{Review} Where there’s tea, there’s hope : Assam 1860 Black Tea

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I never thought of myself as a tea drinker or any kind of beverage drinker. But off late, I have been fancying a lot of flavours in green tea. A green tea mid-morning or early evening really helps me rejuvenate. Alongside, I have been really enjoying my cup of black tea that the good folks from Assam 1860 sent me from the tea gardens of Dibrugarh, Assam. 

I have my cup with fresh mint and a dash of honey. The flavour is smooth, strong and so refreshing. With the cup of Assam 1860 in my hand, I savour my quiet time with a book or simply listen to the sounds of life outside my apartment.  This special brand of tea has really brought out the hibernating poet in me.

Today I would like to sit and read
With a cup of life in my hands
My strong black tea.
The colour is black with a tinge of gold
 did I just see a whirl of hope?
 Life's just passing by today
 and I don't have a care
 Is it the tea that I sip that makes me dare?
People say, where there's tea, there is hope
 I have reason to believe that is true
 And I give all the credit to my brew.

A bit about the brand : James Warren Tea Limited, a company with history dating back to 1858, has launched a premium tea brand  named ‘ASSAM 1860” . This tea is available through our site  www.assam1860.com, and delivered currently localy in India. The packing of the tea bags variant is in innovative nylon bags while they also have loose tea in different sizes in a zipper pack to ensure freshness. The tea is all from Thowra Tea Estate in the Moran Circle.

DSC_0001  James Warren Tea Limited, a company with history dating back to 1858, has launched a premium tea brand  named ‘ASSAM 1860” . This tea is available through their site  www.assam1860.com, and delivered currently locally in India. The packing of the tea bags variant is in innovative nylon bags while they also have loose tea in different sizes in a zipper pack to ensure freshness. 

James Warren was a retired army general and who later became an entrepreneur. He planted his first tea estate near Dibrugarh and then a few years later settled back in the United Kingdom. He gave the reigns to his 2 nephews who planted several more estates like Dhoedaam and Deamoolie. It is said that these 2 boys were very fond of music and would play late into the night making a “dum dum” sound so locals renamed the region “Doom Dooma.

(Information courtesy :Asssam 1860 marketing team)

DSC_0010I am already nervous that my sachets are dwindling from everyday use and soon I will be left with none. But then I shall have the memories safe in my taste buds of the the afternoons spent with alone in the company of my strong brew and my favourite book.

Indulge your senses at Rimal Spa, Movenpick Hotel

While health is the state of the body, wellness is the state of being. Day to day stress of work, managing a house, keeping up with social commitments takes a toll. Going to the gym may feel like an act of taking care of the body, but the lifting of weights, running on the treadmill stresses out my muscles and I find myself constantly complaining of some ache or pain everyday.

The mind commands the body to keep pushing but the body seems to saying the exact opposite. It is important to keep observing what the body is telling us. People say that wellness is a state of mind but at times, that state of mind needs to be induced. How can you do that? The easiest option would be to go to a spa. Once in a while, I stop everything that I am doing, push my meetings to another day and dedicate a few hours of a day, once every quarter to restore my balance.

This time around it was special because my husband and I were invited by Rimal Spa to try their spa and wellness packages at the Movenpick Hotel.  

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 We happened to visit Rimal Spa on a weekday morning and were quite looking forward our time of R&R. On reaching Movenpick, we were guided to Rimal Spa, where we met with the Spa Manager. The Manager, first explained the concept of the spa where she told us that Rimal Spa is a European-style spa with Arabic influence that aims to provide result-driven treatments to its clients. We were seated in the waiting area as our masseuses prepped for our massage. We were offered a rejuvenating herbal drink that really helped us relax. The Spa Manager then took us around explaining the different types of treatment rooms, the services and the different types of treatment products.

What stood out in all the explanation was the attention to detail.

During our short yet detailed tour, we were told that Rimal Spa features 12 treatment rooms, including single treatment suites, one double female suite and two traditional Turkish hammam suites with their own steam rooms and heated wet tables. All treatment rooms have private showers and to ensure privacy, the wellness facility offers segregated male and female wings with relaxation lounges. 

There are different kinds of treatments to choose from at Rimal Spa. There are the regulars like the Aromatherapy massage, the Swedish Massage, the Hot Stone Massage and then there were the very special Hammam treatments, the Well-Being Massage and the Signature Jewels of the Sea Massage. Apart from the massages, there are also body treatments, facials for both men and women. 

Hammam/ Turkish bath suite
Hammam/ Turkish bath suite

 

Turkish Hammam Pot
Turkish Hammam Pot

After our brief tour, we were asked to choose our treatments. I chose a ‘Deep tissue’ massage while the hubby opted for an ” Asian blend”. We were housed in the same suite with double beds which felt very special and private. In my head I was thinking about this being a perfect anniversary or a Valentine’s day gift. 

A Deep Tissue Massage – I chose this one especially because this is a massage that uses firm pressure and friction. Going to the gym 5 days a week and training had really made my muscles tight. This massage promised to relieve stiff, tight and fatigued muscles and joints by releasing tensions and knots on the back, neck and shoulders. I requested my masseuse to also focus on my calves in particular. My masseuse’s deft hands worked their magic and after an hour + 30 minutes of massage, my body felt light and relaxed. It felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders and calves and I felt fresh and full of energy. 

The Asian Blend – The hubby tried the Asian blend which uses Thai massage combined with aromatherapy oils, acupressure and special stretching techniques. This 90 minute massage was meant to relax, increase flexibility and boost the immune system. After the treatment, I heard him humming a tune on our way home which proved that he was in a great mood.

Hot stone massage
Hot stone massage

What stood out for me?

1. Great attention to the customer’s comfort

2. Great choice of treatments and products that not are not restricted to body massage. There are special kinds of non-invasive treatments for face and body lifts. There are special treatments meant for pregnant women as well. I wish I could have got one when I was pregnant!

3. The ambiance is very relaxing with soothing music and that herbal tea really caught my fancy. I wish I could have a cup now!

4. The staff is very courteous and knowledgeable. All doubts are dispelled promptly and every request is catered to with great warmth. 

The Rimal spa experience for me was one of a kind that helped me unwind and forget about my tensions. When I caught up with the busyness of life yet again, it felt like I had a new- found source of energy inside me. I certainly look forward to trying the Hammam experience during my next visit.

To book an appointment with Rimal Spa, call 17460051 or go to their website

Photos : The Movenpick Hotel

This was a sponsored post but the views expressed are solely mine.

Doe a Deer : One-stop-shop for elegant baby shopping

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Looking for something elegant for your baby to wear? Something festive and one of a kind? Then you really should check out Doe a Deer in Hamala. An exquisite boutique for children-wear from the age of 0 – 6 years. I had the opportunity to visit the store a month back and I was spellbound by how elegant and gorgeous it was on the inside. The decor is classy, minimalist and in a beautiful gold, white and beige. This says a lot about the thought given to bring all the elements like the look, feel of the store to match the product, thereby making the shopping experience very harmonious. 

 DSC_0037 With decor so classy, the product on the shelves is bound to be just as splendid. I was obviously more interested in the collection meant for five-year-old girls. Beautiful azure-coloured summer coats, short frilly frocks in beige, whites, gold and all versions of pastel. The collection at display was ‘elegance’ personified. I made Mimi try out a beautiful mediterranean – inspired summer coat and her whole look changed from casual to celebratory.

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Doe a Deer was born from the want of a boutique where mothers’- would-be and new could find something festive and one of the kind, just like their babies. The name, which evoked in me plenty of flashbacks from one of my favourite movies – The sound of music, made me hum the song – Doe a Deer endlessly. 

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FotorCreated4Stylish prams, cribs, baskets, baby essentials like bottles, bibs, sterilizer kit etc. are available at an affordable price. Soft toys made with child -safe cloth and material is definitely worth buying for your tiny tot. 

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I was so tempted to buy all the tiny baby clothes but was reminded that I didn’t need them anymore. The boutique is spread out on two floors with clothes and baby accessories on both. With sophisticated decor and a pleasant staff to assist, shopping at Doe a Deer is nothing short of a wonderful experience. 

FotorCreated2I enjoyed my experience at Doe a Deer and I would recommend that you should definitely check it out if you are looking to buy the prettiest stuff on the island for your little one. 

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If you want to take a look at their collection, you ought to follow them on Instagram : @DoeaDeerBahrain. They have their new summer collection being unveiled in a few days.

So if I have to describe Doe A Deer’s collection in 3 words, I would say:

1. Elegant

2. Effortless

3. Unique

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{Restaurant Review} Ninos Restaurant, Seef

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You walk into Nino’s restaurant in Seef’s Aali Mall, in the afternoon, you will be greeted with a scene of busy office – going lunch goers hurriedly yet enjoyably having their lunch. The servers at Nino skillfully glide through the aisles between the tables with guests, juggling plates of piping hot food and colourful drinks. It is a typical scene at any restaurant, you would say. But to me, there was this sense of harmony, in every bit of activity that went on while my food review exercise progressed. Perhaps the only awkward spot would have been me and the commissioned photographer who unsuccessfully tried to get one shot of me without my mouth full of food. 

The restaurant review at Ninos was a planned one with Obai & Hill and the O Talent group of lovely people. A planned review is a misnomer. Food, as we all know, attaches to itself that element of discovery and surprise. Even if you have been to a restaurant many times or if it is your first time, the food and the overall experience can always be something you not have expected.  I have been to Ninos several times before this and each time I rapidly jumped the menu to order something from their ‘weight watchers’ section (with a side of my favourite fries)

This was my opportunity to sample Nino’s best and see if they stood up to their promise. Nino’s serves Japanese and Italian crowd-pleasing dishes to its patrons. To some, this may come across as grossly mismatched but I do not mind ordering a platter of mixed Maki and edemame with Italian favourites at the same time. Good food, after all, is good food. 

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Chipotle chicken and avocado sliders

The Restaurant Manager, Mr. Amit was very gracious and excitedly explained about the food served at Ninos. His passion for his work and food shone through the entire conversation, as he explained ingredients, methods of cooking and other finer details. 

First came the soup – Zuppa de Funghi – a mushroom soup enriched with herbs and cream. A soul-satisfying soup that will fill you up with warmth, spoon by spoon. I thoroughly enjoyed this soup and I must warn you that all the portions at Ninos are American-style – HUGE.

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Chicken avocado salad

 The Avocado and chicken salad was the next dish served as a side, which in my opinion, could very well be the main. Thinly sliced chicken breast, avocado, mixed lettuce, pomegranate, toasted pine nuts tossed with Chicken jus – white vinaigrette. I enjoyed the mildly seasoned chicken and the slight bite from the avocado and the pine nuts. Felt that this salad came together beautifully with the dressing. ( Highly recommended)

As the review progressed, I was also served a rejuvenating cold drink which is Nino’s specialty. I must tell you, it is just the kind of drink that I needed to awaken all my senses. A tangy, sweet, peppery lemonade that was laced with the flavours of ginger cordial, coriander, mint, lemon, lemon grass and cranberry juice. This is called the Igano ( not in the picture).  This is a must-have because it isn’t a drink like any other. 

If bite-sized meal is your thing, then the next on the list to- order should be the chipotle chicken and avocado sliders. This is why I like Ninos. There is avocado in every other dish and avocados make everything taste amazing! These bite-size wonders are flavour bombs and quite filling. 

Just when I thought, this is where I should really end my meal, I was served a platter of food from heaven. All bite -sized morsels, deep fried, filled with cheese and served piping hot, have the power to heal all your emotional problems. Every bite was a warning that I did not heed because during such times in your life, you just ought to follow your heart. The deep fried morsels were Fritto funghi – crumbed white mushrooms, filled with chicken fontina, parmesan and herbs and Chicken Tenders- crumbed chicken breast tenders served with parmesan dip

A platter of Fritto funghi, chicken tenders and other such divine deep fried morsels
A platter of Fritto funghi, chicken tenders and other such divine deep fried morsels

 To me, Nino restaurant represents quality, fantastic tasting, tummy-warming food served consistently and not to mention there is something for everyone at Ninos. If you come here with your family, there wouldn’t be question about whether any one of you might not get what you are craving to eat. Nino’s caters to all palettes, continental cuisine -wise and Asian cuisine-wise too. 

That is why I did not find it out of place to have a sumptuous crab and prawn Maki admidst my Italian fare.

Nino’s just makes it work!

In the end, when I was doubly sure, that dessert was simply not an option, I was presented with a warm date bread pudding with ice cream  ( not in the picture). In between some curses and swears, I savoured my date bread pudding, not minding that I was bursting at the seams. 

For this divine date bread pudding alone, I would urge you to go to Nino’s and while you are enjoying it mark my words –

Happiness is … a warm date bread pudding from Ninos.

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Nino’s also does home deliveries so make sure you order-in on a hectic week day and enjoy the awesome food from Nino’s from the comfort of your home

Location: Seef, Aali Mall

Tel: 17 566 555

Times: Open daily 11am-midnight

Price: BD 10-25 / person

This review was sponsored but all the views expressed are mine