Monday, July 25, 2016

chai pe charcha with Te-a-me @ Taj Vivanta Panjim

If You arecold, tea will warm you,
If you are heated,it will cool you,
If you are depressed,it will cheer you
If you are excited,it will calm you.
-William Gladstone

Tea is the most popular beverage in the world, second only to water.With India being one of the largest exporters of tea and one of the largest consumers of the beverage as well, it was about time that we celebrated tea in all it’s various moods and avatars.

Te-a-me teas are part of the Madhu Jayanti International limited, which are leading exporters of tea in India and have been around for almost 7 decades now. To revamp the image of tea drinking as well as to appeal to the more aspirational and young population of India as a ‘lifestyle drink’, Te-a-me has launched 20 flavours of tea, which include spiced teas for the Indian palate such as the masala tea or the ginger tea, to the much in demand green teas such as their honey lemon green or the Kashmir inspired Kahwa. Their range also includes flower and leaf infusions such as apple mint, peppermint and tulsi.

From such a wide variety to choose from, Mr Sunil Parikh, India Head , Te-a-me teas is positive that no matter what your mood, or preference they would have a tea flavour especially suited to your needs.
When asked about the innovative marketing strategy of sending president hopeful Donald Trump 6000 green tea te-a-me tea bags, so that it may help him make good decisions for America, a first of it’s kind proposal by an Indian tea company, Mr Sunil Parikh diplomatically declined to comment.

Mr. Ravi Kidwai , a renowned tea taster, who has almost 40 years of experience tasting teas, and hails from Kolkata was however very forthcoming with his knowledge and enthusiasm for the elixir of his choice. While brewing some exotic flavours of tea such as the mango and the blueberry , Mr Ravi shared interesting anecdotes on the popularity of tea across different nations. He spoke of a man who own a tea tasting room in Prague, who has dedicated kettles to brew every different type of tea, and the secret lies in never washing the pot, so that the flavours form a tea patina which lines, and underlines the flavour of the brewed tea. He spoke of the different grades of tea, and how a tea taster helps differentiate a good tea from a great one, by years of experience and what he called the ‘palate memory’. He felt the roadside tea stalls, even though ubiquitous and popular in India, had been instrumental in positioning tea as a ‘poor mans’drink, and the addition of milk and sugar reduces the finer nuances of the tea and thus reducing it to a ‘tasteless stew’. He was quick to caution against the rising trend of positioning green tea and other teas as ‘health drinks’. “tea is to be savoured and enjoyed for it’s taste and by labelling it a medicinal or health drink we are pushing tea into a place where I don’t think tea wants to be. Tea does not aspire to be a medication.” His personification of his favourite drink showed his love fotr the same. When asked which tea was his favourite he said the ‘darjeeling tea’ with which he has a fond bond for over 4 decades.

Tea popularity is slowly on the rise, it is now not only used in drinks, but also to add flavours to hookahs, to smoke meats while barbequing and in the recently concluded Masterchef US finale was used to make an earl grey inspired dessert by the winning participant.

Speaking about the popularity of Baristas and coffee shops across India, Mr Parikh pointed out that it was the smell of roasting coffee beans that was used to draw in the crowds, he was quick to add that tea too is not to be left behind in it’s powers to draw people . he shared the experience of Te-a-me preparing a special blueberry flavoured tea for a baker which was used to enhance the experience of this clients while they savoured the blueberry muffins at his bakery.

The great news is that now Goans too can take on this sensorial tour of different smells, flavours and tastes of the te-a-me teas at the cafĂ© in Taj Vivanta Panjim, which is to launch the te-a-me flavour station. Mr Jaikant Shroff , General Manager, Vivanta by Taj , Panjim, spoke of showcasing an Indian tea company, and being an Indian hospitality chain they were proud to celebrate the ‘make in India’ concept and promote an Indian beverage to the people of Goa.

With a prime minister who loves to talk world politics and nation building over ‘chai pe charcha’ and over a billion population who swear by their cup of tea, it is time that Indians take pride in the tea.

“Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage” –catherine douzel.

a clucking good time @ clucktales Goa

Few dishes are as universal the roast chicken. It is almost the national dish of England, it is a favourite for elaborate Sunday lunches, as well as fits in perfectly for a quick weekday dinner as well. you can go decadent and delicious with the dressing and the sides, or you can go clean and lean for the health conscious as well.
There is no doubt that chicken is a versatile dish both in terms of how one cooks it, to the way it is served up. Cluck Tales, celebrates all things chicken under the tutelage of chef Manjula de Cruz.

Ambience: Airy and  spacious, it’s located on the first floor of the building right opposite Don Bosco school in Panjim. With an underground parking space, you have no worries of parking. Situated close to the school, it caters to after school hunger pangs, or a quick treat for the kids. Close to the movie hall Inox, and open from 11 to 11 it caters to the odd hours of the movie goers. With an open kitchen concept, a bakery station right at the door, the place is all about the food.

Food: lovely chalkboard menus, in a simple easy to understand concept. The chicken is cooked skinless, and over hot lava stones. The stones are sourced from Malaysia and help keeping the chicken soot free, from the cooking, and incidentally the soot from roasts have been linked to cancers, so you might just be dogding abullet by eating the lava cooked chicken here.

the various marinades are also served as a gravy

the sides featured with the soon to be famous jalapeno jam

Going skinless, is a smart move because Indians have yet to acquire a taste for the crispy chicken that the Masterchefs worls wide keep raving about. We like our chicken clean, yet moist. This moistness is always due to the marinades.
But, before we get to the marinades, it’s time to rewind.
Our meal at cluck tales did not start at the chicken itself, what came first were the breads, the focaccia which had all the hearty goodness of fresh bakes, was something I would highly recommend.
The chicken chowder was surprisingly light, unlike some of the corn heavy varieties. A chicken cutlet, very much like the Bengali chicken chop and the Goan cutlets, were mince stuffed in a mashed potato covering and fan fried. What I would have loved is to see some chicken liver pate or fried to go with the crunchy ciabatta toasts, to celebrate chicken in it’s entirety.
Then came the signature chicken cooked over the lava stones. We got to see the actual stones as well, and they were nicely faceted and pretty looking as well.
lava stones, from pristine to used. shades of grey

There are the staple marinades on the menu like a vinegar based marinade , or a garlic lasuni marinade. And here is a tip, ask for the chef’s special for the day. some days they have two specials as well. on the day we visited the chef’s special was a hot sriracha marinade and the fiery marinade is a winner with the soft white meat of poultry.

They have custom made meals for a single person which has a serving of a quarter chicken, a side, a dip and fries. Also a bottomless glass of the fizzy of your choice.
So after you choose your marinade, choose a side. The sides you have a choice of potatoes in a dill mayo dressing, sweet corns, coleslaw, or baked veggies. I loved my zucchinis in the baked veggies, as well as the crucnchy coleslaw.
For dips, there are again a slew of choices, like a pink raita, or a guacamole dip, but for me the jalapeno jam is a winner all the way. Highly highly recommended. It’s equal parts sweet and spicy, and jalapenos are an inspired addition. For the uninintiated they have ketchup aswell, for your fries.
The whole meal is an amazing value for money. For 4 people with four dips, four sides and a choice of two marinades for 628, it was a steal, actually.
The best thing is that you are left feeling pretty light after the meal, with no stodgy carbs to fill you up, if you leave the fries out. Not a surprise actually since, the mother rooster of the establishment, chef Manjula was cooking for a well known football team in the UK previously.
Chef Manjula De Cruz is as unforgettable and impressive, than the meal itself, if not more. With her no holds barred take on food, and her strong opinions about her cooking as well as other peoples opinion about the same , she is a force to reckon with. If she had a TV show, she would give Gordon Ramsay a run for his money, enough said.

A Goan, who stayed in the UK for a couple of decades, it may be the reason for her love for a good ol’ roast chicken. She has come back home to roost, and we are all happy for the fact.
The meal at cluck tales, as I said, leaves you decidedly feeling healthy, a feeling a food blogger is not very used to.

Thus, next came the desserts.

A green apple cheese cake, their signature pateis de nata, and a soon to be added attraction an Indian version of the apple straddle porota.
I recently learnt that pasteis de nata are a traditional Portuguese egg custard. It seems that while the whites of the eggs were used to starch clothes and such, the surplus egg yokes were then inventively used in desserts, and that was the birth of the classic pasteis de nata. Crumbly pie crust and soft pillowy custard is a dessert I would most certainly reorder.

The apple straddle porota, sent me on a nostalgic trip when my mum used to wrap a paratha with jam and cut it in pieces so that they were sticky sweet finger food for tiffin. These porotas have been influenced by th kerala porotas, and not the north Indian Paratha however, and these were stuffed with crunchy nuts and a syrupy caramelised apples.

All in all a meal worth clucking about.
Food: 4 plates
Service: 4 plates
Ambience: 3.5 plates

Thursday, July 21, 2016

M day celebrations at Marriott Goa

Gratitude is a powerful process for shifting your energy and bringing more of what you want into your life. Be grateful for what you have, and you will attract more good things.
Rhonda Bryne in the bestselling book ‘the SECRET’
The Marriott group of hotels took a page out of Rhonda’s book and decided to celebrate 17 years of Marriotts world wide, across 32 of it’s properties in India. They decided to celebrate whate they called M day, and just like in the secret they decided to thank their patrons, clients ,guests and associates who have helped build the Marriott brand in hope to gain “more” of the same. They did this by interacting in innovative ways with their clients and customers, and each property celebrated it in their own special way across the country.
Now the Goa Marriott resort and spa is just astone’s throw away from my home, infact we share the same beach, the Miramar beach. Which happenes to be the most popular beach in Panjim city. Even though I spend most sun rises and sunsets on the Miramar beach, my association with the Marriott hotel has not been a close one.

Thus, I was both pleasantly surprised as well as touched by the thoughtfulness that they invited me to be part of their M day celebrations.
The evening started of with a round of amazing ‘smoked’ cocktails. smoking your ingredients is the new wave in F and B and it has been taken to new heights on food shows such as ‘masterchef Australia, and I loved the smoky drinks which were passed around.
Next came a spirited round of quizzing. Each table was assigned a name and were quizzed about the history , geography and absolutely every subject related to the Marriott properties. Teams chose quirky names based on  Goa nd the M day, we wewere the ‘m’ en. And it didn’t help that I was the only female in the ‘m’ en group.
The Newly appointed resort manager, who was obviously not from Goa, won over the local crowd in true Kejriwal style, by speaking a few lines in Konkani. He even used the word Konkani instead of the misguided ‘goanese’ used by many from out of the state, and it showed his sense of hospitality to try and understand the culture and the language of the place.
There were plenty of live food counters, and to be fair on the chefs maning these counters it can be daunting to be serving a group of ravenous customers at almost 11 at night, but they did their best. And in the spirit of it all it was quite an enjoyable evening where one came away learning so much about the ‘marriott india story’ .
The whole endeavour was to build closer bonds, and help bridge the gap between their cherished patrons, so as to make new forays into the world of hospitality.
It was the first time that I met the wonderful people from the resort, and I am quite looking forward to the exciting things that we can achieve together in terms on bringing great hospitality to Goans and tourists visiting Goa.


find fun pictures of the event on my instagram page @kuhelib

Thursday, July 14, 2016

how to eat at a buffet like a champ

The following blog post below has been copied from my archives from 2011 august 30. Back then I was the queen of eating big lunches and dinners, and All you can eat Buffets were the perfect 'paisa vasool' . since then and having got now acquired the finesse of ala carte ordering, and frankly age (and the weighing machine) do not allow me to eat with such abandon as I previously did. 
But How to eat at a buffet like a champ is still one of life's greatest skills. read on.H

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.  ~Luciano Pavarotti
We all know that cooking is an art, but what many people don’t know is that eating is an art too. There is method and technique to eating.
A buffet is an ‘all you can eat’ adventure, where all varieties of culinary delight vie for your attention. People in the hospitality world will tell you how it’s an economical concept for the ‘hoteliers’, as they make a set number of dishes, and the guests are happy too because they get a variety of dishes at a pretty reasonable price. Win- win concept; but I ask you, are you getting the most from your Buffet?
As I said eating is an art, but my brother and I have Buffet eating down to a science. For all those who have yet to master the art of eating, here are my gems of wisdom. HOW TO EAT YOUR WAY THROUGH A BUFFET.

First. The preparationKnow thy buffetWhen is the best time for eating yourself sick? I would say lunch. Lunch buffet’s is probably the best way to spend your Sunday, and then sleep your way through the evening. Another awesome time for Buffet eating is midnight.  Midnight buffets start at 12 at night till 3 in the morning.Yes it’s a bit unconventional, but then that is why most midnight buffets are at half price,  and don’t we all love a 50% off offer?  Personally though I love breakfast buffets; that’s when we get the best muffins and doughnuts,danish pastries and eggs made to order. Breakfast, lunch or midnight, choose your pick.

NextShould you starve before the binge? No. It’s scientifically proven, that after a point of being hungry, we just stop feeling hungry. So keep having small bites through the day and stop having anything 3-4 hours before you hit the buffet.That ways you won’t plough through the first thing you see at the buffet.

The entreAlways do a survey of what’s on offer. You don’t want to realize half way through your meal “Oho, they had waffles with maple syrup? Oh, they have gajar ka halwa and rabri?! Caramel cake too!” Survey is important. Find out; what they have for starters, desserts and main course. Which are your all time favourites? which ones your mom/wife doesn’t make at home? Which ones are too expensive to order ala carte? These make up your ‘do-not-miss’ list.

The secretWhat does Lasagne, shepherd’s pie and pineapple pastry have in common? Layering. Layer your food. Have a course of savoury items, then a course of sweet. If you have all the desserts at one go, then the goey chocolate fudge, overpowers the delicate taste of the bread and butter pudding. The tangy strawberry tart doesn’t get it’s justice after the Mango meringue.
 So, have a course of grilled fish with lemon tarts, then butter chicken and naan, with gajar ka halwa, then mutton rogan josh with the rasmalai…
The trick lies in layering savoury and sweet. Course by course.

The finale. As you draw to the end of your adventure, ask yourself this question; what is the one dish which will give you nightmares?Yes, nightmares. You leave behind that piece of prawn pancake, and the next day as you sit through another boring day at work, it comes back to haunt you. You realize that you should have had that piece. Every buffet has apiece de resistance, the best dish of the day. After your meal is done, reflect on your meal and ask yourself, what was it that will make you want ‘one more taste’ tomorrow. Then go forth, and have that extra piece, because Kal ho na ho.
 Live a life without regrets. That piece of the Christmas pudding, the lemon cheese cake, that warm croissant, the lemon coriander soup, is the only dish you remember in the years to come, let it be a memory of contentment and not of deprivation.
This is the knowledge and experience that I offer you today. Go forth, and make your own rules, and experience the joys of over eating.
As Lord Alfred Tennyson says in ‘Ulysses’

…I cannot rest from travel; I will ‘drink’ …
…For always roaming with a ‘hungry’ heart…
..Much have I seen and known.
  Yet all experience is an arch wherethro'
  Gleams that untravell'd world whose margin fades
  For ever and for ever when I move.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Brunching and beyond @ Grand Hyatt Goa

Brunch , a neat little blend of breakfast and lunch first appeared in print in the year 1895 in Britain in an article in the Hunter’s weekly. Given the proclivity of Britishers to use ‘smashwords’ such as WILL-KAT or the recent BREXIT, I can well imagine them coming up with the term.

But the concept of Brunch is neither as neat nor as well defined as the word itself.

Some believe it to be a product of ‘post church Sunday gatherings’ and the fact that most catholics fasted prior to Sunday mass. Others believe it has a more aristrocratic beginning, where the men of the family went hunting on Sunday mornings and the mornings hunt was then prepared in a kind of lavish celebration of the good life, over much wining and dining and with neighbours and affluent guests joining in.

Guy Beringer author of “Brunch ,a plea” writes “brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting… it is talk compelling , it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.

The Americans however are credited to taking the brunch, hitherto an aristocratic privilege of the rich and giving it a ‘working class’ and modern twist. Just as many things American, it started out as a mercenary ploy to get guests into hotels and ws later packaged as the greatest gift to the working woman. Restaurants in America used to remain closed on Sundays, which gave hotels a wonderful opportunity to bring in the restaurant goer to dine in hotels. The Sunday brunch was marketed as a wonderful opportunity to let busy moms and working women take a break from the kitchen, also post world war 2 the flagging church attendance meant that people were looking for another outlet for a social gathering which was not necessarily religious. The hectic Saturday night socialising also meant that the A listers and Hollywood fraternity loved the idea of a late breakfast and the opportunity to sleep in on Sunday mornings.

All in all, Brunching was a hit.

Over time brunches themselves have evolved in terms of what is served. Chefs initially stuck to a mix of breakfast items and lunch items and innovations of marrying a breakfast item with a lunch staple.
I remember my childhood Sundays where we had what was called the “Sunday potluck” and it was essentially all the neighbourhood aunties getting one dish or two and gathering in the home of one. Lots of games, basking under sun umbrellas in the lawns and ending the meals with peeling oranges or having whatever seasonal fruit was being passed around. Because these were in Army cantonments, the variety of food items served extended the length and breadth of our country, Assamese to Pahadi to rustic Punjabi, to hearty Bengali preparations jostled for space on the plate with the staple continental items of veg au gratin, and bread puddings.

When one looks at the evolution of the brunch , one can’t help but see it as a reflection of the times we live in. What started out as a rich man’s post hunt meal, to a pious families post church congregational meal, to the ‘dare to defy’ meal during the prohibition where alcohol was consumed in broad daylight thus giving rise to cocktails such as the bloody mary, or then morphing into a ‘sharing is caring’ kind of potluck meal with friends, today the brunch reflects the changing trends in not only the culinary world but also the changing face of society itself.

Goa in recent times has embraced the brunch as it’s own. Sundays in Goa meant picnics on the beach and chilled beer by the sea, but with the monsoon season, the beach no longer serves as a Goans favourite Sunday spot. This meant inspired and creative forms of Sunday entertainment, which involves not just food, but a variety of child friendly activities, games, relaxation, music, laughter and fun.

The Grand Hyatt Goa, Bambolim ( find out more )is a luxury resort spanning 28 acres, and with adjoining the calm at most times bambolim beach bay, home to the award winning shamana spa, and an extensive fitness center is poised to take brunching to an all new scale by introducing the wicked liquid brunch.

Spread over 7 hours, and including half price spa and beauty treatments, and free access to fitness center , sauna steam and Jacuzzi, and 20 food and beverage bars , they have decided to make the grand hyatt your favourite Sunday hangout destination.

We started with a languorous beginning at the Shamana spa where Alejandro Leo director of the spa and recreation center discussed organic skin care products, marine facials and nerve rejuvenation over cups of green tea. He has crafted a few signature massages and facials specially for the ‘bruncher’ and these not only help you relax after a busy week, but feel rejuvenated to take on the week ahead.

My recent tryst with fitness has made me a self confessed spa junkie and a green tea snob, and Alejandro and I had a gala time discussing low glycemic foods, the power of anti oxidants and free ourselves from free radicals.

post spa langour

For those of us who do not go to church, the spa and fitness center is the equivalent of ‘cleansing your soul’ before you indulge in an afternoon of gluttony and other excesses.

If spa is not your thing, the resort also boasts of tons of other adventurous activities for all ages and even a stroll around the property and the nearby beach is enough o whip up your appetite.

The dining room itself can get pretty hectic and for the average bruncher can be nerve wracking. Never fear, my how to eat a buffet like a champ guide will help break it down for you read it HERE.

So for the wicked liquid brunch, the essential thing is the liquids and how wicked are you willing to go. The meal begins with a farm of bloody mary’s for the picking, going on to ‘make your own cocktails’ bar, to some inspired cocktails specially crafted for the occasion, and ending the meal with coffee based cocktails. for those who do not feel that wicked, there are tamer versions of all of the above as well.

What really impressed me at the buffet was the attention to detail. The cheeses each had their own shelf and were paired with their perfect accompaniments. The breads had their own cart thus allowing them to be relished both visually as well as gastronomically. The carving bar, had a rack of lamb and pork belly, both with a host of well paired accompaniments. Then pasta bar again came with their own choice of toppings and accompaniments. The barbeque steered clear of the pedantic chicken and fish, and went beyond the predictable, with pork chops and pork sausages, and local fish and prawns.The sushi bar was fresh and thoughtfully prepped mouthfuls.

Each of the food bars were complete meals in themselves and that’s a great way to experience a buffet. If you are not keen on south east Asian cuisine but love Italian and indulge in barbeques, guess what , you can head right to those tables circumventing the Indian and southeast Asian bars completely.
The danger though is missing out on something awesome, which essentially happens when the spread is so vast. How do you cope? Refer to my guide on eating a buffet J HERE.

By the time we were done having brunch we were right into high tea. And the dessert bar and the coffee bar were the perfect way to start high tea, and end the brunch. With a choice of hot , cold and laced coffees, to go with the cakes , pastries and tarts from the dessert bar, you were spoiled for choice.
for a meal that stretches right from breakfast into tea time, coffee is the answer to your prayers.

chef Prasad Metrani at the helm, experiments with the menu for #wickedliquidbrunch

animated discussions over food

the carrot farm, a delectable chocolate mousse with crumbly chocolate soil .

The chefs attending to the coffee bar instead of being daunted by the enormous number of clamouring for food at the buffet ( and there were a LOT of people at lunch that afternoon) still decided to put his own spin on a pinacolada inspired coffee based cocktail. Urging me to try a pineapple , basil and coffee concoction, he said I could name it. I ofcourse tried it, because well, that’s what we food bloggers do, we risk our lives everyday trying the most exotic and out there food experiments so that our readers and followers can experience the same from the comfort of their laptops and mobile phones. My verdict; it wasn't bad, in fact even though I am not a Pinacolada fan, I would recommend it’s brown caffeinated cousin anyday.

Brunch, the world over is no longer just about the food, it is about the experience; whether you wish to experience a languorous relaxed Sunday, or an adventurous high energy activity filled one, or a sinful boozy afternoon with friends, or a family and kid friendly day with children, the wicked liquid brunch pretty much covers it all.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Father's day celebrations and how to travel with a 10 month old

On the morning of father's day I got up to realise that our sea view suite had a diaper changing unit in the cupboard. the cupboard itself was in a large bathroom with a sunk in bath tub, and his and hers wash basins.
Now we don't always live in such luxe surroundings, but there was still the minor issue about how to wrap up the used diaper. 
I padded across to the adjacent room and opened the door where the staff of the Park Hyatt and Spa, Goa had thoughtfully hung the days newspaper.
i grabbed the first page of the newspaper, grinning to myself about how even the biggest politicians and hippest A listers were not above being diaper wrap for my little baby, when I found myself looking down at a 'diaper changing' advertisement! 
The ad showed not just a mom changing a diaper, but a dad right beside her aswell. it was to be the new logo outside diaper changing rooms; now moms aswell as dads were to change diapers. 

I promptly walked the paper up to little Shreyu's dad and said ,"your turn."

"Hey I changed his diaper last time, I thought this was your turn." he said. 

"Happy Father's day. That means today you get to do all the diaper changes, putting him to bed, bathing him, etc, and I shall be your assistant." 

Welcome then to parenting 2.0, where dads are equal partners in parenting. what that means is that mums can have more time to enjoy motherhood without being hassled (who am I kidding), where dads enjoy the perks as well as responsibilities of parenthood, and  yes, travelling with a baby is a fun couple activity, rather than a one woman mission.

We had the most lovely stay at Park Hyatt, Goa for father's day. Made even more lovelier by the fact that it was Shreysht's first fathers day celebration, and our first family holiday with just the three of us.

a thoughtfully procured picture of us three beautifully framed by the resort staff, as well as a jar full of marshmallows for the bunchkin

I had packed the bare minimum for the baby, which still amounted to three bags full. one filled with his food; milk powder, boiled water, containers, cutlery. one filled with his sleep stuff; his bedding and pillow boulders which he loves to throw his legs over. One filled with clothes, diapers, potty (yes, he is potty training), his swimming paraphernalia.

What I didn't carry were any toys as I wanted him to interract with his new surroundings. in all honesty he loves to play with emoty boxes and spoons and bowls as much as any of his toys.It was agood decision, he loved to frolic with the balloons that the staff indulged him with, loved to pull at the name plates of every wait staff uncle who picked him up, and since the floors and furniture were baby safe we let him crawl all over the place. 

The crib/play pen was a novelty for the little one as he chased the balloons we put in with him. in a sea of blue he looked like a fish in an aquarium. 

And he does love water. which meant we had the massive expanse of swimming pools at the resort to choose from. since he is just 10 months I had his baby float, which lets him sit on a tube,with only his legs in the water. he had some epic fun, the pictures say it all.

we met a lot of other couples with babies and kids aswell. we discovered that the Park Hyatt is extremely popular with children and especially their parents. 
they have a wonderful place called the camp Hyatt, where they have age appropriate play area and toys for all ages. 
they had an all day fun activitiees for fathers day. 

Parents come and drop the kids off at the camp, and the children can only leave once a parent comes to pick them up. I loved the cleanliness, attention to detail, friendly staff, and the attention to security at the place. 

The older kids were making icecream shaped cards for dads, origami shirt shaped cards came next, in general a lot of love was being showered on the dads, and the kids were occupied as well. there is also a detailed history of any medication the child is on, or any games he is not allowed to play, etc. 

For toddlers they have a separate section where they walk around or crawl around obn padded floors, ride on cars and toy trains, rock on horses, or generally have a gala time being babies. 

Our little one got to spend some quality date time with dad at the camp hyatt. He also did a foot and hand painted t shirt for Mom.

Food times were an adventure in itself. since he is on weaning foods and has a lot of finger foods already it was much easier for us. On the first day he had softly scrambled eggs, because his dinner time is much earlier to the hotel dinner time, we had room service. Tip while travelling: always keep fruits, boiled veggies and pasta , crackers and such ready for snack times for young kids, they tend to get hungry at inopportune times and not only is room service expensive, but they do take some time and children get ravenous really heat the food you can put it in plastic or steel seaved containers and place them in the water heaters in your room. add a little water in the hot water machine which is present in almost all hotels, now place the sieve with the cooked pasta, boiled egg, or boiled veggies in it. Voila you have your own steamer! 

The resort buffet was like the best scavenger hunt, where I ould go hunt down every food item to see if it was appropriate for the little one. we had sucha wide choice. we had poached fish and idlis for breakfast fresh juices and fruits, and for lunch a pumpkin salad ( he adores pumpkins), Paneer, a whole platter of assorted desserts, and whole wheat bread. the kitchen staff lovingly prepared dal khichdi which was spot on, and almost as good as the one we make at home for him, but he was too enamoured by the different flavours and textures and culinary expereince that he was having.

yum scramble egg, all laid out in style by room service.

bringing the house down with his singing, this is what they call singing for your supper.:)

that time when he didn't like Pizza, wait till he grows up !

mildlly spiced tossed veggies and poached fish, perfect for little one

lunch plate for baby foodie.

Travel helps you make that journey not just with-out, but also within. Every travel teaches you something about yourself and how you interact with your surroundings helps you discover not just the world , but facets about your own personality. 

Shreyu no doubt enjoyed himself, for the first time he slpet in his own cot rather than coslepp with mom, he met people and ate stuff, and played with different toys, and saw so much more than the four walls of home.

But we as parents grew as well. we learn to make do with less, or more. We learnt to make inspired innovations on how to baby proof a place, or how to feed him without his high chair (there are high chairs in the dining spaces) or how to bathe him, or put him to bed in a new environment. Travel made us realise each others strengths as well. Till date we had travelled with an entourage of grandparents or care takers, even at home we have help, but here it was a composite unit , an adventure in itself.I for one picked up some great recipes from the lunches and now we have veggies stuffed idlis all the time as well as poached fish and pumpkin salads.

travelling with a baby can also be a bit nerve wracking and scary, but kudos to the staff at the Park Hyatt. they have solutions to a lot of your baby related issues, and are more than happy to make life easier for you and your kid, so that both have a memorable stay.