We are over the moon to have Sweetlime’s gorgeous jewellery on style-passport! We’ve brought in the woman behind the brand to share her tips and tales when it comes to travelling around India.
Elspeth J. Walker first travelled to India, almost 20 years ago, to source local materials. She was introduced to the drink ”Sweetlime” - chilled soda water with freshly squeezed locally grown sweet limes. “It was totally refreshing after a long flight and left a lasting impression,” she explains. So much so, that she has launched her new jewellery company and called it Sweetlime, which, in her words, “Brings together a lifelong passion for wanderlust and adornment.” Read the rest of this entry »
Tips on travelling to Goa…
If you are after some sun, head down to Goa for respite from the chill of British winter. It’s easy to fly there, with direct flights taking no longer than ten hours. Although Old Goa houses the two largest churches in Asia, make your visit quick and head down to one of the gorgeous beaches. Although the capital, Panjim has some beautiful remnants of bygone Portuguese rule, it cannot compete with the charm of Goa’s luxurious coastline.
WHERE: Head to Palolem beach where you’ll find an abundance of gorgeous beach huts tucked under the palm trees that line the coast.
Indian mythology says that the coconuts from the palm trees have never fallen upon any human.
WHEN: The season officially starts in December, although the whole area starts to bloom in November. The hot sun will continue to burn at the 35 degree mark until our springtime.
TALK: In English – everyone understands it and speaks it fluently. Especially those trying to sell you their wares.
Indulge the sellers with shops on the beach. It’s quite an extraordinary experience. Buying printed summer clothes, embroidered kaftans, ornate jewellery and handmade leather handbags has never felt so ceremonial. (Always remember to leave any footwear outside the shops).
SLEEP: My favourite is the Marron Beach Resort. It’s considered expensive by local standards, however between 2500 to 3500 Rupees for two a night it’s a steal. The beach huts sit on the sand, under the palms; each have a bathroom with a shower and a veranda for cocktail drinking at sundown. The service is impeccable and breakfast is included.
To fully enjoy the hippy beach experience find yourself a beach hut that overlooks the sea. There’s nothing better than waking up on the beach.
EAT: Red snapper for lunch with butter and garlic sauce. Or freshly grilled Kingfish. At night sit on the beach and upon the candlelit sands you’ll be served the best curry you’ve ever tasted. My favourite was Cuba for the best butter naan and Shabnam kebab.
There are horror stories of eating seemingly delicious food with gruelling side effects you’ll find that all the restaurants down Palolem Beach cook using mineral water.
DRINK: The wine is surprisingly good. We were nervous about drinking it when there was only one choice on the menu although we were pleasantly surprised. There was one place we went were the wine was putrid… Although not strictly Indian, the Mojitos are delicious, if you like beer go for Kingfisher and if you’re feeling curious try Feni; but don’t expect to remember it the next day.
The water always comes with a plastic seal – the waiters open it in front of you or let you do it yourself to minimise any tourist paranoia.
EXPLORE: Walk to the end of the beach towards Monkey Island. You can sit undisturbed on the rocks for hours with a view to die for. If you get fidgety take a boat trip round the swampy river behind the beach for the most peaceful getaway. The tropical forests on either side are buzzing with life. You’ll see Hummingbirds, Kingfishers, Eagles, jumping fish and all sorts of strange creatures – not to mention the famous Magic Stone. If you’re into dolphins take an early morning boat into the calm sea. There are loads of them.
Boat trips to see the dolphins are about 600 Rupees for two people (approx £8) and a trip around the river is 200 Rupees for two. (approx £3.50)
WEAR: Goa is pretty chilled. Colonised by the Portuguese, then again much later by the hippies, Goa is pretty lax when it comes to Western culture. Although there is no nudity on the beach it is perfectly acceptable to wander the beach in a bikini, and the restaurants in shorts/beach cover ups and whatever else tickles your fancy.
I brought Converse and Havaianas. Although trainers are great for off the beaten track adventures, you’ll be in flip flops or bare foot the rest of the time. I personally lost my flip flops after a couple of days and felt no need to replace them, spending the rest of my beach time barefoot.
BEAUTY: No one really wears make up. However bring lots of moisturiser, suntan lotion and lip balm as the sun and sea can really dry you out. Although not strictly beauty, make sure you pack insect repellant as there are a lot of mosquitoes at night.
The local women tend not to wear make-up however they adorn themselves with beautiful jewellery. Rather than make-up, enhance your natural beauty with earrings, rings, bangles and necklaces.