Some weekends are more action packed than others, even when you spend it in the city. This Independence Day weekend, I decided to stay back in Bangalore and do some of my favourite things.
Bike and run at Cubbon Park
Saturday morning started with a bike ride from South Bangalore to Cubbon Park-my favourite lung space in the city. The weather was perfect, it’s been cloudy and rainy and sunny, by turns, the past few weeks. It was busier than usual, with a vintage car display and an Independence Day flag hoisting ceremony. The usual running, slack lining and yoga groups were in action.
I tried out a new trail to bike through the park and then ran my usual 5km loop. I’m training for my first triathlon and am trying to do at least two out of running, biking and swimming whenever possible.
If you’re new to the city ( or to biking) and want to join a biking group, try Bums on the Saddle. They’re much more than a bike store and are making a commendable effort to grow the biking community in Bangalore. They do weekend rides in and outside the city. For runners, there are more than a dozen groups who train and run together, my picks would be Runners’ High, Runners for Life and Jayanagar Jaguars (I must confess I’ve a South Bangalore bias!)
Breakfast at Coffee House
Biking had worked up a good appetite and we headed over to one of our favorite post-work-out-brekkie haunts-India Coffee House. They serve one of the best scrambled eggs (with a fluffy poached consistency), masala dosas and coffee. It has the old world charm where your bill is served along with your coffee!
I really look forward to my brekkie sessions with my run-bike-yoga gang on the weekends, we catch up on all the gossip, training schedules, travel, marathons, rides..it’s basically a fun time chatting, laughing and sharing stories!
My other breakfast haunts are Airlines Hotel, Konark (at Kanteerva stadium) and Koshy’s. All are within half a kilometer of Cubbon park and hence the perfect pit stops to refuel :)
My usual weekend itinerary includes a massage and steam, it’s the best way to wind down and relax after long runs or bike rides. This weekend I thought I’d treat myself to a nice hair spa and pedicure. After all happy feet make a happy person! Most of the salons were booked out due to the I-day rush.
I managed to book me an evening appointment at a local spa that does pedicures and head massages…simultaneously! (..well, if I had to make that dinner date with friends then I’d better get a move on it, right?!) And I gotta say, to have someone giving you a foot rub and a head massage together is the most relaxing thing ever!
Dine-in with friends
Sometimes having to scout around for a restaurant, dealing with the weekend crowds, finding parking etc can be quite stressful. We decided to ditch that and dine in. It gives you much more quality time together with friends and its hassle free (although all that plastic that is used to pack the food really bothers me)
There are some great but low key places to order from- Maiyyas, Tandoori Nights and Veekes & Thomas make the cut for south indian, north indian and continental food in South Bangalore. These places have their regulars and the delivery is efficient, menus are simple making it easy to choose…especially for a group of six hungry adults and a toddler!
For a while now, I’m been wanting to try my hand at some healthy baking. A lot of the bought out bakes’ maida and preservatives can be avoided.
I biked to the local grocers to buy whole wheat flour, amaranth flour (this one is a health & nutrition treasure trove!) eggs, baking powder, demerrara sugar, sesame seeds, walnuts and bananas.
I spent Sunday afternoon making some delicious banana walnut bread while Simon & G crooned in the background. Friends came over in the evening for masala chai and freshly baked bread :)
Next on my list is home made whole wheat bread with pumpkin seeds. I’ve done two trials..(more like errors)…but hopefully the next one is gonna turn out right!
Theater and Chai at Rangashankara
Rangashankara is one my all time favorite places in the city. And I live hop, skip and jump from Rangashankara and it has become my adda! I usually stroll down there for chai and chit-chat with friends after work and for plays on weekends. It has the nicest cafe which serves tasty sabudana vadas, herb toast and akki roti.
Sometimes I bike down there on Saturday noons, just to browse at the bookshop and sun myself while sipping some nimbu paani. The plays during the theater festival are a much-watch. At other times it can be a hit or miss…especially the experimental theater. They mostly stage English and Kannada productions. Some of the best plays are by Akvarious productions, Rage productions, and of course Girish Karnad and Arundhati Nag’s plays which are always a good bet!
So there..when everyone leaves the city for a weekend out, it’s the best time to hang out in the city :)
What are your favorite things to do in Bangalore? Share them here!