Malaysia - George Town - Hotel - Sinkeh - Call it home

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Sinkeh (“New comer”) is some kind of treasure you’d want to keep secret. But because owner and stage director Chee Sek Thim puts 20% of the benefits into programming, meaning each guest contributes to support the Penang art scene, a hidden gem has to be unveiled.

 Re-designed to present a contemporary vision to an heritage building, this 19th century straits chinese house, tastefully revamped with wood and concrete, has nine rooms on its 1st and 2nd floor and an art working space on the ground floor. A Library and 2 open patios to chill. It’s rare to love a place so much that you’d come back to a city just for it. Sinkeh is that kind of hotel you can call home.

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ASK: To meet Sek Thim, among other stories, he’ll tell you why there are silk worm cocoons in glass jars near the entrance.

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Mumbai -Must shop- Bungalow8

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Since 2003, Mumbai’s beautifully styled first concept store spotlights the very best of Indian inspired design and fashion.  This is where Madonna and Sting shop when they are in town. From dining and living, bath, bed and fashion, everything is lifestyle connected. Walking thru the shop is like living in a dream house. Bungalow 8’s philosophy is to pair “Indian-ness with global-ness”. Charming.

ASK: For their house designed kimonos to bring some cosiness back home

At the time of writing, the Colaba store was about to move to Churchgate.

An organic pop up restaurant helmed by owner Maithili Ahluwalia’s mother is coming up in September.

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Mumbai -Cosy Brunch- Pali Village Cafe

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A 60’s European style restaurant with an Indian touch makes it one of the cosiest eatery in Mumbai. Heritage tiled floor and exposed walls, the decor itself takes you on a journey. Their menu is highly Mediterranean inspired so don’t expect to find typical local food here, for that you’ll have to go to Pali Bhavan next door. However, for brunch, this is the right place to be. Modern and old fashioned.

ASK: For their buttermilk pancakes. It’s just so good.

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Mumbai -Modern Nostalgia dinner - Pali Bhavan

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Tejal Mathur, who also designed Pali Village Cafe for same owner Mishali Sanghani, definitely has a taste for stylish interiors. Antiques, vintage Indian photographs she has hunted all over the country gives a chic and nostalgic feeling to this fusion Indian food restaurant. Menu gives a wide range of choice from north to south Indian dishes. Light yet delicious.

ASK: For “not too hot” if you fear spicy

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Mumbai -Hotel- Abode Bombay

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Literally “Bombay house”, the only so called “boutique hotel” in Mumbai and old restored guest house is tucked in the heart of Colaba historical heritage district. Tastefully designed and furnished with a vintage 20th colonial century and art decor, the cosy 20 rooms meet all budgets. Complimentary breakfast and Wifi. Very convenient for a first time in the city.

ASK: To meet Lizzie the owner. She has very good city and travel tips.

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Mumbai -Hidden Gem- Cafe Zoe

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This huge loft converted old mill is a hidden gem in Lower Parel area. Tucked in a prolongation of Senapati Bapat Marg, you might have to ask your way a few times before reaching. The blue frog in the same street can be a landmark. When you have to cross city from north to south this is a good stopover for a western meal or drink (live band in the evening).

ASK: To be seated upstairs to get a nice perspective of the cafe.

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Mumbai - Local & global lifestyle- The White Window

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Former film actress Twinkle Khanna, ventured into interior designing and founded The White Window, a décor retailed store which aims to present items with timeless designs. Miss Khanna has won an Interior designer reward since then, and her shop provides a wide range of products from local artisans to globally sourced object and vintage pieces.

ASK: For the Buddha head candles. They never melt. Made in India.

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Mumbai -Feel Good Cafe- The Nutcracker

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This little feel good cafe serves breakfast all day. Friendly owner Anaheeta Bafna created her mostly vegetarian menu with chefs who have worked in well-known establishments such as The Taj Mahal Palace Tower. Their sandwiches and salads are also worth a try, new on the menu is the Chunky Mushroom Burger. Fresh food is prepared in house, and the coffee, using blends of Robusta and Arabica comes from plantations of the southern peninsula region. While desserts are made from fine Belgian chocolate. “The Nutcracker” is also a posh chick headquarter; If you prick up your ears and listen a little you might be able to catch up on the latest gossip, Delightful.

ASK: For their summer cooler and shakes, goes well with anything.

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