Mumbai has a new address and it is indeed an iconic one. It is where a master performs and leaves his audience mesmerised. It is where talent knows no boundaries and one can expect an Oscar winning performance on every visit. If you, my dear reader think I am referring to the recently restored and re-opened Opera House, where entertainment and art have reached dizzying heights, appealing to the most alluring cultural minds, I don’t blame you. But for a connoisseur of good food, a person with a discerning palate, a gourmet, the stage show he looks forward to, is of a different kind. The kind in which the conductor of the orchestra, performs in the kitchen.
On a Crisp autumn morning in October, Laveena and I drove 70 Kms North East of Prague, to Mcely, a beautiful picturesque central Bohemian village in the Czech Republic, with a tiny population of 300. The colours of fall, had cast an umbrella of red and gold, upon many of the narrow village roads and our mood was gloriously happy and mellow as our car drove through several light drizzles of leaves, which delicately fell to the ground, reminding us of the magnificent season we had chosen to be in the Czech Republic.
For our Diwali (The Indian Festival of Lights) holidays this year, Laveena and I travelled to the Czech Republic. Our first stop was Prague, the ever so stunning capital city, steeped in history, with its colourful baroque buildings, red rooftops, narrow pebbled streets, Gothic churches, old bridges and the glorious Vtlava river. Our first impression when our taxi drove into the left-bank neighbourhood of Mala Strana (Lesser Town), was that Prague (or Praha as the Czechs refer to their beloved city), was one of the most beautiful cities either of us had ever set eyes on.
Whether you travel on business or on leisure, flying is a key ingredient to complete your experience. While for many, the cost of an air-ticket is important, for others it maybe loyalty programmes, flight connections, familiarity with transit hubs, in-flight food choices, cabin comfort, on-board entertainment, overall service standards and even a choice of fine wines on offer in the premium cabins. From our many flying experiences, Laveena and I have our favourites. The Middle Eastern Airlines, especially Qatar and Emirates, remain several ‘travelmango’ notches above the others. Yes, the length of our layovers on flights from Mumbai to Europe or to the US are not that great, but the lounge experience, particularly at Al-Hammad in Doha, more than makes up for the long ‘in-transit’ wait.