Words: REA MALHOTRA MUKHTYAR
Any Mumbaikar worth their desk lunches and traffic whines is a sucker for a little getaway – to leave behind the city’s jarring soundtrack and bask in the glory of doing absolutely nothing for a day or two as they sip on cool drinks through even cooler umbrella-clad straws. Sounds like your idea of bliss? Well, luckily, some clever clogs at Global Kitchens Pvt Ltd have capitalised on Mumbai’s vibrant coastline (finally!) and set up Café by the Beach, a perfect little mini-Goa nestled right on the Marine Drive promenade. Shady palm-tree umbrellas, a scattering of wooden tables and chairs, and branch-less barks draped with wind chimes and lanterns lend this space an earthy vibe.
Speakers, craftily hidden inside the tree trunks, play ambient music that complements the contemporary decor – all-white cane chairs and vibrant blue cushions and particularly those recliners perched by the edge of the shore. Sip on a refreshing Lemon Grass Cooler as you lie back and relax; the lack of wi-fi is a blessing in disguise – who needs technology when you’ve got sunset-stained skies for company? The sea-facing seats are also a perfect plonk-stop between the watersport rides you can hop onto at the H2O Waterfront Complex next door – choose between a leisurely boat ride, tandem jet-skiing or the most exciting of all – three blissful minutes of parasailing along the skyline. As your friendly instructor straps you into a life jacket, get ready to be sprayed by the salty waters. Many of them have been working in the industry for over 14 years so they know a thing or two about navigating you through the waters safely. The jet-skis will take you down the bay up until Nariman Point, quickly turn around and then zoom on back to their harbour. Make sure you listen to the hand-placement instructions, because you don’t want to slam down the accelerator by mistake. When parasailing, the colourful parachute is released into the sky before the rope you’re attached to is gently released, until everything beneath your dangling feet seems miniature, and a peaceful calm sets in.
The minutes fly by and soon you’re descending back onto the boat, headed back to the café for your pick of post-adrenaline rush fuel. There’s an impressive selection of light sandwiches, quiches, wraps and salads to choose from. Try the Smoked Chicken, Sundried Tomato, Mozzarella Sandwich for an authentic Italian bite, or the waffles with mixed berry compote if you’re in the mood for something sweet.
The perfect mix of airy and cosy, Café by the Beach makes a lovely Sunday fun-day for the entire family. As soon as you step into this sandy haven, it’s time to get your holiday mode on, so pull on those Havana shirts, unleash your inner water baby, and have a blast!