Have you met this season's Three Wise Men? As part of our smart project this Christmas, bpb gets Conrad D’souza (head chef at Pali Village Cafe), Rick Roy (film and fashion stylist) and Aneesh Bhasin (award-winning travel photographer) to answer all your holiday related queries. This space will be constantly updated with reader questions and wise man advice.
Conrad D'souza (Head Chef, Pali Village Cafe)
Q - I've heard mulled wine tastes fantastic, but I've never tried it. Where can I get some in Mumbai? Also, how do I make it at home? - NH
A - Mulled wine is a traditional drink served at Christmas. We serve it at Pali Village Cafe during the holidays. Also, see recipe (6 servings): 1 bottle of Shiraz, 300 ml port wine, 1 nutmeg, 4 star anise, 4 cinnamon sticks 10-12 cloves.
Simmer all the above ingredients for 30 minutes. For each serving, add 100 ml of the above mixture to 60 ml of orange juice with 2 slices of apple and orange each. Serve warm.
Q - What ingredients make a sexy eggnog? - KP
A - Milk (1 litre), Condesned milk (half tin), a pinch of nutmeg powder, 4 egg yolks and 350 ml brandy to serve six.
Q - Please recommend a place to buy traditional Christmas sweets in Mumbai. - SF
A - Try Candies and Mac Craig in Bandra (W).
Rick Roy (Film and fashion stylist)
Q - Where does a man go to get a sharp suit stitched in Mumbai? I need one for New Year. - KK
A- I would recommend Masculine (opposite JW Marriott, Juhu) for great finish and fits.
Q - What's the best way to wear red this season without looking like Santa Claus?
A- Wear a stunning red blazer (Zara has nice ones) over a black tee and fitted jeans. Accessorise with a shiny brooch (check out Viva on Hill Road).
Q - Where can I get a red corset baby doll short dress in Mumbai? Urgent! Need one by Sunday. - N
A- Unfortunately it's hard to find a red corset flowy dress in a good store since it's costume-y and we don't have such shops. But here are some options: You could buy a corset at La Senza and team it with a high-waist poofy red skirt so that it looks like one outfit. OR If you have an idea or an image of the kind of dress you want, then just take a print out and go to Si Branche in Bandra (W) and they'll make the dress for you. However, I can't vouch for the finishing but they will more or less give you the desired fit and look. Since it's urgent, you can also check out Try Me, Le Bijoux at Hill Road, Bandra (W) and the row of boutiques on Turner Road.
Aneesh Bhasin (award-winning travel photographer)
Q - Need some suggestions for New Year which is also my boyfriend's birthday. Any place near Bombay that's not too expensive? - TB
A - There are two places for New Years which you might want to explore. First would be Nashik. You could go on a wine trail, starting with Zampa, then York, finally ending at Sula and staying the night at Ginger hotels. A room should be about 3.5k a night.
Second option is Kolad, a secluded village on the way to Goa. Check out Empower Activity Camp http://www.empowercamp.com/newyear2012.html
You do not get cellular network at Empower, so incase you plan to talk to a lot of people on New Year's eve, this might now be the place for you.
Q- Also, any suggestions for what to do in Goa will be great. - TB
A - You should look for a place either at Aswem beach (North most beach) or then head to South Goa. Do visit Panjim and the Unesco World Heritage Site churches http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/234
Q - I'm planning to visit Koh Samui in mid-Feb for my honeymoon. What will the weather be like? Should I add more places or is a 4-day trip to Koh Samui good enough? Please suggest a good hotel (up to Rs 6 k per night) and any good deals you might know of.- PA
A - Feb will be the beginning of the dry season and is a very good time to visit. I would suggest you keep four days for Koh Samui, maybe take a day trip to Krabi island. For your stay I suggest Rummana Resort, which should be about Rs. 5,000 per night. http://www.koh-samui-hotels.net has a lot of deals on hotels