The new year is off to a great start as Gouri’s makes its way further south to Bengaluru. Home to a rich cultural history owing to the number of dynasties and empires that weaved their way through the city, Bengaluru has, in most recent times, gone from being the capital of the princely state of Mysore to that of Karnataka, and proudly carries, amongst many others, the tag of India’s IT hub.
As we explore the Garden City, we thought it only apt to share some of the gems we’ve stumbled upon.
- Cinnamon, a charming boutique housed in a restored heritage bungalow in Ulsoor. Their collection of apparel, home decor, knick-knacks and jewellery from a plethora of homegrown designers offers up something for everyone. Plus point: the center courtyard of this stunning structure is home to the semi-al fresco Cafe Cassia with light, fresh food to re-energise you after all that shopping!
- Lalbagh, Bengaluru’s famous botanical gardens, houses the country’s largest collection of tropical plants - including those in its glass house, which hosts two annual flower shows on Republic and Independence Day. Modelled on the lines of the Mughal Gardens, the gardens also feature an aquarium and lake, making this a photographer's paradise and perfect for when you need a quick reconnect to nature.
- Cubbon Park serves as the lungs of the city, a refreshing burst of green expanse. One of few public, open and accessible spaces, the park is full of tree-lined avenues, statues, and a wealth of flora - the ideal spot for daily strolls, photography, and to simply hang out when the weather’s good.
- Ranga Shankara. Built in 2004, this space is a thespians and theatre lovers haven; a vibrant, affordable project that embraces performances that cut across languages and hosts only shows that are open to the public. Their annual theater festival also brings together shows from across the country once a year. The facility’s dedication to the arts is clear when they say their philosophy is “a play a day”, meaning you will always find a show running. Rangashankara is open every day except Monday.
- Pecos, dominating Bengaluru’s pub scene since 1989! The bar has gained repute as one of India’s most iconic retro rock pubs, serving up only beers and classic tunes from the 60s-80s alongside blues, jazz and reggae. Pecos has quite a cult following of its own, and the original is still plastered with the same posters and artwork since it opened; they now also have four other outlets across the city, so pick your spot and settle in with an icy brew.
- Coffee Mechanics, a roastery just off Kammanahalli that sources beans from their four estates in Chikmagalur. Try the signature Mazagran, a iced espresso-lemon-sweetener mixture of Algerian origins, or a Vietnamese iced coffee floating atop a sinful layer of condensed milk. Purists, turn towards any of their classic coffees for your daily dose!
- Blown, the salon of our dreams - because what could possibly be better than a blowout paired with Bordeaux?! Treat yourself to mani-pedis, colour treatments and the perfect coiffe alongside stellar cocktails and French and Canadian wines. Served with a side of cheese, olives, cold cuts and fruits, Blown makes for the primping pre-game we’ve all been waiting for.
That’s all from us for now, but while we dig deeper into the pulse of the city, feel free to share your own recommendations with us - and remember, whether you’re strolling through a park or indulging in some retail therapy, keep a Gouri’s bar on hand for when you’re feeling peckish!