Love Travel Guides – a handy tool for a foodie trip to India

Standard

Love Travel Guides truly are beautiful and it is like being shown around by a good friend who introduces you to all the best spots.

However, while all inclusions are high quality experiences, some can be quite expensive, so it’s good for the travel toolkit, but best used in conjunction with other guides and tips.

Sharrell Cook does a good job of describing and appreciating the Love Travel guides. In fact her GoIndia website is very useful in lots of ways.

20140818-172105-62465629.jpg

Best of the West – A foodie itinerary to West India

Standard

Best of the West – Highlights of West India Foodie Itinerary Ideas

Mumbai

Why Go?

Workers from across India, seeking to make it ‘big’ in the bright lights, bring authentic regional food  to Mumbai including India’s best range of creative street food (like Vada Pav, Behl Puri and Pao Bhaji).

IMG_0003_220140817-154155-56515936.jpgIMG_0007IMG_0008_2

Try Parsi cuisine, originally from Persia…most fun at Britannia and Co.

20140817-154241-56561565.jpg 20140817-155444-57284324.jpg

Don’t miss the dabbawallah unwritten delivery system that takes thousands of home cooked lunches to workers every day.

20140817-160544-57944009.jpgIMG_0048

Visit local food markets and Sassoon Dock fish market.

20140817-160007-57607104.jpg 20140817-160006-57606718.jpg 20140817-160008-57608317.jpg

All set against stunning colonial architecture…and surprisingly innovative and creative high density living in Mumbai’s many ‘slums’.

Check out:

Reality Tours and Travel – Excellent, great value tours around Mumbai that include the famous Mumbai street food, the dabbawallah delivery system and a socially responsible, sensitive Dharavi slum tour.

Where to Stay?

Colaba is the best area to stay, and a night in the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel (while quite expensive) is a once in a life time experience.

IMG_0023 IMG_0015

Another good spot in Colaba is the Ascot Hotel  – more budget friendly prices, but still an excellent location.

http://www.ascothotel.com/

http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Hotel_Review-g304554-d606365-Reviews-Ascot_Hotel-Mumbai_Bombay_Maharashtra.html

IMG_0001

How to get there?

Mumbai is a major airport in India and good airlines often have specials. Check out Singapore Airlines for regular specials.

20140724-204055-74455494.jpg

Jodhpur

Why Go?

Dine with fantastic rood top views of the mighty Mehrangarh Fort and beautiful ‘Blue City’.

20140817-154510-56710261.jpg 20140817-154452-56692778.jpg

Head to the clock tower to try regional snack food favourites including the famous rich lassi, have lunch with a local village family and experience a delicious Rajasthani thali at Gypsy Dining Rooms.

20140817-154431-56671255.jpg 20140817-154611-56771847.jpg

20140817-154543-56743497.jpg 20140817-154820-56900785.jpg

Where to Stay?

Raas

IMG_0051 IMG_0052

But also consider Castle View Home Stay for an amazing view, very thoughtful and kind host and great prices.

IMG_0054 IMG_0053IMG_6125

How to get there? 

Mumbai to Jodhpur return $186 Jet Airways (online booking).

Jaisalmer

Why Go?

IMG_0049

Dine roof top on the massive, sandcastle-like fort that rises out of the desert, above this ‘Golden City’ and enjoy regional Rajasthani dishes in between visiting gorgeous havelis and perhaps enjoying a camel safari.

 Where to Stay? 

Garh Jaisal

Gorgeous, well priced rooms with window seats, each a different colour and lovely roof top spot for drinks and breakfast.

IMG_0050

How to get there?

Hire a good sized car (e.g. Toyata Innova) from one of the many car and diver businesses.

(About 4.5 hours from Jodhpur. Stop for a snack or lunch at Manvar Resort and Desert Safari Camp or Samsara Resort long the way).

Goa

Why Go?

A distinct Portuguese influenced cuisine in a setting of post colonial architecture featuring whitewashed churches and colourful villas as well as beautiful beaches.

IMG_6464 IMG_6637 IMG_5972 IMG_5998

Lunch at a spice plantation, visit local Mapusa market on a Friday and marvel at the lush greenery of rice paddies and coconut palms.

IMG_6479 IMG_5900

Where to Stay?

Anjuna

(home to the famous Wednesday Flea Market)

Casa Anjuna

IMG_5617IMG_6125

or Marbella Guest House (Candolim)

IMG_6839 IMG_6805

How to get there?

Mumbai to Goa return $152 Jet Airways (online booking).

Suryagarh Hotel Jaisalmer – absolutely delicious for food

Standard

IMG_0072 IMG_0001

Suryagarh Hotel, 16km out of Jaisalmer, is beautiful, but isolated in the desert.

While rooms can be quite affordable, especially in the low season,  food and drink is expensive, at Australian prices.

That said, the dining is very, very memorable….and there’s a few ways to stay in budget.

Welcome drinks and snacks are amazing and extremely generous.

IMG_0005 IMG_0006

Then, through your stay, little treats and sweets arrive mysteriously in your room.

IMG_0030 IMG_0037

Breakfast is included in the room price and is incredible, including a ‘chaat bar’ (make your own snacks) and traditional Indian sweets, as well as Indian breakfast foods and marsala chai served in a variety of traditional ‘tea cups’.

IMG_0069 IMG_0068 IMG_0065 IMG_0062 IMG_0060 IMG_0059 IMG_0058

 

The setting for breakfast is lovely and peacocks wander around the courtyard.

IMG_0067 IMG_0070

Dinner is silver service, glamourous and romantic in the courtyard and very, very good.

IMG_0053 IMG_0051 IMG_0055 IMG_0056

 

Safed chicken, rice, misi roti $AUS25          Bundi ladoo

If you have enjoyed the arrival snacks and sweets that arrive in your room, then really, one main, bread and rice is enough for two people…and helps to compensate for otherwise steep prices.

The complimentary sweets are very lovely too.

Another tip to stay in budget is to take some pre-dinner drinks and snacks out with you (a welcome tip from a fellow traveller).

IMG_0018IMG_0007

Gin is $AUS3 for 750ml (a bargain)

 

Suryagarh Hotel – Jaisalmer

Standard

IMG_0009 IMG_0048

 

There’s no substitute for staying in the fort wall in Jaislamer, but if you’re looking for something different, Suryagarh, 16 km out of town, looks amazing….and it is.

IMG_0023IMG_0071

Rooms start from about $AUS14o for a double (which is all you need) in low season, $AUS 200 for a suite.

IMG_0022 IMG_0021 IMG_0014 IMG_0013

 

IMG_0016 IMG_0015

Suite

There are nice facilities and walk ways.

IMG_0027 IMG_0029

IMG_0071 IMG_0070 IMG_0020 IMG_0028 IMG_0010 IMG_0011

And the property looks lovely as the light changes in the evening…..

IMG_0042 IMG_0041

IMG_0043 IMG_0045

IMG_0050 IMG_0051

IMG_0057 IMG_0053

 

…when there is also some traditional music and dancing to watch before dinner.

IMG_0017IMG_0052

But it is really isolated. (It was good to know to take some drinks and snacks). Rooms have no view (which is why a double is enough, the extra space in the suite is not all that pleasant for sitting) and it’s easy to get ‘cabin fever’. Outside the room, there’s no air-conditioning, so when it’s hot, it’s really hot.  And the walkways are latticed after the ground floor, so it’s easy to feel a bit imprisoned.

Best to get to the hotel late afternoon. It’s not a place to spend the day at.

In fact the best parts are arriving, the evening and breakfast…in fact the food is absolutely delicious. But that deserves a whole story of it’s own…..

 

 

 

Lake View Restaurant – a handy spot for dinner in Jaisalmer

Standard

If you stay at Hotel Garh Jaisal Haveli, in Jaisalmer, it’s handy to know about Lake View Restaurant, at Hotel Surja Guest House, almost next door.

Hotel Garh offers a great breakfast, but doesn’t normally serve dinner. So at the end of a long day, to just go next door and enjoy an inexpensive but delicious meal with a drop dead view, can be perfect.

IMG_0009_2-5IMG_0003_2-4

Catering especially for backpackers, the restaurant is great value and Raj’s hospitality and helpfulness invaluable.

IMG_0004 IMG_0003 IMG_0007 IMG_0009

Indoor seating                                                                                                                                                 Outside seating                                                                                The ‘music wallah’

IMG_0002_2-3 IMG_0002_2-4 IMG_0006_2-3 IMG_0007_2-3
           Great view                                                                                                                                                               Dal Tadka, Dessert beans, Roti, Jeera Rice, Marsala Paneer