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Eat Play Love with Maruti Suzuki Indo-Japanese Braking Point, Mumbai

Love is...
Good food and Great Music
.... and that long drive to sunset 

Last Saturday, there was some love in the air. I craved for some good music and a cuisine delight. Notwithstanding, my recent recuperation from fever and cold, I could not resist the temptation to break the city life monotony and indulge in some good food, great music and a little adventure.

My adventure took me to Eat, Play, Love AKA EPL 2016. It was a music and food festival spread over the weekend at the serene locales of Mahalakshmi Racecourse, Mumbai.

I had a loaded day but I decided to take a break and brake into something different, chaotic yet chilling, adventurous yet fun, Indian yet Exotic.



Hit the brakes to take a break
I reached the venue a little too early. It was a warm noon, my throat was quenching in thirst and I started looking for a place to sit. A cool, youthful looking cafe intrigued me and I stepped inside to check out the quirky decor. The cafe was designed in a cool, upmarket kind of garage, with tables resembling a neatly coloured automobile engine and chairs in form of wheel axis. 

I saw the name Maruti Suzuki and began to wonder if I have stepped at the right place. I was about to take a reverse gear and then I saw Chef Vicky Ratnani serving a neat platter. A senior staff from the place invited me to take a seat and experience the "Cafe Braking Point" with an exclusively curated Indo-Japanese cuisine.

Braking Point by Maruti Suzuki
Maruti Suzuki is a name that needs no introduction in India. Being a 80s kid, for me, the name is synonymous with automobiles in India. This Indo-Japanese automobile major celebrates a name that has kept India living its "wheeling" dream. 

Apparently, Maruti Suzuki never ceases to surprise and with this, first of its kind- Automobile Cafe, it has turned a new page in the chapter of lifestyle. If Maruti 800 was a breaking point in Indian Automobile Milestone, circa 2000 would not be different. 

The exteriors of the cafe look like metal containers that transport cars across the country. The interiors are built with vintage Maruti Suzuki car parts and posters

Here's a dekko at the Cafe's Unique Decor

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Giveaway & Review of Winter Essentials by Himalaya Herbals

Hello Everyone

I am running an amazing giveaway on my +YouTube India account, where you can participate by following simple rules and could stand a chance to win winter goodies by Himalaya Herbals.




Himalaya Herbals: Himalaya is one of the popular Indian Beauty brand, that needs no introduction. They have some nice range of products for hair, lips and skin care. I have reviewed few of them in my video recently. You can check it here- YouTube Review

Here are the simple rules of the giveaway-

1) Subscribe to my YouTube Channel
2) Like my video and share it
3) Comment telling your favourite product from the video and why is it your favourite
4) Tag your friends




It is a simple, easy-peasy giveaway and I am sure you will love participating in it.

So what are you waiting for? Head to my Youtube channel, subscribe and play.

Do remember
1) The prizes will be dispatched by the brand to the winners directly
2) This contest is open for Pan India
3) Do share this giveaway on your social media channels [Not mandatory]

Look forward to your participation.

Best,
Haute

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#LashesAndPouts Edition: My Envy Box December 2016

What: My Envy Box
Month: December 2016
Theme: Lashes and Pouts
MRP: Rs 850


Unboxing & Review of My Envy Box- December 2016

Holla Haute Courtiers,

We are back with the review of this month's My Envy Box. If you follow us on +YouTube India , you would have already seen our unboxing and review.

In case, if you are still not following +Ekta Khetan on #YouTube, Subscribe today! 

What's Inside My Envy Box?

The box has 5 products following the theme and all the products are the full size. Here are the contents of My Envy Box
  1. Soultree Cocoa Rich Lipstick 906 (Full Size, Rs 550 for 4.5gm)
  2. Bliscent Raspberry Lip Butter (Full size, Rs 150 for 5gms)
  3. Roots and Herbs, Under Eye Tailam Brightening Nutmeg ( Full Size, Rs 1190 for 50ml)
  4. Gubb Eyelash Curler (Full Size, Rs 299)
  5. Kronokare- The Frizz Kiss Lip Balm (Full size, Rs 95 for 10ml)

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The Gastronomy Affair with ITC Grand Central #FoodByGanges

When you say ITC, a spectacular vision of hospitality, lifestyle, grandeur and gourmet surround your vision. 

ITC is a name that to reckon with heritage, festivity and good times indeed. Whether it was their beautifully located Sonar Bangla in Kolkata spoiling me with its Dum Pukht delicacies, or the Augustic ITC Grand Chola in Chennai where I have spent numerous afternoons feasting on the gourmand delights or the two ITC in Mumbai, playing my wonderful host in this city of dreams, I have some splendid food memories to cherish.

A Special Invitation that You Cannot Refuse
I love food but limited my food reviews these days due to sheer time and work pressures. Though I have not stopped adventuring out with food, trying new places. In fact, am eating out almost every day but the monotony of food reviews had failed to entice me from my lazy nest and comfortable couch. I am happy to pray, eat and tweet. Wonder what got me outside my cocoon? Well, it was an invite by one of the most celebrated and one of my most favourite brand [over the years and not just during my food blogging journey], that read- Food by Ganges!

#FoodByGanges with ITC
ITC Grand Central is hosting, a one of its kind #FoodByGanges Food Festival that has an intensively researched and specially curated menu, straight from the land of Uttar Pradesh. If you are a food traveller, you will know the distinctive variety, appetising nature of the well-grounded food that originated from the coasts of holy River Ganges. 

When you say Ganges, the spread could be too long to cover in one menu. Hence, ITC has taken a 2-3 of the prime areas- Haridwar, Kanpur and Benaras to create this gastronomy affair.

Yes, gastronomy is least travelled through alphabets but highly devoured through imagery. I totally accord the fact and so overwhelmed by your response and queries originating from the few pictures that I shared via my Snapchat and Instagram stories during the testing and one to one interactive session with Chef Sumit and Ms Goyla, the food magician behind this trail. 

What: Celebrating Riverside Glory
Where: Hornby Pavilion, ITC Grand Central
Cuisine: Vegetarian



So, let me take you on a picture journey of the said cuisine much to your salivating palates. Here we go.

Let's begin with Starters


When you talk about Kanpur or Benaras, the memories of scrumptious chat and savouries fills your taste buds with food that cannot be replicated elsewhere. Everything from the potatoes to the chillies to the chutneys has their own unique flavour.

Must try the small cocktail samosas filled with aloo [potatoes stuffing] with the saunth [a spicy, mildly flavoured tangy chutney made with dried mango powder, jaggery]. The potato chat which is nothing but deep fried small potato cubes are a piece de resistance and will delight you with their indefatigable taste, bite after bite. You simply cannot stop and ache for the recipe.

The third in the trio was a sheer brilliance. It is the brinjal fritter laden with, hold your hearts- wheat flour, spices and cooked in the bhaja style. If you like brinjal, you will love it to moon. Even if you do not like brinjal, this dish will make its place in your palate.



Main Course

You need to resist your temptation off the starters to save it for the main course. The main course menu may look like a day to day food but it is the taste that sets it apart.



Do not mistake the Aloo Kachri from Haridwar for your regular yoghurt potato dish. They are one of the best potato stew that I have eaten and absolutely loved the tangy rich flavour. Pair it with Methi Poori or eat them alone, they will be yum in every bite.



The crisp [khasta] methi [fenugreek] pooris that will go with aplomb with Aloo Kachri or Kachori Gali ke Chole from Kanpur [below].


For those who want to eat lite and less spicy, the Hara Moong for Benaras is an excellent choice. You can pair it with plain rice and salad.


If you have a sweet tooth, you must try this- Shakarkand Chaat [sweet potatoes] from Kanpur. It is mildly sweet, partially tangy and even a non sweet potato person like me could not resist trying a spoonful. Oh yes, it did entice me for another spoon but I needed to save space in my tummy for that gorgeous looking khichdi.


You cannot finish your meal without trying this simple, filling yet well-cooked Bajra Khichdi that I guess was slow cooked with a melange of vegetables. It is simple, soothing and very healthy dish curated with cues from Kanpur Kitchen.


You can pair it with the Aloo Kachri or this amazing Boondi Kadhi from Haridwar, like I did. Oh the buffet has papad [not from this cuisine but the usual buffet fare] that you can combine with some fried green chillies or pickle to savor your Kichdi [dish made of broken grain]







What is the Sweet Deal?
If you think you are done with the main course, you are not being fair to the two outstanding desserts from this menu.

Meet "Radhe ki thandi fruit cream" an assortment of fresh fruits like melon, papaya, plum etc in freshly churned cream. It was not strong but quite soothing. Another slurrp worthy dessert is the carrots cooked in milk, a la kheer style. It is not the quintessential gazar ka halwa [carrot pudding] but is liquid in form and very palatable. 



The dessert may look simple but will sweep you off your feet with their immense charm. 

Like they say, the proof of the pudding is in trying. So, what are you waiting for? Book yourself/friends/family a table today and step on this gastronomy fare that is specially curated from the land of Ganga, keeping the flavours intact, to straight in your plate and palate.

Bon Appetite
Ekta



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Books, Lipstick and Whatever Love Means with Aditi Mathur

When was the last time we had some girl talk? Well, dunno about the last time, let us have some girls talk and bond over some fabulous lipstick and a wonderful book.

Talking about books, I am such a bibliophile but have become a meagre reader these days. Notwithstanding my regular reminders to self, I could barely read a book these days. My excuse is as usual- a book needs to be as tempting to make my lazy bum sit still on my couch and lust my eyes to turn pages post the first chapter.

So when my WhatsApp Blogger Friend, a gorgeous woman, a travel blogger and a published author [oh yes, that many and some more adjectives in one woman] asked me to read her second book, I almost said No. But then I saw the splendid cover and I could not resist the temptation to check it out. She turned a deaf ear to my usual excuse of being a meagre reader and decided to risk it with me.

Her patience paid off, and if you have seen my Instagram stories [needless to say, you should be fortunate enough to follow me on Instagram], you would have seen me hooked to this book since last 2 days. 

Aditi Kumar Mathur is a fellow blogger. Her first book was "Soldier and Spice", and if she is not travelling around the world, she stays at Dehradun- Delhi-Dehradun.

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Five Shoes That Every Woman Should Own

What takes away her woes?
and cures her moody blues?
Diamond? Oh yes!
Clothes, accessories and
pair of dazzling shoes!



Well, women and shoes have a history of mutual love and fondness. Whether it was Cinderella's shoes that helped her unite with her Prince Charming or the Dorothy from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, who loved her silver shoes dearly.

No wonder why the shoe is such a popular accessory with so many fairy tales and their protagonists including the Karen of Red Shoes and the legendary Puss in the boots. Shoes are after all no longer a mere accessory but have become an important part of a woman's dressing and social standing. 

While I cannot help except living with my sports shoes [ I cannot wear any other shoes], I cannot stop swooning over those lovely pairs, though. So, if you are fond of shoes and planning a shoe wardrobe, you would like to read about these 5 awesome #mustHave shoes in a woman's wardrobe.

5 Must Have Shoes in a Woman's Wardrobe

Your shoe is not just a fashion accessory that compliments your dress but it talks a lot about your personality. A good shoe not just adds to your dressing but accentuate your style too. 

There are a plethora of shoes available in the market. Here are top 5 types of shoes that every girl must own-

1) Pumps: Classic Pumps are the most versatile shoes that a woman can have. You can wear them for your college, work, parties and even shopping. Choose between a pointed pump, a black pump or a flat pump. They are easy to wear, maintain and quite comfortable too. My pick- Black and a nude pump or a Ballet Flat

source

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My Hair CC 14 Days Challenge with Pantene Pro V

Hey girl,
I love your mane
hey girl
it drives me insane
Hey girl,
it is your crowning glory
silky, long, a smooth love story
Hey girl
open your tresses
Rapunzel is thy name! 

Hey Boy,
I love your song
your compliments will go way long.
However,
let my hair be tied
behind the bow
till I length them small
cause you do not know
I have a bad hair fall!!


Having a Hairfall that breaks your heart?????
Ain't it breaks your heart to see your beautiful hair falling off your head? Well, it does break my heart to see those lovely strands of hair on my pillow, comb and washroom sieve. Given Mumbai's high humidity and the jam-packed life, hair fall and damage is one of the lifestyle disorders that a lot of girls/ women battles on a day-to-day basis.

I am no different. My once upon a time, the crowning glory, my hair are no more strong and silky. Hair fall has cast a bad eye on them and I am losing my precious hair by every passing day. 

I have checked my diet and found it fine. It is not the diet but my fast paced lifestyle laced with heavy duty hair styling and lack of sleep that is causing the damage. We cannot stop the lemons that life throws at us and no matter how much we plan to make a nourishing lotion from that lemon and apply on our face and scalp, it remains an unrequited dream in our "forever on the toe" life. 

Solutions are many but nothing is effective unless you have a good OCC regime i.e. Oiling, Cleaning and Conditioning.





My Hair CC Regime with Pantene Pro-V
The regime begins at properly following the OCC mantra on a regular basis. and it ends with using the right product for your hair. 

Blame the monsoon or the hard water, post my hair smoothening process, I was experiencing extensive hair fall. I went to my hair stylist and asked to cut my hair short to achieve some volume but that wasn't helping much. 

It is then I decided to take the Pantene 14 days challenge to reduce hair fall. They promised to bring a new, improved solution to reduce hair fall, make them look luscious and smooth too. Now they have all the ingredients to tempt any girl. Hence I complied.

The brand sent me the bottles of the new Pantene Pro-V shampoo and conditioner along with another  competitive brand in an incognito bottles. I found trying it easier than doing a head stand. Lolz..

As per the instruction, I separated my hair into two equal parts and used the products. It felt messy but a small price to pay to prevent hair loss.

My hair at both sides felt good and ok. However, I could not see any reduction in the hair fall. Baah! empty promises. I thought and left the shower. My hair did felt good and if you follow me on snap chat [@ektakhetan] you would have seen how my hair looked post the wash and after getting dried too.


Once my hair wee completely dried they felt better and looked shinier. I could see the volume and the beauty are- it made my hair cut looked prominent and in the place. Whereas the hair from other side felt shabby and I shampooed them with Pantene Pro-V, the very next day.

Since I have used Pantene in past and it has always come to my hair rescue, I decided to give it further try and complete my challenge. my hair fall is not 100% gone though but it has been reduced to a good extent. 

Here is what I liked about it
1) Creamy and soft texture
2) Easy to lather
3) Easy to cleanse
4) Cleans Scalps effectively
5) Mild fragrance, not strongly deodorised
6) Cost effective
7) Works on the volume of the hairs
8) Cleanse effectively

What I did not like
Dry Scalp: I have a dry scalp and the shampoo in the bid to clean, makes it further dry too. 
You can combat this situation by diluting your shampoo in a little quantity of water before applying on your head.

Packaging: It comes in sturdy tube packs and easy to carry/use.

Pricing: Shampoo 110 INR for 180ml; conditioner 55 INR for 75ml.

Ingredients:

Pantene Pro-V Shampoo

Pantene Pro_V Conditioner

Haute Kutir Verdict: I am a loyal Pantene user. I have been using their products even before it was launched in India and have a distinct liking for them. I like them for the sheer fact that they make my hair look good, feel happy. The new Pantene Pro-V does help in combatting the hair fall. Not just that my hair, as I mentioned feels bouncy and good.  Do take the Pantene Pro-v 14 days challenge and let me know if it worked for your hair. It is a cosmetic product and is for external use only. It is an alternate and not a complete solution. In case, of heavy hair fall, you may like to see your nutrition as well.

Look at my Pantene- "no styling tool used, no potion applied" Hair. All I did was to paddle brush my hair and step out for a beauty launch event in Mumbai.

No risk of hair fall even on  your whites and light shade cloths

Happy Hair Dance

video




Stay Haute
Ekta

_____________

I am taking up the #14DayChallenge as a part of product review activity at BlogAdda in association with Pantene

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Build your Lingerie Trousseau with Zivame Bridal Collection

Lingerie: Mark of A Woman
If a man is known by the shoe he wears, a lady is distinguished by the lingerie she picks. A lingerie, after all, is not just an essential piece of clothing but also a fashion and lifestyle bearer. A good lingerie not just makes you feel comfortable from within but is a great confidence booster too. 

If you are a newly-wed or a bride to be, then lingerie is an essential part of your Bridal Trousseau


Lingerie and Bridal Trousseau
Lingerie is an essential part of your bridal trousseau. I have seen many brides running pillar to post while shopping for lingerie and often picking up stuff that they may not actually use. I have quite some adventures lying in my trousseau closet [quite figuratively] and every time I look at them, they remind me of my dead investment. 

As women, we often neglect the importance of having a good lingerie and unfortunately, it is given third preference over our clothes, shoes etc. Time is changing and a lot of women are waking up to the need of having a good lingerie. The only issue is not knowing what to buy and from where. No, I am not getting into those prickly stores with male shopkeepers and the dingy dressing rooms. You can brave all that as long you know what you want to buy and how to buy without burning a hole in your pocket. Lingerie shopping has off late become quite an expensive task with zillions of brands available in a store, vying for your attention and repelling it at the same time with the expensive price tags. 

Recently, I went Bridal lingerie shopping with a friend who is getting married this December. We walked into this fancy looking store in the Mall and came outside within 30 minutes after breaking our heads and hands trying some great looking lingeries at the trial room. 

Reason? The lingeries looked cool from exteriors but were a discomfort to wear. We felt like mannequins from SAKS 5th avenue that looked good only in the showcase. Besides, the price tags of Rs 4000 per piece made us feel illiterate and like a fool. Come on, that is little too much for a piece of a brassiere in name of bridal lingerie. We indeed need something that is classy, elegant and yet not pretentiously priced. 

I was suddenly reminded of Zivame as I have tried their shapewear bottom a few days back and quite liked it. We immediately checked their website on our smartphone and happy to discovered their newly launched Bridal collection.


Zivame Bridal Collection

Zivame, a well-known name in female lingerie label, has recently launched an attractive new collection- "The Bridal Collection".

The collection has some attractive range of lingerie including brassiere, panties and camisoles. The range looked attractive, colourful and economical as well. We picked quite some pieces for my soon to be bride friend, who was apparently happy with the size, the fit, the texture and overall look. 

Being an avid shopper, I could not resist the temptation either and picked two for self. My excuse was- she is getting married, so why should I wear an old lingerie on her wedding ;)

Here is what I picked for self-






When it comes to lingerie, my favourite colour has always been white and black. I have picked -

1) Zivame Satin Brides Padded Moderate Pushup Low Back Bra- Pearl White : It is a plush bridal level-2 push-up bra, which visibly adds a cup size, making you look fuller under your bridal outfits. It's made of rich satin fabric with smooth padded, seamless & underwired cups with partial lace overlay complementing the mesh wings. Plus, it's very low-back design stays hidden under your deep back necklines.

Price: Rs 1395


I totally loved the look and the feel of it. It looks classy, elegant yet Haute [read sexy] at the same time. I actually do not like padded ones but this designed won me over.



2) Zivame Satin Brides Balconette Neckline Bra- Pearl White (A-E)

This extremely delicate, plush bridal bra has a mesh-lined lace underwired cups. It is set in a rich satin frame complementing the mesh wings. Plus, the 2-sectioned cups with balconette neckline stay hidden even under low necklines.

This is a luxurious lace woven with lurex threads. The non-padded design offers breathable comfort. The only drawback is the sheer, look through fabric. 

Price: Rs 1295.

My friend liked the pieces so much that she twinned them in her order as well. Guess, the bride and the bridesmaid going to wear the same balconette on her wedding ;)

Haute Kutir Verdict: When it come so lingerie shopping, I am quite reserved and highly selective. I always handpick my lingerie with utmost deliberation and high expectations. I understand bridal lingerie is slightly bolder than regular ones and yet prefer classy over kitschy. These lingeries do have an Etsy feel to them and are quite comfortable for regular wear as well.


I so much loved their online collection and think that it is an easier way to shop lingeries. They have 15 days return guarantee too.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and gift your Bridal Trousseau a lingerie makeover with Zivame Bridal Collection.

Live Haute, Read Haute Kutir!!

You can check out the collection here or something with the below link....
https://goo.gl/K4S0eF

Do not forget to check my "Top 5 Essentials of a Bridal Trousseau" Video on my @Youtube channel!


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