Taking the long view
This was what I was thinking while sipping on a freshly brewed Darjeeling tea at the Uetilberg mountaintop restaurant in Zurich. The view from the French windows of the classy restaurant was beyond compare. I felt warm and secure to be inside the restaurant and a whole lot more relaxed than I had been in ages. The Zurich Lake sparkled in the horizon as the rain gave way to a suddenly bright evening. From my perch, I could see undulating moors, red-tiled houses and patches of manicured lawns. Beyond these there were the Alps.
Talking about picturesque dining locations, I am reminded of a wonderful dinner I had at a restaurant on Mount Fløyen in Bergen, Norway. The restaurant was created in a large bungalow surrounded by a tastefully manicured garden. Fitness freaks jogged or cycled their way up to the restaurant to enjoy a rich, creamy meal followed by a huge bowl of vanilla ice cream with hot chocolate mousse. Trim and efficient waitresses frisked around the large dining hall trying to cope up with the evening orders for dinner. The evening fog glided past the treetops and enhanced the beauty of the vistas around Bergen. Stone buildings, winding lanes, cobbled streets, sloping roofs and the magnificent fjords sum up the view of the city from the top of the Mount Fløyen.
Sometimes, the grandeur of a restaurant enhances the dining experience it offers. This is the case with the Jaipur House in Mount Abu, which used to be the royal abode of the erstwhile Maharajas of Jaipur. Facing the Nakki Lake, the impressive restaurant has been built in the traditional Jaipur style of architecture. The sheer opulence of the interiors and the thoughtful décor multiply the joy of dining at Jaipur House.
The Café Deco Bar on Victoria Peak in Hong Kong offers a great view of the harbour. I was charmed beyond compare by the view of Hong Kong at night. The grandeur of the cityscape — the glittering skyscrapers, the lights on the South China Sea and the mountains in between — outshone the neon billboards on nearby Nathan Road, where visitors hop from store to store in search of the best electronic deals. I was utterly smitten.