Tracking cherry blossoms in India
The enduring motif of springtime in Japan is the resplendent, candy pink-coloured cherry blossoms that blanket the beautiful country in their soft pink splendour. Surprisingly, the pink blooms also blanket a large part of India. Clusters of cherry blossoms erupt across Khasi hills in North-East India. Meghalaya’s capital city Shillong also hosts the International Cherry Blossom Festival which features live music, pageants, dance recitals, and other events. At Khangchendzonga National Park, a bio-reserve in the north of the state, the species of cherry blossoms found varies from Japan’s Sakura trees. Book a stay at the Cherry Resort in south Sikkim, a property set amid the lush Temi tea gardens that are dotted with cherry trees. Nagaland’s capital Kohima and Mashobra in Himachal Pradesh have orchards that don’t just offer cherry blossom sightings but also apricot, peach, plum, apple and pear trees that fill the landscape with pastel pink, white and purple blooms.
India’s first Himalayan whiskey
If terroir is to whisky what Swiss is to watchmaking (both hold a certain promise of what the final product will be like), then here is an Indian whiskey that focuses on the fact that it comes from the Himalayan region, where the water, which constitutes 60% of any dram, is still pristine and imparts a certain freshness, fed as it is by glacial melts and winter dew drops. Black Bow, India’s first Himalayan whisky, is crafted amidst the mountains in Solan. Made with malts matured for five years at 5906 ft. and Himalayan water, Black Bow is nurtured by the winds and snow of the mountains. Malts are housed in charred oak barrels for slow, gentle maturation. The barrels take on a life of their own as they expand in the summer and contract in the winter. The spirit is doubled distilled and then aged in natural toasted oak that lends the whiskey its characteristic sweet and nutty notes, with an aftertaste of honey.
A motorcycle-guitar collab that spells style
Motorcycle meets music in this wonderful collaboration to support The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, a global charity that works with mental health issues and prostate cancer. The collab between Gibson, said to be the world’s best guitar, and Triumph motorcycles are inspired by a shared historical significance of the year 1959 when the legendary Gibson Les Paul Standard, considered the holy grail of guitars, and the iconic Triumph Bonneville T120, the original British superbike, were launched. The 1959 Les Paul Standard Reissue is a clone of the original, from its authentic sunburnt finish to its trademark tone. The 1959 Legends Custom Edition features the original design details, including hand coach-lined pickguard, inspired by Bonneville’s trademark engine fins and branded truss rod cover. The Legends Edition comes with a one-of-a-kind certificate signed by the CEOs of both brands.
Gemstones in your timepiece
Swiss brand Audemars Piguet’s six new Royal Oak Concept Flying Tourbillon are studded with brilliant gemstone, making them as much dress watches as technological marvels. Haute Horlogerie (watchmaking) meets Haute Joaillerie (jewellery making) in these complex timepieces. They are marked by a variety of brilliant baguette-cut gemstones. While four models are paved with graded blue sapphires, two feature multicoloured gemstones. Finding the right stones, colours and contrasts was no mean feat for timepieces set with as many as 208 baguette-cut graded gems. For the two rainbow models, 12 different types of multicoloured gemstones, such as rubies, tsavorites, emeralds, topaz, tanzanite, amethysts, and various coloured sapphires, have been used. The progressing shades of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple emphasise the geometry of the case and bezel. The first model combines a diamond-set case and dial with a baguette-cut rainbow bezel, while the other has been fully paved with brilliant-cut multicoloured gemstones.
Dedicated to the Supernovas
The new collection by Amit Agarwal will remind you of the kind of clothes Ranveer Singh sports. Agarwal is a designer known for using non-traditional materials and reinventing Indian silhouettes. His Spring 2022 collection across couture, luxury pret and classic brand pieces is dedicated to “a higher breed that adapts to change and rejoices new connections. Supernova takes its inspiration from the very the journey of a star — a spectacle that illuminates the sky with unreal colour and stellar luminosity”. The designer has used his signature polymer techniques and textiles for the collection, which are rather featherlight and fluid for the material used. The result: luminous garments that shimmer in a monochrome palette of grey, silver, mica shimmer the qualities of zen and balance. The men’s collection features tuxedos, waistcoats, kurtas with draped pants and, long shirts.
Desserts that evoke nostalgic
They came to me in a rather deconstructed manner: a sorbet (never eaten one in childhood), what looks like strawberry sauce, and some crumbly biscuit. And yet, when put together, they reminded me of all that strawberry cream and ice cream or the chocolate cakes I have feasted on in childhood. That is the thing about the new dessert menu, Nostalgia X Evolution, rolled out by Burma Burma across six cities—Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Noida, and Gurgaon. The desserts look like something that a European pâtissier has put out but are evocative of desi flavours we are familiar with, suffused as they are with jaggery, cheese, mango, and cashew. The menu, designed by Chef Vinesh Johnny and Chef Prathana Narang of Lavonne Academy, is inspired by childhood memories. Burma Burma’s co-founder Ankit Gupta says, "It reminds me of the gajar ka halwa made at home, strawberries in winters, and gooey chocolate cake. This menu is an ode to these ’90s childhood memories.”