Mount Onion Erupts!

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Flaming onion volcano


My sister, brother-in-law and I had hibachi here and it was a fun experience. We shared the table with a group of six.The ambience was awesome and the interiors were stunning.

I started off with a Scorpion Bowl which was excellent. Then the chef arrived and the hibachi show started. The chef was entertaining, juggling knives and hurling vegetables. This was my first hibachi experience which made it all the more interesting for me.The highlight for me was when the chef made a volcano of onions on the hibachi grill and lit it on fire. I had never seen anything like this before.

It was a great evening with delicious food and a fun atmosphere. I hope to be back here soon to enjoy the hibachi experience again.

Scorpion Bowl

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Absolute Sanctuary Wellness Retreat, Thailand

 

Absolute Sanctuary, Koh Samui

 
After a whirlwind three days of travel and activities in Bangkok it was time to cool off and relax and a perfect time for a spa retreat. After a  short flight from Bangkok, I arrived in Koh Samui late in the evening. A staff from my resort, Absolute Sanctuary, was there to pick me up.

I was on the spa detox programme which was a divine experience. I had a massage everyday and all the treatments were just great, my favourite being aroma therapy. The yoga instructors were professional and gave individual attention. The food was healthy and nutritious and the juice bar provided freshly made juices and smoothies. The staff were friendly and caring. I was well looked after  from the moment I arrived.

The beautiful Koh Samui beach was about 20 minutes away and they offered a free shuttle to the beach multiple times a day. They also offered a number of treatments and I tried reiki for the first time which was quiet an experience.

I could see the difference in myself after only a few days of my stay. My skin was glowing and my mind was calm.

This was a perfect wellness resort far from the crowd and after a week of yoga and detox, I felt a lot more healthier and relaxed and ready to face the ‘real’ world.

An evening with Nicole Kidman..

Noel Coward Theatre

I had developed a huge crush on Tom Cruise after watching Mission Impossible 5. It was specially that plane stunt that got me mesmerised. So when my friends got to know that Nicole Kidman was performing in London, they thought that the best birthday present they could give me was to gift me a ticket to the show. Their logic being that this was the closest that they could get me to Tom Cruise (I know this sounds ridiculous). 
 

Nicole Kidman

Awesome performance by Nicole Kidman in Photograph 51

 

So on a Saturday evening we came to the city to see the show. I didn’t think much of the show till that day and didn’t know what to expect. When I arrived at the theatre, the atmosphere was really buzzing and the excitement started building up.

We got good seats with a good view. There was cheering and a round of applause the moment Nicole appeared on stage. She was so graceful and such a natural performer. The play was humorous, witty and moving at times. The performance was mind blowing and Nicole was just awesome. I was awestruck by the whole play from start to finish. I was so engrossed and couldn’t believe how quickly two hours had gone by.

    
After the play was over, I saw people rushing to back door of the theatre. It was only then that we realised that Nicole was meeting fans and signing autographs. We made our way to the back door but were too late.A huge crowd had already gathered and we were right at the back, tip toeing to get a glimpse of what was going on. A few men at the front saw us and I’m not sure what came to their mind, but they made space for us to come in front. So there I was standing right next to Nicole. 

She was very graceful and cheerful, happily signing autographs and posing for photographs. She signed an autograph, posed for a selfie and shook my hands. 

Nicole Kidman’s autograph

What an evening I had! A very special girly night out with an unexpected meet and greet with a Hollywood star! And for those of you who are interested, my crush on Tom Cruise has faded away over the months, but thanks to him, I got to see Nicole.

My selfie moment.

Fun on the farm.

  

I visited Harbes Farm during my stay in Long Island in the fall and absolutely loved the place. It was pumpkin season and the huge farm was full of pumpkins of different sizes. My sister and I spent the afternoon here and the place brought back sweet memories of our childhood.

  

We walked through the farm, picking pumpkins and taking pictures. Some of them were really huge and heavy and I had never seen a pumpkin of that size before. They had a corn maze which was fun and scary. There were fresh vegetables available in the farm shop. The sweet corn available were freshly roasted and was absolutely delicious.
  

They had a lot of other fun activities like wine tasting, apple picking and hay rides. It was a nice place for wine tasting and a quick lunch.

 

 We ended up with bags of fresh vegetables and two bottles of wine. I loved the freshness of the place and it was nice to feel like a child again.
  

A birthday weekend in a Kocoon.

Front view of our kocoon

For my 30th birthday I wanted to do something different and exciting. After a lot of research my husband and I decided to spend my birthday weekend in a ‘kocoon’ at Harvieston Huts. These are small cosy huts in the Kirkhill mansion estate, about ten miles away from Edinburgh.

The Kirkhill mansion is a unique place in the middle of nowhere. There are about 20 cute huts in the complex. Each of the kocoons are made of wood with a small window for ventilation. Inside it was very cosy and warm. There was a sitting area outside each kocoon where you could relax and have a bbq.

Cute kocoons in the complex

  

We reached the camping site on Friday night and had a nice relaxing sleep in our kocoon. The next morning, which was my birthday morning, we went for a walk nearby. There were some really nice trails around the area with a couple of waterfalls. We were lucky with the weather and the walk was amazing and beautiful. In the afternoon we went to Edinburgh which was just a short drive away. We had a gala time there and I will share my experiences in Edinburgh in another blog.

Bbq area outside the kocoon

Late in the evening we returned to our kocoon and had a late night bbq. We spent the rest of the evening relaxing and enjoying the breeze. The kocoons were a spectacular hidden gem and I really enjoyed my stay. It was an overall good weekend and I thought to myself that turning 30 wasn’t bad at all!!

Magical Lantern Festival, London

Last month I went to the Magical Lantern Festival in Chiswick House and Gardens with my younger sister. I had no idea what to expect but it had been heavily advertised in the newspapers and I was a bit curious to know what it was all about. I booked tickets for two and met my sister after work in Vauxhall and together we made our way to Chiswick. It was cold and raining and a part of me wanted to cancel the plans, but I had already booked the tickets and so we decided to just go ahead with it.

After a short walk from Chiswick station we reached the venue of the festival. The whole place was brightened up with beautifully decorated lanterns. There were illuminated life-sized animals and figures which were beautifully arranged along the lake in the garden. 

Lighted up peacock

  

A meter long dragon

  
 
There was a meter long dragon and illuminated elephants, flamingos, pandas and glowing mushrooms and flowers. The lovely lanterns were scattered along the garden lake and there was a walking tour to explore the picturesque garden trail. 

Illuminated elephants

 

Glowing mushrooms

 

At the end of the luminous display there was a market place where my sister and I had a drink. We were glad that we didn’t cancel our plans and even though it was very cold, we did have an enjoyable evening out.

Sacred, Beautiful and Peaceful – Mahabodhi temple

Mahabodhi Temple – where Buddha had attained Enlightment.

 We drove to Bodhgaya from Patna and we found the atmosphere to be very peaceful and serene the moment we arrived here.

 The Mahabodhi temple was very beautiful and peaceful. Even though I knew the significance of this temple, I was still amazed to see so many Buddhist devotees visiting this place from all over the world. 

The statue of the Buddha inside the temple was awe inspiring. The Bodhi tree under which Buddha gained Niravana was behind the temple. There were monks praying and meditating around the Bodhi tree. The atmosphere was peaceful and powerful and one could feel the spiritual vibration. 

Entrance was free but there was a charge for cameras. The security was tight but the crowd was well managed. I would highly recommend to spend at least two hours in this temple. Apart from the beautiful sites, there were also workshops and classes which was worth trying.

We were on a road trip and were short of time and only had an hour to spend here. I will definitely come here again with more time in hands and would like to try meditating with the monks and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere around the Bodhi tree.