Sunday, 29 September 2013

The First Supper

So we're finally back in London town (for almost a week now) but been so busy it has been nothing but stress after stress. Settling into a new apartment is hard work. There's things to be cleaned - from the floors to the wardrobe your landlady hasn't quite cleared out, new places to be explored (i.e. where's the nearest Sainsbury's???) old stuff to be unpacked - it's an all round mess. So this whole process has taken us about six days and we're still not quite done.

We did sort ourselves out in time to throw together a last-minute, first-ever, (slightly half-hearted) 'dinner party' in the apartment. It was quite a small one to be honest but pretty fantastic nevertheless. Regina's friend Julieta came over and so did Ahaana, Riana's sister-in-law (jks guys, but almost). We planned to divide up the work so Riana did the salad, Julieta the main and Regina did dessert. Ahaana we left out of it because we don't believe she can cook.

Riana made a great Greek salad, with cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, olives, lettuce and assorted mixed baby leaves. But the best part of it (apaz) was the dressing, which was unbelievably simple, made with lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper and sugar.

As usual, we must apologise for the picture quality, but we took them in a bit of a hurry.

Julieta made us spaghetti with a very nice home-made tomato sauce. Our new kitchen has this delightful fire-alarm that goes off even when you're making toast, but Julieta heroically managed to boil her pasta through all of the beeping so we're very proud of her for that.

And then came dessert, by Regina. She made the lemon drizzle cake she posted about a few weeks ago but in a different mould this time.

We chilled for a bit, before getting ready to leave for drinks. We decided to go to Angel and explore the area, because we've heard nice things about it.

Julieta & Ahaana (and us) at a bar after dinner.

It was a beautiful evening, with the perfect elements - good food and good company. We'll hopefully have many more to come!

Riana and Regina xxx

Friday, 13 September 2013

Vogue Fashion's Night Out

The end of the summer is never a good thing, although I must admit I'm quite excited to go back to London this time. For those who haven't had a long holiday like me, going back to a daily routine can be a challenge. And that is where Vogue Fashion's Night Out comes into play. It's more of a show than anything else. Almost every brand opens their stores in Madrid and people - mainly the female variety - come out to enjoy the night. There's music, free drinks, sometimes even presents and loaaaads of people, people everywhere!

Pictures weren't allowed in most stores so I discretely took some with my phone and, as you'll see, they are very poor quality. Excuse me for that!

This was at Maje. They have remodelled the whole store and it now looks a lot bigger, brighter and more modern. I loved the design but I liked even more the collection. There was a lot of black, which I love, and some touches of red, white, beige, navy, grey & bordeaux.

I particularly like their little black dresses and their coats & sweaters. They have an online store, where you can see all the automn-winter collection. You'll see it's not cheap but they have very good sales in January and July so if you feel like getting something but are reluctant due to the price just wait a few months & you'll find it cheaper.

We also visited Isabel Marant, Robert Clergerie, Bash, Etro, Bottega Veneta, Uterqüe, Prada, Loewe, Artistocrazy and I'll stop listing here because otherwise I'd finish tomorrow.

I was happy to see that Michael Kors had opened a new store in Serrano, one of the main shopping streets in the city. They had their classic handbags, as well as other new ones and very nice clothes, too.

I usually like their handbags and this time wasn't the exception. Their leather is soft and their design is 
very feminine. I particularly liked this clutch, this satchel and this tote.

These boots which my very good friend Julieta described as being 'very Regina' are from Uterqüe. You'll find them here in navy blue.

As you can see, the streets were full. After having walked for hours, Julieta & I decided to relax. We visited Escada, where we sat, had a couple of drinks & chatted for a while. 

We then joined my other friend Ruth, with whom I really enjoy talking. Every time we see each other we try to fully catch up but no matter how long we spend together there's always something we missed talking about. I will miss her this year in London but thankfully Juli will be joining me there very soon!

More posts soon.

Regina xxx.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Sunday Soul Sante

So I don’t quite know how to begin this – 
I guess it should be an apology for being so unbelievably lazy but since there’s a sad probability that only Regina and I make up the lovely audience of this blog, my apology should be (and rightfully is) directed to my beautiful blogger bud: Sorry Regina. I’m a disgrace. I am truly ashamed that I have posted absolutely nothing on here. In fact, we should totally strike off the ft. Bangalore part. It’s all Madrid. But then again just “Madrid” is kind of cryptic and not as catchy, and I like to think we are very concerned about our image and should avoid any negative publicity.

It’s not for lack of trying, though, I swear! I haven’t quite had the fabulous summer vacay that Regina has, and hearing about her travels across Israel has brought out a bit of a green monster in me. And that monster doesn’t write. It curls into a ball and spends the holidays in a dark and depressed place, fixated on how bloody boring Bangalore seems in comparison. That’s just the green monster, by the way, not me.

It’s really not as dramatic as I make it seem. I love Bangalore. Its cosy, comfy, the weather is pretty amazing and you pretty much feel like you know everywhere and everything – its home.

Anyway, to the real substance of this post (I wasn’t just going to waffle on with my lame excuses) – two points that totally contradict what I just said but make me love the city that much more because only a really amazing city can have good points that are also its bad points, right?

1.     Notttt really as familiar as I thought
2.     Weather isn’t all that great all the time

Yesterday I decided to get off my bum and explore some of the city's culture so I went to Bangalore’s very own Soul Sante  – a flea market that showcases and celebrates art through craft, music, food and as they say right here on their poster – some good old-fashioned fun.

ITPB is the International Tech Park Bangalore – waaaay out in the boonies of Bangalore (Whitefield) and took us about an hour and fifteen minutes to reach by car. It’s a big bunch of buildings that, to my knowledge at least, house offices, labs and that sort of thing. I know this because some time ago I did an internship with a biotech company, Avesthagen (which does really cool research btw on my heritage, I’m a Parsi, but we won’t get into that) there and it was mostly just people at work. And it was all kind of high security back then which made it the most random venue for thousands of people to casually stroll into but, oh well, that’s where it happened.

So while driving along  I saw about four new hotels, two new malls, saree shops, restaurants, chemists, grocery stores... I know I’m just listing normal things here but I swear it was all so new, and just block after block of gigantic apartment complexes with tons of people all just milling about, carrying on with their lives, all casually as if they had just been there all along. Which they have, except we didn’t know it all existed. It is literally a whole other world there, right on the outskirts of the city I claim to know and love so well. I didn’t know any of it. I guess its good, all this development, but it feels so wrong!

Anyway, when we finally arrived in what I’d normally describe to be the middle of nowhere but was without a doubt the centre of some city (not MY city) there was utter chaos but the kind there’s supposed to be at a flea market – with cars honking furiously at being stuck in a long line for parking, people pushing pretty violently to get past the entrance, and just general noise and confusion all around.

The grounds were basically lined with rows of stalls selling everything and anything – from clothes, lamps, soaps, candles, to furniture, caricatures, cupcakes and jewellery. My pictures are rubbish so you really can’t get a feel of the atmosphere, but it was pretty incredible. The smells of baked goods, from bread to brownies, delicious Nizam’s kati rolls (dog meat or chicken meat, they taste sooo good) mud, grass, incoming rain (!!!) mixed with those of new shoe & bag leather, scented candles and soaps, burning incense and also the not-so-pleasant odour of millions of mosquito coils. It was just getting dark so all the stall signs were lit up in pretty colours, and lanterns for sale were lit for effect as people tried more desperately to get rid of the stock at the end of the day.

I bought a couple of cushion covers and a top that was dirt cheap, but overall didn’t get all that much shopping done, because some of the nicest stuff was vastly overpriced and I guess we never really reached all the stalls before the rain came.

Without so much as a clap of thunder for warning it suddenly pelted down with such force, everyone was left scrambling for cover in the nearest stall, all merchandise forgotten. Fortunately I guess, I wasn’t near the food section to witness what kind of havoc the rain was wreaking over there but from where I was perched on a soggy table under an even soggier tent, it soon became apparent that the market was pretty much over. The music stopped abruptly, though there was a moment where it seemed like we’d all continue and it would become a sort of crazy and fun rain-dance but it was a bit of a failure and I guess for the best. An announcement told us that the fashion show was cancelled, “the models were drenched backstage” and we waited till the rain slowed, not stopped completely (cleverly, I think – to escape a mad rush at the exit), and trudged our way through the thick and squelchy mud to the mall next door.

Here we ended up eating the most disgusting Mexican food ever and being that it was at the food court, I can safely say I really expected nothing less. It was a pretty disastrous end to what I can imagine would have been a really beautiful evening, with the music and the smells and such, so Bangalore weather let me down a bit here, I’d have to say. Still love you loads though, Bangalore rain. But timing really is everything. 

Riana xxx

PS: Reals sorry if this reads like a 9th grade descriptive essay "The Carnival" or something but it really was kinda cliché-y carnival-y.