Tag Archives: Lakshmi

Giovanni’s – A Lip Smacking Dining Experience in Covent Garden, London

By Lakshmi:

It was our first visit to the Covent Garden area.  Yes, in all our visits to London, we had never visited this hip and happening spot, till a friend from the US suggested we meet up there for dinner.

From the moment you emerge from the tube station, the energy of the area just draws you in.  Well dressed youth milling around in animated conversations, elegant opera goers, dapper business folks and tourists all make the area a totally fun place for people watching.  Amid this hustle bustle, we decided to scout out our place to hang for the evening.  We were too late to watch Daniel Radcliffe, too hungry to eat fast food, did not want to go into any of the pretentious looking places that charged a gazillion pounds, passed on Koshary as too much of a quick bite and finally settled on Giovanni’s.  The restaurant was small, the menu enticing and the atmosphere cosy.

A sixty year old institution in a fabled old area, the people and the food at Giovanni’s made for a perfect evening.  We decided to share three dishes accompanied by the mandatory prosecco!  Here are the dishes that made us savor every bite and not leave even a morsel on our plates.

Pappardelle “Maestro Pavarotti” – Pappardelle (ribbon pasta) with broad beans, garden peas, spring onions and parmigiano with a little fresh chilli pepper


This was the perfect summer dish.  The pappardelle ribbons making the perfect bed for the fresh summer veggies.  A light pasta dish so perfect for al fresco dining experiences.  A pasta I had never tasted stateside and yet appeared so easy to create.

Bufala di Aversa – 100% Bufala mozzarella served with sliced beef tomato, fresh basil leaves and cold pressed olive oil


Eating really fresh mozzarella is a subliminal experience and this salad with the summer fresh tomatoes and basil drizzled with really good olive oil could not go wrong in any way.

Orecchiette con Broccoli – Shell shaped pasta with broccoli, garlic and chilli


If there was a “crowning glory” to our meal, it would have to be this dish.  A pasta dish so simple, with good for you ingredients, that a recreated version now features on our dinner plate at home.  The orecchiette was tossed with finely chopped steamed broccoli and flavored with just olive oil, garlic and chilli.  Simply perfect – with the only regret being not having enough room in our belly to tuck in a second plate!

We ended our meal with a Tiramisu and espresso, emerging in a blissful state into the throngs of folks leaving the opera.  Our meal was the music for our soul that evening.

To learn more about Giovanni’s please visit their website at


A Photo Essay On Climbing Mt. Vesuvius

By Lakshmi:

At every part of our visit to Pompeii, it was impossible to escape the impact of the wrath of Mt. Vesuvius.  The eruption of this volcano in 79 A.D. buried an entire city.  Needless to say, a visit to Pompeii would be incomplete without a visit to Mt. Vesuvius.  Our entire family decided to spend an afternoon climbing to the top of its crater, a journey that was filled with laughter, intensity and pain that was rewarded with the most amazing vistas at the end.

The NY Times, A Physician, And Christian Bale – All Point to Pembrokeshire, Wales

By Lakshmi:

Authors, travelers and adventurers have waxed eloquence about the beauty of Pembrokeshire, Wales.  Is it our new home in Wales or is it the beauty of the rugged coastline that keeps pulling me towards stories about Pembrokeshire?

A few months ago, the NY Times travel section had this to say about walking the Welsh coastline.  “…….I could no longer resist. Particularly alluring was the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in southern Wales, with those cliffs tumbling down to heaving seas.”  The recommendation was to slow walk and take a multi-day walking adventure.  A casual conversation with a doctor who had studied in Wales ended with a passionate urge to visit Pembrokeshire.  And then, of course, came the discovery that one of our favorite actors Christian Bale was from there!

With a day at our disposal and armed with maps of the area, we decided to make the 2.5 hr drive from our home to Pembrokeshire.  Our target for the day was to head to St. Davids, Britain’s smallest city, and take one of many recommended hikes.

After a quick lunch at the visitor center, off we headed in the direction on the map.  After feeling utterly lost a couple of times, we discovered the path that would take us from the town to St. Davids Head.  I could write volumes of prose on the oohs and aahs that echoed as we took each twist and turn on the journey, but this is a perfect example of where a picture is worth a thousand words.   Take a look at the beauty that greeted us and you will know why returning back to Pembrokeshire and doing all the walks recommended below by The Guardian has propelled this destination to the top of our list!