refreshing indeed!

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When all the bloggers climbed up the stage and shook a leg or two!

Watermelon Hoedown was the most simple yet tasty drink. Vodka, watermelon juice, lemonade topped with beer and voila you have this drink!

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Barmen dancing at the Bar Counter!

Crisp Sipper was the most unusual of all the cocktails. It was a refreshing crisp blend of gin, cucumber syrup, tonic water, fresh cucumber, maraschino cherries, orange and lime with a touch of rosemary and thyme. I didn’t know someone is innovating with herbs in cocktails. It was just what you needed on a hot summer afternoon, even if one is sitting in an air conditioned premises.

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Parnashree and Swati on stage!

Hangman’s Blood (Dark rum, whiskey, brandy, gin, red wine, sweet & sour mix topped with beer) and Melonpalooza (Bacardi Rum, coconut rum, Midori Melon Liqueur, Pineapple juice and sweet and sour) were equally good.

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The wonderful afternoon was ended with an impromptu song and dance gig on stage. The barmen joined the fun by hopping on to the bar counter and shake a leg or two. Even the chef joined us and discussed the nitty gritties of Burger Marathon in detail once we were done strutting our stuff on the jazzy stage of HRC. It was surely an afternoon to remember!

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You can enjoy the many variety of burgers and cocktails till 31st July, 2016 at HRC outlets across India. With this festival, Hard Rock Café aims jubilate the strong connect between food and travel through its World Burger Tour.

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Disclaimer: I was invited by HRC in the blogger’s meet at the Saket outlet along with blogger friends Swati Jain, Manjulika Pramod, Parnashree Devi and Dipanshu Goyal.

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Our table at HRC

 

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AIR ARABIA : CONNECTING PEOPLE, CONNECTING CULTURES AT LOW COST!

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As a travel blogger, I enjoy experiencing different airlines. I keep my eyes peeled for what is new and unfamiliar. Traveling with Air Arabia was a smooth experience. When I learnt that my flight from Delhi (India) to Amman (Jordan) will be via Sharjah (U.A.E.), I was secretly delighted. It meant that I will get to explore 3 airports in three different countries via 4 flights. I was looking forward to the variety of experiences.

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Not tress but shapes we saw from aircraft as we approached Amman

As the air hostess welcomed us aboard Air Arabia aircraft at a sleepy 4 a.m. in Delhi, my sleep went for a toss when I found I have been allotted the front seat with extra leg space. On top of it, it was a window seat. Just the way I like it (You know how this blog was named?). I peeped out of the window to see Delhi one last time till I finish my brief romance with the beauty called Jordan.

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Bin and Mohamed took good care of us!

Bathed in yellow lights, Delhi looked so close yet so far. Many migrants from India work in the Middle East, either temporarily or permanently. I realized, this must also be their last sight of India before they returned after spending 1-5 years or more in a foreign land. It must have been an emotional and poignant moment for them. Whether they left India or entered! On my return flight from Amman to Sharjah to Delhi, I was amused to find it inundated with Indians, Nepalese, Bangladeshis in the aircraft. It was great for people watching and engaging in small talks with co passengers. Moments like these help you understand humanity better.

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My Co passenger was an emotional Shephali from Bangladesh. She was returning home after 3 years 🙂

Not everyone can afford to travel to far off lands on a luxurious budget. This is when Air Arabia comes as a rescue. It is a low cost flight but with all the modern facilities. I found the leg space to be really good for a budget airline. As someone who is 6 feet, 1 inch tall, I often end up struggling for leg space. However, on later flights (When I did not have the benefit of extra leg space) I still found it easy to make my way through the passengers in middle seat for those loo breaks.

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The scenes from window seat as we approached Sharjah!

I particularly liked the automated screens which displayed safety instructions by kids. The screen would unfold and fold automatically at the start of the flight. It was followed by an Arabic prayer for the well being of the passengers.

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Bin serving fajita packets to Shefali

I found the staff to be courteous, cheerful and attentive. Their prompt responses completed my Air Arabia experience. I was happy to know their staff could converse in English, Hindi, Arabic and even Korean. On one of our flights, the attendant happened to be Enis Bouyahia. Enis is the ‘face of Air Arabia’ and one can see his face on the posters in cities like Dubai. You can follow him on instagram at @enisbouyahia

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Enis the face of Air Arabia ; Nawras, the informative in flight magazine.

Coming to food, I liked the Veg Biryani which was accompanied with a delicious Raita, Gulab Jamun and fruit juice. Vegetable fajita was okayish though filling. However Paneer Masala would have been better with a little less salt in it. The flavoured tea was good. However, Masala Dosa can be scrapped off the menu. It is one dish which should always be served fresh off the griddle. It is a wrong choice for aircraft food.

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Amman airport : Interiors

Good news is that Sharjah, Amman, Alexandria, Casablanca, Ras Al Khaimah are the 5 hubs Air Arabia flies to and they have a total of 44 airbus (A320s). They fly to more than 100 airports and from 13 cities in India. And did I forget to tell you, they are low cost! I feel it’s great for those who want to travel on foreign shores for work or for pleasure. It caters to both sectors.  I was already dreaming of flying to exotic cities like Casablanca and Alexandria with Air Arabia.

YOU WILL LOVE READING THESE BLOGS ON JORDAN:

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Amman airport : Exteriors

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Disclaimer : My flights were sponsored by Air Arabia in association with Jordan Tourism Board. I was invited by both for a Press Trip