I am a big look-for-new-stuff kind of person combined with being a travel-addict. I feel restless if I don’t get to go somewhere new every few days [The definition of few might range from a week to a month]. I like exploring new places, looking for those hidden-treasure kind of shops in an alley off the main road. Discovering a city is almost like getting to know a person. At first you look at the exterior and marvel at what meets the eye. Then you slowly unwrap and unravel all of the good and bad, layer by layer. You discover secrets and treasures, shortcuts and hot spots. You choose what you like and what you don’t. It’s a thrilling journey and I enjoy it!
I have done a fair share of travel with my parents and sister. My father was in the army so we had a typical roaming-around-the-country-every-2-to-3-years fauji life for about 18 years of my life. My sister and I fussed every time we had to move to a new place saying “What will the new place be like? Will we be able to make friends?” and the whining went hand in hand “But why do we have to move? We have so many friends here. This place is so nice and we love this house.” But once we moved to the new place we liked it, all the same or even better. So now when I have to move to a new house, city or country I don’t fret too much. Agree that packing and moving is a hassle but a necessary one. But these days there are so many packers and movers for that also, I guess they make it a li’l easier (I haven’t used one yet).
Coming back to my love for exploring a new city, I feel like a kid-in-an-ice-cream-store when I discover some new place of my taste. I like capturing it in all my senses, absorbing the visuals on to the camera in my brain, revisiting it, telling friends about that place and of course blogging being the new-found interest, I like blogging about it. I guess its something to do with my expert spatial senses *winks.
Its been a year since we have been back in Bangalore after our stint in the US. And here is a list of some of the places we have been to and liked. These are a mix of retail stores, activity places, restaurants et all. We, as a family have enjoyed these together or separately, as age appropriate. For reference purposes, my family consists of me, my hubby S and our son N who is almost 3 years old.
1) Apple of my I – It is a store that sells things for kids in the ages newborn to 6. They have toys, clothes, some books [not too happy with their book collection], kids room decor stuff, footwear. I have been only to their Indiranagar store and I like it. The customer service is great (they even call and let you know when a product you asked for has arrived), there is a small play area for kids to keep ’em busy while the parents are busy shopping. I wrote about them here.
2) Sutradhar – Also in Indiranagar, this is a non-profit educational resource center. It works to equip teachers and special educators who, in turn, work with kids. It offers a wide range of resources in education – books, toys, learning tools, Montessori material. I have been here twice and am planning to go again soon. Does anyone know when they have their annual sale?
3) Monkey Maze – Again in Indiranagar, they have a huge indoor soft play area. They also have books, puzzles, games and toys. They have a mini skating area and a potter’s wheel. They conduct workshops and classes off and on and during the summer vacations. Perfect for a rainy day ‘coz they have an indoor play area. N loved spending time in the ball pen, zooming down the slide and climbing up ladders.
4) The Orange Bicycle – One of my all time favourite stores. I have mentioned them here and here. They are tucked away in a quiet residential area of Indiranagar. As their tagline says “One store many stories”. They have products from many artists and designers under one roof. The store is done up very well and is a visual treat. They have kitsch and funky home decor, clothes, furnishing, knick knacks, gardening stuff and great gift options. I love it more and more on every visit.
5) Chilli Billi – A collection of unique and non-traditional stuff, again in Indiranagar. [No, the Indiranagar municipal council does not pay me to advertise for them 🙂] Chilli Billi stocks clothes, shoes, decor and home furnishing stuff.
6) The Martin Farm – The place is a farm off the Sarjapur Road. It is green and open. You can pet a calf, a pony, a donkey, goats, ducks and a dog; can see hens, roosters, birds, rabbits and turtles. There are swings, slides and a rope ladder structure to play. You can rent the venue for a birthday party [Minimum 20 guests and 100 bucks per head].
The farm is owned and Ossie and Marie Martin and is known as the Martin Farm. Gerry is their son and runs a conservation initiative called the Gerry Martin Project. Contact 9856779666 to get more details about timings and availability. You can also read this post , by a friend, for more details.
7) 100 ft – Boutique, Bar, Restaurant – It is in Indiranagar on 100 ft road. Nice restaurant with a boutique inside. Lovely stuff to see and pick up – a collection of eclectic, funky and unique things. I wrote a review here.
8) Lalbagh – I love the greenery, open space to run around, birds, animals and abundant flora and fauna. Nice place for a nature walk, learning about trees, trunks, roots, leaves, grass etcetera. There is a lake and a lotus pond too. Monkeys can also be spotted so have that picnic carefully.
9) ANTS store – The Action Northeast Trust is public charitable trust based in Assam. It works directly with weavers and artisans to work towards sustainable development for them. It has a store in Indiranagar where their products are displayed and sold. You can see the address of the place and the products here. They also have a small but very efficient and functional cafe on the terrace. You can shop for all stuff north-eastern and then sip a hot cup of latte! Their products include black pottery, bodo weaved cloth material and bamboo baskets amongst others.
10) Ranga Shankara – If you are a theatre lover then a trip to RS is a must. I blogged about them here. I love the ambience of this place, the cafe with mouth-watering dishes and of course the plays. I have been to a few and look forward to watching more plays here. They hold theatre fests and story telling weekends for children. Check out their FB page for latest updates.
11) Sunshine Boulevard – It is a boutique based out of a bungalow in Koramangala, 4th block. It has lamps, wall lights and lighting accessories along with home decor stuff from Mukul Goyal. They also have custom furniture. We picked this floor lamp from them and love other pieces from their collection. A must visit if you are looking out for lighting and want something different.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of “great” places in Bangalore. Just a small list of places I have visited so far and liked. In case you did not notice, the words in green and bold are links to that place’s website or FB page.
Have you been to these places? Which ones did you like or dislike?
Coming up next… a list of places I haven’t been to, but would like to see, in Bangalore [based on word-of-mouth recommendations].