Sometimes you have to have to go to a place that just feels cosy and welcome. A place where you can slowly start the day to the tune of some French folk music, the kind expect to hear during the start of a Pixar movie. Well, Pali village Cafe in Bandra is that place.

During the day it is a spot for people to socialize and discuss business but early in the morning however first thing in the morning, I am the only person here.. Perfect.

Sorry where are my manners? Here I am just rushing ahead to the point where I am sitting in the cafe.. how about that lead-up.

The morning rose like most other, a yawn here, a scratch there, another scratch there and up I rise.. to greet the day with enthusiasm and verve, Except this morning I was more on autopilot than a ninja back-flipping down the corridor. It was as if my feet and hands were saying “it’s alright buddy, we’ll get you to the shower and hands will take care of the rest.


Clean and looking with a winning smile the only part of my brain that is working realizes that this little friendly arrangement I have with my feet and hands being autopilot will only last for so long before they just return to being well feet and hands. I need to do something about this.

On the mornings I am ready to be that said ninja back flipping my way down the corridor and ready to scream out the Bandra window “GOOD MORNING MUMBAI!! I LOVE YOU!!” I want to head to a cafe that suits that kind of mood, this morning however I need a quiet place both visually and audibly to slowly wake me up. A cafe version of the gentle shake of the shoulder say “hey there.. hey sport.. time to wake up.. hey there..”

I need Pali Village Cafe.

Stepping out I notice that the rain has stopped for about enough time to me to step onto the street and hail a Rick (yeah speaking like a local) and with about 1.3 seconds one appears.. I have a system to help with the language barrier oh and not it’s not to slow the words down and yell like most tourist do

‘WHEREE ISSSSS THEEEE TRAAAAIIIINNNNN STATTTIIIIONNNNNN!”

There couldn’t’ be anything more offensive

I politely have a crack and speaking clearly and I also show the spot on google maps. This combination works pretty well and before too long we are off. I will say this, the rains in Mumbai have cleaned the air up nicely. I breathe in a fresh breath and watch the world go by as my formula one racing drive/rickshaw driver zooms past the people and cars on the road.

Before too long, I am standing outside the cafe and heaven above the rains haven’t started yet. They will oh yes but for now, I am relatively dry.

Stepping inside the cafe is exactly what I want it to be.. quiet save for some smooth French music being played, soft amber lights illuminate a sombre toned room that resembles a warehouse smushed with French furniture. The concert and brick walls and French windows give me a sense that once again I have left Mumbai and India completely and now I’m in France…

Yeah, this is cool.

I sit down in a table in the corner and order a strong latte to give me that boom that I am looking for. While waiting I see that India and Australia are predicted to meet in the World Cup final. Well isn’t that a thing! Having absolutely no idea who will win and yet hoping my fellow Aussie win because well I am a fellow Aussie and yet wanting India to win be well there’s a billion or so people who would be really happy and celebrate.

I’m torn so I decide to just be completely on the fence about it. If India wins then well that’s wonderful and if Australia wins, well Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi.

The coffee arrives and the first impressions it looks wonderful and warming. You know how I feel about someone trying to be all new wave about a Latte, option for more design than taste. This place has a real machine and a real barista and he is making a real coffee.. Do we have a mystic connection? Do we? Does he know that I am a person that comes into a cafe and expects wonderful tasty results?? Does he? I think he does.

Have I been watching Final Space on Netflix too much?? I think I Have.

The colourful imagery still fresh in my mind I look at the cup before me and realise that even though it’s not my most desired cup size and shape (big handle, lots of coffee, tall) it’s pleasant and fits well in the hand.

The taste.

If you are looking for a more smooth cup then this is your place. Again I prefer the bitter side of a coffee but that doesn’t make this any less enjoyable. It’s not served too hot either, but yes it is one of the smoother types. Which now I think of it pares really well with the surroundings, the whole place is just…smooth. From the French music to the colours and lighting everything here is smooth.

So continuing with Final Space way of speaking. Do I like this place? Yes, I do. Pali Village Cafe is a special place that I don’t visit that often and the only reserve it for those kinds of days when I need to wake up slowly and above all I need the smooth embrace of a cosy amber light French-influenced cafe to be my morning cocoon and help me transform from a useless caterpillar to a productive, inspired butterfly. So if that’s you every now and then it’s the place for you. Maybe we will raise a slow cup to each other and just nod knowingly.

Cheers, morning 🙂

Andrew

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