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By Juhi Bansal

Udaipur is our city of dreams, our escape from reality, our happy place. Only in Udaipur are we creatures of habit- we stay at the same place, eat at the same eateries and do the same old things we do on all trips to Udaipur- which is absolutely nothing!

It is also always our last minute plan- the fallback option when we are looking for a weekend getaway.

Since, Iy is slightly older this time, we tried doing things a little differently. We stayed at a new resort (and quickly went back to our first preference the second night). Ventured out a little bit because she is old enough to “experience” stuff even though she may not remember most of it. And, most importantly, ate at new places. This is a big change for us. We swear by these eateries but as luck would have it, some of these disappointed us this time with their food and service, some were too busy for us and some simply didn’t beckon as much as the others.

Here’s a list of 3 new eateries we recommend you try on your next visit to Udaipur. The earlier list still stands but if you’re looking to try newer places, views, ambience and food- these may be a good idea.

  1. Hari Garh Restaurant

This is our favourite restaurant in Udaipur now. I kid you not! Right from the rustic façade to the beautiful setting and the view- everything is just perfect here. Located in the lanes of Hanuman Ghat, it is right next to Upre (infact this is how we landed here). We thought we’ll take a quick look inside the eatery and then head over to our regular favourite but lo and behold. The moment we stepped inside, we fell in love. The restaurant has seating in “jharokhas” with matteresses and chadubai tables. You can sit with your legs crossed (which is how I like to sit in all restaurants) or lounge till your food is served.

The view is breath-taking. The jharokhas overlook Lake Pichola and Gangaur Ghat, whether you visit the place for lunch or dinner, you’ll have a great time. The food although nothing to write home about, is simple and tasty and quite cost effective. A meal for 2 with drinks set us back by about Rs. 2000.

Pro-Tip: Since it is indoors, going there during lunch is also a great idea. Do carry your kindle or a book to read and just relax. No one will hurry you up even when your food is long over.

Source: http://www.restaurantharigarh.com

The view from our Jharokha

  1. Amber Reaturant

Since it is just around the corner from Hari Garh, you may want to plan your day in such a way that you have lunch at Hari Garh then shop in Chandpole and Hathipole or simply continue to lounge in the restaurant and then move over to Amber for dinner.

Amber is incidentally next door to Ambrai, another hot favourite in Udaipur. We simply chanced upon the restaurant because we had some time to kill before our reservation at Ambrai. We loved the view (and menu) so much, we decided to cancel our reservation at Ambrai for a table at Amber. Amber’s blue & turquoise décor makes you realize that it is actually named after “ ambar” or sky in Hindi although the food is Mexican.

You don’t find a lot of non-Indian places in Udaipur and rightly so but Amber was a pleasant surprise. The food is quite nice and authentic (not that I’ve been to Mexico!). We tried the Chili and molcahete with corn tortillas and were quite impressed. The portions are huge so order accordingly. Meal for two with drinks will cost about Rs. 2000 or so. Don’t forget to try the Margheritas!

Pro-tip: Make sure you reach there just before the sun is starting to set. It is very very beautiful. Also, if you order two mains, call for one tortillas and one rice as sides.

  1. Baradari at Fateh Garh Palace

We were staying here so this was our default option for dinner on Day 1 since we didn’t want to drive down to the city centre. While we did not go there with a lot of expectation, we were pleasantly surprised. You have the option of sitting both indoors and outdoors (next to the pool). We chose to sit outside because the weather was nice and the view spectacular! Nestled between hills, the restaurant overlooks romantic surroundings which are surprisingly calm.  

The menu options are limited and generic but the hospitality more than makes up for it. A meal for two will cost about Rs. 3000 with drinks.

Pro-tip: Plan your visit in such a way that you can combine it with a dip in the infinity pool before you head over to dinner. The experience is worth it.

Source: http://www.fatehgarh.in

PS: You will not see any food pictures in the article because frankly I did not know I will end up writing this. Almost all pictures are from my Iphone 6S unless otherwise stated.

Also Read: http://www.closetbuddies.in/must-visit-eateries-and-everything-you-want-to-know-about-food-in-mcleodganj/

http://www.closetbuddies.in/five-must-visit-new-age-cafes-in-jaipur/

http://www.closetbuddies.in/5-must-visit-eateries-in-udaipur/

http://www.closetbuddies.in/must-visit-eateries-in-auroville/

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By Juhi Bansal

Since last week, things seem to be taking a turn for the worse. My days are getting more demanding (or I am just too disorganized) so I just couldn’t find the time to rant and the least I talk about the weather, the better!

I promise to write something soon. Here are pics from my not-so-fun day out last weekend.

 

Credits:

Outfit: Vero Moda (4 years old)

Sunglasses: gift (6 months old)

Footwear: Charles & Keith (3 years old)

Earrings: Amrapali Jaipur (7 years old)

Pics: Bhavya Rathore

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By Juhi Bansal

CB community met up for a summer themed hi-tea at the new Dipali Shah boutique. All of us dressed up in the latest summer collection by Dipali Shah, ate some scrumptious goodies for tea, chatted about our views on the trends this summer and clicked a lot of photos. 

Dipali’s collection is all about comfort and style. Flowy fabrics, lots of drama (by way of ruffles and tassels) and earthy colours. If you’re looking to stock up for your upcoming vacation including “airport style” look no further!

Wearing here my favourite from Dipali Shah’ss summer collection. 

Dipali & I

All of us

Credits:

Outfit: c/o Dipali Shah

Earrings: c/o Simran Chhabra (1 year old)

Rosette Double Ring: c/o Simran Chhabra (1 year old)

Clutch: c/o LovetoBag (1 year old)

Pics: Tejaswi Ghagada

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By Juhi Bansal

Such a great way to celebrate International Women’s Day. Along with Iconic Brands, closetbuddies celebrated the  #CBxIconic  

#sheforher campaign. My gang of fashionistas styled walk in customers. They did an extremely good job of keeping the customer’s personal choices in mind while creating ensembles for them. It was quite heartening to see so many smiles by the end of the event.

Just a quick word of wisdom for all you ladies and the few others I met yesterday:

Fashion can be empowering so don’t let someone make you feel bad about you wanting to look good for yourself.

While it is always fun to experiment and get out of your own comfort zone, it is ok to also stay inside it. Don’t let anyone pressurize you to change into someone you don’t identify with.

The event was aptly named #she4her. Afterall, what is a woman if she cannot be another one’s strength. Lets not bicker, criticize or be envious- lets empower each other/ after all, thats how the entire tribe grows!

My husband makes breakfast and I drive him to work. This is no special occasion like our anniversary or Mother’s Day. We do this every single day and as much as I would like to call it gender reversal- both these things come very naturally to us (and thats why we flourish in them) as some of our other roles. Left to me, I would feed K & Iy omlettes and bread every single day for breakfast and that’s why even though I may panic when we run out of eggs, the husband whips up a storm, all in time for school/office, without breaking a sweat or making an SOS run to the grocers! Am I lucky- no doubt about it- but you must remember that unless you stand up and demand it- you will be handed out what others think you deserve. Even if it means gender stereotypes.

Do we need a Women’s Day? I don’t think I am equipped to answer that question. Things have changed and the future only looks better but I think it is a very very long road to equality.  I would like to be known as a person rather than a woman and I wish all you lovely persons a very happy women’s day. May you garner the strength to raise your voice and fight for your rightful place.

Credits:

Event Partner: Iconic Brands

My outfit: c/o Sheekha

Shoes: Charles & Keith

Neck Tattoo lace: thrifted

Thumb ring: Anokhi

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By Juhi Bansal

A terribly busy week is my favourite kind. But, that also means that I did not have enough time to write an article. So, this week I’ll keep it short and limit to pictures of an outfit I wore to the convocation at NID. I got so many compliments I was overwhelmed! But, then, this outfit is by one of my favourite designers and she never fails to wow me with her collection. Here are some pics. Tell me how you like it.

Psst: I chose the outfit because it was perfect keeping the formal vibes of the event in mind. To bring some quirkiness into the outfit I knotted it on the side. Apart from changing the look from traditional to contemporary, the knot gives the outfit a very flattering fall don’t you think?

Credits:

Outfit: c/o  Sugandh

(8 months old)

Necklace: Forever 21 (3 years old)

Juttis: c/o Kaseedaa

(6 months old)

Pics: Bhavya Rathore

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By Juhi Bansal

We travelled to China late last year and it was one of the best impromptu trips we have ever done. We had about 8 days to ourselves so we decided to limit our trip to Shanghai and Beijing only. Shanghai is like any other metropolitan city across the world- fast, clean, “drop your hat” high skyscrapers, cosmopolitan crowd and food. But, it also has an old world charm- be it the floating tea houses or the charming French Concession or the uber cool Xintiandi. Here are my two bits on planning a short trip to China.

Where to Stay

It is always better to stay close to public transport whatever location you decide on. We were in Shanghai for 5 days out of which we stayed 2 nights in an Airbnb in People’s Square. It is centrally located with access to all points of interest and has two metro lines close by. For the second half of our stay, we moved to a hotel in the financial district which was also close to a metro station so getting around was much easier.

Must Do

Shanghai Circus World: The ‘ERA Intersection of Time’ show at Shanghai Circus World is a cultural extravaganza. Traditional Chinese martial arts and acrobatics together with a spectacular combination of visuals, live music, special effects,  elaborate costumes- it is totally worth the money. Iy enjoyed it as much as we did.

Xintiandi: One place we kept going back to. Has some of the best eateries or if you’re looking to spend a night about town- it is Europe in Shanghai!

French Concession: Whether it is Huaihui, Tianzifang or Xujiahui, each section has its own charm. From fashionable pedestrians to cool cafes to roadside shopping, every corner is mesmerizing.  

Hu Xin Ting Floating Tea House: It’s a beautiful 18th century tea house floating in the middle of a lake. Do try the tea here.

Yuyuan Bazaar: Quaint little traditional bazaar. Find some fun baubles, street food and lots and lots of other stuff.

Bund: It is the Riverside Promenade. Do take a walk around especially in the night when it’s all lit up. We saw atleast 30 pre-wedding shoots happening at the Bund on one single evening! It was so pretty! You may also want to eat at one of the fancy restaurants that overlook the Bund. Such an amazing view!

Shanghai Zoo: We made the trip especially for the giant pandas! They are so cute- definitely my spirit animal!

Other places of interest: People’s Square, Yu Garden, Nanjing Road, Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Disneyworld.

Getting Around

Cabs in China are quite cheap. (compared to Europe and US). There is no Uber but they have something similar called Didi which is quite good and fast. Mostly cabs will reach almost where you are standing in wait but sometimes they can’t spot you and the driver will call. Most of them do not speak any English. In fact, almost all of them can’t understand a word of English so there is no way you can explain to them where you are. We did use cabs in China but mostly when we were at a prominent spot and there was no need to communicate with the driver.

I quite like the metro system in Shanghai. It is quite wide spread (you can club it with taxis and almost everything becomes accessible), clean, frequent and most importantly- instructions are in English. It is so convenient; you would need no help whatsoever.

Eating Out

There are two things you should know before you look for Vegetarian Chinese food in Shanghai.

1. The Chinese are ardent meat and sea food lovers. Most places don’t even have one vegetarian dish on the menu.

2. A very high percentage of Chinese people don’t speak any English at all. So you can’t even make them understand what you’re looking for. While #GoogleTranslate is a big help there is always a small chance your food will still end up having a little bit of meat in the form of broth because you couldn’t communicate properly. While finding non Chinese vegetarian food is very easy- Tripadvisor is a big help in that regard, we wanted to taste the local food and flavours. I also asked a couple of friends for suggestions plus our hosts at our Airbnb in Shanghai spoke English. 

We really wanted to try the local cuisine and although we struggled in the beginning, managed to find lots of veg options eventually. You can check out my detailed post on Chinese food and etiquette here.

(I shall soon bring part 2 of the article which will have some important must-knows about China and how to make the best of your short trip to Beijing).

Stay Gorgeous xx

Yuyuan Bazaar

Selfie at the Bund

Congee!

Our staple in China- Egg Fried Rice

Floating Tea House

French Concession

Huahai Road

What I wore on a sunny day

Matcha Cappuccino

Tianzifang

The Giant Panda at the Shanghai Zoo

Chinese Breakfast

Halloween in Shanghai

Shanghai Circus World- it sells out almost every single day!

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By Juhi Bansal

Growing up with a sister and a mother has had its benefits. Apart from developing a taste in fashion I also had access to thrice the amount of accessories (think jewelry!) (especially footwear since all three of us had the same size after a point) and also outfits in some cases. My sister is far from my size but we still exchange clothes and other items. I also borrow stuff from my mother in law and my sister in law. Infact, the whole reason for starting CB was because I thought everyone should keep their closets open to everyone- this way we will never run out of things to wear without feeling compelled to shop. We should be buddies who share closets!

I have been shameless in borrowing stuff from my friends also especially for weddings because I just cannot justify the expense (in my mind) and it is always fun to style things differently.

Keeping up with the same spirit, I borrowed this dress from my sister and wore it to the first CB event for 2018. Tell me how you like it!

All my girls

Credits:

Outfit: borrowed from sister (1 year old)

Footwear: Nine West (brand new)

Bag: from China (brand new)

Necklace: c/o Aditi Bhatt (8 months old)

Sunglasses: c/o Lulu & Sky (6 months old)

Pictures: Bhavya Rathore

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