Nayantara Kilachand is the founder of Mumbai Boss, the blog that "makes sense of the city" of 18.5 million people. Who better to design a perfect day?
1. The best day has to start with a stellar breakfast. I'd head to Kala Ghoda Café in Kala Ghoda for fried eggs with green chillies or a masala omelette, slices of their whole-grain homemade bread, and a pot of fresh mint tea.
2. After that, I'd walk around the neighborhood, swing by a couple of design stores like Filter, which makes the cutest notebooks (read more about it on Mumbai Boss) and walk towards The Gateway of India. The sea-facing street is always good for people watching. Then I'd drop into a couple of galleries like Gallery Maskara, Project 88, and Chatterjee & Lal to catch a new exhibition and walk towards Afghan Church in Navy Nagar, a leafy area, which tends to be quieter than most. The church steeple used to the tallest point in the city, but that was many moons ago (you can still spy it from my window though).
3. For lunch, The Table, a bistro near the Gateway of India, does scrumptious breakfast sliders and pork buns. I'd follow it up with an espresso and a warm chocolate tart.
4. As the city has few good bookstores, I'd probably head home to read for a bit on my iPad, browse through new issues of Wired and Vanity Fair, or catch up on my TV watching (currently plugging through seasons of The Following and Game of Thrones).
5. In the evening, I'd head to the nearby Bombay Port Trust garden in Colaba, which is a botanical gem by the Arabian Sea. A couple of decades ago, it was a barren plot of land, but now has an incredible array of plants and trees. The entry fee is just Rs2 and for that, you get unfettered views of the sea.
6. Sunset, naturally, calls for cocktails. Dome, the rooftop bar at the InterContinental Hotel Marine Drive, has a fab view of The Queen's Necklace and the bay. As the sun sets, the buildings start to twinkle in the night sky, making the city look extraordinarily pretty.
7. For dinner, it would depend on how stuffed I was. Ellipsis, a bistro located in a charming heritage building in Colaba, has great food (try their fish tacos) and does a mean cocktail (the Blood Mary is lethal). Its living room-like lounge area, with its oversized chairs and shaggy carpet, is a nice place to wind down and catch up with friends.
8. Before everything shuts for the night (it's curtains by 1:30 a.m. here), I'd head to Bandra, which has a cluster of buzzy nightspots (like Olive, The Daily) or Lower Parel to Café Zoe (located in a warehouse) or The White Owl (the city's newest nightspot).
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Inset photo, bottom: Courtesy of Ellipsis.