WHERE TO GO
The perfect waterside picnic spot at Pala Khola
The Pala River, also known as ‘Pala Khola’ in Nepali, makes for an ideal picnic spot for friends; we usually pack some snacks, a speaker, a tent, a towel, an extra pair of clothing, and some sunscreen. Although we usually set up a tent, it depends on how much time you want to spend there. You can find a spot to park yourself and enjoy the sound of the stream, or go in the river for a dip and explore the surroundings for a while till you’ve worked up an appetite and finally sit in the midst of Mother Nature for a lovely meal.
Kolkata has New Market and Kalimpong has the Haat Bazaar
Kolkata has New Market and Kalimpong has the Haat Bazaar. This bi-weekly farmer's market is a huge draw for locals since it offers everything from spices, vegetables, fish and prawns (and other items that are not as readily available) and even clothes, cutlery and flowers. You will also come across a range of locally made products most of which are prepared at home or grown locally. You can also score some delicious snacks such as the phungbi or the alu thukpa.
Pudung Farms offers a taste of adventure tourism; the property also has a hotel with an indoor pool full of exotic fish!
The fun bird-watching destination, Pudung Farms, also offers a taste of adventure tourism. Owned by Yusuf Simick, Yanzee Bhutia, Anita Pradhan and Dorjee Bhutia, the adventure park has a bevy of activities like ATV rides, paintball, trampoline, and a toy train for children! It's somewhat removed from the main town so tourists can always request conveyance assistance at the reception.
The property has a hotel with 7 beautiful rooms, a restaurant, conference room and a swimming pool (that's full of exotic fish!).
WHAT TO EAT
The Warehouse is somewhat removed from the bustle of the main town; enjoy piping hot momos
The Warehouse is a personal favourite! The cafe and pub is the brainchild of Peggila and Eden Bhutia. It’s somewhat removed from the bustle of the main town which makes it the perfect space to enjoy some uninterrupted downtime with friends, family, and some live music (local bands perform at the venue every other week!). The menu lines up shareable finger foods like BBQ wings, lemongrass chicken, tornado potato and of course, piping hot momos. The outdoor seating offers an idyllic view of the mountains, while the indoor area has a projector for streaming videos or live matches.
The Noodle House
Best-sellers from the menu at The Noodle House
This Pan Asian diner opened its doors amid the pandemic. The owner Lalit Moktan is a chef and has worked in some of the most esteemed kitchens across the country (including Courtyard by Marriott Gurgaon and Swissotel Kolkata). The Noodle House is his ongoing endeavour to give back to his community and to offer Kalimpong a taste of world-class gourmet. At the moment, The Noodle House offers some of the best South-East Asian delicacies in Kalimpong, and balances cuisines like Chinese, Korean and Japanese.
Hot-sellers from the menu include the Korean ‘kimbap,’ the Japanese mixed rice Takikomi Gohan and their delicious crispy pork belly.
Rustic vibe and ‘Jhingey Dau’ spaghetti at Art Cafe
Pravesh Chettri’s Art Cafe was one of the first cafes to open its doors in the rolling foothills of Kalimpong and luckily has an adaptable, distancing-friendly design. The space offers both indoor and outdoor seating, and the open-air space even offers an immaculate view of the Kanchenjunga, along with some light jazz in the background. The Continental menu has some standout numbers, like the ‘Birkhey’ Burger or the spaghetti named ‘Jhingey Dau,’ which is cooked with olive oil, tomato, herbs, prawn and cheese. Art Cafe also offers some heavenly baked goods; this place really is difficult to forget!
Sonam Dolkar Seth lives in Kolkata. She loves nature, yoga, food and Instagram. When she's not making Reels, you will find her chillin' (and working!) at her family-run restaurants Blue Poppy, Thakali and Boma Asian Bakery.