The Best Chocolate Festivals Around The World

A land full of chocolates is not a thing of dreams anymore. Not when you have annual festivals around the globe solely dedicated to the bliss that is chocolate. Go on and turn all your chocolate fantasies into reality. Get packing and visit the best chocolate festivals around the world.

The Chocolate Festival, London

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At this popular chocolate festival, you will be greeted by stalls and stalls worth of chocolaty goodies that range from simple classics to gourmet delights. Apart from eating these treats, you will learn the art of making them through classes conducted by renowned chocolatiers. You can also get yourself a chocolate face mask therapy and attend workshops on making cocoa butter based beauty products. Live music is also a feature of the chocolate festival that you will surely enjoy. Add this chocolate festival to your bucket list for that unforgettable chocolate experience.

 

Dates: December 4-6, 2015

You can also get a bite of London from our chocolates collection at Bengaluru Duty Free: http://www.bengalurudutyfree.in/Product.aspx?ProductId=50

Chocolart, Germany

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The Germans love chocolate so it is no surprise that they are the hosts of one of the best chocolate festivals in the world. At the Chocolart Festival, visitors get to taste chocolates created by world class chocolatiers from around the globe. The entry to the festival is completely free and the varieties of chocolates are unending; this explains the large crowds always present at the festival. The festival also conducts classes on chocolate making and offers a unique chocolate massage experience.  If you are ready to completely lose yourself to chocolate, make your way to the Chocolart Festival. You won’t regret it.

Dates: December 1- 6, 2015

Get your hands on one of Germany’s favourite chocolate brands at Bengaluru Duty Free: http://www.bengalurudutyfree.in/Product.aspx?ProductId=1491

Eurochocolate, Italy

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The largest chocolate festival in the world, the Eurochocolate festival takes place in the Italian city of Perugia. The best international brands of chocolates assemble at this festival. The festival boasts of everything chocolate, from cooking classes to sculpting competitions, and street side stalls that offer a continuous supply of free samples. Live music plays throughout the festival to create the perfect mood. On the last day of the festival, the Eurochocolate Awards Ceremony takes place where the best chocolatiers receive awards. Have you booked that plane ticket to Italy already?

Dates: October 16-25, 2015

Choco-late, Belgium

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Image Source: http://goo.gl/Vn8bQb

Belgium loves chocolate and chocolate loves Belgium, and you can witness this historical love story by visiting the Choco-late Festival held in Brugge, Belgium. At the festival, visitors can take a trip through a chocolate museum (yes, that’s right), admire gorgeous chocolate art and sculptures, paint with chocolate (sadly, only for kids) and enjoy a mouthful of delicious, free chocolate samples. If you are the kinds that are not just satisfied with eating chocolates but would also love to drink it, then the chocolate beverage bar at the festival won’t disappoint you. Fall in love with chocolate all over again with a trip to Belgium’s Choco-late festival.

Dates: November 2015

Lose yourself to glorious Belgian chocolate, available at Bengaluru Duty Free: http://www.bengalurudutyfree.in/Product.aspx?ProductId=1542

Las Vegas Chocolate Festival, USA

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Las Vegas also known as ‘Sin City; is that place on earth where life is a full blown party. Add an amazing chocolate festival to the list and there is no reason we can think of for not wanting to visit. The Las Vegas Chocolate Festival brings together the best talents in the sweet treat industry and gives visitors a chance to taste some of their oh-so delicious chocolate creations. To make it all even better there is a wide variety of wines and spirits to try along with the chocolates. Yes, this is everything you have ever been waiting for; don’t miss it for the world!

Dates: April 2016

The History of Tequila

Tequila, one of the most popular drinks of today’s times comes with a long and rich history that traces back to early Mexico, North America.

Before the times of the Spanish conquest, the native people of Mexico used to ferment the sap of plants called Agave in order to produce a drink called Pulque.  After the invasion, Spanish Conquistadors distilled Pulque to replace the brandy they had run out of. The drink produced was called Mezcal Wine and became North America’s first distilled spirit.

Mezcal Wine eventually evolved to become the Tequila we know today. Both Mezcal and Tequila are made using the heart of the Agave plant called pina. Tequila is a type of Mezcal however it is produced in a different manner.  Tequila is produced using only the Blue Agave plant while Mezcal can be produced using five different types of Agave.  Mezcal is made using pina that is baked over charcoal in a rock lined pit oven, covered with palm fibre mats and earth. Tequila on the other hand is made from pina that is steamed or baked in ovens above the ground.

The name Tequila comes from the small town of Tequila in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. The Blue Agave plant, known as the best variety to produce Tequila, flourishes in this town.

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In 1758, the King of Spain granted a man called Jose Antonio Cuervo the rights to cultivate a section of land with Agave plants, which then led to the first licensed commercial manufacture of Tequila. Today, Jose Antonio Cuervo is a well renowned Tequila brand that is the largest manufacturer and exporter of the drink.

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In 1858, a man named Don Cenobio Sauza visited the town of Tequila and was completely entranced by the place. He worked at the Cuervo distillery where he learned about the production behind Tequila. He also gained expertise in Agave farming. With this knowledge, he bought his own distillery and established Sauza Tequila; till date one of Jose Cuervo’s greatest competitors. Tequila made its way to the USA for the first time as an export from Sauza Tequila.

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Tequila did not attain importance until post 1821, when Mexico gained independence and Spanish products were hard to get. Next the Mexican revolution took place which brought about a huge wave of patriotism towards Mexican made products including Tequila.

In the USA, a prohibition was set on Tequila but this only increased the popularity of the drink, and as a result the drink was smuggled across the border. Demand for the product increased again in USA during World War II as a result of scarce supply of spirits from Europe.

With the increasing demand for the drink, the production also increased. This got the government involved in the form of setting up rules for the production of the product. In 1944, the Mexican government set strict standards that demanded any product called ‘Tequila’ be only produced in the state of Jalisco using Agave grown there. Also to maintain the highest quality of Tequila, it was made compulsory that Tequila be made using no less than 51% Agave Tequiliana Weber, variety Azul.

The rest as they say is history.

Tempted for that fiery shot of Tequila? No worries! Head right to www.bengalurudutyfree.in and pre-order from our wide collection of Tequila brands that includes the original, Jose Antonio Cuervo.

Harman Kardon Speakers now available at Bengaluru Duty Free!

Impeccable audio quality and innovative design come together at Bengaluru Duty Free in the form of Harman Kardon speakers. Crafted using years of research and development, these speakers offer only clear, unadulterated sound, and their unique, sophisticated design make them a treat for the eyes as well.

Harman Kardon Esquire Mini

Esquire Mini

A portable and wireless speaker specifically designed to suit the lifestyle of professionals always on the move. The speaker boasts of superb sound quality, which is a result of dual, high performance drivers and improved bass port design. Only the highest standard of materials is used to craft this masterpiece that exudes a classy yet urban look. Bluetooth enabled, the Esquire Mini can stream audio from your Bluetooth devices. It also has dual microphone, built-in echo and noise cancellation technology that allow it to be used as a conference phone system. With an 8-hour, Li-ion rechargeable battery, you can be guaranteed great performance for long periods of time. See it here.

The Harman Kardon Esquire Mini speaker is available in three colours: Black, White and Brown.

Harman Kardon Aura

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A speaker that is truly one of a kind, the Harman Kardon Aura celebrates sound in all its glory, while also taking aesthetics to a whole new level.  The speaker is designed with 6 X 1.5” high- and mid-range drivers and a 4.5” subwoofer that creates a 360 degree sound experience, transporting the listener to a place that can only be described as sound haven. Premium quality materials are used to develop this stunning product which has a transparent enclosure that gives you a direct view of the subwoofer and vibrant LED lights. The Harman Kardon Aura comes with built-in Bluetooth which allows you to stream audio from your Bluetooth enabled devices. It has an AirPlay feature that wirelessly streams audio from your iOS devices and iTunes application. It is also a DLNA certified device that allows audio streaming through your home network. Take a look at it here.

The Harman Kardon Aura speaker is available in two colours: Black and White.

Harman Kardon Go + Play

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We bring you the audio dock of your dreams with the Harman Kardon Go+Play. This gorgeous loudspeaker dock is the perfect partner for your iPhone or iPod. Just plug them in and let the party begin. Built with dual high frequency, advanced midrange transducers and high excursion, low frequency drivers, the Harman Kardon Go+ Play delivers mind-blowing sound clarity and superior bass. You can also stream music wirelessly on the dock with Harman TrueStream that allows you to connect any of your Bluetooth enabled devices to the dock. The loudspeaker dock is also highly portable. Carry it wherever you want using its super stylish, stainless steel handle. See it on our website here.

The Harman Kardon Go+ Play is available in a single colour: Black

Harman Kardon Onyx

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The device for all your devices. That’s right. The Harman Kardon Onyx can stream audio from all your smart devices, making music accessible from a wide range of outlets –  Bluetooth and NFC enabled devices, Apple devices (using AirPlay) and  Android and Windows environments (using DLNA).  The Onyx is built with four powered speakers and dual passive radiators that create a powerful sound which surrounds you from every angle. Its unique shape, stainless steel handle, aluminium finish passive radiator and pure leather also rank it high in terms of aesthetic value. Take a look at it here.

The Harman Kardon Onyx is available in two colours: Black and White.

So the next time you are at Kempegowda International Airport, don’t walk past our Electronics Store. Step right in and get your very own Harman Kardon speakers at duty free price from Bengaluru Duty Free.

You can check out the products at www.bengalurudutyfree.in

The Benefits of Eating Chocolate

Chocolate tastes like heaven in your mouth and that is probably enough reason to have the world’s most loved sweet treat on a regular basis. However, apart from its ability to give your taste buds absolute delight, chocolates also have great health properties. The perfect combination isn’t it?

So don’t feel guilty about your secret pleasure. Go for that next bite of delicious chocolate as it is packed with health perks.

 It’s good for the heart

Chocolate is known to have properties that help control blood pressure levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Research shows that chocolate lowers the possibility of heart attacks as they help prevent blood clots from forming. A 2011 Swedish study has found that women who eat chocolate regularly have a 20 per cent less chance of a getting a stroke.

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Helps control your appetite

Chocolates have fibre content that fills you up enough to prevent excess eating. With your appetite in check, your calorie intake reduces and your overall health improves.

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It’s an instant mood booster

Obviously! They taste so amazingly good. No one can deny the superpowers chocolates have when it comes to raising your spirits. They are a great stress buster, which means they are pretty much your brain’s best friends.

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Image Source: http://bit.ly/1J0H0dd

Great for a cough

If you have a cough that is hard to beat, then chocolate can help. Chocolate contains theobromine that helps reduce activity in a certain part of the brain known as vagus nerve– responsible for triggering coughing fits. If you are experiencing uncontrollable coughing, just pop in a chocolate.

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Cancer prevention powers                

Research studies have shown that a compound called Pentamer found in chocolate can stop cancer cells from spreading. Also the antioxidants in chocolates have properties that attack cell damage and prevent tumour growth.

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Improves blood flow

Chocolate has blood thinning and clot preventing properties that improve overall blood flow and circulation in the body. A 2008 study conducted by Harvard University showed that regular chocolate intake speeds up blood flow to the cerebral arteries.

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So you have all the reasons, now all you need is the chocolate! We can help you with that too. Head to http://goo.gl/CeqnFQ and pre-order from our mouth watering collection of international chocolates from the world’s best chocolate makers. And if that isn’t enough, get them at great discounts and at duty free prices less than other duty free shops worldwide.

The All-New Bengaluru Duty Free Store

Bengaluru Duty Free recently launched its sparkling new store at the International Departures Hall, Kempegowda International Airport. The same exceptional service, impeccable quality, vast product offerings and unbeatable value for money now comes in a more vibrant and attractive avatar. If you haven’t had the chance to explore it yet, no worries! Here’s a photo gallery tour especially for you.

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The world’s most popular international brands spanning across product categories such as Liquor, Chocolates, Fragrances, and Cosmetics all under one roof at the new Bengaluru Duty Free Store.

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A glorious collection of the best Whiskies, Single Malts, Brandies and other popular spirits all right in front of you. With such large variety, selection is not an easy task, is it?

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Well let’s make it easier for you! How about heading to the Tasting Bar before deciding on your perfect drink?

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Oh look! Your favourite section has arrived. We promise you, you will never run out of chocolates here. It’s what dreams are made of!

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Do you know what heaven smells like? The Fragrances section at our all new store.  Come and get enchanted by the wondrous scents unleashed by some of the most loved perfume brands in the world.

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Beauty begins right here, at the Skincare & Cosmetics section of our brand new store.  Amazing skincare and make-up products at great value for money! It just doesn’t get more beautiful than this!

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If you are all about the gadgets, then we have a special haven for you too. The ‘Sound & Vision’ section where the shelves are laden with electronic goodies from leading international brands.

That’s the end of your quick virtual tour of Bengaluru Duty Free’s new store. Next step: Plan an international trip and come visit us!

Pre-order products from our store at www.bengalurudutyfree.in

Travel guide for a Chocoholic

Some of us belong to this one clan. A clan which shares a common weakness and strength. We call ourselves the Chocoholics. Our one weakness and strength is the all mighty Chocolate. It makes us go weak in the knees and also lifts us up when we are low. Sometimes we face a tricky situation, in pursuit of our one goal. Where shall we go so that we may be able to experience the magic of chocolate fully?

Well, once you have been through this list here, you’d already be packing your bags.

Here we go!

 

  • Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA

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Image Source: http://www.staticflickr.com

So, when a city is not actually a city, but a model town for the workers of a chocolate factory, you’ve got to know that’s epic! The complete family entertainment hangout includes fabulous rides where your kids can frolic, while you treat yourself to the chocolate spa. Realising everyone’s dream to visit the world created by Willy Wonka, Hershey’s Chocolate World lets you see how chocolate is made, taste what you like and even make your own candy! Basically, if you are a chocoholic, your paradise would pretty much look like the Hersheypark, with its official Hershey resort where you can live all your chocolate fantasies and more! The ‘Sweetest place on Earth’ indeed!

 

  • Brussels, Belgium

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Did you know that the Belgian Post Office has issued five stamps that smell and taste like chocolate? Now a county that is THAT crazy about its national delicacy, deserves to make it to your list, doesn’t it? Head to the ‘Chocolate capital of the World’ where you can take a guided chocolate tour at the La Maison Chocolat or attend a chocolate making class with one of Belgium’s master chocolatiers. Oh and did you know… Brussels is filled with chocolate shops and has more chocolatiers per square foot than any other city across the globe? So join the Belgians and your sweet tooth to celebrate the festival that is chocolate!

 

  • Kilchberg and Zurich, Switzerland

KILCHBERG, SWITZERLAND - MARCH 20, 2014: Lindt Lindor chocolate truffle on a red luxury silk background as seen on March 20, 2014. Lind is one one of the lastgest luxury chocolate and confectionery company worldwide

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Kilchberg houses the factory of Lindt, one of the most well known chocolate brands of the world. You could take a tour of the factory and see chocolate being made and packaged and afterwards go through the street stores for great discounts on chocolates! If you are a milk chocolate fanatic, then there isn’t a better place than Zurich, it being the birthplace of milk chocolates. Here, you can visit Bahnhofstrasse for a fabulous adventure, where you can find some of the best chocolatiers of the world alongside brands like Chanel, Armani and the like! You could also stroll the streets of Zurich for the smaller but equally fabulous chocolate shops.

 

  • Cologne, Germany

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Image Source: www.yesgerman.com

Cologne offers not only chocolate for your taste buds, but is the place you need to visit if you want  to know chocolate in all its glory! Flanked by the Rhine riverside, sits the Imhoff-Stollwerck Museum, or, locally known as, The Chocolate Museum of Cologne. Starting as an exhibit to celebrate 150 years of Stollwerck Chocolate, its immense popularity made the owners convert it to a museum, depicting the journey of chocolate from cultivation of the cacao plant to the finished product. The museum also houses a chocolate fountain and a samples section. Must visit for every chocoholic!

 

  • New York, USA

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You probably didn’t expect to see New York on this list, given that its only known for its posh and swank, but we mean it, if you are forever in love with chocolate, you need to plan a trip to NYC too! The city is home to chocolatiers from all over the world, with an array of tastes and styles to choose from. One of the coolest things to do here is to take the New York City Luxury Chocolate Tour, where you will be able to taste samples from some of the finest shops around the city and get to know the history of some of the most famous chocolate establishments of the world. Also, DO NOT miss the Jacques Torres Chocolat, cause every item on their delectable menu is a must try!

  • Tabasco and Oaxaca, Mexico

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The air in Oaxaca is intoxicated with the smell of the perfect hot chocolate wafting wherever you go! This is THE place to go to for a hot chocolate. Head to Mina ‘Sweet’ street and get drunk on this heavenly blend of pure perfection. Another chocolate attraction in Mexico is Tabasco, where you will find a large assortment of styles and tastes of chocolate. You could also take a guided tour of the cocoa farms and watch chocolate being made. The uniqueness of this region’s chocolate is that recipes of chocolate are traditional as they are sacred, passed down from generation to generation and often guarded as a cherished secret! Isn’t that sweet?

 

  • Barcelona, Spain

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Home of the first ever chocolate making machine, the Spanish love affair with chocolate is a rumour we have all heard. Well, guess what, this love affair is for all to indulge in! Visit the city of Barcelona, for some of the finest experiments chocolate has ever undergone. Their Churros and chocolate will leave you craving for more and so will the absolute cracker of their chocolate croissant! If you would like to taste more, head to Cacao Sampaka for their lip smacking sweet and spicy hot chocolate. You won’t be disappointed.

 

  • Paris, France

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Okay first things first, if you are reading this and are a chocoholic, book your tickets to Paris this October because 2015 is the year for the world’s largest consumer chocolate show, held in conjunction with the World Chocolate Master Championships! This is something that you must experience with the rest of you family and fellow chocoholics. Right then, getting to Paris, which is a haven for chocolate lovers. The city is famous for its Dark Magic, and you will find countless chocolatiers and pretty chocolate boutiques that deal magnificently with dark chocolate, using high quality ingredients and original recipes. Treat yourself to the most indulgent chocolates here in the City of Love.

 

  • St. Lucia

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Surprising as it may seem, St. Lucia is indeed one of the lesser known attractions for chocolate aficionados, housing some of the most decadent chocolate resorts and hotels. Some hotels even have a specialised chocolate cuisine which is designed to give you a taste of chocolate from all over the world. St. Lucia may have many other reasons to draw you to it, but chocolate is a top choice.

 

  • London, England

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London is one of the more commonly known chocolate attractions of the world and rightfully so, although when here, we would rather look than gobble. The land of the Old Smoke is brimming with a sprinkling of chocolatiers that excel at creating art out of the delicacy. Some of the most sought after chocolates boutiques are the Paul A Young, Rococo and Hotel Chocolat, where you will find chocolatiers forgoing slightly older methods of tempering chocolate with chemicals and artificial ingredients and using fresh, local produce to balance and bring out some of the most wondrous flavours in chocolate.

 

  • Tuscany, Italy

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What most people do not know about the extremely picturesque Tuscany is that other than its fabulous wines, it’s a must visit for any chocolate enthusiast. What with its tiny chocolate gourmets dotting the countryside and some of the most fantastic walk through tours where you can sample and delight in the locally produced chocolate that will leave you craving for more. Do not miss the Slitti, located in the spa resort of Monsummano Terme and Amedei in the tiny hamlet of Cascina.

 

Right then, we know you need to leave for one of these places straight away, but take a few minutes and go through our website, where you can pre-order wonderfully decadent chocolates from the Swiss and Belgian masters, so that they may keep you company all through your time away! Go here and take a dekko.

Plan your dream trip this Miraculous May

The spirited and serene May is here bringing with it reasons galore to lighten your heart and mind. This is by far, the best period of the year for travel. But there are so many places to choose from, so many hobbies and cravings to satiate. What must you do? Where must you go? We are going to put a stop to your endless dilemma and give you a list of spectacular and entirely irresistible events and places you can go to and spend the month well.

 Here we go…

 

May 9th: Venice Biennale, Italy

Visitors looks at Ai Wei Wei's installation Bang at the German pavilion

A festival celebrating and showcasing a huge variety of contemporary art.  It has a plethora of nations participating and can easily be declared as the best Biennale worldwide. The already rich cultural and literary heritage of Venice is complemented at this festival with the greats from all contemporary art forms like cinema, theatre, dance and architecture congregating to give you one of the most enriching weekends you could hope to spend. This is an event every lover of contemporary art must visit. Book your passes soon!

 

May 10th:  The Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona

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For all those F1 freaks out there, the Spanish Grand Prix is here! One of the oldest and most revered of the F1 races, the Spanish Grand Prix takes place in the beautiful city of Barcelona. The city is flocked by thousands of fans who revere the sport and come down to see their idols in the flesh. This is truly worth a visit because here, it’s not just a race, it is a tradition. Another plus point is that once you are here, you can enjoy the myriad joys that the culturally rich city has to offer. Don’t forget to mark your calendar.

 

May 13th: Cannes International Film Festival, France

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Something that you would want to witness at least once is the Cannes Film Festival. So, why not now, when you can? The annual spectacle is the world’s most famous film festival and is an invitation only gala. But you can visit the beautiful city of Cannes at this time of the year since the spirit of the festival is in the air itself. Catch a glimpse of your favourite actors and learn what films are worth a watch, Indian or foreign. The festival also screens documentaries and includes submissions from every possible genre, making it the world’s updated archive of the most celebrated talkies.

May 14th: Noosa International Food and Wine festival, Australia

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Drawing the creme de la creme of the food and wine industry, this festival celebrates food the old school way. Visit for the time of your life, surrounded by food fanatics from every corner of the planet. You can attend wine master classes, food guide throughs, tastings and more, all while also enjoying the captivating beauty of the serene Shire of Noosa, which offers an array of pleasure sports as well as a quiet walk down a cool beach during the sunset, if you are in the mood for it. Calm your senses with the serenity while you treat your palate to the world’s greatest cuisines. What more can anyone wish for? Get packing!

May 15th: Manhattan Cocktail Classic, New York

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Head to the most decadent and mighty celebration of the phenomenon that is a cocktail. This gala affords the participants an excuse to let go of all control and to lose themselves in the plethora of events weaving around the hero of the show. There are tastings, soirees, dinner parties, mixology classes, lectures and more. This is not just a festival. It’s a celebration par excellence. Visit to feed your thirst for knowledge about the cocktails as well as for trying out some of the most amazing cocktails you could come across. The gala attracts some of the most renowned names from the world of liquor. The one thing that is common between the participants is the boundless love that they hold for the Cocktail. You deserve to be there.

May 25th: Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling, England

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This totally bonkers event is nothing but an excuse to celebrate life. As the name suggests, the event is a contest that involves a rind of cheese being hurled from the Cooper’s hill top, after which hundreds of participants of diverse nationalities lunge. The one that finally manages to get hold of the cheese at the bottom of the Hill is declared the winner. This contest is much much more fun than it sound like. For one, you could actually participate and enjoy the sheer thrill of running down the slope of a hill after a rind of cheese! Or… you could simply stand at the sides and watch in awe as countless people let go of all inhibitions and give in to the chase! Either way, if you are there, this is fun unparalleled.

 

May 28th: White Nights, Russia

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A festival during the nights of the midnight sky, this is designed to make you fall in love. The Russians put up an unparalleled show of arts, classic ballet, opera, music, comedy, fireworks and  is sprinkled with international stars of worldwide acclaim enthralling the audience with their impeccable performing skills. All these visual treats and more are performed  against a day lit sky, no matter the time, making it an incredibly memorable experience. Some say this is THE place to fall in love, with yourself, nature, arts and the world. Visit with all those you hold most dear. You won’t want anyone to miss this!

Take a look at our calendar on our Facebook page here!