Glitter in your veins


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As we are approaching the end of another year, we should be feeling wiser, wealthier, fitter and happier.

Are you?

I’m reflecting. On life in general. Random thoughts – in no particular order!mughal art3

1.  It does pay to be nice afterall. Simply because to most people relationships are what matter most in this world. And everyone wants good people in their lives.

2. Having guts always works out for me.

3. Trying new things, doing new courses etc is not only fun but makes you way more interesting at a dinner party.

4.  Don’t have fixed opinions on anything. Learn to really listen to why people think and feel the way they do.

5. Money does matter. But not pots of it.

6. Don’t miss your best friends weddings.You’ll always remember them.

7. Don’t feel like dressing up to work one morning? Don’t. But then make sure you make up for it the day after.

8. Your relationship with your boss matters. Make it work and enjoy it.

9. Material luxuries work best in small doses. Otherwise, one wouldn’t bother to work or achieve anything in life.

10. Sometimes people talk less, doesn’t mean they don’t have an opinion. Some simply like to collect all their thoughts before they speak. Others believe in actions, not words.

11. The whole thing about first impressions is rubbish. It takes time to really know someone. So giving it time and not getting impressed or disappointed too quickly is a good idea.

12. Sometimes middle management is the worst for no fault of their own; because they don’t have the enthusiasm a of a new starter or the power of the senior management. Everyone has to go through this phase though, so grin and bear it (or them if you are junior).

13. Living in a big city is exciting. No doubt about it. Esp one as vibrant as London. No matter what people say about the weather and the tubes. We’re all here because we love something about it. I pride myself on seeing the best of this city in terms of it’s culture and entertainment; and there’s still so much left to do!

14. Once you cross 25 you really do grow up.  You’ll need to know alot more about someone before you think they are worth the effort it takes to break the routine you have set for yourself in all this time of being single. And that can only come with spending time with someone-the time you don’t have (thanks to your job/your lifestyle/whatever). Sad, but true!

15. Give your newly married friends some space in their first couple of years. The friendship isn’t likely to change; they’ll come back!

16. There really is no place like home. If you don’t live in your home country, no reason not to touch base every now and then. I feel much more happier in general after a trip home.

17. Beautiful people will always get noticed. But smart or kind people will always be remembered.

18. It’s better to be hard working then very smart. If you’re both then the sky is the limit.

19. Resilience is a rare quality. Appreciate those who have it.

20. Grandparents are special. I’m so glad I spent as much time with them as I did.

21. Sometimes really good people can make big mistakes too. Judge them based on how they overcome the situation.

22. Everyone’s definition of success is different. This one has taken me a bit of time to understand.

23. Whether you are English, Chinese, Indian, African or whatever; at the end of the day you can always find something in common with everyone. Sometimes it just takes a little longer to find it.

24. Exercise will always make you feel better about yourself. Do it even if you think you don’t need to.

25. The most energetic amongst us are the most blessed.

26. People who can horse ride will always have an edge over those who can’t. There is something very grand about it all.

27. Babies and puppies always bring happiness. Good idea to have both, atleast once in a lifetime!

28. There is no substitute for doing work/a job you love. Think about it. Any role models you have have earned that place because of what they do; so do something you enjoy. Whatever it might be.

29. Good hair and good shoes are a killer combination.

30. Do go on holiday with your closest friends, you’ll come back feeling like a new person.

31. Ladies, shoes or a bag? If you have a choice always go for shoes.  The bag doesn’t enhance your face or your body – shoes do.

32. Looking good always gets attention temporarily, but it will not make someone fall in love with you. That is another matter altogether. Fortunately. Unfortunately?

33. Relationships are hard work; so it’s a good idea to go for someone who is used to working hard in life.

34. The average human lives up to 80 now; so for all those who are 30 and single – you will still have 40-50 years with a husband/wife potentially, depending on when you do get married. So chill, I think that’s plenty of time to spend with one person!


5 reasons to go to Mykonos


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1. You are young (atleast at heart!), energetic and don’t mind surviving on little or no sleep for a few days. Because Mykonos doesn’t like to sleep and won’t really approve of you sleeping much during your stay either. The town is unique in that you will find people of all ages roaming the streets of it’s extensive market centre at all hours of night; the later it gets, the more people you’ll see. The hairdressers, the shops, restaurants, cafes, are open till atleast 3am. The clubs and bars are open till 6am. Caprice at Little Venice does the most extravagant fruit cocktails – once you get over the initial delight of how elaborately they have been made and how stunning they look, you can enjoy them to some pretty awesome music and a very trendy crowd. If you have it in you to jump up on the bar counter (heels and all) and dance; the bartenders are only too happy to assist you!

2. In my opinion, as far as Europe is concerned, when it comes to fine dining (for a special occassion) you can’t beat the French – not just because of the taste and quality of their food but because of the ambiance they create and the style that the French are naturally blessed with. But for day to day summer meals there is no better place then Greece. The seafood is to die for, as are the salads; their bakeries and sweet dishes also deserve a special mention.

I’d recommend Kounelas Fish Tavern for the most impressive seafood assortment; you’ll be ushered into the kitchen and shown huge drawer-fulls of fish, prawns, lobsters, prawns and shrimps to choose from. They cook it fresh, there and then. Avra is another good restaurant but I’d say the atmosphere and the venue is more impressive then the food. Candle lit, with deep pink bougainvillea and colourful lanterns, it’s probably the prettiest dinner spot in town. Almost a dreamy wonderland of sorts. Oh and you’re in luck if there’s a birthday – the staff put on a top performance and get everyone involved!


Later on, hop over to Gerasimos for apple cake, chocolate pudding and traditional Greek delicacies. Equally amazing is the chocolate pudding at Catarina’s Bar in Little Venice.

3. The architecture is just beautiful; Mykonos is a blue and white fairytale. The boutique hotel we stayed at was Harmony – bang opposite the port, a minutes walk from the town centre. Can’t recommend it enough. If there are hotels in heaven then they probably look like Harmony. And I’m talking about original, unique and classy architecture; not to be compared with the flashy W Hotels of this world. This one is in a class of it’s own.


4. To enjoy luxury beaches with fantastic restaurants and parties. If you had to pick two beaches to go to I’d say Psarou and Paradise are the ones you can’t miss. Nammos on Psarou beach is one of Mykonos’s most well known landmarks. However, there are only 32 taxis in the whole town so be prepared to wait for yours. Unless you rent a car or a bike – that’s probably the best way to get around the island.

5. We loved the quirky and unusual little art galleries sprinkled throughout the town centre. Usually the work of local artists, the running theme in most of their work is the sea, the various shades of blue and the use of vibrant colours. I particularly liked Iaspis for paintings and the House of Art Manuel for some really unusual sculptures. A few of these galleries only accept cash payments. Jewelry shops are in abundance and for the not so creative amongst us, there’s always good old Louis Vuitton and other well known, high end designers.

We are definitely going back! See you there…


From Rome, with love


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There’s something very special about Rome. It has a strong, proud personality which makes you feel like you are very lucky to have the pleasure of its company. Unlike many other big cities, it dictates the way you’ll conduct yourself during your visit; hence the saying ‘when in Rome do as the Romans do’ – it’s more of an order; but one that most are happy to comply with!

Some of the things I’d recommend you see and do are –

1. Put your camera away for a little while and do take time out to treat your eyes and admire the amazing art and architecture the city has to offer. It’s unique and you won’t find it anywhere else in the world. All the famous sights are breathtaking but St Peter’s Basilica is by far the most over overwhelmingly majestic (go there on a weekday around 4pm to avoid a ridiculously long que and make sure your shoulders and legs are covered) – this city belongs to Michelangelo, as Barcelona does to Gaudi and Picasso. If you appreciate art and history this city will leave you spellbound.

2. It’s all about leather. Move beyond Prada and Gucci – the tiny little boutiques and off beat shops in side lanes and streets sell the best bags, satchels, shoppers, gloves, wallets and boots. Beautiful colours and excellent quality – some of their styles are way trendier then those from the designer brands. I particularly like the shops off main Via Veneto which is also home to some very swanky hotels and bars. Don’t waste time looking at clothes though – especially if you live in London – our high street is miles ahead!

3. Peek through the Aventino key hole for a keyhole view of the Vatican. The most popular thing on the Aventino hill itself is to take a peek through the keyhole that lets you look through three countries (the third is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, which owns the building that the keyhole belongs to) and see St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican perfectly framed between two rows of trees. It’s a quirky little secret which many tourists don’t even know about!

4. Tucked away in a pretty little lane off the Spanish steps, Alcozer & J is worth visiting for the most alluring and original jewels. Established in 1994, they are a craft company and the unique thing about their pieces is that they don’t necessarily fall into the category of costume jewelry; rather they incorporate elements of rich, antique jewelry into modern versions – if you like detailed, heavy pieces which ooze glamour and originality then visiting Via delle Carrozze, 48-00187 will be one of the highlights of your trip.


5. Gelato & spaghetti – You can not return from Rome without trying Green Apple ice cream – Melon, Peach and Pineapple are not too far behind. Fresh, creamy and just the right amount of sweet. Nothing else will be good enough again.

Do try the seafood spaghetti at Osteria del TempoPerso,  Piazza del Popolo (which is probably the most happening piazza in Rome – minutes away from the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain) it’s one of the best you’ll ever have. And it won’t break the bank either.

We stayed at the very lovely Visconti Palace Hotel, Via Federico Cesi 37, 00193 Roma. Centrally located, with friendly staff and a particularly good roof top bar and restaurant, this hotel makes for an ideal starting point for those new or returning to Rome.


Shall we dance?


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With the news of the royal baby yesterday and the country rejoicing; it’s probably a good time to mention that Dance Umbrella is all set to rock and roll  from 3rd-20th October. The festival has been running for 35 years and brings new dance to London in the form of affordable and free to view events in unusual spaces.

To find out more, check out their website here.

If you don’t fancy waiting till October, there’s also Thursday night al fresco tango dancing with Tango-Fever at Spitalfields. A free beginners lesson is followed by three hours of outdoor dancing for everyone. Click here for more details.

In the mood for some good, old fashioned Bollywood music? Try Kuch Kuch nights; London’s hidden Bollywood gem. Whether you’re going just for a laugh or because you love Indian music, this is one night that most people are likely to enjoy – high energy and alot of bling. A little tip – leave your brain at home for this one!

Break a leg.

Art or Food?


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The capital’s weather has held out for weeks at a stretch now and the whole nation is celebrating – eating, drinking, chilling out in the park. I don’t think I’ve ever spent as much time in parks (Hyde Park and Green Park in particular) in all my 8 years in the UK as I have in the last 3 weeks. They really are the best place to be in the summer – they’re free, you can bring drinks, treats and fruit and make as much noise as you like for as long as you fancy. Perfect.

However, if you do have a special occasion coming up and are looking for somewhere more exclusive, here is a recommendation – try Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire. For those of you who don’t know him, he’s an OBE  celebrity chef.

I heard Heston speak at an Ideas Exchange Conference recently and was blown away by his sheer genius and creativity. His food is designed to stimulate all of the senses; according to Heston ‘eating is a multi-censory experience.’

The Fat Duck was voted the best restaurant in the world in 2005.


A Creative Pioneers Celebration!

Creative Pioneers celebration!

The IPA’s doors were open (literally) for over an hour this afternoon as we accommodated the long que of young pioneers, our ad agencies, VIPs from Metro and Government waiting to get in for our annual Creative Pioneers celebration.
Great vibe, inspiring speeches and some pretty awesome cupcakes!

For a more detailed write up, click here –

The great French export


You may have spent (or aspire to spend) a small fortune on one or more of Chanel’s gorgeous creations (the spanking new Boy Collection is stunning, incase you haven’t checked them out yet) but you can rest in the knowledge that you have invested in a brand which represents a woman of real substance – who was well ahead of her time and has ended up being France’s most popular export.

Did you know the origin of the iconic Chanel logo? It’s quite an enchanting anecdote. As a young orphan, Gabrielle Chanel grew up in a monastery in France called Aubazine. The interlocking C’s came from her memories of the stained glass windows in the chapel which featured interlaced curves.

I’ve read quite a few books on Chanel but my favourite has got to be the biography by Justine Picardie – click here watch a short video.

Fashionista Afternoon Tea at The Berkeley


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Fashionista Afternoon Tea at The Berkeley

Afternoon teas are one of the best things about living in the UK. It’s all about taking those couple of hours with your mum and aunts or your girlfriends to catch up over gorgeous little treats and forget about the boys and the boss! It’s almost as therapeutic as going to a spa; in my opinion.
I went to the Berkeley’s Pret-a-Portea recently for a dear friend’s birthday – and loved every minute of oohing and aahing over the traditional English afternoon tea with cakes and pastries resembling the latest catwalk designs; the likes of Oscar de la Renta, Alexander McQueen and Prada.
Highly recommended!

A recent IPA event on diversity within adland

A recent IPA event on diversity within adland

On Thursday, 4th July the IPA opened it’s doors to students from over 57 unis around the country to educate them on the exciting new opportunities in our industry. Here’s a fab write up by our friends at Different – thank you Yousaf!

Check out the pictures here –