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Friday, January 06, 2012

Mumbai might not have the best winter, but Rhea Dhanbhoora & Gargi Bansod tell you how to enjoy the little we get with our list of places to visit, things to do and treats to eat

Flirty summer dresses and colourful rain gear have given way to fashionable scarves and warm woolens as winter slowly sets in. While there’s not much more than a nip in the air, evenings have begun to get colder and jackets more essential. Since winters in the city are few and far between, here’s how to make the most of them…

While it’s tempting to shut your windows, lock your doors and huddle up under a thick duvet with a mug of coffee, we suggest you step outdoors. A nip in the air is not commonplace in a city like Mumbai, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience the breeze. Here are a few places where you can get the most out of winter in the city:

Marine Drive: Take a long walk along Marine Drive, up to Nariman Point along the beautiful promenade and soak in the winter chill. You can come here for a late night drive, pick up a shake or ice cream from Bachelor’s, or just sit on the benches facing the sea.

Juhu Beach: If you live in the Juhu- Santacruz-Vile Parle suburbs, the vast Juhu beach stretch is the perfect paradise on a winter morning. Head down for a jog or walk along the beach. It is also famous for its chaats and pav bhaji stalls, which have a few side effects (we’ve tested). And of course, the joy of eating a Kala Khatta Gola in the chilly weather is something you have to experience first hand!

Palm Beach Road: Here’s a way to enjoy the winter with a twist. As it is impossible to enjoy a drive in Mumbai without getting stuck in traffic jams, you can go a little further up to Nerul and enjoy a long, undisturbed 10km drive along the Palm Beach Road. This stretch is known as the Marine Drive of Navi Mumbai. One side of the road is mostly covered in mangroves and there are a few high-rise buildings on the other side. The road is the least traffic prone, so it’s a peaceful drive.

Carter Road: There’s nothing better than standing by the sea when you want to catch a little breeze and Carter Road is one of the several spots where you can catch a glimpse of the sunrise or sunset, eat some corn, indulge in chaat and pull your jacket closer to warm up.

Bandra Fort: Forget sitting down on the rocks when you’re at Bandstand. Climb up to Bandra Fort and survey the sea below. The famous tourist spot can get a little crowded during evenings with coochie-cooing couples, so we suggest an early morning visit which will give you a better view.

INDOORS No matter your budget, we tell you where you and a friend can go to enjoy winter:

Koyla: Koyla is a great open-air terrace lounge and is perfect for youngsters. It has a Moroccan feel to it, with white sand, white walls and cosy canopies which gives it a peaceful and relaxing ambience.

Where Oshiwara, Andheri (W)

Bonobo: If you’re a party hopper who wants a little entertainment along with the winter winds, Bonobo is the perfect open-air lounge to visit. It has great music, an indoor bar and an outdoor seating area with big mushroom shaped umbrellas.
Where Linking Road, Bandra (W)

Gadda Da Vida: With the perfect view of the sunset and a cool breeze from the waves, Gadda da Vida at Hotel Novotel is the perfect place to spend your winter evenings. You can sit back, relax, have a drink and enjoy the view of the picturesque Arabian Sea.
Where Hotel Novotel, Juhu

Dome: If you want to go all out and indulge in luxury, Dome, at the Intercontinental Marine Drive, is where you have to be. It is a little expensive but really cosy and romantic, with a breathtaking view of Marine Drive.
Where Intercontinental Marine Drive, Marine Drive

Soup is the perfect evening snack, mid-day meal or wholesome dinner when it’s cold outside. Here are the best places to check out:
TASTE OF FRANCE French Onion Soup is thick and filling and leaves you feeling warm.

Eat out French Onion Soup at Le Pain Quotidien, Colaba, for `275 with its melted cheese center.

SEAFOOD SOUP We recommend a seafood soup this winter since it’s flavourful and filling but not too heavy.

Eat out Try the Seafood Cilantro Soup at Tasty Tangles, Bandra (W), priced at `199 and the Crab Calcutta Soup (`190) at Ankur Restaurant, Fort with the dollops of butter and fresh cream.

MAGIC MUSHROOMS A good, creamy mushroom soup is a real treat when it gets cold outside.

Eat out The Mushroom & Leafy Spinach Soup for `130 at Out of the Blue, Bandra (W) is a meal in itself.

GET CORNY A thick corn soup is perfect for winter, whether it’s a cream of corn soup or the lighter Chinese style sweet corn and chicken soup.

Eat out The Black Bean & Corn stew from Sancho’s (`195), Khar (W), is a must-try winter treat.

SPICY TREAT A little spice works well when it comes to a chilly day and Chinese Tom Yum is the perfect soup of the season.

Eat out Try the Tom Kha soup from Lotus Blossom at www.lotusblossom.com, for `125.

There’s nothing like a good, steaming cup of cocoa and for some of the best in the city, here’s where we suggest heading:
Theobroma: The Adult Hot Chocolate is a must-try, flavoured with rum or Irish cream (`100). Also try the traditional Hot Chocolate for `70.
Where Colaba Causeway and Bandra (W)

Candies: We love Candies for a lot of reasons and their delicious hot chocolate is one of them. Try their Hot Chocolate or opt for the White Hot Chocolate for `70 for a more fun twist.
Where Pali Road, Bandra (W)

Mocha Mojo: We recommend all the hot chocolate drinks on their menu. A must-try is the Varlhona White Hot Chocolate (`180).
Where Hill Road, Bandra (W)

Gloria Jean’s Coffee: To warm yourself up, head down to Gloria Jean’s. The café has delicious hot chocolate options such as the Classic Hot Chocolate (`96) and the White Hot Chocolate (`96) topped with marshmallows.
Where Powai, Juhu and Bandra

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf: Give the coffee a miss and opt for their delicious non- caffeinated options such as Hot Vanilla or Hot Double Chocolate starting from `80.
Where Nariman Point and Bandra (W)

It’s the season to break out the scarves, jackets and hoodie! Winter wear is chic, fashionable and, most importantly, will keep you warm. Here are some winter essentials:
Mango: If a cosy, fashionable jacket is what you’re looking for, head down to Mango. Their new collection of jackets includes everything from simple sweaters to elaborate dress jackets and overcoats.
Where Outlets across the city
Price `500 onwards

Promod: Faux fur trimmings, a heavy dose of checks and greys, blacks and browns dominate the range. Promod has a great winter line for the season. Whether you want a long sleeved blouse to wear over your jeans or a fashionably furry jacket to wear over it — the shop has something for everyone.
Where Outlets at Worli and Andheri (W)
Price `490 onwards

B: Kind: Who says winter has to be dull? If you’re looking for a colourful winter and you’re tired of all the browns and greys doing the rounds, you may want to check out the new collection by B:Kind. They use colours such as purple and olive green and have got a range of jackets and knits.
Where Major retail outlets across the city such as Options, Juhu and Try Me, Bandra (W)
Price `799 onwards

Metro Shoes: Jackets, scarves and coats are not all you need to step up your winter style quotient. You’ll also need a good pair of boots. Metro’s winter boots are high on style and will look great with your winter outfits.
Where Major retail outlets across the city
Price `2,990 onwards

Gas: Make a pit stop at GAS when you’re doing the rounds for your winter shopping this year. They’ve got a lot of reds in their winter collection as well as denims and a range of interesting knitted sweaters and dress jackets.
Where Linking Road, Santacruz (W)
Price `4,500 onwards

Find out where mumbaikers like to enjoy the cool breeze
“I used to love going on the double decker bus at Marine Drive and getting off at Hanging Gardens near Café Naaz. I miss having enough time to do that.”
Tisca Chopra, 41, Oshiwara

“The sunset at Bandra Fort is always beautiful and during winter there’s a slight nip in the air that makes it more special. It’s an amazing spot to just sit and survey the scenery while the wind whips around you.”
Tushad Patel, 17, Andheri (W)

“The Barista at Bandstand, Bru Café at Juhu Beach and Chai Coffi are my favorite spots in this weather. But the best is my terrace, which overlooks the Juhu Beach and Versova stretch, with a warm cup of green tea!”
Neha Dembla, 22, Juhu

“I like the Colaba Barista, near Radio Club, it’s a good place to sit with some coffee over conversations. The winter chill gives it a pleasant edge.Café By The Beach at Charni Road is perfect for the winter too.”
Nitesh Tiwari, 22, Matunga

“The Bagel Shop on Carter Road is my favourite place to go grab coffee. It has cosy settings which are just about right for the weather. Also, AER lounge in Worli has an amazing view of the sunset!”
Ray Kumar, 25, Santacruz (W)

“To catch a little bit of the winter chill I’d go to Kanheri caves at Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Since it’s surrounded by greenery, it’s cool throughout the day. It’s worth a morning trek and you can sit down there for a cup of tea too.”
Nishtha Kanal, 22, Chembur


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