BIBLIOTHÈQUE: For the love of Books & Food

Kunzang Chuki Denzongpa, Pamu to her friends and family opened Bibliothèque on 1st June 2017. The cafe is located at Tharo Line, the famous staircase that leads down to Lal Bazar from M.G Marg. The second floor of the building is set up with bookshelves, seating tables and chairs, colourful and interesting decoration pieces from Harry Potter to the Game of Thrones. The corner by the window is my favourite spot to sit. It provides an aerial view of the Lal Bazar side of town and on a clear day, the neighbouring hills present a perfect backdrop.

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My fav spot at the cafe

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The view from my fav spot

I started my meal with “Breakfast in a Pot.” Bacon, bread, eggs, spinach, herbs in a ramekin. I also asked for a non-veg Thai roll/wrap. Meat, vegetables, herbs over that thin rice paper is beyond perfect! It even makes that perfect sound when you chew on it!

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Breakfast in a pot with non-veg Thai roll

I was fortunate to reach just as Pamu had taken out her freshly baked quiche. Meat and cheese melting in my mouth was just what I needed on a Sunday morning.

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It’s a happy place with happy people and happy kids!

Pamu says she loves cooking and she loves reading. In a society driven with secure government jobs, you have someone like Pamu, deviating from the normal.

“So you’re going to let people just take the books?” I ask, fiddling around in her kitchen. “The idea is to let them borrow it because I want to encourage reading,” she replies, nonchalantly.

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Serna making sure the books at the cafe are stamped!!!!

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Iced-tea, food and me

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This is what a perfect setting looks like!

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What would you like to eat today?

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Belgian waffles with seasonal fruits and ice cream

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Grilled chicken in cream of mushroom with couscous

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Ramen with assorted meat and prawns

So if you’re strolling around town and want a place with good food, good books and an ambience that is creatively comfortable, then you have to make your way Bibliothèque.

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Forced Tshultrim Norbu Wangdi to take an abstract pic of me and after much grumbling, we got this. 

Art Cafe

The kind of stories I like to do or write about are usually the ones about people who believe in their passion and dreams. When I come across someone who never gave up on their dreams/ideas and started doing something on their own, it intrigues me. These are the kind of people I like to write about and their stories are what I like to narrate to the world.

Yachna Rizal was my classmate back in school. She was always the sweet and helpful kind. Since I was in the boarding and Yachna was a day scholar, I’d ask her to call my parents back home (in Sikkim) and pass information to and fro. In other words, her phone bills went up because of my endless complaints and drama. 

So on the 5th of October, I went to Kalimpong, West Bengal regarding some official work. There, I bumped into my old friend, Yachna. Turns out, 12 years after school, Yachna is now the proud owner of a super awesome cafe called Art Cafe.  

The entrance to the cafe


Art Cafe is probably the first of its kind in Kalimpong. Poets, musicians, artists of all kinds gather in this cool joint. It’s only a month old but the creative lot of Kalimpong have made this place their Hub already. Yachna, along with her partner, Pravesh are open to original and innovative ideas that people have to offer. Art Cafe is more than a coffee/food house. It’s a fun place for the young and the old; a platform for the artist and the aesthete to get together and make art out of the simple things in life.

Yachna, Moi & Pravesh enjoying the afternoon sunshine

This cafe that has a unique boutique. Yachna uses Nepali fabric (Dhaka) to create fashionable and exclusive ethnic garments. She even showcased her collection at Bhutan last year. I was amazed at the details of her work. Every piece makes the right fashion statement without overdoing the traditional touch. (You now know what to wear for the wedding season. Thank me later ☺️☺️☺️)

   
    
    
    
   
  The food at Art Cafe is very palatable. The presentation is simple and the flavour is just right, whether it is the Thai Chicken with rice, the savoury burgers or the cheesy pastas. One thing I observed about this place, they don’t “over do” anything! 

 

Reasonably priced and satisfying


   

That is exactly where i would sit and date someone…. if i had someone to date 😕😕😕


The decor at Art Cafe is artistically minimal. What I mean is, If you look around, there is so much to see. The paintings, the colours and the witty writings on the wall but the fact that it’s so spacious, it somehow manages to align the art and allow your eyes to enjoy it’s charm thoroughly. I was fortunate that the day I visited the cafe, the sky was clear and the October sunshine made it a perfectly languid afternoon. 
 

This is when I struck a deal with Yachna. Told her I would pay her phone bills by doing a blog post about her cafe 😝

 
 

New way to get high: TALK

 
  
I had only a few hours so I had to wrap up my work and head back to Gangtok but it was a day well spent. For those doubting that I went to Kalimpong for some other purpose, below is the pic I took at the work station 😝 which coincidentally happened to be right opposite to Art Cafe! #truestory

 

Ice tea is served in one of those cool bottles

 
One more thing you need to know about Art Cafe is that, they sell indoor plants and cactus as well. So those of you who agree that Kalimpong is house to some of the prettiest indoor plants and flowers, drop in at this place to pick what you love. 

 

Plants 4 Sale

 
I am ecstatically happy for My friend that she decided to leave her city job and head home to pursue her dream. This is exactly what I admire about people who believe in their dreams- They know for a fact that they might fall yet they walk on the path never taken. Fear is not their obstacle but a reason to live more and dream big.

Good luck Yachna & Pravesh. I will definitely be visiting Art Cafe frequently. Those interested can find out more details on their Facebook page “Art Cafe”

Am I the only one who thinks thinks that this would make a perfect Haruki Murakami book cover?