Monday, 28 March 2016

Love is a young green willow,

“Love is a young green willow shimmering at the bare wood's edge”
William Carlos Williams 

The living willow

SiĆ¢n was keen to learn more about creating willow structures with living willow so we ventured into west Gloucestershire, hill country, on the edge of the Forest of Dean. Wild country. Strange country.

Across the day she learnt how to construct a standard living willow structure from start to finish. The day covered site selection, suitable willow varieties and the 4 golden rules, these are key to making successful long-lived willow structures.

Detail here http://bit.ly/wiloh The expert tuition was under sown with handouts with instructions and diagrams to take home.

I saw this day as an opportunity for some fine churching activity.  As Mr. J* says
‘The country is not all Cotswold. The earliest Saxon missionaries made their way inland up the river Severn, where relics of their incursions are found . . .


*England’s 1000 Best Churches by Simon Jenkins

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Bangalore Nights: The final evening

Dakshin resturant Bangalore: a temple of lovely food

My last night in Bangalore and my dear friend Preetham took me to a memorable place the Dakshin restaurant in the Windsor Lodge hotel. This former Raj palace is set on a hill which overlooks many of the ministry buildings of the city

The dining room displays the Windsor's high colonial style to perfection. Elegant colonnades, fluted pillars, and brilliant chandeliers create the right setting. 

This part of India is rightly proud of cuisine. Preetham cherry-picked from cooked delicacies from across the southern states of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. He explained each dish as it arrived, escorted by waiters dressed head to toe in white, as if sacristans at the high altar of southern Indian cuisine.

A blessed occasion.

Southern India:  a land of exciting cuisine 

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Bangalore Nights: A visit to the greenhouse – move over Monty Don

Lal Bagh Glass House


Sriram took me to the Lal Bagh Botanical Gardens The gardens were originally commissioned by Hyder Ali, the ruler of Mysore, and later finished by his son Tipu Sultan.

I was keen to see the famous glasshouse which Sriram said hosts two annual flower shows. The foundation stone for this impressive Glass House, modelled on London's Crystal Palace, was laid on 30 November 1898.


As we made our way through the gardens a late afternoon with sun began to set behind marvellous wrought iron bandstands and pergolas. People were walking or sitting and chatting, again this Bangalorian scene was garnished by colourful saris.


Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Bangalore Nights: The Mavalli Tiffin Rooms

Tea time in the Mavalli Tiffin Rooms


My good friend Sriram took me to The Mavalli Tiffin Rooms (commonly known as MTR). It is a restaurant located on the Lal Bagh Road in Bangalore.

Remarkably it has branches in Singapore, Dubai and London.  Facebook fans ask when the MTR are coming to California! 

MTR was founded as a restaurant by Yajnarayana Maiya and his brothers in 1924 and has been popular and successful ever since. It is a simple restaurant serving classic south Indian dishes such as rava idli, masala dosa and chandrahara (yum yum). 

Sriram told me that for many years, the customers entered the restaurant through the kitchen so that they would be able to satisfy themselves about the restaurant's cleanliness before they ate there. 

We enjoyed a lovely meal before our walk through the Lal Bagh Botanic Gardens. 

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Bangalore Nights: Down the pub

A little bit of beer in Bangalore

Bangalore Nights: Down the pub
Each a long drive back from the factory, there and back along the highway. The heat and dust was bejewelled by women in such lovely sari’s selling fresh vegetables by the side of the road. 

Once back in the bosom of the city refreshment was needed.
 Local colleague Daniel took my to his favourite pub called 1522.  Three large beers (of me) and some Indian snacks and we were both replete as the place started to fill up fast with young people. It is a fact that Bangalore has more pubs than any other city in Asia.  Marvellous.



Bangalore Nights: Down the pub
Each a long drive back from the factory, there and back along the highway.
The heat
and dust was bejewelled by women in such lovely sari
s
trading by the side of the
road. Once back in the bosom of the city refreshment was needed.
Local colleague Daniel took my to his favourite pub called 1522. Three lar
ge beers
(of me) and some Indian snacks and we were both replete as the place star
ted to fill
up fast with young people. It is a fact that Bangalore has more pubs tha
n any other
city in Asia. Marvelpub
Each a long drive back from the factory, there and back along the highway.
The heat
and dust was bejewelled by women in such lovely sari
s
trading by the side of the
road. Once back in the bosom of the city refreshment was needed.
Local colleague Daniel took my to his favourite pub called 1522. Three lar
ge beers
(of me) and some Indian snacks and we were both replete as the place star
ted to fill
up fast with young people. It is a fact that Bangalore has more pubs tha
n any other
city in Asia. Marvellous.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Bangalore Nights: The Sky at Night


Star gazing in Bangalore
Restaurants were you can enjoy the night sky and stars directly above your head are not commonplace. This is why the Persian Terrace is a lovely place to eat.  Every table provides the opportunity to star gaze.

The Persian Terrace is part of the Grand Sheraton Hotel in Bangalore were I was extremely lucky to be billeted for a week. The service was brilliant, so much so that my main course arrived first, followed moments later by my starter and both were excellent.


I thought it was strange to have a Persian restaurant in a Indian hotel until my local colleagues reminded me that the Mogul invasion of India originated from Persia and the culinary bonds were therefore strong.