Who could have imagined such a beautiful and inviting cafe on the busiest roads of Lucknow, with just a small signboard, a sufficient parking space and making absolutely no noise about it?
Located on the main Faizabad Road in Indira Nagar, Lucknow @caferepertwahr is a casual dining cafe in a dreamy setup. It’s hardly at a distance of 1.5 km from the famous Bhootnath market. The place offers a lovely ambience, cuisines ranging from North Indian, Chinese, Continental, Italian and Seafood and has a huge collection of books you can spend your time reading over a cup of coffee. The food and services are good. It’s a charming place with lots of refreshing greenery, contemporary and sustainable interiors and liveliness.
My never-ending love for pretty cafes always urge me to find one wherever I go. Sharing this as part of #AppyTalesInLucknow series, since a lot of queries poured in ever since I visited this place on Friday.
I was elated to find the queries coming to me from the people residing in Lucknow itself. So guys do check it out and make the most of it. Although the cafe takes full safety measures like sanitisation, temperature check, social distancing yet do not forget to play your part responsibly. Wear a mask, keep sanitizing and maintain social distancing in public places. It’s high time, please be responsible! 🌸
If you are planning to visit Dehradun and looking for a simple yet classy, comfortable and luxurious hotel for your stay, LP Residency should be the first choice. I stayed in this hotel while I was on a solo business trip to Dehradun in April. It was supposed to be a day’s work, however, I extended my stay by one day to avoid the rush and also have some relaxing time for myself as the previous few weeks were extremely hectic. Little did I know, this hotel would serve to be a complete package of rejuvenation, good food and a great time. My two days went by so fast in the blink of an eye, quite contrary to my initial thoughts, when it looked more like a business stay to me. I was so wrong! That’s when I decided to let you folks know about this beauteous property through my blog.
LP Residency is centrally situated in the heart of Dehradun. It is easily accessible from the airport, railway or bus station. Since this was my first professional visit to Dehradun, I had kept my hopes extremely grounded. Of course, I was repenting my decision to extend my stay due to the constant news of sudden upsurge in COVID cases as I had also dropped my plans to move around the city. I preferred to stay in the hotel rather, which is so unlike me. I was thrilled to be proven wrong and my stay at LP Residency turned out to be an exceptionally brilliant experience.
Lobby & Check-in Process
Cleanliness, hygiene and sanitization are the first things I am concerned about. I’m extremely careful when it comes to booking accommodation. For me, hygiene standards should be high and there should not be any compromise there. The moment I got off the taxi and walked a few steps towards the entrance door, I was made to sanitize my hands and luggage before being escorted to the reception for formalities and later to my room. The hotel and its interiors were so spick and span that the air of doubt had vanished like a bubble just right there. By now I was pretty much excited to see my room only to dump my luggage and hit onto the bed as I was super exhausted due to all the travelling.
Arriving at the hotel was already an amazing experience. The gorgeous hotel lobby with a class of sophistication and style. The courteous staff at the concierge desk and the smooth check-in process although I arrived 2 hours earlier than the expected check-in time.
They have two category of rooms—Club Room and Suite. I stayed in a Suite and it was worth every ounce of my exhaustion which demanded something as premium as this. I forgot all my tiredness and decided to do a room tour for my fellow readers because the room was highly spacious, well-lit with some great bright spaces, tastefully done interiors and a comfortable and nicely done king-sized bed. The best part all for myself!
One part of the room had this huge bed a study table with a beautiful lamp for reading purpose, an LED TV. The other part is more like a living room with couches, another LED TV, side cabinets, carpet and other furnishings. Both of these are carefully partitioned with a wooden frame aesthetically done and adds to the beauty of the suite.
The bathroom was well equipped with everything you could need: good toiletries, multiple towels and hot water as well.
One thing, however, I missed was the view from the window. But there’s enough to keep yourself busy within and outside the room that you are surely not going to miss it for long.
Service & Facilities
I was amazed to see the prompt service of the staff. Right from the room service to the restaurant, everything was as fast as a flash of lightning. Always being in profession demanding travel, I undoubtedly can say, the services and hospitality of this hotel can surpass the services of some of the 5-star hotels. The staff is prompt, proactive and highly professional other than being courteous. Every single staff member is well trained and hospitable. I was overwhelmed to meet such remarkably warm and welcoming people who were always on their toe and super delighted to serve their guests.
Well, now this is my favourite part. Not because I am a foodie, I’m not! Mostly because you can not forget the taste and presentation of the food they offer and it’s going to stay with you for long. I still relish the variety of food and beverages I tried during those two days of stay. There are two restaurants in the hotel with amazing and high-quality food menu. The menu is limited to offer the choicest items.
One restaurant is a popular Coco—Café & Osteria and the other is named Zaffran. Coco offers their speciality Blue Tokai Coffee and is what they call a hotspot in the Hotel. This place is super chic and classy. The décor and interiors are minimal but tasteful. The limited menu also features Neopolitan pizzas freshly baked in a wood-fired oven and I enjoyed watching the Pizza in the making right from the oven to plate. If you want to watch the making video please click on my Instagram IGTV link .
The menu also features a wide selection of gourmet food and delicious beverages. I tried Neopolitan pizza for dinner accompanied with their Hibiscus Ice Tea in their hugely romantic candlelight set up in the open air with good music. It was a perfect setup for a heartfelt dinner. The servings were sufficient for two and extremely delicious! I also tried their desserts and relished the taste rest of the night.
Another favourite part was the breakfast at Zaffran! I’m a huge fan of Indian cuisines and this is where Zaffran came into play. I was served a variety of South Indian delicacies right from the crispy Masala Dosa to Utappam to Idlis with their accompaniments along with fresh orange juice. A wholesome and delightful breakfast that made my day. Can you imagine a more perfect start to the day than this?
Later for dinner, I also tried a platter of kebabs. They were super yummy and delectable. Each kebab had a different aroma and taste. They melted the moment I took a bite and the flavour lasted long.
I was blown away by not just the presentation, service but also the great taste of the food. Each time it was a difficult decision to choose between the Italian or Indian restaurants because both the restaurants served unparalleled food, coupled with unmatched service. The ingredients they used were so fresh! That reminds me of the Chicken Salami and Lettuce Salad I chose to have for lunch. I can still imagine the crunchiness of lettuce with refreshing Salami slices.
I had a hard time choosing amongst all the amazing options. Trust me, this limited menu wasn’t limited at all because each time I tasted something I wanted to have it the second, the third time, so on and so forth.
You can choose to have meals in your room or the restaurant. I preferred the latter because I loved the setup of the restaurants.
My stay at LP Residency was enthralling. You couldn’t possibly ask for a better location as it is easily accessible from all the prime spots in Dehradun. I was totally in love with the red brick-like fascinating look they have given to the hotel on the outside and the lovely interiors of the hotel. The food was extraordinary and the staff was warm and courteous! If you want to see a video tour of my room and the breakfast selection head over to my Instagram highlights and check out the Hotel section!
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or send me an email, I always love helping you out! Have you visited Dehradun or have any plans to visit post-pandemic? Let me know in the comments.
I recently visited the golden city of India, Jaisalmer for good 10 days (including my train journey) as a solo traveller. Undeniably, this is one of my fondest experiences because of umpteen reasons. This was not my first solo trip. However, after staying at home in the lockdown for almost a year, planning this trip was not easy. Rajasthan and I have some strange beautiful connection. Previously, I had visited Jodhpur as a solo traveller and this time it was Jaisalmer. There were times when travelling solo in India for a female traveller looked like a far off dream. Not anymore!
During my journey, I met a lot of interesting people who had very many questions for me. And, most of them gave the impression that I’m extremely bold to be travelling alone from Delhi. I’m aware travelling solo is not a new concept; however, by now I was sure there are still a lot of doubts and misconstrued notions about travelling solo in India. On my way back to Delhi on my train, I met another lady who worked in the IT education sector and she asked me, “What is the fun of travelling solo? My 22-year-old daughter keeps telling us she wants to travel solo.” Although I could slightly clear the air of doubt she had, I thought I would pen down my thoughts elaborately for others to refer to and understand better. This blog is precisely more about my experiences related to Jaisalmer as a city and must not be confused with travelling to any and everywhere.
Who Am I and What Gives me Confidence to Travel Solo
I think this question makes much more sense when I’m suggesting solo travelling. How you are as a person, your nature, your professional background and your age does matter when you are travelling solo. Being in my middle 30s and having worked for 15 years in the field of Journalism and Marketing, I feel I have had my own set of experiences—good and bad. I can assess a situation because of the exposure I’ve got. Corporate life teaches you a lot, right from people management, self-control to crisis management. Having had my share of troubles and combating them independently has helped me a lot to gain the kind of confidence one needs to be travelling alone. However, this does not mean people who have been at home or college may not travel solo. Everyone has their level of maturity and assessing capabilities. You know yourself the best and no one understands you better than your family. If you plan a solo trip, make plans in consensus with your loved ones and ensure to keep them informed and stay well-connected throughout your journey by any means. This also gives them further confidence in you. Do not make irrational plans and plan every minute detail possible, much ahead of your bookings.
What does Travelling Solo to Jaisalmer Mean
Travelling solo to Jaisalmer from any part of the country would mean unveiling a city not just rich in its heritage but also the hospitality. Not even one person I met, right from the time I stepped in Jaisalmer, not courteous enough. I have sensed the finest culture and etiquette especially in treating guests or tourists and travellers like us. Jaisalmer has ten times increased my confidence to travel solo because of the amicable hospitality and honest guidance I received from the local people here. Travelling solo to Jaisalmer will give you ample opportunity to interact with locals and merchants and understand their lifestyle, culture and business in depth. It’s always good to learn about a specific region. That is what I did the most and learned the most from my trip. People in Jaisalmer love to interact. They are welcoming and love having heart-warming conversations. They are open to telling you about themselves, their family most humbly and honestly. You can talk to them about anything under the sun and they have good knowledge about it be it sports, politics, cinema and alike. Jaisalmer is a humble abode to many scenic spots and monuments. Travelling solo also gives you an ample opportunity to meet new people, learn, unlearn and relearn and introspect. You can be at your creative best when you are travelling to such places alone.
When is the Best Time to Travel Solo to and within Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer witnesses the extreme heat starting March until September. The best time to visit Jaisalmer is considered to be October-March. However, as per my interactions with the local people, the best months to travel are November-January. This is the time when the weather is at its best and the sun is not extremely harsh either on the skin or camera. The best time to explore this glorious city is early mornings when the forts are open and evenings when you can explore places other than forts like Gadisar Lake, Bara Bagh, Vyas Chhatri. You can cover the city in 4-6 days depending on your interest. I travelled for 10 days to have the local flavour and store as much information as I could. It helps a great deal for someone like me who is an experiential writer. Jaisalmer city is safe even after the sunset. You can watch the sunset from some best rooftop cafes and take an easy-breezy stroll exploring the alleys without being worrisome. The best thing about Jaisalmer is you do not get stares and glares from people irrespective of your persona or attire, something I find to be disgraceful in a few cities I have stayed or visited.
Where can a Solo Traveller Stay and Eat in Jaisalmer?
Jaisalmer is one of the most hospitable cities I have come across, you can comfortably stay in any of the known resorts and homestays or hotels. Jaisalmer does have homestay options and you can opt for the ones you like from AirBnB. I generally prefer homestays and resorts because the latter makes me feel I’m on some official trip and I’d rather prefer feeling at home or on a vacation. During my trip, I stayed at a few great properties Bhimkothi Boutique Homestay, Moonlight Nature Resort & Hotel and Royal Haveli. Each of them was an exceptional experience and I would be talking about them separately in my blog. You have options to eat where you stay or explore some cafes offering the best Jaisalmer city view and good food at reasonable rates. Some of the cafes that need a special mention here are Café +, Café The Kaku, The Traveller’s Cup Coffee Shop (follow me for a detailed blog on Jaisalmer must-visit cafes).
The Question Arises Why to Travel Solo
Travelling in groups is fun, travelling solo is meditative. Meditation can equally be fun for those who have experienced its beauty and strength. Travelling solo unleashes your true self. You know whatever comes; you have to tackle it alone. You learn to be doubly attentive and wise. You learn managing all by yourself, meeting and greeting new people and being at your best to experience the best of the worlds. I am not recommending solo travelling all the time, but once in a while visit places unknown all by you. Meet your inner self and explore your strengths and weaknesses. Each time you travel solo you come back more refined as a person with a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. You find your daily challenges trivial when you have explored a vast place all by yourself. It allows you to love yourself more and live your life more thoughtfully and carefully by listening to your head and choosing your paths and directions. Spending even a minuscule time in solitude, when the whole world around you is moving at the usual pace, is an eternal feeling; you would know only if you travel solo.
How and Where to Start and How I started
Do not ask and do not wait for someone to answer this to you. During my trip, I received hundreds of questions, especially from women who wish to travel solo but do not have a direction. Take that first step of making up your mind and not looking back. Choose the dates, place and book your tickets. The more you think the more you will withhold yourself. I’m not an irrational traveller, but most of my travels have been successful because I plan much in advance and without thinking twice just book my tickets. There’s lot of planning that goes into researching the place and spots I want to visit, means of transportation, stay and more. The place certainly has to be carefully chosen if you are travelling alone. Research well about the place, read reviews and blogs. There’s plenty of information already, bring it to your best advantage. I can confidently say now that Jaisalmer is a good option to start with, once the weather is favourable. Start to pen down your plan more like a journal. Plan your trip day by day or even minute by minute if you are good at it. The more elaborate and well-thought plan you have, the less the hassle.
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”-Oprah Winfrey
Sneh and Godwin, the owners of this enthralling property, have certainly proved this to be true. If you get a chance to stay at this place, you would know. You can easily relate to their undeniable love for bikes and travelling. These reflect in unimaginable ways. Every element they have used for adding aesthetic value to their hotel is well thought of and crafted assiduously. It not just speaks of their fascination but exudes enormous attention to detail as a traveller. Ride Inn, a motorcycle-themed café and boutique hotel, and as the name suggests may seem more inviting to bike lovers; however, this is not just limited to bikers or bike enthusiasts. We drove into this place and enjoyed a four day stay experiencing and evaluating every corner. I will take you through the observations and experiences I had, staying here.
Nestled Amidst the Mighty Himalayas: Imagine! You stay at a place with a 360-degree view of the mountains, river Beas flowing adjacently, picturesque orchards surrounding you when you step out of your room, a landscaped garden at your disposal. You are at Ride Inn. Yes, a place that is no less than divine, when it comes to the sceneries. It’s a perfect abode to spend quality time with your loved ones or just be yourself in a dreamy set-up and enjoy your own company. You would require crossing the stunning Shanag Bridge, Nehru Kund, which lies on the Manali-Leh Highway, to reach this resort. Crossing the bridge in itself would give you goosebumps and make for a joyous ride.
A Perfect Destination for Comfort and Pleasure: I was amazed multiple times for different reasons. I realized I was not only exposed to bewildering sights but also a magnificently done hotel. The exteriors have an earthy appeal considering the colour, texture and the moderate use of wood. I later got to know the architecture of Ride Inn drew inspiration from old Himachali Kathkuni architecture. It is a traditional form of architecture prevalent in Northern Himachal Pradesh and is eco-friendly. Such architecture is weather-friendly, aesthetically pleasing and stable for years. In addition to this, Ride Inn is designed to ensure comfort and provides rooms and corners, giving personal space to guests. Each corner is distinct. The garden area has logs of woods for seating arrangement and bonfire; the attention-grabbing café too has cosy corners done differently; I would like to mention in a separate point. Also, they have a sufficient parking space that can contain up to 8-9 cars within the premise.
Warm and Comfy Rooms: This is one of those hotels where you would not want to step out of your rooms. I am one restless person, always on foot and never taking a rest. When I visit a place, I am a traveller and not a tourist. I do not believe in wasting a fraction of second because I love to explore. Ride Inn changed that for me. Most of the time, I was busy finishing my work on the laptop and enjoying coffee breaks with a surreal view right from my balcony. The room is compact and cosy with simple wooden furnishings and dreamy yellow lamps. A nicely done bed and a neat and clean washroom with all amenities like hot water geyser, toiletries and a balcony with a view. You would find a floor rug and a small cabinet with extra blankets for extremely cold weather. It only shows the thoughtfulness and planning that has gone into making and maintaining this homely abode. Generally, when I visit a cold place and stay in a hotel, I have to ask for extra comforters. This beforehand concern, to ensure the comfort of guests, pleased me.
The Roof-Top Café & Food: I never found the cafe vacant, not even once. People, especially youngsters, frequently visit here. You can sit in this roof-top café with a view, read books, work and spend hours with some good food at your disposal. As earlier mentioned, each corner is distinct. The décor elements are made of bike gears and are very interesting to see. You would find glass tables decorated with bike gears, stools made of motorbike seats with a spring, tissue holder made of nut and bolt, lampshades made of some iron spikes, I am sure they are called something in riders’ lingo. They have a washbasin area with a Yamaha oil tanker used as a water dispenser, Rajdoot accessory made into a soap dispenser and a bike tyre into a washbasin. If you have to witness the height of creativity, zeal for standing out and passion for your work, Ride Inn is the place to be. One part of the cafe is converted into a dining area and is extremely vibrant. They have made a dining table from a scooter (Bajaj Chetak) with serving bowls mounted on the top. Then there is a comfortable floor-seating arrangement with a view on one side and a slightly sophisticated seating arrangement with wooden tables, chairs and bean bags on the other. The centre of the café has a furnace made of barrels. A vibrant wall with stickers all over and interesting travel quotes on walls everywhere are sure to inspire you to travel more and of course to revisit Ride Inn whenever feasible.
The food at Ride Inn needs a special mention because the owners Sneh & Godwin are chefs themselves. So you can imagine how carefully they must have put the menu in place. Each cuisine is carefully curated by them and passed on to the chef in charge. The food is sumptuous. I have had the best of foods but whatever I ate here was a perfect balance of spices, aroma and taste. The presentation is simple yet chic. A lot of attention has gone into the cutlery to complement the furnishings. Once you have absorbed all of this, try their divine dessert. My personal favourite is Apple Caramel Blondie. It tastes heavenly! Slightly warm and melts in your mouth to leave a creamy, caramelized taste to relish for long. Everything on the menu is so perfect that you might feel satiated but can never get bored eating the same dish.
Good Hospitality and Service: Right since the time I stepped in to Ride Inn till I checked out, I found the staff and management extremely courteous, helpful and always on their toes. They guided us on various things. They told us about the place, food, explained the menu thoroughly without rushing and served us the best and most delectable dishes we had ordered. If I sound too full of praises, please know that it is worth it. After all, it is a well-trained staff that makes your stay an exceptional one. No matter how good a hotel is, if you do not find them hospitable enough, you ruin your mood and eventually the trip. Ride Inn hospitality is good.
More About the Owners – Sneh & Godwin, the owners of this place have too many things in common. Call it a coincidence or destiny; they are both professional hairdressers and chefs and have an unparalleled love for travel. The duo is making excellent use of their commonalities and serving fellow travellers with the finest of experiences in the form of Ride Inn. After exploring India extensively in the last many years, they fell in love with the Himalayas and decided to make it their home. Being hair artists, they also offer salon services at Ride Inn (I’m yet to explore). Constructing a luxurious building is one thing, infusing life through experiences, intricacies and cautions another. And, that is what the two masterminds have done through Ride Inn.
If you ever visit this place, do not just stay here like you do in any other hotel. Instead, feel the emotions that go in every bit and the very existence of this place. Observe; to learn how you can make a difference if you are passionate about something. You got to feel this place more than just staying in at Ride Inn. So next time when you visit Manali, you know your favourite dwelling. Ride in to Ride Inn!