Review: Pinkberry India

Frozen yogurt lovers definitely took Pinkberry‘s entry into India well! As a self-confessed Pinkberry lover, I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that I was overly excited with the news, and rushed to Bandra from the comforts of my South Bombay bubble just to see if it tasted the same as the frozen yogurt that got me through nights of incessant studying and some fun breaks in college. Strolling along Riverside Park near Columbia University with a Pomegranate Pinkberry will always be a fond memory of mine, and I was excited to recreate it. But did I? Well, kind of.

Pinkberry is an upscale frozen yogurt chain started in 2005 by Shelley Hwang and Young Lee in Los Angeles, California. Earlier simply a west coast phenomenon, it soon expanded to New York City, and they also have several locations around the world, including Egypt, the UK and the Philippines. Pinkberry’s claim to fame is its delicious frozen yogurt. It comes in a variety of flavors, is nonfat and filled with live and active cultures, which is needed in order to be classified as a ‘yogurt’ by the National Yogurt Association in America. While Pinkberry has a number of seasonal flavors that rotate on a monthly basis, their original flavor stays the same year-round.

Pinkberry Mumbai, located in Pali Hill, has six flavors you can choose from. Right next to the Costa Coffee, this tiny little outlet has just about enough space to move around and a small seated area. The bright green and pink hues from the Pinkberry logo brought a lot of joy to the interiors, despite the pouring rain outside. Now, on to the flavors: Continue reading

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Brand Spotlight: Chanel

Hi, and welcome to Brand Spotlight! In this monthly column, I’m going to choose a specific brand and give you all the details about it. I seem to find that fashion magazines rely solely on demonstrating the latest trends, but for someone new to fashion, it is very hard to determine which brand fits your style, budget and needs. I’ll be including both designer and high-street brands, catered to both male and female, and shoe and accessory brands. Let me know, of course, if there is any brand in particular you’d like me to cover.

I thought I would start this column, though, with the most iconic brand of them all: Chanel.

Brand History

Founded in 1909 by the iconic Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel, this brand is a French luxury house focusing on couture, ready-to-wear and accessories. Coco Chanel revolutionized the world of fashion by epitomizing the classic look, and wanted her clothes to reflect the truly self-confident Chanel girl. The Chanel brand speaks for elegance, with suits, blouses and simple designs headlining the collections. Famous faces behind the Chanel brand include Nicole Kidman and Keira Knightley.

Creative Director

Currently, Karl Lagerfeld is the creative director of Chanel, a post that he has held since 1983.

Brand Aesthetic

Classic, elegant and refined. Under Karl Lagerfeld’s reign, the brand has looked to the past as an inspiration for its designs, which includes the use of leather, tweed and chains as primary materials. Ladylike suits and blouses, figure-flattering silhouettes and feminine pieces like pearls and roses dot most of Chanel’s designs. While some edgier pieces do exist in order to appeal to younger audiences, the idea of owning a Chanel piece is so that it is still in style years later. Continue reading

An Addict’s Guide to Coffee

I can imagine all my friends rolling their eyes at this post already. If you know me even a little bit, you’ll know I love my coffee. It’s impossible to not know that about me, considering talking to me before my first cup usually only leads to disaster for the poor person involved (and my former roommates will definitely attest to this fact). Though I have cut down recently, a day without a cup of coffee is absolutely impossible for me. I need it, I crave it, and yes, I get a headache when I don’t have it. And it doesn’t hurt that it tastes (and smells) absolutely amazing.

Coffee also has a number of health benefits. Aside from keeping you awake and alert thanks to the caffeine content (by binding to the adenosine receptors that make you sleepy, if you want the biological explanation), coffee has also been linked to greater concentration, a higher metabolism, improved mood and lower chances of Type II Diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Not bad for a cup, huh?

However, coffee has long ago lost its simplicity. You can no longer walk into a specialty coffee shop and ask for “one coffee, please”. More often than not, you’ll get a blank stare, especially if you’re in India. The different types of coffee beans and the several different ways to prepare espresso have led to the rise of a number of inventive coffee beverages – not all good, not all good for you, and not all authentic. So if you have ever looked at that huge menu board behind the barista and wondered, “What the hell is that?”, then worry no more. Here are the most common coffee beverages on the menu at your favorite caffeine spot, with an explanation about what they mean. You never have to wonder about what goes into your cup of java again! Continue reading