Friday, 15 December 2017

A rock musician with a sage soul

A rock musician with a sage soul: Roque Lazarus is a man with an entrenched passion for music. Having spent most of his life with music in different capacities, the man is synonymous with rhythm. Café takes a peek into his life

Monday, 15 May 2017

Pine Tree shack, (Gaura Vaddo - West), Calangute, Goa


Now, wine and dine at the Pine Tree shack, Gauravaddo (West) Calangute beach, Goa through the year. You can shake your booty too, as Savio Gonsalves, owner of the Pine Tree shack provides an eclectic blend of music to his guests.

As if the sea, sun, sand (and sin) from October to May-end, as dished out by the Pine Tree Shack was not enough his guests, Savio says the shack may not shut shop during the rains from June to September. It appears, he wants to give the good life to his clientele of gourmands, gluttons and other pleasure seekers, all through the year.

Savio first erected his shack under the pine trees way back 2001. Since then, he has cooked and served good food for 16 long summers. He claims his speciality is Goan food – chicken and beef xacuti, pork vindalo, fish and prawn caldin, fish recheado, Ambott tik, drool, drool, etc. He also serves continental and Chinese. Among his drinks, the Pine Tree Special – a cocktail of caju feni, coconut feni and fruit juices – is a big hit on guests.

Among the celebrities who have savoured his cuisine include singer Katy Perry (Savio says she binged on prawn balchao), Bollywood actor Anushka Sharma and politician Salman Khurshid. The last-named owns a home nearby.

“I am very happy with my clientele who are very happy with us. So I may decide to keep the shack open right through the year,” says the young bachelor, who is also a ward member in the Calangute Panchayat. Before that, he was the deputy Sarpanch.

Savio earlier screened movies at the shack but has now stopped. Now, he offers karaoke and can set it up instantly for his guests. Also, barbeque can be set up in a jiffy. Plus, Savio offers cook-your-own-meal facility to demanding guests. Or guests can instruct his cooks to cook the way they (guests) want. Making everything a breeze for guests, are Savio’s dozen disciples – faithful staff.

Another service the Pine Tree Shack offers is home delivery. If you are living in Calangute or around and want to enjoy Savio’s delicacies, order his food on the phone. Savio says Pine Tree prices are on par with other prominent shacks in Calangute.

The only problem with the Pine Tree shack is the narrow access. To reach here, you first come on the Calangute-Candolim road. After the Tarcar Ice factory, you take a right turn near the small Piedade chapel and go straight down towards the beach. Then you walk on foot for 3 minutes or so. “If I get a wider access, I will make it a very happening place – have a live band, fireworks and all that jazz.”

Yours truly and friends partied at the Pine Tree shack recently. We sang, we danced on the tiled flooring inside the shack, we played games in the sand and we ate, among other things, Savio’s chicken xacuti.

When will he marry? “When I meet Ms Right,” said Savio with a wicked smile. Katy Perry and Anushka Sharma came and went. Who knows? The next diva who comes along may just choose to stay; at the Pine Tree shack and its genial owner.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Our friends from Yorkshire

“Joe, would you have us here back again?” asked Stephanie Waterton.

That line, or its variants, spoken by our guests at Joe and Marietta’s Guesthouse, are delightful to hear; it means our guests were happy with us and would like to return.

Tanya Miles seemed equally delighted to have stayed with us. English Roses Tanya and Stephanie (Steff), along with their respective spouses and their sons, stayed at our Palm 3-bedroom apartment for two weeks this February. They left for England on Sunday, February 26. The two families hail from Leeds in Yorkshire.

Craig, Tanya’s husband and Patrick (Paddy), Stephanie’s husband, were gracious and very profuse in thanking us. We cannot but think the same way about them, especially Tanya, who was thoughtful enough to bring us biscuits all the way from England, even though she had never met us earlier. It was Tanya who did the booking and communicated with us all along before their arrival here in Goa.

Tanya and Craig Miles are avid travellers; they have toured Cuba, Mexico,
Greece, Cyprus and other tourism hotspots of the world. Curiously, the Miles have never been to other parts of India, though this is Tanya’s sixth visit to Goa. Asked what brought her to Goa, the accounts manager from Leeds told me she loves the people, the freedom and the food. “We feel safe when we are out and we enjoy the beach shacks,” said Tanya.

For Craig, “the food is very, very nice; the people are very, very nice.”

“The pools,” quipped Frankie, Tanya’s six-year old son. Tanya had enquired and ensured that the children would get access to swimming pools during their stay here in Goa.

“It’s been perfect,” said Stephanie, a first-time visitor to Goa, who works in account administration in Leeds.

They also stayed at the beaches of Agonda and Palolem in South Goa and Arambol beach in the north. The group also splashed in the pool of Froggy Land”, a water park at Nuvem, South Goa.

Tanya and her family have a special affinity to Goa. Tanya’s mother has lived here for many years. And around this Valentine’s Day, Tanya’s sister Amy married a Calangute boy, Justin. It was a beach wedding in Calangute; memories of which the group will relish for long years.

You may think that the two families were in Goa only for the beaches, the food and the nightlife. No. In the middle of their holiday in the sun, the families also took the trouble to spend time with the less fortunate. They took their four small sons to visits the Mango Tree, a home for disadvantaged children in Mapusa town, about seven kilometres north of Calangute. There, the two couples and their sons gave their time and clothes to the children of the home.

All we can say is - it was lovely meeting you Tanya, Craig, your sons Frankie and Logan; and Paddy, Stephanie and your sons Jake and Ashton. Marietta and I wish you all happiness. Deu Borem Korum (God bless you).

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Joe and Marietta's Guesthouse, Calangute Goa

Friends, foes and Donald Trump,

Happy to announce the launch of the new website of Joe and Marietta's Guesthouse, Calangute, Goa, today.

Our new website is complete with online booking facility and online payment facility. All photographs, text, captions given by me - Joe and I have Marietta's permission to say so.

Also note that Joe and Marietta's Guesthouse is ranked no. 2 out of 216 speciality lodgings in Calangute on Tripadvisor.

There is more to this space!