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Work-friendly cafes in Lahore 

12 Jun

I’ve never been the kind who can sit in a library for hours and study/work. Nor can I do that at home. Being a medicine student though, that equation didn’t work well for me and I had to find a place where I could sit and study for longer than five minutes in a go.

My answer came to me out of forced circumstances. My final exams were just around the corner, when some relatives came to Pakistan to visit us.

The energy levels at home were beyond anything. Everyone was as people should be when they haven’t met their loved ones in years-loud, worked up and ready for laughs on the smallest of triggers.

Fun times but not for someone with their medicine finals so close. One day, tired of the noise levels, I gathered my books and ended up going to a cafe close to my house.

I got more studying done that day than I’d in the past four at least.

And hence it began. My love for studying and working at cafes around town.

However, I soon realised that every cafe wasn’t work friendly. Some didn’t appreciate you sitting for hours after paying for only your coffee while others were too loud or their furniture too relaxed (yes, that’s a thing) to let you work. However, in the past four odd years, I’ve found some favourites for working at. And though I wish that we could have a Starbucks at every corner too where you could sit and work for hours, these cafes have been saviours for me and today I share them with you!

1. Gloria Jeans, Z block DHA:-

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It’s at the top of my list for a reason. The staff is infinitely courteous and accommodating. The noise levels through most of the day don’t get too annoying.

However, here is the best part-most weekdays, as you climb their stairs to the upper level you will find almost all the tables occupied by customers working away (or even studying) creating a perfect work friendly environment for anyone. Add to that, their community tables are at the perfect height for the given chairs for any kind of work (hi zero neck strain). And, they don’t guilt trip you for sitting with your single coffee cup-for hours.

Verdict-The staff is helpful, the baristas good at their work and the ambiance always both welcoming and work-friendly.

2. Mocca, Mall one, Gulberg 

Mocca


The only reason it’s at the second position on this list is that personally it’s a little too far out of my way. Otherwise, it’s as good as Gloria Jean’s Z block for working out of. The staff is diligent, the lighting amazing (minimal eye strain, omg). Add to that their amazing coffee and macaroons and the place becomes the perfect cafe to work out from. Again, a lot of other workaholics come here too and many a times you will find yourself surrounded by a group of other people working or studying there too, creating the perfect ambiance for you to do the same. That stands true especially for the new covered area they have made on their rooftop. (Plus glass walls, omg!)

Verdict-the food options are vast, the coffee is amazing and the staff is helpful but non intrusive, letting you work as undisturbed as can be.

3. Coffee Shop, Defense club, J block DHA

Coffee shop, Defense Club


One place I can sit from morning till evening with minimal distractions, great (usually) coffee and very, very helpful staff-it’s this. And I’ll be honest. I’ve spent many a day here with my laptop or my books. The only flaw is their lack of wi-fi and the at times not-so-good coffee. However, the staff here is made up of the best, most courteous group of people ever which almost make up for the draw backs. Almost.

Verdict-Perfect ambiance for working if you can do so without wi-fi. Or can arrange for your own.



4. Rina’s Kitchenette, DHA

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Rina’s Kitchenette 


It is almost as good as the other places on the list. The only issue is, this place can either work really well for you or not at all. How? Because the place is small and if you end up going there during rush hours (or when a particularly loud group of people is there too) it’s not going to work out for you at all. But between the rush hours, the community table on the ground floor is a favourite of mine to work at because honestly their dessert menu is the best in the city.

Verdict-They have the best dessert bar ever and amazing coffee too but the environment can swing from being work friendly to the opposite on different days and during different hours. Hence, it’s a calculated risk at times but a great one nonetheless.

Trend report-June edition

1 Jun

1. One shoulder tops

Because cold shoulders are too main stream now!

If you want one for a steal, the option below from Storets is amazing.

(Get here! Or get a variant of it here. )

 

 

But the top that added new life to the trend is this one from Mr. Self Portrait! It is a splurge, but these wide-sleeved shirts are the latest fashion-favourite for they include another much-loved trend, wide stripes!

 

2. Mis-matched earrings

 

All the cool kids are mixing and matching their earrings. What about you?

You can get them here/here for a steal and here if you feel like splurging!

Charlize Theron brought the trend into limelight again, via her Chopard earrings at the Oscars. Note that one has a heart-shaped  pendant while the other has an oval one. 

 


 

3. Pin straight hair

Thank you KimK for bringing this trend back, because honestly we don’t think we could stomach another head of curled hair. Not on us, not on anyone else!

Bonus tip: Couple your sleek-straight hair with a lob and be the group’s cool girl!

 

Olivia Culpo

 

4. Tassel(ed) earrings 

They are fun, quirky and come in so many colours. Brb, as we run to get ourselves some.

 

You can buy them here or here (steal). And here ! And for Pakistanis (especially Lahoris), check out these ones from BTW*Esfir!

To get earrings similar to the style above, check here!

5. Ruffles. Ruffles. Ruffles. 

Enough said!


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Zimmerman top

Get similar looks from here, here and here! Or try this H&M top whose color you will fall in love with!

6. Cute little ‘hand bags’

Let’s be honest, when are they not in style?

Some of our favourites are the Small Marcie Saddle bag and the Small Grained Calfskin Faye Shoulder bag from Chloe, and this Valentino!

But our favorite most is this Celine photographed below!

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Celine-Aimee Song


7. Gucci-esque flats 

Let it be known that Gucci made these slightly manly and very office-wear inspired flats the “in thing” but the brands around caught up fast enough! For us though, the Alexander Wang flats photographed below win the race! Best flats ever? We think so too!

Get them here!! 

Or a similar style for a steal price here!

Wang-Blank Itinerary 

Catch you next month with another fun-filled trend report, until then,
Ciao! xoxo

Letters to you

1 Jun


Hi everyone,

It’s finally here! June, the month that for so many (especially for college students like me) marks the start of summer vacations! Oh, how we have waited for it!

Now that it’s here, I am pretty sure most of you have begun planning (or are already setting off) for your vacations.

Which is so cool, and all my best wishes to those who have already planned it down to a T! But for those who feel like you need more inspiration or just some tips on what to take and how to pack, and where to go-don’t worry, we have got your back!

We here at TMW, are dedicating June to Holiday planning! (Cue five minutes dance party!)

It is time to get your holiday planners out! And if you aren’t sure where you want to go to, then stay tuned for our post on ten of our favourite spots for holidaying which we have written with all types of vacationers in our mind!

If you already have a specific location in your mind then our travel guides on Chicago, New York, Miamiand (cue extra special sound effects) Lahore might be all the help you need!

If you are fine on all these ends and just need some extra help in packing, watch this space for our tips on packing when you travel internationally and when travelling nationally. 

If you are looking for lights summer reads while vacation-ing we have got you covered!

What to wear on vacations is one of the hardest questions ever but we will answer that too along with a trend report on what’s hot this month in the fashion world! Plus we have an extra-yum post on our favourite holiday style tips, all just for you!

For a bonus post, we have asked beauty experts for in-flight skin care advice to keep our skin from breaking out when we jet set to our vacation spot. Sounds intriguing? I hope you like it even better than us when the post goes live!

And finally, for the ones who because of any restraints (family, work, job) can’t travel, we worked on something that will help you fight off that wanderlust!

Our Friday Five will relaunch this month too, featuring all things holiday all through June, and for the desi foodies out there, we have a really special post on all the best spots to eat and work at in Lahore!

Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about Father’s Day, and have a really fun post planned for it. But the post in itself is a surprise, so no sneak-peaks for this one!

Does what we have in store sound like fun to you? The posts themselves are even more fun and have a lot more to offer than I’m letting on! So you will have to keep an eye out for them as June progresses! (See what I did there?)

I am really looking forward to your feedback on all the posts we are working on for you! Let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions or requests for any particular posts!

Lots of love,

Gull

Our advice:-sign up for our mailing list or follow the blog so you know as soon as the post you are looking forward to goes live!

3 DIY masks for healthy hair

22 Apr

My mother (and hers, and hers before her) have always had gorgeous hair and always get compliments for how healthy and lush they look!

I believe almost all of the credit goes to how they take care of their hair! I don’t remember a single weekend, growing up, when my mother wasn’t putting on one home-made hair mask or another on her hair. And she always tells me that it is their use that has allowed her hair to remain soft and shiny till now! That, and eating healthy!

Here are three DIY masks that I have seen her using a lot, and that I love the results of when I make the effort of using them too!

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For dry hair!

  1. For when your hair feels dry:-

    This one is a favorite, because after this mask my hair feel so good to touch and are so silky and smooth that I don’t even have to style them. They look perfect as they are!
    What you need:
    -7 strawberries
    -1 egg yolk
    _1.5 tbsp Olive oil
    How to:
    Blend all the ingredients and leave the mask on for 20-30 minutes before washing your hair. Not only will you be able to skip your conditioner but your hair will smell delicious!

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    Turmeric hair mask

  2. For when your hair needs that extra nourishment:-

    I use this when I feel very guilty of how (badly) I have been treating my hair! I feel like this gives my hair the perfect pick-me-up, and says a little “I am sorry” from me!
    What you need:
    -1 tbsp turmeric powder
    -3 tbsp yogurt
    -1 tbsp oil (olive or coconut)
    How to:
    Mix the ingredients together well, leave on for 30-40 minutes and wash off. You might need to shampoo twice to get all of the turmeric out!

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    Avocado mask

  3. For when your hair feels too dull:

    This mask will give your hair both a nice shine and the right amount of softness. Plus it uses one of my favorite ingredients-avocado!
    What you need:
    -1 ripe avocado
    -1 tbsp oil (coconut or olive)
    -1 tsp honey
    How to:
    Smash the avocado, and mix in the other ingredients.
    Leave the mask in your hair for 15-20 minutes and then wash it out. You can add more oil if you feel the need, but remember that might mean shampooing your hair twice to get all the oil out!

I hope you try these masks out and they are as helpful to you as they have been to the women in my family.
Lots of love,
Gull!

Tasteful Thursdays-Black coffee

15 Jan

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It’s drizzling outside, you don’t have just a long day ahead, rather a long week. Because, oh snap, it’s Monday. And you have to drag yourself out of your warm covers and plunge into the wild, viscous world out side. Drench yourself in the cold knocking on your windows. But the very though of it all sends you shivering deeper into the covers and as you close your eyes against the horrors awaiting you, you send out a little prayer. A hopeless wish to help you survive it all, to give you the incentive to get out of bed and face the nightmares.
And then it hits you. The answer to your prayers. The perfect mix of “rev-you-up for world domination” and incomparable paradise-for-your-taste-buds taste. Your personal Monday-pick-me-up.
Black coffee.
They say you need time to acquire the taste for this coffee, that and guts.
I disagree.
You only need a well prepared cup of this mysterious drink, the rest would be taken care of by it’s own irresistible aromas and the rich flavor of freshly ground coffee shining as it’s brightest star. If it’s not done just rightly, if the aroma or the taste or even the color fails to rise above a minimum effective level to bombard your reward/happy-making centers, then, duh you won’t be able to gulp it down.
No matter how big a coffee-holic you are.
Why do I say this? Experience.
I was a born coffee lover, yet no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t develop a “taste” for black coffee (not even the long black) till I realized I wasn’t doing anything wrong. The coffee was. And it was doing all sorts of wrongs. How? By falling short in one or more of the areas mentioned above.
In short, I was buying second class black coffee. And trying to fall for it. Until I stopped trying, and then God led me to not just the love I craved but the reason why I couldn’t get it, in the form of the most perfect cup of black coffee I had ever had. I came across it by forced chance, sheer circumstantial lack of choice, which had me ending up at one of my favorite cafés in Lahore. And, somehow, the friend I was with persuaded me to give their black a shot (pun not intended). Timidly, reluctantly, I gave in to her and giving up my black-coffee boycott, I ordered a cup.
And never did I regret that decision. From the time since I first glimpsed the rich, deep, utter blackness of it, smelled it’s mind numbingly amazing aroma, tasted it’s tongue tingling bitterness, I remained a fan of CTC black coffee for a long time.
Until I got up the courage and tried a couple of other places whose black coffees were even more unforgettable (especially now when CTC’s is no more that good). And which proved that black coffee needs only to be made with enough love to make it easy for one to love.
Which places were those? Here is a list of my favorite cafés for black coffee.
1. Stumptown cafe, New York.
2. Mocca, Gulberg, Lahore.
3.At the risk of sounding highly cliched-Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks.
4. Ninth street espresso, New York.
5. Greyhound Cafe, West Lafayette, Indiana.
6. Butler’s chocolate cafe.

There are other cafés too, whose black coffees are fat better than just good, but if you want to get acquainted to the taste of them or just like getting the best of the best-then it doesn’t get better than this. Of course, Gloria Jean’s (especially the Islamabad outlet) gets an honorary mention. But I wouldn’t call them black coffee experts, even though they offer the best in some other areas of the coffee “dynasty”.😉
And, to be honest, all this coffee talk has made me crave another cup myself. So, as I quickly wind this up to rush to the kitchen and treat myself with one, let me just leave you on the warning-black coffee isn’t just addictive, it can wind up becoming the centre of your universe.
Just kidding. Not really. 😜

Until next time,
Gull.

Tasteful Thursdays

8 Jan

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I am a caffeine junkie.
Anytime now, I will be the first certified coffee-o-holic in my country.
I can down more than a pint of any kind of coffee, if not in one go then at least in a day, and still be craving for more.
The proof of it lies in my insta-feed. And with my mother who bickers over this fact with me all day long, every day.
All of it? True story. But why am I going on about it? Because, almost every day, without break, I have at least one coffee from a cafe. Or a restaurant. Or a hotel. Or whatever crosses my path which is selling a fresh brewed cup of coffee. So, at least in my city, there would be hardly any place from which I haven’t tried coffee at least once.
For wherever I go, my “eccentric” urges make me have to try the best and the worst of coffees from the worst and the best of places.
So, I might not be qualified enough to pass my judgment on much of the else in the list of eatables, but I hope my word on the topic of coffees after so much coffee-gulping holds some weight.
Having shown off enough for a day (totally not-I can brag all day, buuuuut…) let’s get down to more important things. So why the huge build up? Because for January and February, through my ‘Tasteful Thursday” posts, I will be sharing my favorite coffee houses to date-each it’s best for a particular kind of coffee- with you, both in Pakistan and elsewhere.
But it’s Thursday you say, and I am telling you about everything but a good coffee place.
Already there, hyper-birds, already there. 😉
So, what’s the flavor of the day?
Toffeeccino from English Tea House, Lahore (duh I would start with my hometown.)
Cappuccino is probably one of the most loved of coffee types, the most popularly acclaimed and, although it will never be my favorite, it will always be perfect for the kind of rainy winters heading to us. And it’s one of the few cappuccinos for which I would ditch a latte or mocha. Yes, it’s THAT good.
For when it’s the toffee flavored “-ccino” from ETH, believe me you will have your lips smacking for quite some time after the festive flavor of it has left your mouth and will be instantly craving for more. Be warned though, I have gotten many friends not just hooked onto it, but they are now proudly addicted to their Toffeeccino. Even the ones, who like me, agree that most cafés in this city don’t offer even a passably good Capp. So, if you feel like trying something new in the cappuccino department (or have always ignored it and are willing to give it a chance now), this flavor is for you. And so is the place. It’s not just the added toffee flavor that makes it stay in my top ten list. It’s the basic brew of the cappuccino itself. It’s the aroma, with the right amount of bitterness, the umami. The smooth milkiness without the useless froth. It’s the laid back, understated mugs the coffee is served in.
It’s the experience itself. And what an experience it is.
The cozy, yet not closed in interior with the welcoming staff and the quaint English furniture. The warm, welcoming ambiance, the mesmerizing antique paintings and the cute cutlery that all seems to take you to the old English restaurants-as if you walked right into a classic novel, and Mr. Darcy is just a couple of tables away waiting for Elizabeth, sipping away in his tea Queen Elizabeth cutlery. The lighting, down to the casually placed books and the big windows in both the outlets, make for a perfect place for your coffee-meet. And that’s probably the best part, for whatever I said above, stands completely true for both the outlets, though each has some points over the other. For example, while the view from the one in DHA is much better (the busiest cafe square in DHA), the outdoor seating in the one in Gulberg makes up for it’s lack in as good a view. And although the noise from the kitchens is slightly louder in the DHA branch, their mock-library interior makes up for it.
But, whichever branch you choose, the quality of both the coffee and the experience is equally rich and enjoyable.
Plus, both their main menus have enough finger licking-ly good options in the entrée and main course that they will surely satisfy any non-coffee lover who happens to tag along for that caffeine date. And will help you avoid any cribbing. 😜

So, although there are high chances you have already fallen in love with ETH, fall in love with it again while you sip away at one of the best things they offer.

Till next time,
Love,
Gull.

Tasteful Thursdays

1 Jan

I love series.
But even more I like adding positive adjectives to the days of the week to make it easier to last each one of them.
How?
Be allotting a special fun aspect to each one of them, so that in the haze of my mixed up, overly busy life I can take a moment and enjoy something I love. Like Feminine Fridays, to embrace my inherent femininity. WTF Wednesdays, to search up some cool new topic or place or fashion or even a clothing item to share with you guys.

And now, Tasteful Thursdays.
The concept is pretty simple, each week, I’ll share with you either the best destination I have personally come across for a particular food item or a personally tried and tested, sure-to-amaze-your-taste-buds recipe that will woo your heart. I might diversify this series, because the adjective ‘tasteful’ can have such wonderfully diverse connotations. But for now, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. And stick to food.

This week, to keep this post from getting too long, I’ll just share with you pretties something a little different from what I will be sharing in the future Thursday food posts.
The link to one of my favorite food blogs-Honestly Yum.
In fact, if you haven’t already, rush to the sure or at least it’s Insta page as soon as you can, not only to inspire the foodie in you, but (hopefully) to lure out your inner chef. It’s one of the branches Honestly WTF spread itself out into when it was spreading it’s wings, and not only the recipes there are divine and original, but they aren’t very hard and the added tips and tricks are a must-see for amateur as well as for practiced chefs-defined excellently to be understood by both and all the classes in between.

Head there and wet your appetite, but know that the best is yet coming, so that you are ready and prepared for my post next week.

Until then, loves, stay sexy.

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