I know What You Did This Summer: Travel With FY

25 Jun

I’m finally back after a long hiatus, thanks to some crazy traveling and last minute plans- but that’s the best part of summer, isn’t it?

I’m actually still on holiday and blogging fom India at the moment, straight after my trip to Leh- Ladkah, which is in Kashmir, India.  Here’s a quick photo diary to show what I’ve been upto:  Hope you enjoy the pictures!

Road trip: Traveling through Leh- Ladakh, India

Road trip: Traveling through Leh- Ladakh, India

Cute little shepherds on the way: Leh- Ladakh, India

Cute little shepherds on the way: Leh- Ladakh, India

Pangong Tso Lake, Ladakh, India

Pangong Tso Lake, Ladakh, India

Cuddles!

Cuddles!

My customary holiday jump at Pangong Tso

My customary holiday jump at Pangong Tso

Tso Kar: The most beautiful salt water lake I've ever seen- It snowed right after this picture!

Tso Kar: The most beautiful salt water lake I’ve ever seen- It snowed right after this picture!

Lamas at Thiksey Monastery, Leh Ladakh

Lamas at Thiksey Monastery, Leh Ladakh

Went camping by the riverside. It was freezing in there

Went camping by the riverside. It was freezing in there!

Traditional Ladakhi outfit

Traditional Ladakhi outfit

A typical Ladakhi meal: vegetarian, as most people practise Buddhism here

A typical Ladakhi meal: vegetarian, as most people practice Buddhism here.

As part of the trip, which turned out to be unintentionally adventurous, I camped by the riverside and at a cold desert in freezing temperatures- at one point, it even snowed there in the middle of June! Harsh climes and cold winds and the blazing sun at altitudes of 18,000 feet could have a terrifying effect on the skin and hair. But I went fully prepared with my own arsenal of beauty saviours. Here’s what I packed:

Firstly, sunscreen-  people often underestimate the power of this product, not realizing just how crucial it is, not only in sunny Dubai but also in extremely cold places. At high altitudes, the ozone layer thins out considerably, allowing harmful UVA and UVB rays to penetrate the skin and make permanent and irreversible damage.

Herbline Essentials Sunscreen Lotion SPF 40

Herbline Essentials Sunscreen Lotion SPF 40

I carried my tried and trusted Herbline Essential Sunscreen Lotion (SPF 40) as part of my summer travel survival kit. I love this product for its non sticky, non greasy texture and super absorbent formula, which proved to be highly effective.

My L’ Occitane Angelica range crème moisturizer was literally a life saver on this trip. The weather was very harsh and extremely dry, making my hands wrinkle up within hours of landing at Leh Airport! I was alarmed to see old- lady wrinkles creeping up everywhere and immediately rushed to slather on some of this magic potion. And magic it was! Within minutes, my skin was revitalized and stayed super soft and hydrated throughout my trip, but only after I adopted a strict skincare regime.

L'Occitane angelica hydration cream

L’Occitane angelica hydration cream

Hair is also affected tremendously whenever we travel and there’s a drastic change in weather, especially if its ultra dry. I took my beloved Davines Replumping Conditioner for some much needed TLC for my hair. For an added boost of gloss and moisture, I used the fabulous Davines Absolute Beautifying Potion. The effect? Flawlessly styled, shiny and hydrated hair throughout the trip, through rain, sleet, wind and snow!

Davines Replumping Conditioner

Davines Replumping Conditioner

Lastly, I never forget to pack my fragrance du jour- This season’s hot favourite is Guess Girl Summer Limited Edition! Smells like summer in a bottle with its fresh notes and flirty, sunny fragrance – I adore it and have been wearing it all summer.

Guess Girl Summer Limited edition

Guess Girl Summer Limited edition

Happy Summer everyone!


FY Review: Urbano, Souk Al Bahar

21 May

I happen to be a huge fan of Italian cuisine and over the years, I’ve become something of a resident commentator of penne pasta arabiata for family and friends. Having never even been to Italy, I can say I’ve actually managed to sample almost all Italian regional cuisines in Dubai, being a foodie haven that it’s known to be; I’ve had quite a few fantastic options to choose from.

Review: Urbano - Souk Al Bahar Dubai

Review: Urbano – Souk Al Bahar Dubai

Souk Al Bahar, Dubai

Souk Al Bahar, Dubai

I remember someone saying that traditional Italian cuisine is il cibo povero, which translates to ‘poor man’s food’ because Italian cuisine uses the simplest, freshest and easily found ingredients to create that world famous, delicious Italian taste. So when I visited the highly acclaimed and oft recommended Urbano (Souk Al Bahar), I couldn’t help but sample one of Italy’s most famous exports- the Caprese salad or quite simply- the scrumptious tomato mozzarella. After various trials and errors in Dubai I can say I’ve finally found a place that does tomato mozzarella like the good lord intended it.

Caprese salad: Tomato Mozzarella at Urbano, Souk Al Bahar- Review

Caprese salad: Tomato Mozzarella at Urbano, Souk Al Bahar- Review

Urbano - Pizza - Chef throwing dough

Urbano – Pizza – Chef throwing dough

Urbano - Pizza - Being prepared

Urbano – Pizza – Being prepared

We ordered some Formaggio (cheese topped bread) to accompany the salad which turned out to be heavier than expected, but delectable all the same. For the entrée we opted for the Funghi (vegetarian pizza with roasted Portobello mushrooms, red onion marmalade and Gorgonzola cheese). Succulent and fresh, my companion’s pizza was as a delight but the pasta – the Cozze e gambherti  ( fresh mussels and prawns tossed with olive oil and linguine pasta was a notch above the rest- quite simply one of the best pasta experiences among Italian restaurants in Dubai.

The gorgeous Dubai fountain show from Urbano, Souk Al Bahar

The gorgeous Dubai fountain show from Urbano, Souk Al Bahar

The service was attentive and very efficient, despite it being a busy Thursday night- I never had to summon the waiter twice. The ambience is definitely a crowd puller for Urbano, with a ringside view of the fabulous Dubai Fountain show at Souk Al Bahar. Moreover, Urbano is also opening a branch at Media city- ofcourse sans the view of the fountains but some great authentic Milanese food, nevertheless.

Torta di Formaggio - Cheesecake at Urbano, Souk Al Bahar

Torta di Formaggio – Cheesecake at Urbano, Souk Al Bahar

Dessert was another highlight but, after the heavy main course, I was skeptical about finishing my Torta di Formaggio – baked mascarpone cheesecake finished with a generous topping of raspberry and orange coulis. However, by the time I started digging into it, watching the entertaining fountain show, I  had polished it off- it was really that delicious; highly recommended.

I’d rate the restaurant’s overall ambiance as 4.5 on 5, thanks to the waterside and the gorgeous fountains. The food would come a close 4 on 5 and the service would be another 4. Authentic and unforgettable, Urbano is your quintessential Thursday night dinner do in Dubai.

Chanel Cruise Dubai: Decoded!

14 May

For the past 6 months, all anyone could talk about in Dubai was the Chanel cruise 2015 show – lots of mystery, rumors and so many many hopes were pinned on this one amazing show, to be hosted by Karl Lagerfeld himself. Well, the rumors, atleast about it being held on an entire ‘Chanel’ island were true, as were those about the super exclusive guest list!

A preview of Chanel Cruise Collection accessories at the pre-show lounge

A preview of Chanel Cruise Collection accessories at the pre-show lounge

A preview of Chanel Cruise Collection accessories at the pre-show lounge

A preview of Chanel Cruise Collection accessories at the pre-show lounge

So did the mush-hyped event live upto expectations?  Well considering how celebrities such as Tilda Swinton, Frieda Pinto, Dakota Fanning, Carine Roitfield graced the show in support of Karl Lagerfeld’s first Arabian foray and how Dubai’s top notch fashion cognoscenti showed up in their finest, it really was quite the spectacle.

Freida Pinto dressed in Chanel Cruise Collection 2014

Freida Pinto dressed in Chanel Cruise Collection 2015

Dakota Fanning dressed in Chanel Cruise Collection 2014

Dakota Fanning dressed in Chanel Cruise Collection 2015

The setting was beautiful- an island completely lit up with candles in the sand, as guests were ferried via little ‘abra’ boats – nice traditional touch.  Inside, the gorgeous, custom made glass-skirted venue was lined with palm trees and set up in the form of low-seated ‘majlis’- another very traditional touch which was much appreciated by guests. The runway wound right around the guest seated in their pockets, so everyone had an up, close and personal view – I thought it was a fantastic idea.

Inside the venue of the Chanel Cruise Dubai show

Inside the venue of the Chanel Cruise Dubai show

The show itself was simply stunning. The cruise collection had quite a few elements inspired by the Middle East- the gasoline Chanel bag has already made headlines ( although I thought it was more of a gimmick than an aesthetically inspired design) and the famous red checkered headscarf made several peek-a-boo appearances on jackets, dresses and skirts. Overall, a wildly floral, flowy and beautifully draped collection, with elements of shimmer, beads and a bohemian edge. Brightly colored scarves featured prominently, making it very Middle East-friendly.

The Chanel gasoline-can quilted bag

The Chanel gasoline-can quilted bag

Bling jackets, anyone? At the Chanel Cruise Dubai show

Bling jackets, anyone? At the Chanel Cruise Dubai show

Chanel Cruise Collection 2015 in Dubai

Chanel Cruise Collection 2015 in Dubai

Harem pants were everywhere, as were Arab –inspired jackets and lacy- sheer jumpsuits. Personally, I loved the dress coats the best – very chic, tailored and clean.

Another attention grabber was the Gold knot-choker and Bedouin-inspired cuffs and necklaces. I found myself falling in love with the elaborate hair jewelry.

Loving the hair ornaments and jewelry from the Chanel Cruise 2015 collection

Loving the hair ornaments and jewelry from the Chanel Cruise 2015 collection

In all, a beautiful show which, I’m sure Dubai and the world will not be able to stop talking about for a while…possibly for another 6 months!