Royal Bombay Yacht Club

A 12 hour flight, a bustling airport, a sea of dilapidated temporary houses, an overwhelming stench and a blur of a car trip begin my second visit to Mumbai, India. This would sound like hell to most travellers but to me, it’s like coming home. Mumbai has a feeling, a vibe, an attraction which is indescribable and a familiarity that is as good as a warm hug from mum. My return to India through this Airport and to this city was very welcome.

 

I would only be in Mumbai for one night as I would then continue on to Delhi the following day. To assist me in my brief stay a dear friend had arranged for me to stay as a guest at the Royal Bombay Yacht Club.

 

Arriving at night I was unable to see the standard of my accommodation or the location but it was described in detail to me by my wonderful driver on the drive over. The friendliness and openness of the Indian people never ceases to amaze me. Upon first inspection the building seemed old and fairly run down and as it was night I had no idea of what the local surrounds looked like.

 

I was told immediately upon arrival that my friend Mr Vinoo was waiting for me and we would have dinner together. It was now 9pm. In India, this is an early dinner. As much as I love the Indian hospitality, after a long flight, all I wanted to do was sleep.

 

My Badipapa (Indian Grandfather), as I would now call him, had arranged my transportation, stay and return visit to the airport. I really do know how lucky I am to have such great connections in other countries as well as such kind and generous friends. An American woman on the plane had invited me to stay with her in her house in Mumbai if I didn’t have somewhere to stay but after informing her about my accommodation at the Royal Bombay Yacht Club and my friend, she recognised quickly that I was certainly not in need of help.

 

Seeing my dear friend was wonderful and the meal absolutely delightful, but I was exhausted and simply needed rest.

 

I was woken at 6am by my startling alarm and I was all but ready to pull the covers over my head and beg for more rest until my eyes were drawn to the window. There sat the most perfect circle of golden light I have ever seen. The sun was just rising over Mumbai and I think  I had the most incredible view of the whole city to watch this day begin. My stunning heritage framed windows allowed for the many colours of the skies early morning light to be framed perfectly and to reveal that just in front of my window lay the famous landmark, the Gateway to India.

 

 

 

The beautiful Royal Bombay Yacht Club is a heritage building which sits facing the Gateway to India with the Taj Mahal Hotel towering beside it. Behind these great structures still and calm in the early morning was the great Harbour of Mumbai. The The Bombay Yacht Club was founded in 1846 and was established after regattas were held there since 1830.

 

I could not believe my eyes and I simply stood at the window and watched the sun shed it’s light over this beautiful city. The photos speak louder then words, though they too are not necessary as the images in my mind are as clear and vivid as if it were only yesterday.

 

 

Though you must be a member or the guest of one of the members to stay at the Hotel, you can visit and admire the history of this wonderful landmark. The Harbour is lively and busy during the day with local markets, the famous Taj Mahal hotel and the tourist favourite, Gateway to India. The Bombay Yacht Club offers fantastic meals and a stunning view for a beautiful night out with a difference.

 

This has to be one of the most interesting and culturally rich hotels I have ever stayed in. I know how lucky I am to have been introduced to such a gem of India’s history. It’s a must see when visiting Mumbai.

For more information on this amazing establishment:

http://royalbombayyachtclub.com/

(This trip was taken on 25th January 2006)

Night Noodle Market- Asia comes to Sydney

The buzz, atmosphere and splendour of the market makes for a lovely night out in Sydney

The buzz, atmosphere and splendour of the market makes for a lovely night out in Sydney

Isn’t it amazing that we can go across the otherside of the world and become completely immersed in that culture. We could tell you the foods that are eaten, the local dress, the best museums, and even give you a brief general history. But when it comes to our own country, or even city, we haven’t the foggiest what’s happening in and around town!

 

I had this realisation last year when my Canadian friend visiting in Sydney asked if I would like to attend the Night Noodle Market. My response to him being ” What in earth’s name is that?”
It would just so happen that the Night Noodle Market is part of the Sydney Food Festival which carries on through the whole month of October. The Noodle Market is positioned in Hyde Park and is a cultural hats off to the wonderful flavours and tastes of Asian cuisine.

 

Sydney is full of Asian style food and we are rapidly gaining restaurants of an Asian influence spreading throughout Sydney suburbs. However, there is nothing that resembles the wonderful street style market stall set up of an Asian Food Market that is such a highlight of visiting such countries as Singpaore, Malaysia and Thailand.

 

So smack bang in the centre of Sydney during this month, a magical, mystifying and temporary extravaganza of Asian Food stalls is set up for all to enjoy. Hyde Park is the location and it is festivally decorated with lanterns and lights, stalls and music. The aroma of the many Asian nations culminates in the mid spring air to give you a sense of being in a far off land of sunsets, bustling streets and warm temperate evenings. A true sense of Asia comes to life  in the centre of the city, and you don’t even need a ticket!

 

I was delighted to be introduced to this wonderful world that lies right in the heart of my home city, and none the less by a foreigner. It sometimes is necessary to act as a tourist in our own city to rediscover the beauty and wonderement which is actually on our very doorstep.

 

I enjoyed a beer from China, a starter from Vietnam, some noodles from Singapore and wonderful dessert from Indonesia. All within the space of an hour.

 

The market is running all of this week, from October 12-16 (Mon-Fri) and then continuing on next week from October 19-23 (Mon-Fri). The dinner trading, 5pm-9.30pm.

 

So why not grab a few friends after work, head into the park and enjoy the sites and sounds of Asia in our own backyard.

 

For more information visit: http://www.siff.com.au/events/noodle-markets

 

Don’t miss the chance to see a side of Sydney you’ve never seen before!