EAT, SEE, DO: MUMBAI (INDIA)

India was never really on my bucket list… I’m not a big fan of the food and it just never really had the appeal to me. However, after being in Mumbai, I actually really love it and that’s on periodt! It gave me Lagos vibes – it didn’t feel that different from home.
Yes – there’s traffic and people did stare at me, but I really did have a good time. Here’s what I’d recommend:

Eat: Have tea at the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel

Across from the Gateway of India (see below!) is the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel; a place where royalty and celebrities stay when they are in Mumbai. Celebrities and royalty that have stayed here include Obama, William and Kate and Oprah. It’s absolutely gorgeous inside – it’s evident why royals stay there! I had tea at the Sea Lounge and managed to get a table overlooking the sea and Gateway of India and also at sunset. Perfect for a cup of tea and slice of cake.

Eat: Have dinner at The Table

 

A short walk from the Taj hotel, I had dinner at The Table. They serve cuisine from all different tables of the world. The plates are small so you can try a few things. The food was gorgeous. I tried the Korean BBQ beef tacos, the tuna tartare, the shrimp dumplings and of course a prawn linguini, because what’s food if you aren’t eating pasta.

See: Visit the Gateway of India

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This is an arch monument built to commemorate the first British monarch to visit Mumbai in 1911. It was a symbol and reminder of conquest and colonisation and it was used to import colonial personnel. However, the British left via this Gateway when India gained their independence in 1948. So as the saying goes, the way you came is the same way you will go back. There’s so many reminders of colonialism in India, even down to the fountains, statues and galleries that were named after British people that they had to rename when they got their independence. What was once Flora Fountain is now Hutatma Chowk and the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India is now known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. I absolutely loved this, it’s great to see the colonial countries celebrate their own heroes. People did ask if they could take pics with me though being the only black person.

Do: Walking tour of Dharavi Slums

This was really something. Forget everything you think you know about slums and come and see what people are achieving despite their environment. The tour is run by residents of the slums who use the proceeds of the tour to further their education. Most of the waste of Mumbai goes via the slum where they sort everything and recycle. Within the slums, they have everything they need, there are schools, churches, mosques, temples, clinics – absolutely everything. They have every industry – engineering, tailoring, catering to name a few. They are fully self sufficient – for them, by them. They all live together in harmony and despite not having all the privileges we have, they are thriving. Part of Slumdog Millionaire was filmed here too. Also, only the men work! Women don’t have to work – isn’t that something. Honestly, it’s far from a place of misery but definitely a place of inspiration.

Do: Hang out at the Otters Club

The Otters is a private members club that is apparently very prestigious and difficult to gain membership for. It’s the hangout of several of India’s celebrities. It’s well equipped with a swimming pool, a gym, squash and tennis courts. I got a table on the seafront at sunset which was beautiful. The food was really good. I’m not normally a big fan of Indian food, but I tried everything which is progress for me as a fussy eater! I tried the dosa, the green mung beans, the chicken tikka, naan bread and Dahl. I’m so proud of me!

Do: Get a massage at Iosis

I do try to have a massage in the different cities that I travel to and I would usually stick to the hotel spa. However, Iosis was recommended to me by a Mumbai local so I decided to give it a try. I didn’t have a booking and the branch I visited in Khar were fully booked and couldn’t fit in my 90 minute full body massage I wanted. However they were kind enough to fit me in for my next alternative which was a 30 minute back massage and a 40 minute foot reflexology session. They gave me a real massage – it felt like therapy. They stretched out all my muscles and I heard cracks in places I didn’t even know existed! Both treatments cost me around £20 – most definitely worth it!

What gems do you know about in Mumbai? Let us know!


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10 Comments

  1. India Sounds so exciting
    1. Obviously they show respect because they serve linguine
    2. Well done for trying the food so proud of you.
    3. The massage sounds amazing

    1. LOL i am a real lover of pasta, and that’s facts. The food situation was definitely out of my comfort zone but I told myself to just try everything. The massage was amazing, my back and feet really feel better for it.

    1. Trust me, I really stepped out of my comfort zone with the food. But it was worth it – especially the fresh naan bread with butter.

    1. It really is. Very much like Lagos where if you know the spots, you will have a great time.

  2. Abi, how did you find it as a black woman? (You mentioned people staring). I’m not sure I want to go to Mumbai, but my interest in Goa has definitely peaked a bit! x

    1. Very good question. I didn’t have any issues at all, I was treated really well especially in the hotel. I did use Uber (which was really cheap by the way) and I didn’t have any problems. The only thing was the staring and i had some kids that wanted to take pictures with me at the Gateway. But the staring didn’t feel like it was because of ill-intent, it just felt like they saw someone different and were amazed by me which I can understand. And have you seen me? If i was them, I would be amazed too!! LOL

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