Travel Postcard: Bar-hopping in Mumbai

Fri Oct 3, 2008 12:38pm EDT
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By Lyndee Prickitt

MUMBAI (Reuters Life!) - Mango caprioscas, masala mojitos and kiwi margaritas can be found in many of Mumbai's slick and stylish five-star bars, but why not also try other establishments you can tell stories about for weeks?

Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help you get the most drinks in during a weekend in this Indian city.


6.30 p.m. - Start posh and early to catch the best sunset view in Mumbai at The Dome, the terrace bar of the Marine Drive InterContinental Hotel where you can sit on fluffy white sofas and order a cocktail you don't mind paying international prices for. The bar is just around the corner from the cricket ground, so it's not surprising to see the occasional Indian or international player.

8.00 p.m. - After the glitz of The Dome, head for nearby Hughes Road off Marine Drive for an easy-going beer at the New York Cafe. While Cafe Mondegar and Leopold's are the best-known of Mumbai's student bars because they are in every guide book, they've become more international backpacker than local hangout. New York Cafe is one of Mumbai's few places with pool tables and there is an air-conditioned room, but most people crowd into the warmly lit narrow bar.

9.00 p.m. - For a bizarre experience, try the White House in Kala Ghoda on MG Road. There is a bouncer at the door, and once inside, all eyes are instantly drawn to the middle of the room where a group of heavily made-up young women are standing. Standing, not dancing, because dance bars have long since been banned from Mumbai's city center. Despite the eager waiters, the male punters and women are likely to eye you suspiciously from the moment you enter till the moment you leave.

10.00 p.m. - Take refuge from this scene at a bar from a bygone time. You'll find white-coated bartenders, a 1970s cocktail menu and the furniture to match at The Lido Room at the Ritz Hotel. If the TV isn't on, the atmosphere can be quite charming and the food is good too. End the evening with a Whisky Sour, a plate of tandoori chicken or paneer and muse over cricket, the stock exchange or Bollywood, like the locals do.

SATURDAY   Continued...

<p>A flower seller looks for possible buyers at a seafront in Mumbai June 25, 2008. REUTERS/Arko Datta</p>