Showing posts from September, 2015

20 things worth knowing about BEER


10 reasons beer is not bad for you

Here are 10 reasons why beer is not really bad for you, if had in moderation. Please note, this is not an encouragement to imbibe, especially if you are a teetotaler or have a medical condition

1. Beer drinkers live longer
Moderate drinking is good for you, and beer is good for moderate drinking. Everyone knows that if you drink too much, it's not good for you. Let's not pull punches: If you're a drunk, you run into things, you drive into things, you get esophageal cancer, you get cirrhosis and other nasty conditions. But more and more medical research indicates that if you don't drink at all, that's not good for you either. According to numerous independent studies, moderate drinkers live longer and better than drunks or teetotalers. Beer is perfect for moderate drinking because of its lower alcohol content and larger volume compared with wine or spirits. And as that old radical Thomas Jefferson said, "Beer, if drank with moderation, softens the temper, cheers …

The 14 best beers in India

Tired of wishlists featuring exotic brews available in some remote part of Belgium? We give you the ultimate list of quality beer you can buy in India. Stella Artois This six-century-old Belgian brew comes with a whole set of pouring rituals – and a chalice – but the light, full-bodied taste is worth it. Nobody does it quite like the Belgians. Hoegaarden The creamy Belgian wheat beer hits a home run with its hints of orange peel, coriander and spice. Asahi Clean and crisp, this dry beer is manufactured with yeast, ingredients and technology that all live up to impossibly high Japanese standards – naturally. Foster's With a kickback vibe from its home country, this Aussie lager is full-bodied, malty and eminently drinkable Heineken The toasted maltiness and mild fruitiness of this pale gold lager make it a staple at boys’ nights Leffe Blond The light Belgian beer gets its sunny hue from pale malt. Perfect as an aperitif, it’s smooth and fruity, with an aftertaste of bitter oranges …

24 beers to try before you die

We’re not just talking about good beer; we are talking about great beer. Beer that makes people collect empty bottles and cans once they finish the contents inside and keep them in their cupboard to look at every once in a while in fond remembrance. (What? You don’t do that?) I certainly did with Guinness, that beauty of a beer which even has its own pouring method. I remember some old English chappy telling me as I called for a Guinness at a pub in London “You like Guinness eh? That stuff will put hair on your chest if you don’t have any and will take it off if you do” If they only served Guinness or Kilkenny (made by the same company) on tap in India we would be a much less hairy lot. Kings from Goa, not only because it’s great, but because anyone who has ever been to Goa has had a gazillion of them with the ability of having a gazillion more - and that’s just for breakfast. I love it because of the bottle shape, because I have never had one that does not have sand encrusted at the …

Guide to Bitters

A serious cocktail lover knows a thing or two about these serious spirits

You’ll know a true cocktail lover by the quick-but-intense scan he gives the bar before settling down in front of it. He is evaluating two things – first, the range of alcohol on display, but second and more importantly, the range of bitters. You know a serious cocktail bar by the pride it takes in its display of bitters (tip: look for the small Tabasco-like bottles with strange labels.) Sadly, at the moment in India, you’ll have to skim a fair spread of bars to find a bitters list that’s longer than two. But we’re getting there. Slowly.

What are bitters?
In the simplest terms, bitters are a highly concentrated, flavoured spirit. They are made by infusing or macerating a variety of fruits, herbs and spices into a high-proof alcohol. Generally bitters have 35-40% alcohol and are used as an aromatic flavouring agent in cocktails. Because they are so concentrated, a mere two or three dashes of bitters add a beautifu…

Everything you need to know about vodka

Vodka is more than a mere vehicle for your energy drink. 

Shaken not stirred: Vodka has been having a bit of an image crisis. Previously noted as the drink of choice of sharp-suited double-oh spies and mucho macho Russian oligarchs, over the past couple of decades the association has gotten significantly less… manly. Mention vodka to your average scotch-swilling aficionado and chances are he’ll dismiss it as either too feminine (thanks, Carrie Bradshaw) or too young (vodka-Red Bull and glow sticks, anyone?) – and he wouldn't be entirely wrong. Given its smooth, near tasteless nature, vodka is the easy gateway drink for palates not yet accustomed to stronger spirits. Like a liquid chameleon, a vodka-based drink takes on the properties of whatever you mix it with: cranberries in the case of the Cosmo, OJ if your poison is that college-bar staple Sex on the Beach and Red Bull for hundreds of thousands of bouncing club-goers the world over. But news flash: That’s not all vodka is good…

3 Liquor brands to know

Sipsmith Gin
Born over 200 years ago in the UK, Sipsmith is a complex gin made from ingredients sourced from all over the world (Macedonian juniper berries, Bulgarian coriander seeds, Sevillian orange, Spanish licorice root, Chinese cassia bark). It’s smooth enough for a martini, yet rich enough for the perfect British G&T.

Puschkin Vodka 
Available in crystal clear and whipped cream, this German vodka undergoes an ice filtration process to give it a clean flavour. Best for shots, or drinking on the rocks. Available at most liquor shops across India.

Carling Beer
Brought to India by the makers of Cobra beer, this is one of the best-selling lagers in the UK. Light with a sweet hoppy taste, it’s best for afternoon drinking in front of the TV. Available at most liquor shops across India.

How to set up a home bar

No man’s home is complete without a well-stocked bar, but what exactly is that supposed to mean?

1. Assemble your arsenal (But don’t go overboard)

How you assemble your bar depends on two things: your wallet and your temperament. Got a lot of money and no restraint? Pick up every bottle here and go nuts. (Also: Let’s hang out.) But the other end of the spectrum – not much money, tons of restraint – isn’t all that bad, either. We call this collection the Core, because it’s these liquors that should be the base of your bar. Whisky, gin, vodka and rum give you a totally unassailable selection of drinks. Then you’ll need sweet and dry vermouth, for Manhattans and martinis; a bottle of bitters; and always, always fresh citrus.
From there, start growing – but be selective. El Dorado rum (and a bottle of ginger beer) will help you quench your Dark ’n’ Stormy craving. A good cognac like Delamain and any Islay scotch will satisfy the people in your life who like to drink things neat. Tequila an…

Goibibo launches flights + hotels booking facility on its Android and iOS app

Goibibo, an online travel platform has launched the ability of booking ‘flights + hotels’ in a single cart on its mobile app. This is the first of its kind execution by a travel platform on the mobile. While searching for flights between origin and destination, travellers can now add a hotel on a real time basis. The bundling gives the travellers an advantage of significant price saving on the one hand and simple 2 tap process of check out and payments on the other hand. 

In a single tap users can add a hotel booking to their flight booking and also see the amount of savings. Travellers can easily view the details of the hotel they want to bundle. Details such as hotels’ pictures, location, room details, bundled price saving along with Go Reviews and ratings of the hotel. The mobile flow also enables consumers to view other hotels that they can bundle with the flight by simple left swipe of the hotel 

Ashish Kashyap, Founder & CEO of ibiboGroup said, “Deployment of Flights + hotels …

Leela Hotels in Goa, Chennai up for sale

According to a report in Mint, at least five top international private equity firms, family offices and endowment funds are in the race to buy hospitality group Hotel Leelaventure Ltd’s five-star hotels in Goa and Chennai. Two persons, including one who is directly familiar with the negotiations, confirmed this, adding that the sale of the two properties is likely to be completed before Christmas.

Marquee private equity investors such as the Blackstone Group and Brookfield Asset Management, along with a few family offices and international endowment funds from the US, Europe, West Asia and Singapore have evinced interest in buying the two Leela hotels, currently under the control of financial services conglomerate JM Financial Group’s asset reconstruction firm JM Financial Asset Reconstruction Co. Pvt. Ltd, according to the two persons. 

“The Chennai and Goa five-star hotels are two of the finest properties of The Leela Group. Many investors have shown keenness in the two properties. Fi…

Hotel occupancy rate rising in Chennai on surge in business travel, medical tourism

As per a report in The Hindu Business Line,with the rise in business activity and booming healthcare and medical tourism industry, the hospitality sector is seeing a turn around with increasing occupancy rates. Saleem Yousuff, Area Director — Taj Hotels Chennai and General Manager, Taj Coromandel, said that multi- and super-speciality hospitals are seeing a significant influx of international and domestic patients. “Also, with more investments coming to Chennai from various sectors and the growing number of middle- and senior-level business travellers to the city, we have been witnessing signs of rebound in demand for rooms,” he added.However, Yousuff did not share the details on the current occupancy levels. 

ITC Grand Chola, a premium luxury hotel in Chennai, reported an occupancy rate of 75 per cent recently, almost 15 per cent higher compared with last year. Anil Chadha, Area Manager South, ITC Hotels and General Manager ITC Grand Chola, said: “We have been seeing a rise in the num…

‘Highly Engaged’ hotels more popular: TripAdvisor report

According to a PTI report, highly engaged hotels are more popular as compared to the non-engaged ones on the back of greater communication engagement with the customers, a recent survey showed. The average 'popularity ranking' for highly engaged hotels was 63 per cent higher than their non-engaged counterparts, according to a latest report by TripAdvisor, world's largest travel site operating in 45 countries. ‘High engagement’ is the communication engagement by responding to customer reviews on travel websites. It said highly engaged hotels could be seen by two of every three travellers searching that market, increasing its visibility. The report also found that highly engaged hotels see 30-40 per cent more traveller interaction with revenue-driving products like business listings. The report is based on data from over 12,000 properties located in the top 25 traffic markets on TripAdvisor, as well as interviews with executives from four global hotel chains. (Source: PTI)

Chef Kunal Kapur shares fascinating pickle tales on new show Pickle Nation

Chef Kunal Kapur is all set to take one through a ‘one of a kind’ journey of discovering local flavours of pickles across the country through 18 fascinating episodes of Pickle Nation on Living Foodz channel. The versatile chef travels across 11 cities of India such as Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pondicherry, Kochi, Assam, Meghalaya, Varanasi and Goa unraveling an interesting pickle tale of each region, a release stated. 

Pickle Nation is not just about the pickle recipe or the process. Chef Kunal explores how pickle is the very fabric of our existence, culture, tastes, beliefs and customs and gives us an inside view of each region. “Making a pickle is the epitome of culinary strength; it is an art that is combined with a high level of science of preserving food. Around the world we have celebrated wine makers, cheese makers and even coffee brewers but we have never given the same stature to pickle makers. I am extremely excited to be unearthing these uniquely Indian…

Average hotel price in India increases by 2% this year

In India, overall hotel prices paid by all travellers have witnessed a marginal rise of two per cent in the first six months of 2015 to an average of INR 6,411. The commercial capital of India- Mumbai, known for its buzzing night life recorded the highest rise of five per cent with an average of INR 8,091 making Mumbai the country’s city where travellers paid the most in the first half of 2015. The city with heady mix of forts, shopping centres, food joints and the culture and tradition of Mughals- Delhi, retained its second spot despite a fall of three per cent with an average of INR 6,677. While cities like Bengaluru and Pune both had a marginal rise of three per cent, Goa which recorded the highest rise of 12 per cent last year, saw a minimal rise of three per cent with an average of INR 5,940 in the first half of 2015. Chennai saw no change in price variation for hotel accommodation in the first six months of 2015 as compared to the same period last year whereas metro cities such…

RoomsTonite expands booking window for up to 3 days

RoomsTonite, hotel booking app has announced the expansion of its booking window by an another day, enabling customers to check-in for day after tomorrow too. RoomsTonite has released an updated version of its Android app (V 3.7) that enables its users to book hotels for the same day, next day and day after tomorrow. Prior to this, the company was offering last minute hotel booking for same day and next day only. Currently, this additional booking window will be available only on Android. Karthick Prabu, chief product officer, RoomsTonite said, “This booking window expansion is a boon for customers, because now they get to book a hotel for day after tomorrow too, but at the same steal deal. Based on demand from our users, we observed that many of them wanted an extended booking window.” Some other cool features in the updated app version include, options to filter hotels by price. For customer who have a budget in mind. RoomsTonite recently introduced some features on its Android app …

CG Hotels & Resorts opens The Fern Residency in Somnath, Gujarat

The Fern Hotels & Resorts recently announced the opening of Fern Residency, Somnath, a mid-scale business hotel in the Gir-Somnath district of Gujarat. The hotel is managed by Concept Hospitality Pvt Ltd, that belongs to CG Hotels and Resorts, a hospitality wing of CG Corp Global. The hotel was inaugurated by religious leader and kathakaar ‘Shri Morari Bapu’. With the addition of the Somnath hotel, the group has extended the total number of hotels in the state to six hotels and has plans to open more in future. 

The hotel is centrally located at a distance of 1 km from the Somnath railway station and 8 km from the Veraval railway station. The Fern Residency, Somnath has 56 exquisitely designed guest rooms placed in four categories, Winter Green, Winter Green Premium, Fern Club, Hazel Suite which reflect the unique, luxurious and rich culture of the Gujarat region, with strong, bright tones and art across the hotel. With one restaurant, two banquet halls and the latest business serv…

Tata group exits from Taj Palace Hotel, Dubai

As per a PTI news report, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, part of the Tata Group, announced yesterday that it has exited from the management of Taj Palace Hotel, Dubai, after 14 years of operations. It did not gave any reason for ending the management contract. Located at Deira, it was operating the hotel since 2001 and it was handed back to its owner - Juma Al Majid Group, on August 31 2015, the hospitality major said in a statement. 

"By virtue of a mutual agreement reached between the erstwhile partners, Taj Palace Hotel, Dubai, which has been successfully run by Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces since 2001, will be handed back to the Juma Al Majid Group, on 31st August 2015," the statement said. Source: (

Cygnett Hotels & Resorts Pvt Ltd appoints Deepak Jad as Chief Planning Officer – Projects & Technical Services

Deepak Jad has joined Cygnett Hotels & Resorts Pvt Ltd as Chief Planning Officer – Projects & Technical Services, a release stated. Jad’s skills cover a wide area of expertise, including project management, design optimization of projects, space planning & design briefs, technical feasibility of projects, technical standards,quantity surveying, cost negotiations and close out coordination & testing commissioning at handover stage.

 Jad was instrumental in setting up the Design and Technical services department at Accor hotels in India and has provided technical assistance for over 40 hotel projects ranging mid level to luxury projects including the construction of top hotels such as The Oberoi Udaivilas Udaipur, which is rated among the best hotels in world. 

 Jad's experience spans across a range of industries and projects including Hotels, Convention centers, Education facilities,Serviced Apartments, Residential & Commercial building projects. He has attended a…