Review of The Gonville Hotel, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Hi folks, welcome to my series on United Kingdom! Having lived as a student in London from 2011-12 and visited it multiple times, I’m sharing my knowledge of this wonderful city and places I’ve visited in its vicinity. You can read about things to do in London here, where to eat here and where to shop here. The content largely focuses on my recent trip there in June-July 2018, but there’ll also be some gems from the past. If you’d like to know more, please follow my blog. While in London, we took a short trip to Cambridge, where my husband is currently studying. Previously, I’ve written a definitive guide to Cambridge here. This post is a review of the boutique hotel we stayed at- The Gonville Hotel.

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Our party consisted of my parents, my younger brother, my husband and my toddler son, so we chose a place that was family-friendly, and offered comfortable luxury. Scroll down to the last paragraph of this post for the review of the hotel.

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BOOKINGS & HOW TO GET THERE:

You can book rooms at The Gonville Hotel on Booking.com here.

Cambridge is well-connected to most other cities in the United Kingdom by rail. There are multiple trains that leave every hour. Book your tickets online in advance to avail the best deals on prices.

From London, one can drive to Cambridge or take a bus. Our bus ride to Cambridge was a comfortable 3 hour journey, while the train back to London took an hour but was very crowded!

The Gonville Hotel is located in Cambridge City Centre, a 2 minute walk from the bus stand, and a short taxi ride from the train station.

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Picture courtesy: http://www.tripadvisor.com

TYPES OF ROOMS:

The hotel offers four categories of rooms. The most luxurious of these are the eight Feature Bedrooms in Gresham House, a 19th century property that’s part of the hotel. These floral themed bedrooms have maintained their Victorian essence.

Superior Rooms offer luxury in a more modern setting, and we stayed in these. Classic Rooms are comfortable rooms in a slightly lower price range. There are also Accessible Rooms aimed at families or large groups travelling together.

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THINGS TO DO:

The hotel dates back to the 1800’s and its historical ethos is visible in every feature it offers.

BENTLEY TOURS:

The hotel offers luxury tours of the ancient university town of Cambridge, in its two in-house Bentley cars. Ably guided by the head concierge, Elliot, it’s your chance to roam the beautiful town like royalty. The service is complimentary but must be booked in advance.

GONVILLE BIKES:

If you prefer a more modest means of exploring the city, the hotel offers complimentary bikes. These are equipped with baskets and one-touch gears.

REGULAR EVENTS:

The hotel makes sure its patrons are kept thoroughly entertained through their stay. Check their website to stay updated on all current events. You can enjoy live jazz or movie screenings, among other activities.

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HEALTH & WELLNESS:

The hotel has a beautiful and well-equipped spa in the Gresham House Building. They offer many different treatments.

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DINING:

COTTO RESTAURANT:

This fine-dining restaurant is helmed by Master Chef Hans Schewitzer and serves a delectable three-course meal.

ATRIUM BRASSERIE:

The coffee shop is open to visitors as well as residents of the hotel. One can ask for fresh Afternoon Tea to be prepared in advance.

The Buffet Breakfast is served here, as well as in the outdoor area in front of Gresham House.

ATRIUM BAR:

You can choose from local selections and fantastic cocktails in this classy bar.

PRIVATE DINING:

The hotel offers many rooms for private dining which need to be booked in advance.

MISCELLANEOUS:

PET-FRIENDLY:

Not only is the hotel great for children of all ages, it also welcomes your dogs! Make sure to give advance notice of the pet’s arrival.

MEETINGS & CONFERENCES:

The Gonville Hotel is a popular choice for meetings and conferences, as the impeccable service leaves no stone unturned.

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REVIEW OF THE HOTEL:

We booked two Superior Rooms in the Friday Package. This package included dinner at the Atrium Brasserie coffee shop in the price of the room. This was a fantastic deal for one night, as we were able to try many dishes on their extensive menu. I was pleased with my fish and chips at dinner, and very satisfied with the breakfast selection the next morning.

The rooms were spacious, a rarity in many boutique hotels. They were furnished in a signature modern style, with a focus on the iconic sights of Cambridge. The bathroom had a bath tub and a shower head, and was well-stocked with amenities. The mini-bar had a lot to offer. There was a large LED TV as well as an expansive desk. The bedding was comfortable and the turn down service was prompt. Every member of staff was courteous, polite and attentive.

The hotel seems popular with locals, evident from a 30thbirthday party celebration that happened when we were there.

We had a comfortable and happy stay at The Gonville Hotel in Cambridge. I’ll definitely re-visit when I’m next in Cambridge!

Hotel Rating: 5/5

Book your rooms at The Gonville Hotel, Cambridge on Booking.com here.

*This is not a sponsored post.

** All pictures are my own, unless mentioned. Copyright in my pictures belongs to nooranandchawla.

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Cambridge, UK in 24 Hours: What to See, Eat and Shop

Hi folks, welcome to my series on United Kingdom! Having lived as a student in London from 2011-12 and visited it multiple times, I’m sharing my knowledge of this wonderful city and places I visited around it. I plan to post content every week. The content will largely focus on my recent trip there in June-July 2018, but there’ll also be some gems from the past. If you’d like to know more, please follow my blog.

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My husband is currently studying at the University of Cambridge, so we planned a short trip there on our recent visit to London. Our party consisted of my parents, my younger brother, my husband and my toddler son, so all our activities were family-friendly. Here’s my list of what to see, where to eat and where to shop in Cambridge.

HOW TO GET THERE:

Cambridge is well-connected to most other cities in the United Kingdom by rail. There are multiple trains that leave every hour. Book your tickets online in advance to avail the best deals on prices.

From London, one can drive to Cambridge or take a bus.

WHERE TO STAY:

As a family of six with a young toddler, we were very happy with our stay at the Gonville Hotel. It was centrally located and quite luxurious. There are many hotel/ youth hostel and other options to suit different budgets available in this famous town.

Check out the Gonville Hotel by clicking here

Click here to find other options on Booking.com

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WHAT TO SEE:

PUNTING ON RIVER CAM:

Though UK is peppered with pretty towns and even prettier villages, Cambridge is high on the ranks owing to its old-world architecture overlooking the gorgeous river Cam. The best way to tour the university buildings and town is by punting (boating) down the river with a guide who rows the boat, and a couple of beers to set the mood. The guide gives anecdotal and factual information about this university town and keeps you entertained throughout.

In peak season, it can be difficult to hire a punt. I recommend booking in advance. You could also explore the possibility of hiring a boat and punting yourself by taking turns. This is the cheapest option but not an easy one. There have been instances of people falling in or the boat just refusing to move!

Book your punting experience here: https://www.scudamores.com/punting-quayside

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TOUR THE COLLEGES:

Cambridge is one of the foremost university towns of the world, with prestigious colleges dating back to the 13th century. You can map a route of the most famous colleges and visit them on foot, if you’re not keen on boating. Most colleges offer guided tours as do some private companies. Here are my picks of must-see sights in the colleges:

KING’S COLLEGE CHAPEL:

Built in the 15th century, this towering chapel is a fine example of gothic architecture. Don’t miss the fine stained glass and the world’s largest fan vault. Try and catch a service if you have time.

Information: http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/chapel/index.html

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MATHEMATICAL BRIDGE AT QUEENS COLLEGE:

This picturesque bridge was built in the 18th century and is attached to the oldest building on the river Cam.

Information: https://www.queens.cam.ac.uk/life-at-queens/about-the-college/college-facts/mathematical-bridge

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NEWTON’S TREE:

Right outside Porter’s Lodge, Trinity College, stands an unobtrusive tree that claims to be responsible for Newton’s discovery of the law of gravity. Though there is no such famed connection, it’s worth having a look!

Information: http://www.creatingmycambridge.com/history-stories/newtons-apple-tree/

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BRIDGE OF SIGHS:

The story behind this iconic bridge is that a famous queen once claimed this bridge to be a likeness of the original “Bridge of Sighs” from Venice, Italy. Though the bridges looked nothing like each other, a queen’s word couldn’t be disputed and hence the name stuck!

Information: https://www.visitcambridge.org/things-to-do/the-bridge-of-sighs-p528361

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WREN LIBRARY:

This gorgeous medieval library is located in Trinity College, and houses some literary treasures from many centuries past.

Information: https://www.trin.cam.ac.uk/library/wren-library/

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Picture courtesy: http://www.en.wikipedia.org

CORPUS CLOCK:

This unique time measurement device has been a part of Cambridge public infrastructure since 2008. Its unique design signifies the passage of time and the inevitable eventuality of death.

Information: https://www.corpus.cam.ac.uk/about-corpus/corpus-clock/introduction-corpus-clock

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GREAT ST. MARY’S CHURCH:

The official University church has been around for over 800 years. Take a tour of the lovely property and climb the tall tower for a full experience.

Information: https://www.visitcambridge.org/things-to-do/great-st-marys-church-p506681

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Picture courtesy: http://www.en.wikipedia.org

PARKER’S PIECE:

If you prefer enjoying a leisurely picnic in the park over the hustle-bustle of sightseeing, Parker’s Piece is the place to go.

Information: https://www.visitcambridge.org/things-to-do/parkers-piece-p507471

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Picture courtesy: http://www.expedia.com

WHERE TO EAT:

HISTORIC PUBS:

A historic city has many historic pubs that are worth checking out! Try ‘The Eagle’ which is the oldest one, ‘The Anchor’ which looks on to the river, and ‘The Cambridge Blue’.

Information: https://www.visitcambridge.org/food-and-drink/the-eagle-p506461

http://www.anchorcambridge.com/

Cambridge Blue Pub

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Picture courtesy: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk

TAJ TANDOORI:

If you’re looking for a taste of home in Cambridge, visit Taj Tandoori for some Indian delicacies.

Information: http://www.tajtandooricambridge.co.uk/

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Picture courtesy: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk

NANNA MEXICO:

As Mexican food shares ingredients and flavors with Indian food, you’ll definitely enjoy the cuisine here.

Information: http://www.nannamexico.com/

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Picture courtesy: http://www.keytothecity.co.uk

PHO VIETNAMESE:

This Vietnamese joint offers authentic, flavorful and filling food.

Information: https://www.phocafe.co.uk/locations/cambridge/

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Picture courtesy: http://www.sophiekate.co.uk

SALA THONG:

Visit this restaurant to sample the best Thai cuisine Cambridge has to offer.

Information: http://www.salathong.co.uk/

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Picture courtesy: http://www.skyscanner.com

FITZBILLIES:

This famous bakery should definitely be on your list. Though known for its Chelsea Buns, my favorite is the Florentine.

Information: http://www.fitzbillies.com/

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Picture courtesy: http://www.fitzbillies.com

THE ATRIUM AT THE GONVILLE HOTEL:

Breakfast and dinner at The Atrium restaurant were included in our hotel package at The Gonville. It’s a great option for English fine-dining. The helpings are quite large so keep an empty stomach before the meal!

Information: https://www.gonvillehotel.co.uk/dining/

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THE GRAIN & HOP STORE:

The Grain & Hop Store was the most popular place to watch the Football World Cup matches, with its multiple large screens, beer on tap, and congenial ‘sports-bar’ atmosphere. We also enjoyed our fish & chips and bangers & mash meals.

Information:  https://www.facebook.com/grainandhopstore/

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WHERE TO SHOP:

GRAND ARCADE:

This shopping arena has everything you need in one place and is located in the heart of town. With many restaurants also located nearby, you don’t need to venture elsewhere.

Information: http://www.grandarcade.co.uk/

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Picture courtesy: http://www.change.org

WEEKEND STREET MARKETS:

As with London, street markets are an inherent part of the shopping culture in Cambridge. Tourists can snag some bargains as well as enjoy a local experience. I scored some beautiful handmade wooden pens from Gilbert House Pens as gifts, among other treasures.

Information: http://www.gilberthousepens.co.uk/shop/4591101395/The-Cambridge

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I hope you liked my edit of what to do/ see/ eat in Cambridge, UK in 24 hours. Stay tuned for the final post in my UK series, which is a review of the Gonville Hotel. Don’t forget to check out my previous posts in this series! They are all linked here.

Child-Friendly Places to Eat in London

Where to Eat & Drink in London

The Best Sightseeing in London

The Best Street Markets in London

The Best Parks & Playgrounds in London

Budget Friendly Shopping in London

5 Best Museums for Children in London

Review of Ivy Lettings, Apartment Rental Service in London

Home-Schooling: Happy Kids, Harried Parents! #AtoZChallenge

nooranandchawla.com

In a rather prescient move, the government of Delhi shut down primary schools on March 6, much before lockdown was implemented. Secondary schools soon followed and remain shut to this day. It was a smart move to fight the spread of coronavirus, but came with its own shortcomings.

Most schools assumed this would be a temporary measure, and didn’t bother working on their technology systems to ready them for virtual lessons. Now these schools are scrambling to run home-schooling successfully.

There are many logistical problems they have had to face, including:

  • Teachers are not technologically savvy, and don’t have access to computers of their own
  • Issues related to internet and wifi because group meeting apps like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, require high-speed internet connections
  • The lack of planned curriculum that can be taught online, as opposed to the existing curriculum made for real classrooms
  • The cancellation of year-end exams, and students being assessed on their performance through the past year (which is perhaps a good thing!)
  • Dwindling supplies of paper, stationary, paints and other material at home due to closure of markets
  • Dissatisfied parents angling for reduction of school fees

My son’s school has been ahead of the game at every juncture, and till quite recently, I was unaware of these issues plaguing other schools. We had started online lessons from the first day of lockdown. The teachers were present in school, throughout the first week, while the students stayed home. This allowed them to formulate curricula and collect necessary materials, in the eventuality of working from home. The school’s active Technology Department tirelessly navigated the teething problems parents and teachers faced in adjusting to this new process. Examinations were cancelled following instructions of the international Cambridge board, which our school follows.

I’m very thankful for our school’s proactive approach and their concern for the welfare of their students and larger community. In addition to the daily lessons and assigned homework, the school sends out online resources for parents as well– fitness sessions conducted by an alumnus of the school, cheerful music and the like. Most of all, I’m grateful that parents don’t have to rack their brains to figure out the age-appropriate curriculum for their children!

With such a hands-on approach, I understand why our school can’t waive or reduce the term fee. But my friends, whose children study in other schools, are decidedly concerned. When the school’s idea of home-teaching is limited to emailing worksheets, perhaps the expensive fee isn’t justified? But then the fee is required for teacher’s salaries as well as to keep the infrastructure of the school running. So, I’m reserving judgment on this situation for now!

Home-schooling isn’t all hunky-dory though, even if well-planned. The kids enjoy attending classes in the comfort of their homes, wearing pyjamas, but parents have to make additional time to attend and supervise the lessons, along with their daily chores and work responsibilities. In homes with more than one child, there need to be separate devices and separate assigned areas for each child, which makes everything harder.

The children may be happy, but the parents are quite harried trying to keep up with everything!

So, here’s a tip for parents reading this post:

Keep the kids busy with art and craft projects made with junk around the house. Discarded toy boxes, empty toiletries, old greeting cards, newspapers etc. can all be re-imagined to make something new. Don’t look for instruction videos online. Let your imagination guide you and you’ll be surprised at the results!

My TV show recommendation for today will make you and your children happy:

“Happy Days” is a sitcom that captures America in the 1950s through its endearing characters and funny stories. My brother and I watched it every afternoon on TV, when we returned home from school, which makes this show quite special for me. Perhaps you’ve seen it too as a 90s kid in India? Now you can re-watch most of the episodes on Youtube.

A book series that was instrumental in my growth, is:

The “Harry Potter” series, which probably shaped many children and inspired many writers. Though each book in the series is dear to me, my personal favourite is “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”. I read each book as and when it released, and this one came out when I was around 14/15 years of age, corresponding to Harry’s age in the book, which allowed me to live the story with him and his friends on a personal level.

As for blogs, here are the ones I think you should check out:

www.happymomlifestyle.com is where blogger Arulmozhi N Mahesh is documenting a fun 30s survival guide for ladies, through this AtoZ Challenge.

www.heartspeaksbyjd.wordpress.com is where blogger Dr. Jyoti Arora is documenting her personal journey of parenting a celiac child, through this daily blogging challenge.

www.healthwealthbridge.com is where Dr. Amrita Basu writes detailed and informative medical posts that will certainly prove useful in times of need.

That’s all for today, folks!

Do check out my daily update videos on Instagram Stories for #LockdownWithTheLadyLawyer and follow me there to stay better connected. Also tell me your favourite TV Shows/ movies/ books/ bloggers with the letter H?

Hasta la vista till tomorrow!

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This post has been written for the #AtoZChallenge 2020. My theme this year is #LockdownWithTheLadyLawyer, where I’m journaling my thoughts during the coronavirus lockdown, and sharing numerous recommendations that will help keep your spirits up.

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*This is not a sponsored post.

**Copyright in pictures and content belongs to nooranandchawla.com and cannot be republished or repurposed without express permission of the author. As I am a copyright lawyer by profession, infringement of any kind will invite strict legal action. 

Gearing Up for the Great Un-Globalisation? #AtoZChallenge

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It’s my father-in-law’s 73rd birthday today, so we organised a family Zoom party to celebrate. With a son in the UK, and a daughter who lives 15 minutes away but can’t come over because of the lockdown, this was the best possible celebration we could arrange where everyone would be together. We baked a brownie cake and sang him a birthday ditty, with his near and dear ones looking on. Though we weren’t together in physical form, we definitely were in spirit.

It’s strange that a month ago we viewed our world so differently- as one large globalised unit. My husband is pursuing his Master’s Degree from the University of Cambridge in the UK, for which he attended lessons at the University for a week, every three months over a period of two years. Having submitted his dissertation recently, he was due to graduate this July.

We booked our hotel in Cambridge well in advance of the seasonal rush, since the entire family planned to travel to be with my husband on this momentous occasion. Unfortunately, the graduation ceremony has been indefinitely postponed, and I worry that even if the situation begins resembling normalcy soon, we may not go for fear of falling ill with the coronavirus abroad.

The same goes for other plans we made earlier this year. International and domestic travel for weddings and other special occasions, have been put on tentative hold.

Are we gearing up to return to the life that existed before ready cash allowed a large populace to zip around the world at will? Are we set to usher in a world where online connections must suffice for all operations- business and personal?

Honestly, at this point I’m unable to fathom the long-term scenario. I’m sure the world is set to change drastically, but I can’t predict how and to what degree. Many will argue this is a blessing in disguise- we are finally being forced to reduce our massive carbon footprint that harms the Earth tremendously. Perhaps it is a blessing, but one that makes me sad.

With nations shutting down their borders, airlines going bankrupt due to loss of business, and a huge economic downturn set to affect the disposable income of many, un-globalisation seems a grim reality of the future. Anyhow, we must weather whatever is in store for us, to the best of our ability.

On similar lines, here’s my book recommendation for the letter G:

Gone With The Wind” by Margaret Mitchell is set in the deep South, during and after the American Civil War. The protagonists are slave-owners that have to adjust to a rapidly changing world after their side loses the war. Some of the astute observations in the book ring strangely true to our current situation. It’s a rather long book and requires a serious commitment of time, but it’s definitely worth it!

Another serious time commitment that will draw you in, is my TV show recommendation for today:

“Game of Thrones”, available for viewing on Hotstar, is a fantasy show set in a mythical world. It’s based on the book series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R. R. Martin. This show was a game-changer for TV. Production companies began pumping in tons of money into this medium of entertainment, realising its immense potential, which allowed them to shoot in exotic and grand locations. Though most loyal fans of the show were disappointed with its final season, it’s worth watching the first few seasons for a wonderful escape from the real world.

As for a tip to beat the lockdown blues:

Taking inspiration from the theme of today’s post, I advise you to learn a new language on the internet. It’s a wonderful skill to have in general, and if everything moves online in the future, it will become an even more desirable one to have.

Today I have two blogger recommendations for you:

I came across www.godyears.net written by Dr. Roshan Radhakrishnan, only during this year’s A to Z Challenge, but I’m quite impressed with his posts highlighting real life heroes. You must read his series “Heroes of Kindness”- it will make you believe in humanity.

www.gleefulblogger.com written by Dipika Singh is a lifestyle blog I often visit. She covers a wide range of topics and you are sure to find something that will appeal to you.

That’s it for today folks!

Do check out my daily update videos on Instagram Stories for #LockdownWithTheLadyLawyer and follow me there to stay better connected. Also tell me your favourite TV Shows/ movies/ books/ bloggers with the letter G?

Goodbye till tomorrow!

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Celebrations at home!

_________________________________________________________________________________

This post has been written for the #AtoZChallenge 2020. My theme this year is #LockdownWithTheLadyLawyer, where I’m journaling my thoughts during the coronavirus lockdown, and sharing numerous recommendations that will help keep your spirits up.

__________________________________________________________________________________

*This is not a sponsored post.

**Copyright in pictures and content belongs to nooranandchawla.com and cannot be republished or repurposed without express permission of the author. As I am a copyright lawyer by profession, infringement of any kind will invite strict legal action. 

*** Featured image courtesy: voxeu.org

2019- A Look at the Year Gone By!

2019

I brought in 2019 at home with my husband while my son slept. It was perhaps the most uneventful New Year’s Eve celebration I’ve had, but it was wonderful. On January 1st, we whizzed off to Goa for a family holiday, where I recuperated from a spinal injury I got at the end of 2018. The lovely family-focused beginning to 2019 heralded a lovely year overall, and I’d like to look back and take stock of this year’s achievements and setbacks. This will help me, and you in turn if you’re inspired, to plan for 2020!

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Started the year in Goa on a family vacation

HEALTH:

My health concerns were uppermost in my mind at the beginning of 2019. Acute pain in my back led to a debilitating, radiating pain in my right arm. An MRI disclosed that four spinal discs were protruding and pressing on a nerve. In order to avoid surgery, I explored my options by visiting a nerve specialist, a physiotherapist, and a chiropractor but all of them prescribed long-term, expensive methods of treatment. A friend of mine recommended acupuncture with Dr. Khan of Nizamuddin, and I decided to test it, just for a lark.

Six weeks into daily acupuncture sessions, at 1/10th the cost of chiropractic and ½ the cost of physiotherapy sessions, my pain had disappeared completely! I can’t praise this ancient Chinese practice enough.

Would you like me to dedicate a full blog post to my experience with acupuncture? Let me know in the comments below.

Though my back was much better, I was wary of working out. A long break of 7 months without exercise or a balanced diet, led to sudden weight gain. Finally, Neeraj David, my trainer from 10 years ago, contacted me on Facebook saying he had worked with spinal injury patients in the past, and knew what to do. I began working out at Craft Fitness Gym in July 2019. Though I have lost only a few of my targeted kilos, I am much stronger and fitter than I was this time last year.

The weight gain had resulted in hormonal acne too, which I battled successfully by eating healthy and working out.

My goal for 2020 is to lose some weight, with a focus on being strong, fit and toned- which will help my overall health concerns too.

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CAREER:

Though blogging is my main focus, I also work as a lawyer.

BLOG:

Of every category listed here, my blog saw the most phenomenal growth this year. At the beginning of 2019, I had published over 150 blog posts. My content was appreciated but my reach was minimal. After connecting with other bloggers from the Indian blogging community, I learnt the importance of marketing one’s posts.

I began by participating in Prerna and Vartika’s Valentine’s Day Blog Train, which I won. From there I took part in many blog hops, trains and challenges and surprisingly wonmost of them. This gave me immense confidence in my writing skills, and made me engage meaningfully with other bloggers.

The biggest event/ game-changer was the A-Z Challenge hosted by Blogchatter. I learnt about this epic challenge merely two weeks before it was set to begin. Without thinking much, I signed myself up and wrote 26 travel posts, each with an alliterative title corresponding to a letter of the alphabet. During the entire month of April, I read and interacted with many bloggers for the first time. My reward at the end of this challenge was the publication of my first e-book “Tales From My Travel Treasury: An Alliterative Anthology”. After being re-stocked once, it has now crossed the limit of 500 downloads and is no longer available.

Though I love this book with my heart and soul, I later realised that I rushed into publishing it. An important lesson from this experience was that things must happen in the right manner and at the right time.

In September 2019, I participated in my first #MyFriendAlexa campaign, which taught me the significance of regular posting and engagement.

By implementing these practices, I was able to increase my online rankings and get a significant following on my blog. This led to sponsored content, allowing me to earn money from my blog.

It wasn’t all rosy though- I faced cyber stalking by a deranged follower, and dealt with it strictly.

In 2020, I’m hoping to take my blog to the next level. I would love for my content to reach maximum number of people, and I would love to write for other platforms too. However, my primary agenda is to publish my first novel.

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Anchoring an event for the 1947 Partition Archive

LAW:

Since 2016, my legal career had taken a backseat. However, in 2019, I was elevated to the Senior Panel of lawyers that represent the Government of India at the Delhi High Court. I was assigned a few cases, which ensured that I don’t lose my legal practice.

Further, I began legal work from home, such as drafting contracts, drawing up documents and offering legal opinions.

I’m unsure where 2020 will take me, but I have a strong feeling that my legal career is going to pick up again!

ANCHORING:

A new feather in my cap was added this year, as I was invited to MC a few events. I love being on stage, and hosting events is always fun. Though 2019 was just a beginning, I’m hoping 2020 will see my name grow in this sphere.

Glimpses from my travels in 2019. From L-R: Elephant safari in Kaziranga National Park, Assam;  farm staycation at our family friends home in Bilaspur, UP; at the heritage property Clarke’s Hotel in Shimla; with my friends at the Jaipur Lit Fest

TRAVEL:

To say that I love travelling would be a gross understatement. I thrive on travel and if it was up to me, I would constantly be on the move! As pointed out earlier, we began 2019 in Goa and will end 2019 there too. Additionally,

-I took an epic trip with my girlfriends to Jaipur for the Lit Fest

-A family vacation to celebrate my son’s birthday with a safari in Kaziranga National Park, Assam

– A couple of farm stays in village Bilaspur and Laksh Farms in village Mangar

– A weekend getaway at ITC Mughal Agra

– Family summer sojourns in Solan, Himachal Pradesh and Landour, Mussoorie

– A memorable stay at the Clarke’s Hotel, Shimla

– An international vacation at Tuscany and Rome in Italy

– A luxurious birthday staycation at The Oberoi Hotel, New Delhi

– A staycation for my friend’s bachelorette at Andaz Hotel, Aerocity

– Re-visited Goa for a wedding and Landour towards the end of the year to chill.

Here’s hoping 2020 brings even more opportunities for travel and leisure!

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HOBBIES:

When I started blogging, my reading habit took a backseat. This year, however, I picked it up again. I began 2019 with a Goodreads goal of completing 25 books in the year, and to my immense pleasure I have surpassed that by reading 36 books and counting!

This was only because I received many books to reviewon my blog. Though I am honest to a fault, and sometimes harsh with my reviews, I am glad that people like and trust my reviews. That’s the only reason I feel publishers send books to me, despite the low ratings I may give their publications.

I hope to read much more in 2020 and of course, I will keep reviewing too!

As for other hobbies, I watched a few amazing TV shows but the best one by far was “Dark” on Netflix. I’m eagerly waiting for its 3rd and final season in 2020.

Scenes from 2019. At a family wedding; partying with Badshah at Dragonfly Club on my friends bachelorette party

PERSONAL (FAMILY/ FRIENDS):

I intentionally saved the most important category for last. There were some big life changes for members of my family that affected me too.

-My son began proper schooling, which led to major life changes. Not only do I wake early every day, but I also volunteer my time as a parent for various school activities 2-3 times a week.

-My husband submitted his Dissertation after two years of pursuing his Master’s degree at the University of Cambridge.

-My brother appeared in a hit TV show, “Made in Heaven” on Amazon Prime.

-A couple of my close friends and family members got married

– I met and partied with my favourite Bollywood singer Badshah, one lucky night at Dragonfly Club

-I made new friends with the parents of my son’s schoolmates

-I enjoyed some fun times with my old friends

These may not seem like big, noteworthy achievements but I’ve come to realise that it is the little things that count.

An overall assessment of 2019 shows me that it was a positive year of personal and professional growth. There were a few setbacks, but I chose not to let them overshadow the good stuff. Here’s hoping 2020 is better in every way- I’m manifesting positivity in the hope that it translates to success!!

How was your year? I would love to read your personal 2019 year recaps- do tag me if you end up writing them 🙂

Do check out my blogger friend Cindy’s New Year Resolutions on her website.

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