Friday, June 27, 2014

On Growing Up

Growing up is not easy.
Growing up means paying the bills, running a home, heartbreaks, seeing the doctor once a year to discover you have an illness you thought only ‘old’ people have, worrying about money, worrying about retirement, dating, wondering if and when you will have babies, suddenly thinking about your parents, their health, your health, a job that doesn’t satisfy you but keeps you in the rut, a broken washing machine, baskets full of laundry, the hangover you cant bear anymore, books you don’t have time to read, a gym membership you never use, the realization that instant noodles does not qualify as food.
Yes, growing up is not easy.

I woke up today wishing for a time machine to take me back to a time when I wasn’t grown up.

I was fearless with infinite amounts of zest. I believed and I dreamt.

Does this happen to all of us?
Does growing up, instead of expanding our ability to take on the world actually contract us into a fearful shell? And coloring outside the lines becomes frowned upon.

Remember a time when we could love without the presumption and preemption of getting hurt?
When opinions didn’t matter and we knew we would survive no matter what.
When we could love without lines and boxes and counting our words.

Remember a time when we dreamt. Real dreams.
When we had the ability to look at life straight in the face with starry eyes and a belief that it had everything we wanted waiting for us at the next turn.
When we didn’t doubt.

Remember when we knew what we needed to do. What we wanted out of life. It wasn’t the corner desk in a dull office. It was an undying passion for life; it was a need to keep learning, to grow and to be happy.
When nothing pulled us down.

The mirror and my recently purchased (note: extremely expensive) anti ageing cream on the dresser brings me back to reality. I have grown up.

There is no time machine.
There is no going back.

But there is now.

Maybe, just maybe its not too late to bring back some of what was lost. A tiny bit of that person I was.

Hopefully then, tomorrow wont be that bad!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Spanish Postcards. La Azotea - Food, Glorious Food.

My trip to Spain was pretty much unplanned. We did have hotel bookings and wrong tickets for San Isidro (which we figured on the day of the fight) but apart from that we didn't have a clue of what we would end up doing except for one key thing – filling our tummies with good food, everyday!

Spain is known for gastronomy, Michelin star chefs and Mercado’s filled with fresh ingredients. We traveled across Andalusia, Costa del Sol, the Balearic Islands and Madrid experiencing a variety of flavors, tastes and textures.

There are so many amazing places we ate at and I would like to list them all, but before any of those go on the blog, I need to review by far the best restaurant I have eaten at in a long, long time.  

It was our first meal in the country and we couldn't have asked for more.

La Azotea is a quaint little restaurant in Seville, situated right opposite the cathedral at Mateos Gago and hidden among a line of touristy cafes that serve cold, tasteless tapas and pre mixed Sangria.

Nothing about its décor or its four tables placed on the pavement shout out – amazing food. It is only when you get there and have a handsome server read out the daily specials to you, you know it's the right place.

They have a set menu but the specials change everyday – basically what the chef prefers and the catch of the day.

The servers are honest and enthusiastic. They will explain each dish to you, recommend and keep coming back with a smile to ask about your meal.  They are also attentive; we ate there 3-4 times and never repeated a dish. The server himself remembered what we ate previously and asked us to try something new.

The area is busy. A table outside is ideal to people watch though they have quite few tables inside.

Yummy Sangria and Strawberries 
The sangria is fresh, boozy and the fruit changes as per what is available that day. I loved the stirrer with a sugarcoated strawberry spelling out summer!

The food – lip smacking and delicious (if I haven’t mentioned that enough times already) is varied, plated beautifully and has its own little twist.

A twist to the traditional potato bravas - the sauce was mixed and served seperately 
Rice papers with leeks, prawns and cheese 
Ham croquettes

Gazpacho - a must try in South of Spain, served in a ice cold terracotta mug

Pork cheek 

Chicken salad with greens and fruits

Potato mash with salmon and capers 
And while all of them are a must try, of the twelve dishes we ended up eating in total, I would recommend the Razor clams, Foie Gras with mango and coffee on toast, the duck Magret and the salmon tartar for sure.

Razor clams are on availability, so ask for them. 

Razor clams
The hint of coffee with the saltiness of the Foie Gras and sweetness of mango is to die for. 

Foie on toast with mango and coffee

The duck Magret came with apples – that just added this amazing crunchiness to the meat and the Salmon tartar was fresh and light.

Salmon tartar

 The best part about La Azotea is the price. Our most expensive meal was 40 Euros (2 drinks, 3-4 tapas, 1 dessert) some of the bad places we ate in during the trip were around that much.

Of all the cities we visited, Seville was my favorite and I think a lot of that had to do with La Azotea and the decision to rent an apartment right next to it – perfect for long siestas after hearty meals!

Facebook and Web

Locations and contact 
- C/ Jesús del Gran Poder, 31 - Sevilla 
Tel. 955 11 67 48 

- C/ Zaragoza, 5 - Sevilla 
Tel. 954 56 43 16

- C/ Conde de Barajas, 5 - Sevilla. (Abacería)
Mov. 663 78 63 69

- C/ Mateos Gago, 8 - Sevilla 
954 215 878

Sunday, June 22, 2014

A Postcard of Flowers - Spain 2014 : A Photo Essay

I recently spent sixteen amazing days in South of Spain. The vacation is just a week old and it already feels like another life. Where did the endless days of gorgeous food, long siestas and sunny beaches go?

Back in the sandpit and in 43 degrees of sweltering heat, I am desperately craving a pitcher of cold sangria every afternoon. However the one thing I woke up thinking about today are these pretty little things that made my vacation so easy on the eyes. 

I wish I could bring the awesomeness and beauty back home and splash Dubai with some of this yummy colour! 

Mosaics in the sky 


Pretty walls are made of these!

Bunch of Daisy's anyone?

Just another lonely lotus 


Prim roses and red brick roofs!

A little bit of heaven at Al Hambra

Eat me!

Whitewashed walls were meant for these!
*The pictures were taken mostly at Granada, Cordoba and Ibiza.


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