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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The Best Chai In Chennai

What makes the perfect chai? Creamy milk? Beautifully balanced spices? The right temperature? Cooking technique? A combination of the above? Having spread to cafes in all corners of the globe, chai is one of the world's most popular [and tasty!] warm beverages. There's just something so comforting and uplifting about the mix of spice and heat.

As much as international chai connoisseurs might debate over what makes the ideal brew, there's one thing they agree on: you haven't really tried true chai until you've been to India. If you're staying at a hotel in Chennai and looking for something to spice up your day (or night!), here's where to find the best of what's on the boil - from large tea houses frequented by celebrities to hole-in-the-wall kiosks favoured by local employees.

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Lloyd's Tea House

Considered one of the 'elite' tea houses in Chennai, Lloyd's is a favourite with local celebrities. The masala chai is spicy and invigorating - definitely the perfect 'pick-me-up' before, during or after a day spent wandering the city. The delivery style is particularly novel - the tea is brewed above an hourglass, which serves as a timer. On the spot, you decide how strong you'd like it and, at the appropriate time, request service. In addition, there's an extensive menu of other teas, including exotic flavours like mango, wine and fennel, and an array snacks is available - from cottage cheese balls to vegetable pizza to desserts.

Lloyd's Tea House is open between 11am and 11pm, Monday to Saturday, and between 9am and 11pm on Sunday. You'll find it at 179, Lloyds Rd, Gopalapuram.

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Kettle Tea House
The Kettle Tea House describes itself as the 'first concept-driven tea house in Chennai'. Not only does it boast a truly enormous range of teas [including several incarnations of chai], it also offers a long menu that matches tea with food - as we're used to seeing with wine.

The focus is on high-quality brewing and cooking. Supremely fresh tea leaves mean that the chai delivers more complex flavours than that found in other establishments. The menu features a noticeable Western influence, with the inclusion of pasta, paninis, open sandwiches and gourmet desserts. The Kettle Tea House is located at 3362V, AE Block, 10th Main Road, Anna Nagar West. If you'd like to keep up-to-date with developments, visit their Facebook page.

Cup 'N' Saucer
Be warned - Cup 'N' Saucer is only for tea purists. All the beverages are served black, allowing visitors to savour the tea in its full-bodied entirety. So if you're a dairy addict, you might find it slightly confronting. But then again, what's travelling without a few new experiences?

Cup 'N' Saucer is found in Anna Salai, on the first floor of Sencers Plaza Phase Two.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The Victorian Post-Mortem Photography

Today you can easily find a fancy Los Angeles commercial photographer who can create fun stuff in order to convince us to buy something. We have wedding photographers who can portray the love and the happiness like no other artists do. Photography is now beautiful and it is the art that mostly, makes people smile and celebrate their lives. But it wasn’t like this all the time. Whenever I’m thinking about the history of this art, I get to be simply mesmerized about the Victorian Post-Mortem Photography.

The Victorian Post-Mortem Photography was a common practice that started somewhere in the year 1837 and ended in the early beginning of the XXth century. At those times, most of the rich people in different parts of Europe and United States of America had this weird for us today way of photographing people. They were photographing dead people, in order to preserve the memory of their family, relatives and friends. Today, it sounds creepy and just odd, but that’s what people like us were up to one hundred years ago. Who knows what would look weird for the humans of the next era.

Photo source:  Mark Delong Photography

Now imagine that people who were dead, before their funerals were supposed to stay at home. Their relatives were putting flowers all around them, to decorate the view but also to camouflage the horrible smell of decay. So the photographer had to capture the dead man not only like he was in the middle of a botanical garden but also like he was alive. That was the main trick all the photographers had to know and to do. There was a big preparation before the photo session. It was extremely important for the dead to look alive or at least, asleep in those Post-Mortem photographs.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Game On! Make The Best Buffalo Chicken Dip For Game Days

Want to serve up traditional game day fare, but need to feed a crowd? Or do you need to impress your guests by offering that quintessential game time meal, but don’t have the time to prep, cook, and serve dozens of chicken wings for hungry football fans? Either way, we’ve got you covered. Prep our Buffalo Chicken Dip as a side when you’re hosting friends and family for the big game on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

When you’ve got a crowd over at your place, you need to serve up something that’s sure to be a hit with everyone. Snacks are good, but you need a dish that’s filling, too. And don’t forget most everyone will want to eat from the living room! That’s where the buffalo chicken dip comes in handy.

Hot, spicy, or mild chicken wings are synonymous with game day. But let’s be honest: wings take lots of time and work to fix up, and they make a mess. Save your napkins and offer guests a variety of delicious finger foods to scoop up your Buffalo Chicken Dip. Plenty of choices, no fuss, and no mess. No matter what’s happening on the field, that’s a win-win all the way around. If your guests really want to get creative, they can layer the buffalo chicken dip on top of other favorites, like a slider or even French fries. It’s the perfect tasty complement that’s a snap to prepare and yummy to munch on throughout all of the game day action.

Made with rotisserie chicken and two types of creamy Cabot cheese, this dip contains all the fan-favorite flavor of traditional wings. It’s rich, tangy, and easy to put your own spin on it. The red hot sauce will please crowds who prefer spicy wings, and for those who want a little less heat, you can always dial it down by reducing the amount of hot sauce to create a mild dip. In fact, you can even create two different bowls, one for those who like their dips to have a fiery kick and another for those who want a more tamed, yet still tasty option.

Don't Rule Out Bespoke Handmade Furniture

Handmade furniture made to bespoke requirements is a luxury and there is no getting round that. There is no shortage of places to pick up ready-made items either brand new or second hand and to suit every budget. The interesting thing is that handmade items may not cost as much as you think and will always meet your needs and not those of the designer trying to make something to appeal to a huge range of customers.


Imagine the scenario… You’ve spent your evenings and weekends trying to achieve a certain look for a room and you are sick of the smell of paint and saw dust. All you want is to finish the project but something is stopping you. The missing piece of the puzzle is not the colour of the walls or the curtains. Instead you cannot find the ‘right’ item whether it be a coffee table, arm chair or bookshelf for example. Despite having looked everywhere nothing works for you.


It is times like this when having a quality piece of furniture designed and made for you can be the ideal solution. When you consider that paying a little bit extra for a really special key piece that will transform your interior design and last a lifetime it starts to make sense.

Here are some handy tips to help you and a few more reasons why at least considering the bespoke route is worthwhile in the long term as long as you can afford it.


When commissioning a bespoke piece of furniture you have complete control over every aspect of its design. From the type of materials used to the dimensions, the colour and all of the finer details you choose to incorporate. This gives you a unique opportunity to express your style and personality with a completely original design. Owning a one off piece of furniture that nobody else has is a great feeling.


Whilst ‘off the shelf’ furniture is affordable and convenient, its lifespan is limited due to the lower grade materials, which are typically used, in mass-produced furniture. When furniture is constructed from soft pine or composite wood, normal wear and tear will soon affect its appearance.

Bespoke furniture however, is an investment. High quality materials and an attention to detail will result in a piece that can be passed onto and enjoyed by future generations.


You may know exactly what you want and be able to give your furniture designer a clear outline of your requirements on paper, or perhaps you have an idea of what you want, but you are still open to suggestions and guidance from a professional to help you develop your idea.

Sketches or photographs are the easiest way to express your ideas, so if you have them, share them!

If you are lacking inspiration but open to surprises you could choose to let your designer have free reign to design something for you based on a rough brief. If you decide to go down this route, it is crucial to have chosen a company with a style you absolutely love.

You may find that the ideas and suggestions your designer comes up with lead to you owning a piece of furniture so wonderful that it exceeds all of your initial expectations!


Take your time to identify a reputable craftsman whose work really appeals to you. There are a huge number of furniture makers out there, all with their own unique style, so you will need to look through a variety of portfolios until you find the right one for you.

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