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Hot Stimulating Café of Darjeeling shuts down

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I was not on the look-out for Glenarys, a place where tourists flock when in Darjeeling. Rather, I walked down the serene mountainous path meandering towards Raj Bhavan, across Bhanu Bhavan and the old church to reach a quaint café to stimulate my senses. The Hot Stimulating Café, that’s what it is known for and on your next trip to the Queen of the Hills, so not miss this joint that will welcome you to the majestic land of Kanchenjunga.

Inside the cafe

As I walked towards Richmond Hill, and the Zoo, a sleeping Darjeeling lay below. And the eerie silence of the stony-walled Darjeeling Cemetery, only a few steps ahead gave me goosebumps. It was just then that I saw this quaint board hanging: ‘Hot Stimulating Cafe.’ Just a room with a triangular roof and a hanging balcony, yet it had a magnetic charm, difficult to resist. As I entered, a fluffy, brown cat stared at me from one of the table tops. A European couple was enjoying hot coffee sitting in a corner. The atmosphere was homely and warm.

Balo

The cafe walls flaunt large windows, through which the scenic view is scintillating. Cherishing the environment, I comfortably sat in a corner and ordered coffee, cheese omlette and a plate of hot piping momos. The cafe is run by brother-sister duo – Rumba and Lily. It has a wide spread of Nepalese dishes, Tibetan and Chinese delicacies. Momo is the signature dish, served hot with coffee or tea. You can also order other items like noodles, cheese burger etc. The prices are reasonable, in some cases lesser when compared to rate-charts of other similar cafes.

People sitting inside the cafe

And you can have your meal at your own pace. You are never forced to leave. Spend long hours gossiping or sitting quietly, getting yourself immersed in the inexplicable vibes of the mountains. The hospitality of Rumba and Lily is worth mentioning. They will request you to stay if it rains outside. Even their pet Alsatian with its friendly bark will ask for the same. Very likely, you will be offered another cup of coffee. You will gradually realise you have fallen in love with the cafe, with its owners, and their pets. 

(Unfortunately, the Café has closed down. Our team had gone there this March but it was not operating. We hope it will start again)