The Birdhouse Cafe

A beautiful experience last evening:

I’ve dropped Ayaan for his Calligraphy class in Coonoor and I have an hour to kill. A new cafe has opened in the small town and I thought I’d give it a visit.

So I park and walk upto The Birdhouse Cafe. The evening weather is Coonoor perfect. Slight breeze and the gentle Sun getting read to set.

Im quite sure ill just have a coffee as im not feeling hungry. The Food-Gods though have other plans.

‘Ill have a filter coffee please “, but then I notice the small black board on the wall with the dessert menu – Queens Arms, Butter Cream Cookies et. My internal volition is fast evaporating.

Can I try the Queens Arms?, I ask

Oh its sold out, she says.

Ok ill take one Butter Cream Cookie with the coffee then.

A few minutes later the coffee and the cookie arrives. It is perfect. Not too sweet and the biscuit. Aah.

Do you make it here? I ask.

No, there is a Chilean lady who used to run a place called Point Cafe in Kotagiri long back. She now supplies us with the desserts.

You are kidding me. Marcela? Id heard so much about her. And ironically we shifted to Nilgiris in July 2018 and she closed in June 2018.

This cookie is the first time im tasting her stuff, I tell her. She smiles back.

Yes Marcela makes desserts for us every alternate day and sends us a box. We have no clue what is coming in the box! She decides. And the old timers – locals here know her quality. So its sold out pretty much the same day.

We then chat and exchange names and all that social stuff. The three youngsters from Bangalore, Vidya, her husband and friend Nidhi run The Birdhouse Cafe and The Birdhouse hostel. They have been living in Coonoor for 6 years, the Cafe though is just 3 weeks old.

The chat makes me hungry. I want more.

What would you recommend to eat ?, I prod.We added the corn and spinach sandwich to the menu today. Would you like one? Vidya asks.

Sure sounds right to me. And then the dish arrives.

This bread is FRESH, I exclaim. Having sold bread as a salesman long long back I’m nutty about my bread.

Have you heard of Paul the Baker? Vidya asks. The bread just arrived a few minutes back.

Now im transported back to the social gatherings in Coonoor. Often the conversation would turn to food and the locals would speak about the mythical Paul the Baker.

The best breads and he makes it at home. But you have to be lucky to get it. And then there is the waiting.

So now the penny drops or the bread pops. The fresh ingredients in the superb bread slices are elevating me to heaven.

Then a group descends into the cafe. Vidya is busy attending to their order and offering suggestions.

That’s when I saw. Only 2 pieces of Butter Cream Cookies are left.

My mouth filled with the sandwich I wave to Nidhi behind the counter.

What? She gestures.

Quick, pack those two remaining pieces of Butter Cream Cookies.

She smiles back. Clearly this has happened before.

10 thoughts on “The Birdhouse Cafe

  1. Abhimanyu, your piece made delightful and reading as usual. We plan to visit The Birdhouse Cafe soon and taste the food mentioned. Hope we will be lucky to get the Queens Arms. Could almost taste and smell the cookies. You manage to throw in information about people, food etc. The background details ignites interest. To activate all the senes is incredible talent indeed.


  2. Made me wanna fly out and meet you there ! The simple joy of life’s simple pleasures. Packaged into a simple-y alluring tale 😃. Lovin it abhi !


  3. Hey Abhi, I wish I read this last week when we were in town… surly would have made the pilgrimage…
    Keep it coming mon amie.


  4. Lovely! I love how you enjoy these small pleasures in life. Thanks for sharing, it almost felt like I briefly was with you tasting that butter cookie even though I am a few continents away.

    Liked by 1 person

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