Let’s Go On A Road Trip!!

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do by the ones you did. So Throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Explore. Dream. Discover – Mark Twain

After celebrating Christmas together, while returning back Charmi asked “What’s our plan this new year”? Usual house party or clubbing? having thought about it for a while, I said “Let’s Go On A Road trip” The glee in her eyes said that her answer was surely yes. I came back to my place all pumped up, started surfing for places where we could possibly go. Amongst all the places I thought a visit to a not so nearby hill station would be perfect to bring in new year’s eve. I called her up and said lets go to “Mahabaleshwar”

Grand Canyon of Maharashtra! 😉

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Road trip Essentials Check!

We started our trip at around 6:30 in the morning. Driving on the empty roads (that are usually jam packed during the peak hours) was refreshing. Mumbai mornings are just so serene. After listening to our road trip playlist twice and exhausting all the snacks we bought at the pit stop. I enjoyed driving through Western ghats we finally reached Mahabaleshwar at around 12 in afternoon.We checked in a resort named Dreamland.

We explored the property for rest of the afternoon and we found out that the place totally did justice to its name. The gardens, beautiful cottages, yellow, bright pink & purple flowers with myriad hues greeted us. A pleasant atmosphere for a cozy stay. The best way to explore dreamland is to rent bicycles which are available at the reception. The food served in dreamland is fresh and delicious at the same time.They have their own farm wherein they grow organic vegetables and fruits. After having a filling lunch we decided to explore the local market of Mahabaleshwar. Amidst all the local stores we found a shop named Nayan Arts where you get to see antiques and paintings. You can surely think of buying souvenirs from this shop or something for your home

We ended our night listening to soulful songs & ghazals along with the dinner that was being served poolside. After a long and tiring day this was pretty much needed! Next morning we woke up to an invitation card for our new years party that read..

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Theme Party! 

This card had actually left us intrigued. We were both excited as well as curious and were looking forward to an amazing night. Entire staff team was busy decorating the pool side area as per the theme and were working hard to actually recreate an evening in paris. The party actually began right in the afternoon where they had organised a scavanger hunt along with other fun games. After having a fun-filled afternoon we headed back to our room for getting ready.We popped up (Champagne) Sparkling wine and celebrated last day of 2016. Then headed for the new year’s party all decked up. We were then escorted to the table by one of the staff member which was just next to the pool. We were lucky enough! Drinks and starters were served at the table and the dance floor was open. We had an open bar where we could order cocktails, mocktails and shots. After some drinks it was time for us to hit the dance floor, ready to rock and roll. It was a night to remember with the countdown for New Year.The party got mad after 12 am when the bartenders actually came on the dance floor with tequila bottles and randomly caught everyone. Literally made us drink it until our mouth was full. We danced till the wee hours. This was one of the most memorable new years’s eve party.

Next afternoon we just wanted to relax and what better way to refresh than to get yourself a spa appointment. Swedish massage came to our rescue.

In the evening we decided to have a little adventure as it was our last day so we went Go-Karting and also Ziplined through the hills. The Go-Kart tracks at red-button were a replica of ghats and were exciting enough for the people who are an adventure junkie. We decided to catch the sunset  by the venna lake where we booked a private boat.That is the perfect time to go boating. After the sunset the gaming zone comes to life where there are old school games to keep you entertained and bring back your childhood memories. Afzal’s corn pattice and fresh strawberry cream are a speciality and are yummy!!

While returning back to Mumbai we visited mapro gardens for picking up fresh strawberries and raw honey. Wood fired pizzas at mapro are a must have. We also took a detour for our last go karting session (quick adrenaline rush) and came back with a bag full of memories. That’s about our mini vacation.

So do you want to witness cold crisp morning’s? Then Mahabaleshwar is the place to be. Old world charm plus modernity and natural beauty.

P.S. this blog post is written by a Co-Admin. Hope you all are doing well.

Thank you for reading. Hop over to Eat Travel Repeat for more of such posts. Till then keep travelling 🙂

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Eat Travel Repeat? 😀 

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Sula: Finest Vineyard & My First Time There!

One day trips! Hard to find? We plan but never go? You know what we should just go! Planned, unplanned..

“Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you’ll look back and realise they were the big things”

So ofcourse by the title you know that Sula happened! 

Sula Vineyards in Nashik is India’s most famous & most accessible winery. It all began in 1997, when a young, energetic Indian entrepreneur (Rajeev Samant) had a crazy idea of setting up a winery in India. 

The winery is open to visitors, who can enjoy a guided tour, tasting sessions & attend Sula Fest which happens in late February. They’ve also done well to break the myth that wine is for the elitist.

We started out from Mumbai early in the morning at around 8 am & reached Nashik after 4 hours being a weekday. It was a long drive despite usual traffic. Greeted by a bright yellow logo of a sun with a twirling moustache at the entrance, we knew we had arrived at our destination.

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Quirky Sula Logo!

After reaching the vineyard & clicking pictures we went through the whole property, all excited ready to get ourselves soaked in wine! Not really! We straightaway booked for a guided wine tour + tasting sessions, which took us through the whole process of wine making & the rooms were filled with huge barrels of wine stored in it. (The older the better). They charged 250 bucks for that! Pretty cheap with tasting of six wines. Also we were taught the technique of tasting a wine.

  • Hold the glass by the stem or base of the wine glass.
  • The colour reveals a lot about the age of the wine. 
  • Now swirl it in the glass to let some air mix with it.
  • Smell the wine, take a sip and keep it in your mouth for a while and drink it all!
  • This is how wine enthusiasts have their favourite wine.     

Sula Vineyards has a amphitheatre which is beautifully maintained & this transforms into a lively stage during Sula Fest. The garden area is intricately designed with widespread wooden railings, a lotus pond, bright coloured walls & the natural light does wonders with photos.

For lunch we went to Soma which is a neighbourhood vineyard famous for its Indian Restaurant, it drizzled at that time which made it more pleasant. We tried this drink called ‘The Pink Elephant’ which was amaze. Sitting on the first deck overlooking the vineyards was immersive. Further we went to the backwaters which is along Gangapur dam, few minutes from Soma worth visiting.

For your take home memorabilia, Sula has a souvenir shop. They also have a wine shop where one can purchase Sula wines below MRP.

Unfortunately, there was no grape stomping during our visit. The season for stomping is during March. Stomping is done for fun and the grapes you stomp are table grapes & not wine grapes. February is a good time to visit, since Sula organizes their annual Sula Fest. Grape stomping is one of the many things to do at the fest with art, music, dance, food and more WINE! 

Overall it was a happy day 🙂

Update : Next visit up in February. Here are some pictures we clicked. Have a look.

So have you been to any vineyards in or around nashik? Tell me your experience in the comment section below.

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See you later tweets!!