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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Photos: The colourful sights of a Rythu Bazaar

For some travellers, experiencing a new culture means visiting places of historical interest, museums and other important monuments in a new country. While for some, living, eating and travelling like the locals equates to a real experience of the local culture. I like a mix of both and on most of our travels, we try to find a balance between the two.

The southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh was recently bifurcated to form a new state - Telangana. Although both the states have varying topography, vegetation and climate, the economy of both is based mainly on agriculture. While rice is the main crop, the farmers in both the states also grow a variety of other pulses, fruits and vegetables. Way back in the late 1990s, then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu, had started Rythu Bazaar - a farmer's market initiative which aimed to reduce the influence and control of middlemen thereby ensuring that farmers received the profits themselves. The initiative was a success and even today weekly Rythu Bazaars (Rythu = farmer, Bazaar = market) are held in most towns and cities in both these states.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

6 ways to enjoy a layover at Dubai Airport

Dubai Airport is one of the nicest and busiest airports connecting the East with the West. It is very busy at all times and thousands of passengers transit through the airport daily. The airport has three terminals and every time I have transited via Dubai, the experience has been pleasant. It is a very user-friendly airport and although it can be very busy at certain times of the day, I have never had any issues. If you have a stopover/layover of 4-5 hours or more then you can experience and enjoy what Dubai Airport has to offer.

6 ways to enjoy a layover at Dubai Airport


Most travellers usually do not look forward to layovers but the wait for your connecting flight need not be boring! Here are 6 ways to enjoy a layover at Dubai Airport.

Friday, January 06, 2017

Holiday Flat Rental in London with FG Properties

In the last week of 2016, we travelled to London for a few days and instead of staying in a hotel we opted for a self-catered apartment rental through FG Properties. FG Properties help travellers find and book holiday rentals in London and Paris. The company has a large property portfolio with apartments to suit different budgets and style. We were looking for a place near Kensington Olympia and it was very easy to find a number of properties in our preferred location through FG Properties' website. The booking process is pretty straightforward - you can either directly book the holiday apartment via the FG Properties website or you could contact their reservations team via email with your requirements. Once the booking is done, you receive a confirmation email with all the relevant details.

City Relay


City Relay are the guest services team for FG Properties. They provide front desk services like guest check-in and check-out, cleaning, guest support and maintenance etc. City Relay are the main point of contact for guests during their stay. The booking confirmation email was also sent by City Relay and included a short survey which enables them to help guests plan their trip better. Based on the information supplied by the guests, City Relay provide tips on great places to eat and drink and also suggestions for sightseeing.

Check-in


We co-ordinated with the City Relay team prior to our arrival in London and arranged to meet one of them at the apartment, close to the check-in time. We were booked in at the Kensington Hazlitt Hideaway, a 2 bedroom flat located within 5 minutes’ walk from the Kensington Olympia tube station. The journey to London was comfortable and finding the flat was very easy. We were met by Christy, one of the City Relay team members whom I had interacted with earlier, at the apartment. She gave us a quick orientation tour of the flat and we had the chance to check out the flat and ask her any questions we had. Christy was our point of contact throughout the stay and was only a phone call or email away should we needed any help.

The Flat


The Kensington Hazlitt Hideaway, where we stayed, is on the ground floor of a typical London building. It is a 2 bedroom flat and both the bedrooms were well lit by natural light. There was ample storage space in both the rooms - perfect if you are planning to stay longer or are travelling with a large family. Hairdryers, iron and ironing board were provided. The living room was spacious and had a comfortable sofa (that could be converted into an extra double bed) and a widescreen TV. Clubbed with the living room was a small dining area which had a dining table able to sit up to 4 people. The kitchen was compact but modern and clean and equipped with all necessary amenities like an oven, microwave, washing machine, kettle, toaster and all kinds of kitchen utensils. The bathroom was accessible from the living room and had a combined shower and bath. Fresh linen and toiletries were also provided. The flat did not feel like a rental apartment at all; rather it imparted a very homely feel.

Holiday Flat Rental in London with FG Properties - Kensington Hazlitt Hideaway
Bedroom One


Holiday Flat Rental in London with FG Properties - Kensington Hazlitt Hideaway
Bedroom One


Holiday Flat Rental in London with FG Properties - Kensington Hazlitt Hideaway
Bedroom One


Holiday Flat Rental in London with FG Properties - Kensington Hazlitt Hideaway
Bedroom Two


Holiday Flat Rental in London with FG Properties - Kensington Hazlitt Hideaway

Holiday Flat Rental in London with FG Properties - Kensington Hazlitt Hideaway

Holiday Flat Rental in London with FG Properties - Kensington Hazlitt Hideaway
Living Room


Holiday Flat Rental in London with FG Properties - Kensington Hazlitt Hideaway
Dining Area


Holiday Flat Rental in London with FG Properties - Kensington Hazlitt Hideaway

Holiday Flat Rental in London with FG Properties - Kensington Hazlitt Hideaway

Holiday Flat Rental in London with FG Properties - Kensington Hazlitt Hideaway
Kitchen


Holiday Flat Rental in London with FG Properties - Kensington Hazlitt Hideaway
Bathroom


We loved the place. It had the comforts of a hotel but the privacy and tranquillity of a home. I also liked the independence the rented flat afforded. The flat had all the amenities we needed. The heating was perfect and we slept well. Wi-Fi connection was good. There was a slight issue with the TV connection but this was down to the service provider. It wasn't a deal breaker in any case as we were out exploring most of the time. What I also loved was that during our stay, City Relay were in touch with us via email enquiring if everything was in order and if we needed any assistance. Full marks to the guest relation team at City Relay for their 24/7 support.

Location


The Hazlitt Hideaway is located within walking distance to the Kensington station so getting around and exploring London is very easy. We visited some of the local/nearby sights - Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, St. Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge etc. for a spot of night photography. We also did a small section of the Thames Path and the route took us through beautiful riverside scenes and some of London's famous landmarks. During our visit, Winter Wonderland was on at Hyde Park and so we spent a fun evening there as well. For those of you who love shopping Westfield London, Harrods etc. are also within easy reach.

St Paul's Cathedral at Night
St. Paul's Cathedral


The Shard at night
The Shard


Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park in London


Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park in London
Winter Wonderland



Booking with FG Properties


Overall, we enjoyed our stay at the FG Properties apartment. The check-in was simple, the flat was well furnished and comfortable and when we departed at the end of our stay, we simply closed the door behind us. Check-out complete!

Prices for the Kensington Hazlitt Hideaway start from £99 per night which I think is a very good deal considering that the 2 bed flat is located in the heart of West Kensington and just a few minutes away from Kensington Olympia station. If you are planning a visit to London, this flat can act as a good base to discover all of London’s key attractions.

FG Properties have apartments both in London and Paris. You can browse through the entire selection of properties on their website - http://fgproperties.com/

Holiday Flat Rental in London with FG Properties


Our stay was kindly sponsored by FG Properties. But all opinions, as always, remain our own.
 
Copyright The Globe Trotter.