Evenings to Remember.
The lake was shimmering, and the setting sun seemed like it was hanging in the sky a little longer just for us.
The sizzling heat of midday had dissipated. All that was left was a seductive hint of warmth enveloping my skin.
The light was perfect, and the food arrived. The smell was intoxicating.
It was hard to know what to concentrate on - the food or the sublime view.
Light laughter and music filled the air. No meditation was required - I had reached my state of bliss.
Whether the Weather Allows
One thing I like about India is the weather.
While the north of India gets very cold in winter, the overall climate is on the warmer side.
I prefer the warmer weather for a few reasons. Firstly, I hate the cold!
But mostly I prefer warm because of the outdoor experiences you can have.
And eating outdoors is one such 'luxury' in life for me!
Al Fresco in India
One of the many superb rooftop dining venues in Udaipur
I have always enjoyed dining al fresco (eating in the open air - or outdoors).
And the diverse landscapes and range of venues in India mean dining outdoors can be a unique and memorable experience.
Street food is famous in India. Eating on the street is fun, delicious and social too.
And there are enough balmy evenings in India to enjoy all types of alfresco dining.
Sometimes it is not just warm weather that brings people outdoors. Much to my surprise, the winter months in Delhi (which I struggled with) appeared to be favoured for al fresco dining by the locals I met.
From the street scene to highway truck stops, mid-range cafes and high-scale dining, there are many choices for this outdoor diner in India.
The excellent customer service in India also adds to the overall pleasantness of the dining experience.
I have so many dining memories of over two decades associated with India. Here are my thoughts:
Dining in Mumbai
It seems a new 'place-to-be-seen' is always opening somewhere in Mumbai.
Mumbai is spoiled with the seaside venues and tall buildings, creating a plethora of superb dining venues.
And on one balmy evening in Mumbai, I headed to an enchanting scene on the side of a racecourse.
I have travelled directly past this racecourse for 20 years – going from south Mumbai to North.
And tucked away in the corner of the car park was a restaurant that epitomised the 'luxury' of eating out in Mumbai when I visited years ago - Neel – Tote on the Turf.
Because almost all the food in India is high quality (yes, I have tried it all!), the feature for me that stood out in this restaurant is the ambience.
At night, with no views of anything, the restaurant exuded all that is good about al fresco dining.
It was a combination of subtle lighting, unique decor and seating design and the old twisted, gnarled trees that made the ambience perfect.
I have had many such evenings in Mumbai - on the street (love Bachelorr's at Chowpatti), roof-top bars, and beachside cafes.
In the prime months of Mumbai, there is no better place to dine al fresco.
My future updates will discuss my best outdoor dining in cities across India.
Let me know your favourite outdoor venues in India. Comment below.