India 2011 – Delhi – Cha Bar – Oxford Bookstore, Connaught Place
(Part of my ongoing India travelogue… if you want to start from the beginning – check out this post: India 2011)
After a morning of shopping and sightseeing – we knew exactly what we needed… one of the best and well-known of all Indian exports – TEA!
Cha Bar is a little tea-cafe within the Oxford Bookstore.
The Oxford bookstore itself is situated at the base of the famous Statesman House – probably one of the more striking bits of modern architecture we saw in Delhi:
After exploring jam-packed Delhi for the day, Cha Bar is lovely and spacious – and a quiet relief from the madness below. From the big windows you can look down on Delhi’s hustle and bustle.
The Cha Bar serves 86 types of tea! Mostly Indian in origin, but also a selection of imports (there’s a different sections on Japanese green teas, and Chinese teas). You can check out their extensive menu online here: Cha Bar Menu. Intense!!
After making our decision, we find that a few of our choices (“The bollywood masala mix cha – A sip of emotion, drama, love and spice all wrapped in this fragrant cup of tea” – come on, as if you wouldn’t choose this one too!) aren’t available. Boo-urns. So we go with our second choices, Masala Chai….
Look familiar? Yup. It’s pretty much the cup of chai I’ll compare every other chai in my future to.
My mum on the other hand goes with First Flush Darjeeling – “Light, golden tipped springtime tea from the himalayas, distinguished by an exquisitely delicate flavour, and the fresh scent of the first pick of the season. Connoisseurs consider it the ultimate in tea quality and finesse.” Oh lala!
After our teas, we take some time to explore the rest of the bookstore. I never realised this before, but a huge number of English language books are printed in India for exported to the UK! So to my surprise, the books being sold in the Oxford Bookstore were all the same titles and imprints as I’d expect to find in my neighbourhood Dymocks or Angus & Robertson. Exactly the same quality, but for about $5 per paperback!
I got some books by my favourite author of the moment, Gerald Durrell – and Fi got the Stieg Larsson books for a steal. In addition, we both raided the stationery sections to get some really beautiful handmade paper books.