Tea Trails Cafe: Teas & Desserts

Tea Trails Cafe is a company/franchise store chain where you get different varieties of teas, chai, coffee & desserts. Did you know that a Tea is different from Chai? Teas are made without milk but Chai is made with milk and sugar. That was something we learned during a recent bloggers’ meet held at Tea Trails Cafe, Anna Nagar East branch, Chennai.

I have long wondered why there was no Coffee Day for Teas. I mean, India is the largest consumer of chai but we mostly have larger cafes selling only coffees! Me personally being a fan of Tea wanted to see a Tea Day in every locality, and looks like Tea Trails is on their way to achieving just that. Currently, Tea Trails has multiple outlets in major South Indian cities and in Delhi. But they are looking for franchise partners to setup shops in other cities too.

The ambiance at Tea Trails is better than most coffee shops I have been to. Have a look at this slideshow to glimpse inside their Anna Nagar East branch at Chennai. You can also find some foods/desserts we had there –

 


Of course, a cafe is not just a place to go and drink a beverage. It’s also a place to go with others and spend a good amount of time socializing. Tea Trails offers the right ambiance for that.

In tea trails, you don’t get a ready made tea. Instead, since teas are best when freshly brewed, you get a jug with hot water at the bottom and the tea extracts on top. Each tea comes with a card to indicate timing required for brewing and an antique stopwatch to measure how long the tea has been brewed. It seems accuracy is important in the art of brewing tea!

We also had the Indian Chai, Cold Teas, detox teas, herbal teas, etc. My favorite drink there was a cold tea called ‘Better Wife’. The range of desserts offered by them is also impressive. Snacks like vada pav, onion bajji, etc. have also been included in the menu.

I know you are jealous on seeing what all we drank/ate. But what to do – bloggers often get invited for such ‘tasty’ sessions and this time it happened to be us. You can always visit the tea trails store in your city and try some of their offerings 🙂 If you are there for the first time, you might get a small discount too – try asking for it.

Website: Tea Trails India.

Destination Infinity

Doing Business with Belgium – Your Gateway to Europe

Today I went to a seminar titled, ‘Doing Business with Belgium – Your Gateway to Europe’ at Taj Coromandel, Nungambakkam, Chennai. The Council General, Mr. Bart De Groof, Consulate General of Chennai (speaking in the below photo) was among a handful of dignitaries who participated and spoke about trade opportunities for Indians in Belgium and vice versa.

The location of Belgium in Europe is central as it is surrounded by major countries like France, Netherlands, Germany & Luxembourg. That’s why all the speakers stressed on the point that Belgium, more importantly, its capital Brussels, could be the central hub/distribution point for Indian businessmen aspiring to do business in the entire European Union market including the UK.

Belgium has recently introduced direct flights from Mumbai to Brussels, and it also provides faster access to major European capitals both by train and by flight. They told us that Belgium provides access to a qualified workforce with lower minimum wages compared to the neighboring countries. It seems the cost of living in Belgium is also relatively less. Something to note for Indians: Belgium has a double-taxation treaty with India.

Belgium is not only famous for chocolates, waffles, Tintin & fries but is also popular for its diamonds, mirrors, and leather shoes. They mentioned that a huge community of Indians (particularly Gujaratis) have already settled in Belgium and hold a sizable market share in the diamonds business. Of late, many Indian IT companies have setup operations in the country.

Belgium has a dedicated chamber of commerce for South India and has direct Council presence at Chennai and Bangalore. They also offer the following incentives for new companies wanting to open centers in their country by 2020 –

  • First employee (could be the highest paid one too) is tax-free for life.
  • Tax exemption for the next five employees for three years.
  • Brussels foreign investors hub offers their facilities for free for up to three months for companies wanting to evaluate Belgium to set up their operations.

It seems the Indo-Belgian Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce will shortly open portals to enable buying/selling and acquisition between Indian & Belgian businesses. Listing in these portals is free of cost, according to a speaker. There is an Assist Asia consultancy to help Indians connect with people in the Belgian market.

Belgium seems to be enthusiastic about promoting more cross-country trading between India & Belgium. Are the Indian businesses ready?

Useful links: invest-export.brussels ; Consulate-General in Chennai – Belgium in India.

Destination Infinity

‘Know Your Rights’ Information Session by Arappor @ Chennai

“Know Your Rights” is an information/discussion session organized by Arappor this Sunday – Apr. 30, 2017. This event is free of cost to attend for anyone – prior registration by filling up this online form is required.

Time: 3.30 P.M. to 7 P.M.

Place: Jyoti Indira Thirumana Mandapam, Ramasamy Street, Sri Devi Karumariamman Nagar, Valasarawakkam, Chennai – 87. (Behind Tanishq jewellery shop) (Google Maps link for location)

It seems Arappor organizes such sessions regularly. Refer to their Facebook page to know more about their activities and upcoming events.

In this event, the organizers are expected to share their knowledge on how members of the public can interact with Govt. officials and get things done more effectively without paying bribes, etc., among other topics.

Some sessions that you can expect at this event include,

  • How to use RTI – Right to Information
  • How to obtain driving license, etc. without paying bribes
  • How to take up issues like bad roads, open drainage, etc. with officials and how to get it sorted
  • How to safeguard our natural resources like water bodies
  • What are our rights with Police and how to interact effectively with them

For further information about this event, refer to this poster and this FB event page.

I will be going this weekend and will write a blog post covering the highlights of this event once I am back. Glad to support a good initiative through this blog.  I believe that a little contribution from all of us will go a long way in improving our democracy.

Destination Infinity

‘Birds of Prey’ book launch @ Odyssey, Chennai

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‘Birds of Prey’ is a psychological crime thriller written by Archana Sarat who is currently living in Mumbai but was born and brought up in Chennai. On Sat, Jan. 21, I went to the book launch function organized by the author and publisher (Readomania) at Odyssey bookstore, Adyar.

As you can see in the above photo, the book was launched by Actor Sharath Kumar, among other dignitaries. Notable among them is Mr. Raghavan, a 90-year old former administrator and book lover!

Although the book is a work of fiction, the incidents are based on real-life cases of child abuse picked up from court files and interviews of NGO Activists by the author. As this is a topic that is brushed under the carpet by many, some awareness through mainstream fiction is always welcome.

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Here is the author Archana Sarat talking about the journey of publishing her maiden book. I had met Archana before a couple of years when I joined NaNoWriMo Chennai. A bunch of us authors met and wrote through short sprint sessions combined with some fun literary discussions. We even had a full-day writing session one day with a potluck lunch!

So when the author requested me to attend the book launch event at Odyssey, I decided to go as artists need to be encouraged. The author was all praises for the way Chennai came to support the book launch and she mentioned that Chennai is the best city for the support network that exists for art and artists. That seems to be true – the hall was full of people, some were even standing!

One more reason for the crowd may have been due to the presence of Actor Sharath Kumar. I was sitting just four feet away from him when I clicked this photo –

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BTW, Actor Sharath Kumar will be releasing his autobiography ‘Puriyadha Thedal’ shortly. Keep a watch for this book on book stands!

Destination Infinity

Bloggers Meet @ Poompuhar Craft Cafe

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Photo credit: Somu of Woodooz.

Poompuhar Craft Cafe is a joint venture of Sanskrriti gifts and Poompuhar handicrafts, started one month ago. The beautifully decorated cafe is located right next to the Poompuhar showroom at Mount Road, Chennai. It seems this place was a dump yard earlier, but now it has been transformed into a wonderful cafe! The ambiance is awesome with Poompuhar’s handicraft products all along the way & generous bamboo installations.

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Yesterday, they had invited a bunch of us for a blogger’s meet. So me and my wife (yes she has a blog now too) went there to explore the food and meet with the management team. It seems they serve vegetarian, healthy, almost-homemade South Indian food from 4 P.M. to 10 P.M. – for now. They are open if people want to organize private parties during lunch time.

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We were served their South Indian thali along with millet-based Chapati. The chapati & kara-kozhambu (along with ghee) was very nice. I also liked the thenga-sadham (coconut rice) and the sweet. Actually, I like anything sweet 🙂 They also serve healthy millet-based dosas, bajjis, soups, etc. in the evenings. Here is the team managing Poompuhar Craft Cafe 🙂

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You can shop @ Poompuhar and eat here or you can eat here and shop @ Poompuhar. They are open to both 😛 Here are a couple of photos to show you the wonderful ambiance that’s been created inside.

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Here are some photos of the products sold by Poompuhar & Sanskriti on display all along the way. I have more photos, but I don’t want to photo-spam you all 😀

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Destination Infinity

An Indian Coupe Sports Car: DC Design Avanti!

We are familiar with coupe-styled sports cars from global manufacturers, but did you know that there is an Indian designed and Indian manufactured Coupe Sports Car?

Presenting to you: DC Avanti.

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I took the above photos at Express Auto Expo 2016 today at Chennai Trade Center. Mr. Dilip Chhabria (after whom DC Design is named) started out designing and manufacturing accessories for premium cars. But eventually, he saw the need for an ‘affordable’ sports car (around 40 Lac!!) and produced India’s first sports car – DC Avanti.

I love the looks of this car. Only the blue and black versions were available at the expo today, but these cars are available in other (more vibrant) colors too.

Have a look at the below embedded short video made by the company that gives a clearer view of the car –

Hozz ittt? 🙂

Destination Infinity

A Few Interesting Photos from #UrbanTreeJourney

Urban Tree is a construction company based in Chennai. Today, a few of us bloggers were invited to the #UrbanTreeJourney event where their staff showed us around few of their upcoming projects. In this post, I present to you a few photos taken from three of Urban Tree’s upcoming residential properties in Chennai – Wow (Medavakkam), Oxygen (Perumbakkam) & Fantastic (Vanagaram). I will write a detailed blog post about this visit, the company, and their apartments in my other blog – Chennai.buzz. I will link it from here once it is ready.

For now, enjoy a few interesting pics clicked by me in this event:)

Urban Tree - Spiderman room!

Urban Tree - Crystal decoration

Urban Tree - LED Street Light

Urban Tree - Fancy bookshelf and lights

Urban Tree - Demo house

Urban Tree - Demo bedroom

Destination Infinity

My New Venture: Listing of Weekend Events in Chennai

Weekend events in Chennai

Hi people,

I want to introduce my newest venture: Chennai.buzz, a site that lists interesting weekend events and buzz in Chennai. If you have ever wondered what to do on weekends in Chennai, subscribing to that blog by email is a good idea! You’ll get one mail on Friday nights with a list/summary of events on Saturday & Sunday.

Actually, I wanted such a site for myself, but didn’t find one that was comprehensive and good enough. So I thought why not create one. I was already trying to do a bit of event-listing in Destination Infinity itself, but realized I need a separate domain. So all Chennai event related posts will go there from now.

I love that domain name – Chennai.buzz. I was initially hesitant to buy this as .buzz is not popular yet. Wait, I might be the first person to buy a .buzz domain from India! But, since the speciality of .buzz domain is events, I went ahead, took a risk and bought it anyway. Besides, I didn’t get ‘Chennai.TLD’ with any other top level domain!

So if you are in Chennai, subscribe to my new blog to find out what’s buzzing in town 🙂

Here is the RSS feed link for Weekend Events Summary category.

Destination Infinity

Book Launch: Ganga Bharani’s Young Adult Romance/Coming of Age Novel

Today I went to the book launch event of Author Ganga Bharani. She launched her third book, ‘A Sip of Love and A Sip of Coffee’, at AVM Studios. The book has been published by Story Mirror and is a Young Adult Romance cum Coming of Age novel.

The book was launched by Director Balaji Mohan (center, white shirt), Director Nanda Kumar (left, red shirt), GB’s close friend Deepthi, GB’s husband, GB’s father, and Devendra Jaiswal of Story Mirror. All of them can be seen in the above photo.

That’s GB’s 10-year old intelligent nephew who reviewed GB’s earlier books on the stage! Many of GB’s family, friends, and relatives were present to encourage the young author while a few of us from Chennai Bloggers Club were also there for the same reason.

The event was hosted by another upcoming author Kavipriya. Future star singer Pavithra Vasudevan inaugurated the event with a devotional song, and continued with a nice medley. Here is a short video clip with one of the songs sung by her,

I hope readers will encourage young writing talent by buying a copy of Ganga Bharani’s latest book – A Sip of Love and A Sip of Coffee. Here is the video trailer for the book.

Destination Infinity