First Impression of Kovalam

I am not one to lose my calm when I am around my parents. Why? Because they’re capable of doing it without my help. They lose their marbles at the drop of a hat which is why, even if I want to, I can’t. But, they know, that if I start to panic, there really is something to worry about.

Headed to Kovalam had me worried. We had a super early flight and somehow, we were extremely close to missing it. We made it inside the airport with minutes to spare and my bad choices had me swearing under my breath, incessantly. The one time I should have worn sneakers, so that I could do all the running around with ease, I decided on 6 inch heels.

Poor judgement aside, we boarded our flight without much of a delay.

A stop over later, we had landed in Trivandrum.  After a fifteen odd minute drive , we were pulling into the breathtakingly beautiful resort, Vivanta by Taj. Beautifully structured and designed around waterfalls and forestry, the resort oozed serenity and calm. Welcomed with shell garlands, we settled down to cool ourselves, sipping on some refreshing coconut water while our backs were taken to our room.

Having toured all that we could of the resort while the receptionist was confirming the details of our check-in, we decided to stop by the sea. It gave us time to have a quick trip down to the beach, something, all of us were quite eager to visit.

The sun was at its peak, there was salt in the air and the waves were crashing relentlessly on the rocks.

Yes, my vacation had indeed begun.

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We then headed back to the resort where our lovely concierge Roshin surprised us by upgrading us to the Premium Deluxe Suite. Let me just say, the room was spectacular. With a gorgeous sea view, a panoramic view of the resort, two balconies and a walk in bathroom, I was all but ready to kick my heels off and collapse into the relaxing environment that was beckoning me, enticing me never to return to reality.

Having not had lunch, I decided on treating myself to Roasted chicken breast with rosemary, potato mash, mushroom jus and sautéed vegetables.

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I got quite obsessed with mushroom jus by the end of it, my father being witness to it. He actually caught me with my finger dipped deep in the jus, unabashedly treating it like a jar of nutella.


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On our way to the sea in the evening, we got to see more of the resort, landscape and design of the resort and everything it had to offer as we bumped along on the cute buggy that was driving us there.

Processed with VSCO with f3 presetProcessed with VSCO with f2 presetRight next to the beach was a small lagoon. A boatman would, every forty minutes, seat three to four people in his boat and take them around the lagoon. Just as the sun was setting, we got into the wobbly boat, wearing extremely unflattering lifejackets. The boat ride was quaint. The stillness of the water breaking every time the oars splashed, was possibly the only sound one could hear, with the occasional screech or hoot of birds in the surrounding environment. None of us spoke. We simply absorbed the rustic beauty surrounding the village; the swoosh of the oars, hum of the boat floating slowly and our gentle breathing, creating a mild tune to keep us company.

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The water was so still, everything was a mirror reflection on its surface. On our way back, once the boat had turned around, we got to witness the sun setting. Shades of pink, purple and orange kissed the skies and watching it, had my heart fluttering at its beauty.

With our feet back on solid ground, we relaxed some more on the beach.  Eager to let loose the water soul I host, we headed back. The swimming pool in the resort was beautiful to say the least and I really wanted to dip my toes in and swim, something I hadn’t done in ages!

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The design of the swimming pool mimicked the infinity pools that have become so famous, with one side of the pool not walled, instead, ending in a steep drop. The view on the unwalled side of the pool was basically, a never ending view of the sea and the sky meeting, two distinct shades of blue, shaking hands.

Dad decided to give me company while I swum. Having not swum in ages, I decided to really push myself. By the end of it, my muscles were on fire, something I actually enjoyed. While I headed back for an extremely relaxing and LONG bubble bath, my parents headed for their spa appointments.

I think I dozed off in the bath. The warm water and the heady scent of lotus from the bubbles had me relaxed and I lost track of time. When I got out, I felt so sleepy. It was a good kind of exhaustion, not the kinds where you are weary and want to curl up and cry. Donning a bathrobe, I collapsed on the couch, all set with my book. Soon, my parents returned from their spa appointments, smelling of oils and looking, well…sticky.

Dinner was as succulent as lunch. I treated myself to Garlic butter prawns for an entrée and Pesto pasta for my main course. For dessert, I chose Tiramisu with shaved coffee flavoured chocolate.

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Well fed, relaxed to the point that our limbs were almost jelly-like, we hit the bed. For the first time, in what seems like forever, I fell asleep immediately. Actually, I didn’t even realise I had fallen asleep. Middle of the night, when I awoke, parched and in search of a water bottle, did I realise that I had fallen asleep and had been tucked into my bed by my Dad. Slightly embarrassing but adorable too, I’d say.

My first day in Kerala was perfect in every way!




Bidding Sarah farewell was an adventure of its own. She had to take a bus from Agios Nikolaos to the airport, so we decided to make a trip of it.

We left early morning so as to have more time on our hands to explore Agios Nikolaos. Despite it being 8 or so, the sun was bearing down on us, making us sweat like crazy.

Unlike Ierapetra, Agios Nikolaos attracts more tourists and is more stereotypically Greek in its layout. The landscape is similar to Santorini with more white exteriors and architecture. The terrain isn’t flat and has a lot of uphill/downhill driving unlike Ierapetra which is flat and stretched out.

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Since none of us had grabbed breakfast, we stopped by one of the finer Greek cafes which were reputed to serve the best frozen yoghurt and coffee. As is well known of me, I conveniently forgot to document the name of this cafe. Oops. BUT, the frozen yoghurt, oh my god! I am very selective about my yoghurt, half of them taste medicinal to me. I was therefore, weary, despite Mary urging me otherwise. I gave in and ordered a frozen yoghurt with muesli, mangoes and cranberries.


My extremely divine yoghurt.

I fell in love with it. Is it possible to fall in love with food, because I did. I guzzled down the yoghurt within three, maybe four spoonfuls and was already contemplating, ordering another one. Unfortunately, my extremely massive cup of coffee decided for me. Now when I think of it, my order must have seemed so weird, piping hot coffee with a size of Fro Yo. Hah!

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Once we had catered to the needs of our tummies, we decided to head out to the bus stop to drop Sarah off. Unfortunately, Mary was unfamiliar with the directions. Greeks are so incredibly sweet! Even if they were unaware of the route, they still tried to help. This didn’t bode well for us, since we were more often than not, sent off into the wrong direction. The time spent following the wrong paths had us all tensed since we were all worried Sarah might not make it. In our panic, we also almost died at one point. Dipa had taken over the steering wheel since Sarah was too stressed to drive. We were going uphill and had to stop, to get directions obviously, when the car started rolling backwards. I think all of us swallowed our screams and thankfully, Dipa got back on track and we didn’t encounter anymore almost-accidents. Thankfully, just in the nick of time, we reached the station and we made sure Sarah boarded her bus.

Once we bid adieu to her, post relaxing and freshening up, we headed to Mochlos.

Mochlos is a small village that serves food right by the sea. The view is absolutely breathtaking but getting there isn’t easy. The roads are winding and topsy-turvy. One has to be extremely skilled to drive down the roads to get to it but the views on the way are spectacular. On our way there, we stopped at Panorama, a tourist spot from where you can take pictures and get a wonderful view of the horizon.

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Come evening time, we had safely arrived at Mochlos. We seated ourselves at Kapilio where we all decided to dine, pescetarian style.

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Spaghetti with octopus braised in red wine.

While Dipa and Tony decided to order the fish platter which had an assortment of fish, Mary and I decided to have Spaghetti with fish on the side. I loved my dish and still dream of tasting it again, sometime soon. Having never tried octopus before, it was a first for me and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I think I prefer it more than squid now, which is saying something.

While we dined, we had the most beautiful view. Honestly, I don’t think any meal since, has trumped my experience there.

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As it was getting quite late, we decided to head back, which was another adventure of its own. The roads were pitch black with no reflectors placed anywhere, nor were there any lamp posts. It was a little scary, especially when turning on the mountainside, since there was no way of knowing if there was a car headed from the opposite direction until too late, but we reached home, safe and sound, nonetheless. We crashed soon after, the sights of Mochlos making for the perfect dream.


Oh Polpo !

On the days that I am extremely bored and could actually find counting grains of sand extremely interesting, one might see me scrolling through the Zomato app on my phone, drooling over pictures of food, wishing dearly I could eat all of them.

One such occasion had me looking into a Venetian restaurant called Polpo. Next thing you know, I was a woman on a mission, convincing my friends to make a plan so we could try out the food this restaurant had to offer. Soon enough, I had everyone’s agreement and we found ourselves dressed up and ready to eat !

Situated very close to Charring Cross, Polpo has a very cozy interior with quite the romantic feel to it. Lowly lit candles are placed at each table and the playlist is in sync with the atmosphere.


We were seated the minute we entered. The waitress serving us was proficient and made us very very happy when she said there would be a constant serving of food and that we wouldn’t have to wait at any point of time for our food.

Since the menu had so many options to choose from, we decided to order two or three dishes each and then have everyone share it. This turned out to be an excellent idea since we ended up ordering sixteen dishes all of which were lip smackingly good and had us patting our content bellies.

While the girls were used to me fidgeting with my camera and clicking pictures of the food, the two dashing men in our group were not. Being the wonderful gentlemen that they are, both Finn and Ian patiently waited while I snapped away at their food.

Now, get ready for A LOT of food people…

Ian, whom I fondly call Yeti (Ladies, he is quite the good looker, please don’t think otherwise based on the pet name I have for him) always enjoys a drink with his meal. So, besides the Negroni that he sipped on through the course of our meal, Yeti ordered a plate of Bruschetta served with Coppa, Peperonata and Goat Cheese. He also ordered a plate of Grilled Herbed Polenta and a main dish of Rabbit meat served with Apricots and Sage Terrine.

Coppa, Peperonata and Goat Cheese Bruschetta.

Grilled Herbed Polenta.

Rabbit meat with Apricots and Sage Terrine.

Might I also add that I got to taste and enjoy a variety of ingredients I had never tried before in my life and it was an enjoyable experience. I had never tried Rabbit before or as Dipa puts it, Bugs Bunny, but I really liked the taste of the meat, the same way I did the Octopus, which Dipa had ordered ! Read on to know and drool some more my lovely Marauders.

Dipa being the pescetarian that she is, ordered the Salmon Tartare with Horseradish and Carta di Musica. She also decided on the Octopus served with Fennel Carpaccio and the White Anchovy and Smoked Mozzarella pizzette.

Salmon Tartare with Horseradish and Carta di Musica.

Octopus with Fennel Carpaccio.

White Anchovy and Smoked Mozzarella.

Mary and Finn decided on sharing a plate of  Cicheti which served one piece of a variety of small bites. We sliced them for all to share and thank god we did cause or else, we all would have been missing out on some real tasty snacks. Alongside that, Mary chose the Wild Mushroom Piadina and a plate of Meatballs ‘alla Vedova’ which was beef meatballs cooked in breadcrumbs.


Wild Mushroom Piadina.

Meatballs ‘alla Vedova’.

Besides the Cicheti, the adorable and last-undergraduate-to-leave-the-hall, Finn, decided on the Spinach, Parmesan and Soft Egg Pizzette and a plate of Classic Beef and Pork Meatballs.

Spinach, Parmesan and Soft Egg Pizzette.

Classic Beef and Pork Meatballs.

After being quite indecisive, I decided on the Rustego, Chestnut Mushroom and Ricotta Pizzette, a plate of Meatballs and Spaghetti with Parmesan on the side and the Pork Belly served with Radicchio and Hazelnuts.

Rustego, Chestnut Mushrooms and Ricotta Pizzette.

Meatballs and Spaghetti with Parmesan on the side.

Pork Belly with Radicchio and Hazelnuts.

Fun story while we’re at it…While everyone was busy diving into their food, I was sitting there, fork and knife in hand, enjoying mini bites of every one’s dishes, wondering out loud why my dishes weren’t being served. Everyone expressed their own curiosity regarding it excepting one particular human in our group.

Any guesses as to who it was ?

It was none other than Yeti.

Would you like to know why ?

Well, I’ll tell you. It was only when Yeti dearest was served his Rabbit dish that he realised he was on his fourth course whereas he had ordered just three. Realisation hit seconds later, and a horror struck Yeti turned to me and confessed that he had all along been happily munching on my Pizzette.

*Round of applause for Yeti*

But but but…being the gentleman he is, he ordered me another plate so all was forgiven !!

Once we had cleared out all our plates, we took a break from all the eating and decided to just enjoy the music and chit chat for some time. Mary and I though had other plans. Having eyed the desserts, we couldn’t hold ourselves back and ended up ordering the Nutella Pizzetta. Dipa decided on joining us by ordering for herself the Chocolate Salami.

Nutella Pizzetta.

Chocolate Salami.

Here’s us, post all the eating.

Mary, me, Ian, Finn and Dipa.

Polpo definitely won my heart and the approval of my taste buds. I would like to think of myself as their personal advertiser since I’ve been recommending the restaurant to all who will listen.

It is a wonderful place to enjoy at if you’re looking for a romantic meal or a break from your hectic schedule.

As a customer, I would definitely recommend the Meatballs with Spaghetti, Wild Mushroom Piadina, Cicheti, Pork Belly with Radicchio and Hazelnuts, Octopus with Fennel Carpaccio and the Rustego, Chestnut Mushrooms and Ricotta Pizzette.

Go give it a try Mavericks. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed !!