Quite frequently we travel from Pune to Mumbai for a day visit, we normally prefer to visit the South Mumbai area (Fort, Colaba, Parel, etc.) for its quaint, British feel, stone wall buildings, as well as the old and famous eateries that exists in the area (and if you are lucky enough, you might as well spot an actor/politician for a quick selfie in the area .. lol).
We live in the eastern part of Pune so it’s much nearer from Mumbai expressway so we start not so early like about 8 AM and by 9 AM we are in Lonavala. You can either plan to have a Puneri breakfast (Wadapav) at Golden Wadapav, or you might choose to have breakfast at McDonald’s or similar at the food mall after Khopoli on the expressway. We prefer both options depending on our mood and the hunger for food. Note that for Lonavala you have to get off the expressway and get into Lonavala town so it’s a small detour and will cost you around 30-45 mins of travel time depending on traffic conditions inside Lonavala which might get very bad at peak holiday seasons. Once we are done with our breakfast we then head to the most boring and mundane part of the expressway (Khopoli to Mumbai).
Since our target is normally the south part of the city, we do not hesitate to get on to the Eastern Freeway which will take you right behind CST and your hunt to park your car begins. Typically on a weekend you will get a parking spot in front of The Asiatic Society of Mumbai where you can park the car as well as take some photos thereafter you park your car. That place is usually buzzing with photographers posing with DSLRs. Post the photo session, you can head to do some street shopping to Colaba Causeway. You can take a quick 5 min taxi to Colaba Causeway and do some street shopping over there. The market will take 2-3 hours for a end-to-end shopping and by that time you will be left with someplace in your stomach for some scrumptious kebabs. Bademiyan – One of Mumbai’s oldest kebab eateries is right behind the start of Colaba Causeway and will just be a 5 min walk. DO NOT MISS the mutton seekh or the chicken seekh kebab as they are to die for (The people who say it’s lost the touch really do not know what they are talking about). It should be around 3 PM now and you should be done with your lunch. Do note that they do have an AC restaurant opened in front of the Asiatic Society, but we only prefer that branch curing summers, else, we go to the original one on a less hot day. In case you are lucky you might get a flea market or a music event that might be taking place on a winter evening/noon but strictly in case you are lucky. Do check local news in case you plan to visit such events.
You can then head to the Gateway Of India for a quick selfie in front of the Gateway as well as Taj Hotel, thinking one day you might book a honeymoon suite in the Heritage wing of the hotel (Haha, yeah that was mean, but we do the same too). We would not suggest going inside the Gateway due to the sheer rush and the heavy crowd that throngs these places and there is nothing that you can’t see from inside that you cannot from outside.
You can then take a quick walk to Leopold Cafe for some awesome deserts. Forgive us for saying this but we do like the deserts at Leopold Cafe a lot more than we actually like the other savory food. We never liked the place for its savory elements rather we rave about this place for its deserts. Although, it might be on the expensive side a bit, it’s totally worth it. We even get a couple of takeaways for our next day breakfast back in Pune 🙂 Do make it a point to sit inside the cafe and have your dessert as it does give you that old-school cafe nostalgic feeling. Once you full with the deserts then you can head to Nariman Point for a awesome sunset view first, and then view the amazing Skyline of the city and also take some rest, talk, fight and even talk about your pre-kid days and how we used to enjoy a lot those days (yeah, I know it’s mean again, Psst: we do love our kid though). You won’t know how time flies at Nariman Point, so it might easily be 7 PM even before you blink and now its time for dinner before you head back to Pune.
For dinner, there are a couple of options we try, one is Leopold Cafe itself, although we did mention earlier, we do not prefer their savory options a lot rather we go for deserts there, another option is Britannia & Co. Restaurant which is a 15 min taxi ride from Nariman point and 10 min taxi ride from Colaba. Although, as people and a lot of food and travel bloggers/reviewers suggest to have the Berry Pulao over there, we really did not like the taste of it since it was too bland for our liking (Probably it was just a bad day for them, but we never went to that place again considering it costs us around 550 INR for a Chicken Berry Pulao which we thought was overpriced). Do try out the sodas over there (esp. raspberry soda) and the Caramel Custard, as they are really delicious. You can also opt for Delhi Darbar / Olympia Coffee House / Bagdadi Restaurant based on your taste buds, the type of food and the appetite available with you guys.
It might well be 9 PM now and time to head back to Pune. When it comes to driving, 11PM is our threshold for highways and so make a point to be fresh enough while you start from Mumbai and as well it’s not too late to travel/ drive. Even though we are avid coffee drinkers, we prefer a high caffeine content drink (Thumbs Up or similar) which keeps us awake and fresh for the monotonous Panvel to Khopoli patch. Once you reach Khopoli, the night truck traffic and the ghats will anyways keep you awake and on your toes.
Do share your own experiences/suggestions too in the comments section for us to try out for a quick one day Mumbai getaway.
Abhijit and Pallavi (Kids of the Blog owners)